Friday Playlist: 6/22/18

This week’s Friday Playlist is primarily centered around the Summer Time.

We start off with an artist that you should get to know now, because Miya Folick is going to make it big.

St. Vincent changed one of her slowest songs from the last album, “Slow Disco” into a dance song with “Fast Slow Disco”.

The current SWB song of the Summer is Pusha T’s “If You Know You Know”. Though the song has been out for a month or so, the video just came out.

Gorillaz have a psychedelic new video created by the team that normally is operating in the SouthEast Corner of Glastonbury during this weekend.

Rudimental & Major Lazer created a banger of a summer song with “Let Me Live” which features Anne-Marie & MR. Eazi.

Sir Paul McCartney put out a double-A side single this week. The first song is the slower paced “I Don’t Know” and is followed by the upbeat, summery “Come On To Me”.

One of our favorite live acts, Sylvan Esso put out a new video that highlights their live shows and fan interactions. Be sure to check them out if they come to your town.

Concert Review: Iceage in Dallas 5/26/18

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Here is a review from the Iceage show at Club Dada in Dallas.

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.

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

1. No other type of show is quite as much fun as a lively punk show. Moshing and dancing and sweating without a care in the world, makes for a great evening.
2. Iceage has grown and matured as a band, and with a charismatic lead singer, are ready to take the next step...to wherever that entails.
3. Iceage utilized a violin player to provide fullness to their sound, which had been provided primary by horns on their albums. We learned that a well mic’d up violin sounds great at a punk show and fills in nicely for horns.
4. A stuffed monkey doesn’t seem completely out of place in a mosh pit. ”
5. With their well paced set list and tight performance, Iceage did not require stage banter to build a bond with the crowd. The energy given was the same as the energy received.

Below is a video of "Painkiller" live from the show.

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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”.

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.

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Kendrick Lamar

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).

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Kim Deal SXSW

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.

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.

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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.

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

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Here is a video of "The Locomotive".

Concert Review: Titus Andronicus "Acoustic"

Here is our review of the Titus Andronicus "Acoustic" Concert from 4/6/2018 in Fort Worth, TX. 

..."Acoustic" is actually "Stripped Down" and the performance was with an electric guitar and electric piano. There was no percussion or traditional rhythm section...Even Stripped down, Titus Andronicus is a high energy show...Patrick Stickles, has a skill with stage banter that is on the level of Tom Waits, Dan Deacon, or Father John Misty. With a full band, or alone, Patrick's conversations with himself and advice to the crowd are always a highlight of any T@ show...The removal of the drums and bass guitar gave the vocals room to breathe. This enabled the crowd to focus on the depth and meaning of the lyrics, which is very different than a typical T@ show that would involve multiple mosh pits and crowd dives...They performed covers of rarity tracks by Velvet Underground and Lou Reed (and possibly a song or two others we did not recognize) along with the theme from Cheers...Patrick's mother is getting married and he has a future sister-in-law living in Texas, and though he supports his mother's marriage, he does not support marriage in general or procreation. 

Here are some photos followed by a video of Patrick performing while sitting at the bar opposite the stage. 

 

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Thursday Night at SXSW recap in Pictures and Words

After our time at the convention center we had dinner at a party hosted by some lovely Canadians. After some wine and authentic Italian pizza, we headed across the street to the British Music Embassy for a showcase hosted by BBC 6. The night was certainly, to borrow a phase from the host country, our cup of tea. 

The night started with Nilufer Yanya. We were excited to see an artist that we had featured on a couple of our Friday playlists, and she did not disappoint. There are two videos in our SXSW playlist, and I will embed one below, because hearing is believing. 

 

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Nilüfer performed  "the Florist"  during the BBC 6 showcase at SXSW. 

 

The next band we saw was, LIFE, our favorite SXSW discovery. We have already said quite a bit about the band in previous posts. Also, we plan to have have a recap of their two shows in a separate post. Therefore, I will not say much here, but share some photos from another great show. 

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Following LIFE was the energetic and amazingly fun, Shopping. Perhaps the only band that we saw that was having as much fun as the audience. 

