Saturday, November 30, 2013

(PLAYLIST) best of november

Happy Thanksgiving, happy Hanukkah, and happy end of November! Wasn't it just December, like, three weeks ago? Somehow 2013 has continued to speed by, and the month of November has been no different. In November, TIOJ:
And in November, Krista, Kristen, and Stacey were listening to:

Best of November 2013 by this is our jam on Grooveshark"Vagabond" - Mister Wives
Is it weird that I play air tambourine every time I listen to this song?
"Book of Right On" - Sarah Jarosz
We still can't get over how charming Sarah was when we interviewed her for the Quarterlette.
"Let's Be Still" - The Head and the Heart
Probably my most favorite song of the fall.
"Down With Me" - X Ambassadors
This band completely impressed me live and I'm loving this sultry single from their EP. 
"Long Time Gone" - Billie Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones
I didn't see this collab coming, but I'm so glad I found it!
"Hangman" - Ha Ha Tonka
This soulful a cappella spiritual is so haunting and beautiful and chilling.
"Superlove" - Charli XCX
Not ashamed that I sang all the lyrics to this jam like a teenager during Charli's concert this month. 
"Holy Roller" - Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
So much Tribe Pride for this W&M indie rocker alum.
"I've Been Around" - The Wheeler Brothers
These boys are so fun live, and this song has been playing on loop in my head since seeing them earlier this month.
"You're The One For Me" - Great Good Fine Ok
Addicted to this peppy love song
"Picture in a Frame" - Tom Waits
This bittersweet song is so perfect for sleepy, dark fall days.
"That Thing You Do" - The Wonders
Watching one of my all-time favorite movies was easily my best decision of the year.
"Be The Song" - Foy Vance
Foy Vance has quickly become my go-to for chill music to snuggle to during these late fall days. 
"Digital Love" - Royal Concept 
This Daft Punk cover = infectious and exquisite.
"Casino (Bad Things)" - Houndmouth
So excited that I finally got to see Houndmouth live after our interview/Skype date ages ago!

Coming up in December: Celebrating the winter months, the end of 2013, and so many jams!

Friday, November 29, 2013

{PLAYLIST} sleepy jams, part ii

How was your Thanksgiving, lovelies?? Are you still in a tryptophan-induced food coma? Or did you wake up at 3 am to go Black Friday shopping? Either way, we think you deserve a nap. Press play below, burrow under your covers, and have a nap.


Sleepy Jams - 2013 by this is our jam on Grooveshark
"You Can Close Your Eyes" - James Taylor
"Tiderays" - Volcano Choir
"Beautiful" - Trampled by Turtles
"The Shape of Us" - Ian Britt
"Goshen" - Beirut
"Montana" - Youth Lagoon
"Girl with the Red Balloon" - The Civil Wars
"Gracious" - Ben Howard
"Temptation" - Moby
"Radio Can't Rewind" - Sons of Bill

Hit snooze a few more times with some extra cuddle jams (two sets!) and sleepy jams!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

{THROWBACK} motown + nickleback?

Remember all the drama about Nickleback performing at the Detroit Lions' Thanksgiving game last year (including Mayer Hawthorne's take on the issue)?? Well, this Motown Tribute to Nickelback (yes, you read that correctly) is the perfect way to get over that exhibition from last year.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

{INTERVIEW} roo panes

TIOJ recently caught up with British cutie Roo Panes, who is on the cusp of releasing his third EP, Land of the Living. Take a read as we discuss musical inspiration, the songwriting process, and more!

Listen while you read!

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music? 
I've been writing music since around 12 years old and recently worked out [that] my first poetry recital was around 9 -- though back then it may not have been much to shout about! I always loved reading and writing stories, but I'm really not sure how I got into creating music. When I studied trumpet I wasn't good at sheet reading so I improvised; the same was the case for recorder -- and to this day I cannot read music. So I guess I started creating music when I stopped studying it. Now I'm very interested in studying it. Though playing with classically trained musicians in my band I'm always amazed and slightly jealous of their skills -- maybe I'll go back to studying some day!

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before? 
I find it very difficult because anything I could say in a few words would be pretty vague. I'd perhaps say it's pensive, honest, and natural. It's also tricky because a melody describes what you may not be able to explain anyway. So truthfully, listening is the best way! I'm not all that fond of categorizing with genres.

Where do you find inspiration for your music? 
I think the potential for inspiration is in everything. When I observe the world like that I tend to feel inspired. It can hit you at any time. There are places I turn to that bring me back into that mindset such as books, the countryside, other forms of art -- the list is endless!

Once a member of my band, Miles, was talking to a lady who had seen something she thought I might like, he replied, "Roo's not interested in things like that.'' Slightly taken aback she asked what I was interested in, apparently he replied, "Rainy days and really weird stuff like that." It's a bit of a running joke in our band.

Read more to find out more, including the story behind "Roo."

We discovered you through your collaboration with Burberry -- what was it like to be a part of their campaign?
It was a lot of fun, and a very surreal experience -- one I didn't expect and won't forget.

