Monday, September 30, 2013

{PLAYLIST} best of september

Oh my goodness gracious, 2013 is absolutely flying. September was a wonderfully busy month, in which we:
Press play below to hear Stacey, Kristen, and Krista's and top 5 for the month of September!!

"The Walker" - Fitz and the Tantrums 
lovelovelove hearing these guys featured on commercials more and more often!
"Look What They've Done To My Song" - Miley Cyrus
Best of September 2013 by this is our jam on GroovesharkThis song is so stripped down and raw, perfect for reminiscing about Miley 1.0.
"Lungs" - CHVRCHES
This band gets better each time we see them and I can't enough of the heavy synths in this song.
"For Those Below" - Mumford and Sons 
Nothing says fall to me like the wonderfully folky sounds of Mumford and Sons.
"When We Were On Fire" - James Bay
After his charming interview, how could we not be smitten?
"Hold On We're Going Home" - Drake
My go-to shower singing song for the month of September.
"Wrecking Ball" - The Gregory Brothers 
I'm not sure if this is blasphemous or not, but I much prefer this version to Miley's...
"Agape" - Bears Den
Where have these bearded fellows been my whole life? 
"She Lit A Fire" - Lord Huron
Lord Huron's wonderful campfire-ready set at the 9:30 Club was the perfect start to my birthday celebrations!
"Room for Two" - Second String Band
so so happy to find a DC bluegrass band!
"Blurred Lines" - Vampire Weekend
I'll take "Blurred Lines" anyway I can get it--but this VW cover is especially kicky.
"Fashion Killa" - A$AP Rocky
I was slightly upset to not be at NYFW this year, but this song definitely soothed my FOMO.
"Save the Last Dance for Me" - The Drifters 
saying goodbye to last year's crew from PS22 was tough, but with a new school year comes the next group of kiddos!
"Bitch, I Love You" - Black Joe Lewis
The song title says it all.
"Elevate" - St. Lucia
Leave it to St. Lucia to come out with another impossibly catchy and weekend-ready tune.

Listen to this playlist on the go on Spotify!

new music roundup

Here we go again -- check out some of our favorite newly released jams to start off your week!

Charli XCX - "SuperLove"
Our favorite pop princess is at it again with this wonderfully fun song and accompanying fun house video. Seriously, this girl is about to take over the world. Calling it now.

The Killers - "Shot At The Night"
We could not be more excited that Brandon Flowers and company are back with new music. This new jam is epic and has a bit of an '80s flair that feels just right.

Chromeo - "Over Your Shoulder"
Chromeo's latest groovy jam is the perfect soundtrack for those smooth talkers in the club trying to pick up some new ladies and we're totally falling under their spell.

The Royal Concept - "Radio"
Our favorite Swedes are back with another impossibly catchy tune in support of their latest Royal EP.

{RECAP} james bay, the wild feathers, and zz ward

On Saturday evening, TIOJ hit the early show for James Bay, The Wild Feathers, and ZZ Ward at the 9:30 Club after a requisite stop at The Satellite Room for grilled cheese and DC Brau.

We walked in to James Bay singing “When We Were On Fire” and were completely mesmerized by his voice before James even came into view. James’ voice was astounding and completely captivating live. Not to mention, that boy has cheekbones and hair that are only slightly surpassed in impressiveness by his vocals. We were swooning while he played a new song and crooned “I’d rather fight with you all night than never have you in my life.” We heard you, James. Loud and clear.

Throughout his set we had an ominous feeling similar to one we experienced when seeing Ed Sheeran open up a show at the 9:30 Club. Our spidey senses were tingling and we have a very strong feeling that we’ll be hearing much more from James Bay in the future. (Be sure to download his EP for free on Soundcloud while you can!)

Click ahead for the rest of the recap!

mashup monday: portugal.the man x jay z

In anticipation of the Portugal. The Man show tomorrow night at Fillmore Silver Spring, we just had to share this mashup album from Terry Urban. Namely, this mashup of "Purple Yellow Red and Blue" and Jay Z.

Be sure to listen and download the rest of Portugal. The Man And Friends here featuring more hip hop mashups including Kanye West, Notorious B.I.G. and more!!

DC people -- there are still tickets for the bands show tomorrow with Crystal Fighters here!

Friday, September 27, 2013

"elevate" your weekend with this music video

The latest video from St. Lucia for the new jam "Elevate" is serving as an inspiration board for my weekend. I would really like to make music in evicted buildings, stumble across cool graffiti hidden in the city, and end the night with an epic rooftop concert turned dance party. Is that so much to ask?

