Thursday, April 30, 2015

{PLAYLIST} best of april 2015

We're starting to be a broken record -- we were busy busy bees this past month over at TIOJ! Between breaking out our sandals, getting down to the Tidal Basin to see the cherry blossoms, and, of course, plenty of shows and great music, we've hardly had a moment to breathe.

But in April, we:

"Collect My Love (feat. Alex Newell)" - The Knocks
This collaboration is a dream come true and I will want more from these two. 
"Hold My Hand" - Jess Glynne
This song is the anthem of my summer--I can already tell. 
"Gold and Stone"- Eternal Summers
This song is just perfect for a windows-down spring drive. Is it summer yet?
"Better Man" - Leon Bridges
Leon Bridges was such a welcome addition to our IYL repertoire this month.
"Hypnotic" - Zella Day
So, so, so aptly named, this song ensnares me!
"Your Song" - Lee Mead
Any or all versions of this classic song is forever my jam.
"Biscuits" - Kacey Musgraves
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this song is a fucking delight
"Bloodstream" - Ed Sheeran
Our favorite ginge is at it again--and this time he's getting dark.
"Yoga" - Janelle Monae
How can I integrate this baller song into yoga??
"Bills" - LunchMoney Lewis
Seriously considering making this song my ringtone...
"You Don't Own Me" - Grace feat. G-Eazy
This might be blasphemy, but I enjoy this more than the original. 
"Sedona" - Houndmouth
Seriously could not be prouder of this quartet.
"Body High" - Mike Taylor
I had so much fun in Miami this month and this entire playlist was the perfect soundtrack. 
"Sugar, You" - Oh Honey
These Brooklynites--and TIOJ interview alums!--can't help but be charming.
"Middle of America" - Will Hoge
Summer soundtrack, yes please.

{THROWBACK} "carolina"

I love Eric Church music of yesteryear and today, but I think one of my favoritest jams of all is "Carolina." I'm especially drawn to it this week because of an impromptu mini-road trip I'm taking this weekend to the Carolinas -- you can bet that this song will be on my playlist.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"blank space" like you've never heard it

Okay. Is it just me or is this cabaret cover of "Blank Space" not completely cracked-out and enrapturing at the same time?

If you have a free hour and want to fall down the internet rabbit hole, I suggest perusing Postmodern Jukebox's hefty repertoire of vintage covers of modern songs. The selections range from "Gangsters Paradise" to "Stay With Me" and are all amazingly campy.

a new sound from alabama shakes!

Alabama Shakes' sophomore album Sound & Color came out last week, and some of the songs from this album have been circulating on the interwebs for the last few months. We apologize -- we know we have been extremely remiss in not mentioning this powerful band on TIOJ.

After a few listens, I'm starting to get behind the new, more '70s version of soul in "Don't Wanna Fight." It's a little heavier than the bluesy style of Alabama Shakes' debut album, but have no fear -- Brittany's voice is as amazing as ever.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


In anticipation of their upcoming sold-out show with Passion Pit on May 5th, we chatted with Chase Lawrence and Ryan Winnen of COIN. Read ahead as we hear how about they got their name, "befriending" a drug kingpin, and what they can't live without on tour. 

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music?
As COIN, we've been making music together for three years now. As individuals, we've been making music for most of our lives.

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before? 
COIN's sound is easy and fun -- the kind of music to dance to. But, there's a twist. There is this underlying angst we try to convey. The quintessential COIN song where this style can be seen is in "Run."

photo by David O'Donohue
Why did you decide to call yourselves COIN?
There was this seemingly eternal search for a one word band name. I looked everywhere for random words to inspire me: encyclopedias, text books, data bases. I randomly started searching through a book of race horse names. I found one named "Lucky Coin" so, I thought, "How about 'Luck'?" Taken. So, I searched 'Coin.' The rest is history.

Click ahead for more!

{GIVEAWAY} the decemberists & father john misty @ merriweather post pavilion

Holy smokes, do we have tickets to the ultimate summer show for you. What's better than an evening on the lawn of Merriweather Post Pavilion listening to the lovely sounds of The Decemberists and the one and only Father John Misty? Not much, that's for sure.

