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Top Ten Sets of SXSW ’15

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We saw a lot of awesome acts during our time at SXSW thought we don’t have enough time and energy to share with you all of the awesome act we saw, we though we should share with you the highlights of our time in Austin.

Amanda’s Picks:

1. Walking on Cars at Clive Bar

I’m sure you’re already familiar with our Walking on Cars story but just in case you aren’t, I’ll break it down for you… caught half of their first set at SXSW, second set conflicted with another, missed the third (and final) set after literally running there by just a few minutes and lamented them not playing more shows. And then…. the SXSW Magic happens. A band pulls out of a show that a friend is booking, ask them on Twitter if they’re free and want to play another show, they say yes! Like I said, magic. The thing about Walking on Cars is that there’s something really special about them musically. They have a sound that I can’t even begin to classify or describe but I can tell you that I feel their music in my heart and my soul. And it’s a pretty special thing to get a full 30 minute set from a new band love while being around friends who are also dancing along and loving the band you love. this show will forever go down in my personal SXSW History as something so magical and lucky that I still have a hard time believing it actually happened.

2. James Bay at St. Davids

Where to begin with James Bay? I mean, the guy is a guitar and lyrical powerhouse of songs that just pull at your heart and all those emotions you don’t always like to think about. He only had a few shows that were doable schedule wise and one was completely rained out to boot. I only caught half a set at Spotify and that just wasn’t enough James Bay for my taste. The opportunity to see him in a church with those kinds of acoustics is something you’d be hard pressed to walk away from. Truth be told, I almost wasn’t able to get into this show because earlier the showcase had been declared “badge only” and I, the lowly wristband wasn’t allowed in. However, after patiently waiting and enjoying some other music just down the hall, I circled back to try again and as luck would have it, I made it in. The air in the church was palpably electric and the whole room was filled with this charge that went right through your body. It was a feeling that I won’t forget anytime soon. Even though James didn’t play as long a set as he did at Spotify, I can let that go in favor of the story telling behind the song Scars and the feeling of being a part of something really unique and special.

3. Royal Teeth at Stubbs

So this show technically wasn’t during SXSW “officially” but it was still during the week and was kind of a wrap up show. After catching only 2.5 songs of Royal Teeth at the Swan Dive earlier in the week, this was my last opportunity to see a full set from them. The band didn’t disappoint and somehow managed to still have a wonderful amount of energy for the end of the week. Their infectious pop energy was enough to prop me up and keep me going even though I felt dead on my feet. Even though I (sadly) wasn’t familiar with their tunes, it didn’t matter because everyone was bouncing along. I’m not sure what the most memorable part of the show was… when singer Gary Larsen jumped off stage and got into the middle of the crowd for some drumming or maybe when the confetti went flying during their last song and everyone looked so blissfully happy. Regardless, that show was something special.

4. Zeke Duhon at Swan Dive

Truthfully, I don’t know what pulled me to the Swan Dive for Zeke Duhon. I didn’t know him or any of his music but this little voice in my head told me to make sure I made that show and I’m really glad I listened. Zeke was a surprise I hadn’t been expecting and especially after already seeing so much music and reaching a point where it all begins to blend, he was someone who managed to really stand out and make me stop to listen. Probably my favorite part of his set was when he started talking about covering these two different songs and he couldn’t decide which he liked better so he chose to do both. This ended up being a super awesome mashup of Shake It Off and Can’t Tell Me Nothing by Taylor Swift and Kayne West, respectively. I mean, seriously.

