Francisca Valenzuela is a Chilean-American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Her style oscillates between dance pop and stripped down expressions of love and loss, often including a touch of humor. Other artists that can be heard on her station include Shakira, La Oreja de Van Gogh and Ximena Sarinana. She came by and played “Siempre Eres Tú” off her album Tajo Abierto.
As we celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday, it’s crucial to remember four important sentences once sung by Mojo Nixon:
“Elvis is everywhere. Elvis is everything. Elvis is everybody. Elvis is still The King.”
Maybe Nixon wasn’t aware of it at the time, but the chorus of this 1987 recording can also be juxtaposed to the four main eras of Elvis.
Elvis is everywhere.
This perfectly describes young Elvis. Memphis Elvis. In 1954 Sam Phillips rolled tape at Sun Studios of Elvis recording Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right (Mama).” By blending blues, honky tonk and rockabilly; Elvis changed the game. For a while it looked like teenagers and rock ‘n’ roll might just take over the world. Suddenly this young blue-eyed, pelvis-swaying sensation was everywhere. He was omnipresent. Read More →
Tallhart is a rock band from Tampa, FL. Their punk-influenced style often features electric rock instrumentation, and a subtle use of vocal harmony. Other artists that can be heard on their station include Relient K, Matchbox Twenty, and The Maine. They came by and played “Fighter” off their album We Are The Same.
DJ Premier and Royce da 5’9” combine like Voltron to bring you PRhyme, one of the hottest hip hop releases of 2014. Primo samples live licks from Adrian Younge’s jam sessions, manipulating them with his MPC and scratching skills. Hip Hop’s favorite producer paints a dark soundscape for Royce and a slew of MC’s to spit over. Common, Jay Electronica, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Mac Miller and Dwele all represent over his beats. Cuts like “Courtesy”, “U Looz” and “You Should Know”, all bring back that classic era Hip Hop sound on PRhyme.
Montreal indie rock quartet Our Friend And The Spiders play that Pacific Northwest flavored melodic guitar-pop, but without succumbing to any of the nasal-toned affectations that bled from Built To Spill into The Shins into John Vanderslice and so forth. Singer MatMo croons in a more throaty tone with an assertive delivery that helps give these songs more muscle than the sum of their contemporaries. Special attention is paid to the rich, tonal voicing of what sounds like a vintage guitar and boutique amplifier combination, courtesy of guitarist SebRod. But it’s the vacuum tight rhythm section of bassist Pascal Sauvageau and drummer Phil Grant that gives OFATS the propulsion of a well-oiled engine. Read More →
Craft Spells is an alternative rock band from Seattle, fronted by Justin Vallesteros. Their vocal-centric style frequently features basic rock song structures, electronica influences, and major key tonality. Other artists that can be heard on their station include Savoir Adore, Washed Out, and Neon Indian. They came by the office and played the title track off their album Nausea.
Having just taken New York City’s CMJ festival by storm, singer-songwriter Garrett Borns (aka BØRNS) practically came out of nowhere with the release of his buzzworthy debut single, the glimmery infectious “10,000 Emerald Pools” and the release of his EP Candy, all of which was written in his treehouse home in Los Angeles. Leading off with “Electric Love”, the album mixes indie/synth pop with sugary sweet melodies blanketed in sunny West Coast ambience.
With a name like The Charlie Rogers Band, it sounds like these folks have been in the game for as long as The Charlie Daniels Band. But their style of country is more effervescent than a freshly popped bottle of Lone Star beer. By blending the rootsy accouterments of traditional country with a studied pop songwriting style, Rogers and company have created a balance that simultaneously sounds both classic and fresh. If you’ve ever watched the television series Nashville, it’s easy to wonder why this band has yet to appear on an episode. Read More →
What’s most memorable about your favorite music of 2014? Jog your memory by diving into one of Pandora’s many End Of Year stations. If you like the mainstream music across pop, rock, country, Christian, dance and regional Mex – then this blog is for you.
Ever wonder what the number one songs are based on your thumbs? Here’s a review of the top songs of the year on Pandora. Let’s start with some of the highlights of 2014 Top Pop:
OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” kicked off 2014 in the number one spot, but five-and-a-half months later Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” bumped it by a nose. She held that position for two months before two new artists that own a big piece of pop music in 2014 made their mark. Ariana Grande’s “Problem” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” stayed at number one for three weeks. But don’t get too comfy Iggy, because here comes Sam the man! The week of July 24, the uplifting gospel-infused “Stay with Me” from Sam Smith settled in at number one…that is until October 22, when Meghan Trainor, a Nashville newcomer gave us arguably the most infectious song of the year with “All About That Bass.” But Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell Em,” which still holds the first place spot, quickly displaced that three weeks later. R&B influenced ballads ruled in 2014 with huge hits from John Legend, Sam Smith, Hozier and now George Ezra coming on strong. Sam Smith is an amazing solo story this year along with the mainstream success of “Latch” and “La La La” but the male singer-songwriter with unbelievable worldwide appeal is Ed Sheeran. Also, Sia is Wonder Woman! She writes great songs – “Diamonds,” “Titanium,” “Wild Ones” and man, what a voice! “Chandelier” and now the new Annie soundtrack? And of course, Taylor Swift said goodbye to country and Spotify, entering the pop realm with “Shake It Up.” Now it looks like “Blank Space” will be even bigger. Read More →
Sugary dance-pop vocalist Hannah Diamond is one of the first breakthrough artists to come out of the new British label and collective, PC Music, who hope to usher in a new roster of “future-pop” stars. Her debut commercial single “Every Night” has received accolades from Stereogum and Pitchfork. Her previous single “Pink and Blue” placed number five in Fact Magazine’s “100 Best Tracks Of The Decade So Far.”
Championed by Little Steven Van Zandt, The Connection is a Portsmouth, New Hampshire quintet specializing in jangly power-pop and melodic garage rock. Armed with bowl-cuts, Beatle-boots, skinny neckties, Chuck Taylors, Rickenbackers and Telecasters; these guys haven’t just done their homework – they’re living it. The band’s 2013 debut album Let It Rock was named after the Chuck Berry song (covered here). Let It Rock boasts 13 recordings that sound like a more functional version of The Real Kids filtered through an early Byrds inspired discipline. Read More →
Christmas stresses me the hell out. Let’s start there.
I feel like every year I end up rushing around at the last minute to buy gifts, terrified that I’ll spend way too much money on a bunch of poorly thought-out doodads everyone will just hate anyway.
I worry that my two kids Kyler and Monroe will LOVE the presents they get from their mom (my ex-wife), and that my gifts will quickly fall into the pile of undesirables which will be almost immediately placed in the bottom of a closet where they will remain until given to Goodwill in untouched, mint condition. Ugh.
I worry that my fiancé will get me a WAY better gift than I’ll get her, and I’ll be so riddled with shame and guilt that I’ll barely be able to enjoy my third helping of mashed potatoes and gravy. And I really worry that there won’t be enough mashed potatoes and gravy for me to have a third helping.
Anyways… Read More →
If the overabundance of cookies, twinkle lights and crowded malls aren’t enough of a reminder, we are in the thick of the holiday season. For us (and many of you, it turns out) that means A LOT of holiday music.