Tuesday, March 31, 2015

{PLAYLIST} best of march 2015

Spring has sprung, and 2015 is chugging right along -- and March is over already!! We here in the TIOJ offices have kept ourselves quite busy this month. In March, we:
And in March, we were listening to:

"When I Get Older" - Wild Party
Loved discovering this perfect indie band and had their album on repeat all month!
"The One" - Kodaline
 What is it about Irishmen that makes me want to swoon?
"Venice" - The Lighthouse and the Whaler
This is one of the prettiest, mellowest jams that just makes me yearn for a trip.
"Colors" - Genevieve
Whether I'm going for a run or just need an afternoon pick-me-up, this song is my new go to. 
"Like I'm Gonna Lose You" - Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend
Any time the words "featuring John Legend" are involved, I'm sold.
"I Won't Follow" - Secret Someones
I am so in awe of the ladypower in this rocking band.
"Sound Of A Broken Heart" - Jukebox the Ghost
JTG was just the cheery band to usher in Spring this month. 
"Pretty Green" - White Denim
I just want to have a beer with these rocking Austinites. And make them sing to me.
"I Will Be There" - Odessa
Can't get over the breathy beautifulness of our latest interview alum.
"T-Shirt Weather" - Circa Waves
Even though we didn't have it all month, we loved at least dreaming of warmer weather in March.
"We Were Only Dreaming" - Tides of Man
This ethereal song hypnotizes you and keeps you under its spell.
"Somebody That I Used to Know" - Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield
Sorry Gotye -- I'm siding with an Avett brother on this one.
"Learning To Let Go" - Bombadil
Our Savannah Stopover playlist eased our pain of missing the festivities this year.
"Call to War" - The Lone Bellow
Picking a fave Lone Bellow song is like picking a favorite child. But this one is a definite contender.
"Slipping Away" - Tanlines
Praise be, I'm still SO happy that there's new music from Tanlines

"old thing back" is my new obsession

It may not be super intuitive that a Biggie Smalls song and heavily featuring Ja Rule would be a 2015 hit, but believe me, you haven't traveled back in time. Once you listen to "Old Thing Back" you'll understand that this new remix is a modern keeper.

DJ-turned-music producer Matoma really outdid himself with this one.

This song only gets better with the third, fourth, tenth, thirteenth listens...

Monday, March 30, 2015

{RECAP} misterwives

On Saturday night I grabbed Caleb (and later a glow-in-the-dark headband-wearing Jurg) and headed to U Street Music Hall to spend an evening with rising Brooklyn stars MisterWives. (Sadly other rising star BØRNS had to cancel their appearance due to sickness -- get well soon!)

The female-led five-piece kicked off the show with a salute to the crowd and the infectious title track off their debut album Our Own House. Pretend you were there with us with the video below!

The band continued to wow the crowd as they expressed the perfect balance of humility, talent, and unbridled fun. With perky outfits, a rotating set of instruments (highlights included an accordion and glockenspiel), and Mandy Lee's phenomenal voice, this was an ideal case in which the band's energy completely fed that of the crowd in a supremely cheerful way.

As the band continued through their album with old favorites like "Coffins" as well as new jams like "Not Your Way" and "Best I Can Do," you could tell that they were just such good friends and having a gooddamn wonderful time on stage. I mean, they had choreographed dance moves and, at one point, a dueling "sing" off between lead singer Mandy Lee and a trumpet. Just what you would hope to expect from the first headlining tour of a rising pop band.

Dancing around to their hit "Reflections" in the back of the crowd and a wonderfully fitting cover of "Uptown Funk" during the encore were the perfect ways to celebrate the spirit of this band on a too-cold-for-March Saturday night.

A video posted by Mike Zeller (@mzeller) on

MisterWives put on a super fun show and judging by the enthusiasm of the crowd, we definitely think they solidified their spot as a top band to watch in 2015. Seriously, I hadn't been to a show where the crowd sang along lyrics to almost every song since seeing Sam Smith play U Hall -- by that measure, these guys will be on Saturday Night Live in no time!

Next Up: Stay tuned for recaps of Father John Misty and Mat Kearney who also played on Saturday night!

{GIVEAWAY} dan deacon @9:30 club

Dan Deacon is one of the most incredible performers to see live (evidence here) and we think you need to witness it for yourself. So, we're giving you away a pair of tickets to see him live at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, April 11!! (That's right, Saturday night -- the best night for a Dan Deacon concert experience.)

Now get ready to groove and enter via Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait to win? Grab tickets here!

show your colors, girl!

Turn the volume up, press play, and have a wonderful uplifting start to your week thanks to the darling Genevieve!

Seriously, I've listened to this song eight times in a row. It's so happy.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

{RECAP} milky chance

On Wednesday night Morgan ventured to a sold out 9:30 Club to catch rising stars Milky Chance -- check out her awesome recap below!! (And *hint*hint* stayed tuned to TIOJ for an interview with the band!)

