Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Video Day #tzaholiday

Several holiday videos popped up this year that I thought I would share.   Jose Rouse, a looong time TZA fav just put out his version of a Mediterranean X-Mas.  Clean Bandit is making A Christmas Wish with their video.  I hadn’t heard much from  Macklemore lately, and frankly I’ve moved on, but I figured he’d drop a good Christmas video, and he did.

Bonus.  Someone put out a 4K version of Wham!’s Last Christmas video.  I don’t think it was really necessary, but here it is if you want to relive some cheeseball 80’s realness… in 4K!

WHY? (12/19/19)

WHY? has been around for quite awhile now.  They’re an intriguing band with a unique sound - in the direction of Cake, Beck, and Jack Antonoff.  But not unlike last time, my heart just wasn’t into the show.  Gabby’s World opening is what really got me out this night, but unfortunately WHY? didn’t keep me there.

WHY  12 19 19

Gabby’s World was a little more subdued than I was expecting, but considering they’re also part of WHY?’s touring band, I can’t imagine they could be performing with a full setup themselves - or if they even do.  But the songwriting and the harmonies were quite nice.  Check them out below. 

Gabby s World  12 19 19

Monday, December 23, 2019

Article: Why Music Brings Pleasure: Demystified

Makes sense to me

"‘In terms of imaging we have captured from the brain, studies have shown that listening to music activates multiple parts simultaneously, which corresponds to far more parts than any other stimulus produces in humans.’

The fact that music activates so many brain systems at once is why it makes it so sweeping and pleasurable. Music exerts its deepest effect on the emotional nucleus of the brain, the limbic system.

The most amazing thing is that music automatically activates areas of the brain that are essential to feelings of pleasure and reward. So much so that the same pleasure centers of the brain that become active when we listen to our favorite tunes are exactly the same as those that are linked when humans eat chocolate or have … sex!"

(Via Why Music Brings Pleasure: Demystified - MTT - Music Think Tank.)

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Róisín Murphy is BACK again, with this delicious new track (and video) for Narcissus.  Flying Lotus released this stellar video for Black Balloons feat. Denzel Curry.  And speaking of Denzel, he also showed up on the new video (game) collaboration with Glass Animals!

Bonus:  Looking back over my blog, I have posted a LOT of San Cisco videos.  And after watching this one, I know why.  These folks are superb in their pop craft.

Article: Mutually-assured destruction: How Spotify and Apple Music will kill each other off

Spotify apple music tidal

While it makes a certain type of business sense for Spotify to hold back on promotion if an artist strikes a deal with their direct competitor, this latest round of complaints suggests that Spotify has extended this lack of promo to music that appears ‘anywhere in advance of Spotify’ – in one case, a premiere on a music blog.

Digital Music News viewed written correspondence from Spotify, explaining their ‘release parity’ policy: they won’t promote any new music that appears ‘anywhere’ in advance of it landing on their platform. This includes banning the music from their editorial playlists, inclusion on which drives huge first-week streaming numbers, which many artists rely upon for a strong chart debut.


Viewers are trained to expect television companies to compete with each other – from free-to-air to streaming, this has always been the way. But music seems different, somehow. It’s in the waterstream. It’s carried through the air. It belongs to everyone. It’s older than language. And nobody is going to put up with streaming services that offer up every third new release, bouncing angrily between apps as they try to work out where they can listen to the new Childish Gambino record.

They will just give up, and the foothold that Spotify, Apple Music have gained over the past five years will be lost – to piracy, to YouTube, to any easier option that presents itself. And if Spotify and Apple Music continue their game of mutually assured destruction, blacklisting artists, scrapping for exclusives, and trying to wipe out blogs and radio while they are at all, a better option will jump in and fill the gap. It always does.

(Via Mutually-assured destruction: How Spotify and Apple Music will kill each other off.)

Monday, December 16, 2019

Video Day #tzachill

Blood Orange has a new video for Dark & Handsome, featuring none other than Toro Y Moi.  Kele Okereke released his new video for Guava Rubicon with this message: "The Black woman is the most maligned figure in today’s society and I wanted to make something that celebrated her smarts, her sexiness and her magic.”  Yoke Lore continues to charm me with his steady release of videos, most recently with this video for Body Parts.

Bonus:  I’m still riding high after seeing Toro Y Moi live in Detroit, and wanted to share his newest video. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

I couldn’t be happier that Basia Bulat has a new single and video for Your Girl, off an upcoming album, Are You In Love out on 3/27!  Tennis releases such beautiful music, and I’m thrilled they’re back with this video for Runner.  TR/ST goes a completely different direction, having just released his newest video for Iris.