You've released two EPs -- what is your songwriting process like?
I grow my beard, put up a tent in a field, sit beneath the stars beside the embers of a dying fire. Then I close my eyes, and imagine I'm a writer…

Who would be your dream musician to collaborate with? 
To be honest, I think I'd choose a composer. A collaboration with Vaughn Williams would be my dream.

What have you all been listening to lately? Anything we need to add to our iPods right now? 
I don't listen to much, to be honest, I should probably be asking you! Saying that, I did crack out a bit of Ludovico Einaudi on a jog the other day. Highly recommended.

We have to ask -- how did you get the nickname "Roo"? 
It's a long story, but essentially I got called Roo after a Winnie the Pooh related accident as a child.

What is up next for you?
Well, EP number 3 is coming out online December 2nd, which I'll follow up with a show on the 10th in London. Then I'm off to record a debut album!

Thank you so much to Roo for taking the time to chat with us! Be sure to check out his EP Land of the Living on Monday!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

humming house is my jam

While Kristen is the resident TIOJ humming expert, Humming House is jonesing for a spot at that table. Except they don't hum, they play bluegrass. Thanks to the music geniuses at Noisetrade who know that the closest way to my heart is a mention of the Avett Brothers, I've now added these Nashville-based folksters to my list. And you must get their album fo free on Noisetrade (now! for a limited time only!).

My favorites from this album are probably "Mrs. Wurley" and "Baltimore Boats," but my true love for these guys was cemented as soon as I heard their covers of two of my most favorite songs ever ever ever -- Patsy Cline's "Crazy" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." I'm in love.

AND WHITNEY HOUSTON. Get a little more perfect, Humming House.

Monday, November 25, 2013

francis and the lights with a dreamy start to your week

I am so delighted to share the video for "Like A Dream" from Francis and the Lights. The song is perfectly catchy and the music video is simply beautiful with some of the best dance moves I've seen in some time. I'll be singing this song all week and letting the lyric "I'm ready for the big time. Is it ready for me?" be my motto all week.

Francis and the Lights just released their Like A Dream EP today so be sure to check that out!

no, i didn't think haim could get any cooler either...

…but after their musical appearance on SNL this past weekend, I was proven wrong. These girls are unstoppable.

Also, hi Peeta!

These babes just announced their spring 2014 tour, and they'll be in DC on May 8th -- get that shiz on your calendar.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

{GIVEAWAY} savoir adore, french horn rebellion, and carousel!

We are TOO EXCITED to share our latest giveaway for Kick Kick Snare's show coming up on December 4 at Living Social's 918 F Street space, featuring Savoir Adore, French Horn Rebellion, Carousel, AND Caleb L'Etoile.

It's bound to be a great evening in Chinatown, and we want to you to dance with us -- so we're giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky winner! Enter to win after you desk dance via the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 22, 2013

{RECAP} sylvan esso

On Tuesday, I was treated to a quick musical snack from new electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso. After catching them live at 9:30 Club, Tuesday night's show at Black Cat Backstage was a more intimate, casual, and dance heavy performance compared to when I saw them last. And it was the best.

Amelia was rocking a vintage t-shirt from The Police and killer platform shoes in which I have no scientific idea as to how she danced in them. Props, sister. The duo started with their hit "Hey Mami" and continued to play a wonderful mix or interesting and dance-ready songs.

After their show, I am seriously salivating for them to release more songs, which won't be until the new year. So until then...more YouTube videos!

Next Up: Bombino at The Hamilton on December 3rd then Savoir Adore, French Horn Rebellion, and Carousel at Living Social on the 4th!

{PLAYLIST} thanksgiving jams

Happy Thanksgiving, turkeys!! As we head home for the most delicious holiday of the year, we'd like to share a few things that we're thankful for: tambourines, bearded musicians, harmonicas/mouth radios, baller lady musicians, and YOU! We hope that your Thanksgiving is filled with plenty of food, family, and friends, and maybe even a call to the Butterball hotline.

Thanksgiving 2013 by this is our jam on GroovesharkPress play below for some homey Thanksgiving jams!

"Home" - Dan Croll
"Hero" - Family of the Year
"Friends" - Eliza and the Bear
"My Way Back Home" - Dawes
"Last Mile Home" - Kings of Leon
"Friends and Family" - River City Extension
"Fathers Be Kind" - Ivan & Alyosha
"New Leaves" - Owen
"Home Is Not Places" - The Apache Relay
"Welcome Home" - Radical Face

For extra helpings of Thanksgiving jams, check out our playlists from 2012 and 2011, and listen to this year's playlist on Spotify.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

{THROWBACK} "back that azz up"

I was jamming to 2 Chainz's latest "Used 2" the other day in the car and was trying to figure out why it was having such a booty shaking effect on me when I realized that the song has the same hook as Juvenile's high school dance-classic "Back That Azz Up." (Yes, apparently the song does spell is "azz" -- fun fact.)