5. Colony House at Blackheart

I was so bummed about missing Colony House when they came through San Diego with Sir Sly but I was so happy to see their name on the list for SXSW. Sadly, all their showcases conflicted with something or were just too out of the way. But on SXSW Saturday, I made it a priority to see them and it was especially meant to be because they were just down the road from where I was that morning. Colony House completed slayed at Blackheart on a day that had proved difficult for other bands due to the weather. But some drizzle wasn’t going to stop vocalist Caleb Chapman from hopping onto this box in front of the stage with his mic stand and guitar and then getting some air while jumping back down to the stage, several times I might add. Their whole set was a powerhouse of rock energy that just didn’t let up until they got off the stage. If that’s how they played at the end of the week, I can only image how they are when fully rested, locked, and loaded. Whew.

HM: Jack Garratt at St. Davids

Admittedly, I didn’t really want to stay for Jack Garratt’s set as I had just seen numerous other amazing acts at the church and was pretty darn tired with a write up still to do. However, I’m so glad I did because that guy is something really special. He has the vocals of an angel with the beat skills that is sure to make more than a few established artists jealous. He’s a really interesting juxtaposition of soft melodic vocals and hard bass dropping beats that echo through your chest. As someone in our party said, “he has that combination of soft and hard that Sam Smith tries, and fails to achieve.” He really was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Kristen’s Picks:

1. Irontom at Lucky Lounge

Some might say it’s silly to go all the way to Austin to see a band from Los Angeles, but there is something quite special about seeing your favorite bands in a different setting. There is a comfort and joy in experiencing something familiar and a thrill from watching others fall in love for the first time.  Plus, when it’s the end of the week and everyone is delirious from exhaustion, both you and the band are going to have an experience unlike any you would have back at home. This is what made Saturday afternoon’s Irontom set at Lucky Lounge so very special. I was propped up against a wall when singer, Harry Hayes, called out to me from the stage to check that I was okay. He then proceeded to bounce on and off the stage like I’d never seen before, as the entire band gave their all in their final SXSW performance, the third that day. At the end of the set, Irontom newbies clamored for more and without hesitation, the band launched into an encore. It was a set to remember.

2. Charlotte OC at Des Moines Embassy

When I saw Charlotte OC’s name listed as a SXSW artist this year, she flew straight to the top of my “must see” list. Wednesday afternoon, as my friends were retreating back to the hotel for some rest, I insisted on squeezing in one more set when I saw Charlotte’s name on my schedule. I rushed over to the Des Moines Embassy in time to make it up to the front of the stage before she began. She opened with my favorite of her songs, “Hangover”. I knew I was going to like the song, but her live interpretation took the experience to another level. This woman has a presence on stage that goes beyond simply singing her songs. I wasn’t even able to stay for this entire set, but I was so blown away it had to make my list. Fortunately, I caught a full set at The UMG Party at Palm door a few days later.

3. Brandi Carlile at Central Presbyterian Church

Now, this was a once in a lifetime experience! Brandi Carlile took her band of musicians and unplugged them all. They used the venue as another instrument, playing with the acoustics of the room. At one point, sting instruments were placed around the venue and even up in the balconies.  At another time, the band paraded down the aisles with Brandi augmenting her voice via an old fashioned megaphone. I feel like she got through most of her hits as well as several songs off her new album, Firewatcher’s Daughter. When Brandi and the twins broke into my new favorite song, “The Eye”, I wasn’t sure if I was having an allergy attack or if tears were streaming down my cheek because I was so moved by the song in this form.

4. Frank Turner at Red 7 Patio

Frank Turner seems to be a SXSW regular and thank goodness for that! The energy he brings and can create in a room is infectious. I’m not sure that it’s possible to not have a good time at a Frank Turner show. I, for one, was clapping and singing and bouncing along at the one set I was able to catch of Frank’s at the Red 7 Patio. It seemed to be a “play the hits” kind of evening. I would have liked to hear more of the material off his upcoming new release, but it is always great fun being able to sing along with song after song. Mid-way through the set, there was a t-shirt swap with a fan. I hope this becomes a tradition!