Bonus:  Milky Chance just keeps releasing great new singles and videos, most recently this other-worldly party video for Oh Mama

Dylan LeBlanc / Night Moves (11/13/19)

I was able to catch Dylan LeBlanc back in 2016 opening for Son Little, and his brand of folk rock at the time really resonated with me.  I’ve been following his releases since, and was happy to see him coming back to the Beachland Tavern.  This time it was with the band Night Moves, who were new to me.  This time Dylan performed without his band, which at times left the show feeling a little thing, but his Neil Young leanings and great songwriting really buoyed this show for me.  Was also able to bring my sister along for a night at the Beachland!

Dylan LeBlanc  11 13 19

Dylan LeBlanc  11 13 19

Night Moves were up next, and they had a pretty sizable and emphatic crowd.   These guys were SO 70’s!  Not always a bad thing, but it was a little much for my taste...

Night Moves  11 13 19

Maya de Vitry & Anna Tivel @ GAR Hall (11/8/19)

This show by Anna Tivel & Maya De Vitry at GAR Hall in Peninsula couldn’t have been any better.  You may remember me gushing about The Stray Birds over the years, and my favorite part about the band was Maya De Vitry.  I was thrilled to see her striking out on her own with a new album and this tour.  I was unfamiliar with Anna Tivel, but listening to her, she instantly won me over.  Put these two together at this location on a crisp Fall afternoon - perfection.

These ladies intertwined their sets for the night, playing on each others songs, harmonizing, but also allowing for some solo time on stage.  Both ladies were extremely entertaining, insightful and creative.  However, their voices and approaches differed, but with full complement.   The only thing that could have made this show better was to partake in a bottle of wine and fresh, hot cookie.  Next time… 

Anna Tivel  Maya De Vitry  11 8 19

Anna Tivel  11 8 19

Maya De Vitry  11 8 19

I also wanted to share this video of these ladies, for a bit more context.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

MØ has released a trio of new videos for  her new album, with the most interesting is this beautifully eccentric dance video for Beautiful Wreck. I stumbled up on this captivating video for Furguson’s Crystalline video.  Spanish artist Rosalía released her captivating new video for A Palé.

Bonus:  There’s little that is upbeat in this video other than Sam Fender’s soaring Springsteen influenced guitars and vocals.  He's back with another video showing the struggle of angsty British youth, this one telling a heartbreaking story between childhood friends. Beautifully shot.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Toro Y Moi (11/2/19)

Another month, another trip to Detroit for a concert.  This time I was seeing Toro Y Moi performing at the Majestic Theatre, which is in the same complex as Magic Stick where I saw Moon Boots.  The trip was so structurally similar that we ended up staying at a different Air BnB, but on the same exact street!  The only other parallel I’d be able to draw was that they’re both upbeat and danceable shows.  However, this Toro Y Moi show was on another level.  I’m not just talking the size of the venue, but that Toro Y Moi continues to generate a catalog of music that only gets better.  His last official release, Outer Peace, was epic. He also just released a mixtape and a short film just days before this sold out concert.   He and his band sounded on point, with a good mix of music from throughout this extensive catalog.  I highly recommend checking out the video footage I captured.

Toro Y Moi  11 2 19

Toro Y Moi  11 2 19

Opening for Toro Y Moi is LA based dance artist Channel Tres.  I first caught wind of his name on a remix from Toro Y Moi.  While I enjoyed what I heard leading up to this show, their performance blew me away.  I already knew I liked his house beats backing his vocals, but pairing that with a vibrant stage performance with two amazing dancers - it all really shined.  Check it out below.

Channel Tres  11 2 19

Channel Tres  11 2 19

Article: Vinyl, Books and Glossy Magazines Will Never Go Away

Every time there’s a new technology, there are those that proclaim the death of the old.  It’s rarely true, if at all.

Culture Clash Records

"According to the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl album sales grew 12.9% in dollar terms to $224 million and 6% in unit terms to 8.6 million in the first half of 2019, compared with the first six months of 2018. Compact disc sales held steady, and if the current dynamic holds, old-fashioned records will overtake CDs soon, offsetting the decline in other physical music sales. Streaming revenue grew faster for obvious reasons: It’s cheaper and more convenient. But people are clearly not about to give up a technology that hasn’t changed much since the 1960s.

In 2018, hardcover book sales in the U.S. increased by 6.9%, paperback sales went up 1.1% and eBook sales dropped 3.6%. The number of print magazine titles published in the U.S. rose to 7,218 from 7,176, according to the Association of Magazine Media. That’s more magazines than the U.S. had in 2009. For all the havoc the digital revolution is wreaking on newsrooms, people are still starting new titles – and 96% of the magazine industry’s subscription revenue still came from the print editions, with digital providing the rest.

