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Bethany Cosentino should be the older sister I never had. The older sister who’s closet I would raid and mostly likely pick fights with, but also the person I would secretly always look up to. Being the lead vocals for the garage pop band Best Coast, I’m sure that a lot of young ladies (and quite possibly young men) admire her. It is obvious when following her twitter account that she is obsessed with Stevie Nicks, is a supporter of women’s rights, has designed a vintage-inspired clothing line with Urban Outfitters, and loves her cat Snacks. What is there not to like? Bethany and Bob Bruno are chill musicians who play awesome music and seem to be enjoying the ride. With the recent release of Best Coast’s sophomore album The Only Place, I was extremely looking forward to this show. The Only Place is considerably less lo-fi than their first album, Crazy For You, and mainly features Bethany’s unexpectedly beautiful singing voice. Not to worry, the lyrics, paired with catchy tunes, are still simple and cleverly written.

Best Coast sounds just as good live as they do on their studio albums, but with a fresh feel. The show was decidedly very chill. I prefer a show with more energy but matched with their laid-back music and style, the atmosphere was perfect, especially in a small venue like The Firebird. Bethany and Bruno kept it light and playful with the crowd, continuously cracking jokes about their merch guy’s 21st birthday and wanting someone in the crowd to buy them shots.

My favorite songs Best Coast played were: “How They Want Me to Be”, “Storms” (a Fleetwood Mac cover), and “Boyfriend”

JEFF the Brotherhood was supposed to open the show, but due to one of the band members breaking his wrist (or maybe hand) playing basketball, they had to cancel. I was pretty bummed but two local St. Louis bands, Sleepy Kitty and Bruiser Queen, took on the task. Sleepy Kitty was pretty fun and interesting. The poppy-punk duo played songs that reminisce sock hops and rock-a-billy teen dreams balanced with some blues-y rock. They are known in St. Louis for their graphic arts project called Sleepy Kitty Arts based in the Cherokee Street District as well as their band. I was less impressed with Bruiser Queen. The lead vocalist/guitar player’s guitar kept coming unplugged throughout their set, causing them to restart songs or just quit. Their set was less organized and compared to Best Coast’s set, seemed very amateur. I would like to see both Sleepy Kitty and Bruiser Queen in a show where they are headlining and not overpowered by Best Coast.

Favorite part of the show: While visiting the bathroom before the show, the lead singer of Sleepy Kitty used the bathroom and after she left a girl said to me “that girl is a member of Sleepy Kitty!” I thought she said “Sleater-Kinney”, since I had never heard of Sleepy Kitty and she just laughed and said “Oh my god! If there was a member in Sleater-Kinney in here I would freak out and rip her clothes off!”

You just can’t make that up people!


June 13th Playlist

This playlist is mostly themed on artists whose new albums I just simply can’t wait to come out. A few of these songs are singles/early releases from those albums.

“How They Want Me To Be” – Best Coast
I recently saw Best Coast with my boyfriend at the Firebird (concert review soon to follow). This song is definitely one of my favorites off their new album The Only Place.

“I’ll Be Alright” – Passion Pit
Passion Pit’s album Gossamer will be out on July 24th, 2012. I already posted their first song “Take A Walk” on my last playlist, this song was released today on NME’s website.

“Sleeping Ute” – Grizzly Bear
I have been waiting a LONG time for Grizzly Bear’s follow up to Veckatimest. The band announced June 5th that the album Warp229 is set to be released September 18th, 2012.  I’m a sucker for Daniel Rossen’s voice.

“Reunion” – M83
This song isn’t super new but this is the official video for “Reunion” that M83 released on Youtube May 30th. It is supposed to be a sequel to the video for “Midnight City”. I’m convinced Anthony Gonzalez should write the score for a full-length sci-fi movie. Preferably a sci-fi movie featuring kids with super powers because these videos are awesomely done! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Battle Born: Official Album Trailer – The Killers
I stumbled upon this today while Youtube surfing. Why had I not seen this before??? I’m usually really on top of this! After all my blog name is in reference to a Killers song. This little preview is epic! Killers fans have all been waiting a long time for a new album and I am so very excited to see what they have in store. They haven’t announced a set date for the release, other than Fall 2012. The album is named after their recording studio in Las Vegas, NV.

