Posts tagged awesome

I know, I know…they’re Canadian, but hey, how could I not talk about a band named 41st and Home on a blog called 34th & Now. It had to be done. Plus their music is pretty solid. A friend sent me a bunch of new music yesterday to check out and these guys were top of the pile with solid vocals/lyrics and a band that features a cello, a violin, and a lot of floor toms. Fans of artists like The Spring Standards and Ra Ra Riot will definitely dig these guys.

Another great random find thanks to YouTube suggestions, here’s North London singer songwriter Elena Tonra, better known as Daughter. Last year she released a four track EP The Wild Youth with drummer Remi Aguilella, on which you can find this track,”Youth.”

On first listen I couldn’t help but draw similarities between Tonra and fellow female London rocker Romy Madley-Croft Daughter of The xx. On second listen I realized that sounding like The xx is in no way a bad thing. I also can’t shake the slight Karen O. vibe I get when listening to The Wild Youth EP, but again, that’s probably a good thing.

Note: Both Ed Sheeran and Daughter have been added to the 34th & Now: Study Playlist which now sits at 304 tracks with a 19 hour run time.

"So we let it go to start again, knowing now how all our best intentions never set the world on fire."

Dear everyone who has ever strummed a guitar,

Please watch 2:27 - 2:54.

Sincerely,
Hitting Replay.

These streets are haunted
With ghosts who wait on luck to come
They sleep with hornets
Then they wonder why
They wake up stung

919 plays

"Top Yourself (Bluegrass Version)" by The Raconteurs? Jack White is the King Midas of alternative rock guitar. Anything he touches turns to gold.

Holy God Damn! I hope you’re in the mood for some Canadian Ginger Hipster Soul music. Yes, I fucking said it. Candian. Ginger. Hipster. Soul.That’s the only way I can describe Montreal’s singing supergroup and SXSW 2012 showcase artist Chic Gamine. The description by the folks at SXSW had me intrigued enough to click the video despite thinking there was no way in hell Candians were going to bust out some soul.

"Chic Gamine’s wall-of-sound harmonies and hip-shaking beats could be straight out of Motown, before you throw in the curveball of French pop and four rotating lead-singers. By all the laws of the music business, this group is like the unicorn — it probably shouldn’t exist, yet, here it is - nostalgia-inspired but with a fresh new sound — a group that artfully hops from rhythm and blues, nouveau-pop to vintage soul — the mix is indescribable, but unbearably tasty. "

And you know what? They were right. Whoever scouts bands for SXSW knows their music. I was foolish to doubt them.

210 plays

Listening to Sleeper Agent’s debut Celebrasion seven times in a row while studying was the sonic equivalent of standing in front of a photographic mosaic—at first you just admire the pieces individually; then you step back, view it as a whole, and appreciate the perfect execution in creating something greater than the sum of its already impressive parts. Every track, at some point in those 3.5 hours, was the best on the album. I can’t say that about many albums.

I was reading a debate on a guitar forum about who the “best” guitar player of our generation is—which in guitar-forum speak means who is the best blues guitarist. This is pretty standard fodder for guitar forums and comes up at least once every few days. As usual there was a lot of trash talk from the pro- and anti- John Mayer, Joe Bonamossa, Jack White, and Gary Clark Jr. camps. What else is new? Then someone quietly chimed in with Davy Knowles. Someone else quickly seconded. A third person added in a “YES! Davy Knowles!” And then another. Who the hell was this Davy Knowles?

As it turns out Davy Knowles is a 24 year old blues guitarist and singer-songwriter from the Isle of Man near Great Britain. What kind of blues-chops can a 24 year old have? Enough to impress guitar greats Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, and Joe Satriani with whom Knowles toured in 2009 at the ripe age of 22. Since then he has toured the country as Davy Knowles and the Back Door Slam.

Check him out.

11 plays

Indie dream-pop duo Mazzy Star is back with their first new track in well over a decade. The single, Common Burn is set for release Oct. 31st and features this track, "Lay Myself Down" as a B-Side.

I’ve had “Death of Communication”—the latest single from Chicago indie rockers Company of Thieves—stuck in my head for the past 48 hours and it’s showing no signs of loosening it’s grip on my inner soundtrack. Genevieve Schatz’s vocals on this are killer and perfectly complement the quiet-to-loud guitar work by Marc Walloch and drumming by Mike Ortiz.

Despite being a huge fan of their debut album, Ordinary Riches, I’ve been sitting on 2011’s follow up, Running from a Gamble, since it came out back in March; call it…fear of a sophomore slump. After all, as the saying goes “Musicians have their entire lives to write their debut. They have a year to complete the follow up.” In this case though it seems that a year—or in this case a bit under two—was all that was needed. To paraphrase one reviewer, get ready to put this one on repeat.

