Friday Playlist: 5/25/18

Over the last week we have discovered quite a few musical treats that we want to share with you.

We start off with one of our favorite musicians James Blake and “Don’t Miss It”. This is a song he debuted this week on his BBC1 radio show.

CupcakKe is always provocative, and her video “Quiz” borrows imagery from one of our favorite movies, Kill Bill.

Leikeli47 has created a great summer song with “Money”. This is a song that longs for road trips in a convertible.

We shot this video during an intimate performance by Vagabon here in Dallas. “The Embers” is our favorite song from her album, Infinite Worlds.

Tyler the Creator released a forgotten track this week called “435”.

Today Harvey Weinstein will be turning himself into authorities and I am sure there will be a bit of a smile on the faces of Amanda Palmer & Jasmine Power who just released “Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now”. It is a song that puts words to the feelings that women feel all too often when men place them in horrible situations.

Saturday Night Live shared a pre-filmed musical skit that involves a Haim style band and Nicki Minaj.

One of the most moving voices in modern music belongs to Neko Case. She is about to release a new album. Here is the first song from the album she has shared, “Curse of the I-5 Corridor”.

Album Review: Quiet Slang-Everything Matters But No one is Listening

Quiet Slang.jpg

Everything Matters But No One is Listening is an album of reworked Philly punk band Beach Slang songs performed by lead singer, James Alex under the name Quiet Slang.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Quiet Slang
RIYL: When Punk Bands play a ballad
Pseudo Genre: Chamber Punk

1. The original idea for this album started from an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Alex gained further inspiration from Stephin Merrit’s lyric: “Why do we Keep shrieking/ When we mean soft things?” from the song “100,000 Fireflies” by Magnetic Fields. Talking to fans, Alex realized there was an audience for a solo album driven more by lyrics than music.

2. The album is a reworking of punk songs. They are performed with a cello and piano as the only accompaniment.

3. If you love some great cello playing with emotional lyrics, and we at SWB sure do, then this is the album for you.

4. Some of our favorite Lyrics:
from “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”: “I've always felt stuck, alone, or ashamed/The gutter's too tough, the stars are too safe/ I'm always that kid always out of place”
From “Future Mixtape for Art Kids”: “We're not lost, we are dying in style/ We're not fucked, we are fucking alive”
and From “Warpaint”: "Splatter warpaint on your cheek/ Bear your heart without apology/ Hang your anger, cut it loose/ Make this stick: I won’t give up on you”

5. Sometimes our favorite albums are groundbreaking and revolutionary. Sometimes our favorite albums are just beautiful and entertaining. This is one of those albums

Here you can listen to “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by Quiet Slang followed by “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by Beach Slang.

Friday Playlist: 5/18/18

We missed last Friday, but we are back this week with a new Friday Playlist.

We start off with a provocative video that was created to accompany a great song. Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)’s “This is America” is an in your face video and song. There is much symbolism and meaning behind this video, and a Google search and a bit of reading is sure to alter future viewings for you.

Frank Turner was one of our favorite SXSW 2018 performers. We posted a video we shot in the past, but this is the official video for “Make America Great Again”.

The Arctic Monkeys are back with a new album and a new sound that is much less The Birthday Party and much more Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

We had a chance to see Kendrick Lamar on the TDE Championship tour. Here is a video of part of his performance of “Element”.

G. Yamazawa has been busy recently and his latest video/song is “Violence”. There is some great dancing in the video. The song is meaningful and very much of the time.

Quiet Slang is the band for anyone that loves when a punk band plays a ballad. It is James Alex,the lead singer of Beach Slang, slowing down Beach Slang songs to create some beautiful tracks.

Frog Eyesare an experimental indie rock band that has reportedly just released their final album.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit left this world too soon after he lost his battle with depression. We have seen the band many times, in fact seeing them less than 14 hours apart on two separate occasions. This is a video from a performance we saw at Glastonbury 2016.