My brother invited me to go see the Red Hot Chili Peppers with him Friday May 25th. Honestly I was more excited for the opener Little Dragon. Not that I don’t like me some RHCP every once in a while, I’m just not a huge fan and would normally not be interested in seeing them live. But my brother is the coolest little bro I could ever ask for, so I was excited to spend a Friday night with him. I’m going to use the RHCP acronym for the rest of the article because I’m not going to type their full name a million times.
Our seats were in the nosebleed section, but with a pretty dead-straight-on view of the stage. The opener was Little Dragon, which I thought was a weird choice for a RHCP opener. If you don’t know who Little Dragon is, they are an electronic band from Gothenburg, Sweden. I first came across them when I heard the lead singer (Yukimi Nagano) of Little Dragon doing the vocals for the song “Wildfire” by SBTRKT. Nagano is of Japanese, Swedish, and American descent and a lot of their songs have an oriental feel to them. Nagano’s voice is very sultry and true to an R&B sound which pairs well with the oriental electronic sound. Little Dragon did an excellent job of filling up the Scott Trade Center with their stunning stage effects and sound. I was concerned that their music would sound awkward in an arena setting but I was wrong. Nagano demands attention with her vocals so everyone was paying attention, whether they wanted to or not. Their electronic sound can be shrill and abrasive at times, which clearly agitated the audience. A lot of guys were yelling “You Suck!” “Get off the stage!” and my personal favorite “I hope your tour bus gets hit by a train!”. Unfortunately this was not the right audience for Little Dragon and the strobe lights and explosive synths were just not the right fit. I would really like to see them in a smaller venue in Saint Louis. Hopefully we didn’t scare them off.
I was very pleasantly surprised by RHCP’s show. I would say that I have been a passive fan of them throughout my life, listening to their most popular music on the radio or MTV growing up. I would guess that they still have the same energy on stage as they did in the 90s and early 2000s. They started the show off with “Monarchy of Roses” from their most recent album I’m With You. Most of their songs I knew, I even knew some of their newer songs like “Look Around” and “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie”. They did play some songs that I have never heard but I was expecting that. Bassist Flea and lead vocalist Anthony Kiedis were up to their usual antics: shirtless with one pant leg cut off and jumping around crazy all over the stage. I was glad to see Flea and their new guitar player (as of 2009) Josh Klinghoffer jamming in between songs, it made the concert a lot more fun. Although it pains me to say, the band is still good even without John Frusciante, who was such a key band member of RHCP when I was in high school. It was touching to hear Flea pour his heart out in front of the crowd, thanking everyone from Saint Louis coming to the show and he made sure to encourage everyone to support live music “even kids who play the clarinet”. The drummer Chad Smith thanked the crowd by throwing his drumsticks to some screaming fans. There is no doubt that the Red Hot Chili Peppers still have IT. They might not have as large of a mosh pit and their audience may have gotten a few years older but they still brought the funk and rocked our socks off.
I particularily enjoyed hearing: “Dani California”, “Can’t Stop”, and “By The Way”.
I was really really hoping they would play: “Scar Tissue” and “Love Rollercoaster”
My favorite RHCP song and video, this one’s for you Frusciante:
Set List:

1. Monarchy of Roses
2. Around the World
3. Charlie
4. Dani California
5. Otherside
6. Can’t Stop
7. She’s Only 18
8. Look Around
9. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
10. Me & My Friends
11. Under the Bridge
12. Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder cover)
13. Californication
14. Goodbye Hooray
15. By the Way

16. Chad & Mauro & Josh Jam
17. Sir Psycho Sexy
18. They’re Red Hot (Robert Johnson cover)
19. Meet Me at the Corner
20. Give It Away
21. Final Jam

Anthony Gonzalez

When we stepped into the pit, I felt really old. Everyone in the pit HAD to have been younger than 21, which might have to do with M83’s recent popularity. At first this discovery was a little unsettling but we quickly got over it when we snagged a spot pretty close to the stage, which really made up for it.

I Break Horses

I Break Horses had a pretty solid show. I really enjoyed myself. Their music has a way of filling up the venue with that signature ‘wall-of-music’ and washing over the crowd. It was a very powerful experience. The lead singer of I Break Horses looked like she hadn’t washed her hair in about a week, but that’s what rock stars do right? She was still super cute with her Swedish accent. I wanted to jump on stage and sway back and forth with her to the ethereal music. She just made me smile. The only song I have ever heard on the radio by I Break Horses was “Wired” which I’m not even sure if they played at the show or not. It seemed like a lot of their songs sounded slightly different live, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What I really REALLY wanted them to do was take me home to Sweden with them, where we could all eat cucumber sandwiches, drink coffee, and play and write music. Now that would be the life. Maybe I’m American and assume all of Sweden is like a Stieg Larsson book, but that’s okay.