In between sets at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday night, like many concert goers, I started killing time on my phone. So, I confess to being completely startled when three (yes, three) giant dream catchers started to fall from the ceiling. Once the dream catchers finished their descent and hung over the stage I turned to a stranger next to me and said, “I already love everything about this Milky Chance show.”

Gorgeous guitars (and two, yes two, harmonica solos) and inspirited vocals ruled on Wednesday night. Vienna-native James Hersey kicked off the evening with a series of songs that had hints of reggae and rock paired with extremely soulful lyrics.

Shortly after setting the stage with floating dream catchers and wooden poles, Milky Chance entered the stage with a long, classical-inspired guitar solo that set a haunting, almost mystical scene. As Clemens Rehbein started to sing, there was something mysterious and contemplative in the air at the 9:30 Club. However, within minutes the band shifted gears and kicked up the energy in the room making it impossible to keep from dancing.

I find something very calming, almost meditative about Sadnecessary, the first full-length album from Rehbein and Phillip Dausch. (Which, if you haven’t listened to it, stop reading this right now and go listen.) As much as I love Sadnecessary, Rehbein and Dausch are so much more incredible live. Live, Milky Chance’s raw vocals and stunningly beautiful extended guitar solos were a lovely and peaceful antidote to anyone’s mid-week blues. But don’t get the impression this was a quiet show – The band masterfully shifted between steady folk -and blues-inspired solos and fast, high-energy, electronica. No matter the tempo, the crowd danced for the entire show from start to finish.

The show was pure joy from start to finish. Even the crankiest of concert go-ers would have cheered up at the first harmonica solo. (Only to be delighted minutes later by, yes, a second harmonica solo.) Quite simply, Milky Chance put on a lovely and fun show that I didn’t want to end.

Next Up: Stay tuned for a string of recaps as TIOJ covers three concerts tonight: MisterWives, Father John Misty, AND Mat Kearney!

{WATCH} dan deacon's tiny desk concert

Brace yourselves for one of the most energetic and frenetic Tiny Desk Concerts ever care of Baltimore creative Dan Deacon. On a casual morning at 11AM, Dan took over the NPR offices with a self-playing piano and his unique blend of music and started a surely unforgettable dance party for the folks over at NPR. Dan's unique performance style, encouraging crowd participation and unabashed dancing, is so free and fun that I immediately bought myself tickets to his upcoming show after watching this performance four times in a row.

Press play below and keep your eyes pealed for dancing cameos from All Songs Considered hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton.

DC! Dan Deacon is playing at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, April 11. Come get crazy with us!

Friday, March 27, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend! We've got some awesome concerts descending upon DC this weekend (TIOJ's covering three!) so whether you're at the shows with us or just dancing in your room in your undies, we hope you have a weekend full of fun and good music!

Your Weekend Jam: In anticipation of their show on Saturday night, rock out to Milkman's remix of MisterWives' "Reflections"!

TIOJ Thoughts:

Loved All Songs Considered’s SXSW Lullaby feature they did every night last week. So dreamy.

Coachella and H&M have paired up once again for a clothing line of boho styles and florals for April’s festival.

Can we get Hockey Wives on TV in the US? Please?

DC ALERT! Rock & Roll Hotel is now hosting rooftop DJs, starting TONIGHT!!

Free! iTunes is on point this week offering free downloads of Tanlines' new jam "Slipping Away" and Dan Deacon's spunky jam "Gliss Riffer"!

DC Happenings: Watch Troop Beverly Hills (a.k.a. the greatest movie of all time) at the MLK Library for FREE on Saturday!

And in case you missed it: If you’re a fan of Daughter and/or The XX, we think you’ll dig Wilsen -- check her out now!!

Plus! We’re giving away a pair of tickets to see bearded Canadian favorites Hey Rosetta! at DC9 on April 8 -- enter now, you have just a few hours left!

{PLAYLIST} hipster hookups, part ii

Watch out, friends -- things are about to get a little sexy in here. Grab your boo or your crush (we know there's someone; there always is an influx of new romance as the weather warms up), and get cozy. These sultry jams will keep the hipsterest of your love interests intrigued.

Dim the lights and press play below!

Keep the sexy times going with our original hipster hookup jams.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

{THROWBACK} "unwritten"

I was watching the series finale of Pretty Little Liars the other day (who wants to talk with me about it??) and I was charmed when, as the girls walked into their fake prom, Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten" came on. This, of course, immediately reminded me of one of my favorite shows of all time -- The Hills.

In case you're looking for some new blogs to follow, might I suggest those of the always lovely Lauren Conrad and Lo Bosworth? And I will leave you with one of my favorite nuggets of truth: Brody is Kim Kardashian's stepbrother. Just think about that for a while.

shut up and dance!

Start off your day with the cutest video mashup of oh so many favorite movie dance scenes -- set to no other than Walk the Moon's "Shut Up and Dance." This video covers all the bases, from classics like Grease and Flashdance to our generation's classics (Save the Last Dance, Center Stage, and She's All That), plus animated darlings like Beauty and the Beast and Happy Feet. It will, no doubt, put you in a good mood for the day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

{IF YOU LIKE} daughter, the xx

(via 1/2/3)
If you like the thoughtful vocals of Daughter or the careful and beautiful instrumentals of the XX, then you should most definitely take a listen to Wilsen. Her music is quiet and sobering, creating a peace in your day that you didn't know you needed.

