Saturday, May 31, 2014

{PLAYLIST} best of may 2014

As we wrap up the end of spring with the lovely month of May, we're thinking back over yet another jam-packed month. Naturally, TIOJ kept very busy this month as we celebrated our third birthday and set off into our fourth year of existence. In May, we:
And in May, Krista, Kristen, and Stacey were listening to:

"Q&A" - Kishi Bashi
Kishi Bashi's new album has is my everything and this song never fails to bring a smile to my face.
"Chandelier" - Sia
This video is stunning, this song is awe-inspiring.
"Friends, Lover, Ex-Lovers: Whatever" - SUSTO 
I just can't get over this song title.
"Water Fountain" - tUnE-yArDs
So glad tUnE-yArDs came back in such a ridiculously happy fashion. I could listen to this song forever.
"Margarita" - Sleepy Brown feat. Pharrell and Big Boi
Margaritas and I don't get along, but I'm willing to reconcile if it means more of this song in my life.
"Where It's At" - Dustin Lynch 
Your incorrect grammar wins, Mr. Lynch. I cede.
"1998" - Chet Faker
All my dreams came true seeing Chet Faker live and this song was an up-beat favorite.
"Glory" - Wye Oak
How can you not love this?
"Throwing Stones" - Nick D and the Believers 
This upbeat tune was the perfect thing to get me through finals season.
"Play" - Fickle Friends
These poppy Brits are going to soundtrack my entire summer and I couldn't be happier.
"Dear John" - Zak Waters
TIOJ fave Zak Waters is being his charming self.
"Rollin'" - Current Swell 
This song. This music video.
"Hot Tonight" - Tokyo Police Club
This song is so perfect for summer (even if the Canadians of TPC did insinuate burning down The White House before performing this live...)
"Come to My Party" - Black Joe Lewis
Any party with BJL is where I want to be.
"This Is How We Roll" - Florida Georgia Line
Saying it now: this may officially be my song of the summer.

{WATCH} washed out "exploring the sounds of 'paracosm'"

To get excited for Washed Out's upcoming show at the 9:30 Club, we're sharing this wonderful video from the Creator's Project. The video series follows lead singer Ernest Greene as he explains the making of his latest release Paracosm and the interesting musical choices he made in the production of this album.

Loving what you're hearing? Check out Washed Out on June 5 -- buy tickets here!

Props to Caleb for the find!

Friday, May 30, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, TIOJ! Whether you're headed to get drunk in the woods, flocking to a beach, or sticking around DC, it's bound to be a beautiful weekend.

Your Weekend Jam: Misun producer (and a former DC-er) Nacey KILLS IT with his latest track featuring heavy hitter Angel Haze. Enjoy!

TIOJ Thoughts:

Of course the Hanson brothers are naming their first beer “Mmmhops”...

Rolling Stone brings us “The Everything Index” by Father John Misty. Need I say more?

A fascinating article on how concerts became spectacles.

As another summer in DC begins, so does the endless influx of interns doing stupid things.

Move over, Macaulay: We've got Gossling wearing Gosling wearing Gossling.

Free! The fabulous Australian singer Courtney Barnett is offering up her entire live session at World Cafe Live over on Noisetrade!

DC Happenings: Sticking around DC this weekend?? Then head to DCist’s FREE show at The Lot next to Union Kitchen!

And! Local bands The Walking Sticks, Drop Electric, and Raised by Wolves are jamming at the Howard Theatre tonight. Go listen (and grab a beer at Right Proper before!)!

And in case you missed it: There are just a few hours left to enter our giveaway to see Cayucas on June 9 at Rock & Roll Hotel! Get clicking!!

dear zak

It's no secret that the ladies of TIOJ believe Zak Waters can do no wrong. So when Zak croons "I'm a good man/ and a damn good man at heart" we believe him wholeheartedly. "Dear John" is so fun and will be the perfect addition to the beach week playlist I've been painstakingly crafting for weeks now in preparation for my August vacation (too soon?).

{PLAYLIST} drunk in the woods

Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, we have plenty of summer weekends ahead of us -- which also means weekends away from the city. And although we at TIOJ have mixed feelings about camping, we do agree that, thanks to the brilliant witticisms and lyrics of Walk the Moon, it should always and without a doubt instead be referred to as drunk in the woods.

So, if you are headed off to the woods this weekend (or if you're preparing to camp at any music festivals this summer!), file this playlist away for anytime you're drunk in the woods.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

{THROWBACK} o-town

Alright, it's been over three years that we've been writing this blog and on this throwback of Thursdays, I have a confession to make. I was obsessed with O-Town back in the day. Like, my AIM screen name was kkotownfan and I had picture of Dan Miller on my bookshelf. It may not be the proudest moment of my childhood, but I loved the band and I love looking back at innocent little Krista who had no conception of the inappropriateness of the bands first single "Liquid Dreams." She was a darling girl.

