Friday, February 28, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy Friday TIOJ-land! Have a fabulous brunch-filled weekend and enjoy watching the Oscars with your best friend Ellen on Sunday night! 

Your Weekend Jam: “Don’t let the weather make you cold” thanks to this awesome jam by Plastic Plates featuring Sam Sparro!

TIOJ Thoughts:

SXSW band or quirky nail polish…

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Anna Kendrick bringing the house down at the Kennedy Center tribute to Shirley MacClaine... And the girl crush on AK continues.


I’m obsessed with Jimmy Fallon and have loved his first few weeks as host of The Tonight Show (if only I could stay up late enough to watch)... Highlights so far: the greatest bromance of the decade (Jimmy and Justin Timberlake) with their latest installment of The History of Rap and Jimmy teaming up with Will Smith for the Evolution of Hip Hop Dance Moves.

Free! If you’re like us and suffering through quarter-life crises, then let “Who Knows,” a carefree (emphasis on the free) track from BEGINNERS, be your mantra.

More Free! Are you as addicted to Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" as we are? Luckily TIOJ fave JDVBBS has made a super catchy rap remix of the jam you can download here!

And in case you missed it: TIOJ chatted with Caroline Smith as she got ready for her DC show this past week, plus we rounded up our favorites from the month of February.

{PLAYLIST} oscars 2014

If there are two things that we can't get enough of over in the TIOJ offices, they are Ellen Degeneres and fancy dresses. So you best believe that we are super excited for the Oscars this weekend -- which will only be made better by the awkward mani-cam on the E! Red Carpet Special, Pharrell's performance of "Happy" as a nominee for Best Original Song, and whatever Jennifer Lawrence decides to do (because that girl can do no wrong).

If you need a break from your marathon-watching of Best Picture nominees and to get you in the mood for the show on Sunday, take a list to our Oscar-inspired playlist below. (And yes, we are kicking things off with chest thumping beat from Wolf of Wall Street made famous by Matthew McConaughey and then made cuter by these kids.)

"Happy" - Pharrell
Despicable Me 2 -- Best Original Song
"The Moon Song" - Karen O
Her -- Best Original Song
"Pour It Up" - Rihanna
Wolf of Wall Street -- Best Motion Picture
"Nebraska" - Bruce Springsteen
Nebraska -- Best Motion Picture
"Gravity" - John Mayer
Gravity -- Best Motion Picture
"Blood On The Leaves" - Kanye
12 Years a Slave -- Best Motion Picture
"Jasmine" - Jai Paul
Blue Jasmine -- Best Original Screenplay
"Fare Thee Well" - Inside Llewlyn Davis
Inside Llewyn Davis -- Best Cinematography
"The Captain" - Guster
Captain Phillips - Best Motion Picture
"No Church In The Mild" - Kanye
Philomena -- Best Motion Picture

Thursday, February 27, 2014

an extra dose of disco (and big boi) for your day

Is there anything better than rounding out your Thursday with a little disco? We think yes. And when you add a mashup of Big Boi and Phantogram to said disco, our answer turns in to a resounding chant of "HELL YES."

Check out this glorious mix of Big Boi's "Objectum Sexuality" featuring Phantogram mixed with Shalamar's hip shaking classic "A Night To Remember."

via Pigeons & Planes

{PLAYLIST} best of february

Even though February only had 28 days, TIOJ made the most of them. Seriously, we had a jam-packed month full of concerts, love, playlists, the Olympics, and plentyyyyy more.

In February, we:
And in February, StaceyKristen, and Krista were listening to:

"December Thirty-One" - Levi Lowrey
Although two months after New Year's Eve, I can't get enough of Levi Lowrey's end-of-year song.
"Window Sill" - Pickwick
I had SUCH a moment hearing this song performed live
"Like Real People Do" - Hozier
Addicted to Hozier and plan to stalk him at SXSW and Sweetlife... you've been warned. 
"Horses Fell" - The Darcys
Now that the Olympics are over, I can -- and intend to -- fully enjoy every little thing about these Canadians
"The Curse" - Agnes Obel
I could listen to Agnes sing me the phone book and not get bored.
"Thunder Clatter" - Wild Cub
This has been my lovey theme song for all of February
"Want You Back" - The Civil Wars
Legitimately dying over this cover.
"Faith" - Lake Street Dive
If you haven't had the opportunity to see this cover performed live, I feel sorry for you.
"Easy" - Son Lux
Easily the sexiest song I've ever seen performed live
"Can't Help Falling in Love" - Ingrid Michaelson
This is the most beautiful song ever, and every time I listen to it, it melts my cold, bitter heart.
"The Words of the Revelator" - Bryan John Appleby
Where has BJA been all my life? "The Words of the Revelator" is a revelation.
"Pumpkin Blood" - NONONO
In Feb, I've become addicted to playing compare and contrast and this Swedish group
"Takes a Lot of Love" - Runaway Dorothy
Runaway Dorothy is my latest obsession. It doesn't hurt that they cover songs from Nashville
"California" - Jamestown Revival
Even though one of these dudes has a rat tail, I still love them.
"Magazine" - Caroline Smith
We're completing enamored with Caroline Smith after interviewing her this month!

