THANK YOU!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to make a  super quick, informal post to thank you all for the great responses I got from my last post. A lot of you liked it, told me you were excited I was back, and/or shared it on other social media sites; that means the world to me. I also got a few new followers over the past couple days and just wanted to say hello! Thanks for the follow and I can’t wait to start blowing your earholes with fabulous music.

To thank you all, I thought I’d share with you my song of the day. It’s by the band PHOX, which is amazing. I’ll be doing a write up of them some time soon, but until then, here’s the song that has been playing in my head on repeat since I got up this morning:

Kingfisher by: PHOX

Awesome, right?

Well I’m off to the city now  to attend Sofar Sounds. If you don’t know what that is, check out my first post I did about it here. There should be a post about this one coming at you soon!

 

“They’re baaaaacckkkkk”

*blows off my keyboard; begins to cough*

Whoa there’s a lot more dust on here than I thought. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t update your blog for 8 months; I’m honestly embarrassed to admit that. However, there are reasons why I haven’t been updating. This past term I was studying abroad in England! Super fun right?

I know what you’re thinking though: “What about this summer, Kaitlyn? You weren’t in England for 8 months, were you?” Well no, I wasn’t. But when I decided to study abroad, I had approximately $500 in my bank account, so this summer I was working my butt off trying to make enough money so I wouldn’t starve in a foreign country.   My life basically consisted of working, spending what time I could with my friends, and sleeping. But it was totally worth it.

I didn’t blog during my trip for a couple reasons: one, I was busy just enjoying being where I was and two, it began to feel like a chore. I had a lot on my plate and blogging began to feel like something I had to do and it wasn’t fun anymore.

Part of that is because I can be quite the perfectionist; I’d spend hours–sometimes days–on a post and felt like it just wasn’t worth everything I was putting into it. Now that I’ve had a over half a year not blogging, I realize that I really do miss it, and if I start treating it as a fun, stress-relieving, activity again, that’s what it will become.

So basically this is a post to say that I’m back! I’m going to be blogging again, just differently. I had such an amazing time abroad and got into some really awesome new music that I can’t wait to share with you.🙂

Sofar Sounds Chicago

Hey everyone! So its be a while *cough* 3 months *cough* but I’m back! Now that I’m done with school, it’s time to jump back on the blog writing horse and get down to business. As a “Welcome Back Please Forgive Me For Not Posting” treat, I bring you some fantastic music from the far off land of Chicago, IL. Last month I was able to attend another amazing Sofar Sounds show thanks to Mr. Eric Muhlberger and the rest of the SofarChicago team. If you’re not familiar with Sofar Sounds, please see my previous post where I explain all about it.

For those of you who do know what it is, let’s jump right in!

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There are a few things in life that get me over the hills, reaching for the stars excited: the first snow of winter, frozen hot chocolate in the summer, new episodes of Doctor Who, and the Sofar Sounds Newsletter. So imagine my delight when I opened my email one day and saw there would be a Sofar show in Chicago on May 18th. It was already going to be a very busy weekend for me, but there was no way I was going to miss this show. After shuffling some events on my calendar, a friend and I were off for a wonderful night of music.

sign 2

cassetts

The night began with Marcus Christopher Maloney, lead singer of The Oarsman, performing a few solo tracks. Before I go any further, I’ll have to ask you to excuse the “fangirliness” of the next couple paragraphs, because once he opened his mouth, I was in love. The songs her sung were heartfelt and meaningful, each telling their own story about life and relationships. Maloney has the type of voice that lulls one into a trance; I couldn’t help but close my eyes and sway as soft notes echoed around the apartment.

oarsman full oarsmansolo with light

He was soon joined by the rest of his band and they began to play beautiful music together. As they performed, I knew I had found a new band to add to my list of people to watch out for. Every lyric sung and note played showed a deep understanding of sounds, music, and love. It’s hard to describe just how spell bounded I was during their set; it was a big blur of one breathtaking song after another.