I've chosen to finally make this confession since O-Town has recently reunited (minus everyone's blonde-haired favorite Ashley Parker Angel) and is actually putting out new music. My grown-up self cannot quite reconcile this reunion just yet, but the little bit of nerdy and naive teenage girl left inside of me swooned a little upon hearing Dan Miller's voice at the beginning of their new single "Skydive."

And because this is Throwback Thursday after all, it's only right that we listen to the one O-Town song that spoke to my glasses-wearing, braces-wearing, bangs-growing-out soul back in the day -- "Shy Girl."

What are your thoughts on this reunion? HELP ME process this please!

{THROWBACK} "always be my baby"

I'm not really sure what I think about Mariah Carey. I saw her on The Today Show a few weeks ago and I didn't hate her -- but I didn't love her either. This has more or less been my view of her since middle school, but I must say, I do quite enjoy  Suri of Suri's Burn Book commentary on the Carey/Cannon crew.

Still, I must admit -- "Always Be My Baby" is quite the throwback classic.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

hozier's tiny desk concert is giving me all the feelings

Guys. I'm having one of those weeks. Those weeks where I'm feeling all the feelings and that is the only way I can describe it. Unfortunately, all the feelings have proven to be difficult to soundtrack and I've been virtually music-less the past few days until I discovered this recent Tiny Desk Concert from Hozier.

His raw, gorgeous voice is quite literally soothing my soul -- especially his "Aaaaaa-men" during "Take Me To Church." You must take a listen:

superfruit is my jam

Holy Miley mashup, this will make your day. Superfruit, who are also 2/5 of The Sing-Off winners Pentatonix, will take you on an a cappella journey through Miley Cyrus' musical career, and it is nothing short of wonderful. From the Hannah Montana days to her current state of never giving a flying eff, these guys have captured it all.

fickle friends are my jam

If you happened to miss the summer perfection that is "Swim" by Fickle Friends on our playlist last week, never fear! I love this song and this new band so much that I need to dedicate an entire post to them.

The five-piece from Brighton only has a few tunes out, but they're all cold-popsicle-on-a-hot-day good and I can't get enough. Their bright tunes and cheery aesthetic are reminiscent of other favorite British popsters Mausi and, between these two bands, we have our summer playlist already set.

Besides "Swim," I can't get enough of "Play." (Anyone else hear Passion Pit's "Mirrored Sea" (I think?) in those first few seconds or is it just me?)

Enjoy the lazier, sexier "Saving Sound" live:

Jam to more Fickle Friends on YouTube!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

{GIVEAWAY} cayucas @ rock & roll hotel

Cauycas may be the most perfect, summery band ever to be in existence. Their easy, chill vibe is ideal for lounging anywhere outside and near water, whether you choose a pool, beach, or lake. They are definitely a staple on all of our summer playlists.

To celebrate it finally being summer, we're giving away two tickets to see these fellas at Rock & Roll Hotel on June 9!! Enter to win below -- you have until Friday night! (And if you just can't wait to find out if you've won, you can always buy your tickets here.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 24, 2014

{WATCH} "20 feet from stardom"

People. If you do one thing this weekend, it should be watching 20 Feet From Stardom. This amazing documentary follows the lives and histories of back-up singers and they journeys and showcase their immense talent.

The film is enlightening as you realize the mark that just a handful of singers had on so many iconic songs. From Frank Sinatra to Ray Charles to The Rolling Stones, these singers are what make the songs that we've known since we were little children the iconic songs they are today. This film is most definitely the best I've seen in a while.

Catch the Oscar-winning documentary on Netflix!

Friday, May 23, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy Friday, sunshines! It's going to be a fabulous three-day Memorial Day weekend so we have fun last minute thoughts to share before you go off sailing into the sun this weekend!

Your Weekend Jam: Beyonce’s extremely catchy and extremely dirty “Blow” got remixed by Monsieur Adi and is a great start to your weekend (just maybe keep the headphones on when you’re listening at your desk).

TIOJ Thoughts:

TLC wants to know -- are you a scrub

An oral history of the 9:30 Club - the “nucleus of the DC music community.”

As if Sia could get any cooler, she hit up the Ellen show and showed how baller she is with a live recreation of her “Chandelier” video...

I have much more respect for Mariah Carey after this infographic of vocal ranges of the world's greatest singers.

Free! The only thing better than Zak Waters putting his own spin on Breakbot's "Baby I'm Yours" is that it's available to download for free!!

More Free! Speaking of Sia's "Chandelier" -- download BASECAMP's remix of the jam for free!

DC Happenings: John Legend and Lindsay Stirling (along with many others!) are performing for free at the Kennedy Center on Wednesday night! Get there early to snag your tickets.

And in case you missed it: If you like Nicki Minaj or ScHoolboy Q, then put Lizzo on your radar!

{PLAYLIST} let summer begin (part ii)!!

Memorial Day, Memorial Day! It's one of the best long weekends of the year, because we're officially welcoming summer into our hearts and lives. As we prepare for the onslaught of humidity and 95 degree days (bring it, summer), we are also preparing for endless days of poolside lounging, driving with the windows down, and sundress/sunglasses combos that will surely make us forget that heinous polar vortex.

