Thursday, December 31, 2015

{PLAYLIST} best of december 2015/ALL OF 2015

We are simply HOURS away from 2016 -- and holy cow, when did that happen? But before we ring in the new year, let's take a look at the last month and all of our highlights from December. In December, we:
AND, we compiled a huge list of all of our favorite songs released in 2015. Press play below and have a huge blowout to celebrate the end of 2015 before you ring in 2016!

See you in 2016!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

see ya later, inshaa- allah!

Hey peeps! I'm off for a week or so the United Arab Emirates to go skiing in malls and buy gold out of every vending machine I can find.

I have no idea what Emirati music will be like -- iTunes tells me it's exactly the same as here -- so with that, I will leave you with my guiltiest of pleasures at this moment and promise to give you hipper music upon my return. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

what are you doing new year's eve?

Our friends over at Kick Kick Snare are making this New Year's Eve one for the record books with this amazing star-studded cover of the holiday classic "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?". Check out the video below featuring Betty Who, Great Good Fine Ok, Cody Simpson, and SO many more amazing artists!

AND! You can download the track for FREE here and perhaps play it at the perfect moment to seal in that last minute NYE date.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

merry christmas!!

It's Christmas!! We hope you have a wonderful holiday! We're taking the rest of the long weekend off to drink copious amounts of hot cocoa and gaze at pretty lights. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

{HOLIDAY} luray

The latest to share their favorite holiday songs is Shannon Carey of Luray. And as an added bonus, she also shares her version of her favorite song!

The movie White Christmas is my mom's favorite movie and a holiday standard when I was growing up. The song itself is so simple and beautiful and I like it done in many different styles and arrangements. But I prefer it sung and played simply. Like in the movie, it feels like we're protected and safe, warm inside while snow falls outside. Nowhere to go, nowhere to be but here. Here's my version of White Christmas.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

{HOLIDAY} secret someones

The latest installment of our holiday favorites comes from Lelia Broussard of Secret Someones. Check out her winter favorite below.

You can't ever go wrong with Donny Hathaway. "This Christmas" is my favorite modern Christmas song. It grooves so hard and that voice is unparalleled.

And as an extra holiday treat, be sure to listen to Secret Someones' latest video, "Let You Go," and put tickets to their February 4 show on your Christmas list! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

{HOLIDAY} lowland hum

Continuing in this holiday spirit of giving, we've got another tune to share today! This time from Daniel and Lauren of the charming husband-wife duo Lowland Hum!

We love Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas album in its entirety, but especially love the song, "Christmastime is Here." Lauren grew up listening to that album and has always found the song to be the perfect dreamy companion to a cozy night in. The melodies are mesmerizing to us. It does have a sort of melancholy tone, which at times provides the perfect contrast to the sort of energy normally found in mainstream Christmas music.

And as a Christmas present to all of us, Lowland Hum has covered this very song for us!

Friday, December 18, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy Christmas, TIOJ friends!! We hope that you're gearing up for a wonderful holiday and break from work, school, and all those silly things so you can focus on what's really important -- watching Elf and Love Actually on repeat.

Your Weekend Jam: The end of the year isn’t complete without DJ Earworm’s United States of Pop mashup!

TIOJ Thoughts: 

A DMV Holiday playlist from Listen Local First.

Dear Santa, please wrap all of my presents in Kanye paper.

Serena Williams and I have similar feelings about running.

Music themed greeting cards. 

Free! Swoon over a free live session from Anderson East on Noisetrade!

DC Happenings: Christmas has come early -- FREE U.S. ROYALTY show on Saturday afternoon in Shaw!

And! Dance your way into the holiday season with All Thing Go’s latest party, Red Santa, featuring Ra Ra Riot, Great Good Fine Ok, and more!

And more! Spice up Monday night with a free concert presented by Listen Local First at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

And in case you missed it: We handed over the reins of the blog for the holidays to Molly of Rock and Roll Hotel, Chris Richards of The Washington Post, and Loud Boyz -- adding all their holiday favorites to our Christmas playlists!

{PLAYLIST} merry christmas!

Merry Christmas, you cute little elves!! Even though it's been feeling more like Memorial Day than Christmas, we're so excited for gingerbread houses, stuffing stockings, and, of course, Christmas music on nonstop. Whether you have just a few more hours of work or a few more days, press play below and get yourself ready for the merriest of days!

(singing loud for all to hear via)

Stay in the Christmassy spirit with our holidays jams from 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

{HOLIDAY} loud boyz

The next box in our virtual advent calendar of jams is from DC punk band Loud Boyz. Get ready to dance along to their holiday favorites!

Fill your heart with holiday awesomeness with these two scoops of cheery greatness. They’re like beer bongs for your soul!

Mariah Carey - “All I Want For Christmas”:

Billy Mack - “Christmas Is All Around”:

Next Up: Love Actually watch party with these fellas??

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

{HOLIDAY} chris richards

Next up to share a holiday favorite is Chris Richards, music reporter and columnist for The Washington Post. Check out Chris' holiday favorite... which is quickly becoming one of ours.

 The holidays bring out all kinds of weird feelings. One, for me, is bafflement over the fact that we still don’t hear James Brown’s “Funky Christmas” on the radio, at the mall, at restaurants, at Christmas parties, and dozens of other places where it could -- and should? -- be played for all of December.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

{HOLIDAY} molly majorack

We're kicking off a holiday series in which we turn to some of our favorite people, around DC and even further, to hear about their favorite winter songs. Whether it's Christmas carol (or an interpretation of one), a New Year's Eve jam, or just a cozy wintery song, we want to hear what everyone is listening to in this festive time of the year.

First up is Molly Majorack, the marketing manager and assistant talent buyer at DC9 and Rock & Roll Hotel. Read Molly's thoughts below!

Little known fact about me: I grew up on country music. So when Clint Black released a Christmas album back in 1995, it became my family's Christmas season go-to. We'd put it on every year while setting up the tree. I know every lyric to "Milk and Cookies." That whole record will never get old to me. I still believed in Santa Claus when the record came out, and who doesn't look back fondly at that time in one's life?