Having just had my heart stolen by The Oarsman, I wasn’t sure anyone could effectively follow them up. The Eleven Dollar Bills were put to the task, and let me tell you, they were more than able to deliver  The Eleven Dollar Bills is a three-piece blues rock band based in Chicago. It has been said that they have the “poetry of Dylan with the passion of Hendrix.” I literally could not think of a better description for them.

EDB smiles

Guitarist and lead vocalist Jordan Casty and bass player Garrett Eaton especially caught my interest; the way they play together is absolutely phenomenal. The two feed off each other’s energy and serve it to the crowd on a silver platter. The entire band performed with intensity and vigor, providing yet another mind-blowing experience. All I can say is that I had their song “Mercedes Benz” ringing in my head for the next week.

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Music Videos + a contest!

Hello beautiful people.

Do you know what makes me happy? Being on Spring Break!

And do you know what happens when I’m happy? I give you free stuff!

But before we get to that, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite music videos right now. I will admit that I am not an avid music video watcher. I actually tend to stay away from them because half of the time they have nothing to do with the song they are portraying. But every once in a while I will find one that I really enjoy and, like with new music, I want to show everyone possible. So here are  some of my favorite music videos right now:

Carried Away- Passion Pit

(I love the use of words and music to tell a story. It kinda reminds me of 500 Days of Summer.)

The Nothing Part II-Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

(Okay, so I just have a soft spot for Ally. This is off her new album Ripely Pine. The video is a little nonsensical, but it fits her so well! Plus, having a bunch of people get pied is hilarious.)

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Concert: Sofar Sounds

Hello lovely readers!

I feel as though I don’t need to say it anymore, but I will. Sorry I’ve been off on posting. My school runs on trimesters, so I’m actually just getting done with finals. School is school is school. Hard work and lots of it. Blah blah blah…okay let’s get down to business.

So as some of you may know, I got to check going to a house show off my music bucket list. Back in January I was able to attend Sofar Sounds in Chicago. Sofar Sounds is, as their website states, “an innovative concept, dedicated to bringing the best of new music to an unplugged, intimate, unusual space or venue. Mix in a crowd of dedicated music lovers, other artists, and industry professionals, and you have an evening which promises electric performances and new networks.” Their goal is not only  to allow artists a more intimate place to play their music, but to provide those of us who truly enjoy listening to the music a place to hear great artists outside of the bar scene.

A friend of mine actually told me about Sofar a few years back, but they hadn’t made their way to Chicago yet. So imagine my excitement  when I saw that they would finally be venturing into my neck of the woods. The show was fantastic and I had a great time. I was asked to write a post for Sofar’s blog and it was recently posted so I’m just going to link you to that: Post Here 

Once you look at that, come back and I’ll give you a special treat.

Go on.

You gone?

Okay serious go!

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Back? Awesome!

Now that you’ve read about the amazing musicians that were present, here is some footage of the night thanks to Rooftop Sessions Chicago

If you would be interested in attending or playing at a Sofar Sound show, you should go to their website and sign up for the newsletter. Each month you’ll receive an email saying where there will be shows that month. For those of you in Chicago, there is actually another show coming up this month on the 23rd. Each show is invitation only, so if you’d like to attend anywhere, be sure to sign up! If you have questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you asap.

And now time for everyone’s favorite part: FREE MUSIC!

 

For free music from Gia of Light Light, see my previous post here

***Thank you for reading! I am about to go on Spring Break so I will actually have time to post! Pinky promise. And I will be doing a contest/giveaway soon so keep a look out! 

Interview: Dogs On Tour and The Hudson Branch

Hidey ho neighbor!