Let summer begin!

For more and more summer jams, check out Memorial Day playlists from 2013 and 2012, plus springtime jamslazy summer jams, poolside jams, and sunny songs!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

{IF YOU LIKE} nicki minaj, schoolboy q

(via 1/2/3)
If you like the quick-witted girl power raps from Nicki Minaj or the confident, new age hip hop by rappers like Schoolboy Q, then you have to check out Lizzo. This rapper out of Minneapolis completely captured our attention (twice!) at SXSW and we have high hopes for her to make her mark on the thriving hip hop scene.

Her first single "Batches & Cookies" is so catchy and had so much energy when we witnessed it live!

The title of her latest release aptly sums up how we feel about her work.

Listen to her full album LIZZOBANGERS on Spotify and keep your eyes open for the next time she's rolling through your town -- she's A-MAZE live!

{THROWBACK} "my love is your love"

Whitney Houston is a goddess in the eyes of TIOJ so you can imagine our excitement to hear a sample of that incredibly recognizable voice in Duke Dumont's latest jam "I Got U." His version expertly complements the original and we foresee lots of windows down dancing in the car moments to this song.

And here's the original featuring an appearance from a tiny Bobbi Kristina Brown.

{THROWBACK} "careless whisper"

Once a baseball player is a member of the Red Sox, he will almost always have a special place in my heart (unless, of course, he is a money-chaser who goes and signs with the Yankees. Johnny Damon.). Josh Reddick was only on my beloved Sox for a few seasons, but he's thriving in Oakland -- and he now has one of, if not the, best walk-up music in all of Major League Baseball: Wham!'s "Careless Whisper."

Behold the saxophone.

Don't you worry about this being a passing trend -- if Josh decides "Careless Whisper" is not the Wham! song for him, he has a bunch of others lined up and ready to go.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

{WE LOVE} tUne-yArDs

Guys. I cannot stop listening to tUne-yArDs. The creativity, interesting percussion, and spirit of the band's music is just what I've need lately. No lie, I went on an entire run the other day only listening to "Water Fountain" -- that ish is catchy.

(All Songs Considered noted the similarity to Pee Wee's Playhouse in this video. We love it.)

I also really enjoyed this interview with lead singer Merrill Garbus as she talks about the bands new album nikki nack. In particular, I was so excited to hear more about how Haitian drums and dance influenced this album. It's completely evident in this album and certainly sets it apart from any other music out there night now.

Listen to nikki nack on Spotify!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

chvrches tiny desk concert

Because we like you all, and we know you love Chvrches -- behold their performance at Bob Boilen's Tiny Desk for NPR:

This live performance is astounding and Lauren Mayberry is charming as she asks if she's allowed to swear before performing "The Mother We Share." (Don't worry, she's allowed to.)

"come alive" vs. "come alive"

It's high time we played another game of compare and contrast. Today, we're checking out Chromeo's "Come Alive" versus Rachel Taylor's similarly titled jam.

Unsurprisingly, Chromeo's version is made for dancing. With an awesome feature from Toro y Moi's Chaz Bundick and his falsetto, this song gets your head bopping and lends itself nicely to this fantastical music video full of mannequins and his Dave 1's sexy strut.

In contrast, singer songwriter Rachel Taylor's "Come Alive" lacks the electronic, music hall quality of Chromeo's version. However, she's able to capitavte the listener with her beautiful voice and a song that starts slowly, but builds beautifully. Almost as if the song is... coming alive. (Sorry -- had to do it).

Which song has you coming today?

Monday, May 19, 2014

motivational monday with lupe fiasco

One of our favorite Chicago rappers Lupe Fiasco is back with an inspiring song to put things in perspective as you kick off this week. Lupe received a lot of praise for his astute (and catchy) commentary on the portrayal of females in hip hop with "Bitch Bad." Lupe continues to make music with a purpose with his latest jam "Mission," which discusses battling cancer. With live commentary by cancer survivors and and themes of resilience, Lupe again is able to spark a conversation about something constructive that needs to be discussed and dissolved.

{GIVEAWAY} washed out @ 9:30 club

Happy Monday! We can think of no better way to start the week than with a giveaway, so, lucky for you, we're giving away a pair of ticket to see Washed Out at the 9:30 Club on June 5!

If you're not familiar with Washed Out (or have never heard the intro song to Portlandia), then you must check out the perfect-for-summer chillwave tunes of Ernest Greene and his band. We've really enjoyed his latest release Paracosm and their live show is not to be missed.

Enter via Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 18, 2014

{RECAP} chet faker

On Thursday night, I popped over to U Street Music Hall to catch my ultimate music crush Chet Faker. I was so excited to check out the electronic R&B music from this bearded Australian and he did not disappoint.

Chet performed up on the stage without a supporting band and proceeded to get the packed crowd at U Hall real sweaty, succeeding in his professed goal of "making that guy in the suit and tie move." He played songs of his fabulous first record Built on Glass, showcasing the supreme sexiness of his music with songs like the impossibly good "1998."