{THROWBACK} "no scrubs"

I have a soft space in my heart for TLC's "No Scrubs." In an effort to get a good grade in dreaded Biology, my friends and I covered "No Scrubs" as "DNA" for a final project. It may have been completely lame, but it's hard to forget the basics of cell activity after this line: "I can't get through the membrane (no), because I diffuse too slowly (yeah), so I need an opposite charge -- so all the other sugars can get throughOOOOO." God bless.

Anyway, I feel much cooler about the situation after listening to Le Youth's "Dance With Me" remixed by favorites Great Good Fine Ok that samples the TLC classic.

And for more "No Scrubs" goodness, check out this incredible live looping cover of the jam by Elijah Aaron!

Click here for the original TLC jam! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

let's round up some lady singers covering hip hop jams, shall we?

Without further ado...

If Jurg's recap last week wasn't enough to make you fall in love with Aussie songstress Courtney Barnett, then this cover of Courtney covering Kanye's "Black Skinhead" certainly should be.

Good gracious. Haim AND Beyonce. I can't even. My head exploded.

Owl Eyes is another Aussie cover connoisseur and this cover of Daft Punk's "Something About Us" is no exception. Her voice is so brilliant in this that we would have believed it was an original song.

{WE LOVE} sisyphus

One of my favorite pastimes is dreaming up super groups in my head --like, how great would a Wild Belle x She & Him combo be?!?! So I was delighted when three musicians I would have never put together formed music's latest super group: Sisyphus. Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, and Serengeti have banded together under this name and the result is so impressive.

Each "S"-named musician compliments each other so well that I've found myself daydreaming about what their songwriting process would be like. They're all so talented, creative, and a little kooky that I wouldn't be surprised if they come out with some fabulously illustrated and super weird children's book along with their forthcoming LP.

Anyway, check out some of my favorites from them and be awed as Sufjan's creative lyricism, Son Lux's electronic prowess, and Serengeti's hip hop nature melds together into something wonderful.

Download Sisyphus' "Rhythm of Devotion" for name your price on Noisetrade!

{WE LOVE} levi lowrey

I'm newly obsessed with Levi Lowrey, whose beautiful, crooning voice is a force to be reckoned with. Levi is closely tied to the Zac Brown Band, which only garners him more street cred in my book. He recorded his self-titled album that dropped yesterday at Zac Brown's studio -- plus, he co-wrote "Colder Weather," probably my favorite ZBB song to date.

Although it's only February and I've missed New Year's Eve by about nine weeks, I can't get enough of the soulful "December Thirty-One." It's such an optimistically reflective song, both lyrically and musically.

And because I'm powerless before a Johnny Cash cover, I must share this version of "Folsom County Prison" that Levi did with the Zac Brown Band. It's just the best.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{IF YOU LIKE} miley cyrus, rita ora

(via 1/2/3)
If you're addicted to the sultry  pop vocals of Miley or you're enthralled by the spunkiness or Rita Ora, then you must check out Miami's Kat Dahlia. She is quickly becoming our new obsession with her bad-ass songs that, speaking from experience, are perfect for desk-dancing and letting work day struggles fly away.

Kat's rescheduling her current tour, but check back in with us for updated tour dates! Personally, we can't wait to hear her anthemic and autobiographical "Gangsta" live.

check out mainland's new ep!

Need some new tunes flowing through your ear buds? Then look no further than NYC's Mainland. The indie rock quartet just put out their EP Shiner and we can't get enough of the title track. It's the perfect song listen to while sitting in the basement and drinking beer with your best guy friends when you need a break from listening to classics for The Strokes.

"Leave The Lights On" is another favorite that I have a feeling after drinking the aforementioned beers, would lead to a spectacular Breakfast Club-inspired dance party.

Listen to the entire EP here and download "Savant" from the EP for free here!

stop the presses. right now.

So I was writing a paper last night, just doing my thing and listening to the Civil Wars -- typical night in my apartment. When suddenly. The best cover possibly ever in all time popped up. So if this paper kills me, of which there is a high likelihood, I could die happy.

The Civil Wars. "I Want You Back." The Jackson Five. I can't even.

I'm pretty sure this been around forever and I'm just getting to it now... like most things, I'm way behind the times. Typical.

Monday, February 24, 2014

{INTERVIEW} caroline smith

In anticipation of her show at Jammin' Java this week, TIOJ had the chance to chat with Minneapolis singer Caroline Smith. Read ahead as we chat with Caroline about her R&B inspiration, her feel-good music, and her most recent album, Half About Being A Woman.

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music?
I've been writing music since I was about 13, but it was always something that felt very natural to me. Songs would just come out about how I was feeling or what friend was annoying me at the time. It wasn't until I was about 15 or 16 that I started taking it seriously.
Photo by Reginald VanNurden
How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before?
So if you were someone who walked up to the merch table and asked me which CD to buy, I would point to my first one and say, "If you like cutesy folk and raw endearing songs, you'll love Backyard Tent Set." Then I would point to my second record and say, "If you like polished indie-rock, then you'll love Little Wind." Then I would just put my third record in your hands and say, "This is Half About Being a Woman, the one you want -- shameless pop songs with an R&B groove."

Click ahead to hear who Caroline's dream collaboration would be with and more!!