DC loves! St. Lucia will be opening for Two Door Cinema Club at DAR next Friday!


bears den, i love you so

There are so many wonderful things about "Agape" by Bears Den, the first and foremost being that the fellow on the right hand side in this vid reminds me of a young Ron Swanson and the one on the left a less-kempt version of Andy from Parks and Rec. But, I mean, if that doesn't sway you, you'll be smitten ten seconds in when these boys' harmonies catch you and don't let go.

{PLAYLIST} welcome, autumn!

As September winds to a close, we'd like to take a moment to celebrate crunchy orange leaves, scarves and chunky sweaters, and pumpkin everything. Since summer broke up with us (RUDE), we're turning our love and devotion to the loveliness that autumn brings.

our sentiments exactly (via)
Take a sip of your pumpkin spice latte and press play below for our favorite autumnal jams:

Welcome, Autumn! by this is our jam on Grooveshark"Fall" - Ed Sheeran 
"Finch on Saturday" - Horse Feathers 
"From the Woods" - James Vincent McMorrow 
"Furr" - Blitzen Trapper 
"For Those Below" - Mumford and Sons 
"Shake" - The Head and the Heart 
"She Lit A Fire" - Lord Huron
"The Colored Night" - Blind Pilot
"Shine" - Matt Stillwell 
"Little Brother" - Tallest Man On Earth

For more perfect fall weather, check out more autumnal jams here and here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

{THROWBACK} "how bizarre"

Something I think a lot about is the soundtracks that different stores play, especially when it's bigger chains. I'm not even joking a little bit when I say that my time working at a middle-aged woman's clothing store was made better by Cher being on the radio. I'd really like to know whose job it is at corporate headquarters to make these playlists, and I'd also like to know how I can secure that job in the future.

I was at Cosi the other day when OMC's "How Bizarre" came on. Hello, 1997.

But in all honesty: what is the thought process that someone someone has to decide that "How Bizarre" should be followed by Jackson Browne's "Doctor My Eyes" (such a lovely song deserving of its own Throwback Thursday)?? And further, what is the protocol when said coffee shop's CD is skipping?

{THROWBACK} "private eyes"

There is nothing like a good Halls & Oates break for your work day. Thanks to mashup favorites The Hood Internet, we've got a great take on their classic "Private Eyes."

And obviously, here's the original music video in all of its 1981 glory.

one more miley cyrus cover to discuss...

Miley Cyrus seems to be the name on everyone's lips lately, our favorite trio of sisters HAIM not excepted. The band recently covered Miley's latest jam "Wrecking Ball" in BBC's Live Lounge and it's glorious. The raspy vocals of oldest sister Este are a beautiful and powerful and a start contrast to the earlier bluegrass cover we've posted of the song.

Also, can we talk about Miley's most recent video "23"? As someone who grew up in Chicago wearing a #23 Michael Jordan jersey, I have lots of thoughts on this video -- most importantly, I really want to know Mike's stance on the video. So curious.


{RECAP} virgin mobile freefest

This past weekend TIOJ trekked up to Merriweather Post Pavilion for Virgin Mobile Freefest. As in years past, we were treated to free tickets, a wonderful lineup, and quality tailgating. Sadly, Mother Nature was not in a good mood later on in the day, forcing 2/3 of us home early, but we’ll recap everything we experienced and turn to Jurg for a report of how the night ended.

Once we completed our requisite tailgating, including party hats and homemade pop-tarts, we ventured in and caught TIOJ favorites The Knocks. While we were surprised that the band was at the main pavilion rather than the dance forest, we made the entire lawn area our own dance forest and had such a great time. The Knocks are seriously perfect party music and were a great way to start the day dancing. We especially enjoyed “Modern Hearts” and, as always, their cover of M83’s “Midnight City.”

Click ahead for the rest of our recap featuring Icona Pop, The Avett Brothers, and meatball subs.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

{WE LOVE} she's just bein' miley

Today Miley Cyrus is totally my jam, but probably not for any of the reasons one would assume. Not for "Wrecking Ball." Not for "We Can't Stop" (although that shit is amazing.) Not for anything resembling a twerk. But rather for this stripped down, reverent version of Melanie Safka's "Look What They've Done to My Song." I could listen to this all day long and reminisce about when Miley didn't stick her tongue out in response to any question and hadn't swung questionably upon construction material while wearing her birthday suit. Listen. Enjoy. Weep.


{WE LOVE} ylvis

I may be a little late to the latest YouTube sensation, but lordy do I love it. Ylvis' "The Fox" is one of the weirdest, goofiest, and charmingest videos I've seen in a while. And I promise that it will improve your day/week/life.

This new craze got even better when my homegirl Ellen Degeneres took it into her own hands. When the cute Norweigen boys (maybe that's why I like them so much...) from Ylvis were on her show the other day, they took to hiding in the bathroom, a la Taylor Swift. Too too great.