Going into the show, I knew he would play some amazingly sexy tunes, but I was not prepared for his electronic music skills and charming wit. He took a moment halfway through the show to discuss the importance of live music in this age of DJs just pressing play and dancing on stage, encouraging the crowd to "please enjoy my fuck ups" before spinning an awesome (and seemingly flawless) three minute electronic song.

The crowd died over his breakout cover of "No Diggity" and I almost cried during his final and beautiful performance of "To Me."

Next Up: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart at Rock & Roll Hotel on Wednesday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

{WATCH} jamie xx "sleep sound"

Ready for something beautiful and remarkable to start your weekend? Then look no further than the latest video from Jamie xx (of The xx). The video for Jamie's latest jam "Sleep Sound" features deaf dancers reacting to the vibrations given off by the song and the movements of the director.

The result is a poignant expression of music. Plus, "Sleep Sound" is an amazing R&B-tinged jam that takes on a life of its own thanks to this video. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

{RECAP} geographer, tokyo police club

On Tuesday night, Jurg and I caught a long overdue show at the Black Cat. San Francisco's Geographer kicked off the night. While I was distracted at first by the lead singer's hair and the fact that the rest of the (seated) band were hidden from my vantage point, I immediately snapped back to my musical senses with their lovely tunes. Geographer has the electronic head bopping vibe of newer string-supported jams from Ra Ra Riot with the powerful vocals, meaningful lyrics, and creative arrangement of Local Natives.

While the atmosphere wasn't quite as hyped up as the band deserves -- in part, I believe, because you couldn't see the other band members save for the Ron Weasley looking fellow who would pop up to play the tambourine every now and again (causing this to run through my head) -- they're definitely making great music. Thankfully, we'll get to see these guys again at Firefly and I'm sure the outdoor festival setting will suit them quite nicely.

Click ahead for Tokyo Police Club!

weekend thoughts...

Your Weekend Jam: In case you haven’t heard, Michael Jackson AND Justin Timberlake used the magic of music to release this NEW single “Love Never Felt So Good”:

TIOJ Thoughts:
Bitch, don’t spill my wine. #rapshirtsforwhitepeople

Paste has made Wes Anderson movie posters into gifs. They are as magical as you're imagining.

As HAIM gets more and more popular, the number of ridiculous comments about them increases manyfold. I have overheard similar conversations while shopping at Gap.

Prank calls courtesy of the Black Keys.

Free! The boys (like really, they’re teenagers!!) in Twin Peaks are all the rage right now -- and you can Sunken, their first LP, over on Noisetrade!

And in case you missed it: TIOJ was a concert-going machine this week! Check out our recaps for Braids and Wye Oak; Night Terrors of 1927 and Fitz and the Tantrums; and X Ambassadors and Haerts!

{PLAYLIST} songs about cars

Because we live in/near the city, we don't drive quite as much as we used to, but that doesn't mean we don't have an attachment to our cars. We've named them (obviously) and we celebrate their mile-birthdays. After all, we've been through a lot together. We'd like to dedicate this playlist to E. Adeline, Pam, and Nemo -- this one's for you.

We think that this playlist is perfect for a road trip or any time you're on the go. Take her for a spin:

Click here, here, and here for more road trip jams!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

{THROWBACK} "you can't hurry love"

I was at the grocery store the other day when I found myself bopping along to Phil Collins' version of "You Can't Hurry Love," and I immediately wanted to watch Runaway Bride to hear the Dixie Chicks version. I'm going to go ahead and say it: Between these two covers and Diana Ross and the Supremes' original, this song is one of the best. Ever.

In order of release:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

{FEAT. FEATURE} matthew koma

I've had Matthew Koma's voice in my ears ever since RAC came out with the addicting "Cheap Sunglasses" featuring Matthew. Obviously, my obsession with this song has led me to some sleuthing into this Matthew Koma person.

In my search, I quickly discovered that this is not Matthew Koma's first big feature. He was just featured on Tiesto's latest track "Wasted" and he's featured on Zedd's hit "Spectrum," which you'll likely recognize. Check out this subdued acoustic performance of Matthew performing "Spectrum" on his own.

Check out Matthew's own hit "One Night" that is perfectly poppy and has me craving summer so badly. (If you're a normal human and loved fun's "We Are Young" a few summers back, then this is a wonderful candidate for your 2014 summer anthem!)

Fun Fact: Matthew here is dating Carly Rae Jepsen. Guess that "Call me maybe" line actually works... (Apparently he produced a bunch of songs on her album!)

Grab more jams from Matthew on Soundcloud!

{RECAP} braids, wye oak

Elizabeth here -- TIOJ’s Spring Concert Correspondent…  I’ll be helping the TIOJ ladies cover some shows while I’m in town for the next five weeks!