{GIVEAWAY} yellow ostrich @ DC9

OH BOY, do we have a treat for you! This week, we're giving away tickets to one see one of our all-time favorite bands, Yellow Ostrich, at DC9 on March 3. The band is touring to promote Cosmos, their sophomore album, and are sure to put on a wonderful show. (But seriously. The first time we saw Alex and the gang at Black Cat, we did tequila shots together... oh lordy, that post is from 2011. Don't judge.)

Check out "Whale," the song that started it all, and enter to win a pair of tickets to the show below via Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 22, 2014

{WATCH} grimes x the interview

Claire Boucher, better known as the awesomely cool Grimes speaks in her interview with Hunger TV about how she created her brand. She touches on fashion stigmas, sexism in the music industry, and how having her "brand" of Grimes helped her overcome stage fright.

Press play if you're in need of some inspiration this weekend --

Props to Caleb for the find!

Friday, February 21, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Spring is almost here, TIOJers...while you wait for the weather to make up its mind, give another listen to our House of Cards playlist and binge on Netflix like you know you want to...

Your Weekend Jam: We’ve got some badass girl power to kick start off your weekend. Check out “Fancy,” Iggy Azalea’s latest jam (featuring TIOJ girl crush Charli XCX!).

TIOJ Thoughts:

Falling even more in love with Dan Croll over his debut album teaser.

Evgeni Plushenko figure skating to “Pony” gives me so many feelings about the Olympics concluding.

Santigold just paired up with Stance socks for an awesome collaboration… wonder if Rob Kardashian is jealous…

NPR dropped the mic with the launch of what is possibly the best twitter handle as of late: @NPRandB. The account features perfectly curated R&B tracks, news, and notes!

Brian Williams rapping “Rapper’s Delight”? Yes. Please.

Free! Catch “Dancing” from We Love favorites Little Racer over on Filter and quickly get out of your winter funk!

And in case you missed it: It was a concert-heavy week over at TIOJ headquarters! Check out the recaps for Pickwick and Black Joe Lewis and Kins and Courtney Barrett and relive the memories with us!

{PLAYLIST} house of cards

If you are anything like us, chances are you spent approximately 97% of your Presidents' Day weekend last week watching 97% of the new season of House of Cards -- worth it. As Frank Underwood's fellow DC-ers, we'd like to think that these songs would provide inspiration for all of his deceptive, deceitful, and sinister wheelings and dealings. Or that maybe these songs would make it onto Frank and Claire's running playlists. All we know is that we are staying as far away from the Cathedral Heights metro station as we possibly can.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

{RECAP} kins, courtney barnett

Concert Correspondent Jurg celebrated the spring-like weather on Wednesday night by heading to DC9 for the sold-out Courtney Barnett show.

We here at TIOJ are well-documented fans of Aussie performers (see: Gold Fields, Atlas Genius, Empire of the Sun), and Courtney Barnett did her country proud.

Opening band Kins (also Australian) had a downtempo jam-band vibe going on. It took a bit to really get into their songs, but by the end of their set they were rocking out and had won the crowd over. As a bonus, their lead singer sounded kind of like Alex from Yellow Ostrich.

Some artists sound exactly the same in concert as they do on their albums. Courtney Barnett is not one of those artists. I was expecting a sort of singer-songwriter/coffee shop vibe but what I got was a floor-stomping rock and roll set.

photo via @bchapmanxo
The show at DC9 was only her second in the U.S., but the audience was clearly enthralled by her bashful demeanor and adorably cartoon-like countenance. During the course of her set, she admitted to: 1. spilling her drink on herself, 2. getting her hair stuck in her mouth, and 3. not fully knowing the words to one of her new songs. How can one not love that level of over-sharing?!

Highlights of the set included "Avant Gardner," "David," and "History Eraser."

Barnett's stream-of-consciousness lyrics got kind of lost in the high energy moments of the show, but overall, Barnett had an honesty in her performance that was super relatable and entertaining. Thankfully, she'll be at SXSW AND Firefly! Bring it on.

Next Up: Caroline Smith at Jammin' Java on February 27!

{THROWBACK} "say you'll be there"

Rising artist just sealed the deal as one of our most favorite new musicians with her cover of "Say You'll Be There" by The Spice Girls. She's even made a video that we have to believe is baby MØ playing the role of Sporty Spice. As I was a lollipop-loving Baby Spice fan personally, my 4th-grade self is dying to be her backup in this video.

You know you want to relive the original and watch Spice World this weekend now...

{RECAP} pickwick, black joe lewis

On Tuesday night after a fabulous time celebrating the anniversary of CapFABB with some of our most favorite bloggers in the DMV, TIOJ headed down the road to the 9:30 Club for the rock ‘n roll stylings of Pickwick and Black Joe Lewis.

Pickwick opened the show and we were immediately taken aback. The lead singers hair was no longer the afro we had adored through the glare of our computer screens and their music was not the springtime mellow vibe the Doe Bay sessions had led us to believe. Instead, the band had slicked back hair, beards for days and soulful rock ‘n roll music. And we loved every second of it.

The Seattle band’s performance of “Lady Luck” was so good enough that the couple in front us Facetime’d the entire song to their loved ones (including but not limited to an adorable puppy) – an act than any other day we would “cut a bitch” for doing, but that night, with the charming guitar riffs of Pickwick, completely warmed our soul. Other highlights included “Hacienda Motel” and a subsequent “Kristen moment” of pure joy and our impromptu mash up of Pickwick’s “Window Sill” with The Who’s “My Generation.”