Monday, December 14, 2015

the 1975 is back with "ugh"!

It's been a hot minute since we've talked about one of the best, poppiest bands (and British, to boot!) around, and we are SO glad that they're back and at it with a new jam! The 1975 is back with their jam "UGH!", which may or may not be one of the most commonly used words in texts between TIOJ (seriously, any emotion calls for a good "ugh!").

Saturday, December 12, 2015

{WATCH} a very murrary christmas

Very little needs to be said to encourage you to watch Netlix's latest special A Very Murray Christmas -- I mean, they had you at Bill Murray, right?

If you're on the edge, I encourage you to watch it for Miley Cyrus. Her voice in this special is on point and exactly the type of Miley we love on TIOJ.

Stream A Very Murray Christmas on Netflix.

Friday, December 11, 2015

weekend thoughts...

It's Friday! And it's going be warm! And it's almost Christmas! So go enjoy the weekend, friendos (and don't forget to pick up a present for your Grandpa)!

Your Weekend Jam: We may be a little late to this one but there is literally nothing better than this Matt & Kim video for “Hey Now.” Let Kim’s moves inspire your getting ready dance party this weekend.

TIOJ Thoughts:

Let Carlton get you in the Christmas spirit.

DC Metro Anagram Map.

Introducing Mr. Saint West.

Michelle Obama raps about going to college.

Free! Let Heaven and Nature sing! Noisetrade has released their holiday sampler!

And in case you missed it: Emily was back on TIOJ for a compare and contrast post!!

{PLAYLIST} christmas party!

It's that time of year -- you know, when every night of the week and every weekend day has some sort of holiday festivity. Yes, it's Christmas party time. Not that we're complaining -- any chance to wear festive jewelry, drink Christmas sangria, and eat gingerbread cookies is AOK with us.

Press play and party hop along!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

{THROWBACK} "family affair"

Guys! Season 2 of Amazon's Transparent starts up this weekend and I'm pumped to see what awkward and life affirming moments are in store for the family this season. Until then, I will just hum the cover of "Family Affair" by Villalobos/Colvin feat. Ruby Friedman featured in the latest trailer.

And in case -- like me -- you weren't familiar, check out the funky original version by Sly & The Family Stone:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

{RECAP} old man canyon, the paper kites

Krista and I trekked out to Jammin' Java (and discovered it really isn't that far at all!) on Saturday night to catch Old Man Canyon and The Paper Kites. The show could be described in just a word: lovely.

We caught the end of Old Man Canyon's set, and they have so many of the things we love: long hair, beards, and quirky clothing (this time, a University of Tennessee sweatshirt).

Next up were the oh so wonderful Paper Kites! Lead singer Sam Bentley was super chatty and charming (TIOJ weaknesses, of course), and he completely won us over when he lamented wanting to tell the story behind "Bleed Confusion." Apparently, the last time The Paper Kites were in Vienna, some gentleman in the crowd yelled at Sam to just play the song... The crowd on Saturday, though, was more than encouraging in allowing the storytelling to happen. (In case you were wondering, the song is amazing.)

We of course swooned when Sam told us that "Bloom" was a love song written specifically for the "city of Virginia." I could listen to that song on repeat forever and never get tired of it ever.

A photo posted by this is our jam (@thisisourjamdc) on

The Paper Kites more than succeeded in making us feel all the feels on Saturday night -- case in point, Krista leaned over at one point and said, "They're making me very sentimental." Props to you, Paper Kites, for making the holiday season even more lovely.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"c'est la mort" vs. "swan song"

Today's Compare and Contrast is brought to you by Emily of The Winding Roads That Led Me HereRead her post as she compares two songs that deal with two heart wrenchingly poignant songs -- "C'est la Mort" by The Civil Wars and "Swan Song" by Lana Del Ray.

"C’est la Mort," a song off Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars debut album, is described by the band as their idea of a love song; “a couple who had spent the past together and the present together and wanted to spend the future together, whether that meant alive or dead.”

“Swan dive down, eleven stories high/ Hold your breath, until you see the light/ You can sink to the bottom of the sea/ Just don’t go without me.”

The delicate piano tinkering and guitar picking seem to act as musical footsteps that weave around each other becoming one sound, one instrument. John Paul White’s and Joy William’s vocals continue along this path, complementing each other until they reach final refrain of the song. Their voices rising and falling in tandem, following on another to the story’s natural end.

“Heaven or hell, or somewhere in between/ Cross your heart to take me when you leave/ Don’t go without me.”

Four years later Lana Del Rey has written "Swan Song" for Honeymoon, exploring a similar subject The Civil Wars did in "C’est la Mort." The only difference is that instead of two lovers asking one to not leave the other even in death, Del Rey almost hypnotically coerces her lover to follow her into death.

“You got your money now, you’ve got your legacy/ Let’s leave the world for the ones who change everything.”

Del Rey’s is her telling her love that they can both leave the struggles of the world behind and be free together in death. Echoing Hamlet’s thoughts on life and death; “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil.” The song opens and closes with the lines, “Put your white tennis shoes on and follow me/ Why work so hard when you could just be free.”

One of the most visually beautiful, poetically ambiguous lyrics I have heard for a while, conjuring up feelings of freedom and lightness of step and heart. "Swan Song" is sonically vast and full of musical and vocal layering unlike the organic and bare "C’est la Mort." The song is full of echoing, haunting synths, a quiet but defiant drumbeat and Lana’s subdued and free flowing vocals. "C’est la Mort" and "Swan Song" explore the darker aspects of love but perhaps the more beautiful side of that emotion too, of wanting be with your love, not only in life but in death also.

What do you think? Can you choose a favorite between these two beautiful songs?? 

Monday, December 7, 2015

adele is worth the hype

You know those days when you're sick and all you need is a hug from your mom? Well, last week I was a harried madwoman at work and the only thing that could calm me down was Adele. If you're a regular human, I'm sure you know what I mean.

Last week, I couldn't help myself but to listen to her album on repeat and I found particular comfort in one of her newest jams off 25, "Water Under The Bridge."