5. The Contenders at Bethel Hall

SXSW 2015 offered the first opportunity I’ve had to see this new duo formed by Jay Nash and Josh Day. I was expecting the music to be good (and it was), but more unexpected was the humor and warmth created by the musicians personas revealed through the in between song chit chat. These guys are rivaling The Milk Carton Kids for the award for best banter! The dapper duo captured the audience in the small church hall, delivering a series of sad tunes with happy smiles. At least I had a goofy smile on my face the entire set. I look forward to hearing more from this band.

HM: Young Rising Sons at Maggie Mae’s

I was familiar with their infectious single, “High”, but Young Rising Sons, had an entire set worth of fun and memorable tunes. I’d also call this set a right place, right time kind of deal. I ended up at Maggie Mae’s because there were a lot of great bands at that venue that night. I was tired, but Young Rising Sons provided a perfect pick-me-up. They were fun and easy to enjoy. Sometimes you need a band with good pop sensibilities that can make you dance without thinking. Young Rising Sons came to me just when I needed them and became one of my most fondly remembered sets of the week.


Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 1/26-2/1

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Oftentimes I have my weeks pretty planned out in advance. I’m not very good with last minute decision-making. Last week, however, was an aberration on several accounts and as a result I ended up at an epic Butch Walker/Frank Turner show at The Hotel Cafe and an Irontom double header at a new (at least to me) venue downtown called Mrs. Fish.  Weeks like this leave me exhausted but also inspired.

I have some actual plans up my sleeve for this week that will hopefully be equally inspiring. Monday night is Zane Carney’s last residency date at the Hotel Cafe. After 5 months of Mondays, here’s your last chance to see him at this venue before he moves on to bigger things. My other show pick is Thursday night at The Satellite. Crash Kings headline with openers Badflower and My Goodness. On that last band, I’d been meaning to see the Seattle rockers since first hearing their head-banging “Cold Feet Killer”. I feel this will be a show to remember.

Here are the rest of my picks:



Monday: Zane Carney at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: It’s a School Night at Bardot f. Wolf Alice (8:30)
ALSO: An Evening w/ Judd Apatow & Friends f. Fiona Apple, The Milk Carton Kids, and more (8:30)
ALSO: Wilding FREE at The Satellite (11pm)
ALSO: The Ting Tings at The Troubadour (8pm)
ALSO: Mates of State at Bootleg HiFi (8pm)
ALSO: Monday Monday at Room 5 (8pm)
ALSO: Hunnypot Radio Live FREE at The Mint (7pm)


Tuesday: Leighton Meester w/ Liza Anne & Dana Williams, Tony Lucca at The Hotel Cafe (7, 9:30)
ALSO: Ivory Deville w/ Tumbleweed Wanderers FREE at The Echo (9pm)
ALSO: The Shakers at Genghis Cohen (9:30)
ALSO: Mini Mansions at The Troubadour (8pm)


Weds: Laleh, Leighton Meester  w/ Dana Williams at The Hotel Cafe (9:30)
ALSO: The Entrance Band at The Satellite (11pm)


Thursday: The Crash Kings w/ My Goodness and Badflower at The Satellite (9pm)
ALSO: Badass Bands Blog presents at The Silverlake Lounge f. The Absolute and more (8pm)
ALSO: Brooke Fraser w/ Dark Waves at The Fonda Theatre (9pm)
ALSO: Blackfeather Jane at Loaded (10pm)
ALSO: Susanna Hoffs & Friends at Largo (8:30)
ALSO: Sam Smith at The Forum (8pm)


Friday: Nick Perri Group and Jimmy Gnecco at The Viper Room (9pm)
ALSO: Jim Bianco, David & Devine at The Hotel Cafe (9, 10)
ALSO: The Diamond Light at The Satellite (11pm)
ALSO: Sean Watkins at McCabe’s (8pm)
ALSO: Sam Smith at The Forum (8pm)
ALSO: The Airborne Toxic Event at The Troubadour (8pm)
ALSO: Patti Smith at The Theatre at Ace Hotel (7:30)