Creepy Alien

I could actually feel the excitement of the crowd as the lights went out for M83, then that creepy alien from the cover of the Midnight City single came on stage with arms outstretched as if emitting some invisible electricity onto the crowd. The show opened with “Intro” from Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, which really was perfect. The song had me ready to jump out of my skin with anticipation for their show, which is a rare occurance for me. It had a magical effect on the crowd. In Pitchfork’s interview with Anthony before Hurry Up was released, he talked about how he had a desire to have a better live show. After touring with The Killers, Depeche Mode, and Kings of Leon he decided that he was ready to be more charasmatic on stage, to have a stronger and louder voice on his new album…to no longer be afraid to use his voice instead of drowning it in layers of synth. When it was Anthony’s time to take stage, at first he stood facing away from the crowd which started to make me concerned until he turned and greeted the crowd with such blooming confidence belting out the first words of the song.

M83 actually held an open audition for a new bassist/guitar player/percussionist/keyboard player for this tour, and chose Jordan Lawlor of the band Future Future. He looks like a blonde Paul Dano, no joke. I’m pretty sure he was on something because he was going nuts for the entire show. Non-stop dancing and energy which really changes the dynamic of their live show. This was my favorite part).  The keyboardist, Morgan Kibby, was wearing a black Marylin-Monroe-circa-Some-Like-It-Hot dress. The whole stage set up was incredible, there were so many gadgets and the lighting put off a futuristic atmosphere, I couldn’t even see the drummer, Loïc Maurin, for the whole show because of Anthony’s massive Portable-22 sythesizer with various add-ons. I was never bored at this show and I would definitely say it sits high on my top 10 favorite concerts. My favorite songs were “Couleurs”,  “Reunion”, and “Sitting”.

Go see I Break Horses if you can’t get enough of: Swedish/Nordic rock, swaying from side to side, and ethereal sounds

Go see M83 live if you love: futuristic movies with 80s nostalgia, dance parties, shoe-gazing and heavy synth

If you saw M83 prior to Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and thought their live show was awful, seriously consider giving them a second chance because I promise it will be worth it!

Set List:
Teen Angst
Graveyard Girl
Year One, One UFO
We Own the Sky
Steve McQueen
Fall (Daft Punk cover)
This Bright Flash
Midnight City
A Guitar and a Heart

Skin of the Night

Happy Saturday!! Enjoy these few songs! A review of the M83 concert is in the works!

“Take a Walk” – Passion Pit

Yes, Passion Pit is back! The front man, Michael Angelakos, recently announced that Passion Pit will be releasing a new album July 24th called Gossamer. This new single “Take a Walk” still has the happy synth-bubble sound that is signature Passion Pit, with a serious message.

“You’re Early” – 2:54

You will like this song especially if you like music of the 90’s variety. I’m really diggin this song right now.

“Lazuli” – Beach House

I am so incredibly stoked for Beach House’s new album Bloom coming out this Tuesday May 15th. This song is on the new album and I am in love! Beach House is coming to The Pageant in Saint Louis July 11th. You better believe I’m going to be there!

“Wildfire” – SBTRKT ft. Little Dragon

This song is spreading like wildfire (sorry for the pun, but I couldn’t resist). If this song doesn’t make you want to dance then I don’t know what is wrong with you. SBTRKT is great and the vocals are of Yukimi Nagano (of Japanese, American, and Swedish decent) of the band Little Dragon. I think her voice is great, especially for this song.

“Midnight City” – M83

Last but not least, I bring you M83. This was the #1 song of 2011 according to Pitchfork. The video is rad, very sci-fi 80s nostalgia, which goes along with the whole Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming album theme.
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own the rights to any of these videos or songs.

The show started off with The Arctic Monkeys. I really enjoyed their straight forward show, no glitz or glamour, just rock and roll. All of the guys except the bassist were sporting greaser looking haircuts which really fits their bad-boy look. The drummer actually sort of looked like a British version of The Situation, which really was hilarious. “Suck it and see”, “R U Mine?”, “Teddy Picker” and of course “I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor” were some of my favorite songs that were blasted through their various assortment of amps. I felt like i was one of the only people in the crowd who actually cared about the band. I guess no one has heard of them in Saint Louis?? I really hope that the UK gives them more lovin’. Some other songs I remember them playing are “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”, “Flourescent Adolescent”, and “Crying Lightning”.