Concert Review: TDE Championship Tour AKA Kendrick's Victory Lap

The TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) Championship Tour came to Dallas tonight.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Kendrick Lamar
RIYL: Pulitzer Prize Winners
Pseudo Genre: G.O.A.T.

1. It would be easy to make sports analogies, especially since Kendrick performed in front of a Formula 1 race car. Despite that, we will not say that this performance was a victory lap for Kendrick.
2. Almost the entire TDE roster performed, but all the attention was on Kendrick Lamar and SZA with a lesser spotlight on Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock.
3. Pulitzer Kenny, AKA Kendrick Lamar, performed without a pause and without an encore.
4. The crowd energy of a Kendrick performance is simply, unmatched 5. Kendrick and TDE draw a racial diverse crowd, but very few fans were over 30 years of age.

Here is a video we shot along with a few pictures.

Pulitzer Kenny.JPG
Kendrick Lamar

Album Review: Iceage- Beyondless

Here is a review of our current favorite album, Beyondless by Iceage.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

RIYL: Old Artic Monkeys, LIFE, The Clash
Pseudo Genre: Punky Post Punk

1. It’s like Morrissey, King Krule and The Clash had a love child.
2. Ten years on, this Danish punk band is continuing to evolve and grow, which is not surprising given that none of the band is even 27 years old.
3. Iceage brings in pop stylings, utilizing horns and Sky Ferreira’s backing vocals on “Pain Killer”. Iceage does NOT make pop punk. Think The Birthday Party or The Clash not Green Day or Blink-182
4. Some of our favorite lyrics: from “The Day the Music Dies”: “Performed an exorcism on myself, Cited prayers and rites of deliverance, Yet here I am, somehow still possessed”
From “Thieves like Us”: “In echo chambers of fermented ethanol, Listen to reason as I voice my speculations, With the brains of a blowup doll”
and From “Pain Killer”: "Most when it's almost like a bane, You arrive like a siren refrain, Like death she takes everything, And dazes me like patent medicine”
5. This is another great album from a band that continues to experiment and grow with each album.

Here are some videos of songs from the album.

Childish Gambino's Satirical Genius on Full Display in"This is America"

The video for Childish Gambino's latest single, "This is America," was released shortly after his appearance on Saturday Night Live, and quickly went viral, because.....well, thats exactly what it was supposed to do. The video going viral is, in itself, a distraction; one of the major topics Glover confronts in "This is America".  On first watch, it is hard not to zone in on Donald Glover's Jim Crow era dance moves. He is The Distraction, placed against a backdrop of gun violence, death, abuse and chaos that is barely noticeable. Until the second watch....then again, and again. With each experience, a new piece of the puzzle is revealed, and sadly, a familiar scene begins to emerge- it is America, now... absurd, confusing, and for many of us, utterly horrific. Like most works of art worthy of their canonical placement, this one's got layers and layers of meaning- each of them intentionally created and pieced together in a way that moves the audience from one epiphany to the next, and back again. Definitely one of Stairwell Baby's favorite music videos to date. Check it out:


New Friday Playlist for 5/4/18

Another Friday, another play list.

We start off by wishing everyone a happy May 4th. May the Fourth be with you.

Liz Phair is reissuing the seminal album Exile in Guyville for its 25th Anniversary. This is an album, that would be completely of the moment in the #MeToo movement. To quote Martha Graham: “No artist is ahead of his time. He is the time. It is just that others are behind the time.” Not many of the songs are available on YouTube, except in live versions, but here is a song that would fit in on a CupcakKe album, “Flower”.

The new Matt and Kim album, Almost Everyday is out out today and streaming everywhere. Here is a video of “Forever” that we shot live in Dallas.

We had a chance to see G. Yamazawa at SXSW and he has a new, culturally and politically relevant track, “Talk that Talk”.

Shakey Graves is an Austin artist that has never been as popular as his music deserves. Maybe his new album, Can’t Wake Up will change that.