I know it has been a while, but I have been incredibly busy and stressed out with school. My college runs on trimesters so I was doing midterms and projects for the last two weeks. I have a special treat for you all to make up for my lack of posting though. It’s a little bit different than what I normally do, but I think you’ll like it🙂

Some of you might recall a group I mentioned in my  Christmas post called Dogs on Tour. For those of you who don’t know, Dogs on Tour is a collaboration group that combines music with radio-like interviews to make “story songs.” This process mainly involved The Hudson Branch (a local Chicago band) and Andy Mills (a radio producer). Having seen The Hudson Branch play live before, I was really interested in their music as well as the formation of Dogs on Tour and how the process of creating pieces differed  Lucky for me, they were gracious enough to answer some questions for me via email.
So today I bring you the inside scoop behind the group Dogs on Tour as well as some information about The Hudson Branch. Let’s jump right in then, shall we?

KB: What’s the story behind the collaboration Dogs on Tour? How did it come into being? Who’s all in the group? 

THB: Back in the winter of 2010 a bunch of us who’d been friends for years and working on several different projects decided we wanted to go on a house show tour together. We just thought it would be fun to smash all of our different songs, sounds and stories together and play at house parties across the country.

While we were piling into our van on the first day of our first tour, we realized it would be a mouthful to name all of the different projects and bands that we represented. It would be easier to just name the tour/group we had spontaneously formed. Andy suggested something short and silly,

“…Like Dogs On Tour or something.”

We all barked and laughed and decided that works.

Half way through our first tour we realized that something special was happening when we collaborated liked this. It was inspiring and made us all better – and as young artists our goal was/is to learn, stretch and grow. So when the tour ended, we just kept the name and continued to mash together our different artistic endeavors (song writing, storytelling, photography, live performance).

The group has an inclusive nature and is always changing, but Chicago band The Hudson Branch and radio producer Andy Mills are always involved in one way or another. Others collaborators include Nate Henricks, All That Noise For Feeling, Angie Schoenherr & Radiolab.

I love the way you guys blend music with stories. How would you as a group describe that? Were you following a specific genre or did you just make it up as you went? 

First, thank you (sincerely).

Second, we don’t have a good way of describing it. The crew over at Third Coast calls our pieces “Song Stories” – which is totally adorable. We are open for suggestions if you’ve got ‘em.

Third, we were and still are making this all up. Though we’ve been inspired by a lot of things, including If by Sherre Delys and Charles Spearin’s Happiness Project

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Super quick update

Hey guys.

Sorry that I haven’t posted for the past couple of weeks. School has been crazy busy so I have had no time. I promise there will be a post next week for sure (maybe even two). In the mean time, please enjoy this inspirational video from The Kid President. His speech is what is getting me by right now.

Hope you have a great day and do something awesome just as The Kid requests.

Wakey!Wakey!

Salutations internet people! I decided to stick with the Family Records theme I’ve got going here and bring you the gift of music from the band, Wakey!Wakey!. If you saw my last post, this band might sound familiar; they did that awesome cover of Gnarl Barkley’s “Crazy.” Seriously though, if you haven’t heard their cover of it, stop everything and go listen to it now! I’ll wait for you

You back? Good, you made it back for story time!

Like most of my recent music experiences, it all stems back to Pearl and the Beard (seriously guess, I’m obsessed). I was searching though Tumblr PatB tags when I came across a post by the lovely rougeandlace, aka Erin. She was talking about Emily Hope Price’s 365 day project and me, being the fangirl I am, messaged her telling her how much I loved the post. She asked me if I liked any other bands under Family Records Label and I sheepishly replied that I had only listened to one other band. The conversation went on from there and ended with her offering to send me a copy of W!W!’s out of print, unopened CD,  Silent as a Movie.

A few weeks later, I received the the CD, W!W! stickers, and a cute hand written note in the mail. Erin is the sweetest🙂

Since then I have been exploring the W!W! discography on my own and thoroughly enjoying it. If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t sure if I liked the music at first, but the more I listened to the songs and heard Mike Grubbs, W!W!’s frontman, slam on those piano keys, the more I fell in love.

