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.

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.

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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

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.

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.

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: 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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Saturday of SXSW in Words and Pictures

This is a summary of the last day of SXSW 2018. At this point in time you are nearing the end of the marathon that is SXSW. There have been times of sprinting, drinking, eating, but mostly music listening for 6 straight days. It starts to dawn on you that you will soon be re-entering a world where there is not dozens of music showcases to chose from at almost any moment of day or night. Back in the real world, music is not as important, people are not as courteous, and free alcohol and food are much harder to come by. 

We started our Saturday at the Convention Center's Flat Stock stage to see the golden voiced Italian,  Fabrizio Cammarata. Though seeing him in a small club would have been more appropriate to his voice and lyrics, the show was a great start to our day.  

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We then headed to Cheer Up Charlies for the Brooklyn Vegan day party. 

Prior to SXSW G. Flip had only performed as a backing drummer for other artists. By the end of SXSW she had performed her first 8 shows as THE performer and was perhaps the most buzzed about new artist at SXSW. She sang, rapped, and drummed her way through a highly energetic set that raised our expectations for her bright future. 

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Outside, at the same party, Andrew WK brought the rock, the positivity, and the PARTY. Andrew WK is a part time motivational speaker, part time rock musician, and full time partier. There is no person that lives to party more than the incomparable Andrew WK. If you get a chance, see his live show. It will make you smile and dance and sing. 

 

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We headed down to the Showtime party and visited "The Alibi " where Kev and V from the show were pouring drinks. We got to see Tank and the Bangas and Shamir again. We also saw WAVVS perform. 

After dinner we headed back to the British Music Embassy one last time. This time it was to see IDER. Their tight harmonies and arrangements were mesmerizing. Their recorded music does not do justice to their live show. 

You can hear a great example of their harmonies in a video we posted on YouTube:

 

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After IDER we headed to the Parish to end our night and our SXSW. There we saw Tiny Ruins, Xyloris White and Ezra Furman. 

 

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Ezra's performance was a great way to end SXSW. It was truly a highlight with some great music, singing, and introspection by Ezra. We came away impressed. 

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We will continue to bring insights, discoveries, and images from SXSW in the coming weeks, but we will be transitioning to what we plan to be our routine postings with album reviews, music news, live show reviews, and lots of videos and music for you to check out. 

Friday Day SXSW Recap in words and a few pictures

Friday was a pretty chill for us during the day. We checked hit the SX Southbites trailer parker and then headed to Rainey Street.  We got a few decent pics. 

We saw Ron Gallo at the Doc Martens day party. 

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We also hit the Chi day party and saw Joey Purp. 

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After Joey, we headed off to Parkside for our traditional SXSW Parkside meal. 

Our next post will go through our Saturday shows and then we will post a few reviews of SXSW shows, artists, and events prior to returning to our traditional coverage of music discovery. 

 

Friday Night SXSW in Words and Pictures

Friday we had a dinner at one of our favorite Austin restaurants, and also a SWB SXSW tradition, Parkside. This is an unsolicited plug, but we do love the place. It has great Pescatarian, Vegetarian and Vegan fare. The wine and drinks are great also. 

After dinner we headed out to see some shows. 

On our way to Rainey street we ran into a glowing Owl. 

 

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We then dashed into The Clive Bar for a Chi sponsored showcase of Chicago artists. The first of which was the masked and very entertaining Leikeli47. She is an excellent MC and even had a very entertaining dancer join her on stage. She is an appreciative artist, and the first performer I have ever had come up to me after the show and ask to hug me. I do not thick a single audience member left that show without a positive memory of Leikeli47.

 

 

Next was one of our favorite discoveries from SXSW 2017, Kweku Collins. He is a Chicago based rapper that uses earnest and positive lyrics to get his messages across. Be sure to check out his first big hit "Stupid Rose"

We then headed over to the M&M house to see Billie Eilish sing, rap, and dance to the delight of the packed in crowd. 

 

 

Our night was topped off by seeing Sylvan Esso for our 3rd consecutive SXSW. The shows are always fun, and we do not mind them becoming a SXSW staple for the SWB crew. As many performers at SXSW, Sylvan Esso appear to be having as much fun as the crowd. It was another satisfying night that ended with a Durham, NC performer.

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. 

Thursday Daytime at SXSW recap in pictures and words

We started our Thursday off with some shows at the convention center. The rooms are a bit sterile, but the sound is great, and the audience is always respectful of the performers. It is not uncommon to try to listen to a performer at one of the SXSW venues only to have so much crowd chatter and bar or kitchen related noise that the show is essentially, ruined. 

The first band we saw was Mt. Joy, and the great sound provided the perfect environment to listen to Matt Quinn's beautiful voice. The intricate arrangements could also be appreciated and well heard. 

 

 Here is a picture of Matt Quinn

Here is a picture of Matt Quinn

 Here you have a better idea of the Radio Day Stage set up. 

Here you have a better idea of the Radio Day Stage set up. 

 

There is a small stage on the convention floor surrounded by merchants selling posters, shoes, perfume, jewelry, and just about anything else you can imagine. In a curtained off area, the Flatstock Stage resides. Here we were able to see and hear Liz Brasher and her powerful voice and guitar playing. 

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We returned to the Radio Day Stage to see clean version of Frank Turner's act. His dry humor and British wit, quickly won over the crowd. There were multiple sing-a-longs and no one wanted the performance to end. Despite lacking a full backing band, he was able to rock the convention center.

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The last performer we saw during the day was Gordi. She utilizes an autotune, and picks right up where Bon Iver's last album left off. 

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Our Thursday Daytime Takeaways were:

1. Mt. Joy needs to feature vocalist Matt Quinn the way Radiohead and learned to feature Thom Yorke. 

2. Liz Brasher has a voice and guitar chops to really go somewhere big, and it was treat to see her on such a small stage. 

3. Frank Turner is a fun performer with poignant lyrics and a great stage presence. Go see him, if you have the chance. 

4. Jamie does not like Autotune whether a woman uses it or Frank Ocean or Bon Iver. 

 

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. 

 

More Tuesday SXSW pictures.

Chelsea Manning introduced Pussyriot.  

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Yahyel Mesmerized during an inside early evening set. 

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Superchunk rocked like it was 20 years ago.  

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Starcrawler played, sang, and danced their asses off.  

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Shamir showcased great style along with some new and old tunes intermixed with some insightful stage banter.  

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Bat Fangs tore through their set with some great guitar playing and high energy.  

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Lee Baines III mixed Southern charm with Liberal politics.  

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Sammus shared personal stories and even more personal songs.  

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We will add more pictures as we get the chance.  

Some Tuesday Pictures

Pussy Riot spread anti-establishment, anti-fascist, anti-commercialism art-rock.  

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Starcrawler let it all hang out on stage.  

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Bat Fangs proved ex-Ex-Hex is not cursed. 

 

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Alice Bag brought #MeToo mentality and female positivity to SXSW. 

 

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Bad Gyal put on a show for all the registrants. 

 

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