And as a bonus... Adele, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots performing "Hello" with children's toys:

Now please excuse me as I watch 500 Snapchats of people lip-syncing to "Hello."

Friday, December 4, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Don't lie, TIOJers... you've totally been listening to Mariah Carey's Christmas hits on repeat all week. We totally support you. Carry on. We hope you have a happy Friday and a wonderful early winter weekend!

Your Weekend Jam: You might ask yourself: Is listening to Adam Lambert and Leona Lewis duet on Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" the best thing I will listen to all day? Why, yes. Yes, it damn sure is.

Get More:

TIOJ Thoughts:

Which "Love, Actually" Character You Should Hook Up With?

Things you didn’t know about "Love, Actually."

Adele impersonating Adele is just as meta and wonderful as you'd imagine.

And speaking of: an ode to Adele, our dream BFF.

Free! Check out The Basement East’s new artist holiday sampler on Noisetrade, featuring new and old Christmassy faves from Jars of Clay, Kyle Andrews and more!

DC Happenings: For those of you in the DC area this Christmas season, don't forget to check out Miracle on Seventh Street, a pop-up holiday bar in Shaw with a cocktail menu so delish it would make you dream of sugarplum fairies.

And in case you missed it: We recapped our favorite November moments!

{PLAYLIST} dance dance dance! part ii

Whether you're swaying, shaking, twerking, waltzing, roboting, or doing "the Elaine" everyone has their own dancing guilty pleasure they like to bust out at weddings, bar mitzvahs and in their front seat at red lights. Be sure to keep your moves in your back pocket for all of the holiday parties you have coming up... you know they'll come in handy. We can't help but bust a move every time we hear these dancing jams! 


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

luray is my jam

I have a new obsession for the winter, and I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon. DC-based Luray, fronted by Shannon Carey (sister of former Bon Iver member Sean Carey!) is exactly what your ears need to get through these cold months. I love the nod to DC with "Kalorama," but "The Wilder" is really what I'm digging as I recover from a hectic Thanksgiving weekend.

Luray will be at The Black Cat on 12/8 with The End of America -- put it on your radar asap!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

can't let go of "let it go"

I didn't know that the thing that would finally make me not sick to death of "Let It Go" would be a country twist, but I have to say, I don't hate the recent collab between Lucy Hale and Rascal Flatts. In fact, you know I love it. Lucy Hale's voice is a whole lot lovelier than I gave her credit for and it's so nice to hear a twist on this done-to-death Disney favorite!

Monday, November 30, 2015

{PLAYLIST} best of november 2015

Have you come out of your turkey-induced coma yet? Gearing up and rearin' to go with December's holiday crazy? We're not quite ready for Christmas mania -- we have to talk about November first! Because in November, we were able to:

And in November, we were listening to:

"Break Up With Him" - Old Dominion
Been listening to this jam since August and showing no signs of stopping.
"Fool For Love" - Lord Huron
Lord Huron and their lovey songs have been my saving grace this month. 
"Sheila" - White Reaper
These Kentuckians are so fab with their British flair
"Still With You" - Dan Henig
So glad a basketball game led me to this crooner.
"This Must Be The Place" - Iron & Wine
We had no shortage of Talking Heads covers this month, per usual. 
"Feel The Lightning" - Dan Deacon
This amazing track is worthy of an act who'll be opening for Miley.
"Into the Mystic" - Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (Van Morrison cover)
I could listen to this song over and over and over again.
"Hotline Bling" - Drake
Obsessed with this jam and even more with the SNL spoof of it. 
"Vagabond" - Misterwives
I just can't quit this song.
"Sweet Disposition" - The Temper Trap
Simply the happiest.
"Hypothetical" - JR JR
Had so much fun dancing with these goofballs this month!
"The Light That Never Fails" - Andra Day
If you don't get chills when listening to this, you might be a robot.
"Everything's Gonna Be Alright" - Mike Mains and the Branches
I guarantee that this song will be stuck in your head, but at least it's a happy and uplifting one.
"Dancing On Glass" - St. Lucia
Still dancing to this even though it's technically from October - shhhh!

Friday, November 27, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy Black Friday! Whether you've been shopping all day or decorating for Christmas, we hope you've had a great day and have a wonderful weekend in store!

Your Weekend Jam: HONNE’s “Gone Are The Days” is the perfect jam for your travels this weekend -- an enticing beat for you to dance in your plane/train/automobile seat to while not being too overpowering as you recover from eating too much.

TIOJ Thoughts: 

If Clueless were set in 2015.

Justin Bieber’s Nirvana t-shirts.

All of these movies are my faaaaaavorites!!

Adele, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots play “Hello” with classroom instruments.

Free! Your favorite jams that you’ve heard on TV, found on Noisetrade!

DC Happenings: Frank Sinatra would be 100 this year, and there’s an exhibit on him at the Museum of American History!

And in case you missed it: Sara checked out White Reaper before we took some time off to celebrate Thanksgiving!!

{PLAYLIST} it will all be okay, part ii

Well, you've made it through Thanksgiving -- but let's be real, the craziness is just getting started. Think of all that's going to happen in the next month: Christmas parties, finals, holiday shopping, figuring out New Year's Eve... and that's not even including the actually holidays. But take a deep breath -- we promise, everything is going to be okay. (And if it gets a little too stressful, there's always Bao Bao and Bei Bei on the National Zoo's panda cam.)


For more tunes for you when things get to be just a little much, see our original It Will All Be Okay Jams here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

happy thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving, turkeys!! We hope you have a great day filled with plenty of turkey trotting. And mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

{RECAP} white reaper

Last week  fearless Concert Correspondent Sara Grant headed over to DC9 to check out White Reaper. Check out her recap below!

White Reaper, pop-punk outfit from Louisville, Kentucky, on tour in promotion of their 2015 release White Reaper Has Done It Again have, well, Done It Again at DC9 on Tuesday.