Check out the two hits and see if you too get transported back to the days when your geometry teacher would squirt you with a squirt gun for dancing too close to your partner during high school dances (just me?). (Lyrics are def NSFW)

{THROWBACK} "unchained melody"

As trite as it may be, The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" is quite possibly one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It popped into my head the other day, which was such a lovely surprise. I'm telling you, musicians knew what they were doing in 1965.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

{WE LOVE} that thing you do!

I was struck by divine inspiration the other night, and I thought of one of my most favorite movies of all time -- That Thing You Do! So naturally, I had to watch it right then and there. How this movie was made in 1996 is beyond me.

If you haven't seen this movie, stop everything you're doing and go watch it right this very second. Not joking even a little bit. And watch this a few times. And then go watch the movie again. That Thing You Do! is the story of a one-hit wonder band in the 1960s and their quick rise and fall from fame. It's the. best.

Seriously -- they're just so cute. I can't even.

And yes, in case you were wondering, I did say every line along with the movie.

{WE LOVE} foy vance

After discovering Foy Vance for last week's cuddling playlist, I've been utterly enchanted by his music. His music is chill, but not sleepy; folky, but not twangy. In essence, the perfect music for these fall days. Check out some of my favorites.

"Joy Of Nothing"

"Closed Hand, Full of Friends" (shoutout to the most glorious of hipster mustaches I have ever seen)

"Guiding Light" -- My favorite video of the bunch because a) Foy's darling Irish accent and b) Ed Sheeran. SWOON.

{RECAP} mister wives, the royal concept, and american authors

Last night, I caught the Three of Clubs tour at Sixth & I featuring the trifecta of Mister Wives, The Royal Concept, and American Authors. Because, let's be real, there is really nothing cooler than chilling in the basement of a synagogue on a Monday night, drinking wine and rocking out to some great on-the-rise bands.

Mister Wives was up first and while I knew the least about them, they were my favorites of the night. The New York-based band comprised of lead singer Mandy Lee and her four male bandmates aka mister wives (get it?!) was a great start to the evening. Mandy's voice is incredible and slightly reminiscent of Ellie Goulding, which when coupled with her spunk and gorgeous locks proved to be an enviable combination. The clear stand outs from Mister Wives included a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” (a solid second after this cover) and “Vagabond.”

Next up were our most recent interview alumni, The Royal Concept. The Swedish quartet were just as engaging, goofy, and hairy as when we saw them last. We were delighted to catch their cover of Daft Punk’s “Digital Love” but could have done without the continued auto tune on some of their newer songs. Favorites from their set included new single “On Our Way” and the cinematic new song about Sweden, dedicated to a member of Mister Wives that night, “Shut The World."

American Authors (our lovely former blog babysitters) closed out the night with an energetic pop performance. We were verrrry pleased to note a striking similarity between lead singer Zac and recently named Sexiest Man Alive Adam Levine (some guys can just really pull off that tank top + tattoos thing…). The band was having so much fun on stage, especially during their hit “Best Day Of My Life,” which is so commercially perfect, we predict we’ll be hearing it through the airwaves much more often. Besides that hit, we loved their cover of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” and “Hit It.”

Next Up: Taking a turkey break, then we're back at it with Bombino at The Hamilton on December 3rd!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

this is quite possibly the coolest music video ever

PEOPLE! Do yourself a favor and get lost interacting with the recently released music video for Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone." The video is in fact a "television" and you can flip through a ton of different channels including cooking shows, a tennis match, a Danny Brown music video (obviously), and Drew Carey on "The Price Is Right." With each flip of the channel, the TV shows are synchronized to match the lyrics of the song. It's mind blowing and a perfect way to spend the last hour of your work day.

desk dancing to this ASTR remix all day

Desk dancing has become the norm at this point in my music listening experience as a young professional. However, ASTR's remix of Erik Hassle's "Talk About It" took things to an entirely different level. We're talking grinding on my chair, hands in the air when that beat drops at 1:05. These are the days where I thank the boss gods that I am allowed to work from home some days. Don't think the rest of my office is ready to see these moves just yet.

(via Kick Kick Snare)

{IF YOU LIKE} vampire weekend, the drums

(via 1/2/3)
If you like retro lyrics and full vocals of The Drums or the sunny sounds of Vampire Weekend, then you must check out Drowners. The band has the vibe of a British '80s pop/punk band paired with the indie rock vibes at the foundation of TIOJ's love for music. We can't get enough of the bands latest single, "Luv, Hold Me Down."

Like what you hear? Grab a free download of the song here!

Monday, November 18, 2013

{RECAP} charli xcx

On Saturday night I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Charli XCX, one of my most favorite acts of 2013 (and TIOJ interview alum!), yet again at U St. Music Hall.

