Monday, March 31, 2014

{PLAYLIST} best of march 2014

What a busy month of March we've had! As always, we've kept ourselves busy in the TIOJ offices. In addition to continually cursing the winter weather (and subsequent doldrums) and pining for springy weather during March (which, for the record, did not go in like a lion and out like a lamb -- more like stayed a snow lion for the entire month), we:
And in March, Krista, Kristen, and Stacey were listening to:


"Sur La Planche 2013"- La Femme
I cannot stop listening to this infectious jam from my favorite Frenchies and SXSW discovery!
"Broken Bones and Pocket Change" - St. Paul and the Broken Bones
These gents are SO polite, SO funny, and SO talented. I can't wait to see them live again.
"Wild" - Royal Teeth
This is the most perfect song to get you in the mood for spring... now, if only the weather would listen as well.
"Money On My Mind" - Sam Smith
Sam Smith proved that he is a pop force to be reckoned with this month and despite his altruistic intentions, I'm buying what he's selling.
"Runaround" - Wild Child
Krista and I both fell under Wild Child's spell this month.
"Washing Dishes" - Jack Johnson
After loving "Banana Pancakes" for so long, another kitchen-themed song from JJ is a definite yes.
"I Wanna Get Better" - Bleachers
This song is so catchy and fun and is making me craaaave sun-filled top-down summer drives.
"Paris" - Black Atlass
"Paris" is a poignant reminder of just how much I miss France.
"Love Like Jesus" - PawnShop kings
These guys make me miss the south. A lot.
"All That I Know Is (I'm Your Baby)" - Caroline Smith
I fell in love with Caroline Smith this month. She is a doll and her album is perfection.
"Flawless Executioner" - Christopher Paul Stelling
CPS's voice is a force to be reckoned with. If you don't get chills listening to this, you're not human.
"Keep Your Eyes Open" - NEEDTOBREATHE
What a perfectly happy and optimistic tune from long-time playlist faves.
"All Of The People" - Panama Wedding
This song has been in my head since the first day of SXSW and I'm more than okay with it.
"Million Dollar Bills" - Lorde
As far as life mottos go, this is definitely a fun one.
"You Must Be Crazy" - Jake Clemons
Although I am predisposed to love anything associated with Bruce Springsteen, Jake Clemons sure is a talented dude, and this song will definitely be on all of my summer playlists.

happy opening day!!!

Happy Opening Day, the happiest, most wonderful day of the year!!! To celebrate the most hopeful and optimistic day of the entire calendar (because on Opening Day it is entirely possible to win 162 baseball games), I am listening to a treasure trove of baseball/Red Sox/Nationals jams before the first pitch of the Nationals and Mets' game at 1 pm.

Everything about this:

And this. If this could happen again, I would have the happiest of Octobers:

(for the record, just watched this video and sobbed. yep.)

And as you begin your day of watching baseball and drinking beer (or, in my case, going to class and writing papers), I leave you with this quotation from Mary Schmich:
"Opening day. All you have to do is say the words and you feel the shutters thrown wide, the room air out, the light pour in. In baseball, no other day is so pure with possibility. No scores yet, no losses, no blame or disappointment. No hangover, at least until the game's over."

bon iver x daughter --- yes, please!

There is literally nothing better to ease you into the week than this mashup of Bon Iver's "Perth" and Daughter's gorgeous "Love."

Download for free and add to your sleepy time playlist on Soundcloud!

Related: More pretty mashups from Daughter

Friday, March 28, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy Friday, TIOJ! We hope that this weekend brings warmer weather, and with that, some optimistic life mottos that are guaranteed to put some pep in your step.

Your Weekend Jam: tUnE-yArDs is back and bringing their unique blend of kook that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face on this Friday afternoon!

TIOJ Thoughts:

Our favorite HGTV Designer/Blogger/Fabulous Person Emily Henderson designed trailers for Snoop Dogg and Capital Cities at SXSW and the results are so fabulous!

Spotify Premium is now 50% for students! We knew going to grad school was a brilliant idea...

Just in case you were worried, Ginuwine STILL EXISTS and he’s still performing “Pony” like a boss.

Behind the scenes with the art of making playlists.

College basketball + local music = TIOJ loves. (We very much like #s 7 and 8, for the record.)

Free! Will Smith’s “Miami” is one of the most appropriate and fitting spring break songs ever to exist… and this Vibe Lime remix updates this classic just a tad -- and it’s equally as awesome.

And in case you missed it: If you’re a fan of Ben Howard or Bob Dylan, we are positive that you will love Christopher Paul Stelling, a Savannah Stopover standout.

Plus! We're giving away two tickets to see SKATERS on April 3 at Rock & Roll Hotel -- enter to win now!

{PLAYLIST} life mottos

With this never-ending winter, we're in the mood for a little pick-me-up music that not only makes our ears happy but also rejuvenates our sense of optimism and hope -- if we can't get blooming flowers, we'll instead take blossoming music in our earbuds. These songs are some of our life mottos that remind us to keep our head up -- while giving us an extra healthy dose of confidence that sometimes is just necessary.

Press play below and feel the weight lift off of your shoulders:

Remember, YOLO.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

{THROWBACK} "footloose"

I remember well when my mom decided I was old enough to watch both Footloose and Flashdance. I remember really liking the former. The latter... I should probably watch it again. (What can I say, I was a teenager.)

On his recent appearance on The Tonight Show, Kevin Bacon celebrated Footloose's 30th anniversary and helped get rid of Jimmy Fallon's (very recent) ban on dancing. Check it:

Among other things, the song "Footloose" makes me think of my high school's former football coach -- apparently, it was one of his favorite songs to play in the locker room. Here's the original for you:

{THROWBACK} "all that she wants"

I think I'm predisposed to loving Ace of Base covers because of that one episode of Full House when Stephanie sang "I Saw The Sign" with her ne'er-do-well friend Gia. In any case, I was delighted to come across this awesome, sultry cover of Ace of Base's "All That She Wants" by Basecamp. If only the Smash Club were still around for a live performance...

