Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Disclosure just released this cheeky fun video for Energy.  Greyson Chance made a name for himself 10 years ago with a cover of Lady Gaga in his school concert, and is continuing on with his new single for Honeysuckle.  Four years since her last album, Foxes is putting out this refreshing new pop single and video for Love Not Loving You.

Bonus: I’ve been a long time fan of Shilpa Ray.  She’s always been a force of nature, with a voice that will shake you to your bone.  This is all present in her new single and video for Manic Dixie Dream Cunt.

The State of Live Music

I really miss going to concerts.  I’ve been waiting with baited breath to see when they’ll return, and i’m beginning to see some signs of life.  In the meantime, there have been a whole host of options for seeing streaming concerts.  They’re everywhere, and difficult to keep up with!  There’s also talk of this being a new normal:

Though the post-streaming music industry has been difficult for professional musicians at nearly all levels, the emergence of Couch Tour as a potentially viable income source might be one of the few positive developments in recent years. For now, it may be the perfect activity for a homebound age, both socially present and physically distant. But long after audiences return to venues, the future of Couch Tour will be something to watch."

(Via The Never-Ending Couch Tour: How Livestreams and Social Media Have Already Transformed Live Music | Pitchfork.)

While most of these performance are just of artists and their instruments in front of a camera, some artists are showing a little more creativity.  One example are the “Personal Concerts” that Joe Pug has been offering.
Big Head Todd & the Monsters have been doing virtual tours, supporting local communities.
But virtual concerts just aren’t the same.  I’m sure by now you’ve heard of some of these Drive In concerts happening.  One artist making some noise in the streaming space is also looking at the Drive In model as well.

"Marc Rebillet, the electronic artist and YouTuber also known as 'Loop Daddy,' is embarking on what is being called the first-ever drive-in concert tour, taking place in drive-in movie theatres in the U.S. starting in June.

The shows aim to resemble the classic drive-in movie experience by showcasing short films instead of featuring traditional opening acts, with a portion of proceeds donated to GlobalGiving Coronavirus Relief Fund."

(Via Pollstar | Marc Rebillet's 'Drive-In Concert Tour' To Hit Multiple Cities, Kicking Off In June.)

 But, things are starting to transition out of the virtual.  Music Box just started to announce the return of some dinner concerts coming in a couple weeks.
Whether or not the public is ready to jam out in public with Carlos Jones, or laugh with Veranda L’Ni in person, in the same room, is another story.  We’ll see where this goes next...

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Video Day #tzachill

YELLE was rocking my iPod in the early aughts, and happy to see their back with the laid back Je t’aime encore video and single. Long time TZA favorite, Teddy Thompson finally released a new album this weekend, along with this video for Brand New. AURORA released a delicately beautiful video for Exist For Love.

BONUS: Sea Wolf is another aughts favorite with a new album out, and this great fan collaboration video created in this time of social distancing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Tessa Violet is speaking for all of us in her new single and video for Bored.   You might think two Declan McKennas are better than one in his (their?) new video for The Key to Life on Earth. I caught Boy Harsher back at Now That’s Class just over a year ago and loved their dark, dank synth sound - fully on display in their new video for for Electric. 

Bonus:  I find myself, like many, taken with the rise of DaBaby.  There’s something about him, and his rap style, that I find so satisfying.  While this video may not have usually made my Video Day post, I couldn’t help but also be taken by the sight of a Cleveland Browns jersey in a video!  When was the last time that happened??

Perfume Genius / Streaming (5/15/20)

If you haven’t listened to the new Perfume Genius album, you should. Recently, Pitchfork announced their new Listening Club series with their first live stream happening this past Friday night.  More on that below, but once you got past some awkward live banter and Q&A (I give them credit, it was a first), Perfume Genius took to what I assume was his living room and played a wonderful set.  Almost as wonderful as his cat playing with this mic cord throughout the performance.

"On the first episode of ‘Listening Club,’ special guest Perfume Genius discusses and performs songs from his new album Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, the follow-up to his excellent 2018 album No Shape. The episode will be hosted by Pitchfork’s Editor-in-Chief Puja Patel, Reviews Editor Jeremy Larson, and Senior Editor Jillian Mapes. Set My Heart on Fire is out today via Matador."