One explanation could be that, as Ozgun Atasoy from the University of Basel and Carey Morewedge from Boston University wrote in a paper based on a series of experiments, people are more willing to buy physical goods than equivalent digital ones, and they’re likely to pay a higher price for them. Offered an easy choice, people would rather have a vinyl LP than its digital image in the cloud somewhere; it’s just that the choice isn’t there most of the time. Atasoy and Morewedge wrote that the effect is mostly explained by ‘psychological ownership’: It’s hard for people to feel they own something they can’t physically touch.

They wrote, however, that other, unidentified factors were also at play, since psychological ownership didn’t fully explain the difference in people’s willingness to pay for the two kinds of products. I think Michael Palm from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill put a finger on those factors in a paper published earlier this year. He suggested that physical vs. digital, or new vs. old, could be a less relevant differentiation point than corporate culture vs. independent culture.

The record industry got rid of vinyl fabrication when CDs appeared. Big store chains stopped selling LPs. But small producers and record stores that also function as community centers have kept the culture and the format alive. Now, the big companies see a commercial potential again – but they’re ordering vinyl records from independent producers, who can’t always keep up with the orders, and distributing to small stores, not just to giant chains like Best Buy, which are also stocking vinyl records again.

‘To combat the corporate incursion into vinyl markets, some independent labels are vertically integrating and beginning to manufacture as well as distribute and sell their own records,’ Palm wrote. ‘The stakes of vinyl’s future involve the viability of an independent supply chain for popular music, and these stakes are raised in a media landscape dominated by online access to content controlled by corporate gatekeepers.’"

(Via Vinyl, Books and Glossy Magazines Will Never Go Away - Bloomberg.)

Monday, November 4, 2019

Jonathan Bree (10/28/19)

Jonathan Bree is a unique singer-songwriter and producer from New Zealand.  His imagery for his newest album, dominated by his covered face, is what first caught my attention (not unlike Orville Peck).  Listening to his album quickly showed me that this was more than just a cheap ploy for attention.  The more I listened to the album (find it here), the more intrigued I was.  Seeing him in the Beachland Tavern, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see the entire band’s faces masked, but it was jarring at first.  Their performance was artful and enjoyable.  Jonathan spent the whole night posing on stage, whether he was performing a song or not. This was one of the more pleasantly surprising shows I’ve been to for awhile.

Jonathan Bree  10 28 19

Jonathan Bree  10 28 19

I wouldn’t have expected Shilpa Ray to be opening at this show, particularly with her having been through the Beachland plenty of times before.  I first caught her live in 2010, then again in 2011, 20142015.  Each time was enjoyable.  This time was as well, though she didn’t seem to have the full ferocity that drove some of her earlier performances, probably because she only toured with a keyboardist this time.  I’m sure I’ll see her again, but would love to see her release a raging album to tour on.

Shilpa Ray  10 28 19

Shilpa Ray  10 28 19

The very first opener was our own Istvan Medgyesi.  It’d been a minute since I’ve been able to catch him, but his unique sound continues to warp and expand the mind.  I’m here for it.

Istvan Medgyesi  10 28 19

Video: Robyn's Honey Tour Video

Robyn’s been showing up a lot on this blog this last year with shows in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco.  As her tour is winding down, she’s released this 10 minute concert film from her shows at London’s Alexandra Palace, April 12th & 13th 2019.  Her recent album and this extensive tour has been a delightful dance experience.  This video does a wonderful job of demonstrating that.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Video Day #tzachill

I recently posted Sudan Archives being the album of the week, and she is back again with her violin (and snakes!) for her Glorious video. Frazey Ford is getting a little help from her friends in her new video for The Kids Are Having None Of It. Yuna partners up with Tyler, The Creator for her classy video for Castaway.

Bonus: Sindri Már Sigfússon has been incredibly busy lately, with a new Sin Fang album out in a couple weeks - and now surprise dropping a new Seabear single and video, 9 years after their last album.  

Article: The Love Of Listening To Music And The Radio While Driving Is Not Dead

The list of top driving songs is the best part of this article.


"radio" by iluvgadgets is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

"Althoug new in-car entertainment features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or Bluetooth streaming, many drivers still like to play the good old radio.

More than half of the study participants indicated that the radio is their preferred source of music in the car. It might be the question of being too lazy or not having enough time to tap into the touchscreen of a smartphone. Over 1/3 never change the station and 44.2% constantly look for the best music by changing radio stations.

Best and worst tunes to play in the car

Among the top best driving songs are: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘ by Queen, ‘Shape of You‘ by Ed Sheeran, ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)‘ by the Proclaimers, ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, ‘Highway to Hell’ by AC/DC, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ‘Mamma Mia’ by ABBA."