And the original radio ready version from Ace of Base:

{IF YOU LIKE} ben howard, bob dylan

(via 1/2/3)

If you dig the husky crooning and acoustic strumming of Ben Howard or the folksy, dark earnestness of Bob Dylan, Christopher Paul Stelling is going to blow you away. We've been obsessed with CPS since seeing him perform (twice!) in Savannah, and we bet you'll be just as charmed by this Southern-raised Brooklynite as we are.

Listen to "Flawless Executioner." This bittersweet jam perfectly showcases CPS's unique voice and evocative lyrics--not to mention his hypnotizing guitar skills.

Don't forget to check out Christopher Paul Stelling's recently released album False Cities to hear more!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

{WE LOVE} actors turned indie rockers

I’ll admit that I’ve had dreams of one day being a triple threat with the ability to sing, dance, and act (looking at you, J.Lo). Unfortunately, I’m still working on getting just the one threat checked off – unless retweeting can be a new 21st century threat… Anyway, I’ve decided to celebrate those people who are showing their talents across multiple medium with this roundup of actors who are belting out (and kazoo-ing?) tunes in awesome indie bands.

First up, Jena Malone from The Hunger Games and one of my favorite movies to cry to, Stepmom. Jena has paired up with Lem Jay Ignacio to form The Shoe. Their music is beautiful and soft, reminiscent of a sleepier Feist. Definitely worth a listen (and free download) below.

Next up, we have everyone’s favorite kid to laugh with over the holidays, Macaulay Culkin. If you haven’t heard (or read my SXSW recap), Macaulay is now a member of the band The Pizza Underground who, shockingly, sing about pizza in the style of the Velvet Underground. Now, I wouldn’t call the music of The Pizza Underground my jam, per se, but I will say that it’s creative, tambourine-filled, and certainly making me want to call up Dominos right now. (But maybe not have Macaulay’s pizza-faced kazoo solo at 3:05…)

Any other actors turned indie rockers we should put on our radar??

{WE LOVE} well-strung

It is no secret that TIOJ loves unusual covers and mashups. A new addition to our list of such artists is Well-Strung, a string quartet who performs top 40 songs (often with a hint of classical music thrown in).

Example: Mozart meets Kelly Clarkson.

And an instrumental version of one of my favorite songs ever in the world -- Britney Spears' "Toxic":

I'm so glad I didn't turn off the Kathy Lee and Hoda hour of the Today show... otherwise I never would've found these fellas!!

{GIVEAWAY} skaters @ rock & roll hotel

Another day, another giveaway!! Today, we're giving away tickets to see the crazy cool dudes in SKATERS. The band-turned-pizza connoisseurs will be playing at Rock & Roll Hotel next Thursday, April 3.

Check out their video for "I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How)" and dance awkwardly at your desk while you enter to win tickets below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait? Purchase tickets to the show here!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

{RECAP} dresses, boy & bear

TIOJ's Concert Correspondant checked out recent interviewees Boy & Bear at Jammin' Java the other night. Read ahead for Jurg's thoughts on these lovely Aussies (as well as opener Dresses)!

Dresses, a band of four from Portland, Oregon, opened the Sunday night show at Jammin' Java. Their songs were sweet, easy to listen to, and made me think of riding bicycles. Below is the music video for my favorite of their songs, "Painting Roses."

Boy & Bear took the stage to ELO's "Evil Woman," which I still find hilarious (see episode 109 of NBC's Community). Their set was a glorious mix of solid folksy rock songs sandwiched between whimsical Aussie banter. Seriously, I do not think I have laughed as much at a show ever. All five of the guys chimed in on vocals at some point during the show and there was a great energy during their set that a recording just can't capture.

boy & bear
The standouts for me were "A Moment's Grace," "Three Headed Woman," and of course the recommended "Southern Sun" (all from their newer album, Harlequin Dream), and "Big Man" (from their first album).

Thanks to Jurg for checking this show out! For a bonus, be sure to watch this video of Boy & Bear covering Empire of the Sun.

Up next: Krista checks out SXSW faves La Femme at Rock & Roll Hotel on Thursday.

phil ade's "happy" remix is my jam

Local DMV rapper Phil Ade absolutely killed it (again!) with his remix of Pharrell's "Happy." It's got quick spitting lyrics about DC over Pharrell's infectious chorus. I dare you not to love this.

be still my heart, black atlass

Damn. Black Atlass has swept into my life like a hurricane and taken all my playlists by storm and I don't mind at all.

"Paris" is the most subtly sexy, soothing song I've heard as of late--and this is all the more impressive when you figure that Canadian singer Alex Fleming is only 19. I can't get enough.

in love with william wild

Even though it's Tuesday already, you still may be having a rough transition to the work week. I feel you, it happens. If that's the case, I highly recommend listening to William Wild on loop today. Even their name has a mellow vibe. Everything about this dude (and his friends) just feels so soulful and calming. And this cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" is so simply beautiful and is now on all of my sleepy playlists.

Plus: these three gentlemen collectively have so much hair. They may be kindred spirits to TIOJ.

Good news! William Wild's self-titled album comes out on April 8 -- and until you get that, you can listen to this Noisetrade sampler.

Monday, March 24, 2014

{RECAP} jake clemons

When I saw that Jake Clemons, saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band would be playing not only in Philadelphia but IN my neighborhood at World Cafe Live, I knew that I just had to be there. And when I told my dad that I was thinking about going, he said that there was no way I could pass that up (and also called me a "lucky dog" since Jake was not making his way to DC on this string of shows). And that is how I found myself as one of five people under the age of 40 at World Cafe Live on Friday night.