This. Is. Awesome. Here’s Aloe Blacc doing a bad-ass, live, mash-up cover of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” and Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” It’s a little on the short side but as usual Blacc brings the funk so I can’t complain.

20 plays

This afternoon I heard “Catch Me Jumping” by The Dimes for the first time. Since then I’ve listened to it about five more times. I’m definitely going to pick up both 2007’s The Silent Generation and 2009’s The King Can Drink the Harbour Dry—the latter happens to also be a great album title.

Update: The mp3 wasn’t working before. My bad.

Matt Nathanson’s new album, Modern Love, comes out June 21st and in preparation he’s been touring the country with country cross-over favorites Sugarland. In recognition of the fact that he got to this point in his career—for the most part—through word of mouth and fan loyalty rather than any major label backing, the singer-songwriter has been putting on very small “Mailing List Only” shows in some of the cities that the larger tour stops through.

In Philly, I got to catch Matt at the Tin Angel, which boasts a capacity of about 80 people tops—I made sure to get there early and was literally 5 ft from the stage. The set list was great and included a ton of fan requests shouted-out on the spot like "Miracles," which he hasn’t played in years, as well as some new songs. Of the new songs played, my two favorites were the somber "Kept," a song about entering into a relationship you know is wrong for you and not caring and this titular album track above.

A friend of mine and I often discuss—usually after a few beers—how badass our fathers are. Yours probably is too. Think about it. He wasn’t always "dad." At some point in the space-time continuum, he was just a guy; a guy who listened to rock music, played stick ball, loved Star Wars, drank shitty beer and wouldn’t hesitate to throw down in defense of his friends or his girl. Your dad didn’t listen to Clapton or The Stones because it was “classic” rock, he listened to it was rock and it kicked ass. He didn’t drink PBR , wear Chucks and ringer-tees because they were “vintage,” he did it because that’s just how he lived.
That’s why I was psyched when I came across Dad’s Are The Original Hipsters a website dedicated to proving that anything awesome you’ve done, your old man has done already—and done with style.

dadsaretheoriginalhipster:You hipsters couldn’t sip from the same mug as your father. Your coffee is sweetened with unrefined sugar from a fair trade farm in small town South America where the workers are paid a living wage. His was black. You top off your lattes with a non-fat, non-dairy, soy, vegan foam. Your dad doesn’t know what a fucking latte is, nor does he give a shit to find out. He drank coffee to wake up, not so he could have a free place to steal internet while bitching about all the political change that needs to happen. So hipsters, next time you want to be a perennial bad-ass, reach for some Folgers and harden the fuck up.  

Some of my favorites things “Dad Did before You”Didn’t Give a FuckWore Chuck TaylorsHad Unkempt hairPlayed guitar

A friend of mine and I often discuss—usually after a few beers—how badass our fathers are. Yours probably is too. Think about it. He wasn’t always "dad." At some point in the space-time continuum, he was just a guy; a guy who listened to rock music, played stick ball, loved Star Wars, drank shitty beer and wouldn’t hesitate to throw down in defense of his friends or his girl. Your dad didn’t listen to Clapton or The Stones because it was “classic” rock, he listened to it was rock and it kicked ass. He didn’t drink PBR , wear Chucks and ringer-tees because they were “vintage,” he did it because that’s just how he lived.

That’s why I was psyched when I came across Dad’s Are The Original Hipsters a website dedicated to proving that anything awesome you’ve done, your old man has done already—and done with style.

dadsaretheoriginalhipster:
You hipsters couldn’t sip from the same mug as your father. Your coffee is sweetened with unrefined sugar from a fair trade farm in small town South America where the workers are paid a living wage. His was black. You top off your lattes with a non-fat, non-dairy, soy, vegan foam. Your dad doesn’t know what a fucking latte is, nor does he give a shit to find out. He drank coffee to wake up, not so he could have a free place to steal internet while bitching about all the political change that needs to happen. So hipsters, next time you want to be a perennial bad-ass, reach for some Folgers and harden the fuck up. 

Some of my favorites things “Dad Did before You”
Didn’t Give a Fuck
Wore Chuck Taylors
Had Unkempt hair
Played guitar

This live performance by Villagers front-man and songwriter Connor O’Brien is the kind of performance that gives me hope for the singer-songwriter art form in a time that seems to only care about learning how to “Dougie” and using auto-tune to fuel comebacks.

The clip comes as the first offering by Snakeweed Sessions—a new and very cool conglomerate composed of Singapore music bloggers who decided to get together and invite artists in for interviews and a quick song or two in an effort to expose them to a wider audience in the Asian world.