Sunday, December 30, 2018

Total Crush: RÜFÜS DU SOL

Reviving my “Total Crush” category, I wanted to share some RÜFÜS DU SOL - a band I’ve been adoring for some time.  I’m so bummed I missed their Detroit performance last year.  😕  Check out their best songs below.

Rufus Portrait Group

Video Day #tzachill

Elizabeth Moss is in yet another video, this time it’s for Brandi Carlile’s Party of One!  Sub Pop just premiered this Big Sky video by Orville Peck - who’s referenced as a “gay country crooner.” Helado Negro is out with a new video for Pais Nublado off his new record This Is How You Smile (out on 3/8!)

Bonus:  I’ve been charmed with CUCO since seeing him at the Grog Shop back in January, and his new video for CR-V is a good reason why.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Robyn’s new video for Honey!!  Janelle Monåe continues the part with her video for Crazy, Classic, Life.  Justice shows us what true Heavy Metal looks like with their new video.

Bonus:  This behind the scenes of Robyn’s Honey is a glimpse into why I’m such a fan.

Article: Apple Music arrives on Amazon’s Echo speakers starting December 17

I’ve heard a lot of fanfare lately about this integration of Apple Music with Amazon's Alexa.  I’ve played around a little with Alexa, but I’ll admit I’m still not entirely comfortable talking to computers.  Still, I see this integration as a positive thing.

I did just purchased an Apple HomePod (currently $100 off at B&H Photo!), but primarily for wireless speaker than for Siri.  Here and there I’ve clumsily asked Siri to shuffle a certain playlist, and that’s generally about as far as I take it.  It’s rare I ask Siri to play a particular artist or song, or trust what’s played is specifically what I’m looking for.  Regardless, this type of control is only going to improve and it’s better to get on board sooner than later - I guess.

Siri vs alexa

"Apple Music subscribers will have a new way to listen to music soon. Amazon announced that Apple Music will be available on Echo devices next month, beginning the week of December 17.

'We are committed to offering great music providers to our customers and since launching the Music Skill API to developers just last month, we’ve expanded the music selection on Alexa to include even more top tier services,' said Amazon Devices Senior Vice President David Limp in the statement. 'We’re thrilled to bring Apple Music—one of the most popular music services in the US—to Echo customers this holiday.' Further Reading Guidemaster: Want an Alexa device? Here’s every Amazon Echo, compared

Once the feature rolls out, users will be able to ask Alexa on Echo devices to play songs, artists, and albums from Apple Music after pairing their account to the Alexa mobile app. Subscribers can also ask Alexa to play curated playlists and radio stations, including Apple's Beats 1 station."

(Via Apple Music arrives on Amazon’s Echo speakers starting December 17 | Ars Technica.)

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Video Day #tzachill

Happy Sunday.  Some great videos I’m finally catching up on (after catching up on a slew of concert posts).  Blood Orange uses a day in the life of a skater for his new video, Dagenham Dream. Mandolin Orange, one of my favorite folk acts out today, released this gorgeous video for Golden Embers. Mansionair put out this beautifully hyper-affectionate video for Falling.

Bonus: I’d been sitting on this bonus for awhile now.  Mostly because it just keeps getting bumped by other stuff.  I was surprised to see the Gin Blossoms still putting out music (sorry guys), and while the song’s not bad - the skies in this video are gorgeous!

Twist (12/10/18)

While I was seeing Mari / Jess Connelly / Noodles in the basement, I was stopping upstairs to check out the bands in the other space.  I first caught DC native Kai Orion playing the vacuum.  Seriously.  Well, it was more of a vocal treatment, but I’m always amazed at what musicians can make work.  He was definitely on the avant-garde side, both interesting and engaging.

Kai Orion  12 10 18

Headlining was Twist from Toronto.  An indie rock band that’s pretty solid.  The next stop for these guys was Mahalls on the next night, so we were both basically racing back to Cleveland that next morning.

Twist  12 10 18

Noodles (12/10/18)

My second night in DC, I was able to catch two shows at the amazing Sonbyrd Music House.  I was surprised that 1.) I had never heard of this venue before, and 2.) that they had two stages and two shows happening simultaneously on a Monday night!  The headliner Noodles is was what first caught my attention, but all 3 acts were pretty solid.

