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 6/8/18

This week’s Friday Playlist could work for as a party mix for a pretty banging house party.

We start off with a rapper that does not rest on his laurels. G. Yamazawa is back again this week with “Breathe”.

Troye Sivan is an electronic music producer and actor. He creates some infectious tune such as “Bloom”

The Gorillaz are back and created a video for the song “Humility” that involves cartoon characters in the real world and a fair amount of product placement.

Twin Shadow worked with Power-Pop sister trio, HIAM to create the infectious “Saturdays”.

Mahalia’s new track “I wish I Missed My Ex” is reminiscent of Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Solange. This single really touched us and we hope you will enjoy it also.

It is easy to groove and dance to the Dub Step leaning “Feel Good” which was created by Maribou State.

Blue Angels makes you want to dance around with his new track “Far Enough”. Very little is known about Blue Angels, and no matter what we expect bing things from him

Though this has been around for a while now, Gabriella Cohen showcases her beautiful vocals and instrumentation on “Baby”.

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

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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.

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.

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.

MAY

05 Live At Leeds

06 Glasgow, Stag & Dagger

18-19 Brighton, The Great Escape

20 Leeds, Gold Sounds Festival

27 Bearded Theory Festival

JUNE

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

JULY

20 Sheffield, Tramlines

28 Leopalooza

AUGUST

31 Electric Fields

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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.  

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

 

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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.  

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New Father John Misty album coming soon

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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.  

TRACKLIST

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. 

 

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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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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.

Friday Playlist: 4/6/18

This week we return with our first Friday playlist since last month. There is a lot of great music coming out this April.

We start our playlist with a song that we put up earlier this week from Miya Folick. We cannot get this great track out of our heads. The sound of this song is a mature step forward for a talented musician.

L.A. Salami (real name: Lookman Adekunle Salami) is a London artist that is difficult to slot into a genre. He is sometimes called a folk artists, and certainly there are times that he is. We saw him at SXSW in 2017 perform what was essentially a punk show. Whatever the genre he is not afraid to utilize difficult and controversial topics. His album The City of Bootmakers will be out 4/13 and you can stream it early on NPR HERE. “Terrorism! The ISIS Crisis” is one of his new tracks.

Hinds is an incredibly fun band to listen to and even more enjoyable in person. They are from Barcelona but create a music that creates retro American rock vibes, much like The Strokes. Their new album is out today and can be streamed all over the place. Here we share one of the tracks “The Club”.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra was been on our list before, and this week the new album Sex & Food is out. UMO is always a vibey, funky, fun band. “Everyone” is no exception to that rule.

The Weeknd is another falsetto voiced singer putting out some new music. He surprise dropped a new EP which includes our favorite track “Wasted Times”. This track includes a few sure to be classic Weeknd lyrics such as: “And I know right now that we’re not talkin’/I hope you know this dick is still an option” which is then followed shortly by: “You were equestrian, so ride it like a champion”.

We were disappointed that we were unable to see Goat Girl at SXSW. After hearing some of their new album, we are even more disappointed. There music has a darker tone reminiscent of Nick Cave and Warpaint. “Throw me a Bone” definitely wets our appetite.

The last two tracks are not throwback tracks, but are very reminiscent of older sounds. Sofi Tukker’s song “Batshit” is sure to bring up memories of Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy” and other campy dance classics of the past.

You probably would not expect a sentimental and beautiful song from a band named Mama’s Gun, but “You Make My Life a Better Place” brings up thoughts in both sentiment and sound of “You are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder.

Great New Miya Folick song

You probably do not know who Miya Folick is, and that is ok. We first heard her a couple of years ago at SXSW and were mesmerized.  After hearing her new song, we think you will feel the same way about her as we do.  She has a great new song out that could be one of many anthems for the #MeToo movement. Independent of the theme of song, it is just a great song. Check it out. 

 

If you like the song, please take the time to visit her website and listen to more of her music. Here is a picture we took from a performance at SXSW. 

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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. 

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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Liz Brasher Guitar

 

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.

Frank Turner

 

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.