Black Joe Lewis closed out the night to a packed 9:30 Club. After only hearing him from afar during the torrential downpour that was Freefest, it was wonderful to appreciate his music up close and dry. We were immediately taken by Black Joe’s guitar playing skills and Ray Charles-esque vocals complemented by the TIOJ Holy Trinity of woodwind instruments (a baritone saxophone, a tenor saxophone, and a trumpet).

black joe lewis and the holy trinity of woodwinds
Favorites jams from Black Joe Lewis included “Come To My Party” and “Young Girls,” before which he took a moment to praise DC women for having really nice booties (thanks, Joe!).

In all, Pickwick and Black Joe Lewis were wonderful ways to rock on a Tuesday. While they’re not the normal music we feature, their music is wonderful and we have a sneaking suspicion that our respective fathers and brothers-in-law will be very proud of us for rocking so hard that night. Plus, any night that ends with back and forth texts of “Bitch, I Love You” is a win in our books.

Next Up: Caroline Smith at Jammin' Java on February 27!

"we're up all night to get happy"

It is no secret that Pharrell is something of a god here on TIOJ (I mean, we've even dedicated an entire playlist to him...). Thankfully mashup artists (emphasis on the artist) Pomplamoose put together three of Pharrell's most recent jams into a stunning musical and visual experience.

Like this mashup? Then check out Pomplamoose's mashup of Beck, Tupac, and Lorde!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

{WE LOVE} acoustic versions

As much as we love a good and dancey jam, there's something so wonderful and serene that happens when you slow those songs down a little bit. Things get personal. You may just shed a tear. You hear all of the words and you learn the real lyrics.

Here are just a few of our go-to jams that have been remixed a little, and they have definitely re-found their way onto my study jams playlist.

The 1975 took a big departure from their usual rocking and upbeat style with this acoustic version of their mega-hit "Chocolate."

Atlas Genius makes "If So" so incredibly heart-wrenching and soulful.

{WE LOVE} little racer

I won't go on about how over winter I am right now and instead will focus on how Brooklyn four-piece Little Racer are quickly helping to brighten my spirits with their sunny, relaxed jams.

Their surf-ready retro vibe is reminiscent of TIOJ favorites The Drums paired with a little Beach Boys. Their latest single "Dancing" immediately brings to mind hazy summer days and I can't get enough.

"Split For The Coast" is just as perfect for getting out of your seasonal funk. Loving the fitting lyric, "lately you've been in a rut // and I think now it's time to get up." If you insist, Little Racer.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

the darcys are my jam

As much as I love the Olympics, they are really messing with my usual interests and passions. As is well known, I really love Canada. Although I have never been to the Great White North (probably the biggest tragedy known to man), I feel a deep connection to about 95% of hockey players and I sometimes have an internal monologue in a Canadian accent.

But. I have not let go of the 2010 gold medal championship game, and the Olympics is just one place that my extreme dislike for Sidney Crosby manifests itself. So, for these two and a half weeks, I am suspending my usual affinity for that lovely soulmate of a country, and I am embracing the Ryans (Parise, Kessel, and Miller) instead of the Jo(h)ns (Tavares and Teows).

I'm breaking this Canada-ban, however, to talk about The Darcys. These guys from Toronto are making me love Cananda in spite of myself now, and I guarantee that after the Olympics, they'll be at the top of my list.

Monday, February 17, 2014

pennybirdrabbit is my jam

Happy Monday, cuties! Even though Valentine's Day has passed, we've still got love on our minds. Luckily, we've discovered LA songstress pennybirdrabbit whose jam "look for love" is just the optimistic song to bring us out of our snowchi-induced funk and provide hope for adding more love to our lives.

Whether you're looking for love or not, check out this song -- we could all use more steel drum, hand claps, and electric guitar in our lives.

Listen to pennybirdrabbit's entire for love EP on Soundcloud -- it's the perfect blend of shimmering pop songs and heartfelt ballads to compliment whatever your mood may be this week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy Valentine's Day again, TIOJers! Keep listening to our Valentine's Day 2014 playlist to keep you in the mood all day. Enjoy your Presidents' Day Weekend!

Your Weekend Jam: The Knocks are always our favorite way to start a weekend and their latest jam featuring Sneaky Sound System is the perfect lovey yet dance-ready jam for your Valentine’s Day weekend.

TIOJ Thoughts:

The interwebs are impressing me with all their clever valentines this year! Loving this Downton Abbey valentine and all of these food valentines from The Hipster Mermaid.

Won’t you please brie mine??

These passive aggressive valentines speak to my soul a little too much...

Rolling Stone lists these 20 love songs that they never want to hear again. While they have a point on many of them, we beg to differ on *NSYNC, All-4-One, and Stevie Wonder.

It should come as no surprise that our favorite kiddos in PS22 put out the most wonderful Valentine's Day video. They teamed up with Detroit's Northpointe Acadamy to sing Maroon 5's "Love Somebody," and you must stop everything that you're doing right this minute and listen.

Free! Instead of just one free song this week, we're bringing you an entire album via Noisetrade!  Secret Road is an album full of songs that are the backdrops to TV’s most lovely romances -- featuring songs by Andrew Belle, Johnny Stimson, and so many more!