The band has a way of seeming simultaneously very personal while also embodying the we're-all-about-to-fully-experience-this-moment-together-y-ness of well-executed punk shows. There's a feeling you get when listening to a White Reaper song that you are very much in the present moment -- rocking out and being enraptured by the band's abilities -- while also being transported to a memory from a time or feeling you may have forgotten, one in which White Reaper would have been the perfect soundtrack.

epic pic c/o Sara's busted camera phone
The fully-present-in-the-moment thing was well achieved by the foursome. Their banter was minimal. The longest on-stage monologue was at the beginning of the show; a beckoning for concert-goers to approach the stage. "Get closer, there's a rock concert happening up here!" The music did the rest. A tearing, sweaty, high-gear 35-minute set with barely a break between songs. That kind of skilled and all-out, non-stop musicianship allows the audience to ride the wave of the set. To really "be there."

There's another side to an effective punk show that is the surfacing of memories which, rather than being remarkable in themselves, transport you to a familiar feeling. For me, there I was suddenly back in the 90s, trapped in traffic on Route 3 riding from Boston to Cape Cod for the weekend in my friend's parents' beat up Jeep Cherokee (yes with the wood panel). No AC, pavement on fire, each second longer than the last. Dissatisfaction with a hint of hopeful excitement for what's to come - that is adolescence, that is punk, and that was this White Reaper show.

White Reaper proved a friend who is alongside you in these moments - when you're feeling trapped by boredom or restlessness, and when you're celebrating a release from said boredom, or when you're twenty seven and still dancing on the stage at DC9 with your friends. It was truly remarkable that in such a short time, the band was able to bring all of that out. It was enjoyable to be taken on that trip with White Reaper on Tuesday, and I would encourage you to be transported when they swing by your neck of the woods.

Next Up: We'll be taking a quick break from shows this week (if you don't count Grandma singing to herself as she bastes the turkey) -- Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

dan henig is my jam

Full confession, I discovered Dan Henig while watching a college basketball game (go Duke!) and he sang the national anthem. But I liked what I heard, and to Google I went! Turns out this fella who hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan, has a knack for covering inappropriate rap songs in coffee shops. Please wait until you are on private headphones to listen to his cover of "Get Low." It's incredible that this is/was ever allowed on radio airwaves.

But there's also something about his original jams. "Still With You" is just so beautiful and honest, and it is definitely now on my winter playlist.

Friday, November 20, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy Friday! There's less than one week til turkey day and we're STOKED. Until then we hope you enjoy these free jams, linky links, and bundle up this weekend!

Your Weekend Jam: It's the weekend, let loose and get low, folks.

TIOJ Thoughts:

Do you remember ‘00s pop lyrics? I did terribly.

Dave Grohl is having a drum-off with Animal from The Muppets. Amazing.

How to get a Katniss braid.

Added this pillow to my Christmas list already.

Justin Bieber and James Corden singing in a car? Okay, absolutely.

Free! The Hood Internet is out with their NINTH mixtape -- download and dance ASAP, folks!

DC Happenings: Our wonderful friends at Rock & Roll Hotel are having a benefit for Paris on Sunday night with an evening of French house music. Dance, donate, and Vive la France!

And in case you missed it: We interviewed Dan Deacon before his upcoming show in DC with Miley Cyrus!

{PLAYLIST} thanksgiving jams 2015

It's turkey day, kids! From watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to your family's annual football showdown, we hope you have a wonderful week in store. Because really, what week isn't made a thousand times better by the promise of a pile of mashed potatoes? And pumpkin pie. And stuffing.

This week's playlist is sure to be a family-friendly crowd-pleaser. Your grandma will love the smooth tunes, and your teenage cousin will dig the covers. It'll be the perfect conversation piece when someone asks you what you plan to do with your future...

Pass the gravy and press play!

Craving more? Go for extras from 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

{THROWBACK} "tonight tonight"

I heard Hot Chelle Rae's "Tonight, Tonight" on the radio the other day and I was instantly transported back to just after college when this song was alllwayssssss on the radio. And I kind of missed it. And I was surprised at some of the wit in those lyrics. Kudos, Guilty pleasure central over here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"out of the woods" has never been so good

As the most solidly pro-Taylor Swift member of TIOJ, I feel it is my duty to bring to you the magic that is her reinterpretation of "Out of the Woods" from her show at the Grammy museum exhibit in late September. "Out of the Woods" was immediately my favorite track off of 1989 when it was released, mainly for it's poppy flavor and misleadingly happy beat. This piano-driven version, though, is a complete 180--stripped-down, wistful and forlorn. I dig it, wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

{INTERVIEW} dan deacon

Before his epic upcoming show with Miley Cyrus at Echostage, we chatted with incredible live performer Dan Deacon. Read ahead as Krista's brother John, our Chicagoan correspondent, asked Dan some of his most pressing questions about his music, his ideal tour getup, and more!

Listen while your read: 

Tell us about yourself! How did you become a musician and get to where you are today?
I started playing the trombone in the fourth grade, which is where I learned how to read music. A few years later I started making midi files and learned through trial and error the basics of music theory. Ever since then, I've always been interested in computer music and sound. That paired with my love of performing let me to touring.

Many artists that we talk to don't like to use labels or be put into sub genres, but as a songwriter do you see yourself as a storyteller, composer, or just a guy making bangin’ beats for the kids to dance to?
I tell people I make electronic music that you dance to but that isn't made for clubs. It's more like music that would play in that punk bar The Chipmunks go to but if The Chipmunks merged with The Jetson's timeline.

via riot act media
If you had $100,000 to spend on your stage setup do you know how you would spend it or would you prefer a minimalist setup and no stage at all?
I'd get one of those big hats with the dry spot for my prince cards.

Click ahead for more!

Monday, November 16, 2015

"namaste" your way into monday

One of our new discoveries from Charged Up Fest was local emcee Visto. His jam "Shinobi" soundtracked our recap video but it's his latest single "Namaste" that we can't get out of our heads.

Put your hands in prayer pose and press play below as you set your intention for a beautiful and peaceful week ahead.

Friday, November 13, 2015

weekend thoughts...

It's Friday again! And we're oh so happy about that fact. We hope you have lots of relaxing, reviving and resting planned for this fall weekend!