The Black Keys started the second half of the show with “Gold on the Ceiling” which was an explosion of light and sound. They definitely didn’t skimp on the visuals at this show. There were giant screens (one on each side) with Dan on one side and Pat on the other. It was real time video displayed in red and black high contrast. During some of the songs, most memorably “Strange Times” they had cool desert scenes on the big screen, which looked to be footage of driving through the middle of no where Nevada and the old parts of Vegas and Reno. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not too crowded in the back on the floor, so I had optimum room for dancing. I’m sure everyone around me thought I was crazy but I really didn’t care. “Little Black Submarines” was everything I could hope for it to be, starting off slow and ending in a complete eruption. Overall the show was simple, short but sweet. I read in the most recent Rolling Stone that Dan Auerbach turns his amps sideways because he saw Link Wray do it at his show. It allows him to turn the volume really loud without blasting everyone in the crowd’s ears. I had no idea Dan did that and I found it to be really interesting. At the encore, some disco balls came out leading into “Everlasting Light” and the night was rounded out with “I Got Mine”.

This was my favorite picture from the night:

Set List:
Howlin’ for You
Next Girl
Run Right Back
Same Old Thing
Dead and Gone
Gold on the Ceiling
Girl Is On My Mind
I’ll Be Your Man
Your Touch
Little Black Submarines
Money Maker
Strange Times
Nova Baby
Ten Cent Pistol
Tighten Up
Lonely Boy

Everlasting Light
I Got Mine

Saturday Tunes – 5 Song Playlist

I went to The Black Keys  concert last night and I plan to write a review, in the mean time here is another 5 song playlist.

“Bloody Mary” – Silversun Pickups
Silversun Pickups are releasing a new album, May 8th, called Neck Of the Woods. If you loved Silversun Pickups’ past two albums and are begging for more, this will surely satisfy your hunger.

“Eyes Wide Open” – Gotye
I hate it when songs are overplayed and when I hear the first few notes of that song on the radio, I change the station and avoid that song like the plague! Unfortunately, “Somebody That I Used To Know” has reached that level. I would like to keep a few songs holy! Contrary to what is played on the radio, Gotye has MANY other awesome songs including this one.

“Halfway to Heaven” – POP ETC
POP ETC used to be The Morning Benders, but in order to not offend their LGBT fans they decided to change their name. I think that was a good move, although I’m not really digging their new name. I got over that quickly since they still sound equally as good. You may have heard them on that Reese’s commercial. This song is pretty heavy on the synth, which I enjoy but I despise auto-tuning vocals and you can hear that a little bit in this song. Maybe the auto-tuning is appropriate for this song? Either way, I crank this one way up in the car.

“R U Mine”? – The Arctic Monkeys
This song was released by The Arctic Monkeys on purple 7″ vinyl for Record Store Day. The Arctic Monkeys opened for The Black Keys last night! Isn’t that great??? It was like a twofer! The Arctic Monkeys were on my list of bands to see live, which is a fairly long list as I’m sure you can imagine. One might say that all of their songs sound the same…well ok, maybe that’s true, BUT I would say that they all equally sound awesome. If I never get to actually visit England, I can just do so vicariously through The Arctic Monkeys’ discography. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like a teenage London punk when listening to this stuff?

“Little Black Submarines” – The Black Keys
I will leave you with a Black Keys song. The build-up in this song is perfect and Dan and Patrick did not disappoint last night!

Disclaimer: I do not claim to own the rights to any of these videos or songs.

What I’m Listening to Today

You want to know what I’m listening to? Posted below is a 5 song Youtube playlist for the day 🙂 Good vibes.

“Keep You” – Wild Belle
This is the first release from the brother-sister combo called Wild Belle. Let me just say reggae slow jams with sax solo at the end. This fresh song makes me want to dance and/or start up a band with MY brother. I don’t think we could pull of the sexiness that these two give off but we could give it our best shot. What do you say Broseph, you up for it? I guess I should learn to play an instrument besides the tambourine first.

“I Only Have Eyes For You” – Beck
Beck recently recorded this cover of the 1959 hit by the Flamingos. This new version definitely has an updated feel to it but won’t fail to provoke starry-eyed love on the dance floor.

“Blunderbuss” – Jack White
Whatever Jack White is doing, he’s doing it right. When I heard this song on the radio, the DJ compared it to Bob Dylan’s studio album Blood on the Tracks. Yes, Yes, YES. I couldn’t agree more!

“Grounded” – Pavement
Instead of listening to Pavement in 1995, I was listening to TLC and Gloria Estefan while teaching myself how to rollerblade. My taste in music has definitely changed and I’ve luckily been introduced to the genre of 90s indie music. This song makes me want to drive around on country roads with sunglasses on and the windows down.

“Good Day Sunshine” – The Beatles
My boyfriend got this song stuck in my head today so now you can too! Its beautiful and sunny outside today, so smile and go outside!