Now don't mind me, I'm off to learn this dance...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

{FEAT. FEATURE} jhené aiko

I've been finding myself singing along to the chorus of Big Sean's latest single "Beware" literally every time I get in my car lately. It must be thanks to the beautiful singing of featured artist Jhené Aiko.

After singing Jhené's part too many times to myself, I decided to do a little research on this lady. Jhené is a singer from LA with wonderful dedication to her music and a captivating voice. Not only is she connected to big name rappers like Big Sean, but also TIOJ favorite Childish Gambino. The pair just put out Jhené's latest relaxing single "Bed Peace."

I've been playing that track and the beautiful singer's equally beautiful last single "Burning Man (3:16am)" on repeat all day.

This girl is definitely one to keep your eye on and we can't wait to hear more! Until then, check out more on her soundcloud here.

{RECAP} lord huron and alt-j

On Thursday, I started my birthday celebrations early and, after much anticipation, got to check out Lord Huron and Alt-J at the 9:30 Club.

I was so excited for Lord Huron after spending all of last week waking up to "Time To Run" and falling more in love with their album. The band's live show certainly lived up to my prescribed hype. From their stage setup, to their music, to their attire, and even down to the tin cup the lead singer sipped on between songs, Lord Huron made you feel like you were just enjoying music around the campfire. Their tunes were jangly, emotional, and had the perfect beats to sing along to with 1200 of your closest friends.

Our Concert Correspondent Jurg best summed it up when she said "They [the songs] all sound the same...but I like them all so I'll let it go." I can't echo Jurg's sentiments enough as I frequently mis-recognized songs but was always pleasantly surprised with whatever I ended up singing and dancing along to.

Alt-J was up next playing to a sold out 9:30 Club. After seeing the band earlier this year and extolling their album An Awesome Wave as my favorite album of 2012, to say I was excited was an understatement. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the band changed a few things up since I saw them in March, replacing their backdrop from a simple replica of their album art to an impressive light show and entering the stage to the hip hop club hit "Rack City."

With those minor changes, I was a little intimidated that the band would be completely changed. Thankfully, however, their music was just as good, if not better than ever. Every single song was superb, with added enthusiasm from one of the biggest crowds I've seen at this venue. Like their previous show, I was again wowed by their interludes and may have died when they ended their show with "Breezeblocks."

I must also give a quick thanks to the 9:30 Club Friends with Benefit program who treated me to a birthday cupcake during the show! If you're not already in the club, get it together and join here. That cupcake was freaking delicious.

Next Up: Getting folksy with Blitzen Trapper at Black Cat on Friday!

second string band is my jam

With the weather getting cooler and fall starting to creep in, my musical ear is quickly turning folkier, bluegrassier, and more rustic. (Who am I kidding? It's that all the time.) Enter DCers Second String Band, whose bluegrass tunes are just perfect. Plus, DC bands are always our jam.

"Room for Two" is particularly lovely, and I'm also a big fan of "Silver and Gold Blues."

Silver and Gold Blues by The Second String Band on Grooveshark          Room for Two by The Second String Band on Grooveshark

Stream -- and buy! -- even more their music on Bandcamp here!

Monday, September 23, 2013

{INTERVIEW} james bay

We're so excited to share our interview with British singer-songwriter James Bay, whose incredible voice will having you press repeat on your iPod routinely (trust us on this one). Unsurprisingly, James is just as enchanting to talk to as he is to listen to. Read ahead as we chat with James about The Rolling Stones, his upcoming US tour, and singing in shower. 

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourself! Where are you from, and how long have you been making music?
I’m from a very, very small part of the world called Hitchin. It’s a little town just north of London where not very much happens at all. It’s also where -- to escape the boredom and to feed my curiosity -- I learnt my first three chords and started making music. That was about ten years ago now, and I haven’t stopped since.

photo by alex shamiri
You've been compared to some iconic singer-songwriters. Who do you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
I reckon even your biggest influences change over time. But, I have to say, Carole King, Bill Withers, and Fleetwood Mac have helped shape my music in a pretty big way.

Click ahead to read about James' dream collaboration and more!

i cannot stop listening to drake's new album

Guys. I cannot stop listening to Drake's new album Nothing Was The Same. More specifically "Hold On, We're Going Home." I've decided that if I was female singer with a killer, raspy voice, I would cover this song in a heartbeat and it would be a spectacular internet sensation.

Hey, a girl can dream. Until then, apologies to my roommate for my shower singing of late.

Friday, September 20, 2013


TIOJ's beautiful, talented, dazzling Krista (FINALLY) turns the big 2-5 today! Help us celebrate a quarter-century of desk-dancing, concert-going, jam-finding and all-around awesome co-blogging as we wish Krista the happiest of birthdays.