Your Weekend Jam: Not going to lie to you, this new track from One Direction is my jam. I am not even sorry about it. I still miss Zayn though.

TIOJ Thoughts:

Who said it, Leslie Knope or Amy Poehler?

New additions to the dictionary include fleek and yaaaaaas. Yaaaaaaas!!

Hilarious catalog of every time Justin Bieber has had to apologize.

Turns out, there's a reason you can never get song lyrics right.

Is Shia LaBoeuf a genius, a creep, or both?

Free! TIOJ fave Chance the Rapper is back at it with "Angels" featuring Saba--and you can have it FO FREE!

And in case you missed it: We wrapped up our Creative series by talking to wonderful jewelry designer Tara Locklear, and recapped shows from JR JR, and Waters/Misterwives.

{PLAYLIST} stuck

Well, friends, it is the time of the year where it's not quite the holiday season, our jobs are a little meh, and we all don't know quite where we fit at the moment. Have you encountered the autumn blues yet? If you have, you're not alone.

Press play, take a deep breath, and close your eyes--the doldrums are almost over.

If you're reading this with pep in your step, a smile on your face, and have NO idea what we're talking about, maybe the happy tunes on Welcome, Spring! would be more your style.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

the tonight show takes on "ironic"

My love of Jimmy Fallon is well-documented. It's grown a gazillion fold with this week's episode featuring Alanis Morisette and Meghan Trainor. The Jagged Little Chicks clucked out "Ironic." It's actually really good. I'm impressed with their clucking abilities.

And fitting for #tbt, the original. Always great.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

{CREATIVE} tara locklear

In this final installment of our Creativity series, we talk to amazing jewelry designer Tara Locklear! Read ahead as she talks about her love of '90s hip hop, the podcasts she finds inspiring, and so much more.

Who are you and what do you do that's cool and creative? 
Hi, my name is Tara Locklear and I make jewelry from broken skateboards and other hard woods.

How do you define creativity?
Creativity or being creative for me is more than just making and creating objects with my hands. It is also about always thinking outside of the box. Questioning everything and wondering how to make my own. I find that my creativity happens not only in the jewelry I make everyday but also in the way I approach anything that I do.

What do you listen to (or watch or read!) when you're looking for inspiration?
Mostly people watching and being in any environment inspires me. How individuals dress themselves and how people design their daily looks. I am extremely inspired by color. I use color as a material in everything that I do so I am constantly looking at color stories in buildings, nature, homes or anywhere that I travel. I love watching design documentaries such as The Vignelli’s and Bill Cunningham NY. Seeing how design creativity is influenced and executed beyond what I make is intriguing and educational for me.

When I am in the studio I definitely have my podcasts on or music filling the room. Some of my top favorites are 99% Invisible and Mortified. They both have such different content but always intrigue me with knowledge and moments of familiarity in my memories. The same rings true for my favorite music channels such as 90s Hip Hop House Party on Songza and Produced by the Neptunes. These music channels always bring me back to a time when music always moved my feet and my mind. 

Click ahead for more from Tara!

roundup: our favorite "hotline bling" covers

We can't get Drake's latest single "Hotline Bling" out of our heads and it appears that we're not the only ones. We've been finding so many covers of this hit -- here are some of our favorites:

This crooning cover by Charlie Puth and Kehlani:

And this cover has turned to gold courtesy of superstars Sam Smith and Disclosure:

And, of course, this spoof from Saturday Night Live:

Related: Our favorite "Hold On We're Going Home" covers

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

{RECAP} waters, misterwives

Trusty Concert Correspondent Jurg headed over to the 9:30 Club on Sunday night to check out faaaaaves (and our most recent interview alumni!!) Misterwives. Check out her recap below!

Sunday night was the very last show of Misterwives' Scrapbook Tour (from which they intend to make an actual, physical scrapbook! Crafty!) and what a show it was! The night was packed with energy and emotion from the performers, and left us audience members in awe.

We got there for the second opener, WATERS, who took to the stage fully decked out in Misterwives tees, showing so much love for their tourmates. Their set was upbeat, with a youthful vibe that got everyone moving. They also busted out a sweet "Wrecking Ball" cover! Check out "Got To My Head" below:

Misterwives set the whimsical tone for their set, entering to "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka. Lead singer Mandy Lee was rocking a sweet "Misterwivez" mesh top and half a head of cornrows. She peppered the time in between songs with inspirational tidbits, and even performed some pushups as part of her intro to "Not Your Way."

I love Misterwives' album, but their live show is just on another level . The distinct instruments all seem to come through much stronger, and Mandy's voice is a magical, powerful thing. She added so much to the songs with many improvised runs, showing off her incredible vocal control and pitch. I was trying to pick a favorite song of the set, but it proved impossible!

They did several covers and samples throughout the set -- "Can't Feel My Face," "PYT," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and a snippet of "Landslide" in the middle of "Coffins." I'm usually pretty skeptical of covers, but Misterwives has an amazing ability to capture the spirit of the originals, while still owning them fully.

Be sure to check Misterwives (and WATERS!) out in 2016!

Thank you to Jurg for the recap!! Up next: Caleb checks out Those Darlins and Shaky Graves at 9:30 Club on Sunday!

andra day never fails

Back in August, when drinking rosé at all hours of the day was acceptable (ish) and days were sunny as could be (damn you, daylight savings) I was lucky enough to see Meru, an intense, gorgeous, breathtaking, spine-tingling, and frankly TERRIFYING documentary on one of the most coveted/unconquered summits in South Asia.

Suffice to say the movie hit me like a brick--go rent it now. But one thing that resonated as I watched the credits roll by, my jaw agape, was the utterly stunning ballad that played. Listen to "The Light That Never Fails" by Andra Day and tell me it's not perfect.

Monday, November 9, 2015


On Friday night Caleb and I raced over to the 9:30 Club after a long work week to start off our weekend with an early show at the 9:30 Club featuring Brothertiger and JR JR (a.ka. the artists formerly known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.).