Janelle Monáe’s Dirty Computer has been on almost constant replay for SWB since last week. Here is the closing track,”Americans”, with its hopeful tone and message.

Dirty Projectors are a ?band?, or maybe just a performer (David Longstreth) that has been undergoing nearly constant change both in line-up and musical tone. Here is a list of Past Members from their Wikipedia entry" Past members: Rostam Batmanglij, Olga Bell, Tyondai Braxton, Anneli Chambliss, Emily Cheeger, Amber Coffman, Haley Louise Dekle, Angel Deradoorian, Teresa Eggers, Alex Farrill, Adam Forkner, Larkin Grimm, Clarice Jensen, Spencer Kingman, Ezra Koenig, Jake Longstreth, Charlie Looker, Steve Marion, Brian McOmber, Sharon Nakhimovsky, Francisco Javier Paredes, Jessica Pavone, Mauro Refosco, Yasemin Schatz, Nadia Sirota, Susanna Waiche, Jenn Wasner". To be honest, this is not one of our favorite DP songs, but maybe “Break-Thru” will be one of yours.

New Orleans is our favorite city to vacation to, and we will be there next month. The Parquet Courts video and song “Mardi Gras Beads”. has us Louisiana Dreaming.

Concert Review: 4/22/18 The Breeders in Dallas

Here is a much delayed review from The Breeders show in Dallas on 4/22/18.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

The Breeders
RIYL: The Pixies, Pavement, Sleater-Kinney
Pseudo Genre: Pre-Seattle (NorthEast) Grunge

1. Kim Deal is a perfectionist, in all the right ways. The Breeders performance is tight and yet very entertaining.
2. Having the original line up together made this tour more special than the previous.
3. Josephine Wiggs, the bassist, has a dry sense of humor and excellent comedic timing.
4. A crowd with the average age in the 40s is much more polite and a lot less energetic than a crowd with an average age in the 20s.
5. We hope that this line up puts out another album, because the new stuff is as good as any of the old.

We shot a couple of videos and some pictures (one from SXSW).

Kim Deal SXSW

New LIFE song.

LIFE is a UK band that was one of our favorite discoveries this year at SXSW. Today they released a new song called “Grown Up”. You can listen below. This is their first song since they released their debut album.

The band is also on tour in the UK.


05 Live At Leeds

06 Glasgow, Stag & Dagger

18-19 Brighton, The Great Escape

20 Leeds, Gold Sounds Festival

27 Bearded Theory Festival


02 Wakefield, Long Division

09 Hull, 53 Degrees North

14 London, Lexington (single launch)

15 Leicester, The Shed

16 Tunbridge Wells, Sussex Arms Basement

17 Brighton, Green Door Store


20 Sheffield, Tramlines

28 Leopalooza


31 Electric Fields

LIFE shades.JPG

Friday Playlist 4/27/18

It has been a busy week for us at Stairwellbaby, and we are sorry for the lack of posts, we will catch up soon with new reviews (concerts and albums). In the meantime here is a playlist that includes a few videos we shot this week.

We start off yet another playlist with another new song by from one of the albums we are most looking forward to Janelle Monáe album is finally out this week and we are including her most recent video, “I Like That”. Yes sure to check out the album Dirty Computer, which is out today.

The next video combines one of our favorite electronic artists with an amazing vocalist. It is “Black Snow” by Oneohtrix Point Never, featuring Anohni.

Lykke Li has never been one of my favorite musicians, but I can really dig her new song “Hard Rain”.

We had a chance to see this very personal story told at SXSW, and now you can hear Okkervil River’s “Famous Tracheotomies” and read the lyrics along.

We love the new Speedy Ortiz album, Twerp Verse. (possible review incoming) Here is one of the new songs, “Lean in When I Suffer”, played live at SXSW

Our list ends with 3 videos from concerts this week including one by Ty Segall and two by Breeders including a Beatles cover.