Much of Grubb’s musical intrests stem back to his childhood: “…his mother—a longtime piano teacher and choir director—would ask the kids to sight read songs before they could even think of eating cereal. And homework, why, that was something you did simply to score more bench time.”

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Cover to Cover

Once upon a time, there was a little blogger who had a ton of homework  and no time to do a writeup. So the little blogger decided that instead of doing her normal post, she would do something new and exciting! She would tell her lovely readers about her favorite covers and try to give them as much free music as possible. She wrote with renewed fervor and got to bed at a decent time. All was well in Blogsville and the little blogger didn’t cry when she had to wake up for her class in the morning. THE END! 

*sniff sniff* That story gets me every time.

So as you can probably tell, I am tired and going delusional now that classes and both my jobs have started back up. I’m going to try my hardest to keep to my posting schedule, but these last couple days have been crazy! So if I get behind, please forgive me in advance.

As I said before, today I thought I’d share some of my favorite covers with you. I actually really love covers; a good portion of my music collection is made up of covers and sometimes I enjoy them more than the original song. On a side note, I am not a big fan of remixes. Something about taking a song, stripping it down, and just completely changing it doesn’t sit right with me. For instance, it really bugs me when someone takes a slow song and turns it techno </rant>

…anyways here are the covers that I’m in love with at the moment:

1. Re: Stacks originally by: Bon Iver; covered by Pearl and the Beard 

Download here (right click and “Save As”)

My love for them knows no bounds. If you are not familiar with Pearl and the Beard, check out my previous post

2. Ghosting originally by: Freelance Whales; covered by Lucius 

As a lover of both Freelance Whales and Lucius, this song makes my heart happy. They don’t have it set for free download anymore…but maybe if you ask them really nicely, they might be willing to give it to you? No promises.

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Pearl and the Beard

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, readers new and old, gather around! I’m here to tell you about something that will rock your world!

I decided to start the New Year right and stop holding back. I have been showing you my face, but now I’m going to spill out my guts and show you where my heart and soul lies. I’m going to show you something very special to me. I’m going to introduce you to my favorite band. And before you say it, I know I tend to say the word “favorite” a lot on this blog, but this is legitimately, hands down my FAVORITE band. Not only are they amazing musicians but they are phenomenal people. Today I introduce to you the wonderful and equally as stunning band, Pearl and the Beard.

As stated on their website, “Pearl and the Beard is three voices, one cello, one glockenspiel, one melodica, several drums, one accordion, ninety-six teeth, and one soul.” They are a New York based band that came together with help from the music gods. Members Jeremy Styles (acoustic guitarist, vocalist) and Jocelyn Mackenzie (percussionist, kazzo-ist, vocalist) met at an open mic in 2008 and begin writing songs together. A few months later the two stumbled upon the gorgeous and talented Emily Hope Price (cellist, vocalist) at another open mic and she joined the group. They released their first EP, “At Home With Pearl and the Beard” later that year. In 2009 they produced their first full-length album entitled, God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson.  The first track on the record, Voice In My Throat, shows off the groups beautiful blended sound and crisp vocals.

Whenever I tell people about this band, which is frequently, I always get asked what genre they’re under…how about the genre of awesome?! In all seriousness, their music doesn’t fall under any conventional titles; they are their own creation, which is part of the reason I love them so much. Unlike many other bands, they do not have a frontman or “lead singer”; instead each contributes equally to the vocals and instrumentation for their songs.

In 2011, the bands sophomore album, Killing the Darlings, was released, further proving that their unique style and mind-blowing harmonies were not a fluke. The song “40K”, one of my absolute favorites, made its debut on this record. It was re-released last year as a single and the band took part in shooting a music video for it. Because of their love for The Walking Dead, they decided to make it zombie themed.

Video produced, directed, and edited by Jessi Southern

The other thing you have to know about this band is that they are extraordinary live.

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