Charli immediately wowed the crowd, coming out in her usual '90s influenced outfit (complete with a pair of sunglasses and a nightie both of which I'm pretty sure I owned in the 5th grade), to her hit "Nuclear Seasons." Her set was so much fun with lots of curly hair head banging and at one point, even a crowd surfing attempt in the enclosed basement venue. (It lasted approximately 30 seconds/6 inches)

Crowd favorites included "Lock You Up" and a cameo of the guitar riff to Sleigh Bells' "Crown On The Ground" during "How Can I." The highlight of the night, however, was the performance of her latest single "Superlove" during which I was a total fan girl. Seriously though, this song is going to blow up. Mark my words.

For her encore, Charli didn't stick with her Backstreet Boys cover (much to the dismay of the bros behind me) but instead did a pop perfect cover of the classic "I Want Candy."

Next Up: Catching Sylvan Esso again as they open for Minor Alps at Black Cat tomorrow night! 

another childish gambino track to fall in love with

Good gracious, Childish Gambino has been killing it lately. Between his new songs and Kristen quoting Community on the regular, I can't escape this dude and I'm 110% alright with it. His latest feature on Kenna's track "Relations" is wonderfully and evidently influenced by David Byrne and I cannot get enough.

{RECAP} commonwealth choir, samantha crain, ha ha tonka

My recent exploration of the Philadelphia music scene continued on Friday night as I headed over to MilkBoy, a converted recording studio, to see TIOJ interview alumni Ha Ha Tonka. And while the venue is a little odd, the music did not disappoint in the least.

First up were Philly locals Commonwealth Choir, whose name alone made me nostalgic for Virginia (apparently I can only live in states that aren't really states but are actually commonwealths...). These guys were so pumped to be playing both new material and songs from their recently released EP, Shirtless.

On top of that, I may have found TIOJ’s dream man in the bearded fellow who played the tambourine.   Swoon. Time 1000.

commonwealth choir // samantha crain
Next up was Samantha Crain, whose band looked just too cool for school. Samantha’s powerful, folksy voice made me want to sit by a campfire and drink whiskey. And maybe I’ve been watching too much Parenthood on Netflix, but Samantha reminded me a lot of Amber. Looks, personality, sound -- everything.

I was immediately endeared to Samantha with her dig at Taylor Swift, as she had sarcastically told a reporter that “Never Going Back” was her version of “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” (or whatever that song is called. I actually don’t know.):

I also loved that Samantha responded to a request from the audience for more danceable music with, “If you want to dance, there was a Chromeo show in New York that you should’ve been at instead of this.” And that her biggest fan was an older blonde man with a very non-ironic mustache.

Last but definitely not least was Ha Ha Tonka, and I was so excited to see them. They were such gracious musicians, and they were so so excited to be playing their music. They had amassed a loyal following, evidenced a few songs in when the lead singer quieted the crowd as a couple got engaged mid-show. Probably one of the cuter things I’ve ever seen. Everyone in the band agreed, and they kept checking in on the lovebirds for the rest of the set.

Aside from marriages in the making, one of the highlights of the show was the a capella spiritual “Hangman,” in which the band’s four voices harmonized beautifully. Goosebump inducing.

“Lessons,” the title track from Ha Ha Tonka’s recently released album, was also very wonderfully perfect.

I’m disappointed in myself that it took so long for Ha Ha Tonka to get on my radar, but they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. These guys have a big 2014 in store for them, so be sure to keep tabs on them.

Up next! Even more interview alumni The Royal Concept plus summer blog babysitters American Authors at Sixth and I on November 18!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"i wanna win with you" on this sultry sunday

French group The Aiku is winning us over with their alluring track "Win" featuring hints of '80s influences paired with the sensual electronic vibes and pleading female vocals of contemporary indie music. Stay tuned for more from these sultry Frenchies.

Friday, November 15, 2013

{INTERVIEW} sarah jarosz

We've teamed up with Quaterlette again to interview the wonderful bluegrass singer Sarah Jarosz. We chatted with the 22-year-old who has already been nominated for a Grammy, put out three albums, AND just graduated college. Phew.

AND as a special treat to you loyal TIOJ readers, we wanted to share one of Sarah's comments that we've shared just for you!

What have you all been listening to on this tour? Anything we need to add to our iPods right now? 
I always love Radiohead. Talking Heads, definitely. And I’ve getting really into Joni Mitchell’s Hejira album, specifically the song “Amelia.”

"show more love" this weekend

PRAISE THE DANCE MUSIC GODS! TIOJ favorite Zak Waters is back! This time, he's teamed up with Finnish artist Lenno on the addictive, weekend-ready jam "Show More Love."

So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to show more love -- whether it's to your new boyfriend or your cat -- we'll be happy as long as you're dancing.

{RECAP} caroline rose, the wheeler brothers, houndmouth

Once upon a time in the early days of TIOJ, we had a Skype date with the lady and gents of Houndmouth, also just in their baby phase. Over the last year and a half, we've kept tabs on these guys and have hoped for a chance to see them live (because, you know, once you form a bond over Louisville basketball, you're forever linked). For this reason, I was so excited that Houndmouth was coming to World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on their current tour.