If for whatever reason you need convincing to enter for tickets to this June 4 show, take a quick listen to one of my latest faves from The Decemberists, "A Beginning Song."

And of course, the title track off of Father John Misty's latest album, "I Love You, Honeybear."

Convinced yet? Good! Enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait?? Buy your tickets now!

Monday, April 27, 2015

hand-holding with jess glynne

Red-headed siren Jess Glynne is a force to be reckoned with, y'all. The British songstress, who most of you might remember from her crushing solos on "Rather Be," is no longer just the collaborator du jour for your favorite superstars. She's now a captivating solo artist in her own right. Take a listen to her most recent single "Hold My Hand" and hear for yourself.

There's no denying that Jess has some major vocal chops. I don't say this lightly, but I hear strains of TIOJ-icon Whitney Houston every time Jess belts out the hook.

overcoats are my mellow monday jam

We're suckers for mellow female singers and when said singers describe their music as "Lykke Li, Marika Hackman, and Chet Faker mixed together into a sound that tastes like burnt honey" we pretty much go weak in the knees. Such was the case with Overcoats who are originally from our dear old DC and have moved to New York to churn out this gorgeous, subtly sexy folk music.

Now please excuse me while I curl up into my blazer like its a blanket (or, overcoat, if you will) and listen to "Little Memory" with my eyes closed.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

{WATCH} sylvan esso tiny desk concert

We couldn't not pass along Sylvan Esso's recent Tiny Desk Concert. Lead singer Amelia's voice is just so flawless live. She's so cool. We love her.

Bonus points for Amelia's dance recommendation to the stiff NPR viewers: "Imagine you're the seaweed in Ursuala's cave."

Related: Sylvan Esso on Noisey Acoustics 

Friday, April 24, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, friends!! We have colder weather along with our sunshine in store, but we hope you have a great time -- whether you're examining your finances or brunching your little heart out!

Your Weekend Jam: Eternal Summers’ “Gold and Stone” is the perfect spring weather jam -- roll those windows down and press play!!

TIOJ Thoughts: 

So this is how you get Jay Z to give you a call

This lip sync battle is everything.

Getting rid of those songs that are stuck in your head.

Taylor Swift officially “broke up” with country music. It’s about time.

Free! Have you guys checked out the Starbucks app lately? They’re giving away free downloads of jams from Death Cab for Cutie and more!

DC Happenings: The Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival is this Saturday!! We had so much fun going last year enjoying music, food trucks, and watching drunk kayakers!

And in case you missed it: Are you a fan of Jason Isbell or John Mayer? Then check out Rosenblume NOW!

{PLAYLIST} money money money

Let's real talk for a moment. One of the hardest things about being a grown up is dealing with money. From savings accounts and retirement plans to basics like paying rent and feeding yourself, one thing we've learned over the past few years is, well, that money (and a lack thereof) makes things a little difficult.

We're so glad that so many artists agree with us and share our views of dollas. And for Tom Haverford's opinions on money.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

{THROWBACK} "your song"

One of my favorite songs, possibly ever, is "Your Song." There is nothing so sweet, heart-wrenching, and tear-inducing. So you can imagine my happiness when I discovered Lee Mead's version. It doesn't get much happier.

And Ellie Goulding's is quite lovely:

And Sir Elton John. Always the best:


{THROWBACK} "i won't back down"

Leave it to POP ETC to give us another amazing cover, this time of Tom Petty's classic "I Won't Back Down":

Jam to Tom Petty's original (and see if you think it sounds like Sam Smith's "Stay With Me")...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

{IF YOU LIKE} jason isbell, john mayer

(via 1/2/3)
If you've ever found yourself captivated by the quick-like-lightning strumming of John Mayer or the twangy, gravelly sound of Jason Isbell, you owe it to yourself to give Rosenblume a listen. Right now. If you can make it through "Knight In Shining Armor" without swooning, we'll be severely impressed.

hypnotized by zella day

When you have a name like Zella Day and you are blessed with an innate ability to pull off a hipster hat with no sense of shame, it basically goes to reason that you were meant to be a musician.

This girl is an edgy stunner and I'm really addicted to this sultry, bass-driven song. I'm so bummed that I won't be able to see her in concert when she swings through my hometown on May 1. Come to D.C., Zella!