And in case you missed it: Run River North is the most lovely combination of TIOJ faves The Head and the Heart and Mumford and Sons… if you haven’t checked them out yet, make sure you do it now!

{RECAP} miss tess and the talkbacks and lake street dive

Oh man. Where do I begin? When I set out to go to the Lake Street Dive show early Wednesday evening at the Hamilton, little did I know I'd have such a wonderful, rejuvenating experience. Sure, I was excited about the show, but it was the first concert I've ever made plans to go to 100% by my lonesome and I didn't know what to expect.

I couldn't have predicted how silly, relaxing and friendly the entire experience turned out to be. As luck would have it, I settled myself down right in front next to the most adorable couple in the world (hi Brandy and George!) with a perfect view of the opener, Miss Tess and the Talkbacks.

Miss Tess and her cohorts had a fifties vibe--the kind of rockabilly, twangy, bluesy character that would have not been out of place in the lazy, hazy jazz clubs of yore. Miss Tess's voice evoked Patsy Cline which (in TIOJ's mind) is a compliment of the highest order. "Everybody's Darling" is worth a first, second, and third listen.

Forgive my gushing, but I'm addicted to Lake Street Dive. Front-woman Rachel Price has possibly the best voice I've ever heard live. From "Got Me Fooled" to "Faith" (my favorite!) to "Clear a Space," her unaccompanied moments were the best, when her voice soared out, strong and alone. "Bad Self Portraits," the title track of Lake Street Dive's upcoming album, was a stand out moment if only because we got to hear Rachel's thoughts on the Instagram saturation of our society, and other side effects of the selfie epidemic. #funeralselfie.

If you don't live in D.C., I strongly advise you to check out Lake Street Dive's upcoming shows and to check out their album when it drops on Tuesday, February 18!

{PLAYLIST} valentine's day 2014

Happy Valentine's Day, lovebugs!! We hope you have the loveliest, loviest days planned -- whether you're getting dressed up for a fancy dinner with your boo, getting dolled up and hitting the dance floor with your besties, or snuggling up and watching some pairs ice dancing (perhaps the most romantic option of all). Relationship or not, we hope that you celebrate the people that you do love today and every day. And that you drink plenty of wine and get all of the sale candy you can tomorrow.

Choosing this year's round of our favorite love songs was pretty close to impossible, but press play below for our most recent round of love jams:

Plus! Because you , dear TIOJ readers, are our Valentines, we have a ton of extra playlists to keep the lovefest going throughout this long weekend:
Galentine's Day Jams
Wedding Jams (part 1 and part 2)
Hipster Hookups
Falling for You Jams (Valentine's Day 2013)
I Think I Like You Jams
Getting to Know You Jams
Classic Valentine's Day Jams
Valentine's Day 2012 
Waiting for Love

Thursday, February 13, 2014

happy galentine's day!

We would like to take a moment on this day before Valentine's Day to celebrate one of the greatest holidays of our time, brought to us by one of the most wonderful women of the decade -- Miss Leslie Knope. We hope that you are celebrating your favorite ladyfriends today ("Ladies celebrate ladies. It's like Lillith Fair minus the angst. Plus fritattas.").

Since we are the three best friends that anyone could have, we would like to wish you, all of our gal pals (and gentlemen friends too... I guess we'll share Galentine's Day with you) the happiest of Galentine's Days! May you consume far too much chocolate and wine while listening to this girl power-filled playlist.

{THROWBACK} "all falls down"

Hip hop lovers, you need to put Virgina Beach's Robert McFarland on your radar. He just released his latest jam "Fuck The Police" and, despite it's title, has an addictive, retro-tinged vibe that gives off an optimistic rather than dejected tone. And when you add in historical references and nods to raps from NWA, Public Enemy, Kanye West, Nas, and J.Cole to the head bopping beat, you'll surely find yourself pressing repeat on this rap.

Rob's use of the "we buy our way out of jail, but we can't buy freedom" lyric has me throwing back to Kanye's "All Falls Down" that I cleverly quoted for a high school history paper. Classic.

Want more from Rob? Check out his latest video for "MC vs Rapper" directed by TIOJ's very own AV director!

{THROWBACK} "american pie"

Fourteen years ago, my best friend and I were seated next to each other in sixth grade P.E. class, where we were often told by an extremely overweight and not-very-bright gym teacher to run the mile. If you've ever spoken to me about exercise, you know that I hate running. I always have, and I very likely always will. But thanks to this dummy of a teacher, we became friends over our shared hatred of the mile -- so for that, I will always be thankful.

And as eleven-year-olds do, we sang to ourselves to stay entertained throughout the entire hour-long period. For a reason completely unbeknownst to me, our go-to song was "American Pie" by Don McLean (probably because it was so long so it was a challenge to get all of the words right and in the right order... I never said we were cool). Thinking about it now, I'm not sure I understood 75% of the lyrics, but that's a common thread from my younger years.

So today, in honor of this lovely lady's 26th birthday, I present to you "American Pie":

(I realize I have gone so far over the line with oversharing at this point. I apologize to everyone who is subject to whatever is going on in my brain.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

{WE LOVE} shirley temple

Today's We Love Wednesday post is in honor of the wonderful Shirley Temple, who passed away yesterday morning. Since one of my first dance performances ever was to "Animal Crackers," I have a special kind of love for this curly-haired darling.