Continue celebrating Krista's existence by remembering her 23rd and 24th birthdays!

{PLAYLIST} freefest 2013

It's that time of year again --- FREEFEST!! The Virgin Mobile ticket gods have smiled upon us and we are so excited to attend our third annual Freefest. We can't wait for a day full of tailgating, ogling Ezra Koenig, getting lost in the dance forest, drinking overpriced beer, and lounging on the MPP lawns to The Avett Brothers.

Press play below to hear some of the songs we're most looking forward to hearing on Saturday.

FREEFEST 2013 by this is our jam on Grooveshark"Modern Hearts" - The Knocks
"Lost In My Bedroom" - Sky Ferriera
"Don't Give Up" - Washed Out
"Bitch, I Love You" - Black Joe Lewis
"Girlfriend" - Icona Pop
"Give It 2 U (feat. Kendrick Lamar)" - Robin Thicke
"Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise" - The Avett Brothers
"Step" - Vampire Weekend

Are you going to Freefest?? Be sure to follow us on twitter and instagram @thisisourjamdc to find us, and swing by our tailgate and say hello!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

{THROWBACK} "i want you back"

I know, I know -- this is not my first throwback to the Jackson Five or any Michael Jackson. Far from it. But Janelle Monae's cover of this classic diddy is pretty incredible. Do yourself a favor and listen to it a few times today.

Then listen to the original a couple of times too. I promise it'll improve your mood.

{THROWBACK} growing pains

I was listening to "R U With Me" by electronic pop group ASTR. I immediately knew I liked the song not only because of awesome synths, but more importantly because of the "as long as we got each other" lyric, which immediately turned into an afternoon of watching Growing Pains clips.

Here's the original theme song for you to compare, contrast, and reminisce on the days when Kirk Cameron was just Mike Seaver and not the evangelist who pops on your TV during infomercials.

As a bonus, we all think of Leonardo DiCaprio as the key guest star on the show, but watch the clip below to see what other famous actor also starred on the show.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

{WE LOVE} pitchfork's over/under

The Pitchfork series Over/Under features performers remarking on every day people, activities, and things as either over or underrated. It's a hilarious way to get a quick and random sampling of the artists' personalities so we decided to do a quick roundup of our favorites.

In anticipation of FreeFest, we love Vampire Weekend's interview as the band discusses doughnut holes, The Cobsy Show, and so much more all while Ezra just charmingly snacks on an apple.

I was debating whether or not to include Earl Sweatshirt in this roundup, but his passionate declaration of breakfast as underrated earns him on rightful spot on this list.

And saving the best for last, you MUST watch goofball Danny Brown's Over/Under. It is ridiculous and I'm obsessed. (Props to AV Director Caleb "I fucks wit Bill Murray" Hargett for showing us this one.)

Now please excuse me while I jockey to be a part of the Pitchfork team that brainstorms items to be rated.

{WE LOVE} the gregory brothers

Say what you will about Miley Cyrus' downward spiral and her latest jam "Wrecking Ball." (My verdict: I refuse to watch the music video on the grounds of morals, ethics, and good taste, but the song is pretty damn catchy.) But what makes it even better is the cover by The Gregory Brothers.

More reasons I love The Gregory Brothers:
1. They're brothers. Bands of siblings are my favorite.
2. They're from Virginia. Represent.
3. They're. a. riot. Check out their history of YouTube here.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{AS SEEN ON TV} motorola moto x

Kristen has got me addicted to the latest season of America's Next Top Model, which has led to many a Hulu commercial break. While I normally zone out during commercials, I can't help but giggle every time this Motorola ad comes on. Plus, any excuse for extra Miguel in my life? Sign me up.

And for the full length song...

the howlin' brothers are my jam

In the Noisetrade description of The Howlin' Brothers, the first sentence says that they have a "unique blend of bluegrass, heartache, and soul." Color me intrigued. Then when these very bearded fellas are recommended for fans of The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, AND Old Crow Medicine Show? Color be obsessed.

I knew I loved these guys before I even heard them. And then once I heard them, I loved them even more.

Download The Howlin' Brothers' Sun Studio Session FO FREE over at Noisetrade now!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

{INTERVIEW} goldroom

We're thrilled to share our latest interview with Josh Legg of LA's Goldroom. After seeing Josh & Co at Trillectro last month, we can't get enough of their music. Read ahead as we chat with Josh about his latest EP release, singing gibberish, and who he wants to collaborate with next!