{RECAP} cassian, maribou state

First-time Concert Correspondents Mary and Drew D. ventured to U Street Music Hall on late Friday night to catch Cassian and Maribou State. 

Setting: U Street Music Hall. Home, legend would have it, of one of the best sound systems in America. One of the few refuges of the overworked DC consultant and over-helicoptered DC youth.

Event: A few English blokes decide to visit town to massage Pioneer CDJ-900s for a few hours, mixing a few tracks and earning a few quid bucks before turning attention toward devoted fans in hot pants.

On Friday, April 17, Maribou State played U Street Music Hall to oodles of roaring fans. Or perhaps those in attendance might have roared, had there been oodles of them. Lured by free entry for over-21s and the likelihood of well chosen tracks (be they live-mixed or ipod-based), DC locals flocked to the space on Friday. Flocked may be generous. They came in dozens but not quite in scores. At times the space was filled to half-capacity.

Opener Cassian played serene beats to a crowd that seemed to match the headliner's intensity. Elevator music -- notably defined by Antonio Carlos Jobim among others -- had nothing on the soothing songs that started the night. When in Rome, DJ as the Romans do. Perhaps also when the British come to you?

Much in electronic music is put down to genre. "Oh that's progressive house, that's trance, that's dubstep, this is electropop." While bending genres at times, Maribou State's sound may fit the chillstep classification best. Think of them as a downtempo Dust Brothers. They may aspire to the status of being uncategorizable. Interviews list inspiration from Ravi Shankar and Enya. But it's simple really. Maribou State play music you could write a paper to, or dance to should you choose. When they play live, you would dance. Perhaps should dance is better. Would you wear red to a funeral?

Despite its location in sleepy Washington, DC, U Street Music Hall caters to the crowd that lives for the night. According to their twitter feed, Maribou State was not slated to go on until 1:30. But it seems as if they had not done so even by then. Your humble yet sleepy correspondents had hardly enjoyed the Londoners earnest handwork before hours of wakeful toil and alcohol got the better of them. But if a group can be judged by their transitions, Maribou State could soon have the dancehall scene on lock. Perhaps one day they shall. Perhaps Friday they did? Let the beat drop. Before our heads next time.

Thanks to Mary and Drew D. for the recap! Next Up: Mary and Drew are back at it to catch Madeon at Echostage this weekend!

{GIVEAWAY} hot chip @ echostage

Just when you thought we wouldn't have a giveaway for you this week... never fear! We're giving away a pair of tickets to see British electronic superstars Hot Chip at Echostage on June 5. The band is touring with their SIXTH album Why Make Sense? so whether you're a long-time fan or a newer one like us, this is a show not miss!

Enter via Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait to see if you're a winner? Snag tickets pronto here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"bloodstream" is absolutely my jam

Once upon a time, Ed Sheeran was this talented little ginge with a teeny guitar who stole my breath as an opener for Snow Patrol. Now Ed is headlining sold-out stadiums and I don't have words to express how blown away I am with his latest releases. "Bloodstream," much like every other song on his most recent album, is so invasive and evocative. I'm so addicted.

some thoughts on michelle pfeiffer

What is it about Michelle Pfeiffer these days? Both Vance Joy's "Riptide" and Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk" mention this stunning and wonderful actress, and I'm perplexed as to why she's the lady of the hour. Don't get me wrong: I love me some One Fine Day -- possible one of my favorite movies ever. But I'm trying to figure out what it is about Michelle's name and/or persona, aside from her being one of the most beautiful people in the history of the earth, that is so attractive these days.

To refresh, here are these two jams:

I know I'm late to pick up on this observation, as both of these songs have been all over the airwaves for the last several months. But can anyone help a girl out?

Monday, April 20, 2015

bringing back mashup monday with handsome ghost

It's been a while since we've posted a Mashup Monday post and Handsome Ghost is helping us to finally break this silence. Check out their beautifully simple mashup featuring the hit songs from their current tourmates, MisterWives and BØRNS. Sip your coffee and enjoy.

If you want more beautiful mellow covers from Handsome Ghost, listen to this cover of Iron & Wine's "The Trapeze Singer."