Unfortunately because of the early start time we missed synthpop band Brothertiger's set which was such a bummer because they're one of my most favorite new finds. Join me and pretend you saw them live by watching this video on repeat:

Luckily we DID get to catch most of JR JR's set as we walked in to their smooth and auto-tuned jam "James Dean" off their most recent album. The band immediately captured our attention with the huge JR JR lights that they had accompanying them on stage which lit up in perfect harmony with their songs, totally capturing the funky aesthetic of the band.

pic via @johnbrodish
JR JR was just fun to put it simply. Their music was great and danceable, taking notes from hip hop and funk tracks here and there and their personalities were infectious. We were particularly enamored as lead singer Daniel theorized that DC crowds are always the best for the band because DC's population is just as eclectic as JR JR's music -- both have pretty much the best parts of everything. We fully support this theory.

The band played mostly jams off their new album -- favorites of which included "Hypothetical" (which segued into a cover of TLC's "Waterfalls -- SWOON), "In The Middle" and, of course, their hit single "Gone." That song is the happiest breakup song I've ever heard and I never want it out of my head. And my night was totally made as the band finished off by playing my life theme song: "If You Didn't See Me (Then You Weren't On The Dance Floor)".

If you haven't yet, be sure to listen to the band's latest album and don't hesitate to grab tickets the next time they're in town!

Next Up: Stay tuned for Jurg's recap of Misterwives' show at 9:30 Club the other night!

{RECAP} joanna gruesome

Last week Concert Correspondent Morgan caught rising punk star Joanna Gruesome at DC9 -- check out her recap below!

During Sunday night’s Joanna Gruesome show I found myself reflecting on something Glenn Friedman said. DC Public Library’s punk archive (which, y’all – DC Public Library has a punk archive with free stuff to go to) had him speak and during the audience Q&A someone asked him if punk was the same as it was “back in the day.” His (and I am admittedly paraphrasing, it was two weeks ago, and I was too in awe of all the cool musicians he’d met to write down all of his wisdom) response: “I mean, people are still angry.”

For anyone searching for a productive expression of that anger: I recommend Joanna Gruesome to you. Hailing from Cardiff (my favorite fact about them, according to many articles, I found, including this NPR music review of their most recent album, the original band members all met in an anger management class), Wales, the band’s music touches on a variety of social themes including (but by no means, limited to) questions about sexism and gender roles. While many tracks touch on relationships and love, the boldly feminist under current of their second album, Peanut Butter is one of the reasons that I fell in love with the band.

Their set list on Sunday at DC9 touched on all of these issues, as well as the band’s relationship with the CIA and even included bonus gardening tips. (Apparently coffee grounds help with gardening. Joanna Gruesome -- helping music lovers and gardeners alike.)

Joanna Gruesome is pure joy to listen to live. The band as a whole has tremendous energy – I still have the guitar melody for “Honestly to Do Your Worst” stuck in my head. As a fan of noise-punk, I was most pleasantly surprised by the contrast of vocals from Kate and Roxy who joined the band as a part of their tour in 2015. While Kate was a perfect level of rage-filled energy, Roxy added a soft, almost folk-inspired touch to the set. My favorite part of the set was the back-and-forth dynamic of the vocals – hard and soft, reflective and angry, regretful and vengeful. It added depth to an already entertaining show.

In fact, in many ways, the intricacies of the lyrics and vocals made the show accessible to music lovers who may find “noise-punk-pop” a tad intimidating. If you are on the fence – I encourage you to check it out (and doubt very much you’ll be disappointed). In fact, I suspect you’ll leave with your anger vindicated and feeling at least a little bit more joyful.

Thanks so much to Morgan for checking this out and introducing us to a great band a bit outside of our comfort zone. 

Next Up: Caleb's checking out Those Darlins and Shakey Graves at 9:30 Club on Sunday!

"hello" monday

We have been so remiss to not have shared Adele's new song on the blog. Since she's one of our most favorite mellow Monday gals of all time, we figured it was only fitting to have TIOJ's premiere of "Hello" on today, the mellowest of Mondays.

Friday, November 6, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend!! Enjoy your break from work with brunch, weddings, and some extra rest.

Your Weekend Jam: CHROMATICS’ cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” is eerily perfect for this too-warm, humid and hazy November weekend.

TIOJ Thoughts:

DC Metro rent map. 

How rappers got their rap names.

How well do you know dance crazes?

Still so obsessed with Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake’s duet at the CMAs the other night. 

Free! Free Shovels & Rope! I repeat, free Shovels & Rope!

And in case you missed it: We chatted with Etienne of MisterWives before their show this week!!

{PLAYLIST} lovey songs

It is such a happy weekend in the TIOJ offices this weekend -- two of our dear dear friends are getting married!! (And on top of that, it's been a hot second since all three of us have been at a wedding together -- just picture the Whitney Houston dancing that will ensue.) To celebrate the lovely couple, we've compiled some of our current favorite lovey songs, both new ones and classics, because we love love. (Cheesy? Yes. But we're going with it.)

Press play and enjoy time with ones you love this weekend!

In the mood for more love? Check out I Think I Like You Jams parts 1 and 2, wedding music (and more wedding music), and oh so many Valentine's playlists

Thursday, November 5, 2015

{THROWBACK} "this must be the place"

Yes, yes, I know. We've posted a version of this throwback a least 900 times on this blog. But I will not apologize -- I will NEVER have enough covers of this Talking Heads classic.

Today we've got electro pop band Brothertiger with their cover of "This Must Be The Place." Put a smile on your face and press play below.

More you say? Well, we can accommodate:

The original + Kishi Bashi + MGMT cover
The Lumineers cover
City Rain cover
Iron & Wine cover

DC! Brothertiger is playing at the 9:30 Club with JR JR on Friday night. Come dance with us!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

{INTERVIEW} misterwives

My oh my! We got to chat with one of our top bands to watch in 2015 -- MisterWives! Read ahead as we chat with Etienne, the band's drummer ("a.k.a the most important part... the driver of the band, the heart beat, the roots, the core, the center of the universe revolves around me, etc...") about how quickly the band got a record deal, hanging out with half of Hall & Oates, and his favorite tour hobby.