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music?
That'd probably be a question best asked of my parents. I've been writing songs for as long as I can remember. I probably never consciously did it, but I remember singing and banging on things when I was really young. I started actively making music pretty early on, recording stupid songs I was writing with my friends as early as like eight years old. I've been pretty obsessed with making music and trying to record it as well as possible ever since.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before?
That's a really hard question, and I tend to hate to put descriptive words to what I make. What I've always tried to do with Goldroom is to make organic and live music but to do it using modern electronic production advances that I've learned through making dance music. Music has always been pretty escapist to me so if anything else I guess I'd call it dreamy and cinematic.
Goldroom by Othello Banaci
Your latest EP Embrace just came out. What can we expect from this new EP?
I'm really proud of how this EP turned out. Its really the culmination of a couple of years of co-writing with a lot of talented songwriters and singers. My biggest goal in writing songs after I released Angeles was to step up the songwriting, and I think we've really accomplished that on this EP. I really want to tell stories and try and write emotional music.

Click ahead for more!!

{RECAP} sylvan esso, volcano choir

Last Thursday I jogged my excited self over to the 9:30 Club for the perfect pairing of up-and-coming synth pop duo Sylvan Esso and Justin Vernon's rocking side project Volcano Choir.

TIOJ Interview alums Sylvan Esso opened up the night to a packed house, immediately impressing everyone with their hit "Hey Mami." While I was the only one around absolutely grooving to their first song, it was only a matter of time (and some convincing from the persuasive dancing of Amelia and Nick) until the audience was vibing to the band's electronic music.

It was so great to watch Nick mix all of the music in a live setting while Amelia killed it with her vocals and dance moves (my favorite being "The Bunny Hop"). At one point, Amelia put up her hair while Nick encouraged the crowd to have a dance party and you knew shit was about to get great. Indeed, their last song "Play It Right" had crazy energy and has all the makings of a perfect indie dance hit.

(If you weren't able to catch Sylvan Esso last week, never fear DC! The band will be back on November 19 at Black Cat with Minor Alps. You MUST check them out!!)

Next up was Volcano Choir, the dream team of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and fellow Wisconsinites Collections of Colonies of Bees. Just by looking at the setup of the stage, you could tell that this group knew what they were doing and what their music was all about. The backdrop of the set was reminiscent of actually being inside a volcano (and not unlike the cave-like feel of Bon Iver's last tour) and Justin sang from a natural looking pulpit, from which he had a bound notebook of supposed lyrics as well as some serious audio mixing equipment.

Volcano Choir's aesthetic certainly carried through to their music as they put on a great show, blending the unique vocals of Justin Vernon with the serious musical talent and uncontrollable ability to jam of Collections of Colonies of Bees. I looked around at one point and was in awe of the fact that the crowd was literally head-banging to the songs of the dude from Bon Iver.

Halfway through their set, I ran up to the second-level of the 9:30 Club where I could fully appreciate the impressive light show they had during my most favorite song "Byegone."

Overall, this was one of my favorite shows of the year. It showcased musicians of true talent who have come together and collaborated to create new and fresh music that unpretentiously demonstrates their range of abilities. Whether a smaller group like Sylvan Esso who came together while on hiatus from other indie bands or the more established talent of Justin Vernon, these musicians aren't resting on past successes. Instead, they continues to explore music in fresh and unique ways. Volcano Choir's performance of the Kanye West and Bon Iver's "Lost In The World," interpreted as a six-minute jam session, best demonstrated this realization and was a definite highlight of the evening.

Next Up: My birthday's coming early this year thanks to Alt-J and Lord Huron back at the 9:30 Club on Thursday!

kings of leon + robyn = perfection

Well, this is just beautiful. And haunting and wonderful. Add it to our ever-growing list of our favorite musicians covering this jam.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

shy girls for your sunday

I squealed when I found this latest release from Shy Girls. The undeniably sexy "Under Attack" has been a favorite of mine this year and the new "Still Not Falling" is equally wonderful and sensual. Press play, close your eyes, relax, and enjoy.

Friday, September 13, 2013

a grouplove remix for your weekend

As if the latest single from the upcoming Grouplove album wasn't catchy enough, remix extraordinaires The Knocks have put their spin on this new jam. Even if you have a "ways to go" until your Friday freedom, this remix is guaranteed to perk you up and make these last few hours go by faster!

Want more? You MUST stream the Grouplove album Spreading Rumors on NPR pronto before it comes out Tuesday.

ALSO, Grouplove is off on a sweet tour schedule in which they'll spend two nights in cities performing both an electric and stripped-down acoustic set. The DC shows at U Hall and The Hamilton are already sold out but there's always Craigslist! (Full tour schedule here.)

{PLAYLIST} don't leave me

Around this time every year, we feel like summer is trying to break up with us. We're that girl -- holding on as long as we can even though we know in our heart of hearts that summer, the greatest boyfriend season is ready to move on. (Also, can we talk about how summer is being such a tease with these few really really warm days this week?!)

wait... come back... we promise we'll wear sunscreen! (via)
We're hoping that this mixtape playlist of breakup songs is enough to persuade summer to stay around and not leave us out in the cold. Literally.