Friday, April 17, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend! Whether you're checking out what's left of the cherry blossoms or finally watching the new season of House of Cards, we hope you have a great one!

Your Weekend Jam: Our bestie Zak Waters is back and under a new name: Pretty Sister. Groove to his latest tune “California Girl” and celebrate the other coast this weekend.

TIOJ Thoughts:

The best missed connection of weekend 1 of Coachella.

What your favorite music festival says about you.

New podcasts to check out! 

The Beach Boys-loving fourth grader in me is so pumped for the upcoming Brian Wilson biopic.

Free! Bonnaroo is still a few months away but that doesn’t mean you can’t start jamming to the lineup -- Noisetrade is offering a free sampler featuring Trampled by Turtles, Benjamin Booker, Sylvan Esso and more!

And! Oscar’s “Daffodil Days” from our welcome spring playlist is available for free download on iTunes!

DC Happenings: Usher AND Mary G. Blige AND My Morning Jacket AND MORE are playing for FREE on the mall to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday. Be there.

{PLAYLIST} miami bachelorette jams

With wedding season just around the corner, we are in the height of another essential and inevitable part of our 20s -- bachelorette season. And what better place to jet off to celebrate ladyfriends and impending marriages than the warm beaches and clubs of Miami? Will Smith knows what he's talking about when he says "party in the city where the heat is on" -- and we hope that one of our friends has the most wonderful, debauchery-laden bachelorette weekends South Beach has ever seen.

Grab a penis straw and press play:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

{THROWBACK} "faithfully"

Nothing like some Journey for a Throwback Thursday, amirite? But before we get to the 1983 original, take a listen to Boyce Avenue's version. We've long been fans of these cover artist extraordinaires, and this song is no different.

And there's, of course, the Glee version from their season one finale Journey medley. It's the best.

Now click ahead to enjoy the orig!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

{RECAP} dan deacon

As Saturday night turned into Sunday morning, Caleb and I ventured into the 9:30 Club at approximately 12:15 AM to catch Dan Deacon's much anticipated set. In lieu of a formal review, I'd like to share some awesome Instagram videos that Caleb put together from the show so as to avoid a surely hazy-sounding written recap from myself (see: entering the venue past midnight).

Highlights of the show included robot drums, touching strangers heads, singing "Happy Birthday" to Bob Boilen, and an outpouring of balloons at the close of the show. If you have yet to see Dan Deacon live, rectify that immediately.

Next Up: Sarah and Sara are back at it catching River City Extension tonight at DC9!

"mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy"

I am historically a bit wary of country music but dammit if I don't love Kacey Musgraves. Her latest single "Biscuits" is a fucking delight. She once again manages to bring spunk and honesty to her lyrics while spreading positivity and general good behavior.

Now please excuse me while I convince Stacey to teach this song to her schoolchildren to teach them manners.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

time for some "yoga"

Maybe it's because this song is that last thing I'd think of when it comes to yoga, or maybe because of the infectious beat, but I'm loving Janelle Monae's "Yoga." This upbeat jam is perfect for weekend dancing rather than the calming zen of a yoga class, but I love it just the same. (PS, if you're planning on watching the video now, it's incredible, but it's not the most SFW...)

I'm now figuring out ways to subtly convince my yoga studio to make this their studio anthem...

marian hill is my jam

Marian Hill is my jam and it's no surprise why...
  • Lady singer? CHECK
  • Sexy vocals? CHECK
  • Snaps? CHECK
  • Saxophone-inspired synths? DOUBLE CHECK

I love the peppier "Play" as well:

Keep your ears open to more from this chick and listen to her full Play EP here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

{RECAP} greg holden, delta rae

On Friday night Concert Correspondent Morgan caught Greg Holden at the 9:30 Club -- check out her recap below!

You’re probably familiar with Greg Holden in an indirect way -- Holden co-wrote the song “Home” that Philip Phillips’ made famous and that you undoubtedly now have stuck in your head. Originally from Scotland, Holden is a soulful folk singer and like all folk singers, he clearly has the heart of a storyteller. “Home” only skims the surface of his tremendous talents -- The crowd at the 9:30 Club was treated to a series of his songs from his previous album I Don’t Believe and his soon-to-be released album, Chase the Sun.