The evening started with the delightfully wacky and charming duo Caroline Rose, comprised of Caroline Rose and… Jeremy. In his words, he's just there to sit on the stage and look pretty. And with his flowing locks, he did that wonderfully.

These folksters from Burlington, VT,  had such a great dynamic and seemed to have perfected awkward banter between themselves and the audience. One of my favorite songs from Caroline Rose was "This Is What Livin' Feels Like":

Click ahead for more on The Wheeler Brothers and Houndmouth!!

{PLAYLIST} cuddling jams

After the frigid temperatures (and snow flurries) this week, there is no doubt that winter has quite unfortunately arrived. One of few positive things about this cold, though, is one of our favorite winter pastimes: cuddling up with a certain special someone. For that reason (and that reason alone), we don't mind it being quite so cold.

Grab your favorite cuddling partner, make some grown-up hot chocolate (peppermint schnapps is our favorite college throwback), and press play.

Cuddle Jams by this is our jam on Grooveshark
"Let's Be Still" - The Head and the Heart
"I Won't Be Found (Daytrotter session)" - Tallest Man on Earth
"Blindsided" - Bon Iver
"Love Love Love" - Of Monsters and Men
"Monster Ballads (acoustic)" - Josh Ritter
"Move Together" - James Bay
"Metaphysical Gingham Gown" - Sons of Bill
"Be the Song" - Foy Vance
"Candles" - Daughter
"Night Bus" - Lucy Rose

Click here for some extra cuddling jams!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

{RECAP} x ambassadors

Last night I grabbed my earplugs and headed down the road to Rock N Roll Hotel to catch Brooklyn-based band X Ambassadors.

I knew little about the band before catching their live show, but right off the bat the band had my attention. Lead singer Sam was rocking the same backwards hat and NY-cool vibe as Autre Ne Veut (the last band I saw a Rock N Roll) and while he didn’t have the same sexy falsetto, he more than overcame that with his confident rock ‘n roll vocals and dance moves that make the hip swaying of Walk the Moon’s Nicholas look G-rated. Even more impressive that those hips that would make Elvis blush was the fact that band keyboardist Casey (and Sam’s brother) is blind and by far had the best dance moves of the show -- those are some serious entertaining genes.

The band played songs off their recently released EP Love Songs Drug Songs, including “Stanger,” that evoked the triumphant rock vibes of Imagine Dragons. (Editor’s Note: This conclusion was further supported by the fact that there was an older gentleman at the front of the stage vibin’ out and rocking an Imagine Dragons concert tee. Music blogger for the win!)

Their solid set was a great change of pace from the synth pop-focused shows we’ve been to recently and I just about died when they broke out a saxophone halfway through their set. I then went into cardiac arrest when they began to loop said saxophone. (I swear, I go weak in the knees for saxophones and looping pedals and the two combined is my newly discovered kryptonite). I thankfully recovered in time to enjoy their awesome single “Unconsolable.”

(Aren't they all so cute?! And by they, I'm defintiely including that tiny red piano. I WANT.)

Next Up: Stacey catches our recent interviewees Ha Ha Tonka in Philly on Friday!

{THROWBACK} "strong enough"

Praise the lady music gods. HAIM and Lorde teamed up to cover Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough" and it is incredible. Obviously.

And here's the original if you really want to throwback:

Props to the Wild Honey Pie for the find!

{THROWBACK} "(i just) died in your arms tonight"

Very few things brighten up my week like a cover of one of the most quintessentially '80s songs in existence. Thanks to Bastille, my week is looking pretty dang bright. These Frenchies that provided my song of the summer with "Pompeii" just released their cover of Cutting Crew's "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight" in celebration of Virgin Records' 40th anniversary, and it is wonderful.

And because it's not #tbt without the original:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

{WE LOVE} miami horror

I realize I haven't posted about my love of Australian bands lately and a feature on Melbourne band Miami Horror is long overdue. Their upbeat music is the perfect thing to help you forget that it's freeeezing outside and instead warm you up as you dance around your apartment trying to find that illusive pair of tights without a run in them.

I've been enchanted with their older hit "Holidays" forever (seriously, I've tagged it on at least five separate occasions according to my Shazam)...

...And their new release "Colors In The Sky" is the perfect psychedelic complement to their earlier releases.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

norah jones + billie joe armstrong = foreverly

Two starkly different eras in my musical evolution merged today when I found out that Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong, are releasing an LP. Together. I had mixed feelings about the collaboration for about fifteen seconds and then I realized the album, cleverly titled "Foreverly," will consist solely of Everly Brothers covers. After that, I was pretty much sold.

The first single is a folksy, poignant cover of "Long Time Gone." I'm such a fan.

{INTRODUCING} gabe grey

We're hyped to introduce rapper Gabe Grey who you may recognize from his cameo in our Firefly recap video! Gabe just released his first mixtape EP Stay Mad and given the witty rhymes and notable Kanye West influence, it's quickly becoming a welcome addition to our hip hop catalog.