As any true Bruce affiliate, though, Mr. Jake Clemons did not disappoint. Immediately starting off his show with "You're a Friend of Mine" and a reference to both his late father and uncle (Jake's father had passed away just a few weeks ago, and he has assumed his uncle Clarence Clemons' spot in Springsteen's band), I was instantly won over. Jake said he liked to think of his father and uncle singing this song together, and I would like to join him in that.

Other highlights of the evening included Jake's tshirt and scarf combo, the two women who (separately) believed they were at a Springsteen show and fist-pumped/head-banged enthusiastically throughout the entire show, songs that sounded like they could be Bruce songs (like "Love Will Never Change"), and so many songs like "You Must Be Crazy."

Ever so talented, Jake switched it up regularly between the guitar, saxophone, and even the keyboards. He was obviously in the zone, and seemed completely unphased by the police activity and flashing lights just outside the window during most of his set. He was so gracious, and joked a little with the audience, saying, "A lot of these songs aren't on our record -- you'll have to forgive me, I haven't had a lot of time to be in the studio these days." It's okay, Jake -- we know you've just been in Australia with the Boss, no big deal.

The most wonderful, chill-worthy part of the entire show, though, was at the very end, when Jake unplugged, gathered his band near him, and sang without mics and to the strumming of one guitar. As wonderful and irreplaceable as seeing a Bruce show is, personal touches like that are what will help Jake make his own name as an artist.

Up Next: Taking a short break before Yellow Ostrich's snow makeup show on April 2!

start your day smiling with st. lucia

I think there is no better way to start your week than with this Soul Pancake Sidewalk Session of St. Lucia's "Wait For Love." It's impossible not to smile and start playing your air bongos with lovely Disney-sounding song.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

{WATCH} tokyo police club: detour

Today we've got AV Director Caleb sharing his pick of what to watch this weekend!

An inside look at what I believe to be the greatest band of our time. (Bonus points for all of the Canadian accents.)

Tokyo Police Club's latest album Forcefield drops on Tuesday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

weekend thoughts...

It's the weekend and officially spring! Celebrate with some catchy tunes and funny links!

Your Weekend Jam: Pharrell + Diplo. ‘Nuf said.

TIOJ Thoughts:

Song stuck it your head? Unhear it.

When we’re old and grey, will TIOJ be reacting to modern music like these three baller grannies who take offense to Beyonce’s “Drunk in Love”?

In honor of The Lego Movie (which I still need to see), 20 bands in Lego form.

March Madness is finally here!! Celebrate with our March Madness jams -- they were lucky last year... GO CARDS!!

Free! The Knocks remixed HAIM's "If I Could Change Your Mind." Our ears explode with happiness. Download for free on Facebook!

DC Happenings: Catch this week's interviewees Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at 9:30 Club tonight! Get your tickets here!

And in case you missed it: Krista recapped her SXSW adventures last weekend on the blog and put together a playlist of her favorites.

{RECAP} sam smith

Last night, with my body and brain FINALLY recovered from SXSW, I caught Sam Smith kicking off his U.S. tour at U St. Music Hall. From the instantaneous screaming from the crowd to Sam's dapper attire to his announcement that he'll be playing Saturday Night Live next week, Sam immediately demonstrated that he is an international start on an immediate and unstoppable rise.

The overwhelming excitement for Sam Smith is not without cause. He has an absolutely incredible voice and his upcoming album has a beautiful range of heartfelt ballads of unrequited love to more confident dance-ready numbers. The crowd was treated to some wonderful unreleased songs from his upcoming album In The Lonely Hour and I particularly enjoyed "Leave Your Lover." My only qualm with his new stuff was that there was one song that sounded like it should be in a musical, but it would be an awesome musical, so I'll let that rest.

My hands down favorite, however was his debut single "Money On My Mind." I admit that I've listened to the cover more than the original, but the original live was so much fun and such a great song to take over the charts (its already in #1 in the UK!)

I have to admit that given the lack of opener and evening show at U Hall last night, I wasn't expecting an encore. Thankfully, Sam came back to perform a stripped down version of "Lay Me Down" (the song that first made me realize his immense talent) that was another highlight.

So for all of you people out there who haven't heard of Sam yet -- get ready to hear more (my spidey senses and the sheer amount of screaming girls last night have a good feeling about this guy)! Check out more bands we're predicting to make it big here!

Next Up: Stacey is checking out Jake Clemons in Philly tonight!

{PLAYLIST} welcome spring!

We could not be happier that it is officially 100% spring now. If it was possible to hate winter any more than we do in a normal year, this year was a gazillion times worse... and so. much. snow. So instead of dwelling on the horrific winter that we just endured, we are fully turning our focus to spring.

We think that these are such lovely, happy songs -- and they are the perfect music to accompany all of the spring flowers as they grow!

Keep dreaming about warm weather with Spring Break Jams!

taking flight to warmer weather with olympic ayres

The warm Texas weather was just not enough for me last week so I'm hopping off to Florida for a long weekend full of family and fun! Thankfully, Olympic Ayres just came out with their incredibly fitting jam "Take Flight." It's got a sunny, carefree, top down vibe to perfectly soundtrack my trip.

Whether you're sunbathing or bathing in the glow of your Netflix this weekend, press play and enjoy!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

{THROWBACK} "motownphilly"

Arcade Fire was here in Philly the other day, and as part of their St. Patrick's Day show, they paid homage to the City of Brotherly Love with a cover of Boyz II Men's "Motownphilly." Everything about it is pretty much the best.

And of course, to make it a true throwback, the orig:

Those dance moves. And those outfits. I can't even.

{THROWBACK} "higher love"

We know and love James Vincent McMorrow for his subtle beats and sexy falsetto and on this Throwback Thursday, he's turning in his mellow beats for poppy synths as he covers Steve Winwood's 1986 jam "Higher Love."

Keep throwing back with the original jam from Steve Winwood, a noted TIOJ Throwback fave.