(Via Watch Perfume Genius on the Premiere of Pitchfork’s “Listening Club” | Pitchfork.)

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Video Day #tzaupbeat

KAYTRANADA is leaving it all on the dance floor in their new video for Need It feat. Masego.  Charlie XCX finished up her quarantine album, and released this quite satisfying green screen video for claws.  I recently discovered Boniface, and am really loving their 80’s inspired feel of their single and video for It’s A Joke. 

Bonus:  Local synth rock heros, Key to the Mint released their new video for Factory.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Video Day #tzachill

Five years (and seemingly 2 kids) since her last full release, Selah Sue puts out this touching new video for her new single You.  If there’s one thing you can rely on, is that Destroyer knows how to make a visually stunning video, which he’s done for his new single foolssong.  Trampled By Turtles just released a socially distant video for the apropos We All Get Lonely.

Bonus:  Glass Animals just released this amazing video, made in quarantine, for the single Dreamland.  I’d really recommend sticking with the beginning and seeing this video through.  It’s pretty spectacular.

Righteous Babe Radio!

Well this is interesting.  Ani DiFranco is starting up a new online radio format!  As big of a fan as I am, I’m not sure I see myself logging on to never-ending Righteous stream often - but I can imagine popping in here and there!  I’ll let them provide the explanation...

"Righteous babe radio will feature some previously unreleased live ani shows from the archives. Many of these will come straight off the board tapes and have not been edited/mixed at all. They are simply, As Is! These shows will air Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm CDT and a new show will be added every week. Some live singles from these shows will be mixed into the daily broadcast too, including new and unreleased songs, so you never know when you’re going to hear something brand new. Before these live shows, at 8pm CDT, to really set the mood, we will feature an hour of music from the many wonderful artists whom I’ve had the privilege of sharing the stage with. We will also be featuring an interview series airing Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at Noon and again at 5pm CDT."

(Via Radio – righteousbabe.)

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Zender Agenda Turns 10!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since I started The Zender Agenda.  While that may seem like a long time in the online world, this blog is just a continuation of several others that existed before it.  In honor of this anniversary, allow me a self-indulgent trip down memory lane - a brief documentation of my history.

I originally started Roger’s Music Blog back in 2005!.  This was hosted as part of Apple's .Mac suite of services, and I used this iBlogger tool to publish content. It was so much fun to engage with these new online tools.  While that site has long since perished, I was able to capture the contents and have it still it hosted up over on Amazon!  It wasn’t a smooth transition, and doesn’t necessarily look the same - but it wasn’t much to look at to begin with. You’ll find that I have (embarrassingly) included that first blog post ever, below.

I named my next blog Only Music Left, a melodramatic act was spurred by some major changes in my life.  I don’t remember if the transition to Blogger was by force (.Mac depreciation), or if I was just seduced by the features of a real blog platform (tagging! comments! RSS Feeds!).  Either way, it was short lived, running from 2008-2010.

During this time however, I was asked to write a monthly column for a local online lgbt magazine called Spangle being run by a friend of mine.  He had the brilliant idea of naming the column “The Zender Agenda” and from there on out, it just made sense. (thanks Brian!)

In the full transition to becoming The Zender Agenda, I moved to a new Blogger account and a professional logo!  What a relief, and a wildly fun process to collaborate on (thanks Matt & Sean!). I also created my tag line, getting right to the point: Live Music & New Releases - Cleveland, OH.  It was here that I really began to formalize my content and structure.  I also made an attempt to use the pages feature to highlight my Concert Calendar (my most valuable asset), local Music Venues (never completed), my House Concerts (needs updated), local Record Stores (depreciated), About TZA (another nice little summary), and Submit your content pages.  I also tried this wonky DAKS concept that I never consistently employed, but still kinda stand by!

