Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Joseph


I think my favorite find of SXSW 2016 was Joseph, whom I stumbled upon at the Universal Music Group showcase. Composed not of a guy named Joseph but of three sisters, their band is named in homage to their grandfather. The three sisters' voices compliment each other perfectly and their music is a wonderful blend of sultry, dramatic, dark, beautiful and soulful. They're as gorgeous as their voices are too, which doesn't hurt. I'm totally mesmerized by their music right now so check them out!

Cloudline [ Spotify ]

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Liv Warfield

I was lucky enough to be in Minneapolis this weekend for Prince's 3-day album release party and the highlight, since Prince didn't play (which I will rant about in a separate post), was definitely Portland-based singer Liv Warfield. No cameras allowed in Paisley Park (ever), unfortunately, so I don't have pictures from the show.


Liv Warfield is the real deal. Amazing singer, charismatic, high energy performer, ability to attract an incredibly talented band, and absolutely gorgeous to boot... I don't use the word "incredible" lightly but her performance at Paisley Park on September 5th was exactly that.

I'll call the genre of her music "headbanger funk" - funky bass beats and soulful vocals with some downright metal guitar riffs. Although there was of course some R&B and a smooth jazz ballad or two, as well. Really, her music spans several genres.

Her backup singers are as talented as she is - so much so that when one of them did a sort of bee bop (doo wop?) solo, Prince ran on the stage to give her props (one of the only appearances he would make the entire weekend). While I definitely loved all of Liv's songs and she is the quintessential frontwoman, I think my favorite bit was she left the stage and her backup singers did a few covers, particularly a funky/metal cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" that was part of an epic, longer medley. After a while, Liv came back on and joined the song and Prince must have loved it too because it was during the latter part (not sure what the later songs were) of this epic cover medley though that Prince made his second appearance and took the guitar from the guitar player and played for a minute (back faced to the audience the whole time...). So technically I guess I did get to see Prince play live. Technically (*frustrated eye roll*)

Anyway, definitely check her/them out. They played Sunday, as well, and were just as good, but the set was very similar. There was a longer sort of jam-out session in which each of the instrumentalists got to play lengthy solos, which was cool. They're all amazingly talented. And they aren't too hard on the eyes either... I think she referred to her band as Blackbird but I can't find any info on them and I don't think they're really permanent per se or recording under that name (and to make the Googleability harder, she has a song called Blackbird).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dead Flowers

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you probably know about my weakness for gritty blues rock. Well Dallas-based Dead Flowers embodies that but combines it with a very danceable punk rock flavor, as well. Seems like they put on a pretty decent live show, which you can check out in this video:



They're hitting up the East Coast this month, so check them out! Tour dates below.

SEPT. 11 FRI @ Lola's Saloon / Fort Worth, TX
SEPT. 12 SAT @ Three Links / Dallas, TX
SEPT. 17 THU @ Maxine's / Hot Springs, AR
SEPT. 18 FRI @ The Nick / Birmingham, AL
SEPT. 19 SAT @ Ashley Street Station / Valdosta, GA
SEPT. 22 TUE @ The 5 Spot / Nashville, TN
SEPT. 23 WED @ The Drinkery / Cincinnati, OH
SEPT. 25 FRI @ Mohawk Place / Buffalo, NY
SEPT. 27 SUN @ Monty's Krown / Rochester, NY
SEPT. 28 MON @ Kung Fu Necktie / Philadelphia, PA
SEPT. 30 WED @ The Velvet Lounge / Washington, DC
OCT. 1 THU @ The Cave Tavern / Chapel Hill, NC
OCT. 2 FRI @ Tommy's Pub / Charlotte, NC

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

CHVRCHES - Leave a Trace video

In preparation for their new album, Every Open Eye (out Sept. 25th), CHVRCHES shared their video for "Leave a Trace" yesterday. I'm definitely digging this very poppy dance tune and I love the simplicity of the video, just using nice lighting, some water and Lauren Mayberry's natural beauty to make a damn aesthetically pleasing video.



They're also touring pretty extensively through Europe and the US for most of the rest of 2015. Here are the dates:

August 21-- Pukkelpop, Hasselt, Belgium
August 22 -- V Festival, Chelmsford, UK
August 23 -- V Festival, Stafford, UK
September 5 -- Electric Picnic, Co. Laois, Ireland
September 12 -- Lollapalooza Berlin, Germany
Sept. 25 - Sept. 27 -- Boston, MA @ Boston Calling Festival
September 27 -- Washington, DC @ Landmark Festival
September 29 -- New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage
October 1 -- Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
October 4 -- Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
October 5 -- Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hal
October 7 -- Columbus, OH @ LC Pavilion
October 8 -- Detroit, MI @ Masonic
October 10 -- Minneapolis, MN @ Myth
October 13 -- Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
October 14 -- Seattle, WA @ Paramount
October 17 -- Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Auditorium
Oct.17 - Oct.18 -- San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival
October 21 -- Salt Lake City, UT @ Complex
October 22 -- Denver, CO @ Fillmore
October 23 -- Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
October 24 -- Chicago, IL @ Metro (WKQX Radio Show)
October 26 -- Tulsa, OK @ Cains Ballroom
October 27 -- Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
October 28 -- Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore
October 30 -- Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues Orlando
October 31 -- St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Landing
November 5 -- Dallas, TX @ Bomb Factory
Nov. 6 - Nov. 8 -- Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Festival
November 10 -- Paris, France @ Trianon
November 12 -- Hamburg, Germany @ Docks
November 13 -- Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg
November 14 -- Brussels, Belgium @ AB
November 16 -- Brighton, UK @ Brighton Dome
November 17 -- Bristol, UK @ O2 Academy
November 19 -- Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
November 20 -- Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
November 21 -- Newcastle, UK @ O2 Academy
November 23 -- Aberdeen, UK @ Music Hall
November 24 -- Dundee, UK @ Fat Sams
November 25 -- Birmingham, UK @ O2 Academy
November 27 -- London, UK @ Alexandra Palace

Monday, August 17, 2015

Janelle Monae's secret/free Eephus Tour

I've been wanting to see Janelle Monae live for a long time now and thanks to her Eephus tour to promote her Wondaland Records artists, I got to fulfill that dream for free.

