Whoyougonnacall, K-pop lovers? Gangnam Busters!
News flash: Halloween happened this week. And though we thought Jessica Simpson looked great as a vampy milkmaid, and Miley Cyrus was on the nose with her Nicki Minaj costume, our favorite thing to come out of this year’s Halloween had to be a mash-up of Psy‘s Gangnam Style and the theme from Ghostbusters. Coincidentally, we have the video . Enjoy. (more…)
Steady Skies rides the line between the arena and the front porch. They’re musicians who dole out poppy hooks and plucky banjos in equal measure; a rock band that flirts with country. Start your introduction with Remember When, a driving melody pushed along by the deep ripple of bass, bright spears of guitars, and the slight country cadence of singer Tyler McCuen. That song’s mid-tempo musings give way to more apocalyptic imagery on the doleful Church Bells. I hear church bells ringing in the city streets / Crowds of people falling on their knees, McCuen sings over wailing guitars. If thinking about the end of the world is too much of a buzzkill, skip to Waiting For. There, existential anxieties”bursting dams and falling skies”are wrapped up in an ambling, country-spun melody. When in doubt, a spoonful of banjo can help the melancholy go down.
Katie Ekin has always had a heart for music, but she didn’t always have the heart to play for an audience. Although she grew up watching her father perform in a band, it wasn’t until she was 15 that Ekin finally picked up the guitar. Since then, she hasn’t put it down much. To date, she’s got nearly 200 songs under her belt and no desire to slow down any time soon. Her indie folk pop is sparely arranged and lightly glazed. Falling Out Of Your Arms tells the story of slipping out of love through rippling guitars, soft percussion, and Ekin’s lilting, multi-tracked vocals. Minus the appearance of an improbable guitar solo in the middle, it’s a song meant for chilling out. With the holidays just around the corner, we recommend putting Underneath the Christmas Tree on rotation. Retro-styled in the same vein as Santa Baby, the track is sonic hot apple cider”sweet, warm, and something you’ll want seconds of.
Bruno Mars performs Locked Out of Heaven on SNL
Truth be told, we’ve never been big Bruno Mars fans. But after seeing him on SNL this past weekend, we may have to change our minds. With his awesome dancing band and his new bouncy single, Locked Out Of Heaven, Bruno delivered one of the show’s most memorable musical performances”sorry Lana Del Rey. See Bruno and his buds bop below. (more…)
The Byrds, the Zombies, Fountains of Wayne, OK GO ¦ mop-topped power pop has a long history here in the U.S. and overseas. Its combination of hooks, guitars, swagger, and rhythm has proven to be an indelible attractor. So if you’re into power pop, it’s likely you’ll be into The Yearbooks. The Chicago-based band is made up of singer Sars Flannery, guitarists Eric Hehr and Bill Friel, bassist Drew Potenza, and drummer Adam James. Together, they crank out hooky rockers with karate chop guitar riffs and propulsive rhythms. Start your introduction with She Did It With Her Eyes. It’s angular, edgy, and jagged with airy vocals”part Strokes and part Death Cab For Cutie. Season of Love, with its staccato guitars, throbbing bass, and strutting drums, is the sound of being cool. Listen and learn.
There are innumerable artists out there, filled with talent, who are frittering away in obscurity because they don’t have exposure. This is not Xoe Wise’s story. The singer-songwriter was plucked from the teeming masses of Chicago artists by none other than Microsoft to perform at the company’s Illinois store opening. Things went so well there that the technology giant then funded Wise’s 25-date U.S. tour. It may not be a breakthrough, but it’s definitely a push in the right direction for someone who deserves the attention. Wise’s music provides the soundtrack for sleepyheaded romance and quiet reverie. The pitter-patter of percussion, yawing violins, soft piano, and Wise’s gauzy vocals combine for dulcet melodies like Silent Rain and All You Gave. She even weaves a little Auto-Tune in on My Heart as her voices tiptoes up the scales. Wise’s songs are sweet panaceas for life’s pricklier moments. Let’s face it, we can all use more of those.