DC! JVM is playing at Sixth & I on April 8 and is not to be missed! Get tickets here.

{RECAP} sxsw 2014

In case you didn't notice from our interview series last week or the abundance of #sxsw all over TIOJ social media -- I was in Austin last week for South by Southwest Music 2014 last weekend! It was an incredible celebration of music, people who love music, and free shit and I want to do it all over again.

Unlike music festivals like Lollapalooza or Firefly, SXSW is a different setup with 2,000+ bands playing multiple shows over five days throughout Austin. (Consequently, I think it must be the place where the term FOMO was invented.) It's a bit of a sensory (and twitter feed) overload, but it gives you SO many options to discover lots of different musicians and types of music all while exploring one of the coolest cities in the country.

tioj's sxsw team: krista, phil, caleb, and john!
As a first timer, I have many lessons learned from this festival (like how absurd it is to think you can hit up 4 different showcases in 4 hours...whoops) that I could spend a whole post listing out, but let's get right down to business and talk about tacos MUSIC! (Seriously though...I had Salt Lick tacos within 5 minutes of deplaning at the Austin airport...)

Listen to all of the SXSW winners and more on Spotify!

Best All Around/Best Soundcheck/Least Likely To Support #BanBossy: Lizzo
When a female rapper soundchecks to the opening song from The Lion King, you know it's going to be a good show. I had listened, but not been struck by Lizzo's music prior to SXSW, but when John and I stumbled upon her set, I was struck alright. Lizzo performed one of the most energetic and bad ass sets I've ever seen. She had infectious energy, an aura of complete confidence, and killer back up singers/rappers/dancers. I enjoyed her set so much that we ended up seeing her again on Saturday where she played to a crowd of 10 people, first thing in the morning with just as much energy.

lizzo // how sad

Runner-Up/Overall Happiest: How Sad
I have never seen a lead singer as happy as Harris from Montreal's How Sad. From the very first song, the band's energy was infectious, dancing enthusiastic, and tambourine shaking exceptional. I wish I could bottle up that 30 minutes and save it for a rainy day.

Click ahead for more!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

{WE LOVE} royal teeth

If ever there was a upbeat and carefree band to usher in spring, Royal Teeth is it. They are so, simply put, happily adorable and are soon to be on TIOJ's regular rotation for warm weather songs. I would also very much like to hang out on their front porch and play with sparklers with them.

I have three additional pieces of wonderful news (a trifecta, if you will) for you Royal Teeth fans:
1. Royal Teeth will be performing on American Idol TOMORROW NIGHT! Tune in and watch!
2. Firefly-ers -- you have an opportunity to see these guys at the festival!!
3. Last but not least, head over to the Royal Teeth website for a free download of "Wild" (or visit Noisetrade for a three-song sampler!) -- and then strut around town listening to this song and willing warmer weather into our lives.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

{INTERVIEW} dale earnhardt jr. jr.

In anticipation of their upcoming show on Friday at the 9:30 Club, we took a minute to chat with Daniel Zott from the band with one of the wittiest names and catchiest tunes in the biz --  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.. Read ahead as we chat with Daniel about Iceland, Randy Newman, and their latest album. 

Listen while you read: 

Tell us about yourselves! How long have you been making music together?
​About four years. Josh and I were in separate bands in Detroit for fifteen years and then he called me up one day and asked if I'd make a song with him. After that, it just didn't stop.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before?
​Simon and Garfunkel with hip hop beats.

Photo by Frank Maddocks

What's your songwriting process like?
​It's different for every song. Sometimes we'll have a whole song already mapped out on acoustic. Sometimes we just have a hook. And sometimes we just have a beat that feels good and we go from there.

Click ahead for more from Daniel on tour experiences and the band's namesake!

joseph is my jam

I don't have a sister, nor am I musically talented whatsoever -- and I've never been to the Pacific Northwest... so basically, I have nothing in common with the uber-talented trio of sisters of Joseph. That is not keeping me from wishing I was as cool as these chicks, though. They're perfect for study music while still being upbeat enough to keep me awake and grooving. Added to the permanent paper-writing rotation.

Grab their music while you can on Noisetrade!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

i can't stop listening to misterwives...

I had so much fun seeing Misterwives a few months ago and recently, they've springing up everywhere and impressing the hell out of me.

The NYC trio recently participated in The Wild Honey Pie's "On The Mountain" series and their live performances have been my favorite thing to watch for the past week.

AND the band recently released a cover of Sam Smith's "Money On My Mind," which is particularly fitting as I'll be seeing him on Thursday!!


another kitchen tune from jack johnson

Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" is a mainstay on pretty much all of TIOJ's cuddling, cozy playlists (plus, banana pancakes are a quite wonderful breakfast option). Soon becoming a new regular is another mellow, kitchen-themed song from my favorite musical Hawaiian (not to be confused with my favorite baseball-playing Hawaiian, Shane Victorino) -- "Washing Dishes."

Friday, March 14, 2014

weekend thoughts...

It's the weekend once again, TIOJ! As Krista kicks ass and takes names down at SXSW, Stacey and I are going to hold down the fort in D.C. as we obsessively stalk Instagram to keep tabs on all of Krista's awesome Austin adventures!

Your Weekend Jam: Obsessed with latest jam from Chromeo -- hopefully Krista is on her way to see them at SXSW as we speak!

TIOJ Thoughts:

Skaters are inspiring us to go on a Pizza Crawl this weekend… (perhaps we’ll discuss our findings at their upcoming show!)

We want you to love Ezra Koenig as much as we do. Buzzfeed does too.

Band names are so fascinating -- and I love that All Songs Considered is encouraging you to come up with fake names. (It’s almost as good as the 2013 Coachella-inspired fake band names.)

Free! Our favorite DC producer Caleb L’Etoile just released his remix of Johnny Stimson’s “SO. GOOD.” and it totally lives up it’s name! Download for free on Soundcloud!

