Monday, January 31, 2011

to keep an eye on: hugo

hugo has quietly begun gaining some serious momentum in the past months leading to the upcoming release of his first album, old tyme religion (being released by roc nation).  his first two singles, "bread & butter" and a cover of jay z's "99 problems," are a great primer in hugo's sound: a bluesy, rock, hip hop-tinged combination.  

i almost fell out of my chair at the movie theater watching natalie portman and ashton kutcher's new movie, no strings attached, when hugo was featured in a pretty major way with a live performance.  undoubtedly, his audience will grow even more quickly from the movie.  

old tyme religion has yet to be released, but his first two singles have been available on itunes for about 6 months, so go have a listen - you won't regret it!  several tracks from hugo's album are also available to listen to on his website.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

humpday track

here's a song to help you make it from from your humpday to the weekend...
smith westerns

"Weekend" by Smith Westerns is the opening track of the group's newest release, Dye It Blonde. "weekend" is aptly titled for a happy guitar-driven jam to help us make it through the next few days, don't you think? these guys from chicago aren't even old enough to drink yet, and Dye It Blonde is their second release in two years. talk about some serious achievement.

"weekend" is an irresistible, catchy tune. enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

are you ashamed to like mainstream music? i used to be.

don't hate! i used to be embarassed to have mainstream pop in my music repertoire, but hey, there's some awesome stuff out there!
lady gaga

lady gaga, our reigning princess of pop, has said that even though "pop music was considered to be annoying or corporate or unimportant," she did it anyway.

gaga has a point! while indie music is undoubtedly my favorite the majority of the time, i'm no longer embarassed to LOVE pop.

so on that note...
britney spears

anyone who knows me knows my love for Princess Britney Spears - she was my first concert after all! anyway, girlfriend is back and kicking everyone's butt already. "hold it against me" is killing it on the charts (it debuted at #1), and the release of her album will no doubt be epic.

ps: anyone notice the seriously amazing dubstep situation happening in "hold it against me"?

katy perry

my girl katy perry just announced north american tour dates for her California Dreams tour (hooray), and EVEN BETTER, her opening acts are: swedish pop star robyn (awesome) and marina and the diamonds (i just wrote about marina last week!)

yeah, i love ke$ha! so what?

long story short: there's lots to love and lots happening in the mainstream pop world - have an open mind and find your thing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

the latest precious she & him video

she & him's zooey deschanel and m. ward

she & him (aka everyone's favorite indie duo, M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel) has released their latest music video from their second album, volume two, released last year. "don't look back" is another sweetly sung vintage-style song from the twosome, showcasing zooey's voice and matt's guitar skills. as always, zooey looks even more adorable than the last time we've seen her, and matt displays his usual overall laid-back coolness. 

check out the "don't look back" music video here.

and another video of the two doing an amazing cover of "fools rush in" that i have played non-stop since it was released by the levi's pioneer sessions several months ago.

and for good measure, my favorite beach boys song covered by she & him at the LA Times food and wine festival. 

hope you have a music-filled weekend! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a rockstar & her wardrobe

a musician's wardrobe can be a defining characteristic of their persona (lady gaga, anyone?). i love when musicians have a unique sense of style that can be observed on stage but also in their everyday life. at the moment, i'm loving every outfit that i see on Marina and the Diamonds (aka marina lambrini diamandis). marina's debut album, the family jewels, was released last february, and word is that she's working on a second album to be released sometime around october 2011. marina has one of those amazing stage wardrobes full of colors, sparkles, and craziness that only could be pulled off by a performer. then, her more casual looks are reminiscent of a laid-back hipster who manages to have that perfect amount of messiness. for a burst of indie pop-danciness, check out her tracks "oh no!" and "are you satisfied?" and maybe next time you go out, grab a sequined and shoulder-padded 80's blazer, neon lipstick, and think marina.

Monday, January 17, 2011

to keep an eye on: freelance whales

gettin' it at a bedford avenue subway platform

i discovered freelance whales via a friend while interning in nyc this summer. the group is from queens and they're known for playing the streets/subway stations of the city along with their stage performances. with 5 members playing a wide array of instruments (everything from the banjo, bass, synthesizer, glockenspiel, and everything in between), the freelance whales released their debut album, Weathervanes, in april 2010. steadily gaining momentum and a following, they're now touring europe.

check them out online or on itunes, freelance whales will no doubt become a much more familiar name in the future...

suggestions from Weathervanes: "generator (second floor)" and "the great estates"

nyc street corner performance

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

musician couples alert!

my absolute favorites, johnny and june.

i think music couples are fascinating. what is it though, exactly? obviously people naturally are interested in famous people, but there's more to it when they're two musicians. something about the immense amount of creativity between two musicians in a relationship makes me wonder what kind of brilliant conversations they might have. add to that the highly attractive factor of most of these couples, plus the potential for explosive emotions/breakups, and you might find yourselves wondering about what their lives are like together. my all-time favorite music couple is johnny cash and his wife, june carter cash. there's no guarantee that any music couples today will be as wildly popular, prolific in their music, or even last as a couple, but they sure are cute....