We're digging "Twerk Sumthin" mostly because we're so impressed that he incorporated multiple Mean Girls references throughout his rhymes. Anybody that's "got that Mean Girls flow" is automatically a TIOJ favorite.

We're also digging Gabe's rework of Lorde's "Royals."

Download the entire Stay Mad mixtape here and look out for more on Soundcloud.

{RECAP} quiet life, thao and the get down stay down, and the head and the heart

Last Monday, after I had spent all weekend enjoying an action-packed blog reunion in Philly with Stacey, I toted my exhausted self over to the 9:30 Club, in the hopes that taking in a show by Quiet Life, Thao, and the Head in the Heart would somehow rejuvenate me.

The concert 100%, without a doubt, did not disappoint. Right from the start, I was enthralled.

Folksy rockers Quiet Life are a perfect example of why I love getting to shows early. These boys have such a natural ease to their talent. It's impossible not to sway around to their twangy tunes. If their beards and flannel don't charm you, their harmonicas and harmonies surely will. I have a feeling these fellas will be in constant rotation on my iPod now and I see great things for them on the horizon. If you haven't heard "Record Time" yet, I suggest you pause what you're doing and listen now.

Next up was fellow W&M alum Thao Nguyen and her talented band of mischief makers, the Get Down Stay Down. There were so many things to love about Thao's set--the least of which being her red romper. Those babies are seriously hard to pull off. We've been Thao fans for quiet a while now, but have never had the chance to see her life. Her notoriously husky voice is even more haunting in person and her set was so much more dance-worthy than I had anticipated. Thao had a lot of tricks (instruments) up her sleeve. In addition to the guitar, she also dabbled in the mandolin, drums, slide guitar, and, as featured on "Holy Roller," the banjo.

The Head and the Heart were next, and it was exciting to see them after a sneak preview of their incredible beards and fiddle-playing at Firefly 2012. They did a great job incorporating all of their first album favorites with tunes from their latest album, Let's Be Still.

Although I loved that they closed out the show with Stacey's all-time favorite "Down in the Valley," I also can't get enough of title track "Let's Be Still." It has quickly made its way on to my fall playlist and I don't think it's going anywhere any time soon.

Up next! Stacey getting further into the Philly music scene with Houndmouth and the Wheeler Brothers on Wednesday while Krista takes on the X Ambassadors in DC!

{INTERVIEW} the royal concept

TIOJ recently fulfilled a blog-dream and got to chat with the ruggedly handsome Swedes from The Royal Concept. Read ahead as we chat about the band's name change and tour schedule -- while learning that "prostitution visas" are a thing that exists (and that the band may or may not have stamped in their passports)...

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourselves! How did you guys meet and decide to start making music together?
We are The Royal Concept, a band consisting of four Swedish guys in desperate search for new experiences in life. To us, the only chance to travel all around the world was to start playing in a band cause we're absolutely terrible at any other job. Music is the only thing we know, so therefore... here we are!

Photo by Connie Ha

What is your songwriting process like? Where do you find inspiration?
We read a lot of books, watch movies, and listen to music. We try to find inspiration in almost everything and the most important thing is that you don't wait for inspiration to come. We write music almost everyday, and most of it is just really bad but sometimes you hit right.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before? 
Most songs have a happy vibe and are danceable. We like to spread joy. Come and watch us!

Click ahead for more from the band!

Monday, November 11, 2013

kick start your week with the knocks

It is no secret that we're suckers for children in music videos. Pair that with our go-to pump up song by The Knocks and we've got the perfect way to get you in a good mood on this Monday.

The Knocks - "Dancing With The DJ" (OMG! Cameras Everywhere!) from OMG Everywhere on Vimeo.

Friday, November 8, 2013

some inspiration for your weekend

The latest track from DJs Sultan and Ned Shepard "All These Roads" is giving me the inspiration to chug through these last few hours of the work week. Besides the dance-ready beats of the song, the fact that the music video was filmed during Belgium's TommorrowWorld festival is making me super nostalgic and retroactively excited about our experience at Firefly festival.

Are you guys also feeling inspired by this music video? You're in luck! Sultan and Ned Shepard are hosting a contest to win a trip for two to New York City! All you have to do is get on social media, get creative, and share what you're on the road to doing. Let the guys explain it for you...

We're #ontheroad to sleeping in all weekend and frolicking in the fall leaves -- have a great weekend!

{PLAYLIST} songs about girls

Some girls' names are just destined to be in songs. Unfortunately, Krista, Kristen, and Stacey are not high on the list of girl names that make it into songs (unless, of course, you want to talk about "Freak-a-Leek" or "Stacey's Mom"... in that case, we can talk).