To start my time in DC off right, I went to the BRAIDS and Wye Oak show at the 9:30 Club last Tuesday. BRAIDS has been one of my all-time favorite bands since I saw them open for Baths at the Duke Coffee House (North Carolina, 2011) and then Toro y Moi at Local 506 (North Carolina, 2011). Last week was actually the third time that I’ve seen the Canadian group and it was really interesting to see how they’ve evolved as a band over the past three years. Most notably, they lost their keyboard player in 2012, so it was neat to see how each band member’s roles has changed. BRAIDS played exclusively material from their second album Flourish//Perish and even debuted some new material from a recent recording session in the Arizona desert for their third album. Although I was disappointed that they did not play any of their Native Speaker materials (like my beloved "Glass Deers"), it’s always good to see a band continue to evolve and make new sounds.

The music from their first album Native Speaker has been compared to the early works of Animal Collective, Broken Social Scene, and even Arcade Fire. However, their new material has more of an electronic and experimental feel and less magical whimsy, a definite departure from their earlier music. Overall, I loved seeing BRAIDS again… their music is great, they are super nice people, and I can’t wait to see what musical magic they come up with in the future!

Wye Oak took the stage after BRAIDS and treated the crowd to an awesome set. There was definitely a hometown hero vibe going on, as the rocker duo is from Baltimore. Between songs, lead singer Jenn Wasner commented on how playing the 9:30 Club felt like a dream to her since she grew up going to shows there.

The band played a lot of their more well-known songs as well as some deep cuts. It always amazes me how two-member bands like Wye Oak or the Black Keys can make such a variety of music and really bring it at live shows. Another cool thing about Wye Oak -- they hung around after the show and had a private jam session with the first five people who were in line for the show earlier that night… now THAT is cool!

One last thing about Tuesday’s shows -- never underestimate the importance of the 9:30 Club’s second floor coffee bar… sometimes an Irish coffee is the best thing for a weeknight show.

Next Up: Krista's catching Chet Faker and his beard at U Street Music Hall on Thursday night!


South Carolinians SUSTO have just popped onto the Americana/alt-country music scene, and I am so very into what they're putting out. I mean, with song titles like "Cigarettes, Whiskey, and Wine" and "Friends, Lovers, Ex-Lovers... Whatever," how can you not? Those tunes and the recently-released self-titled album are definitely on rotation as I finish up my semester and pine for being further south.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

{ALBUM REVIEW} kishi bashi "lighght"

Kishi Bashi has quickly become one of our most favorite musicians and his latest release Lighght, out today, has solidified his place at the top of our iTunes library. This latest album showcases his creative personality, ingenuitive song-writing and composition. In short, it is wholeheartedly our jam.

Come For: "Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!"
The lead single off this album showcases Kishi Bashi's talent with his violin and is a great introduction to the optimistic and imaginative album.

Stay Because Of: "Q&A"
This song is the reason I've been listening to this album nonstop. It's cute without being twee, heartfelt and creative. I would not be opposed to someone using this song to confess their undying love for me while standing in a meadow of sunflowers.

Other favorites include "The Ballad of Mr. Steak," which is creative and hilarious while being a great singalong. I think I must see Kishi Bashi live just so I can scream "Mr. Steak you were Grade A!" to this song. I also love "Hahaha Pt. 1" as the intro reminds me of early Passion Pit in the best way possible.

Take A Bathroom Break During: If you can't hold it, then you can probably skip "Hahaha Pt. 2" as it's a little light on the vocals. That said, given that this an instrumentation-heavy song, it's probably incredible live. (Also, if you're a fan of Animal Collective and/or might be doing recreational drugs while listening to this album, you might want to stick around for this song.)

Listen To While: I've listened to this album walking around DC, cooking, and while at work so I can safely say that it is amenable to all sorts of occasions. Honestly, it's complex and captivating enough to just sit in your bed or in the park and listen to straight through without any other distractions.

Be warned that you will likely find yourself starting to get restless and wanting to skip about to these tunes. Plan accordingly.

Check It Out For Yourself: Stream the album on Spotify and purchase this puppy on iTunes.

See It Live: If you're in DC, catch Kishi Bashi live at the 9:30 Club on June 8! Buy tickets here or win them through TIOJ before Thursday!

"where it's at" is my jam

Country music = summer music, if you ask me, and one song that's sure to make its way onto my summer playlists is Dustin Lynch's "Where It's At." I'm even (kind of) excusing the blatant grammatical error in its title because it's just so catchy and it never fails to put a smile on my face.

{RECAP} night terrors of 1927, fitz and the tantrums

On Sunday night, I got out of my DC concert bubble and caught Night Terrors of 1927 and Fitz and the Tantrums at the NorVa with Caleb and a slew of hip Norfolk mothers and their thoughtful children. Sometimes if the bands can't come to us, we go to them!

Night Terrors of 1927 kicked off the show and to say we were excited for their set after this song and interviewing them before the show (STAY TUNED!) would be an understatement. While the band debuted in a shroud of mystery, they've since shed their masks and put on an awesome performance. Lead singer Jarrod has the voice of the imaginary lovechild of Julian Casablancas of The Strokes and Brandon Flowers of The Killer's and the crowd loved it.