Saturday: Jukebox the Ghost w/ Twin Forks and Secret Someones at The El Rey (8pm)
ALSO: Matthew Jordan, Jay Denton, and Mat Bednarsky at Genghis Cohen (9pm)
ALSO: No Small Children at El Cid (10pm)
ALSO: Stray Birds w/ Jordie Lane at The Hotel Cafe (7pm)
ALSO: Bush w/ Theory of a Deadman at The Wiltern (7pm)


Sunday: John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) w/ Quartet at The El Rey (8pm)



To Keep in Mind:
Feb. 6th: Hozier at The Fonda
Feb. 6-7th: Blackberry Smoke at The Troubadour
Feb. 9th: Catfish and the Bottlemen at The Troubadour
Feb. 9th: Father John Misty at The Roxy
Feb. 9th: Matthew Perryman Jones at The Hotel Cafe
Feb. 10th: Ben Howard at Shrine Expo Hall
Feb. 14th: Saints of Valory at The Hotel Cafe
Feb. 18th: Over The Rhine and William Fitzsimmons at The Troubadour
Feb. 19th: The Janks at The Bootleg
Feb. 19th: Milo Greene at The El Rey
Feb. 24th: David Cook at The Troubadour
Feb. 24th: Penny and Sparrow at The Hotel Café
Feb. 26th: Empires at The Echo
March 7th: Joshua Radin at The Fonda
March 7th: The Districts at The Troubadour
March 13th: Sir Sly at The Wiltern
March 19th: Joe Pug at The Echo
March 24th: Neulore at The Mint
March 27th: Echosmith at The Fonda Theatre
April 4th: Ben Sollee at The House of Blues
May 3rd: Tonight Alive at The Wiltern
May 20th: Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds at The Orpheum


~ Kristen

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 11/17-11/23

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This weekend I’m in the middle of an intense conference in Washington DC. I love conferences! I love the energy, the scheduling, the free food, exploring other cities, and seeing old friends. Plus, the exhaustion that comes with being around people for 12-15 hrs/day is so extreme is nearly erases all of life’s other problems.

Friday night, I was able to take some time to explore a part of the city that seems to have quite a few notable music venues. I found Black Cat and the 9:30 Club before settling in at U Street Music Hall where Lewis Watson was playing. I could write an essay comparing the vibe of the DC vs LA music scene, but I suppose I need more than a single data point on the DC end before I draw any real conclusions. Let’s just say, I quite miss LA.

I’ll be back next week just in time for a very crowded Thursday evening of musical options, but if I were in town all week, I wouldn’t miss Parade of Lights Tuesday night opening for X-Ambassadors at The Troubadour.

Here are the rest of my selections:


Monday: Zane Carney at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)
ALSO: Forebear FREE at The Echoplex (9pm)
ALSO: The Diamond Light FREE at The Satellite (11pm)
ALSO: Dorothy w/ Rainbow Jackson and Wake Up Lucid FREE at Bootleg HiFi (9pm)
ALSO: It’s a School Night at Bardot f. Brooke Fraser (8:30)
ALSO: Monday Monday at Room 5 (8pm)
ALSO: Hunnypot Radio Live FREE at The Mint (7pm)
Tuesday: X-Ambassadors w/ Parade of Lights at The Troubadour (8pm)
ALSO: Grace and Tony at Bootleg HiFi (8:15)
ALSO: Paris Carney, Zella Day at No Vacancy (8pm)
ALSO: Nightmare Boy at The Hotel Cafe (7pm)
ALSO: Tegan and Sara at Hollywood Palladium (6:30)
ALSO: George Stanford at The Piano Bar (10pm)


Weds: Mark Salling, Kevin Earnest at The Hotel Cafe (8, 9)
ALSO: Badass Bands Blog Presents at The Silverlake Lounge f. Town in the City, LA River Bend, Wake Up Lucid (8:30)
ALSO: We Are Twin at The Troubadour (8pm)
ALSO: The 1975 at Hollywood Palladium (7pm)


