Monday, April 30, 2012

SOTD: "This Isn't Our Parade" - Santigold

Santigold's new album "Master of My Make-Believe" comes out tomorrow. You can stream the whole album at NPR, take a listen HERE. I've liked Santi since I first saw her perform a few years back with Mark Ronson at the Highline Ballroom, really cool sound. Check out this track...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

John Mayer & Buddy Guy: Grammys on the Hill

This is great, John Mayer and Buddy Guy performing at the Grammys on the Hill event last night....



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2011 Newport Folk Festival Video

This is a great video recapping the 2011 Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI. Last year was my first trip to the festival and I can say it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Great music, great people and an amazing setting.

I love at about 19:40 of the video where they kick into the montage of various bands with Tegan & Sara's "Back In Your Head" playing in the background. So many great acts played last year.... Delta Spirit, Middle Brother, Dawes, Trampled By Turtles, The Head & The Heart, Elvis Costello, Gogol Bordello, Emmylou Harris, Freelance Whales, Justin Townes Earle... and the list goes on and on.

I think Pete Seeger sums it up best at the end of the video when he says the following, "If there is a human race still here in 100 years, I think it will be thanks to music."

Newport Folk Festival ~ 2011 from sopa productions on Vimeo.

Monday, April 23, 2012

SOTD: "Ask Me This" - Alcoholic Faith Mission

Here's the latest from Alcoholic Faith Mission along with some upcoming tour dates posted below...




04/25 - Washington, DC - DC9
04/26 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
04/27 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
04/28 - Boston, MA - TT the Bears
05/01 - Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo
05/02 - Toronto, ON - Drake Hotel
05/03 - Grand Rapids, MI - Founders Brewery, Co.
05/04 - Madison, WI - Der Rathskellar at Wisconsin Union
05/05 - Chicago, IL - Schubas Tavern
05/06 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
05/08 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive
05/09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
05/11 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
05/12 - Seattle, WA - Comet Tavern
05/14 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
05/15 - Santa Barbara, CA - Muddy Waters
05/17 - Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
05/18 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar
05/19 - Tucson, AZ - Plush
05/22 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
05/23 - Dallas, TX - La Grange

Levon Helm Tributes

With the sad passing of Levon Helm last week, several bands took to the stage to honor him by covering various songs from his career. Here are a couple good ones.

Bon Iver: "Ophelia"

Bon Iver - Ophelia from Hidden Track2 on Vimeo.



The Black Keys & John Fogerty: "The Weight"




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SOTD: "Juarez" - We Are Augustines

Here's the latest release from We Are Augustines. Absolutely love their album, "Rise Ye Sunken Ships", you should definitely pick it up if you haven't yet..... one of my favorites of 2012.

Itunes is also featuring a new session with the band which was just released yesterday. You can find that HERE.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Alabama Shakes @ Webster Hall Studio 4/10/12 & Bowery Ballroom 4/11/12

I started listening to the Alabama Shakes late last year when a friend sent me a video clip of their single, "Hold On". I was instantly impressed, Brittany Howard's vocals were not only soulful but extremely passionate. The Shakes really had a unique sound different than most of the bands I've been listening to lately. I immediately started searching around the internet for anything I could find but it turned out that the only thing they had released was a four song EP on their bandcamp page (which has since been disabled). They signed to ATO Records late last year and I had a feeling that they were going to be in for some big things in 2012.

The main thing I thought was interesting after watching several live performances online was that not only was there a ton of buzz about this group, but everyone I know that had seen them live was absolutely RAVING about their show. I couldn't find a single person with a bad thing to say. This band has tremendous soul within their music, it comes off as soon as you hear it and it's not forced, absolutely authentic. I knew I had to try to catch them as soon as I could line a show up.

Luckily for me, I was able to catch the Alabama Shakes not only once, but twice on back-to-back nights last week in NYC. The first show was at the Webster Hall Studio, a tiny room beneath the main club, one level underground. I had only been in this room once before and it was after a show in the main club when I was just hanging out one night. The main thing I remembered coming into this show was just how small the room was, it maybe holds a few hundred people.... maybe. It's really more of a bar then a typical music club so you can imagine just how intimate it was. The band came on just after 9pm as MTV was filming/streaming the show live and the crowd was packed in and excited.