I also have been trying for the last 20+ years to figure out into what kind of soup you put animal crackers. Any guidance that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

{WE LOVE} hozier

I have to admit it. I've been in a bit of a music slump of late. Maybe it's the weather or the fact that I kept forgetting to update my iPod, but nothing new seems to be sticking with me lately. Thankfully, however, Irish singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne (a.k.a. Hozier) has snuck his way into my lackluster listening library and is quickly getting me out of my musical rut.

His music is so beautiful and bittersweet that, for the past two days, I've been listening to his four-song Take Me To Church EP on repeat. From the somber "Cherry Wine" that brings to mind favorite singers like Ben Howard and Frightened Rabbit to the powerful "Take Me To Church" that's got much more a rock edge with sultry vocals reminiscent of the equally bluesy Chet Faker, I can't get enough of Hozier.

Want more? Check out Hozier's awesome cover of 2012 summer smash "We Are Young" and listen to his EP on Spotify.

Now, please excuse me while I work my SXSW schedule around catching Hozier live at least twice.

DC! Hozier was JUST announced on the lineup for the Sweetlife Festival on May 10 -- get your tickets and check him out live!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

goodbyemotel is my jam

goodbyemotel gets checkmarks for everything TIOJ likes on our quite list of favorite band attributes: Australian -- check. Brooding musicians -- check. An infectious indie beat -- check. Musical appearances in Gossip Girl: double check.

And, of course, a beautiful music video for their latest single, "Set It Off":

{PREVIEW} black joe lewis at the 9:30 club

Great news, DC-ers. Black Joe Lewis is coming and you better get ready. This Austin, TX-bred soul guitarist is an unmissable draw. Black Joel Lewis and his band (so charmingly, weirdly named The Honeybears) evoke Jimi Hendrix, with a little bit of laissez-faire punk and tongue-in-cheek wit thrown in.

"Come to My Party" is the perfect example. Black Joe's husky, gravelly voice doesn't soothe--it soars.

Black Joe Lewis will be at the 9:30 Club February 18th, so get your tickets now. Swag waits for no one.

Added bonus: TIOJ-fave Pickwick will be the show opener that night! We can think of no more worthy act to introduce Black Joe Lewis to our District.

{IF YOU LIKE} mumford and sons, the head and the heart

(via 1/2/3)
If you like the twangy sounds and powerful vocals of Mumford and Sons or the coed foot-tapping vibes of The Head and the Heart, then you must check out California's Run River North.

Their latest release "Fight To Keep" is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and have you snapping along to the beat in no time.

Want more?? Listen to their beautiful cover of City and Colour's "The Girl."

{RECAP} son lux, san fermin

On Saturday night, I grabbed Jurg and, after a foretelling discovery of $1 drinks at H. St Country Club, headed to Rock 'N Roll Hotel.

I knew nothing about openerSon Lux before seeing him on Saturday, but, like the happy hour special before him, I was immediately drawn in and pretty much held captive by his performance. The music of Son Lux (a.k.a. Ryan Lott), much like San Fermin, is incredibly well composed and unique, making for a performance that completely took us by surprise. (Whoever put these two bands on tour together is a genius.)

When Son Lux layered his captivating and earnest vocals onto his electronic music, we were mesmerized. Like -- close your eyes and only focus of the music mesmerized. My hands down favorite performance was of "Easy," which was quite possibly the sexiest song I've ever witnessed live.

Apparently we're not the only ones obsessed with this song -- her majesty Lorde has already covered this song!

Click ahead for the rest of the recap!

Monday, February 10, 2014

mashup monday: pusha x kendrick x ASTR

Sometimes I think The Hood Internet has psychic abilities into my eclectic playlists. Their latest mashup of ASTR's "R U With Me" and Pusha T's incredible "Nostelagia" featuring Kendrick Lamar are both regular favorites on my iPhone playlists. Seriously...if you've ever seen some white girl walking with a little too much swag for someone carrying a yoga mat on 14th St...that is me. Listening to Pusha T.

That said, this combo is just what I've been needing. Enjoy!

"distance" is my jam

Okay guys, it's the week of Valentine's day and I warn you -- shit's about to get mushy...

As someone in a long(ish) distance relationship, I immediately clicked on Emily King's "Distance" hoping to find someone who could much more eloquently explain my feelings on the topic. Thankfully, Emily's song is just what I needed. Instead of whining about the struggle of being away from the one you love, Emily focuses on the beauty of love no matter where you are. Her lyrics are heartfelt and optimistic and she shows the beauty that distance can bring to a relationship.

"Oh, even when I’m lonely // Happy knowing that your love is never far"

get cursed with agnes obel

Agnes Obel has a way of making every strain of music she plays seem spell-binding, serene and staggering. This beautiful Danish songstress recently performed a series of songs at Hemathefen Neukölln, an eclectic folk theatre in Berlin. The space is sparse and haunting, but it's really Agnes's swooping vocals that make this video so affecting and hypnotizing.