Thursday: Patrick Droney, Jared & The Mill, Alexz Johnson at Bootleg HiFi (8pm)
ALSO: Clockwise at The Satellite (10pm)
ALSO: Rhett Miller, The Cordovas at The Hotel Cafe (8:30, 10)
ALSO: Katy Rose at Los Globos (9pm)
ALSO: The Alarm Science at The Viper Room (8pm)
ALSO: Terra Naomi, Chris Ayer at Room 5 (9, 10)
ALSO: James Vincent McMorrow at The Theatre at Ace Hotel (8pm)
ALSO: Colin Hay at Largo (8:30)
ALSO: The 1975 at Hollywood Palladium (7pm)
ALSO: Cold War Kids at The Regent Theater (8pm)
ALSO: Bastille at Shrine Expo Hall (7:30)


Friday: The Matches at The Troubadour (8pm)
ALSO: FKA Twigs at The Regent Theater (8pm)
ALSO: Gun Hill Royals at American Legion Post 43 (8pm)


Saturday: Will Daily at El Cid (10pm)
ALSO: Oak & Gorski, Charles McDonald at The Hotel Cafe (11, 12)
ALSO: The Matches at The Troubadour (8pm)
ALSO: FKA Twigs at The Regent Theater (8pm)
ALSO: The Head and The Heart at The Theatre at Ace Hotel (8pm)





To Keep in Mind:
November 28th: Vance Joy at The Fonda Theatre
December 3rd: Caught a Ghost at The Troubadour
December 5th: Tyler Hilton at Bootleg HiFi
December 8th: Mosco Rosco at The Troubadour
December 9th: Dear Boy at Bootleg HiFi
December 9th: Augustana at The Fonda Theatre
December 10th: High Voltage Holiday Party
December 10th: Howie Day at Saint Rocke
December 11th: Saints of Valory and Phillip Phillips at Club Nokia
December 13th: Howie Day at The Hotel Café
January 29th: Brooke Fraser at The Fonda
January 31st: Jukebox The Ghost at The Roxy
Feb. 6th: Hozier at The Fonda
Feb. 19th: Milo Greene at The El Rey
March 13th: Sir Sly at The Wiltern
March 27th: Echosmith at The Fonda Theatre


~ Kristen

Kristen’s LA Concert Calendar: 6/17-/24

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This email not only comes to you from out of state (I’m in Maryland!), but from my Ipad as my computer is broken again…this has been a challenge. Yesterday I was at a wedding in Michigan. There was a lot of wonderful music including a jazz mass and a live band at the reception which played a variety of more traditional songs by which we could dance called dances of the Scottish variety.  We even learned to sing a song in Norwegian!

Back in LA next week, here’s what I’m looking forward to:

Monday: Zane Carney and Romeo Testa at The Hotel Cafe (8, 10)
ALSO: Monday Monday at Room 5 f. Jesse Thomas, Scott Mellis, David & Devine, The Young Romans, etc (8pm)
ALSO: Maudlin Strangers FREE at Bootleg HiFi (10:30)
ALSO: Wires in the Walls FREE at Harvard & Stone
ALSO: The Black and The White and The Future Leagues FREE at The Satellite (10pm)
ALSO: Smoke Season w/ The Janks and more FREE at The Echoplex (9pm)
ALSO: It’s A School Night at Bardot f. K.Flay (8:30)

Tuesday: The Basement Sessions FREE at Hemingways f. Night Riots

Weds: Acoustic Storytelling Night with Justin Furstenfeld, Juliette Ashby, Sun Rai (8, 9:30, 10:30)
ALSO: SD3 (f. Cary Brothers), My Name is You, Milo Bloom at The Satellite (9pm)
ALSO: Hawthorne Heights, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, New Empire at The El Rey (9pm)
ALSO: The Basement Sessions FREE at Hemingways f. Dekades (9pm)

