Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Saturday: Cuco, Helado Negro, and Lido Pimienta @ Grog Shop

This is such a powerhouse of a night at the Grog Shop!  Opening the night is the 2017 Polaris Prize winner, Lido Pimienta!  I recently saw her in the video from A Tribe Called Red I posted on a Video Tuesday


"'It's pretty amazing what you can do when people are not watching,' said the classically trained, Toronto-based, and Colombia-born singer and producer Lido Pimienta of the creative process behind her album La Papessa, the freshly named winner of this year's Polaris Prize. The prize, which includes $50,000, is intended to recognize the 'best Canadian album of the year based on artistic merit without regard to genre, sales history or label affiliation.'"

(Via Lido Pimienta Takes The Polaris Prize Over Leonard Cohen, Feist : The Record : NPR.)

Then up next is Helado Negro, who I’ve been following for some time - and was recently thrilled to catch him opening for Sylvan Esso back in September (at House of Blues).  I would have thought he’d be headlining this show.  Still, I’m even more excited to be seeing him up close and personal.  Also make sure to check out his Tiny Desk performance!


The headliner on Saturday is the artist I know the least about.  Still, his albums sound pretty good - besides, I would have already gotten my money’s worth by this point of the night.  It’s all gravy from here.


"The 18-year-old Chicano’s two EPs, Songs4u and Wannabewithu, are dreamy compilations of cosmic love from someone seemingly untainted by the toxic machismo that often plagues Chicanxs. Cuco’s music recalls lowrider classics like Ritchie Valens’ ‘Donna,’ at the same time evincing Tame Impala’s psychedelic daydreaming. Cuco’s two EPs reject rigid genre boundaries, as mariachi trumpets blaze over 808s and reverbed vocals evoke Morrissey’s weary romance. Cuco’s tracks are sometimes sung in English, sometimes in Spanish, sometimes in Spanglish – but they’re always tinged with a touch of humor and tenderness."

(Via Meet Cuco, the 18-Year-Old Making Cosmic Chicano Love Songs.)

Friday: Gus Dapperton @ Grog Shop

I hate to admit it, but it was the bowl cut that first caught my attention in the Grog Shop newsletter.  Since then I’ve been lured into the art/music world of Gus Dapperton.  He has these smooth vocals are in line with Sondre Lerche and Josh Rouse, but throw in some synths and a whole lot more style.  I’m dying to catch the live show this Friday at the Grog Shop.  Videos and article clips below.  (Note the videos are both at over 1.5M views on YouTube!)


"Until then, Dapperton had been an athlete, on the lacrosse and the diving teams. ‘I was making music at the same time, and painting my nails and dying my hair and cutting it myself, then all of a sudden said, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to play lacrosse.’ Upstate New York is very conservative, they weren’t really hyped about that. It was a whole thing.’

After high school, Dapperton’s career began to take shape fairly quickly. Last August, he released his debut EP, ‘Yellow and Such,’ a gauzy and whimsical, synth-heavy pop album that earned a lot of attention from hipster tastemakers. His hard-to-make-out lyrics were parsed and pored over. He started dating a model (Barbie Ferreira, who appears in one of his videos). He took a semester off from his studies at Drexel University. He booked an American tour, then a European tour. His younger sister, on a gap year between high school and college, joined his band. He began working on another EP, to be followed, he hopes, by a full-length album."

(Via Gus Dapperton is more than a bowl cut and a few tracks - Chicago Tribune.)


"He's handsome, he wears great glasses, he's got a killer voice — Gus Dapperton has got us all excited in the way that only a new music discovery can. Inspired by world class cinema and heartache, the Warwick, New York-based artist has been quietly putting out very good music, very sporadically, for the past year. Lucky for you, you caught him right before he appears on everyone else's awesome radar."

(Via you’re gonna wanna meet hot new nyc music talent gus dapperton - i-D.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ben Caplan (1/11/18)

The worst part about the Holidays are the lack of good concerts, but things are starting to ramp back up!  It was great to get back to the Beachland Tavern to see Istvan Medgyesi!  He was the main reason I was making it out, he was opening for Harrow Fair and Ben Caplan.  I checked these bands out, and while I wasn’t blown away, nothing really deterred me.

Istvan was great as usual, which is fitting as he’s such a cool guy.  He has this seemingly normal folk music sound on top of some expansive electric and acoustic guitars, but just wait for when things get really expansive when he starts turning the dials.  A superb guitarist.  He’s great to watch.