And she's just as magical live.

Also, her cover of Grimes' "Oblivion" is my new everything.

DC! Wilsen's going to be playing at Rock & Roll Hotel on April 7 -- grab your tickets now!

wild party is my jam

Wild Party is a band that Seth Cohen would love. When I first listened to them I was immediately drawn in because of the sense of familiarity that their music provided. After two listens through their delightful debut album Phantom Pop I finally realized that all the bands I was drawing comparisons to (Tokyo Police Club, Rooney) were posters on Seth Cohen’s wall in The O.C. … and the heavens rejoiced.

Seth Cohen aside, I’m so thankful I discovered this fun band (thanks All Songs!) from San Antonio. Their entire album is the perfect upbeat album full of classic pop and indie rock to transition into Spring. Give it a spin here and listen to some my favorites off the album below.

"When I Get Older"


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"gold digger" like you've never heard it before

Where has this cover been my whole life? I have no words (lies, I have lots of words) to describe how sexy, sultry, stunning and badass this reworking of Kanye's "Gold Digger" is. Twin Caverns, you may just be the thing I need to get me through this work day.

Monday, March 23, 2015

in love with LAUV

LAUV's immensely listenable debut single "The Other" has stormed into my life and taken hold like no other. If this song is a sign of things to come from this new artist, life is about to get really great. I really can't stop listening. More please.

{GIVEAWAY} hey rosetta! @ dc9

Good news, TIOJ readers! We're giving away tickets to one of our favorite Canadian imports at DC9 on April 8 -- Hey Rosetta!, whose show is being presented by Communion DC. (Seriously, you were going to make us choose between these lovely Newfies and Brooks Laich's eyeballs??) We have long been fans of Hey Rosetta!, who put on an incredible live show... their beards are pretty easy on the eyes, too.

Need some convincing? Listen to their latest release, "What Arrows."

Need some more convincing? Not only is Hey Rosetta! playing, the stage will also be graced by Kevin Garrett and Imagined Herbal Flows. This is not a show to miss.

Enter now via the Rafflecopter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Too impatient to wait?? Buy your tickets NOW here

Friday, March 20, 2015

{RECAP} the lone bellow

Dearest Concert Correspondent Jurg is back recapping her night last Friday with The Lone Bellow at The Hamilton!

The Lone Bellow launched their sold out set with a handful of songs from their newly released album Then Came the Morning. It was a reminder that, as lovely as their recordings are, the band really shines in their live shows. By the time Zach Williams announced "if you know this song, sing along" and launched into "You Never Need Nobody," the crowd eagerly joined in, happy to release some of the energy that had been building since the first guitar strum. Another notable moment came during the emotional cover of Paul Simon's "Slip Slidin' Away," which also inspired a crowd sing along, although this time felt almost involuntary.

Other highlights of the show included my personal favorite off the new album - "Call to War," the peppy "You Don't Love Me Like You Used To" ("Well this song's about losing absolutely all hope...but don't worry - it's in a really fun melody" joked Williams), and when sweetly soft opener Odessa joined the group to perform their own song, "Hummed Low." If you can catch this band at a festival this summer (their whole tour sold out!), do it. You'll thank me later.

Next Up: Look out for Morgan's review of Milky Chance next week!

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, friends -- we made it! We don't know what this wintry mix is today, but we hope you have the most wonderful first weekend of spring, despite extreme SXSW FOMO.

Your Weekend Jam: Celebrate your besties this weekend with Emily King’s “Good Friend” -- an easy, breezy kick-off to your spring weekend (with a nice little jam sesh in there too!).

TIOJ Thoughts: 

Need something to do this weekend? Print yourself a 3D Paul McCartney!

I miss Leslie Knope. 

Oh my wow… In 2016, “Baby One More Time” will essentially be old enough to vote.

A turntable kitchen set -- yes please.

Free! We are loving Rose Quartz as an almost-spring pick-me-up, and you can get “Leaving Now” on Soundcloud for free!

And in case you missed it: Be sure to read Sara and Sarah's glowing review of Milo Greene's show last week at Rock & Roll Hotel!!

{PLAYLIST} sxsw 2015

The most overwhelming, quintessential, and utterly amazing music festival is upon us -- and we are so incredibly sad that we're not in Austin for it. SXSW, we miss you. After Krista's incredible SXSW experience in 2014, it's remained on our bucket lists, and we are oh so jealous of everyone who is there right now.


If we were experiencing all the music on every corner -- and tacos -- of SXSW, we would be trying our hardest to check out these acts:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

hudson moore is "goin' out tonight"!

Move over Luke Bryan -- I have a new country anthem for the summer. Hudson Moore's "Goin' Out Tonight" has all the requirements of that roll your windows down, have a beer while sitting on a cooler at a tailgate, play corn hole on the beach country song.

