Another week, another post from me spotlighting my three current favorite songs. Let’s make this a LIVE EDITION just for the hell of it, yeah?
First up is Haim, recent winners of the BBC’s Sound of 2013 music industry poll . Performing new track “Falling,” the band is a joy to watch as they let loose with their throaty vocals and R&B-tinged grooves. I saw them play at Mumford & Sons‘ mini-festival in Portland last summer and they’re all kinds of awesome.
English rock band Foals just released their third album a week or two back and I’ve essentially had it on repeat ever since. “Last Night” is a particular highlight that builds into an epic climax and is totes worth the listen. Tickets for their show at House of Blues in May just went on sale and it’s performances like this one that have me already counting down the days for it.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper sure sounds like a bizarre name for a single singer-songwriter to go by, but please don’t let it distract you from her brilliance. Her soon-to-be-released album is ridiculously emotional and it’s performances like the one above of my personal favorite, “Bird Balloons,” that make it clear she’s going to be having an enormously successful 2013.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy the rest of the day off and keep on jamming!
This time of year is always exciting for music. The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards air tonight on CBS at 8pm, and while I could always write a post about who deserves to win in each of the major categories, I feel like no one actually watches the show to see who wins. Music is more subjective than any other form of the arts, in my opinion, so I find the nominations kind of pointless. However, artists typically go all out for Grammy performances, and THAT sure is something to get excited about.
In recent years, Lady Gaga made a huge impact with her 2009 spectacle that featured a collaboration with Elton John. Playing a medley of “Poker Face,” “Speechless,” and Elton John classic “Your Song,” Gaga crafted a performance to remember. Will tonight’s debut performance of “Born This Way” live up to ridiculous hype? Only time will tell.
The award show has been in rehearsals for several days now, and rumors surrounding tonight’s performances are spreading like crazy.
As far as performers go, Lady Gaga will be joined by Eminem, Dr. Dre, Bob Dylan, Rihanna, Drake, Muse, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Justin Bieber, Usher, Barbara Streisand, Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire, Lady Antebellum, and several other massively successful recording artists on tonight’s telecast. Plus, who knows if the Grammys have any surprise performers up their sleeves. If all those artists performing doesn’t get you hype about the Grammys, I don’t know what will.
Remember the other week when I posted the videos from the Mumford and Sons concert? And I was trashing a bit on King Charles and his tight shiny pants and his shiny shoes? Yeah, well, the song I posted was kind of meh, and in spite of his eccentricity of dress, he’s actually good. So here’s “Love Lust”. Try to get it out of your head. I dare you. He’s worth listening to, and “Love Lust” is definitely a good de-stress-during-finals-week song.
I haven’t yet posted any poetry, which is surprising, because I really like poetry. Billy Collins
is one of the best in terms of contemporary written word poetry (he was the US poet laureate, after all); it’s accessible but poignant, and his irony gets a few laughs from the audience (these tracks are from a live recording). Don’t be fooled by his semi-monotone, he’s actually good. Listen to the images. BE INSPIRED.
“The Trouble with Poetry”
And obviously no post with poetry is complete without Andrea Gibson. Basically, she’s awesome. I’m obsessed with her.
I would put a picture of us together but there aren't any where I don't look like a five year old who has just gotten a pony from Santa.
Only minorly obsessed (ha). She’s a four-time Denver Grand Slam Champion, a fourth place finisher at the 2004 National Poetry Slam, and she finished third at both the 2006 and 2007 Individual World Poetry Slam. Also, she was the first poet ever to win the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2008. She’s also a regular at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC, and the cool part is that she uses music in a lot of her poetry. I’ve seen her eight times (the ninth will be this March)…I think that kind of sums it up. Without further ado, Andrea Gibson:
“Say Yes” (an intense):
“Swing Set (Live)” (a funny which is doubly awesome because she quotes Taylor Mali [another poet]):
There’s a little taste. She’s amazingly visual and also amazingly everything else. I’ll post more next week.
MUMFORD AND SONS HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR TWO GRAMMYS. TWO OF THEM. Our (my, at least) favorite boys from across the pond are going up against Drake, the Bieber, and Florence + The Machine for Best New Artist; “Little Lion Man” (which I posted the other week) is up for Best Rock Song. Okay, back to what I had originally written as the start of this blog post:
It’s been a while, loyal readers! I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving/week-off-of-school festivities and ate plenty of delicious food. I definitely ate at least 2 pounds of sweet potatoes. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, let’s get down to business*:
What is more culturally relevant this week than Chanukkah? Nothing. So, for this week’s Official Tidbit of Cultural Relevance, it’s a new Chanukkah/Channukah/Chanuka/Hanuka/Hannukah/Hanukkah song! Also, this video of the Yeshiva University Maccabeats (I love a cappella names) has been all over everywhere the past few days. If you haven’t seen it yet, well, here you go. You’re welcome. And happy (C)han(n)uk(k)a(h) to all my fellow revelers!