Agnes is about to embark on a North American tour to promote her new album "Aventine" with approximately zero stops near D.C. I'll just have to watch this vid on repeat to console myself.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

{WATCH} land of wheat and maize

When you need a four minute break from watching team figure skating and snowboarding this weekend, you must check out "Land Of Wheat And Maize." It's a quick interview with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon as he discusses growing up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The video is beautifully shot and, when paired with Justin swoon-worthy deep voice, makes for the perfect quick escape from reality.

Friday, February 7, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Your Weekend Jam: Whether you're grooving to this song on the dance floor or singing it to the glowing picture of Bob Costas on your TV -- let "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit be your theme song this weekend.

TIOJ Thoughts:

American Idol darling Clay Aiken has his sights set on Congress. Wait--what?

This comic perfectly sums up our feelings regarding winter right now.

If you’ve been on Facebook/alive in the last month, you know that Buzzfeed’s quizzes are taking the world by storm. This one dropped the mic.

In case you happen to be in Sochi this weekend...A User's Guide to the Bizarre Toilets of Sochi.

Free! If you haven’t download Chelsea Lankes’ jam “Ghost” yet, hop over to Facebook and add that to your iTunes ASAP!

And in case you missed it: We chatted up Chris from Lake Street Dive -- read up on them before their show at The Hamilton next week!

{PLAYLIST} 2014 winter olympics

You guys. It is officially the best two weeks of every other year. After a verrrrry long almost-two-years since London, the Olympics are finally back, and we are saying goodbye to any semblance of productivity until the closing ceremonies in two and half weeks.  We can't wait to see (and talk to) Bob Costas on a nightly basis (what, just us who talks to him on TV?), admire the Norwegian curling team's choice in outfits (and devise ways to become professional curlers), feel so much conflict when we find ourselves cheering for anyone on the New York Rangers or Pittsburgh Penguins, and, of course, see the second coming of Cool Runnings

We also will be listening to the following playlist whenever we're not glued to our TVs... or more likely, when we're too confused by the time zones to know which events are actually on.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

{INTERVIEW} lake street dive

Lake Street Dive is about to take DC by storm when they play a sold-out show at the Hamilton on February 12. TIOJ was lucky enough to catch up with Michael Calabrese, the band's drummer, to hear his thoughts about the band's beginnings, influences, unique American presidents, and his FAVORITE Lake Street Dive jam.

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourselves! How long have you all been making music together? And tell us the story behind the name Lake Street Dive!
Almost ten years ago, our guitarist/trumpeter Mike “McDuck” Olson got this exact lineup together in a practice room at the New England Conservatory of music, wrote “Lake Street Dive” on the blackboard, told us this was going to be our name, and we’ve been playing together ever since. McDuck is from Minneapolis, a town that once had a thriving dive bar scene on Lake Street, a busy thoroughfare, and the music we made was supposed to be inspired by the dive bar atmosphere of the town in which he grew up.

photo by jarred mccabe
Click ahead for more Lake Street musings on their new album and tour excitement!

{THROWBACK} "can't help falling in love"

I have such an incredible weakness for Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," what I think is one of the most beautiful, sweetest songs ever written. Whenever I hear this song, either the original or the cover, I get goosebumps and my cold, bitter heart melts a little bit. You could say it's my musical and emotional kryptonite.

Case in point: this Twenty-One Pilots version.

And the beautiful Ingrid Michaelson cover.

And, of course of course of course, the King himself:

{RECAP} jamestown revival, saints of valory, and the wild feathers

On Tuesday night, we hopped on over to to U St. Music Hall for a much needed night of music featuring Jamestown Revival, Saints of Valory, and The Wild Feathers.

jamestown revival 
Jamestown Revival was up first. These boys took us by storm like they had just blown into town with some tumbleweed. Make no mistake about it--they were beautiful and rugged in a way that would make even Stacey okay with camping. They had us tapping our toes and swaying as they plucked the slide guitar and I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that their performance of "Heavy Heart" was so perfect that it was like staring at the sun. It almost hurt too much to watch, but it made you feel so great.

Click ahead for more!

{THROWBACK} "teddy bear"

We've got so many levels of throwback to share today. First, we've got a '90s throwback with Danny Tanner and Uncles Joey and Jesse who reunited last week to calm down Jimmy Fallon as he prepared to leave Late Night. Their pep talk is full of all the "Full House" moments you would expect: sentimental music, Uncle Jesse worrying about his hair, and Joey's signature "Cut. It. Out." quip. The highlight is the gang's rendition of Elvis' classic "Teddy Bear."

Keep on grooving with the classic from 1957:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

{WE LOVE} runaway dorothy

Roxanne Cash and Adam Duritz (we talked on the phone once, no big deal) are counted as fans of Americana quartet Runaway Dorothy, and I am certainly not one to turn down fellow fans like that. Consider me the latest in the long list of admirers of this Brooklyn-based band.

I lovelovelove their song "Takes a Lot of Love," which is so soulful and brutally honest and lyrically beautifully.

Plus. They cover songs from Nashville, and if you know the true way to my heart, you know that's it's through dramatic television that stars Connie Britton.

Friends! Catch a sampler from Runaway Dorothy's first album, The Arc, and their upcoming The Wait on Noisetrade now!!

{WE LOVE} sweetheart 14

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, the Sweetheart 14 compilation is being released and sold exclusively at Starbucks. The album will feature covers of love songs from some of our most favorite artists including Vampire Weekend, Phosphorescent, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, and so many more. You can listen to the full album on NPR and check out our favorites below!