Take a listen, then get this jam on Noisetrade now -- you know I love the stomp-clap sequence at 2:11.

And with this, I officially declare it spring break!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

{RECAP} milo greene

On Sunday night the Sara(h)s hopped over to Rock & Roll Hotel to catch favorites Milo Greene. Check out their recap of the band and their new sound below. 

There is nothing more magical than watching a band grow. Seeing them for the first time in a small venue. Seeing them again at a large festival. And then seeing them come together and headline a sold out show in your home city. That is what we had the privilege of experiencing on Sunday night. Watching Milo Greene grow. The band has taken shape, matured, and mastered their craft since their first album -- while still holding true to their core sound.

milo greene via @englishmuffins
The sold out show on Sunday was proof that they have come full circle. A few things were clear during their set at Rock & Roll Hotel: these guys are friends, these guys are making a conscious effort at reinvention, and these guys are proud of their efforts. Milo Greene certainly believes in their new direction -- and so does their audience. They depend on each other for affirmation of their new vibes, and the crowd supported it all the way through. A highlight was their cover of Phil Collins' "Take Me Home," which was a brilliant call on their part. The song fit the band's vocal abilities, particularly their impressive harmonization, flawlessly.

The four stood side-by-side through the whole set: it was an interesting stage configuration that both reinforced their new louder, faster, more "wall-of-sound" vibe and proffered a "we're-in-this-together" feel that was appealing. Their unique low-fi, breathy vocals permeated and meandered through the layered instrumentation. The set was exciting and enjoyable. The focus seemed to be on the new album, understandably, but the band also paid tribute to their older work.

It was almost as if they had to. How could you leave those songs behind? The band's first album was so open, honest, and raw. It was as if we gained access to their personal diary. It felt sort of invasive at first, but the more you read, you realized you couldn't put down. It was personal. And it was real. And it was relate-able. You can't run away from that. And the audience felt surround and protected by the songs.

And the new album. It's the perfect follow up to the first. Almost a "you know us, to the bone -- we have nothing left to hide," unapologetic type of music. Here we are. We have arrived. The band took us on that journey from start to finish. They arrived on Sunday and aren't going anywhere.

Next Up: Morgan will be catching Milky Chance at the 9:30 Club next Wednesday!

{WE LOVE} tides of man

"We Were Only Dreaming" is the first single off of Young and Courageous, Tides of Man's recently-released (and first-ever all instrumental!) album. I'm pretty enamored by these bearded fellows. This song is so ambient, fervent, sweeping, and a little haunting. "We Were Only Dreaming" is the sort of song that was tailor-made for a pretty evocative movie montage. Who can I suggest this to out in Hollywood?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

kodaline is my jam

If Coldplay and Savage Garden had a band baby, I think their musically inclined offspring would be a lot like Kodaline. That might sound weird, but have a listen to "The One" off their recently released album "Coming Up For Air" and tell me you don't hear strains of Chris Martin and remnants of "Truly Madly Deeply."

I can't stop listening to these Dubliners without hearing swaying, wishing I had a lighter to wave back and forth.

If you, too, can't get enough Kodaline, check out their La Blogothèque Take Away Show here! PS: It's a complete accident that I happened to post about Irishmen on St. Patrick's Day--a happy accident!

Monday, March 16, 2015

the lighthouse and the whaler is my mellow monday jam

The Lighthouse and Whaler's "Venice" may be one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a while, and it is perfect for this mellow Monday. If you're in Austin this week, be sure to find them at SXSW. If you're in DC, you can dream of being in Venice and in Austin (imagine all the food possibilities with that...) with this song.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

{WATCH} lucius at nudie jeans

We get it. It's cold and you dread this time of winter without any big holidays to look forward to. Seriously, we feel you and would like to offer this live session featuring Lucius performing "How Loud Your Heart Gets" at Nudie Jeans as a cup of hot coffee in audiovisual form. We hope you watch it in bed and let it slowly wake you up as you get ready to layer up and take on the day!

Props to Caleb for the find!

Friday, March 13, 2015

{RECAP} sofar sounds dc

Guys, I've got a secret I'm dying to let you in on: there's a worldwide organization that puts on secret concerts every month. It's called Sofar Sounds and it's awesome.

On Wednesday night I was lucky enough to attend Sofar's first show in DC in a couple of years and it was an incredible evening. Fifty music lovers gathered at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and milled about in the atrium anxiously waiting to find out what was in store for them. Everyone was so fun and excited to be part of this unique musical opportunity.

In no time, we were led into a small gallery and the fifty of us sat cross legged on the floor as the lineup of the night was revealed: three sets from local bands Young Rapids, Stronger Sex, and The Walking Sticks.

Young Rapids' Dan Gleason kicked off the night with an awesome solo set. Next was three-piece Stronger Sex who were a great change of pace. They were a great blend of super sexy vibes (think Chet Faker) combined with legitimate art. (Sadly we had to miss The Walking Sticks but we were sure they were awesome because they are!)