And in case you missed it: If you’re a fan of Miguel and/or Michael Jackson (because duh), check out Erik Hassle’s crazy sexy cool tunes -- you won’t be disappointed.

Plus! Check out the tales of Kristen and Susanne's epic stopover in Savannah!

And even more! TIOJ is giving away tickets to see so many of our most favorite artists in what is sure to be the best dance party of the spring. Win tickets to see Betty Who, Zak Waters, and Cardiknox now!!

{PLAYLIST} sxsw 2014

We're pretty sure that at this point, a day into her Austin trip, Krista has fully immersed herself in the world of tacos and music at the annual South by Southwest festival. While Kristen and I are so jealous of all the music she's going to see, we're not going to lie, just thinking about SXSW stresses us out, so we're glad to send her as our first emissary to the iconic festival. We must say, though, that after all of the recommendations from all of our SXSW interviewees, we are supremely envious of all the foodtacos she'll be eating though.

However. If we were at SXSW with Krista, we'd try our best to see the following acts:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

{THROWBACK} "forgot about dre"

Did you forget about Dre? Of course you didn't. Neither did Golden Pony who recently remixed the Dr. Dre classic, transforming it into a weekend-ready update to the original.

And, of course, Dr. Dre and Eminem in all of their 1999 glory...

{IF YOU LIKE} miguel, michael jackson

(via 1/2/3)
If you like the smooth vocals of Miguel or are dying for a jam that will have you snapping your fingers and moonwalking like only Michael Jackson can, then check out Erik Hassle. This Swede is living up to our love of Scandinavia with awesomely sexy and fun jams.

We can't stop listening to "Pathetic":

We're loving "Talk About It" too!

Check out Erik's entire EP on Spotify!

{GIVEAWAY} betty who, zak waters, cardiknox @ rock & roll hotel

We have the BEST news for you guys -- we're giving away tickets to see Betty Who, Zak Waters, and Cardiknox at Rock & Roll Hotel next Sunday, March 23!! Speaking from personal experience, this show featuring some of our long-term favorites is a dance party that you definitely don't want to miss. Plus, we have it on good authority that Wes from Kick Kick Snare will be celebrating his birthday at this show, which is even more reason to dance on over.

Take a listen to these TIOJ favorites and once you start dancing at your desk, enter via the Rafflecopter below!

Enter to win two tickets below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you just can't wait, you can also buy tickets here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

{RECAP} savannah stopover

Let me preface this recap by saying that even though this was the first time TIOJ headed south for the Savannah Stopover I can't imagine that it will be the last because we had So. Much. Fun. Friend of TIOJ Susanne and I drank, ate, swayed, danced, walked, jammed, and laughed through the Spanish Moss-strewn Savannah streets, met some new friends who felt like old friends, brunched with some artists (natch!) and generally had such a wonderful little sojourn from chilly D.C. It was truly hard to pick our favorite (and not-so favorite) moments, but we did our damnedest:

Listen while you read!

Most Disappointing: Wye Oak
It might have been just us (hint: it wasn't) but we were bored by Wye Oak's set and our money is on the fact that even Wye Oak was bored by Wye Oak's set. Such a somber, apathetic set was a less than optimal way to start our festival experience down in Savannah, especially considering how excited we were to see this band perform live finally.

Best All-Around: St. Paul and the Broken Bones 
Imagine our surprise when Susanne and I were chatting with some charming Southern characters (and a Canadian) at dinner one night and found out that they were none other than St. Paul and the Broken Bones--the very artists we were about to watch later in the night. These boys killed it and set the bar so so high that no other festival performers could surpass them in our hearts. St. Paul has swagger.

those shoes, that pocket square, that voice. st. paul is so great.

Most Likely To Make You Put Your Hands In The Air: Pitchblak Brass Band 
I've seen Drumline a thousand times, so I shouldn't be so shocked that I was completely, utterly under Pitchblak's spell. I'm a sucker for some trombones, okay? Throw in a tuba and some trumpets and I'm gone. I wish I could bottle the vibe of their show and carry it around with me in my pocket for whenever I needed a pick-me-up.

Most Rejuvenating: Wild Child As happens with most festivals, there comes a moment when your belly is fully of beer, you feet hurt, your ears ring, and you just can't, for one more moment, soldier on. This moment for us mercifully happened during the Wild Child set--the serene singing from these face-painted Austinites soothed us, rejuvenated us, and provided the perfect setting to chill out in the mild Savannah sun at a picturesque brewery. No complaints here.


Shyest: Pile
Much to our photographer friend's chagrin, the Pile frontman was solidly stage right the whole show and the bass player who was center stage had his back to the audience the ENTIRE set. Admittedly, Pile's sound and style is not our jam but we still would have liked a better view of the front man and to see some performance from the bassist.

So Great We Had To See Him Twice: Christopher Paul Stelling
We were planning on taking a nap on Friday afternoon to recover from our enthusiastic start to the festival Thursday night but ended up stumbling (literally--we were already a couple of Lagunitas' in) to Abe's for Christopher Paul Stelling's first set of the weekend. We were blown away. It's tough for a solo act to bring the same energy to a performance as a full band but CPS' stellar voice conveyed the raw emotion of his songs in a seriously impressive way. His guitar skills didn't hurt either. We enjoyed it so much that we made sure to get to his next show on Saturday early to score a front row spot.


Best End to the Weekend: Spirit Animal
Obviously, we're inclined to be a fan of Spirit Animal frontman Steve Cooper since he's a DC native but he really is an amazing and captivating performer. This guy is seriously fun to watch. Cooper doesn't overshadow the other band members (who are also great performers) but he's definitely the one amping up the energy. Wanting to leave on a high note and knowing Peelander-Z isn't our style, we made our exit, grabbed to-go cups and found some late-night pizza to go with our beer.