Don't Leave Me by this is our jam on Grooveshark "Won’t Let You Leave" - Jenny O.
"Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me" - London Grammar
"Losing You" - Solange
"Don’t Do It" - Marvin Gaye
"I Will Wait" - Mumford & Sons
"Laura (Girls cover)" - Mates of State
"Breezeblocks" - Alt-J
"Please Don’t Go" - Mike Posner
"Lost" - Jonathan Jeremiah
"Won’t Go Home Without You" - Maroon 5

Want more? Check out our End of Summer Jams.

the cutest proposal video ever ever ever

All three of us were turned into sniffling saps yesterday when we saw this adorable proposal video in a Home Depot set to TIOJ-fave Betty Who's wonderful song "Somebody Loves You." Check out the video below, which will reaffirm your belief in true love, wonderful music, and love of choreographed dances.

Sobbing kisses to Kick Kick Snare for the find!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

{THROWBACK} "save the last dance for me"

With the new school year underway, last year's batch of kiddos in the PS22 Chorus has graduated up to sixth grade -- but not before releasing their final song of the year: The Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me." Like all of the girls in the video, I made it approximately 30 seconds before tearing up, too.

The good news, though, is that a new group will be starting so soon! Can't wait to see/hear the pipes on this year's group.

The original version of this song is also too too wonderful:

{THROWBACK} phil collins

I have no real preface to this post besides the fact that this song came on randomly during my yoga class this week (after the Glee cover of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," might I add) and it was so random and yet, so perfect. You can never go wrong with some classic Phil Collins.

And, let's be real, we must also include the REAL music video for this song.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I stumbled across "Desert Night" by RÜFÜS this morning and, after clicking through to their SoundCloud, audibly exclaimed "BUT OF COURSE" upon seeing that they're from Australia. Turns out, the band is currently #1 on the Australian iTunes charts and with good measure. Their lead single "Desert Night" is addicting; the perfect blend of my musical weaknesses: synth pop and sexy vocals.

"Take Me" has got a more upbeat electronic vibe, that I MUST dance to soon at a U St. Music Hall DJ night...

Want more? Listen to more jams on SoundCloud and check out this interview on All Things Go.

{WE LOVE} jamie cullum

Don't lie -- as much as you try to hide it, you can't help but bop your head along when you hear jazzy, poppy tunes a la Michael Bublé. In a very similar vein is British darling Jamie Cullum. Take his tune "Edge of Something," for example. It is just so hopeful and happy that you want to dance along with the lovely middle-aged people in the music video.

Not to be outdone, of course, by his cover of Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music." I'm officially putting this guy into steady rotation.

{IF YOU LIKE} frightened rabbit, snow patrol

If you like the universally likable indie rock vibes of Snow Patrol or the strong vocals of Frightened Rabbit, then you must check out Portland super group Typhoon. (Bonus points to Typhoon for rivaling Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes for number of band members.)

The 12-piece band just released their latest album White Lighter, recorded at a farm in Oregon, making for a wonderful album full of stories and catchy melodies thanks to the (likely) hundreds of instruments played by the band. We can't stop listening to "Young Fathers."

Plus -- they are in the running for one of our most favorite Frank Ocean covers ever ever ever.

DC! Typhoon will be playing at Rock N Roll Hotel on October 2 (tickets here). Come out and play count the band members with us!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

{FEAT. FEATURE} hollis

TIOJ is starting a new series where we'll highlight artists featured on popular tracks and give you the inside scoop beyond their featured spot. 

The video for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "White Walls" is like a Where's Waldo of hip hop stars. I spotted the ubiquitous bucket hat of SchoolBoyQ, Wiz Khalifa's goofy smile, A$AP Rocky smoking, and even Sir Mix-A-Lot giving a West Coast shout-out. Who I didn't recognize, however, was the cool chick in the dress (that I must have now, puhlease) singing the hook to the song.

Turns out, that cool chick is Seattle spoken word poet turned hip hop darling Hollis and I had to find out more.

Hollis Wong-Wear is a busy girl! Aside from helping Macklemore & Ryan Lewis produce the videos for "Wings" and "Thrift Shop" AND being on The Heist tour for their acclaimed album, Hollis is also the member of synth-pop band The Flavr Blue, acoustic R&B band Hollis & The Heartfelts, AND is part of the hip hop duo CanarySing. I'm exhausted just thinking about her schedule.

(Loving "Hideaway" by The Flavr Blue too!)

And when she's not doing all that, she's covering Rhye's hookup-approved "Open" with Seattle producer Budo. Swoon.