I highly highly highly recommend that you take the opportunity to see these bands live and if you're interested in finding out more about Sofar Sounds (no matter where you live!), click here and if you're in the DC area, click here! (And stay tuned for videos from the evening!)

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, pretty people! The snow and its morose companion Seasonal Depression are starting to fade and we couldn't be more delighted. Whether you're spending the weekend on spring break or just shopping for a new spring wardrobe, we hope you have a great one!

Your Weekend Jam: An extra spring break-inspired jam for your weekend from Just Kiddin!

TIOJ Thoughts:

Have you guys binge-watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt yet? I can’t get the theme song out of my head…

To do: Download this app that texts in Drake-speak.

How music affects productivity. 

Who wants to grab some orange mocha frapuccinos to celebrate Zoolander 2?!

Free! New favorite L A Y L A is offering up her gorgeous single “For You” for free!

More Free! Cure your SXSW FOMO with another free mixtape, this time from Noisetrade!

DC Happenings: News alert! Black Cat is starting their weeknight shows earlier. We couldn't be happier.

And in case you missed it: Fans of Sam Smith and Maroon 5, take note! We think you’ll love Wrabel -- take a listen now!

{PLAYLIST} welcome, spring!

SPRING IS HERE. When a 60 degree day (or week!!) feels like the middle of summer, you know that this long winter is finally coming to a close. With the highest of hopes that we can take our puffy coats to the cleaners and then put them in the back of our closets until next year, we're soaking up just as much of this warmish weather as we can and welcoming spring with open arms.

cherry blossom beauty via
Join as as we celebrate spring -- and spring break! -- and listen to the jams below.

Keep celebrating the return of spring with more jams here and here.

{RECAP} secret someone's, little daylight, jukebox the ghost

On Tuesday night we (finally) pulled on our non-puffy coats and headed to the 9:30 Club for a night of music featuring Brooklyn-based bands Secret Someone's, Little Daylight, and Jukebox the Ghost. Across the board the night was filled with unbridled optimism that was much needed after the doldrums of winter.

Lady-led Secret Someone's kicked off the evening and, for lack of a better description, rocked so hard. The band was having a lot of fun on stage and we really enjoyed their refreshing blend of rock and roll.

Synth pop favorites Little Daylight were up next. As frequent standbys on our playlists, I was really looking forward to seeing them again live after spending more time than I would care to admit dancing around to their album in my room. Unfortunately, the start of their set lacked the energy found during my frenetic solo dance parties, which, I believe, was a product of an audience unfamiliar with their music (and rather high standards from myself... I throw a mean solo dance party). Thankfully, however, things picked up when the band played a cover of David Bowie's "Let's Dance."

Click ahead for more!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

{THROWBACK} "how sweet it is"

You can't get much more classic than Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet It Is" for a declaration of love. It's been covered countless times (James Taylor's is my favorite), and it is in oh so many TV shows and movies. Eau Claire takes it in a whole new direction with this remix -- it adds just the right amount of pep, handclaps, and synthy undertones.

Of course, here's Mr. Gaye's version:

{THROWBACK} "i try"

Guys, remember when Macy Gray's "I Try" was everywhere? Oh 1999, what a glorious time. Relive those days with MG's original AND George Ezra's nostalgic cover.

{INTERVIEW} odessa

As you can probably tell, we're enchanted with up-and-coming singer Odessa. To prepare ourselves for her upcoming performance at The Hamilton, we chatted with her about finishing her debut album, her current tour with The Lone Bellow, and what makes her mom happy. 

Listen to the gorgeous "I Will Be There" while you read:

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music?
I started playing the violin when I was four years old. Since then, I've taken up a variety of instruments.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before?

What is your songwriting process like? What inspires your music?
I write in all different sorts of ways. Most everything I experience inspires me eventually.

You're in the middle of a tour with The Lone Bellow. What has a highlight been so far? What are you still looking forward to on tour?
The Nashville show hit home. I had a string section on a few songs and something magical happened during that performance. I'm really looking forward to playing New York City with The Lone Bellow. I can't say enough good things about that band. They are kindred spirits.

Your first album is coming out this spring -- we're so excited for it! How has the experience of making it been?
Long and arduous and totally amazing.

photo by neil krug
If you could collaborate with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
Townes Van Zandt.

Some of your songs have been featured in commercials and TV shows -- what has that experience been like for you?
I don't think about it too much. My mom gets pretty excited.

You've played the violin on tours with bands like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Mumford and Sons -- that sounds amazing! What was that like?
It was like a dream inside of a dream.

What artist have you been listening to that we need to add to our iPods right now?
We are on the road right now and have been wearing out Beck's album Morning Phase in the van. It's endlessly beautiful. You probably already have it, but if you don't you should.

Thanks again to Odessa for taking the time to chat with us. If you snagged tickets in time, she'll be playing at The Hamilton on Friday night!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

checking in with bbc live lounge

Our latest Live Lounge post on Hozier was just not enough... we have so many more favorites from BBC's Live Lounge to share. Check out a roundup of our favorite recent Live Lounge visitors.