Other Bands We Saw Who Were Awesome: River Whyless, Future Islands, Bear Hands, this mountain, Good Graeff, Hurray for the Riff Raff

Sad We Missed: Public Service Broadcasting, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Caitlin Rose, Matrimony

We're still recovering, but we are already counting the days 'til next time. Join us next year, won't you?

{WE LOVE} podcasts

I have recently become obsessed with podcasts. It started as something to do on long drives and has quickly become something I turn to whenever I have to hop on metro or do tedious tasks at work. I recognize that I'm a bit late to the podcast game, but I wanted to round up some of my most favorite podcasts and episodes I've been enjoying lately.

Song Exploder
This podcast is actually new and, as a music blogger, I would be remiss not to mention and love it. The theme behind this quick 10 minute podcast is to offer direct insight into how a musician makes a song. From the first inspirational drum beats, to developing the lyrics, to collaborating with others, this podcast is incredibly enlightening. The first episode features The Postal Service breaking down "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight."

I really enjoyed Baths discussing the creative ways he put together the beats in "Miasma Sky" -- who knew a can of lima beans could sound so good??

Click ahead for the rest of my podcast picks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

{INTERVIEW} boy & bear

TIOJ recently had the chance to catch up with Jon Hart, the banjo/mandolin/keyboard player from Australian band Boy & Bear. Read ahead as we talk with Jon about the history of their band, SXSW, and their upcoming world tour.

Listen while you read!

Tell us about yourselves! How long have you been making music together? 
We got together in 2009, and then we’ve kind of been touring since then. We came together gradually, it was like, between the five of us, like four different [bands] that played at university together, then some different shared bills. Then eventually [we] were like, “Um, maybe we should work with each other.” We came around our lead singer’s solo project, and it was one at a time. Eventually I was the last one, and there were five of us, and we’ve been together since!

photo by luke kelley
What's the story behind the name Boy & Bear? 
Unfortunately, I don’t have a very good answer for that! When we were all getting together, we had a song but we didn’t actually have a name yet, and so our guitar player Dave said, “I’ve heard about these band name generators.” So he put in a few words, I think, like, animal words, and it spat out a whole bunch of different options. He put a couple of them together and we voted on them, and Boy & Bear is the one that came out from the short list. There’s no actual meaning behind it from us. I wish we had a better story!

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before? 
I find that sort of question tough. Hopefully, we sound like the stuff we listened to growing up with our parents, which is stuff like Fleetwood Mac and Simon and Garfunkel and America, and kind of classic ‘60s and ‘70s pop bands like that, but then we’re newer and a bit more modern, so I guess it’s our take on history’s classic [folk pop rock].

Click ahead for more from Jon, including thoughts on SXSW and the story behind the band's tagline.

can you guess these singers??

We've got a music challenge for you -- listen to these two incredibly beautiful songs and music videos and see if you can picture the singer. Then, click ahead to watch them performed might be surprised what you find.

Asaf Avidan - "Different Pulses"

Rhye - "Open"

Click ahead to see these songs performed live and see if the musicians are what you pictured.

Monday, March 10, 2014

lorde + son lux...yes please!

I mentioned in a recent recap of Son Lux's show in DC that Lorde is a fan of his work. Today, the music gods have smiled upon us with an awesome recording of Lorde featured on Son Lux's magnificent jam "Easy."

Get ready to swoon to Lorde's vocals coupled with some major electronic and trombone (?) goodness.

via Pigeons & Planes

{SXSW} lily kershaw

To prepare for our inaugural year at South by Southwest, we've pestered our favorite blogs and bands to ask them about the festival and some other random questions of our choosing. Today, we've got Lily Kershaw sharing her taco recomendations and dream of forming a ginger band with Ed Sheeran. (For the record, we fully support this.)

Are you a SXSW virgin?
I most certainly am a SXSW virgin & proud of it! There's only one first time so I'm going to make the most of it.

What band/bands do you most want to see while you’re there?
I'm looking forward to seeing Chain Gang of 1974. It's a friend I haven't seen in a bit named Kamtin Mohager's band. Last time I saw him play live was a couple years ago and he was electric! Also I am super excited to see a few of my fellow Nettwerk artists play at the Nettwerk party.

Click ahead for the rest of Lily's answers!

{RECAP} u.s. royalty

On Thursday night, I had an incredible experience hanging out at the W Hotel for the second installment of their new “In Bed With” series, featuring DC rockers U.S. Royalty. The new series, which features an interview with the band in a W Hotel suite followed by a short acoustic performance, is an incredible concept. I’m a sucker for small, intimate performances and this event, paired with the endless supply of DC Brau and a smorgasbord of cheese, proved to be my happy place.

sink beers // a "fireside" chat with U.S. Royalty
The interview with the band, led by BYT founder Svetlana Legetic, was relaxed an insightful. The band shared their thoughts on being based in DC, releasing their new record on vinyl, and how they keep their rock and roll hair so luxurious (hint: Moroccan oil and dry shampoo are mainstays in their hair care routines). The band then performed three songs off their recently released album Blue Sunshine in the suite, including my new favorite "Valley Of The Sun," followed by a performance on the famous W Hotel rooftop.

Be sure to keep your ears perked up for future shows like this at the W and in the meantime, rock out to U.S. Royalty’s new album on Spotify!

Next Up: Com Truise at DC9 on Wednesday!!

pawnshop kings are my jam

Now that I live in Philadelphia, I find myself embracing my Virginian roots by saying "y'all" a little more than I used to. Americana music is taking over more and more of my regular playlists. And every time it snows (so approximately twice a week), I think that I should really just pack up and move south.

The PawnShop Kings are another thing that's luring me south. Even though these guys hail from California, they have such a rollicking and southern vibe that makes me want to drive with my windows rolled down and the radio up.

Case in point -- "Love Like Jesus":

Sunday, March 9, 2014

{WATCH} passion pit: hello everywhere

As we begin to get stupid excited for SXSW next weekend, this documentary following Passion Pit and Wildcat! Wildcat! on their journey and performances at SXSW last year is just the thing to help us get mentally prepared!