Probably my favorite was the opener, Mari.  She had a great band on stage, really a lot of fun with a great personality.  I hope things go well for this DMV native (I just learned that DMV is the nickname for the District, Maryland, Virginia area).

Mari  12 10 18

Next up was Jess Connelly, who’s album I was enjoying.  Seeing her live was a little less exciting, but her DJ kicked ass.

Jess Connelly  12 10 18 

Noodles was the headliner, calling herself out as one of the few Asian-Americans in the music business, and trying to hold it dow for all the “POC’s” out there.   Her DJ skills were good, and loved the song selections.

Noodles  12 10 18

Peter Edelman Jazz Trio (12/9/18)

On my way home from DC9, I walked past Columbia Station and heard some great jazz.  Swung in to catch the end of the first set by the Peter Edelman Jazz Trio.  Excellent sound, with some amazing horn solos!  So glad I stopped.

Peter Edelman Jazz Trio  12 9 18

DRAMA (12/9/18)

Another trip to DC for work, another chance to check out some of the great music venues in the city.  This year I was lucky enough to be able to catch shows on both the Sunday and Monday nights I stayed.  I was happy to be making it back to DC9, remembering how much I liked this place from the Michl / Mack show back in 2017.  This time I was seeing DRAMA, who I surprisingly already had in my music collection!  This duo out of Chicago has some great sounds, who have "been described as soulful electronic combining influences of house music, indie, neo-soul, pop and R&B.” Check out their video below! I hope they book Cleveland in their near future… 

DRAMA  12 9 18

DRAMA  12 9 18

Opening was the locally based Lightmare, "a six-piece soul-punk arrangement out of Washington, D.C making songs about love, death, and revolution, in any order and definitely overlapping.”  I enjoyed their sound, and their integration of poetry into the set was reminiscent of Ani DiFranco.

Lightmare  12 9 18

Lightmare  12 9 18

Article: A farewell to the Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern

Thought I’d post this remembrance from the CWRU Observer.  Lots of shows played at this location, I wish I could have attended more… 

The Van Allen Belt  1 6 17

"‘We’ve had over 775 different bands play here. Some of them have played more than once, so that’s over 1,250 gigs. Add to that over a hundred poetry events, the dozens of science talks that we did with the Institute for the Science of Origins, and the author talks we did with Literary Cleveland and the East Cleveland Public Library,’ said Watterson. ‘I’m proud of the stuff we did.’

He plans to carry over some of the events, such as the regular poetry shows and monthly bluegrass jam to the West Side Happy Dog.

Watterson said University Circle Inc. plans to preserve the tavern. Happy Dog is working with the development corporation to ensure that whoever takes over the space will have access to the venue’s concert stage and its sound system."

(Via A farewell to the Happy Dog at Euclid Tavern – The Observer.)

Death Cab For Cutie (12/4/18)

This was my first show at the Agora after all their renovations have been completed!  It’s so much nicer...  Having seen Death Cab for Cutie at Nautica back in 2016, this show wasn’t a huge priority for me. Especially at such high ticket prices, however a fee free day put me over the edge. I’m guessing others did too, resulting in a sold out crowd!  Still, they sound good playing through all my favorites, which I’ve captured again in the video below. Scene review below.

Death Cab For Cutie  12 4 18

Death Cab For Cutie  12 4 18

"Last night, in front of a tightly-packed sold-out crowd at the Agora, Gibbard made his fans wait for the song. But finally, for the start of the group's encore, he came back out alone with an acoustic guitar and gave everyone what they came to hear. The entire audience sang every word and teared up and held their cell phones high to record and hugged their friends. At one point near the end, Gibbard even had the crowd sing a chorus without him, to which they obliged.

'If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied/And illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs/If there's no one beside you when your soul embarks / Then I'll follow you into the dark.'

Of course, there were plenty of other tunes that people came to hear last night. Playing a nicely-tossed mix of classic and new, the band capitalized on its fresh album Thank You For Today with songs like 'When We Drive' and Gold Rush' while still satisfying fans with the oldies like the super emotional 'Title and Registration' and 'We Laugh Indoors.' Other fan favorites like 'I Will Possess Your Heart' and 'Black Sun' also pulled out huge reactions."