Each song that Holden played told a different story -- some full of hope, others full of heartbreak. His raw voice, paired with a stripped down, folksy-guitar, added a soft, but powerful emotional intensity to each song. By the beginning of the second verse of, “Boys in the Street” the entire audience went completely quiet, aching to hear the end of the story. Enrapturing, each song pulled you in deeper. After a long work week, Holden’s acoustic, unplugged approach to storytelling was both meditative and rejuvenating.

I recommend checking out his new album Chase the Sun to get another one of Holden’s songs paired with his gorgeous voice stuck in your head.

After Holden, Durham-based Delta Rae took the stage with a literal bang. As a lover of live shows, I often find that I enjoy the experience of seeing a band live more than their album. Delta Rae is a band whose live show offers an energy and a joy that cannot completely be captured in a recording. At one point in the show, a woman behind me shouted, “Oh, they’ve brought the chains out! THANK GOD!” Before I could turn around and say, “Wait, what?” singer Brittany Hölljes began the opening to the gloriously haunting “Bottom of the River.” In addition to haunting lyrics, the band adds a sense of foreboding to the entire song by using actual chains as a part of the percussion. The effect live was a mysterious, eerie, and exhilarating performance.

While “Bottom of the River” is a haunting tune, Delta Rae is an incredibly versatile band and their set encompassed a variety of country- and folk-inspired tunes, including, “If I Loved You” which included the cheeriest guitar part to a break-up song that I’ve ever heard. Band member Ian Hölljes agreed, calling it the “happiest break-up song ever.” While my music tastes certainly include electro-pop and I love a good synthesizer, it was refreshing to hear a band whose roots were clearly from folk category stay true to the genre while still being incredibly innovative.

And, for the second time in two weeks, I found myself totally loving a cover. (And by one of my all-time favorite singers no less! D.C., I don’t know what’s happening to me...) Indeed, by the time Delta Rae ended the show with a cover of David Byrne’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” I wasn’t totally sure who had more fun: the band or the audience.

Thanks again, Morgan for covering this great show! Next up: We'll be sharing a quick video recap from Dan Deacon's show at the 9:30 Club on Saturday night.

{GIVEAWAY} houndmouth @ 9:30 club

Long long ago, we talked to the lady and gents of Houndmouth on Skype, and since then, we've loved watching this band grow and take the world by storm. And because of that, we are THRILLED to be giving away a pair of tickets to see them at the 9:30 Club on April 26.

Take a listen to their latest jam "Sedona," then enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 10, 2015

weekend thoughts...

Happy weekend, TIOJ!! May your weekend be filled with sunny dreams of Coachella, brunch, and shopping -- and, of course, some tunes. 

Your Weekend Jam: You might/will roll your eyes, but there’s no denying how infectious Hilary Duff’s “Sparks” is. Take a listen, and dance into your weekend now.

TIOJ Thoughts: 

Full House is coming back?!?!?!

An a cappella cover of the Kimmy Schmidt theme song… DAMMIT!

Tanlines’ new website is their own personal Netflix.

With Coachella this weekend, take note of Lo Bosworth’s (yep, of Laguna Beach fame) 10 essentials for music festivals.

Free! TIOJ faves NEEDTOBREATHE have some pretty great tour companions, including Ben Rector, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, and more. Download their Compadres sampler on Noisetrade now!!

And in case you missed it: Fans of Otis Redding and Frank Ocean, we’re looking at you! Take a listen to Leon Bridges and thank us later.

Plus! We chatted with Brooklyn's Oh Honey about How I Met Your Mother, tour necessities, and so much more!

{PLAYLIST} coachella 2015

Someday, oh someday, we will get ourselves to Indio, California, for the one and only Coachella. No other music festival is as iconically full of flower power, glowsticks, or Laguna Beach celebrities (and Kardashians), and we feel that our music-loving selves will not be complete until we experience it.


Since we unfortunately are still not able to attend this year, we're listening to the following Coachella artists instead:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

{IF YOU LIKE} otis redding, frank ocean

(via 1/2/3)

If you love the classic motown of Otis Redding updated with the soulful yet modern vibe of Frank Ocean, then you HAVE to listen to Leon Bridges. This up-and-comer had everyone talking at SXSW this year and after 30 seconds of listening to his voice, you can see why.