Songs About Girls by this is our jam on GroovesharkPress play below to listen to some of our favorite songs about girls:

"Jennifer" - Little Comets
"Diane Young" - Vampire Weekend
"Jolene" - Ray LaMontagne
"Mary" - Yellow Ostrich
"Emmylou" - First Aid Kit
"Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" - Bruce Springsteen
"Lisa Baby" - Walk the Moon
"Something Like Olivia" - John Mayer
"Amie" - Pure Prairie League
"Roxanne" - The Police 

As an added bonus, please listen to one of the *greatest* songs about girls ever written at least once today: Lou Bega's "Mambo Number 5." And yes, he is still alive.

{GIVEAWAY} charli xcx @ u st. music hall

British pop princess Charli XCX put out one of our favorite albums of 2013 and wrote a song that we can say with 100% certainty has been stuck in your head at some point this year ("I Love It," anyone?). Lucky for you pretty people, Charli is coming back through DC and we're giving away one pair of tickets to her upcoming show at U St. Music Hall. It's guaranteed to be an incredible night (believe us, we're speaking from experience) -- check out entry details below!

Enter for multiple chances to win via Rafflecopter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't miss out on an incredible night of dancing by buying tickets now here!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

{THROWBACK} "dirrty"

I was out and about a few weeks ago when I heard the beginning strains of Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty," and I was automatically transported back to my freshman year of high school at a dance team practice. It was such a vivid, real sense of deja vu -- down to standing in a particular part of a dance studio and questionably appropriate for high schoolers dance moves.

Fair warning, this music video is not 100% SFW. Take that for what you will.

I learned on Wikipedia that this music video was the first to ever feature a dance move called the "slutdrop." If that's not a claim to fame, I don't know what is.

{INTERVIEW} the blow

TIOJ got a chance to chat with Khaela Maricich of electro-pop duo The Blow in anticipation of their upcoming show tomorrow night at Black Cat. Read ahead as we chat with Khaela about their new album, the stage setup for this tour, and her first kiss. 

Listen while you read: 

Tell us about yourselves! How did you guys meet and decide to start making music together?
Melissa and I met years ago at a performance festival in Portland. We were both new in town and didn't have a lot of friends and we started hanging out. One day we drove to the river and were just sitting there and suddenly realized we had both fallen asleep out of nowhere -- it was this kind of psychic comfort that we both felt without knowing each other very well, like we were just on the same wavelength, and that's how it's always been. A few years later we started dating, but we worked on projects together from the very start, mostly installation and conceptual pieces. Melissa toured with me throughout 2007/2008, controlling the samples from the back of the room, and we got a lot of time to work on our dynamic together, being able to intuitively read each other. Then in around 2009 we started playing around with making music together, as a weird experiment, but with the same style and connection that we'd been working with for years.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before?
We just always say its pop music. And people say," pop music?" And we say, "yeah, like Hall and Oates, or Madonna. It's electronic pop music." And they say, "really?" And we say, "yeah, but like made by spazzes."

Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford
What is your songwriting process like? Where do you find inspiration?
I've always written songs just by singing the lyrics and melody aloud to myself while walking around the house or outside or wherever. It's funny because with Melissa and I are living together she gets to hear me working out lyrics as I sing them aloud. I'm comfortable enough with her that I can let her hear the process as it happens, and she is discrete and won't say anything to me about a song until I formally sing it to her and ask for her perspective. Once the song is written then Melissa and I write the instrumentation around it together.

Click ahead for more!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

{WE LOVE} angel haze

We're no strangers to "Wrecking Ball" covers on TIOJ (check 'em here and here), but Angel Haze recently took our breath away with her cover of Miley's chart-topping hit.

It's even more impressive when you realize that her beautiful voice in the ballad above is more often rapping to kick ass songs like this moving freestyle to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love."

Okay and one more to pump you up after these serious jams:

Want more? Check out Angel Haze's recently released cover of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" over on SoundCloud.

{WE LOVE} parenthood

I am woefully late to join the bandwagon on NBC's Parenthood, and just four episodes in, it's safe to say that I'm hooked. The delightful soundtrack is a big component to that, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't teared up in each episode that I've watched so far. Plus Lorelei from Gilmore Girls and Casey McCall from Sports Night are on it, so I'm automatically destined to like it.

Bob Dylan's original rendition of "Forever Young" serves as the opening credits:

And other episodes have featured songs like Josh Ritter's "Change of Time":

Good thing there are four seasons of this on Netflix. I know what I'll be up to every spare moment of my life for the next few months.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

{INTERVIEW} ha ha tonka

TIOJ recently had the pleasure of chatting with Lennon Bone of Americana rockers Ha Ha Tonka. Read ahead as Lennon tells us about making music, crazy tours, and a certain Travel Channel celebrity.

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourselves! How did you guys meet and decide to start making music together? 
Brian, Luke and myself went to high school together in West Plains, MO. Brian and Luke met Brett at Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri State) when the band was initially formed as something to do in college. I actually didn't join up until November of 2004, and it was at that point we started writing the songs that have become Ha Ha Tonka.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before? 
I think it's much easier to give somebody a couple of songs to listen to. I feel like our sound has sort of evolved from an alt-country sort of vibe to more of an overall rock and roll sound... but I don't really know. I think most musicians will tell you that this is the dreaded question... Music is so subjective, and everything has been done so many times (in pop music) at this point that I feel like we're seeing genre's sort of slip through the cracks a bit more.