In addition to all of these projects, Hollis is also very active in the Seattle music, poetry, and art communities and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Keep Hollis on your radar and check out all of her happenings on SoundCloud and her blog (how she manages to maintain a blog on top of all this is incredible)!!

"you gotta reach the sky if you want your life to shine"

Fall may be just around the corner, but thanks to the latest single from Cut Copy, summer still definitely has a spot on our playlists (and in our wardrobes). Check out "Free Your Mind," which is guaranteed to put you in a cheerful and tropical state of mind this morning!!

Cut Copy's album named after this single will be coming out on November 5!

Monday, September 9, 2013

caleb l'etoile's latest remix is our jam

We're pumped to share the latest track from local DC producer Caleb L'Etoile.  Caleb's remix of Thunderbird Gerard's "Firewurx" is like a good night out. It starts out with a little coy flirting, whispering sweet nothings (a.k.a. sexy beats) in your ear, drawing you in closer, and then everything seems to break loose as your vision starts to blur and you can't help but dance.

Check out the original track here.

ellie goulding meets jt

If listening to Justin Timberlake's version of "Mirrors" every other minute on the radio has gotten to be a little much for you too, Ellie Goulding's cover is a refreshing change of pace for the jam. As with all of her covers, Ellie adds her own charm and distinct style to the already great song.

Taking out a few (dozen) "woahs" from the original is a necessary adaptation, too.

Andrew Ripp also has a cover of "Mirrors" -- a little more true to the original. Check that one out too!

Friday, September 6, 2013

happy birthday kristennnnnnnnnn!!

This is a great weekend in the TIOJ offices: Kristen's birthday is tomorrow!! We would like to wish our blogmate the happiest of birthdays as she ventures into the next year of existence. (We'd also like to thank her for being a few months older than us and blazing the way into 26 so she can let us know how it goes.)

Please join us in wishing a wonderful day to our beautiful, talented, and brilliant Kristen!

Keep celebrating Kristen’s past birthdays here and here!!

{RECAP} the shilohs

After her awesome review of Empire of the Sun, we sent Jurg to see the Shilohs at Black Cat Backstage this past week. Check out her review here!

On Tuesday night, I headed to the Black Cat Backstage to check out the Shilohs, a four-piece band from Vancouver. A perfect end of summer band, the Shilohs' '60s pop influence brought to mind retro school dances and pep rallies.

Their strength is in the vocal harmonies present in the majority of their songs and although they certainly aren't as polished as other bands reminiscent of this era, it is their looser, raw sound (and appearance) that make them interesting to listen to.

Huge thanks to Jurg for checking these cool Canadians out!

Up next! Sylvan Esso and Volcano Chair Thursday at the 9:30 Club!

{PLAYLIST} new york fashion week jams

Fall may be upon us, but designers and fashion-inclined friends are already thinking of spring during this week's New York Fashion Week for Spring 2014 collections. Whether you're a fashion blogger ready for a weekend full of high heels and gift bags or a regular person ready for a Project Runway marathon, we've got the playlist for you.

dreamy gowns via J Mendel
Channel your inner diva this week as you strut down the runway street in your finest duds.

Fashion Week Fall 2013 by this is our jam on Grooveshark "All Eyes On You" - St. Lucia
"Fashion Killa" - A$AP Rocky
"Versace" - Migos feat. Drake
"Fashion" - David Bowie
"Tom Ford" - Jay-Z
"Center Stage" - Capital Cities
"Flashing Lights" - Kanye West
"Gucci Gucci" - Kreayshawn
"Fashion Party" - Das Racist
"Dedicated Follower of Fashion" - The Kinks

For more fashionable tunes, check out more Fashion Week jams here!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

{INTERVIEW} matt hires

TIOJ had the opportunity to chat with Matt Hires before his show at Sixth and I a few weeks ago. Read ahead as we talk about songwriting, astrophysics, and -- our favorite -- presidents.

Listen while you read!

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music? 
I’m from Tampa, Florida, and I started playing music when I was 11 years old. Bass guitar was my first instrument. When I was about 15 or 16, I started wanting to write songs, so I taught myself to play the six-string guitar, and it kind of happened from there. I started a band after high school and we played for a couple years, then I started doing the solo thing.

Photo by Reid Rolls
How would you describe your music to people who haven’t heard it before? 
It’s singer-songwriter, but I try to do more -- it’s pop, it’s folk, it’s kind of alternative. A lot of the stuff I listen to is Wilco and The National -- kind of more “indie” bands, if you will -- so I feel like there’s a little bit of that flavor in there. But at the same time, it’s pop -- folky pop.

You mentioned a few bands that influence your music. Do you have any others that you’ve been inspired by? 
Some of my big ones are Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, and Wilco.