Thursday: The Naked and Famous w/ The Moth & The Flame at The Echoplex (9pm)
ALSO: Buddy at The Hotel Cafe (9pm)…record release
ALSO: The Two Tens and The Nervous Wreckords at The Viper Room (8pm)
ALSO: Sylvan Esso w/ Dana Buoy at The Troubadour (9pm)

Friday: Keaton Simons, The Jim Bianco Big Band, David & Devine at The Hotel Cafe (8, 9, 10)
ALSO: Patrick Park at The Satellite (9pm)
ALSO: The Belle Brigade and In The Valley Below FREE Fig at 7th Downtown (7pm)
ALSO: Sylvan Esso w/ Dana Buoy at The Troubadour (9pm)

Saturday: Jesse Thomas and Dani Shay at Amplyfi (9pm)
ALSO: Tyrone Wells w/ Jake Newton at The Hotel Cafe (7pm)
ALSO: Rixton w/ T.Mills at The El Rey (8pm)
ALSO: Lake Street Drive at The Wiltern (7pm)
ALSO: FYF at LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park (2pm)

Sunday: Rixton w/ T.Mills at The El Rey (8pm)
ALSO: Grand Ole Echo FREE at The Echo f. Whispering Pines (3pm)
ALSO: FYF at LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park (2pm)

To Keep in Mind:
August 25th: Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden at Hollywood Bowl
August 26th: Youngblood Hawke at Greek Theatre
August 27th: Ed Sheeran at Staples Center
August 27th: Wild Party at The Satellite
August 30th: Matthew Mayfield at The Hotel Cafe
August 30th/31st: Mute Math at Grand Park
September 4th: OK Go at Santa Monica Pier
September 7th: Shiny Toy Guns at The Echoplex
September 13th: William Beckett at The Roxy
September 14th: The Avett Brothers at Shrine Auditorium
September 15th: You Me at Six, Young Guns, Stars in Stereo at The Troubadour
September 18th: Meg Myers and Irontom at The Echo
September 18th: Blake Mills at The El Rey
September 19th: Kopecky Fmaily Band at The Troubadour
September 20th: Better Than Ezra and Scars on 45 at The House of Blues
September 20th: Anais Mitchell at McCabe?s Guitar Shop
September 20th/21st: Sunset Strip Music Festival
September 25th: Allen Stone at The Mayan
September 25th: Rocco DeLuca & The Burden at The Troubadour
September 26th/27th: Newport Folk Presents Way Over Yonder at Santa Monica Pier
September 28th: The Gaslight Anthem at Hollywood Palladium
September 29th/30th: Sir Sly at The El Rey Theatre
September 30th: Sam Smith at Greek Theatre
October 2nd/3rd: The War on Drugs at Fonda Theatre
October 3rd: Ben Kweller at The Roxy
October 6th: Carbon Leaf at The Roxy
October 6th: Moon Taxi at House of Blues
October 6th: Boy & Bear at Fonda Theatre
October 6th/7th: Lorde at The Greek Theatre
October 8th: twenty one pilots at Hollywood Palladium
October 8th: Sondre Lerche at The Troubadour
October 9th: Wakey! Wakey! at The Roxy
October 9th: Anberlin at House of Blues
October 10th: The Pretty Reckless at The Wiltern
October 15th: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at The Fonda Theatre
October 16th-18th: Culture Collide Festival
October 16th: Hozier with James Bay at Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian
October 18th: Kodaline at The Fonda Theatre
October 21st: Dry the River at The Troubadour
October 22nd: Lewis Watson at The Troubadour
October 27th: Rachael Yamagata at The Troubadour
November 1st: New Politics at The Fonda Theatre
November 14th: Jay Nash at The Hotel Cafe
November 20th: Bastille at Shrine Expo Hall
November 21st/22nd: The Matches at The Troubadour
November 28th: Vance Joy at The Fonda Theatre