James Bay covering "FourFiveSeconds" -- We're so impressed that not only did James cover this song so quickly, but also somehow managed to succesfully channel both Rihanna and Kanye... we don't know sweet James had it in him!

Imagine Dragons covering "Blank Space" -- I couldn't decide if grown men covering T Swift was creepy, but they quickly won me over -- especially with their surprise oldies cover at the end (listen all of the way through!).

Foster the People covering "Hold On, We're Going Home" -- because we cannot resist a cover of this song.

Stay tuned for more of these... we will never get enough.

{IF YOU LIKE} sam smith, maroon 5

(via 1/2/3)
If you like the dreamy soulful crooning of Sam Smith or the flirty falsetto and pop sensibility of Adam Levine, we guarantee that Wrabel will get you swooning. We dare you not to fall in live with this live performance of "Sideways":

And feel some feelings after listening to "Ten Feet Tall":


We sent Concert Correspondant Morgan to The Hamilton on Saturday night to check out DRKWAV -- check out her review below!

When I was growing up, my dad, like many parents, had a rule that the person who was driving was the person who controlled the radio. This led to a great many arguments between a man who studied classical music in high school and his teenage daughter who just wanted to listen to The O.C. soundtrack on repeat. (Also, I stood by that first O.C. soundtrack at 17 and I stand by it now.) More often than not, we ended up compromising by putting Miles Davis or Louis Armstrong. Most of what I know about jazz, I learned from my dad through short conversations in between errands. And because I was usually listening it it at the end of an argument, jazz typically evokes a calm or a peace for me.

DRKWAV's show at The Hamilton last Saturday cannot be described as peaceful or calm. In fact, I would describe it more like what I would guess the apocalypse would sound like on Mars.

For the record, I do not necessarily mean this in a bad way. With my novice jazz knowledge, I was woefully under prepared for what to expect. And in no way can you limit DRKWAV's sound to a single music genre. On Friday, DRKWAV's smashed together a psychedelic show that fused elements of jazz, R&B, funk, and rock. For almost two straight hours, the band shifted through these genres to create an explosive show.

If you don't know much about DRKWAV's, I'd recommend reading up on the band before checking out their new album or one of their shows, such as in this interview that has the musicians explain in their own words the sound that they have cultivated. The band members explain far better than I ever could the improvisational and experimental nature of their music.

There were times on Saturday when I really didn't quite get what was happening. And there were times when I felt like everything clicked for me and fell into a perfect harmony. At point point I felt like I was listening to a Trent Reznor soundtrack for a film that takes place entirely underwater. There were movements of swift, abrupt transition, that began and ended in chaos. Yet, there were also movements that built slowly. In these moments, Drummer Adam Deitch would lure you in with a smooth repetition, only to then explode with a sound that brought something new and different all together. In one moment you would hear psychedelic 1970s rock and roll and in the next the band would pull back into a smooth R&B. Some transitions were swift and abrupt and the sound would jump from R&B and then to jazz and then to 1970s funk and then to psychedelic rock. Sometimes each band member would each be in a different musical universe, Deitch would begin with rock, saxophonist Skerik would challenge him with jazz, and then keyboardist would jump in with funk or electronica. These were the moments that were most chaotic, and most confusing, but much of the fun of the show was hearing how the band would resolve or continue this tension.

At times I was overwhelmed by the sound and at other times I felt totally in sync. There were moments I would describe as chaotic and confusing and others that were simply sublime. By the end of the show, I realized it didn't matter if I'd been confused in places - Deitch, Medeski, and Skerik were building an extraordinary complex piece of music and the joy of the show is not their product, but their process. The band has an extraordinary talent for navigating back and forth between chaos and organization that made for an entertaining show.

There were die-hard fans at the show who loved every moment of it and dates of die-hard fans who had absolutely no idea what was happening. To be honest, I can't tell you which category you'd fall into. A couple of days later, I can't even really tell you which category I fell into. What I can tell you, is that DRKWAV's is a band with extremely talented musicians who have incredible gifts for improvisation. DRKWAV put on quite the show and it's something I'd recommend worth experiencing at least once.

Thank you, Morgan!! Up next: Stacey checks out Odessa and one fellow W&M alum in The Lone Bellow -- Friday at The Hamilton! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

{RECAP} the travelin' mccourys

Concert Correspondent Andrew headed to the 9:30 Club last Friday night to check out The Travelin' McCourys. Check out his rave review of this awesome bluegrass band below!

Call me your typical DC salaryman at a Friday night gig. I’m rockin’ the casual Friday jeans straight from work. I’m in the zone. I’ve perfected the Sway, which, if you squint hard enough, might resemble a slightly off-tempo dance move. My calculated cool tries to fool everyone.

In truth, I’m tired. I’m exhausted from a long workweek and dealing with the never-ending winter. I’m drinking a Coke because I’ve spent too much time at too many work happy hours. I would rather be at home, telling myself I’m relaxing, but really stressing about important life decisions.