We are so obsessed with "Coming Home" -- it instantly transports us to the 1960s.

"Better Man" is also worth a -- or a dozen -- listens.

{THROWBACK} "wild horses"

Remember the movie Camp? About... wait for it, summer camp? Musical theater camp, to be specific. If you haven't seen it, treat yourself to a delightful, hilarious throwback of a movie that features a young Anna Kendrick among others. Good news, it's on Netflix.

Anyway, during the movie, the main heartthrob Vlad (I know, Vlad) sings The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," and everyone swoons. You can include 14-year-old me in that everyone.

Camp came to mind, of course, when I saw that The Rolling Stones released a previously-unreleased acoustic version of "Wild Horses" in anticipation of the rerelease of their album Sticky Fingers. Probably better than Camp.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

bear's den + sylvan esso = HEAVEN.

I almost thought this was a belated April Fool's joke when I saw this cover pop up on Soundcloud. Bearded TIOJ favorites Bear's Den covered rising stars (that we totally called!) Sylvan Esso. Their cover brings a brooding and thoughtful take on the flirtatious original, replacing the original synths with an appealing guitar melody that perfectly soundtracks this slowing changing Spring weather.

This lovely cover is part of Bear's Den recent EP release that also includes rather epic covers of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and Drake's "Hold On We're Going Home" -- take a listen to the full thing here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

grace and g-eazy are my jam

Sorry Lesley Gore, the best version of "You Don't Own Me" will forever be Bette, Diane, and Goldie belting it out in First Wives Club. That being said, this latest rework of the early 1960s hit by Grace and G-Eazy is so great. Who knew having a white boy rapping on this track would really elevate the cover?! I'm as surprised as you are.

{INTERVIEW} oh honey

In anticipation of their April 18 show at Rock & Roll Hotel, we chatted with Danielle and Mitchy of Brooklyn's Oh Honey. Read ahead to find out about their favorite characters on How I Met Your Mother, going on tour, artisan food movements, and more!!

Listen while you read:

Tell us about yourself! How long have you been making music? 
We've both been pursuing music since we were young, but we came together as a band just about two years ago now!

How would you describe your music to someone who's never heard it before?
Honest but hopeful -- a cold beer on a hot summer's day, but that cold beer is always half full.

photo by marcus cooper

Wikipedia tells us that your band name comes from "The band is named after the Oh Honey episode of How I Met Your Mother and after the artisan, rooftop honey production movement in Brooklyn"... What characters would you guys be if you were on HIMYM?
Danielle: I love Lily. She's tiny and sassy, like me, and cares a lot about her friends and family. She's also a master at getting what she wants. Respect. Either her or the Slutty Pumpkin, for sure.
Mitchy: I would definitely want to be Robin Sparkles. She's a star. *Dances to "Let's Go to the Mall"*

Follow up: if you could lead your own artisan food movement in Brooklyn, what would it be for? 
D: I would own a combination coffee and mac and cheese shop that specializes in making healthy versions of mac and cheese and pairing them with different cold brews. Who could resist? Seriously.
M: I would probably open a gourmet combination grilled cheese/chicken nugget/taco shop that doubles also as a barber shop in the back. Eat a nice snack and then get cleaned up. It's genius! And delicious.

Click ahead for more from Oh Honey, including their tour necessities and dream collabs.

Monday, April 6, 2015

{RECAP} reptar

Concert Correspondant Drew headed to U Street Music Hall the other night to check out Reptar -- read his recap below!!

For me, the name Reptar brings back memories of Tommy Pickles and the rest of the gang from the popular Nickelodeon series Rugrats. The connections between my childhood and the band Reptar end there though, as I don't ever recall being hip enough to listen to their unique style of music growing up. Thursday night the group played to a mostly packed U Street Music Hall, and this being my first time seeing them live it was a fun, but unexpected performance.

