Monday, May 19, 2014

Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band

Hearing Brian Blade play the drums makes my day automatically, significantly better. Watching him play doubles the effect. I post this excellent video here in the hope that some day, a year from now, I stumble upon it again. It just seems like one of those YouTube gems that will pass out of my consciousness just as soon as it entered. Here's to correcting that. What a musician. What a spirit!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Love for The Both

Went to see Aimee Mann and Ted Leo's new project, The Both, last night at Metro here in Chicago. Wow. I have been a sometime fan of both artists for the past ten years, and have always admired their craft, their focused and clear songs, their easy hooks, and, perhaps most strikingly, their voices. I went to this show knowing exactly one of their new songs, co-written for the self-titled album released a few weeks ago. I left feeling like I knew every one, able to recall at least a lyrical phrase, a snippet of melody, or a guitar line. That's a good sign, I think, of two artists' ability to fill an album with memorable, singable songs.

I also wondered: as good as this new project is, will anyone be listening to The Both five years from now? It seems like the shallow bombast of an Arcade Fire or Coldplay has given way to cool minimalism and synergy between pop and hip-hop (think Rick Ross on Lorde's "Royals" or Juicy J collabing with Katy Perry). I actually dig those tracks a ton. But it doesn't seem like there's too much of an opening for a straightforward power pop group these days. Maybe it seems obvious that The Both should not be mentioned in the same breath as these artists. But I kind of wish they were. I just don't want to see this album collecting dust in the used bin in a few years.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Who Loves Logan Square?

Very amped to provide music tonight at this awesome fundraiser. I'll be getting tunes going early so people are ready for the main event of the night, the entertaining live auction that totally kills it every year. Stick around after the auction to keep the dance party going. See you there!