But I grew up jamming out with my buddies, going to bluegrass shows, and maybe, you know, assuming at least once that I’d be the next Jimi Hendrix. What has happened to me?? Years living in this shining city on a hill has turned me into the cliché DC music fan: Chill, but yeah, okay, maybe a little uptight. Certainly I’m taken aback by the guy next to me at the Travellin’ McCourys at the 9:30 Club on Friday night:

“Dude, get up in there!”, he exclaims, pointing to the empty space in front of me.

“Uh, what?” I ask, trying to play it cool.

He repeats the same thing, and I realize that he’s encouraging me to dance. Dance… at a concert?! In front of people? What is this, Phish -- Live at Greensboro Coliseum, 2003? It’s like the thought has never occurred to me.

My chance to prove myself is taken away by another chap. He’s literally running through the crowd showing people how to move their hips. The Hippie Cheerleader. A lady friend trots along with him and I get slapped in the face by her flowing dreadlocks.

No matter what’s going on, I can’t ignore the energy of the crowd. Everybody’s slapping hands, rocking out, and most importantly, actually enjoying themselves. We’re all getting a bit sloppy, but who cares? The combination of rhythm and melody of a bluegrass show is intoxicating.

The Travelin’ McCourys combine the spirit of instrumental jamming with the timeless melodies and technicality of bluegrass, that makes you feel at home on the range. Ronnie McCoury, mandolin player and lead singer of the band, is always sporting a half-smile and unfazed by anything. He seamlessly guides the band through endless rhythmic and melodic changes, through one bluegrass sub-genre to the next. Someone else wants to sign a tune or take a solo? No big deal. Carry on, good sir. His brother, Rob McCoury, looks like he’s lost in another world, but you want in. He’s also quite the banjo picker.

The McCourys will start off with a traditional tune, draw it out, and bring it back again. Repeat. They’ll sing your four-part banjo harmony, take you to church, or belt out your favorite dance hall blues rocker. Their jamming cred is heightened by a guest appearance from Billy Nershi, founding member of The String Cheese Incident. He’s a combination of Santa Claus and a more gracefully aging Jerry Garcia. And boy, can he pick a guitar.

The McCourys’ welcoming, joyous spirit is personified by their embrace of Nershi. When it’s Nershi turn to solo, everyone moves in closer to form a semi circle around the improvisational great. He’s a guest on their stage, but given space to take charge. This doesn’t go unnoticed by the crowd. We alternate between air guitar, air banjo, air mandolin, air bass, you name it, as the band shares the glory with Nershi, each other, and all of us.

billy nershi (photo by karishma patel) 
The highlight of the show is a surprise appearance from Mr. Del McCoury himself. The 75-year old guitarist, who sang with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys in the '60s, is a bluegrass icon, and the crowd thinks as much. If the McCoury brothers are in any way envious of their old man’s fame, we wouldn’t know: Ronnie’s still cheesin’ and Rob’s eyes are half-closed in banjo-ecstasy. They form a damn good father-son team and they know it. The McCourys project that kind of ageless confidence that makes you think that all was, is, and will be right in the world.

How funny to see a crowd of twenty-somethings cheering their hearts out for an old country boy in a straight suit and glasses, singing songs about his Pennsylvania home. My fellow concertgoers include pair of fist-pumping meathead brothers, a drunk party girl with a hand-scribbled sign professing her love to Nershi, and frat boys in button downs and Nike dunks. In a music world full of computers, loops, and auto-tuners, something is working out there in the traditional sphere.

I’m right there with them. Having grown up on bluegrass greats like Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, and bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead, I’m sucked back down a time warp into that world. My DC state of mind fades away. 2003, it’s good to see you again. It’s about damn time.

DelFest 2015 anyone?

Thanks so much, Andrew!! Up next, Morgan reviews DRKWAV, and Krista and Stacey head to see Secret Someones, Little Daylight, and Jukebox the Ghost at 9:30 tonight!!

L A Y L A is my jam

Soundcloud's continuous play feature is my secret weapon to finding new music. Recently, like a slow creep of fog, "For You" by London musician L A Y L A seeped into my earbuds and made me forget where I was. Her soothing yet powerful, safe yet sexy voice is wonderful and fits nicely into the recent lady singer niche I've gotten myself into (looking at you, Aurora and Lapsley).

Take a listen below and let L A Y L A take you away.

color me perplexed with this new mumford

The band that I think made the most recent indie pop folk movement what it is, Mumford and Sons, is back with a new single in anticipation of their upcoming album. It's... interesting. Don't get me wrong, the song is well and fine. It just doesn't sound like that typical Mumford song I've come to expect (and love). I think it sounds more like Coldplay, which just isn't what I'm in the mood for when I listen to Mumford.

Check it out for yourself -- this is "Believe." Can you get behind it?

Monday, March 9, 2015

meghan trainor and john legend = bliss

It's not just all about that bass when it comes to Meghan Trainor. This blonde twenty-something seriously impressed me with her debut studio album "Title." Every single track on the record is pretty fun and enjoyable (especially "Walkashame"--you do you, Meghan), but the real standout is "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," a sweeping, bittersweet ballad featuring my future husband, John Legend.