The big surprise from the show was how drastically different Reptar sounded from their studio work. Both their 2012 debut album Body Faucet and Lurid Glow, their second album that dropped this week, feature an indie/dance/pop/electro style that is very upbeat. Their live performance was a different animal, showcasing a more trippy, jam-band style with a saxophone and trumpet thrown in that gave them more of a ska sound.
The show got off to a fairly slow start, with the group playing several new tracks off their new album that the crowd wasn't that into. Not until they started playing some older songs did the crowd start to move and get into the performance. The entire show ended up being a good mix of old and new songs, but it needs to be noted the live performances sounded nothing like their studio counterparts. "Houseboat Babies" is a personal favorite song of mine, but it was almost unrecognizable live. Not to say it was bad, just a different sound altogether. The only track that sounded similar was "Water Runs" from Body Faucet, but other than that it was almost like I was watching a cover band of Reptar.

While not quite at the level of a Phish show, the group did have some fun jams during the night with the group showing some great chemistry. The sax and trumpet, which I didn't recognize from their albums, brought a new dimension to their sound and were standouts on the night. From the new album, their new single "Ice Black Sand" was also a hit with the crowd.

After I got over the initial shock of their difference in sound, it was a very fun night and I'd definitely recommend seeing them live. They certainly have a unique sound that not many bands have right now, and they will be fun to watch moving forward.

Thank you, Drew! Up next: Krista experiences Dan Deacon Saturday night at the 9:30 Club.

{GIVEAWAY} the ting tings

Look out, TIOJers! In honor of spring, we're giving away two tickets to the happy, poppy sensation, the Ting Tings. Enter early and often for a chance to see these sassy Brits at the 9:30 club THIS SATURDAY (4/11) at the 9:30 Club. Bonus: it's the early show. Can you think of a better way to start your weekend? I didn't think so.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In case you can't leave this up to fate, get your tickets here!

Friday, April 3, 2015

weekend thoughts...

FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY! Whether you're dyeing Easter eggs or staring into someone's eyes this weekend, we hope you have a great one!

Your Weekend Jam: The Knocks and Alex Newell bring you the weekend jam to END ALL WEEKEND JAMS. Color us OBSESSED.

TIOJ Thoughts:

Brunching with Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff at SXSW.

TIOJ’s birthday is coming up and we would love any and all of Charlie Wagers' gig posters!

Because there are never too many Mighty Ducks retrospectives.

Check out our insta video recap of Misterwives' show last weekend!

Free! Forecastle Festival is coming around again in July, and this Noisetrade mixtape featuring artists on the lineup is baller.

And in case you missed it: See ya, March! Be sure to check out our March favorites -- plenty of new favorite jams to be had.

{PLAYLIST} songs about eyes

We have a thing for pretty eyeballs. Brown, green, blue, even hazel -- we don't discriminate. Just as long as they're nice to look at. As such, we've decided to pay homage to some others who like eyeballs. Take a listen below, then find someone's baby blues/greens/browns/hazels to gaze into today with whatever emotion you'd like.

swoon (via)

{RECAP} father john misty

Concert Correspondent Sara G. had the honor of attending the Father John Misty show last Saturday night at the 9:30 Club. Check out her thoughtful review below!

Soon as they like you
Make them unlike you
'Cus kissin' people' ass is so unlike you
- Kanye West, "I Am a God"

This is a post about Father John Misty's sold out 9:30 Club show on Saturday, March 28. But -- full disclosure -- as a Father John Misty adherent, I don't think front-man Josh Tillman's music can possibly be consumed effectively or wholly without also considering the personality behind it. (Much like Kanye West.) So, bear with me for a moment.

I'd like to start by sharing an observation Mike Powell made in his review of FJM's latest release, I Love You, Honeybear, which perfectly summarizes the tension in the album that had me instantly hooked: "Honeybear is conflicted music that leaves me with conflicted feelings. Tillman is funny, but his humor is driven by meanness and self-loathing; he’s sweet, but he can’t manage to say anything nice without smothering it in jokes, like a dog compulsively trying to cover up its own shit."

See also: the artist's self-written tour bio that doubles as an album companion. He opens by confessing to have watched a music video (one could presume Sara Bareilles's "Love Song") twice to avoid writing, "But for however much I do not want to write this bio, I want someone else to write it even less," he says. He goes on for -- no joke -- 3600 additional words with all sorts of swirling ambitious and small observations on love, sex, and individuality.