~ Kristen

Listen to This! 6/12/14

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A few songs that we came across over the last couple of weeks that we felt worth sharing…


Little Earthquake – “Brightside”

This one makes me want to throw my hands in the air and start a sing-along ~ Kristen 

David Rosales– “Slice of Heaven”


Twin Atlantic – “Heart and Soul”

New Twin Atlantic music! I am squealing with glee! ~Kristen 


Dana Buoy– “Preacher”


 Pawnshop Kings – “Fall Apart”

I listen to this and I am heart-happy ~Kristen 

New Music Tuesday 5/13/14 featuring Jesse Thomas, Levi Weaver, Alright Junior, The Trouble With Templeton

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So much good music released this week. I’ve been binging on the following:


Jesse ThomasBurn The Boats

I had the pleasure of attending the CD release party at The Hotel Cafe for Burn The Boats. Although I haven’t sat down with the album yet, the songs in their live form are still swimming in my head.  I really enjoy Jesse’s unique vocal style tackling songs ranging from the heart-breaking “Swallow That Pill” to a hilarious sing-along that strings together some of the more amusing, real life pick-up lines. Put the band behind her and she’s also got a couple up-beat hand clappers.


Levi WeaverYour Ghost Keeps Finding Me 

This album is dramatic and compelling and kept my attention from note one through to the end by introducing me to different facets of Mr. Weaver.  The quiet, contemplative singer-songwriter abounds in simple tracks like “Citadel” or “Paddleboats”, the multi-instrumentalist fond of layering shines in the catchy opener, “Borrowed Clothes” and there is even a hint of punk rocker in what is currently my most played track, “Song in my Branches”.  Add in guest appearances by the likes of Rachael Yamagata and Carina Round who lends vocals in the haunting duet “Pieces” and I’d call this one a winner.

Alright JuniorAmusia 

My beloved Philly rockers, Alright Junior, have a new album being released in piecemeal fashion this week with the full 13 tracks up on Friday. The album title, Amusia, was inspired by a tale in Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia that describes the life of a person with a neurological condition called amusia, defined by Sacks as a “total inability to perceive music as music.” As a fan of Sacks’ work, I was tickled by the title. I’ve also been banging my head to “Ancestors Laugh in Heaven” since the video was released. New AJ tracks every day are going to make for one rockin’ week!

go here to follow the track releases


The Trouble With TempletonRookie

I thought I knew Aussie artist Thomas Calder, the singer/songwriter behind The Trouble With Templeton, but Rookie introduces an exciting new dimension to the singer’s work. The band has created songs that are textured and varied, eccentric yet still melodic. Currently, my favorites might be the punchy “Like A Kid” and the Radiohead-esque “Six Months In a Cast”.  This album is fun yet still full of heart…give it a listen!


Also out today:

The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Michael Jackson – Xscape
Tori Amos – Unrepentant Geraldines
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart –  Days of Abandon
Various Artists- Beautiful: The Carole King Musical 
Little Dragon– Nabuma Rubberband 
Joseph Arthur – Lou
Mirah – Chasing Light


~ Kristen and Amanda

Happy Anniversary…. To Us!

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The best and worst thing about time is that is has this tendency to fly by and before you know it, it’s been 4 years since you and a friend hatched this harebrained idea to make a music blog. Honestly, I wouldn’t have known it had been 4 years if Twitter hadn’t sent me an email wishing us a Happy Anniversary a few days ago. We get really busy here with our own lives outside of the music realm but the email gave me some pause and time to think about what it is we’ve accomplished and done over the last four years. We’ve been the first to bring you New Band Alerts, our weekly concert calendars, New Music Tuesdays, and so much more. I’m really happy with all we’ve done and I can’t wait to do more.


~Amanda and Kristen