I love this. I love this. I love this.

Friday, March 6, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, friends!! Get ready to spring ahead and warm up from all of this snow. If you are in Savannah, we are supremely jealous of your Savannah Stopover adventures -- have a wonderful weekend!

Your Weekend Jam: The Chainsmokers + Great Good Fine Ok = HELLO WEEKEND.

TIOJ Thoughts: 

How many items can you check off DC Music Download’s DC Music Bucket List??

The sweetlife lineup is announced and it’s TWO DAYS this year!

Haikus about grilled cheese.

Robin Thicke and Pharrell each made over $5 million for “Blurred Lines.” EACH. Plus more updates on that lawsuit.

Someone understands my feelings on Daylight Saving Time. That someone is Abed from Community.

Free! Hold onto your hats -- download The Austin 100, NPR’s giant compilation of 100 songs to keep on your radar leading up to SXSW, now!!

More Free! To celebrate completely selling out their upcoming tour, The Lone Bellow is giving away a free track from their new album!!

And in case you missed it: We played compare and contrast with songs called “Somebody That I Used to Know” -- Gotye vs. Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield! Which did you like more?

{PLAYLIST} savannah stopover 2015

Attention, attention! As of today, festival season 2015 is officially underway! We couldn't be more excited for all of these incredible weekends to get started -- actually, we would only be more excited if we were able to be in one of our favorite cities this weekend to experience so much good music. Between memories of college road trips and of last year's amaaaaazing festival, we wish we were at Savannah Stopover right now.


You can bet that if we were strolling along the streets of Savannah, drinks in hand, we'd be digging the following artists:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

new from tanlines!!

In the slightest of respites from the never-ending snow and freezing winter, Tanlines have finally released a new single that makes me dream of having actual tanlines and bopping around at a festival. I'm so glad that these guys do still exist and are alive (true life, I have googled to make sure in the last few months). Their latest album, Highlights, is set to drop in May, and I can't wait. For the album or for May.

Now I will continue to listen to "Slipping Away" on repeat as I glare at the snow.

{THROWBACK} "dirrty"

My high school dance team had a dance to Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" when I was in ninth grade. I remember being slightly/very shocked by the song and the dance moves. Over ten years later, I'm a little surprised by it... but then I watch Dance Moms and realize that it was probably tame in comparison to what those girls will be doing when they're 15. All of these memories came flooding back with Ed Sheeran's most recent throwbacky and inappropriate for work cover -- and as expected, it's quirky, a little uncomfortable, and darling.

And, of course, here's Xtina's original -- far before her The Voice days, complete with sweaty hair and everything.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

i've got no "problem" with hozier

This video has everything: synchronized clapping, scarves, tall Irishmen, and a little ditty made famous by a future pop diva.

Behold: Hozier's pretty hot cover of "Problem"--Ariana Grande would be proud.

BBC 1 Live Lounge is pretty quickly becoming one of my favorite YouTube feeds. Check out all Live Lounge videos, including some of my favorites like Ed Sheeran covering Hozier and Kodaline covering Ed Sheeran, here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"somebody that i used to know"

Today's version of compare and contrast is a little bit unorthodox -- namely, today we're comparing two songs with the same name rather than artists. Enter: "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye (featuring Kimbra) versus "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield.

You are, without a doubt, quite familiar with Gotye's 2011 single -- it took the radio waves by storm upon release.

But have you heard Seth Avett (of the Avett Brothers, duh -- he's the one with the hair) and Jessica Lea Mayfield's song? They're currently touring in support of their Elliot Smith tribute album, and this is just one of many songs on the album.

So? Which do you like more? Got any other songs about former acquaintances?

white denim is my jam

When soothing, mellow covers by Scandinavian ingénues just aren't enough to wake me up and I just need to hear some bearded, bespectacled fellows sing about love, loss and getting the eff over it--White Denim has my back.

Bluesy,  rugged White Denim can be pretty darn energizing and they're so perfect for dreary days when winter just won't relinquish its grip on D.C.

Monday, March 2, 2015

"hey," you must listen to FALLS

This may be the catchiest, peppiest "hey, pay attention to what I'm saying" song I've heard in quite a while. FALLS' "Hey" is just the right mix of stubbornness and stick-to-your-convictions-ness with a dose of optimism. Check out the Australian band's ditty for a bit of motivation to get through this icy Monday.

ivan and alyosha is my jam

Ivan and Alyosha has been on the outskirts of my radar -- a TIOJ playlist addition here, seeing their name on a concert calendar there -- but I have unfortunately never taken the time to investigate them further. Thank goodness for a snow day and Noisetrade, because I'm never taking these fellas from Seattle off my radar.

Listen to their latest single, "All This Wandering Around," and you'll be on the bandwagon with me. Then watch their trailer for their upcoming album (It's All Just Pretend drops May 5!!) and get even more excited.

Did I mention that there's a set of brothers in the band? Swoon.

If you're like me and have now fallen into the rabbit hole of Ivan and Alyosha music, be sure to check out their Tiny Desk Concert and KEXP performance!
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