New Friday Playlist for 4/20/18

This Friday list has some new music and a few Coachella videos.

We start our playlist with another new song by from one of the albums we are most looking forward to Janelle Monáe has another visual spectacle with the video for her new song, “PYNK”. Luckily, we do not have to wait too much longer as Dirty Computer will be out next Friday April 27.

The next video is animated and to one of Canadian punk band, METZ , new songs “Mr Plague”.

Gang of Four is a British band that has been around off and on since 1977. They are back with some social commentary with their new song “Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have)” which includes quotes from Trump’s favorite daughter.

Douglas Adams is one of our favorite authors, and we were excited to see a song title and video inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Maynard James Keenan took a break from making wine in order to record a new record with A Perfect Circle called “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish”.

We would be remiss to not post a Kendrick Lamar video after he won the Pulitzer Prize for DAMN. The first release, way back when, was his video for “HUMBLE.”

Beyoncé ruled the first weekend of Coachella and here is a video of when she came out.

It is no secret that Perfume Genius is one of our favorite musicians. Coachella put up this high quality live video of “Slip Away”.

Another of our favorite musicians, Vince Staples performed this past week in Indio, CA. Here is his breakthrough song “Norf Norf”. Also, if you have never seen it, be sure to check out the Christian Mom commentary video that is on Youtube (not to mention the hilarious Atlanta parody from season 2).

Vince Staples was joined by Kendrick Lamar At the end of his set for “Yeah Right”.

Our list ends with a new Father John Misty song, “Disappointing Diamonds are the Rarest of Them All”, from his upcoming album that is due June 1st.

New J. Cole out now!

J. Cole just dropped his new album, KOD, tonight.

We have not had a chance to listen to it, but here are our recommendations based on his previous albums.

J. Cole - KOD
RIYL: Drake, Chance the Rapper
Pseudo Genre: Hip Hop with a touch of emo

Here is a tweet that links to all the different services where you can stream or purchase the album.

He explains the meaning of KOD: We will be listening to it this weekened, along with our Friday Playlist.

Kanye West has 2 albums coming out

Kanye has returned to Twitter and in the mists of tweeting his new “philosophy” book, he dropped some news.  

On a June 1st he will be releasing a solo album.  


And then another album with Kid Cudi on June 8th.  



This Summer is really looking up for new music with FJM and Kanye’s announcements in the last two days. 

Here are some pictures from Kanye shows.  


New Father John Misty album coming soon


Josh Tillman, AKA Father John Misty, announced that his new album, God’s Favorite Customer, will be released June 1st. Three of the songs are already available for streaming on Apple Music and Spotify. 

Here is the track list.  


1. Hangout at the Gallows
2. Mr. Tillman (Listen)
3. Just Dumb Enough to Try (Listen)
4. Date Night
5. Please Don't Die
6. The Palace
7. Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All (Listen)
8. God's Favorite Customer
9. The Songwriter
10. We're Only People (And There's Not Much Anyone Can Do About That)

He has two more tour dates this month:

4/28 - Cincinnati, OH @ The National Homecoming Festival - Tickets | Info

4/29 - Fort Worth, TX @ Fortress Festival - Tickets | Info

here is a shot we took from his last tour stop in Dallas. 



Kendrick Lamar wins a Pulitzer

Though he did not win a Grammy for best album, he has won a prize usually reserved for classical and jazz musicians. Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Has been recognized as the first rap album to win the Pulitzer Prize for music. Hip-Hop has become a creative outlet for dissent, protest, relationship building, and so much more. Rappers more often address the realities of life, instead of vague ideals like love, romance, and parties. Music is intended to entertain, but it is also intended to touch the listener. Too often modern pop and rock bands rely on revisiting old themes and tired concepts. Hip-Hop is still blooming and moving forward at a breakneck pace. Through music and visuals, Kendrick is leading that forward movement. 

Read the Pulitzer announcement HERE.  

 Photo from 2015 King Kunta Sessions.  