Click ahead to hear about Fitz and the Tantrums!

Monday, May 12, 2014

{RECAP} x ambassadors, haerts

On Thursday night, I grabbed our Spring Concert Correspondent Elizabeth (she’ll be helping us to cover shows while she’s in DC for the next 5 weeks!) and introduced her to the majesty that is U Street Music Hall. We popped into the venue to catch X Ambassadors and Haerts.

X Ambassadors was just as great as when we saw them last. Lead singer Sam had the booming, story-telling voice of a country singer with the style, beats, and hip thrusts of an R&B singer. Not a bad combination, if you ask me. What was great about their performance, in addition to the periodic saxophone solo, was the passion of the band and their fans. At one point in the night I was surrounded by three twenty-something dudes having the time of their life enjoying X Ambassadors’ music. Unselfconscious admiration of music just makes me so happy.

saxophones. swoon.
While “Unconsolable” remains a favorite, it was great to become more familiar with their other tunes this time around. Ewee and I particularly enjoyed their slowed down jam “Unsteady.” Be sure to keep your ears open for more from this band – some of their songs like “Giants” have all the makings for commercial success.

Next up was fellow Brooklynites Haerts. Haerts was one of the bands that was impossible for us to catch at SXSW so it was great to finally get a chance to see the band live and let me tell you, they were well worth the wait. Lead singer Nini’s vocals are even better live than they are on their album. She was absolutely mesmerizing and we haven't stopped listening to this album since seeing Thursday night.

haerts + tambourine goodness via @natecover
We really enjoyed the more nostalgic sound of their music and made Fleetwood Mac comparisons during “There’s A Reason.” Another favorite was “Hemiplegia."

Next Up: Krista and Jurg are getting hot tonight with Tokyo Police Club on Tuesday night at Black Cat!

rock out with little hurricane!

With summer just around the corner, our wanderlust is getting slightly out of control. Thanks to this newest jam from folk-rock duo Little Hurricane, we're redirecting our travel planning to the Grand Canyon. Road trip anyone??

DC! Little Hurricane will be playing this and many more jams on Wednesday night at DC9! Get your tickets here AND, if you're a music blogger/lover, get there early and join us for happy hour up on the roof! (RSVP here)

{GIVEAWAY} kishi bashi @ 9:30 club

Kishi Bashi has been hands down one of the best shows TIOJ has ever witnessed live. From his unique style to his impeccable looping to his violin playing, a Kishi Bashi show is an experience.

SO because we like all of you (and Kishi Bashi) so much, we're giving away one pair of tickets to see Kishi Bashi at the 9:30 Club on June 8!

Enter to win tickets via Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Too excited to wait and see if you've won?? Buy tickets now here!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

{WATCH} DSCVR interview with bipolar sunshine

Check out this great interview with SXSW favorite Bipolar Sunshine (aka Adio Marchant). Enjoy Adio's perfect British accent as he discusses the recent success of Bipolar Sunshine and his excitement for the future. 

Now that you love him more, check out this live performance of his beautiful song "Where Did The Love Go."

Props to Caleb for the find!

Friday, May 9, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, TIOJ readers, and happy birthday to TIOJ! We're celebrating our third blogiversary this weekend with a playlist full of jams and by giving one of you an iPod shuffle! Be sure to enter by Monday, and if you see us grooving on a rooftop this weekend, come say hi!

Your Weekend Jam: Start your weekend off with Damn Right’s “Halo,” which is sure to get you vibin’ and put you in a great mood. (Plus, it’s a free download on their bandcamp page!)

TIOJ Thoughts: 

A scientific look at who has the largest (and smallest) vocabulary in hip hop.

Mother’s Day is Sunday! We’ve got a playlist and a free Mother’s Day itinerary from Krista on Local Meze!

23 things sadder than Kanye ziplining is sad and amazing.

The best part of the Toronto Raptors/Brooklyn Nets NBA playoff series that ended last week was the rivalry that ensued between Drake and Jay-Z (in case you haven’t been keeping tabs, Team Jay-Z won).

I am absolutely obsessed with this little girl, who is also Ellen Degeneres’ newest best friend (move over, Sophia Grace and Rosie).

Free! TIOJ faves Jamestown Revival is giving away a free download of “Fur Coat Blues” over on their website.

DC Happenings: So many of our favorite DC bands are playing at The Yards on Saturday night -- for FREE! Check out the Side Yards at the Yards from 5-10 pm on May 10, and see sets by Drop Electric, Shark Week, and U.S. Royalty!

And! Portugal. The Man is performing at THE ZOO FOR FREE on Monday. Go to this.

And in case you missed it: If you like Amy Winehouse or Kate Nash, then you must check out Rainy Milo!

{PLAYLIST} tioj birthday jams!

This Is Our Jam is officially turning three years old tomorrow, and we can hardly believe it. The past year has been such a baller one in the TIOJ world, and we're celebrating it the only way we know how: with a giant dance party in our offices.