(Via The Love Of Listening To Music And The Radio While Driving Is Not Dead - MTT - Music Think Tank.)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood (10/25/19)

Getting a chance to see other house concert venues in the city is always a treat. This time I was able to catch the performance of Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood over at the Emerald City World Fair in Old Brooklyn.  This one was quite different with a blend of performances throughout the house.  Quite interesting.  The focus of the night was a performance by Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood in the small basement stage.  A great performance, great sound, and a colorful audience (additional photos below).

Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood  10 25 19

Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood  10 25 19

Some additional photos from the night:

Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood  10 25 19

Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood  10 25 19

Buck McDaniel + Jacob Kirkwood  10 25 19

Yung Bae (10/24/19)

Yung Bae caught my attention by the juxtaposition of his moniker with his white bread imagery.  Once I started listening to his music, it was so deliciously dance-inducing that I knew this would be a good show.  I wasn’t quite expecting a full DJ dance setup for this performance, but you couldn’t help but be moved to move at this show.  Just watch the tape.

Yung Bae  10 24 19

Yung Bae  10 24 19

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Black Marble just released a new album, Bigger Than Life and is getting things started with this incredible video for Private Show being filmed at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi. Nilüfer Yanya tells us a tale in her new video for H34T RISES.   Yoke Lore is back again, this time with NVDES with his video for what’s been one of my new favorite songs, Everybody Wants To Be Loved. 

Bonus:  I was pleasantly surprised to see Hercules & Love Affair releasing some new stuff, supported by this captivating dance video.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Home Movie Day @ Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

I was approached by the Library and Archives of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to contribute some of my video clips to the annual Home Movie Day project.  You can read more about Home Movie Day below.  The event was held at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and screened was a collection of local home recordings of concerts, mostly of local bands.  A selection of clips of local bands I recorded were collected and several were part of this screening.  It was incredibly fun to be part of this event.  Check out some of my photos below.

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019

Home Movie Day 2019



"Home Movie Day (established 2002) is an annual event that celebrates amateur films and filmmaking. It is a worldwide event, held at local venues all over the world and organized locally by volunteers. Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to have their films inspected and to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community. The event is an opportunity to discover the personal, historical, and social importance of home movies and for individuals to learn how to best care for them."


(Via Home Movie Day - Wikipedia.)

Moon Boots (10/10/19)

The last couple Moon Boots albums have been on a short list of go-to feel good dance albums.  They’re absolutely delicious.  I was thrilled to see him touring for his newest release and I was happy to take a road trip to Detroit to catch him at the Magic Stick.  It’d been a minute since i’d been there.  One of the best parts of this show was the rotating cast of guest vocalists brought to the stage.

Moon Boots  10 10 19

Moon Boots  10 10 19

Moon Boots  10 10 19

Moon Boots  10 10 19

option4 opening was a pleasant surprise, as I had seen them DJ back in San Diego in 2018.

Option4  10 10 19

Orville Peck (10/9/19)

Orville Peck continues to dominate the gay country singer market, granted it is a pretty small field.  However, his non-stop touring has really garnered a strong fan base, as evidenced by recently selling out Mahalls a few months ago - and this time the Grog Shop.  I had missed out on tickets on this show, until a friend came through with some extras.  I already had plans, but still swung through to see what all the buzz was about.

I get it.  He’s got that country crooner vibe down, his mask hiding his identity is intriguing, and he’s definitely not your typical country singer.  It’s country camp almost - but I’m here for it.  More about him below.

Orville Peck  10 9 19

Orville Peck  10 9 19

"The enigmatic country singer known as Orville Peck is riding high these days. He is on the cover of British GQ Style, wearing star-spangled boots and a black mask that obscures his face.

The New Yorker, in a review of his debut album, ‘Pony,’ called him the ‘masked man our yee-haw moment deserves’ and described his voice as having ‘the sexy, menacing melodrama of Roy Orbison.’

The Los Angeles Times declared that he is ‘as venerated as any pop diva’ by the ‘hipsters in West Hollywood,’ which seems to be a thinly veiled reference to his large gay fan base."

(Via Orville Peck, a Masked Gay Country Star, Rides Into Brooklyn - The New York Times.)

Lily & Madeleine (10/3/19)

These women continue to be fantastic.  This tour they’re without their band, like the last time I saw them at the Beachland.  While I’d love to see their full band live show at some point, I’ll continue to be amazing by their excellent songwriting and harmonizing.

Lily  Madeleine  10 3 19

Lily  Madeleine  10 3 19

Keller & Cole opened for Lily & Madeline, with their own brand of Indiana folk.  Thoroughly enjoyable and talented folks.

Keller  Cole  10 3 19