Photo from 2015 King Kunta Sessions.  

Concert Review: Matt & Kim

 Matt & Kim performed on 4/14/18 at the Bomb Factory in Dallas.  Please check out the video and photos below.

 Our review format  is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts with a bit of style and formatting borrowed from the old Larry King USA Today articles. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be runon sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

The enthusiasm expressed by Matt & Kim is more contagious than the flu on a TransAtlantic flight...Their shows are not about artistry and creative integrity. Their shows are about creating the most enjoyable and unadulterated fun performance possible...Matt & Kim get your body moving and your booty shaking. In fact, we both hit our daily exercise goals from our dancing at the concert...Crowd surfing, balloons, and confetti...A smile that lasts for days.


Friday 4/13/18 Playlist

This Friday list has a couple of the videos we shot this week.

We start our playlist with a group that we never really appreciated until we saw them at Bonnaroo in 2015 Florence + The Machine are back with a new song, “Sky Full of Song”, that is a beautiful but restrained song , especially in comparison to their big hits.

We shot the next video at the King Krule show in Dallas this week. We posted up a video of “The Locomotive”

Titus Andronicus Played an interesting and enjoyable set here in Fort Worth, which included a Jeff Buckley cover.

Hinds returns to our Friday list with another new video. This week it is “Finally Floating”. Their new album is great, and you should check it out.

Jean Grae & Quelle Chris Put out an interesting hip-hop album. It is part satire, part comedy, part political comedy, and all throwback (in the best possible way). The video for “Gold Purple Orange” is set up like a cheesy Karaoke video with some great cameos.

Goat Girl returns to our list with a live version of one of their new album tracks, “The Man”.

Buzzy Lee is the nom de guerre for Sasha Spielberg. Yes, before you bother to ask, Steven is her daughter. She has created a great pop song with “Coolhand”, and will soon have a whole EP out.

Matt and Kim Are a late addition to our playlist and a great way to start your weekend. “Glad I Tried” is another positive party anthem from the duo. We are lucky and get to see them Saturday night here in Dallas.

Concert Review: King Krule

King Krule played with Kelsey Lu as the opening act at Granada Theater in Dallas 4/11/18. 

Kelsey Lu warmed up the crowd with a stream of consciousness set of beautiful music and vocals...The Granada Theater was muggy and warm, as if they did not expect as large a crowd as was present...King Krule performed with a full band creating a room filling sound that often seemed like it might burst out of the theater...With a muddled mix of sound vocals and even lead guitar were often lost in the bass and drums...Alternating between crooners and screamers, Archy kept the crowd enraptured throughout the night. 


Here is a picture of Kelsey Lu.

Kelsey Lu.jpg

Here are a few pictures of Archy Marshall (King Krule)

King Krule.jpg
King Krule 2.jpg
King Krule 3.jpg

Here is a video of "The Locomotive".

Album Review: L.A. Salami: The City of Bootmakers

L.A. salami does not have anything to do with a Southern California city or luncheon meats, but has everything to do with creating avant garde, genre bending 21st century Folk music...The album is of NOW, and tackles subjects such as gentrification ("Brick Lane"), radical Islam ("Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)"),  the problems facing England with Brexit and great divisions ("England Is Unwell"), and the meaning of life ("Science+Buddhism= A Reality You Can Know")...Some great lyrics include: "and the cash flows from all the wealthy come in, Who seem not to like the scene that led them on, and the scene is gone" from "Brick Lane" and "I'm penniless, but I've sold my soul, I'm restless, but I've nowhere to go" from "Generation L(ost)...Lookman Adekunle Salami sings with the restrained energy and emotion of a hand grenade explosion being channeled through a drinking straw...Tackling important subjects would be a waste of time if his music was not catching and enjoyable. 

The album will be out and streaming everywhere on Friday 4/13. Here are a couple of the songs that we really like off of the new album (also "Terrorism (The ISIS Crisis)" is on last Friday's playlist).