Ben Gibbard & Zooey Deschanel

i absolutely love this couple. i'm semi-obsessed with zooey and her torch-singer voice (and gorgeous hair/clothes), and have been a fan of ben since my pseudo-emo high school days. ben, of death cab for cutie (among other side projects), married zooey, of she & him (with m. ward) in 2009 and they have kept an impressively low-profile ever since. they're rarely seen out, which is probably good, but i still wish i could see more of them!

Johnathan Rice & Jenny Lewis

johnathan and jenny are on their way to becoming indie royalty. jenny already is known throughout the indie world as an amazing songstress, the vocalist for the band rilo kiley, as well as a solo artist. johnathan is also a solo singer-songwriter. these two have been dating for awhile now, and their newest project is together, as the band jenny & johnny. they released their album i'm having fun now in august and are currently on tour. their first single "big wave" was one of my favorite songs of the summer. check them out at

Monday, January 10, 2011

sufjan & marzuki stevens documentary

Sufjan Stevens & Marzuki Stevens

anyone know when this documentary will be released? it features my boy, indie superstar sufjan stevens and his brother, marzuki. the two are traveling with filmmaker kaleo la belle to see sufjan and marzuki's estranged father. i haven't found much information on the film, but from the looks of the trailer, it's something i don't want to miss:

music monday.

well, every day is a music day. but i couldn't resist the alliteration...that's what it is, right?
anyway, i realize that 2010 is over, but i had to make a teensy list of the best of the best of '10!

twenty-ten's BEST OF THE BEST:

1. sleigh bells, "treats":
these two put on an absolutely EPIC show. i saw the brooklyn-based duo live a few months ago, and the energy that alexis krauss (vocals) and derek e. miller (guitarist, songwriter) put into their shows is outrageous. they've been called "noise pop," but that just doesn't do sleigh bells justice. the attractive twosome have created an 80's dance-punk-rock-indie sound that's all their own. clearly, people are catching on, as their track, "kids," has recently been featured on a preview for mtv's new version of the british television show, skins. just turn on "riot rhythm" and prepare for the energetic jump-dancing that will no doubt ensue.

2. the black keys, "brothers":
they've released five previous albums, but these ohio cuties have shot to fame since the release of "brothers" in may. the duo's (dan auerbach and patrick carney) bluesy-rock-with-a-twinge-of-funk sound has a simultaneously vintage and modern feel that has attracted a multitude of fans. the whole album is amazing, but if you don't trust me, they made the cover of spin magazine's "best of 2010" issue. make sure to check out "the only one."

3. two door cinema club, "tourist history":
i'm not exaggerating in the least when i say that i literally danced to this album ALL summer long. i probably embarassed myself by bouncing along to the album on the subway all the way to my internship everyday. this trio of boys from northern ireland haven't made a huge splash in terms of garnering attention, however, slowly but surely (starting with a mention on kanye west's blog) they're gaining the massive number of fans they deserve. i can't help but smile at the amazing dance electro-pop that these guys (alex trimble, sam halliday, and kevin baird) have created. if not the whole album, make sure to at least listen to "do you want it all?" and "what you know."

4. mumford and sons, "sigh no more":
these four inexplicably grabbed me by the heart from my very first listen. i almost can't even verbalize the emotion that marcus mumford, country winston, ben lovett, and ted dwane evoke with every listen to their folksy, initially delicate then passionately bold musical story-songs. this west london group has exploded onto the scene and has now been nominated for two grammy awards. "winter winds" and "white blank page" are my favorites. 

5. crystal castles, "crystal castles":
so, i'm kind of obsessed with ethan kath (producer) and alice glass (vocalist). embarassingly so, actually. there may or may not have been an event where a dj played their track "vanished," and i started screaming, "ohmygod crystal castles!!!!" to the embarassment of several of my friends...anyway, the toronto electronic duo's music has been described by the BBC as covering "a nuanced emotional territory that dance music never covered before." i guess you'll just have to listen for yourself. just get ready to dance like never before! "vanished" and "magic spells" are absolute necessities. 

here's hoping that 2011 will bring us even more incredible stuff.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

you are supersonic. i am supersonic. we are supersonic.

supersonic: "sound waves beyond the limit of human hearing"

In some ways, music is music is music, right? But at the same time, we’ve got more musicians and types of music than ever. We’re a SUPERSONIC GENERATION.  Music is changing, pushing the limits, and becoming more original and amazing every day. While some of the music out there undoubtedly sucks, there’s also a ton of awesome music out there, and this blog is the place I plan to compile my favorites. Here’s my attempt to keep up with the infinite amount of unbelievable music that comes out every day.