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

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Video Day #tzachill

If you haven’t heard Sudan Archives first two EPs, do yourself a favor.  She also just released a new album, Athena, along with this video for Confessions! ●  I wouldn’t normally put Galcher Lustwerk in the chill category, but this is such a smooth groove.  This Cleveland-raised artist has his new album, Information, out on Nov. 22nd. ● 4AD recently released Neon Brown by an artist named Velvet Negroni.  It’s an incredibly interesting and dynamic album worth checking out, as is this new video for ONE ONE.

Bonus:  Going in a COMPLETELY different direction for this video day, Sin Fang released their first new music video in awhile.  A series of their home movies from a time with camcorders and no cell phones.  It’s also fun to witness their boyish (and quite dangerous) Icelandic antics, which extend well beyond the length of this song.  New album Sad Party is out 11/8/19!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Video Day #tzaupbeat

I somehow stumbled on this Mando Diao video for Long Long Way, featuring this troubled wolf who you just can’t help sympathizing in the end.  It’s an incredibly catchy song too!  Son Little won me over when I saw him perform at the Beachland back in 2016, and continues to do so with this new single “hey rose” off his new EP coming next Friday!  The Chromatics dropped a surprise album recently and it’s total pop confection, like their video for You’re No Good.

Bonus: Cerrone has been seeing a resurgence in his career, starting back in the 70’s & 80’s as a France-based disco producer, who I’d put in line with Giorgio Moroder.  He just dropped a new video for The Impact that included this note:  "Big Thanks to the amazing Jane Goodall : "Every single day we make some impact on the planet. We haven't inherited this planet from our parents, we've borrowed it from our children. If we get together, then we can start to heal some of the scars that we've inflicted." "

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Article: Higher empathy people get more joy out of music, study finds

 Sure - I’d buy that.


"‘High-empathy and low-empathy people share a lot in common when listening to music,’ he says. That includes ‘roughly equivalent involvement in the regions of the brain related to auditory, emotion, and sensory-motor processing.’

But there’s one major difference when it comes to listening to music. An empathetic person’s brains shows more involvement of social circuitry when listening to tunes, such as the areas that light up when feeling compassion for others.

‘This may indicate that music is being perceived weakly as a kind of social entity. As an imagined or virtual human presence,’ offers Wallmark. This enhancement gives empathetic folks a more pleasure when listening to music."

(Via Higher empathy people get more joy out of music, study finds.)

And speaking of joy in music: 

"‘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.)

DJ Heather (9/28/19)

I continue to hone in and focus my love of dance music towards the house music genre.  I couldn’t be happier that Cleveland has their Groovehaus party, and I still think about my first one with Derrick Carter.  I was thrilled I was able to make it to another, to see DJ Heather.  I had started coming down with something, so I wasn’t top form this night, but I still took up some space on the dance floor.  I also want to give a shout out to The Winchester for being a great venue for this party!   Check out some of DJ Heather’s beats below:

DJ Heather  9 28 19

DJ Heather  9 28 19

Andrew Bird (9/24/19)

I’ve seen Andrew Bird plenty of times before (2005, 2006, 2017) - enough that I wasn’t going to go to this one - but they ended up handing out free tickets like candy on Halloween.  I know a lot of big Andrew Bird fans would probably be aghast by my being indifferent. I do respect him as an artist, it’s just that I’ve moved on - but hand me tickets and I’d still go.  There’s something so cavalier and enjoyable about going to a free show without concern of timing or length.  What did concern me is how poorly the show was selling to be giving them away, particularly as the Masonic is still getting its footing as a music venue in Cleveland.  Regardless, I had a great time.  He sounded great.  And there were enough people there that Cleveland need not be embarrassed (free tickets aside).

However, if you’re new to him, or haven’t seen him before - GO see him next time!  The strings and whistling alone are worth the price of admission.

Andrew Bird  9 24 19

Video Day #tzachill

Angel Olsen recently released this beautifully epic video for her new single, Lark.  Alicia Keys new video for Show Me Love feat. Miguel caught my attention, and I’m glad it did - it’s gorgeous. Milky Chance continues to put out some quirky, bright reggae-influenced singles like The Game. 

Bonus: A couple weeks ago I posted a couple bonus videos from Alex Ebert, and will to do so again because this “home video” for Her Love is stunning.

Tomorrow: Lily & Madeline @ Beachland Tavern

I’ve been able to see Lily & Madeline multiple times over the last couple years.  Their new album only raises the level of excitement I have to see these women perform again, surprisingly still in Beachland’s Tavern.  Should be an epic night of song & harmony!  Don’t miss it!


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Article: Facial Recognition Ban Adopted By Festivals Including Bonnaroo

Let’s keep it going.

Face Recognition Software Recognizes Animals Now Too” by terrykimura is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

"Earlier this month, the nonprofit digital rights group Fight For The Future — whose mission statement includes, ‘We envision a world where everyone can access the internet affordably, free of interference or censorship and with full privacy’ — launched a campaign lobbying the music industry to abandon use of facial recognition tech before it becomes more widespread. At banfacialrecognition.org, the group argues that facial recognition tech presents myriad ethical problems: It’s an invasion of privacy, its high rate of inaccuracy jeopardizes justice, it’s a gold mine for identity thieves, it could be weaponized by authoritarian regimes, etc. ‘The companies that run major festivals should not be experimenting on music fans by scanning our faces and collecting our biometric information,’ Fight For The Future’s Deputy Director Evan Greer said in a press release. ‘People deserve to know whether their favorite event has plans to use facial recognition technology.’"
(Via Facial Recognition Ban Adopted By Festivals Including Bonnaroo, ACL - Stereogum.)

Wolf Eyes (9/23/19)

I’ll admit, Wolf Eyes is not a band that would be on the top of my list to catch live.  However, their credibility as an experimental band out of Detroit is undeniable.  Apple Music has an impressive list of releases by them, though not quite as towering as you can see on their Wikipedia entry!  It was definitely intricate - and interesting.  Those who are cooler than I can probably speak more to the impact of their music, but I’ll leave you with this video in the meantime.

Wolf Eyes  9 23 19

The real reason I was at this show was to catch a local composer and producer combo, Buck McDaniel and Jacob Kirkwood.  They performed a compelling set, yet another one that I’m unlikely able to describe properly for their genre.  But trust me, it was beautiful and you should try to catch them again sometime.  More details:   

McDaniel & Kirkwood, with Andrea Belding Elson, violin, John Karkosiak, electric guitar, Buck McDaniel, piano & electronics & Jacob Kirkwood, percussion & electronics.  Kirkwood’s Nitch (rev. 2019), McDaniel’s plainsong (rev. 2019) & McDaniel’s & Kirkwood’s Difference & Repetition (2018).

Buck McDaniel  Jacob Kirkwood  9 23 19

Buck McDaniel  Jacob Kirkwood  9 23 19