For our playlist this week, we wanted to get ready for our birthday party (by the by, this is our wish list... just saying), and we also wanted to honor the numerous songs that are reminiscent of our own name. These jams are -- you guessed it -- our jam.

Plus! Blogiversary jams from 2013 and a post from 2012!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

{GIVEAWAY} ipod shuffle!!!


Since it's TIOJ's birthday this weekend, we decided to celebrate by giving back and giving you darling readers a chance at an awesome birthday present: an iPod Shuffle!!
it's even TIOJ colors!

Click ahead to enter!!

lay in the grass with vacationer

With summer just around the corner, aptly named band Vacationer is taking no time to crank some perfect summer-ready tunes. We already extolled "The Wild Life" and now TIOJ's favorite interview alums are back with "In The Grass." The song has the dreamy, island vibe we've come to expect from the band and brings an addictive and hypnotizing hook that makes us want to lay down in the grass or on our desks, whichever comes first.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

{IF YOU LIKE} amy winehouse, kate nash

(via 1/2/3)
If you like the soulful vocals of Amy Winehouse or the British quip of Kate Nash, then you should check out 18-year-old British singer Rainy Milo. Her R&B/soul-pop vibes are such a welcome addition to our iTunes library. Her smooth musical style has been putting us in such a wonderfully relaxed mood all week.

She's impossibly cool in her single "Rats"...

... and her voice is so thoughtful and beautiful in "Treasure Girl."

{WE LOVE} morningsiders

I shared my love of Morningsiders and all the reasons I loved them (see: gingers and Cosby sweaters) over a year and a half ago and they're finally back it with a recent Soundcloud release of four of their songs live.

The band has a sound that's reminiscent of the complex instrumentation of Hey Marseilles or the twang of Mumford & Sons, but they certainly bring their unique talents to these live demos and I can only imagine how great this band would sound will a full studio behind them.

Enjoy this live set and keep your fingers crossed for some live performances in your 'hood by the boys!

{WE LOVE} the ragtime girls

A brand new barbershop quartet has just popped onto the music scene, and let me tell you, they're fabulous. These gentlemen made their debut the other night on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and -- surprise! The band includes Jimmy himself as well as Mr. Frank Underwood.

Their debut performance was of Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty," and if this video puts you in the mood for the original, you can find that ditty to that here.

And for the record, I am fully aware that I am a little too obsessed with clips from The Tonight Show since Jimmy's takeover. But seriously. Between another installment of The History of Rap and the history of dance moves, the revival of Footloose, and a dance party with Bill Cosby, can you blame me?

{TIOJ BIRTHDAY} favorite posts

Over the past year, we've had so many incredible experiences and favorite posts that it was really hard to narrow it down. But what would a birthday be without a look back at a couple of those exciting things?

Some of our most favorite things that we've done in our third year of existence include:

- Premiering our first official TIOJ video with a recap of Firefly Festival.

- Taking in some of the best greenery in DC while chilling in Meridian Hill Park with the boys of Brett.

- Rounding up a slew of incredible babysitters who shared their favorite summery tunes as well as their go-to holiday jams. 

- Becoming art connoisseurs and commissioning Harmonic Blue's band self-portrait.

- Hosting our first-ever DC Music Bloggers Happy Hour.

Here's to so many more great posts and events as we transition from being a toddler blog to a young child of a blog!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

phoenix teach haim french

So HAIM’s show coming up tomorrow at the 9:30 Club has been sold out for months and we forgot to get tickets, womp womp. We suppose this video of the band trying to learn French from the members of Phoenix will serve as an acceptable consolation prize (see what I did there?!).

"throwing stones" is my jam

With seemingly endless final papers between me and the end of the semester, it's a pretty bleak week in my world. Nick D' and the Believers are giving me some hope with their jam "Throwing Stones." If I open my window and play this song on repeat, it's almost like I'm outside.


{TIOJ BIRTHDAY} gift guide

Ladies and gentlemen, we have big news. At the end of this week (Saturday, to be exact), TIOJ is turning a whopping THREE YEARS OLD. And in the truest of true TIOJ fashion, we are kicking off a week's worth of celebration.

In case you now find yourself sitting at your desk thinking, "Hmm.. Krista, Kristen, and Stacey sure are the best. I wonder what I should get them for their blogiversary!!" we have you covered. The following are some of the books, random assorted swag, and band reunions that we would really like to have for our birthday. Pretty please?

(clockwise from top left)
1. Holla Doormat
2. Colour Me Hip Hop
3. Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've Been
4. Awkward Family Photos board game
5. a Dead Man's Bones reunion
6. Totes bag
7. Let's Jam! print

Monday, May 5, 2014

WATERS has "got to my head"

San Francisco's WATERS just released their video for their single "Got To My Head" and good gracious does this song live up to its name. The indie rock song with its catchy chorus, background woo-hoos, and plunky keyboard riffs is just the new song that I've been looking for. Plus, the music video is inciting some childhood nostalgia for jumping on my bed...

currently into current swell

I was scrolling through Noisetrade the other day when an incredible head of hair caught my eye. As we at TIOJ appreciate a nicely coiffed hairdo, I had to take a listen to these fellas from Current Swell -- and I'm so glad I did.