Friday, March 7, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, TIOJ! We're living vicariously through Kristen this weekend as she's taking in the sights and, more importantly, the sounds, of the Savannah Stopover festival. Be sure to check out our playlist essentially summing up how jealous we are of her, and stay tuned to Instagram to keep tabs on her adventures!

Your Weekend Jam: Tove Lo is high on our list of SXSW showcasing artists and her latest jam, “Not On Drugs,” is only confirming our obsession.

TIOJ Thoughts:

A Clueless remake for the latest Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX’s video.

John Travolta definitely butchered Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscars last week… here’s a look at how he would pronounce some other Hollywood names.

The sorority girl in us loves Rolling Stone's list of the 20 frattiest bands.

According to NPR, 5% of people have no emotions or feelings when they listen to music. Who are these robots??

Free! Slow Club is proving how wonderful they are by giving away a free download of their beautiful song “Tears of Joy” over on their website.

And in case you missed it: Krista starting prepping for Austin and South by Southwest with a series of interviews from blogs and bands also headed down to Austin, including The Wild Honey Pie, Sol CatMother Falcon, Indie Shuffle, and Ron Pope!

{SXSW} ron pope

To prepare for our inaugural year at South by Southwest, we've pestered our favorite blogs and bands to ask them about the festival and some other random questions of our choosing. Today, we've got Ron Pope sharing his formative first concert experience and extolling the cuisine of Austin's Salt Lick.

Are you a SXSW virgin? 
Yes! Usually, we're on tour somewhere else when it's time for SX so we're all incredibly excited to come down and get involved this year.

What band/bands do you most want to see while you’re there?
I'd love to see London Grammar but I don't know if I'll be in town yet when they play!

Who would play you in the movie version of your life? 
Jennifer Lawrence, obviously.

Click ahead for the rest of Ron's answers!!

{PLAYLIST} savannah stopover jams

TIOJ's festival season is officially underway, and Kristen has jetted off to the most lovely town of Savannah to kick everything off. Krista and Stacey are so supremely jealous for so many reasons, including but not limited to the plethora of awesome bands she will see, the charm of Savannah (what can we say, we're suckers for old historic cities... we went to college in Williamsburg, what about it?), and the memory of the most epic spring break road trip (holler 2010).


If we were lucky enough to be in Savannah with Kristen this weekend, these are the bands that we'd try our darnedest to see:

Make sure to follow TIOJ on Instagram to track all of Kristen's adventures in Georgia this weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

{SXSW} indie shuffle

To prepare for our inaugural year at South by Southwest, we've pestered our favorite blogs and bands to ask them about the festival and some other random questions of our choosing.  Today, we've got Jason from Indie Shuffle, who shared his pick of bands to check out and decided which SXSW band he would most want to be in.

What up-and-coming bands should we have on our radar for SXSW this year?
Jungle, Chet Faker, Banks and NONONO are probably good picks.

Who has been a standout performer in your past years at SXSW?
I've attended the last three SXSW events, and I'd have to say that Diplo playing to a small audience of ~75 at the Virgin Mobile tent in 2013 was particularly memorable. Also really dug Friendly Fires playing in 2011 (if I recall right).

Where’s the best place to eat during SXSW?
The food carts on the East side.

Where’s the best place to find free beer?
I tend to be a huge fan of the whiskey medleys that float around at various events. It's Texas and typically quite warm -- nothing like a drink with ice in it. That said, the best spots tend to vary day-to-day and year-to-year. It's all about keeping your ears perked for good tips

Click ahead for more from Jason!

{THROWBACK} "she's like the wind"

I love covers so much that I sometimes will them to be there when they're just not. Such was the case when I clicked on NONONO's "Like The Wind." I was praying that it would be a cover of Patrick Swayze's classic and, while it was awesome, there was no hint of the '80s brilliance in their single.

So, let's take a moment to relive this classic and perhaps add Dirty Dancing to our Netflix queues.

Related: PBR + Patrick Swayze

{THROWBACK} "true to your heart"

I was channel surfing the other night when I happened upon Mulan -- and I stopped right there. I had stumbled onto this gem of gems during "A Girl Worth Fighting For," and I of course watched through to the end. At which point I remembered that the credits are a masterpiece combination of 98 Degrees and Stevie Wonder singing "True to Your Heart."

Probably not a surprise to anyone, but I had the soundtrack to this movie and listened to it on my Discman on the reg. I miss those days.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

{WE LOVE} soul pancake

Thanks to Kid President’s series and this video about expressing gratitude, I’ve become a huge fan of Soul Pancake’s YouTube channel run by The Office star Rainn Wilson. I’ve particularly been enjoying the Metaphysical Milkshake series in which Rainn lures people into his magic van and chats about music, life, religion, and all sorts of other interesting things. The series does a great job of exposing a lot about musicians beyond just music, allowing the reader to self-reflect on some of the intriguing questions Rainn asks.

Here are some of my most favorite episodes featuring some impossibly interesting musicians.

Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe frontman and now Golden Globe winner!):

Click ahead for more featuring Arcade Fire and more!

{SXSW} mother falcon

To prepare for our inaugural year at South by Southwest, we've pestered our favorite blogs and bands to ask them about the festival and some other random questions of our choosing. Today, we've got Evan Kaspar, the pedal steel player from Austin's own super band Mother Falcon. Read ahead as Evan shares secrets on the best coffee shops in Austin and makes us crave tacos...

Are you a SXSW virgin?
As an Austin native, SXSW has been a way of life for as long as I can remember. As a band, we've played the past five years.

What band/bands do you most want to see while you’re there?
Playing around ten gigs with Mother Falcon, and also working as a sound engineer throughout the festival, I won't have much free time at all to see any shows. I would definitely check out the bands Milezo and Hikes (our friends bands that were just accepted as official SXSW acts). I am, however, going to try to attend Neil Young's presentation on Pono.