What is your songwriting process like? Where do you find inspiration? 
Usually it starts with a riff or a melody that we all listen to, and then play over a bunch of times. Some songs can literally be tens of hours of all of us playing in a room together before we find the arrangement that everyone is pleased with. We demo everything during each rehearsal and try to give the song some space before the next session, then we listen back and see what seems to be working and what isn't. Musically, it's a very collaborative process.

As far as inspiration is concerned, I personally feel like inspiration is found in work. I'm always listening to music and trying to take notes on tones, patterns or melodies that I like, but it's not until I sit down and actually begin to work that I find what some might call "inspiration." One of my friends is a classically trained trumpet player, and he always said, "The hardest thing about practicing is getting the horn out of the case." I find the same to be true with writing. The only way for me to get in the mood and be firing on all cylinders is to just start.

Click ahead to read more from Lennon, including about his favorite president and dream musical collaboration... 

fine okay, i love great good fine ok

As someone who regularly signs emails "kthanksloveyoubye," I was immediately drawn to up and coming indie pop band Great Good Fine Ok and their hit "You're The One For Me." The song is addicting, full of bright synths, and the perfect song to add your commuting playlist.

Enjoy (and maybe don't watch this music video before you eat your lunch...)!

Monday, November 4, 2013

{PREVIEW} quiet life at 9:30!

Quiet Life's harmonica-driven "San Luis Opispo"--fresh off their brand new album--is so effortlessly infectious that it will have you dancing at your desk in five seconds flat. These Portland rockers know how to have fun, that much is clear.

After touring with the likes of Dr. Dog, the Lumineers, and other TIOJ faves, Quiet Life is hitting the stage tonight with Thao and the Head and the Heart at a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club. We are so incredibly pumped to see if Quiet Life is even more charming in person (my bet is YES)--will we see y'all there?

Quiet Life - San Luis Obispo from Quiet Life on Vimeo.

Don't forget to get to the 9:30 Club early, PBR in hand, to make sure you catch Quiet Life's set! These boys go on at 8pm sharp!

{IF YOU LIKE} milo greene, norah jones

(via 1/2/3)

If you're a fan of the beautiful harmonies of Milo Greene or Norah Jones' sultry vocal talents, look no further than DC's own The South Rail. This band has the perfect combination of blues, Americana rock, and folky twang. Even better, they have a throwback-y, retro feel evocative of legends like Bonnie Raitt which is excellent for crisp fall days.

Do yourselves a favor and check out The South Rail. ASAP.

HEY DC: The South Rail has plenty of gigs coming up around the DMV, so get yourselves out to see them! Find their concert listings here -- and a stream and download of their self-titled EP here!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

one more daylight savings time jam

Happy Daylight Savings Time! Hope you didn't show up to brunch an hour early this morning. We have one more addition to our daylight savings playlist that didn't make it on to Grooveshark yet.

Enjoy the beautifully addictive Say Lou Lou and their latest hit "Better In The Dark," which isn't quiiiite about daylight savings, but is certainly enough for us to serve as an anthem as we drag ourselves out of bed in the darkness for the next few months.

Friday, November 1, 2013

"it's about time" you're back, ytg!!

They're back, they're back!! After far too long of a hiatus, Young the Giant are back with new tunes and a new album coming out in January. "It's About Time" is a most wonderful preview of all that's to come from some of our favorite bearded fellows, and it's the perfect tune to get you dancing this Friday afternoon.

It's also extra fitting for Daylight Saving Time. Whatever that means.

{PLAYLIST} daylight savings jam, fall 2013

We fall back this weekend! But that is where the extent of my knowledge re: this weird, artificial thing known as Daylight Saving Time that we have to go through twice a year. And can we talk about how Arizona just doesn't believe in Daylight Saving Time??? Maybe I should go there. Alls I know is we get an extra hour of sleep this weekend, but I can't tell you if it'll be darker in the morning. It probably will be. (Don't get me started on time zones. They add a whole new level of confusing.)

us, all winter (via)

In honor of winter coming, marked by the end (right?) of Daylight Saving Time, we've compiled a list of sleepy tunes. See ya in March, sunshine.
Fall Daylight Saving Time 2013 by this is our jam on Grooveshark
"Here Comes The Night Time" - Arcade Fire
"Picture In A Frame" - Tom Waits
"My Father's Father" - The Civil Wars
"Beg For The Night" - Twin Shadow
"Son My Son" - Milo Greene
"Apart From Me" - The Avett Brothers
"Beggar In The Morning" - The Barr Brothers
"Morning Song" - The Lumineers
"Daedalus (What We Have)" - San Fermin
"Radio Can't Rewind" - Sons of Bill

Chronicle my ignorance and confusion related to Daylight Saving Time with more jams here
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