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourselves! How did you form a band and get to where you are today?
Mandy and I met in NYC because we worked a block away from each other at two different vegan restaurants. We always talked about playing music together and after a year or so she invited me to do a gig and it was there that I met the incredible CigWilly. Then I called my two old band mates, Marc and Jesse to help us complete the sound for our live show and we all immediately clicked! Our first show together was in NYC at the Canal Room and the next day we got a call from one of our managers saying we got offered a record deal. Since then, it's been a wild roller coaster of fun and we are all pinching ourselves!!

How would you describe yourselves to someone who's never heard your music before? 
It's definitely a blend of multiple genres. That's the beauty of having a band, we all have different musical backgrounds that influence the music.

Click ahead for more!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

old dominion is my virginian jam

I'm so delayed in writing this, but I figured that, since my infatuation with Old Dominion has stayed in tact, it was high time I feature them. I. am. obsessed.

If you listen to country radio as much as I do, you've surely heard "Break Up With Him," and you've definitely joined in for the "hey girl" at the beginning of the song. And if you love Virginia as much as I do, you've checked out the band's Wikipedia page and discovered that the vats majority of members are in fact from Virginia.

Anyway, this song over and over and over.

Monday, November 2, 2015

{RECAP} charged up 2015

Last weekend Caleb spent the day in NoMa's Storey Park for the first annual Charged Up Music Festival covering a wide range of artists -- from chillwave to hip hop and local to international. Check out his awesome recap video below featuring new local favorites Redline Graffiti, Miley's producer BFF Mike WiLL Made-It and more!

Song: Visto - "Shinobi"
Bands In Order Of Appearance: Redline Graffiti, Kelow, Legendary Cloud 9, Visto, Black Alley, Pinky KillaCorn, Mike Will Made-It.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

{PLAYLIST} best of october 2015

First and foremost, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! We hope you're ready to be creepy and spooky and ghouly tonight. But before that, won't you take a look back at October with us? In October, we:

Press play and enjoy!

    "61 Cygni Ave" - Neon Indian
    We loved dancing to Neon Indian's new album!
    "Backroad Song" - Granger Smith
    Can't it be summer just a little longer so I can listen to this song with the windows down?
    "Make This Leap" - The Hunts
    Folksy, from Virginia and family? What's more to love?
    "WILD" - Troye Silvan
    Obsessed with our autumn playlist.
    "One of Us" - Dan Croll
    Perfect song to dancedancedance to. 
    "Gone" - JR JR
    Different name, same swagger. 
    "Weak" - Wet
    So pleased Wet is back!!
    "FourFive Seconds" - The Janes 
    This song always makes me sad for the world when I remember that our generation didn't know who Paul McCartney was. But I love this cover.
    "The Love Within" - Bloc Party
    I can't live without new music from Bloc Party.
    "Seventeen" - Sjowgren
    Our newest fall discovery.
    "Shadowplay" - The Saint Johns
    I want this song to be on Nashville.
    "Blackbird" - Paul McCartney
    The Hozier cover of this classic is amazing, but it'll never beat the original.
    "Sugar" - Robin Schulz feat. Francesco Yates
    Our newest guilty pleasure
    "Road to Canaan" - Sons of Bill
    My #1 fave, forever and always.

    Friday, October 30, 2015

    weekend thoughts...

    Happy Halloween Eve ghosty friends! We hope you have an awesome and spooky weekend full of too much candy, witty costumes, and sleeping in on Sunday (with an extra hour of sleep!). Start the weekend with a roundup of our favorite Halloween-themed links!

    Your Weekend Jam: Okay so this jam isn’t technically on theme BUT it’s new St. Lucia -- who cares. Get to dancing, people!

    TIOJ spoooOOOOoooooky Thoughts:

    Bow down witches.

    Dogs in Halloween costumes.

    Halloween candy and beer pairings.

    Halloween Dad jokes. (I lol-ed.)

    Candy trade values.

    DC Happenings: It's Halloween -- go to festive things via BYT's Halloween Guide!

    And in case you missed it: Last minute music-themed costume ideas!

    And! We compiled a MEGA Halloween playlist on Spotify.

    {PLAYLIST} halloween 2015

    Happpppy Halloween!! It's our most favorite, spookiest night of the year when, essentially, anything goes. Want to be Frankenstein's ex-wife? Totally okay. Eat a ton of Reese's pumpkins and watch Hocus Pocus? Equally okay. Be even braver and watch a real scary movie? You're our hero. Whatever your plans are, we hope that your weekend is made extra creepy with these here jams.

    Press play -- if you dare...

    Still craving some spookiness? We compiled ALL of our past Halloween playlists into a MEGA PLAYLIST here!

    Thursday, October 29, 2015

    {THROWBACK} "i can't wait"

    Have you guys seen the Target commercials for plaid with Icona Pop and QuestLove singing "I Can't Wait"? I have, and I love it. (Pun = INTENDED.)

    And now that I've been introduced to the original song, by Nu Shooz, and I love that too.

    {THROWBACK} "blackbird"

    One of 2015's favorite artist Hozier is inspiring Throwback Thursday yet again -- this time with an amped up version of Paul McCartney's classic "Blackbird."

    I dare you not to want to sway softly to the original after that performance:

    Want more? Catch Kurt's rendition of the classic on Glee. #FEELINGS

    via Cover Me Songs

    Wednesday, October 28, 2015

    {RECAP} the darkness

    Concert Correspondent Stacia believes in a thing called love, so she headed up to Silver Spring to catch The Darkness on Sunday night. Read her recap below!

    If the Vikings jammed out to heavy rock in their villages, they would have felt right at home Sunday night at the Fillmore, as the bagpipes played and the lightshow began before The Darkness took stage. As the fog cleared and the house lights went up, lead singer Justin Hawkins, donning a skintight black and white striped suit, opened with the song "Barbarian," off of their latest album, Last of Our Kind.