Here's why:
1. They are Canadian. Automatic bonus.
2. They have a great blues/rock/funky sound that is reminiscent of the Black Keys.
3. This music video:

Friends! Check out their collection of tunes on Noisetrade ASAP!

{GIVEAWAY} conor oberst and dawes @ 9:30 club

Buckle up, guys -- we have another giveaway coming up for you! This week, we're giving away a pair of tickets to see Conor Oberst and Dawes at the 9:30 Club on May 23, which is guaranteed to be the most perfect way to kick off your Memorial Day weekend.

You may recognize Conor Oberst as the voice behind Bright Eyes (as well as a member of Monsters of Folk), and his solo work is definitely on par with the rest of his expansive repertoire.

And opening for Conor is longtime TIOJ fave Dawes -- who definitely know how to work a 9:30 crowd.

This combination of folky rockers is going to make for such an incredible show that you definitely don't want to miss -- so! Be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter by Thursday night (or if you just can't wait, you can buy tickets here)!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 4, 2014 don't like beyonce?

As someone who spent a solid hour last week scheming and buying tickets to Beyonce's upcoming tour, this SNL skit featuring Andrew Garfield really resonated with me.

And in case you're like me and wanted to listen to "Baby Boy" after watching this...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

{WATCH} future island's kexp interview + performance

I can safely say that Future Islands' Singles is one of my most favorite albums of 2014 so far. Since I missed snagging tickets to their show at the 9:30 Club, this live performance at Seattle's infamous KEXP studio AND the fact that NPR streamed their show live is consoling me. This band is seriously incredible live.

Catch the four song performance plus interview from the Baltimore band below!

Fist bumps to Caleb for the find!

Friday, May 2, 2014

weekend thoughts...

Happy Friday, people! We have a beautiful weekend of horse racing, drinking on rooftops, and funk ahead of us. But first, let's share some thoughts from the week, shall we?

Your Weekend Jam: Wax Nostalgic KILLED IT with his remix of The Night Terrors of 1927’s epic jam “Dust and Bones."

TIOJ Thoughts:

The 140th Kentucky Derby is this weekend -- here's a playlist to celebrate!

How much of a music nerd are you?

A Duck Tales Slow Jam… just cuz.

Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys remixed Ms. Lana Del Rey....APPROVE.

It's the 10th anniversary of the Friends finale -- how is that possible??

Free! We had so much fun seeing Dan Croll live last week, and now you can download his hip-shaking single “In/Out” for free via NPR!

DC Happenings: Don’t miss the first annual FUNK PARADE this weekend! It’s a fair, parade, and music festival going on all day along U Street. Get more information and prepare to get funky here!

And in case you missed it: You have just a few hours left to enter for tickets to see Ben Kweller at Rock & Roll Hotel on May 9 -- get clicking!

And! We recapped our favorite jams on our Best of April playlist.

good gracious mausi owns summer

Everyone else should just stop trying to make summer music because Mausi OWNS it. Their latest jam "My Friend Owns A Swimming Pool" solidifies this claim.

Listen and try to fight me on this. (You will not win.)

Can it be summer already???

Related: Mausi's "M O V E" AND Mausi's summer mixtape AND Mausi's "sol"

{PLAYLIST} rooftop bar jams

If April showers bring May flowers, then this week's rainstormflood certainly guarantees us a lovely spring with plenty of sunshine and flowers, right? And along with that comes our most favorite part of warm weather -- drinking out of cups on roofs. We're sure that this upturn in weather will bring all of DC out to its numerous and unbeatable rooftop bars.

cheers, friends (via)
We're also crossing our fingers that whoever is in charge of the tunes at all of these bars hooks up the speakers and presses play below:

See you on 14th Street, cuties!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

bipolar sunshine takes on lorde's "team"

Manchester native Bipolar Sunshine is making us swoon today with his cover of her highness Lorde's "Team." The cover features Bipolar Sunshine's thoughtful vocals and easy instrumentation -- it's quite the soundtrack to this afternoon when the sun is finally deciding to grace us again with her presence.


You can download this single for free via Soundcloud -- happy early Friday to you!

{THROWBACK} "with a girl like you"

While The Troggs are most associated with "Wild Thing" (at least in my head -- anyone else's?), I recently discovered "With a Girl Like You" thanks to a particularly lovely 8tracks playlist. This is one of the happiest songs, and it's just another instance of classic rock proving its timelessness.

{THROWBACK} bennie and the jets

Miguel and Wale covered Elton John's "Bennie And The Jets." No further discussion is required.

Keep enjoying with the original from Sir Elton John...

...and just in case you want to relive that infamous scene from 27 Dresses then click here #electricboobs.
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