Since I have a midterm on Friday (Yeah. Midterm. It’s not the middle of the term anymore.) I’m going to give you two things:
The first is a suggestion. Go to Pandora and make a Mumford and Sons station. Their eponymous EP has some stuff that isn’t on “Sigh No More”, which will come up on the Pandora station eventually. However, it seems to be in hiding everywhere else. I’m working on getting some tracks, and as soon as I do I’ll post them.
The second thing is actually more than one thing, it’s . Some goodies for you to rock out to (on your headphones) whilst you while away the hours in the library pretending to study. Or in your room while you have a dance party with your roommate (that’s what I’ll be doing).
Of Montreal, “For Our Elegant Caste”:
Kate Nash, “Foundations”:
And not to be all “mainstream” or whatever, but I’m not gonna lie, nothing does it quite like this–”Viva la Vida”, from Coldplay:
So, I don’t really think I need to explain much about this post.
Last Thursday night I saw Mumford and Sons play a sold out show at the House of Blues.
Here are the numbers: 2400 Mumford fans 3 hours of standing around waiting 45 agonizing minutes of King Charles 45 minutes of Cadillac Sky 2 GLORIOUS HOURS OF MUMFORD AND SONS $30 for a fantastic tour t-shirt
All in all, a good night. King Charles was, for lack of a better word, interesting. Not terrible. Just…interesting. He was wearing this really great ensemble of very tight, very high-waisted white satin pants; a navy coat with tails that trailed on the floor; patent leather flats (flats. Not loafers. Flats.); and this beautiful mass of awesome hair that absolutely completes the look. By the time Cadillac Sky came on, I’m not gonna lie, I was just antsy and ready for some Mumford and Sons. And then…there they were. A glorious foursome of beautiful West Londoners.
Beautiful. And talented. Perfect.
The show was incredible. They really are fantastic live; the crowd was electric and everyone was super into it, which you can totally feel in the videos. Also, they are gorgeous (did I mention that? They really are.) and ridiculously talented–they shifted instruments every few songs. Also also, they were super nice and very humble and thanked the crowd profusely and talked about how awesome Boston is. Which is true. So, without further ado: Mumford and Sons.
“Little Lion Man” (the second half, because somebody wasn’t maying much attention):
“Sigh No More”:
“Thistle & Weeds”:
“Dust Bowl Dance” (listen close around 3:00 for the awkward/hilarious conversation where I realized Dan has been filming not the stage, but the tech booth the whole time):
All Mumford videos courtesy of Dan Conroy, who recorded everything on his iPhone because I wanted things to post here. And took me to the show. And gave me their album. He’s great.
PS: If you go on Cadillac Sky’s Youtube Channel, there are some great videos of them with Mumford. Also a cover of Death Cab’s “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”, which is good, but a little too country for my tastes. Here’s King Charles, just so you can get a taste:
But since that’s terrifying, I’ll end with the glorious encore. Really. It’s incredible.:
Heyguesswhat–the correct answer is (d). On the 6th, BUC hosted Gentlemen Hall and Bad Rabbits, and the show was hoppin. As for Gentlemen Hall, they’re the perfect mix of just enough electronics with a large handful of great vocals and a healthy dose of catchy tunes and lyrics. And that’s just their album–Give Us Roots, Give Us Wings–which is great, but it isn’t even in the same league as their live show. I wish I had a video for you from the show, but this will have to suffice:
But really, the show was great. Wasn’t it great? Yeah. Pretty much. Here’s “Gravity Will Break Our Bones”, which is probably my favorite track on the album:
Perfect, right? It’s quite catchy.
Also, this could totally be in a movie soundtrack:
Something like that scene in Love Actually where that guy is walking down the street and in the movie soundtrack they’re playing Dido’s “Resting Here With Me” (wow, Dido…flashback) but they really should be playing this. It’s called “What Is Left Of Me”, by the way.
And finally, another one of their best was just released this morning (at 12:14 AM, according to twitter) on their myspace–I can’t post it here, but head over to their page (myspace.com/gentlemenhall) and check it out. It’s called “Blush”!
On to Bad Rabbits:
People were crowdsurfing…no joke.
This is what their live show was like:
Okay, so if they are that fun with a music video, imagine a live show. Let me reiterate that people were crowdsurfing. What? Yeah. (Sidenote: I propose a remake of this video with Dean Elmore as the guy at 2:15 in the video. Any takers?)
Here’s “Stick Up Kids” (also the name of their EP, which you can download for $free.99 on their website):
Like Gentlemen Hall, they’ve got great vocals and lyrics with just the right amount of electronic vibes and catchy tunes, but where Gentlemen Hall has a more folksy vibe (there’s that word again, folksy…see my first post), Bad Rabbits totally owns the old-schoolhip-hopwithalittlebitofsomefunkmaybe? vibe.
And “Can’t Back Down”:
Just so you know, they were so good live that I downloaded the album while I was still at the show on Saturday (I snagged one of Gentlemen Hall’s albums too).
Let’s have another pop quiz to close it out:
Give Us Roots, Give Us Wings and Stick Up Kids pair well with:
a) mellow parties
b) a long T ride
c) a run by Jamaica pond
d) secret dance party in your room
e) all of the above, but especially (d). (d)s are always the best.
I’m seeing Mumford and Sons tonight at the House of Blues. Expect a post on that next week!