How many hours do you plan to sleep each night?
Hopefully 6, probably 4.

Click ahead for more eating and packing tips from Evan!


NEEDTOBREATHE has been a staple on TIOJ's playlists for quite a while, but it's high time that we feature them in all of their glory. These South Carolinians are in the midst of announcing a pretty baller tour that will take them all over the country this spring/summer (although no stops in DC yet!! Get on that, boys!), and in celebration of that, they've just released some tunes from their 2012 Austin City Limits performance over on Noisetrade.

Plus their lead singer is named Bear. Which is an automatic plus, and just one of many reasons to love them.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

{SXSW} sol cat

To prepare for our inaugural year at South by Southwest, we've pestered our favorite blogs and bands to ask them about the festival and some other random questions of our choosing. Today, we've got the gang from Nashville's Sol Cat sharing about their love of tacos as sleep schedules for SXSW. 

Are you a SXSW virgin?
Negative. Not our first rodeo, but I'm not saying we're pros either.

What band/bands do you most want to see while you’re there?
I think we stopped trying to plan to see anyone. The week is so hectic, if you stumble across something pleasant that you enjoy that's a nice surprise. We'll try to catch some of our amigos from town.

What are you most excited to eat in Austin?

Click ahead for the rest of the band's answers!

"get better" with bleachers

Bleachers is the newest project from Jack Antonoff who you may recognize as the guitarist from Fun. or, more likely, as Lena Dunham's bespectacled boyfriend. The band's first single "I Wanna Get Better" is impossible not to love with its indie pop catchiness, honest lyrics, and hint of Freddy Mercury-ness.

We'll certainly be keeping our ears open for new music and eyes peeled for Bleachers at SXSW and Firefly this summer!

Monday, March 3, 2014

{SXSW} the wild honey pie

To prepare for our inaugural year at South by Southwest, we've pestered our favorite blogs and bands to ask them about the festival and some other random questions of our choosing. Today, we've got Eric from music blog The Wild Honey Pie to share his SXSW tips and slow dancing memories with us. 

What up-and-coming bands should we have on our radar for SXSW this year?
Oh man, there are too many! How Sad and MisterWives are definitely at the top of our list, though.

Who has been a standout performer in your past years at SXSW?
I've had so many great experiences over my past four years at SXSW. The Barr Brothers, Kishi Bashi, Lucius, HAIM, Vampire Weekend, Andrew Bird, The Eastern Sea, and Mikhael Paskalev top my list of favorites.

Click ahead for the rest of Eric's tips!

{RECAP} ayo awosika, caroline smith

Last Thursday night I ventured out of the comforts of U St. and made my way to Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA with some of my favorite Northern VA residents to see Ayo Awosika and Caroline Smith. These two ladies definitely made the drive out there more than worth it.

Virginia native turned NYC resident Ayo Awosika kicked off the show with a commanding stage presence and captivating vocals. She played songs off her forthcoming album and her heartfelt lyrics paired with her adorable stage banter, quickly had us singing her praises. She had some commercial-ready pop songs, but our favorites were the story telling ballads that would sound so magical accompanied by John Legend on the piano. (We’re working on making this happen…)

Be sure to keep your ears out for more from this talented singer!

Following Ayo was our recent TIOJ interviewee, Caroline Smith. Caroline came out in an awesome flannel combo, that would have made our fashion blogger friends proud and was complimented by not only a full band, but two fabulous backup singers. She went right into “The One Thing” for the ladies and then quickly into the ever so fitting “Buy Me Something” for the gents in the room.

Her entire performance was flawless as she performed her recent album Half About Being A Woman while peppering in some of her old tunes and an incredible cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” during her song “Bloodstyle” (complete with a lyric change to “put that dick up on a pedestal" -- I died). Plus, her band completely complimented her music. It’s not often that you see backup singers at shows and Caroline’s backup singers were amazing and a huge added value to her live show.

It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite song from her set. Her performance was confident, fun, sexy, and engaging and I would see her again in a heartbeat. Plus, she ended the night with an encore performance of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby”– if that’s not the best way to end a show, I don’t know what is.

Listen to Caroline’s full album on Spotify and check out more upcoming tour dates here!

Next Up: Yellow Ostrich (if this snow doesn't stop them...) at DC9 tonight!

bruce covering lorde?? yes please.

Bruce Springsteen has been taking Australia and New Zealand by storm in recent weeks, and while he's been down under, he has been opening his shows with some pretty good covers (my dad sends me youtube videos of them about three times a week).

This weekend, though. Bruce took his covering to a whole new level by performing Lorde's "Royals." I guess even the Boss is into the Grammy winner and the world's most recent darling (is that word applicable to someone who looks as creepy as Lorde does?). If you ask me, Bruce on an acoustic guitar and a harmonica is just what this song needs.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

a sultry cover for your sunday from the 1975

Leave it to The 1975 to transform recent desk-dancing weekend jam "Rather Be" from Clean Bandit into a slow, sexy number. I mean, they intro their performance with a saxophone. I die.

Fingers crossed I a) find The 1975 while at SXSW and b) get to see this cover performed live.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

{WATCH} "pussy riot: a punk prayer"

Now that the Olympics are over and Sochi is no longer constantly on TV, we've turned our Soviet focus onto Pussy Riot. I have to admit that I knew little about the 2012 Pussy Riot scandal in Russia besides jokes on The Daily Show and this recent entertaining interview on The Colbert Report. This HBO documentary, however, has cleared up my understanding of the situation in an incredibly interesting film that documents the band's formation and following imprisonment.

In addition to the background on Pussy Riot's music and movement, the documentary offers insight into the Russian culture and court system. I highly recommend taking an hour out of your Saturday to watch this film.


You can catch the documentary on HBO Go!
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