As I referenced earlier, I had been listening to the EP quite a bit over the last few months and I was looking forward to finally hearing these songs live, along with the other material from their full length release, "Boys & Girls". I have to say that I completely agree with the friends that had told me about their live shows, these guys were absolutely for real. One of my favorite things at a show is when a song strikes you that you either didn't love on the album or that you just hadn't heard before. For me, "Be Mine" was the song that stood out... unbelievable energy from the band, it seemed like Brittany was channelling Steven Tyler and James Brown at the same time! MTV Hive has posted some pictures and live clips from the show which you can watch HERE. Watch the end of the "Be Mine" video, that'll show you everything you need to know.

On Wednesday night, I went down to Bowery Ballroom to see the band. Even though this was a bigger venue, it's still a pretty small club and to be honest I thought the crowd was a lot better. I got a spot up on the balcony just next to the soundboard and maybe it was just the area I was in but I felt like there was a lot less talking in the crowd so I enjoyed this show even more than the first night. The band played with the same energy as the previous night (impressive considering they were playing three nights in a row) and the crowd really fed off that energy. The song that stood out to me on this night was "Boys & Girls", absolute fantastic rendition. It just so happened that one of the guys next to me was recording the show for NYCtaper and it actually got posted earlier today. You can download the whole show and they've got a couple clips streaming which you can grab HERE. I hung around for a bit after the show and met bassist Zac Cockrell who was a super nice guy. We spoke for a couple minutes and I told him how much I loved the shows. He was very gracious and seemed quite humbled by the attention the band has been getting.

Overall, a great couple nights out in NYC watching live music. The Alabama Shakes continue to garner a ton of buzz and have a bunch of festival slots lined up for the summer. If you get the chance, absolutely go see them live, this is a show that you will remember for a long time.

WEBSTER HALL STUDIO


BOWERY BALLROOM



ME & ZAC COCKRELL










Friday, April 13, 2012

SOTD: "Yeah Man" - Ryan Montbleau

Coachella 2012 Live Stream

The 2012 Coachella Festival kicks off today and they've setup a live stream on youtube where you can watch select performances throughout the day. The videos kick off today just before 4pm west coast time and will run through the weekend. You can check out the video stream HERE.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Counting Crows Cover Contest: Joe Beleznay - "Perfect Blue Buildings"

Some great news this morning, one of my best friends has made it to the final 18 people in the Counting Crows Covers Contest. Give a listen to Joe Beleznay's rendition of "Perfect Blue Buildings" off the classic album "August and Everything After". Absolutely thrilled for Joe, couldn't happen to a better person. Here's what Adam Duritz had to say....


Joe Beleznay - "Perfect Blue Buildings"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SOTD: "Here Now" - Sean Bones

New one from Sean Bones, awesome video!



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SOTD: "Unknowingly Strong" - Make Do and Mend

I hadn't heard of Make Do and Mend before getting an email with this song yesterday. Not only do I really dig the song but growing up in Connecticut, there's some cool stuff I recognized in the video. I've seen many shows at both the Webster Theater in Hartford and Toad's Place in New Haven so it's nice to recognize those venues along with Park Lane Pizza, a great spot I hit when I'm up visiting family in West Hartford.

This track is taken from the band's recently released Part & Parcel acoustic EP which you can pickup HERE.

Make Do and Mend will be performing this summer as part of the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. A new full-length album out in June via Rise Records.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

NPR Music: Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls



NPR Music First Listen is streaming the new album from the Alabama Shakes titled "Boys & Girls". Take a listen to the album HERE.

I'm planning on checking out the band next week when they come to NYC. Have heard nothing but great things about their live show, really looking forward to it!

Michael Kiwanuka North American Tour Dates


Michael Kiwanuka has released some upcoming North American tour dates. If you haven't had the privilege of hearing Michael's music as of yet then take a listen below. Quite a unique talent, I think he's going to be a pretty big name within a few months. For more info on Michael, check out his homepage HERE.

The tour will be followed by the release of Michael's debut album 'Home Again' on July 31st.



June 9 ||Atlanta, GA || Smith Olde Bar
June 10|| Nashville, TN || 3rd & Lindsley
June 13 || New York City, NY || Highline Ballroom
June 14 || Brooklyn, NY || Prospect Park
June 15 || Philadelphia, PA || World Café Live (Downstairs)
June 16 || Washington, DC || Rock and Roll Hotel
June 18 || Allston, MA || Brighton Music Hall
June 19 || Toronto, ON || The Great Hall

SOTD: "Brothers" - Tanlines

My buddy Soper sent me this song last week and I've probably listened to it about a hundred times over the last few days. I ended up picking up Tanlines' album "Mixed Emotions" which just came out about a week ago and I love it. Really good album from start to finish (which is a rarity nowadays). Also highly recommend tracks like "Not The Same" and "Real Life".