Istvan Medgyesi (1/11/18)

Harrow Fair was up next.  They kind of reminded me of seeing The Accidentals where I generally like the upbeat folk sound, but it just got laid on a little too heavy.  They are some super sweet Canadians who were so close to getting it right. If they could tighten things up a bit, I’d give them another chance.

Harrow Fair (1/11/18)

When Ben Caplan took the stage, he seemed to fall right into the over-doing it category as well.  Maybe he just plays poorly on the DAKS scale, but I think the level of energy needs to be matched with a quality of voice that I just wasn’t getting at the first couple songs.  So we bailed and headed down the street to the Millard Fillmore (hence no video).

Ben Caplan (1/11/18)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Video Day #tzaupbeat

The Hundred In The Hands have a new video out for their new track Red Eyes Rising.  Troye Sivan just got sexy with his uninhibited video for My My My!  Car Seat Headrest released a new video for Nervous Young Humans from their reworked 2011 album called Twin Fantasy (out 2/16).


Bonus: Black Eyed Peas dropped a new song and video, but no word on a new album yet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Article: 10 Things You Need to Know About Cleveland Music in 2018

A nice write up by Cleveland Scene for Cleveland in 2018!  Includes details on remodeling of the Agora and Rock Hall, a festival lineup, as well as some movers and shakers in the area (both on stage and off!).

Fitz & the Tantrums (7/6/11)

"At the beginning of each year, we usually profile about a dozen bands that are worth checking out in the next year. Maybe they've got a new album coming out, or they're headlining some interesting event at Nelson. Maybe they're just so darn interesting that it would be irresponsible not to write about them in our pages.

This year, though, we're changing things up a bit. We'd like to present to you a more conceptual outlook on 2018, in hopes that we can corral even more good music into this annual endeavor. With that, we'd encourage you to keep an ear tilted toward these 10 things you should know about Cleveland music this year."

(Via 10 Things You Need to Know About Cleveland Music in 2018 | Features | Cleveland Scene.)

Video Day #tzachill

SZA just put out a Solange-directed video for The Weekend. A thoroughly enjoyable video (and song) by Tourist for Hush.  Sufjan Stevens has a new video out for his song Mystery of Love for the movie Call Me By Your Name.

Bonus: The video for Yung Lean’s Red Bottom Sky caught my attention.  While his sad boy aesthetic isn’t totally my thing, this song and video are rather compelling.

Article: Cassette tapes make a comeback

I’m still not believing it.



"'We still put out tapes because it's an affordable way to put out music, for an artist in a climate of increasing and excruciating vinyl costs,' said Matt Flag from the record label Beat Concern. 'I think they look nice, they sound great and they can be made in small quantities for very little cost,' he said."

(Via Cassette tapes make a comeback.)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Video Day #tzaupbeat

New music from TR/ST (!) and a new video for the single Destroyer.  Hundred Waters has a stunningly filmed video for Wave to Anchor. Disclosure has a new video out for Holding On ft. Gregory Porter.

Bonus: SSION just put out his new video for The Comeback… wait for it.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

SZA (12/13/17)

The incredible snow we had last night couldn’t have been a more charming backdrop for a great show by SZA at the House of Blues last night.  She was on fire, with full leg kicks and throwing her hair all over the place.  She and her band sounded top notch, and the audience was lit.  Such a great show by SZA!

SZA (12/13/17)


"SZA bounded off the momentum of her excellent openers — in an oversized pink bubble jacket, a black crop top, camo overalls, and flowing locks, her stage presence was natural and brightly energetic, swaggering and vulnerable. She’d arrived late on a flight and missed soundcheck, but hit her vocals strong, standing out as she riffed gorgeously to close out ‘Go Gina,’ or sang 2014’s ‘Sobriety’ a cappella."

(Via SZA Gives Powerful Performance at House of Blues | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hiss Golden Messenger (12/11/17)

A second night in DC, and another good concert! It’s particularly notable being here over a Sunday & Monday night. Hiss Golden Messenger presented “An Evening With…” which signaled it was all Hiss - no opener.  I’ve had a cursory familiarity with his work, but had been diving in deep these last couple days.  Very much along the lines of Blitzen Trapper, Springsteen, Langhorne Slim and Ryan Adams.  But as I learned, he’s had quite a long and venerable career himself, talking about touring in DC in the 90’s (to no one in the audience).  He’s come a long way, and his live performance is indicative of how that happened.

Hiss Golden Messenger (12/11/17)

Hiss Golden Messenger (12/11/17)

Hiss Golden Messenger (12/11/17)