 

After Shopping we Brexitted and left the BBC 6 showcase to see one of our Hip Hop discoveries, G. Yamazawa. We captured some video, along with our photos. Ending the night with a Durham, NC performer was so great that we repeated it on Friday Night, seeing Sylvan Esso. 

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Prior to the song he retold the story of how he learned that in Korean culture "Have you eaten?" is most similar to the American phrase "Hi, how are you?" He described how, upon learning this fact, his relationship and interactions with his parents and grandparents was immediately changed.  His performance was not only entertaining, it was  uplifting and enlightening.

Here is a video of G. Yamazawa performing "Dinning Room" at SXSW 2018. 

Stairwell Baby Videos from SXSW 2018

Today we took some time to put together a playlist of videos that we shot from SXSW this year. It is just a sampling of some of the artists, but we think it will give a good exposure to the variety of performers and performance spaces. We also hope that it will turn you on to some great new musicians.

LIFE, our favorite discovery

Despite listening to over 650 SXSW artists prior to heading to Austin, we had no idea who LIFE was. This is in spite of their previous trip to SXSW. The showmanship, bombast, tight musicianship , and overall great attitude make a LIFE show a truly great experience. We will be discussing the band and sharing more photos and music in the future. For now, we wanted to share a high def video of "Rare Boots" which helps to illustrate what a LIFE show is all about. 

 

SXSW 2018 Day 1 Highlight: LIFE at the British Music Embassy

The band LIFE ended our first night at SXSW 2018, and it was a raucous yet tight 35 minute set. They are an amazing English punk band that recently released their debut album, Popular Music, in 2017.  

Here are a few pictures and a video from the show. Using every part of the bar and stage, Mez, was mesmerizing with his showmanship. The band kept pace tearing through song after song. The video below best embodies the set. 

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 Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Life's great performance of "Rare Boots" at the British Music Embassy on 3/12/18. See more music, pictures and video at stairwellbaby.com

Oscars tonight

We are anxiously anticipating tonight’s performance by Sufjan Stevens along with St. Vincent (Annie Clark), Moses Sumney, and Chris Thile. They will be performing the beautiful “Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name. 

Here is Elliot Smith’s amazing Oscar performance which helps to remind us of why it is worth having the songs featured during a movie award show.  

 

 

Concert Videos: Vince Staples&Tyler the Creator 2/8/19

All videos are in HD (you might have to change settings).

Vince Staples opened up with "Rain Come Down"

The crowd was energetic the whole night and this was evident during "Lift Me Up"

Tyler took the stage on a giant broken tree and performed "Where This Flower Blooms".

Tyler held the crowd enraptured the entire night and this was particularly evident during "IFHY".

SXSW Recommended Artists Part 3

Here is our third batch of recommended artists that will be performing at SXSW 2018

This list is a bit different than the previous, and we are making a prediction that these are artists that are going to “make it big” after SXSW. Now is your chance to listen to them before they become really popular. March, in Austin, might be one of your last chances to see them in a small venue.

Sam Fender is a singer/songwriter from England with a soulful voice and great indie rock insticts. Sam is only 21, and he has a bright future ahead.
Sam Fender
RIYL: Hozier, Jack Johnson, John Mayer
Pseudo Genre: Soulful indie rock

This live video demonstrates the beauty of his voice and music while he sings his most renowned song “Play God”

“Greasy Spoon” demonstrates the harder edge that exists in some of his music.


Ruby Fields is a self taught musician that composes earnest and catchy indie rock songs. She is driven to express herself and even creates her own music videos.
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RIYL: Avril Lavigne, Kesha, Lady Gaga
Pseudo Genre: Indie Rock for a new generation

”P Plates" is a perfect example of her DIY ethics. The music and video are all her own.

The song that first brought her some attention was “I want”.


Sinead Harnett is a English R&B artist born to Thai and Irish parents. Who, like Sam Smith, gained attention by being featured on a Disclosure track.
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RIYL: Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Adele
Pseudo Genre: Soulful, experimental R&B

The true test of the quality of a singer’s voice is how they sound live. Here is a live tape of Sinead’s biggest hit ”If You Let Me”.


Here is the video from one of her more recent tracks “Still Miss You".