Disclaimer: I do NOT claim to own the rights to any of these videos or songs.

El Camino Review

          The Black Key’s 7th studio album, El Camino, came out December 6th, 2011 but I haven’t listened to it until today. I am going to see them in St Louis this Friday (a review will follow) so I plan to listen to The Black Keys all week to prepare myself for the show. This will not be the first time I’ve seen them, last time I saw them was a few years ago at their New Year’s Eve bash in Chicago. Unfortunately the show that was actually on New Year’s Eve with the midnight countdown was sold out when we went online to order tickets, so we settled for the New Year’s Day show. The show was at the Aragon Ballroom, which if you have never been, it’s definitely worth seeing a show there…the ceiling is painted like the sky with a city/palace skyline all around the theater. It’s as if you’re attending a concert in a courtyard of a palace at night, which is a lot better than actually being outside and freezing your ass off in Chicago on January 1st. If you don’t believe the palace part, google some pictures and if you don’t believe the freezing part, well then you might be living under a rock. There was also the coolest giant count-down disco ball in the center of the floor. All of this just added to me peeing my pants with excitement. Besides a giant sweaty man standing in front of me for the whole show (thankfully one of my friends switched spots with me so I could see) and a missing coat altercation in the basement which lead to a screaming 20-something-year-old female being dragged out of the venue by a bouncer, it was an incredible show…but the weird things that happen at concerts are what I usually remember the most, which in turn makes the show even more incredible. I also bought a t-shirt, which I proudly wear A LOT.
          Needless to say, I was insanely impressed by their live show. It was just heavy fuzz pedal juicy goodness and my theory that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are rock GODS was proven to be true. I was counting down the days until El Camino was coming out, but the reason why I didn’t buy the album right away has eluded me to this day. I think it was a mix of being too lazy/broke to buy the album and a result of not all of the songs existing (probably illegally) on youtube…sigh. What a hard life. Fortunately, I was able to feed my Black Keys thirst through SiriusXM radio, where they play “Gold on the Ceiling”, “Lonely Boy”, and “Little Black Submarines”.  I found “Nova Baby”, “Sister”, and some others on Youtube and listened to those as well. I’ve probably heard most of the songs by now from the album, but not the songs in the order they were meant to be played.
          The Black Keys have changed a lot since their The Big Come UpThickfreakness, and Rubber Factory days. Simple lyrics with a heavy reverb recorded in lo-fi similar to early Zeppelin has slowly evolved to studio perfected songs with a cohesive sound. In my opinion, some producers over engineer and over produce rock albums, layering too many sounds (and not in a cool Beatles or Pet Sounds way) and compressing songs. This leaves the songs lacking depth and soul. From the ear of an amature music enthusiast, I think this album was beautifully produced. When I listen to El Camino, it feels and sounds like Dan and Pat are playing right in front of me in the recording studio. Just incase you were interested: the album was produced by Danger Mouse and the band.
          It would be hard to label a favorite song yet, since I have only listened to the whole album a few times. If I had to pick one though it would be “Little Black Submarines”. “Submarines” seems to give homage to “Stairway to Heaven”, starts off slow and really kicks the door down at the end. If you like music videos and have not seen the video for “Lonely Boy” yet, I recommend opening a new tab on your browser NOW and searching it on Youtube. You can’t watch that video and NOT smile. Most of The Black Keys’ music videos are pretty entertaining (I’m refering to “Next Girl” and BOTH “Tighten Up” videos). Two of my other favorites is “Sister” and “Nova Baby”. Most of the songs are up-beat with dark lyrics which pair well with the theme of the album: a story of a broken heart. Either you will enjoy the album, feel the sting as if reading a letter of condemnation from Dan Auerbach for terrible things you’ve done to people in the past, or a little bit of both. What would a good blues album be without heart break?
          There is really nothing like listening to an album in its entirety. Literally sitting down, putting on some headphones, (or whatever audio medium you prefer) and just listening. I’ll let you in on a little secret: most artists who really care about the music they write and play will make a cohesive, flowing journey of an album. So listen and make sure to do so without distractions so you can thoroughly enjoy the ride because the path is just as important as the destination.

I decided to start a music blog! Here is my first post of hopefully many more to come on music/album/concert reviews. Most people who know me know that I’m obsessed with music. Give me some feedback on my posts like suggestions on music to listen to/write about and your opinions. I will try to post something music related once a week. The grammar is probably crap and I’m not a music genius, but whether or not you hate that I use Oxford Commas, I really don’t care about so much.

Enjoy 🙂