Click ahead to read about Matt's new album and to find out what he'd be doing if he wasn't making music.

{THROWBACK} "what is love"

In keeping with my theme of pairing old jams with recent covers up-and-coming musicians, we've got the classic dance jam "What Is Love" by Haddaway.

TIOJ favorite Jaymes Young covers the song on his most recent project Dark Star and strips down the original, making it much more morose than the head banger we're all so familiar with after A Night At The Roxbury.

Okay now that you're all mellowed out, we're cranking the energy level back up with the original music video.

And to fully complete this roundup...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

{RECAP} made in america festival

I was so excited to go to day one of Made in America Festival this past weekend for so many reasons: I’m not making it to FreeFest this year, seeing Walk the Moon and Imagine Dragons again, maybe figuring out or feeling connected to this new city of mine, and, of course, I had the highest hopes that I would spot Jay-Z (and that he’d come out to sing with Beyonce) and the power couple would ask me to babysit Blue Ivy. While MIA didn’t quite meet all of those expectations, there was still a lot of good -- and a lot of work to be done for it to become a fully functional music festival.

clockwise from top left: walk the moon favies // emeli sande, my newest girl crush // balloons and lights!! // phoenix -- featuring their rafa-lookalike 

Click ahead for the full Made in America recap!

{WE LOVE} how sad

For having such a melancholy name, How Sad's music is much more appealing than you might initially think. I've found myself listening to the Montreal-based band's latest EP Indian Summer on repeat as it is a fitting compilation to listen to at this time of the year.

My favorite of the moment is "Hot Blur" whose chorus of "the city's too cold, the city's too hot, life doesn't give a f*ck about what you want.." is kind of the perfect sentiment right now.

Fun Fact: My brother interviewed the band when they were going by their former moniker Goose Hut and fancied themselves a party band, performing on stage with only a drum. These days, the band is transforming into more of a "band" with lots of instruments on stage without losing the dance vibes upon which they were founded.

Listen to the entire Indian Summer EP on bandcamp!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

{AS SEEN ON TV} laughing cow

We're reprising this feature in which we highlight some of our favorite jams that we hear on TV!

We love love love Fitz and the Tantrums here in the TIOJ offices, and hearing their distinctive sound in the latest Laughing Cow commercial made us oh so happy.

And the full song, which I highly recommend putting on your walk to work/class/metro playlist:

{IF YOU LIKE} bob dylan, damien rice

(via 1/2/3)
If you like the storytelling of Bob Dylan and the captivating voice of Damien Rice, Vikesh Kapoor is a new artist who you must add to your iPod. His soulful voice and his Dylan-esque use of the harmonica is just too beautiful.

Keep your ears out --Vikesh's debut album The Ballad of Willy Robbins comes out on October 15th!

{RECAP} empire of the sun, alpine

We sent our Concert Correspondent Jurg over to the 9:30 Club to check out Empire of the Sun on this lovely Labor Day weekend. Check out her recap (guitar smashing included) below!

I'll admit, I went into Sunday's Empire of the Sun show at the 9:30 Club not quite knowing what to expect. What I got was more dancers than musicians, 10+ total costume changes, strobe lights, and a large alien figure shooting fog guns into the crowd. And while I did not quite "get it" (IS there anything to get?!), it certainly did not stop me from enjoying the performance.

Missing from the show was original member Nick Littlemore, and while his vocals would have added to the power of the songs, frontman Luke Steele was charismatic enough to command the crowd's attention on his own. Of course, sporting an assortment of elaborate shiny jackets and some dangerous-looking horned headpieces certainly didn't hurt him there. Steele's voice is acrobatic and effortlessly transitions between what I would describe as a haughty robot and smooth falsetto. Steele was backed by an attractive drummer and guitarist (are all Australians good-looking?).

The majority of the set came from Empire of the Sun's new album, Ice on the Dune, released on June 14, 2013. Highlights included "DNA," "Concert Pitch," and "I'll Be Around." They did not neglect their breakout album Walking On A Dream, however, and included the title track as well as "We Are the People" in addition to several other songs. Every part of the show was choreographed, with four backup dancers/cyborgs stalking, dancing, and spazzing around the stage, adding to the spectacle.

EOTS encored with their new single "Alive," at which point the sweaty crowd lost their minds. And it wouldn't be a true rock performance if it didn't end with Lord Luke smashing his guitar onstage.

The show was opened by another Aussie band, Alpine. Led by two ladies with fab glitter eyeshadow and airy vocals, Alpine got the crowd warmed up with danceable pop music. Their enthusiasm and chemistry was infectious and I would highly recommend checking them out.

Next up: Checking out the Beatles-sounding band The Shilohs with Free Time at Black Cat Backstage tonight!
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