Saturday night at the Howard Theater, an amazing show took place. Obviously Janelle Monae was amazing. But not knowing much about the other artists, I didn't know what was in store. I have to say, I really liked pretty much every single one of the acts, so I've decided to write about each here.

One of the things that I liked best about the show was that it wasn't your usual "this band, then this band, then this band." Artists (Monae included) came on for a song or two then left, then came back later or sang with one of the other artists for a song or two. It was formatted much more like a variety show than a traditional concert. Although I think that's the way many of Wondaland's songs are being released, as well - as collaborations mixing and matching all the artists.


Since I'm sure you're familiar with Janelle Monae (and if not, shame on you), let's start with Jidenna. Jidenna's single Classic Man is the first release from Monae's Wondaland records. He's suave and debonair in an old-school way: always dressed in a three-piece suit with a tie, pocket square, pocket watch and even a cane (which is clearly for style and not function). His charisma is off the charts. And oh. so. fine. He hails from Brooklyn and is apparently the son of a Nigerian chief and an American anthropologist - as if he wasn't already interesting enough.



Deep Cotton is the duo of Nate ‘Rocket’ Wonder and Chuck Lightning. Their sound seemingly fuses practically every genre imaginable: from jangly rock guitars with punk-style vocals to soulful falsetto with a funky beat, they shift back and forth across genres as if genres were a thing that never existed to begin with. They were great performers too, very high energy and constantly dancing all over the stage.

St. Beauty is  the duo of Alex Belle and Isis Valentino. A fitting name for these ladies. I was totally entranced by their sultry, emotive songs. Their voices are rich and gorgeous. And they were very in-tune with each other in a way that is so rare among even the best musical teams.


Roman GianArthur has an awesome 6-pack. It was hard for me to concentrate on his music with his jacket open to his chiseled torso. Kidding. Mostly ;-) His music fell much more cleanly into the R&B category than the others did, and that's not generally my genre of preference, but it was still totally enjoyable. And while his songs might not be revolutionary, he is definitely insanely talented, both as a singer and a guitarist.

Janelle Monae has put together quite the roster. The concert finished up with all the artists coming on stage together to perform Hell You Talm Bout, as a call to African Americans to be on the front lines speaking up about police brutality which was an intense, emotion-filled end to an amazing show. Here's a video:

Friday, August 14, 2015

New video from Metric, "The Shade"

A perfect start to my weekend is a new video from Metric, of their song "The Shade," which will be their upcoming album, Pagans in Vegas, out September 18th.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New video from Editors

Today, British band Editors shared their new single and released a video for the song, "Life is a Fear." It's an artsy, film noir-style video in which they did a lot of cool things with light and glass. And the song is classic Editors - dark but totally danceable. Check it out!


The album, In Dream, is due out October 2nd.


In Dream Tracklisting
1.     No Harm
2.     Ocean of Night
3.     Forgiveness
4.     Salvation
5.     Life is A Fear
6.     The Law
7.     Our Love
8.     All The Kings
9.     At All Cost
10. Marching Orders

Pre-order Links

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis announce (limited) US tour dates



I was super psyched when I got the email that retro-rock band Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have announced US tour dates. That is until I actually looked at the list. It's a very limited, northeast-only tour (and they're not coming to DC! boo!). That said, I really like these Brits so if you are one of the lucky ones in a city they're actually visiting, hit them up:

9.01 Fairfield, CT - StageOne
9.02 New York, NY - Summerstage Central Park 

9.03 Pawling, NY - Daryl's House Club
9.4-5 New England, MA - Rhythm & Roots Festival
9.06 Amagansett, NY - The Stephen Talkhouse

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Olga Bell - Incitation

I'm pretty excited about Olga Bell. This blog was still on haitus last year when she released her debut album so I missed out on that, but she recently put out her new track, Incitation, on SoundCloud. The beginning is a bit slow for my taste but starting around 44 seconds in (when her lovely vocals come in), the track begins to build in a really beautiful and smart way. I think we can expect great things from Bell as she continues to grow as an artist.


Bell's "Incitation EP" is due out on Little Indian October 16th!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lucas James - Long Way Back Down

Lucas James is an Australian singer/songwriter with a bluesy rock edge. Apparently he considers himself a songwriter first and didn't really mean to perform his own tracks. "That just kind of happened," he says. Lucky him. A lot of artists would kill for that to "just kind of happen." That being said, his songs are catchy and have a fairly universal appeal, so I suspect he'll be relatively successful.

Tracklist:
1. The Young
2. Long Way Back Down [mp3]
4. Pearblossom Hwy
5. Yesterday's Not Far Ahead
6. Bittersweet Wine
7. Lie Pistol Love
8. The Only Real Thing
9. That Sound