This is also when I fully engaged FaceBook Pages, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, SoundCloud, Songkick, Tumblr and even FourSquare (remember that?).  It was great to have a reason to play with all these new online social technologies, and a with purpose to do so.  They’re all still active (except FourSquare and Tumblr), so feel free to go subscribe, follow, etc.!  I even started a Newsletter using Mailchimp!

Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to guest on a couple WRUW shows with friends, DJ a Beachland Brunch, and run a series of AMAZING house concerts.  The House Concerts have been such an fulfilling experience that it deserves to have it’s own anniversary post.  I even have some business cards, stickers and coasters (!). I’ll have those forever because I’m terrible at leaving them places.

The whole point of all this effort is really just a continuation of my formative time working at Finders Records in Bowling Green, OH.  Being a small town kid in love with music and concerts (thanks Kari!), then going to college and being able to work at the "largest independent music retailer in the Midwest" (or something like that) - truly changed my life.  Fun fact: I was the first person to create a website for them, using dial-up!

Being able to experience endless amounts of music, and being able to talk about it extensively with co-workers and customers, really ignited my fire for supporting music (in any form). It all changed after moving to Cleveland in 2000 and transitioning in to a career. I really missed the ability to connect with people about music, but more importantly, connect people with music.

I’ll let my very first blog post take it from here… (remember this is 2005!)

"Only music could drive me to Blog

I’ve never quite understood the point of blogging. It seemed quite self-indulgent and unnecessary, unless you were some amazingly interesting person who was a great writer. I’ve since lowered my standards and have had quite a bit of fun reading some people’s blogs. At the same time I came to this realization that I was gathering so much music information and experiences, and didn't have the means with which to share it. I would constantly read music news, go to see shows, buy lots of CD’s, and then I would try to keep from bombarding my friends with the excitement of my discoveries and from the endless hours of ‘you should hear this.’

One day I was sitting at one of my favorite places on the planet, Barking Spider Tavern , and I heard this woman on the CD player, her voice and music just blew me away. I ran home and listened to her music, bought it from (great site!) and then signed up on her mailing list (her name is Chris Pureka who I will talk about soon as she'll be coming to the BST). My next thought was asking myself who can I tell?? Realizing that I probably had given all my friends their fill of new music, I thought, why not blog it? Then it all starting coming to me, just how I could incorporate all my interests in music into a website / blog.

This is the first step of a huge website / blog behemoth.

I go to so many shows, many of which are remarkable, and this is the perfect way to document and share the experience. Realizing how boring text is, I decided that I needed a new digital camera that was small enough, with a great zoom, that I could sneak into venues and get decent shots. Enter my new favorite camera! I’m still learning to use it (as you can see from the Lucy picture). I highly recommend this camera. I purchased it at the Apple Store in Legacy Village. You can find out more information about it here .

So in the end, I realize this is completely self-indulgent, but hopefully someone, somewhere will find it informative and/or entertaining.

Posted: Mon - February 7, 2005 at 10:05 PM"

(Via Only music could drive me to Blog.)

So while I may have never become “a huge website / blog behemoth” (thankfully?),  I have consistently enjoyed exploring and blending these worlds of new music and new technology - while expressing some creativity in the process.

It’s not stopping here. We are all experiencing an incredible time of reflection and transition as we are still trying to understand the impacts of this corona virus.  I had already begun strategizing my next move over to WordPress and have been thinking about what the next stage of online engagement and support will look like - and sceptically eyeing all these new online technologies (Stories, SnapChat, TikTok, Twitch, etc.).  However, what I wasn’t considering was a potential massive change to world of live music.  There’s no way to know what it will look like from where we currently stand, but whatever we are about to experience, I’ll be sure to do my part to support it.

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Nick AM is new to me, but his new video, which “contains scenes from protests in Hong Kong, Palestine, Iraq, Chile, America, and more” really caught my attention!  Juls, the Ghanaian-British producer and DJ just released his stunning new video for Soweto Blues featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis, filmed in the streets of Soweto, one of South Africa's most famed townships.  HUMANS just released their new video for Felony.

btw - The Zender Agenda is 10 years old today!

Bonus:  Christine & The Queens recently released an EP, and alongside it a full 13 min+ video accompaniment.