Check out this surprising and incredible Vampire Weekend cover of Andrea Bocelli's "Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)."

And listen to this beautiful and honest cover of Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" by Phosphorescent.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NONONO // Yeah Yeah Yeahs

I had so much fun playing compare and contrast with Years & Years and Ages and Ages last week that I just had to do it again. This week, we've got NONONO, a group of Swedes quickly taking over the pop music scene, and the eternally awesome Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

First up, NONONO who, despite their seemingly negative name, are cranking out the perfect happy pop songs that could only come from Scandinavia. Their hit "Pumpkin Blood" is already on the radio (and getting remixed by awesome groups like The Chainsmokers), but we're most excited about their latest addictive hit "Hungry Eyes."

In contrast to NONONO who have only released an EP, Karen O. and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been around since 2002 and have already received three Grammy nominations. The contradiction of band name to band vibe, however, continues with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The seemingly positive name, in contrast to NONONO's pop, actually translates itself to darker music that warrants head banging and performances with crazy blow up eyeballs (see: Firefly 2013).

new music roundup!

One of the only cures we're finding for these wintery doldrums is the onslaught of new music that so many of our favorite bands are putting out. This week has been a great one with so many new jams (and the promise of even more upcoming albums and tours!!).

"Talk" - PLOY
DC-based (and interview alumni/babysitters) PLOY have been on a roll lately, and their latest release, "Talk," is just another awesome song to add to their repertoire. It's a great combination of some sultry vocals with their signature electronic sound.

"Destination" - Nickel Creek
After a nine-year hiatus, we could not be happier that Nickel Creek has released this single. (And as Kristen so kindly pointed out to me, this is Nickel Creek, the lovely folksy ones -- not Nickelback, the whiny Canadians.)

"Settle Down" - The 1975
This latest hit from TIOJ babysitters has the catchy guitar riff, sexy vocals, and head bopping beat that we've come to expect from these up-and-comers.

"Any Wonder" - Yellow Ostrich
We could not be more excited for Yellow Ostrich's upcoming album, and the infectious sounds of "Any Wonder" is just growing that anticipation.

"Invisible" - U2
U2 premiered "Invisible" during a Super Bowl commercial to benefit (RED), the organization that Bono founded to fight AIDS. Even if you missed the freebie window on iTunes in which Bank of America donated $1 per download, it's still worth a listen -- and further proof that Bono is a god among men.

Monday, February 3, 2014

bringing the mellow with bryan john appleby

Bryan John Appleby seems like someone I'd like to be friends with. He's got an understated confidence, a voice to sway to, and a beard to behold. On this rainiest/sleetiest of Mondays, his song "Words of the Revelator" is the perfect touch of comfort and calm.

Check it out here!

And yes, in case you were wondering, I did just click on this song because I originally thought it was called "Words of the Elevator" and I was curious.

tyler hilton is my jam

Not gonna lie, the thing that caught my attention about Tyler Hilton when I saw him featured on Noisetrade the other day was that he played Elvis Presley in Walk the Line. That, and he was in a Gloriana music video with Grace from Secret Life of the American Teenager (his real life fiancé!). If that's not a claim to fame, then I don't know what is.

But his own music is prettttty great, too. This is the perfect calming-but-not-too-mellow jam for a Monday that is slightly reminiscent of Gavin DeGraw. But really, be sure to grab this entire sampler on Noisetrade ASAP -- you will not be disappointed. I particularly liked "Loaded Gun" and "Missing You," his cover of the John Waite classic.

{GIVEAWAY} delta rae's "carry the fire"

Happy Monday, TIOJ-land -- do we have a treat for you! This week, we're getting ready for the amazing Delta Rae's show at the 9:30 Club on February 15 by giving away not one but two copies of their debut full-length album, Carry the Fire, to you, our most lovely readers! Just give one listen to "Bottom of the River," and we guarantee that you'll be hooked. They have the most wonderful bluesy, folky sound that is so empowered and strong and simply amazing.

Click here to buy tickets to the show (don't forget: February 15 at the 9:30 Club!!), and enter to win an album below! We'll send it to you, wherever you are!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to all TIOJ fans in the United States.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

happy super bowl!!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!! In honor of tonight's game, we have a few quick songs that will get you in a Seattle/Denver/Bruno Mars state of mind.

First up, Seattle's current favorite son that is taking the music world by storm (for better or for worse -- we offer no opinion):

Next, Denver's own (by way of the corner of Canal and Bowery):

Bruno Mars is no Madonna or Beyonce, but he's pretty guaranteed to put on an awesome halftime show:

But. We all know the true star of this year's Super Bowl: this puppy.

jazzing it up with chet faker

Good gracious this is the perfect song for a Sunday. It's jazzy and smooth with so much saxophone that I'm transported immediately into a daydream of being in a smoky jazz club with my imaginary boyfriend Chet Faker singing to me.

Aaaand repeat.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

{WATCH} katy perry: part of me

What better to do this weekend than escape the cold, curl up in your bed and get intimate with your Netflix queue? Might we suggest Katy Perry's "Part Of Me" that we fiiiinally watched the other weekend. The documentary follows Katy's journey to stardom and the ups and downs of life on tour. The film is honest and visually stimulating and by the end you pretty much want Katy to be your best friend.

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