...Which is a lot to consider on its own. Now, enter new conflict. The Transformation of Josh Tillman; outlined quite effectively in Sean Fennessey's Grantland piece. Tillman went to the store one day, and fell in love with his now-wife Emma. In Honeybear, Tillman attempts to mold and individualize and discuss the complications and beauty of love, and do so with sincerity. No easy task for a self-professed "aimless, fake drifter and horny, man-child, Mamma's boy to boot." Tillman writes, "Love songs (or even just 'love' as a topic) are at the major disadvantage of being based on the oldest, most fundamental inspiration in the history of human consciousness. The best concept we as a race have cultivated, by now, we're just, like, so over and have decided it's good for little else than fueling celebrity gossip, soccer mom erotica, reveling in sophomoric self-pity with, or reducing down to eye-rolling truisms at the end of computer animated liberal ideological propaganda kiddie movies." Yikes.

Keep reading!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

{THROWBACK} "simply irresistible"

It was once stated by three wise ladies that Brandon Flowers of The Killers knows what he's doing with a leather jacket. In addition to his superb fashion choices and outstanding life within The Killers, we can add another talent to this human's resume: taking '80s pop songs that currently live in commercials and making them exciting and relevant. Case in point: "Simply Irresistible," which Brandon performed in Vegas as part of his solo tour.

And of course, the original by Richard Palmer:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

will hoge is my jam

If you are lucky enough to have spring break as part of your job and are equally lucky to have that break in the actual spring (unlike mine, which was a rather wintry vacation), I have your new anthem. If you're just glad it's warmer out, you should listen, too. Will Hoge is a delightful country artist out of Nashville -- put him on your radar now.

Noisetrade (get a sampler of Will's music there now!) likens Hoge to Bruce Springsteen, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, and John Mellancamp. If that's not a glowing review right there, then I don't know what is. Check out "Middle of America," which embodies all of those artists above, plus a little Justin Moore and Montgomery Gentry as well.

ALSO: This music video was shot all in one shot. Pretty good, right? And by that, I mean I love it.

{RECAP} mat kearney

Concert Correspondent Morgan continued on her streak of concerts when she caught Mat Kearney at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Saturday night. Check out her recap below!

First off, I’d like to start of my review by using the powers of the Internet and send some positive karma to the very (very) tall man who stood in front of me at the concert, turned around, apologized, asked me if I could see, and then moved. As someone who regularly places in the top five of the “shortest person at the concert” competition, this has literally never happened to me before. It was incredibly nice and I was able to actually see all of the musicians -- thank you random stranger!

Kindness and joy were in the atmosphere at the Mat Kearney concert at the Fillmore on Saturday night. Kearney was visibly excited to be playing for a sold-out audience. He told the crowd that his first show in the DMV area was years ago at Jammin’ Java and said that the tour had been one of the “best of his life.” Kearney’s happiness and enthusiasm came across in every song.

A photo posted by Sara (@sarajoanderson) on

Kearney played a mix of old and new songs throughout the show. Much of his recent album, Just Kids, has a sound that at times blends pop and electronica and translated well to the stage. The crowd was full of long time fans -- the cheer to the opening chords to “Closer to Love” was the loudest one I’ve heard this year. Kearney was joyfully theatrical, jumping, dancing, and at one point held a disco ball in the air.

As someone who is frequently skeptical of covers, I was pleasantly surprised when Kearney brought opening band Judah & the Lion for a bluegrass inspired “Uptown Funk.” I think the banjo won me over -- it was a terrifically fun cover. (Also, props to Judah & the Lion who, during their opening show became the first band ever to say the words “We built this city” without making me cringe. Their bluegrass-folk-country-cover song theme is worth checking out.)

After the “Uptown Funk” cover Kearney started singing “Runaway.” As someone who listened to this song approximately nine thousand times the summer after I graduated from college, I was beyond thrilled. “Runaway” brought me a lot of comfort as I was packing up and moving across the country. The live version was beautiful, sweet, and for me, very sentimental. It was the highlight of the show for me. However, I felt like everyone in the crowd had a song they were waiting for. Every song got a cheer. Every chorus someone was singing along.

Thanks so much to Morgan for seeing Mat!! Up next -- Drew checks out Reptar at U Street Music Hall on Thursday night.
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