    While the last label I would give myself is a heavy metal enthusiast, my nostalgia for the band’s 2003 single, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love," off their album Permission To Land, drew me to the concert. With little more knowledge, I made my way to Silver Spring. Was I in for a night!

    The night was not a concert, it was truly a performance. At times I felt I had been transported back to the 1970s, and thought “this is how people must have felt, going to a true rock & roll concert.” The band, offering a similar resemblance to Queen, entertained the crowd with metallic songs like "Mudslide," but softer ballads as well -- all while still staying true to their rock roots. Each song offered its own unique sound. I was impressed by their song "Growing On Me," which pumped up the crowd with its catchy beat. The music was only one element of this fantastic performance. I was incredibly impressed by how engaging Hawkins was with the crowd. Not only did he connect with the audience through hilarious sarcasm, but this eccentric 40-year-old guitarist and lead vocalist made you feel like you were one of his pals.

    This is all preface to say that the person who really stole the show, was a 20-something named Karla. About a third of the way through the night, Hawkins noticed Karla rocking it out at the front of the stage and called her over to amp up the crowd. What can only be described as interpretive dance, Karla stayed on stage for over five songs, rousing the crowd and acting as Hawkins on-stage muse. At one point there were three audience members on stage (two guys dancing next to drummer Rufus Taylor), but it was Karla getting the encore.

    Between the high energy of all the band members (yes, there were stage jumps, set changes and costume reveals) to light shows and engaging the crowd, this was truly an unforgettable performance. This UK band of yesteryear, with their appropriately named album, Last Of Our Kind, officially made a comeback and proved that their style is sincerely unapologetic.

    Thank you so much to Stacia for this review!! Up next: Caleb's recap of Charged Up Fest, and Morgan checks out Joanna Gruesome on Sunday!

    music-themed halloween costumes!

    Halloween is Saturday and if you're anything like us, you still haven't decided on what you want to be for Halloween. Mix things up from grabbing your standard pair of ears to be "a mouse, duh" (no judgement, we've done it) and try one of our one of music-themed Halloween costume suggestions below!

    You + Your Boo

    Omi + His "Cheerleader"
    What better way to keep summer alive than by re-creating the song of the summer?

    yes, we picture T-Swift as his cheerleader... (via 1 ,2)

    Get the look:
    Him: A beachy shirt + panama hat + shades
    Her: Your finest cheerleader costume -- don't forget a high pony and pom-poms!

    John Lennon and Yoko Ono
    If you're feeling like a good throwback, leave the flatiron at home and channel this notorious couple for a comfortable and peaceful night out.

    Get the look:
    Both: Pajamas + peace signs
    For John: Round glasses, guitar optional
    For Yoko: Tulips + killer confidence around John's friends

    You + Your Girls

    Grab your two best besties and your flat iron for this easy costume! (Bonus points for grabbing your blonde friend to be your Taylor Swift... #squadgoals)

    Get the look:
    Este: Dark printed dress or skirt + red lip
    Alana: Short cut offs + dark muscle tee
    Danielle: Leather jacket + skinny black pants
    All: Straight hair + booties +  attitude


    Miley Cyrus at the VMAs
    Halloween is truly about wearing minimal clothing so why not channel this eye-popping pop star? Or really any other slightly deranged pop star for that matter...


    Get the look:
    Miley: Nude slip + random ish from the dollar store taped onto your body strategically 
    BONUS IDEA: Not feeling Miley? Slap some fake bacon on your slip and call yourself Lady Gaga instead! Slap on some pasties over low-cut jeans and you've got yourself a Lil' Kim! This idea works for all crazed pop stars!

    Happy Halloween! Let us know what other music-themed costumes you'll be trying out this weekend!

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015

    embracing the "supernatural" with cameron calloway

    BOO! It's HALLOWEEN WEEK -- which means we're listening to spooky scary songs on repeat ALL week. Before we get to the playlists, we had to kick things off with an acoustic version of Cameron Calloway's "Supernatural."

    Be sure to listen through for the "Thriller" sample. Because what is Halloween if you don't listen to "Thriller" at least 13 times?

    Monday, October 26, 2015

    {GIVEAWAY} rac @ 9:30 club

    Monday got you down? NEVER FEAR! We've got some poppy jams AND a giveaway to see longtime TIOJ favorite RAC at the 9:30 Club on November 10.

    Need some convincing? Get your fingers clicking with the latest from RAC!

    Enter via Rafflecopter below!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Saturday, October 24, 2015

    {WATCH} kurt cobain: montage of heck

    Truth be told, I know relatively little about Kurt Cobain -- I was just a few years too young and much too girly to have been caught up in the Nirvana frenzy of the '90s. So it was with a very open mind that I watched the recent documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck about the late Nirvana frontman.

    As evidenced by all of the accolades in the trailer, this documentary is incredible. Filled with home videos of a young Kurt, home movies taken by Courtney Love while the two were newlyweds, and animated replications of entries from Kurt's diary -- this film shines an incredibly insightful light into this tragic star's life.

    Regardless of what you may or may not know about Cobain or Nirvana (did you know Dave Grohl was their drummer? I had no clue, dude.) -- I highly recommend taking a few hours to sit down with this documentary. It is available for streaming on HBO GO.

    Friday, October 23, 2015

    weekend thoughts...

    Friday, you sneaky temptress, we meet again. TIOJers, we hope your weekend is full of spooky movies, red wine, and cozy clothes.

    Your Weekend Jam: Horace Mann’s “Lovefool” is witty, catchy, and infectious -- never has a man’s plight about being in love with a lesbian been so danceable.

    TIOJ Thoughts: 

    Forget Halloween, we’re ready for Christmas.


    Proud to say I recognized over half of these obscure ‘00s boy bands.

    Halloween jams from Oh Happy Day to get you in the spooky mood!


    Free! Stop the presses, Noisetrade is offering a free Ben Rector sampler with seven (!) amazing, incredible, somber, earnest tracks!

    DC Happenings: Charged Up music festival is in NoMa this weekend!

    And in case you missed it: Krista jumped at the chance to see Neon Indian perform live at the 9:30 Club!
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