(Via Death Cab For Cutie Brought the Hits and Then Some to a Packed-Out Agora | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

Rayland Baxter (11/30/18)

Rayland Baxter wasn’t here all that long ago.  Back in July I was actually in line to see Rayland Baxter at the Beachland Tavern, but there was a line around the corner waiting for the doors to open.  I was shocked, hadn’t really heard much from him before.  On the spot we decided to change plans, since there were several options that night.  I was a little bummed, but was really glad to see them back in the area so soon!  Had a great night with friends, and Rayland was completely deserving of that line at the Beachland.  Great songwriter, personality and voice.  I’d probably put him somewhere between Beck and Josh Rouse.

Rayland Baxter  11 30 18

Rayland Baxter  11 30 18

Opening was Bendigo Fletcher, a musician from Louisville, KY.  I quickly became a fan and quickly scooped up his albums.

Bendigo Fletcher  11 30 18

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Rubblebucket (11/28/18)

As the popularity of Rubblebucket has grown, so has their stage performance.  Lots of horns and synchronized dance routines, Rubblebucket delighted once again  at the Beachland Ballroom with their quirky art pop sound.

Rubblebucket  11 28 18

Rubblebucket  11 28 18

Opening was And The Kids.  A solid performance, despite their struggles in finding a bass player (we chatted after their performance).

And The Kids  11 28 18

Friday, December 7, 2018

Video Day #tzaupbeat

It’s Friday yo!  Mark Ronson just released his new video for Nothing Breaks Like A Heart with a generous dose of Miley Cyrus.  MØ released this stylish new video for Blur feat. Foster The People.  Tesla Boy is a new discovery with their equally stylish video for Compromise. 


Bonus:  Dan Deacon was tapped to score a cycling documentary called Time Trial.  Trailer included below

Monday, December 3, 2018

Amy Ray (11/27/18)

What an amazing night for live music in Akron.  While the vitality of new Indigo Girls music has waned (for me), Amy Ray still is as vibrant as ever.  I’m thrilled with every new album, even the country ones.  She stuck to this theme during the show with her massive 7 member band on the stage of EJ Thomas Hall.  And as I expected, they played backwards - where we the audience was seated in the bowels of back stage.  It’s a really nice orientation actually.  After an incredible performance by Chastity Brown (more on that later), Amy and her band took the stage.  She was humble as always as she tried to hush the crowd coming out on stage for some pre-show business. Still, she played a rousing down home collection of songs from her last couple albums.  She’s such a great storyteller, in the key of country but with a punk personality.

Amy Ray  11 27 18

Amy Ray  11 27 18

Opening was Chastity Brown, an incredibly soulful singer/songwriter from Minneapolis, MN.   She really was incredible, take a listen below!

Chastity Brown  11 27 18

Doc Robinson (11/21/18)

November was a pretty light month for concerts, which usually happens around the holidays.  However, it’s also a great time time of year to see some local acts!   Having been several weeks since my last “concert” I jumped when a friend tagged me from a Doc Robinson concert in Columbus, saying they’d be at the Beachland Tavern the next time.  That was the only motivation I needed.  I rounded up some friends and headed over.  However, it was basically a repeat of seeing WHY? (damn friends). 😋  Turns out, Doc Robinson (a Columbus band) was opening for The Floorwalkers (a Columbus band).  Would love to check out them out again sometime, hopefully headlining in the Tavern!

Doc Robinson  11 21 18

(we didn’t end up staying for the Floorwalkers 😬)

WHY? (11/2/18)

WHY? recently came to the Beachland Ballroom.  I’d been loosely listening to their music lately and do generally enjoy it!  This night ended up being more about hanging with friends than giving it a proper review.  Still - I liked what I heard!

WHY  11 2 18

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Digitalism is teasing some new music with their video release for Automation. Roisin Murphy releases another video from a  series of singles, showing a party that I’d *love to be at.  Ellie Goulding, Diplo & Swae Lee video for Close To Me was a refreshing addition to the constant deluge of Diplo collaborations. 

Bonus:  I just happened upon this Sam Fender artist and first really enjoyed the Dead Boys song via this video which I really enjoyed, then discovered the original: