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.
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