Vampire Weekend | Modern Vampires Of The City

I’ve known about Vampire Weekend for a few years now, but I’ve never really listened to them. That all changed a few weeks ago when I first heard their new song ‘Diane Young’ on the radio. They released the single in advance of their new Modern Vampires of the City album, and it totally reeled me in. I bought the album the day it was released, and now I can’t get enough of it.

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend performs on Saturday Night Live

I was introduced to Vampire Weekend when their song ‘Holiday‘ was featured on a Christmas commercial in 2010. I had never listened to them before, and it was one of the last times I even thought about Vampire Weekend until recently. I’ve heard people talk about the New York City-based band, but I never really understood all the hype. Their name alone was enough to turn me away (let’s just say I’m not really a fan of horror films or Halloween).

I honestly wasn’t totally sold on Modern Vampires of the City when I first listened to the previews on iTunes, but I bought the album anyway. I’m really glad that I did. I’ve listened to Modern Vampires of the City over and over since I purchased the 12-song album early last week.

The song that gets most of the airplay on the radio is ‘Diane Young.’ You’ve probably heard it by now, but here it is just in case you haven’t:

I realize this song (or even Vampire Weekend as a whole) isn’t for everyone, but I totally dig them now. There isn’t one song I skip when I listen to Modern Vampires of the City. It’s pretty rare that I like every song on an album. ‘Everlasting Arms,’ ‘Ya Hey,’ ‘Finger Back,’ ‘Don’t Lie,’ ‘Worship You‘ and ‘Unbelievers‘ are a few of my favorites.

If you haven’t listened to Vampire Weekend, I suggest checking them out. I’m just now starting to dig into some of their older stuff, and I really like what I hear. I’ll be sure to report back if I come up with some other solid finds!

Have you ever listened to Vampire Weekend? What do you think of their new Modern Vampires of the City album? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out for more on the world of music, sports and travel!

Vampire Weekend SNL

Vampire Weekend

Cold War Kids Rock The Neptune In Seattle

I was a fan of the Cold War Kids before their performance last night in Seattle, but I’m an even bigger fan after watching them play at the Neptune Theatre. It’s the first live show I’ve ever seen at that venue, and it was perfect spot for the first stop on the Cold War Kids’ West Coast tour.

The night started with a quick set by Superhumanoid. They weren’t on stage for more than a half hour. I tried to listen to a few of their songs before the concert, but there wasn’t much that captured my attention. I can’t say the band really lured me in with their live performance either. The instruments were so loud that it was tough to hear the lyrics, plus the group really needs to learn how to perform. There was too much standing around and not enough passion.

Cold War Kids Neptune Theatre

The Cold War Kids at the Neptune Theatre

The same can’t be said for the Cold War Kids. They rocked the Neptune for about an hour and twenty minutes. The group played ‘Miracle Mile,’ ‘Loner Phase,’ ‘Fear & Trembling,’ ‘Tuxedos‘ and others off their new Dear Miss Lonelyhearts album, but they also reached back to many of their early hits. The Cold War Kids rocked ‘Audience,’ ‘Louder Than Ever,’ ’Royal Blue‘ and several more off their Behave Yourself EP and Mine Is Yours album.

Aside from ‘Hang Me Out To Dry,’ I honestly neglected the Cold War Kids’ Robbers & Cowards album. That means there were a few tunes I’d never really heard before during the concert. And to tell you the truth, they were some of my favorite songs of the set. I’m now totally stuck on ‘Hospital Beds’ and ‘We Used To Vacation.’ I immediately came home, bought the entire album and started listening to it. I just couldn’t get enough of the Cold War Kids.

NOTE: The band’s performance of ‘We Used To Vacation’ at the Neptune was particularly impressive. I believe the song is about an alcoholic that promises his family that he’ll never drink again, but he clearly can’t live up to his word. The Cold War Kids really put on a “show” during the song. They’re pleasant when the alcoholic is clean, and their instruments are destructive when he’s not. It was dramatic and the true definition of a “performance.” I was really impressed.

The Cold War Kids definitely know how to jam. The band was all over the stage (almost colliding with each other a few times), and lead singer Nathan Willet doesn’t hold anything back. The group is clearly passionate about their music. That passion rubbed off on the crowd, who quickly got caught up in everything unfolding on stage. I didn’t see one person in the venue who wasn’t moving to the music.

I’ve really started to dig into the Cold War Kids within the last month or so. They started to grow on me more and more, and now they’re officially stuck. I’ll never be able to get rid of them, but I don’t want to. I can’t wait for another opportunity to see these guys in person. They’re frickin’ awesome.

Have you ever watched the Cold War Kids perform live? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out for more from the world of music, food and sports!


New Music Discovery | Cold War Kids

New Music Discovery | Cold War Kids

I wish my memory worked better than it does. In other words, I’m really forgetful. If I don’t write things down – they go away forever. That includes the names of awesome new bands. My sister introduced me to the Cold War Kids years ago. I fell in love with one of their songs, but then they dropped off my radar. Luckily, I they became a blip again when I heard their new single ‘Miracle Mile’ on the radio.

I was driving home from work a couple nights ago, and I was stuck listening to the same songs they normally play. I parked my car, texted a friend and was just about to shut off my ride, when all of a sudden I heard a new song. It didn’t take long for me to be sucked in. I quickly whipped out my cell phone and Shazam’d the jam. The result — ‘Miracle Mile’ by the Cold War Kids. Take a listen!

Like I mentioned before, my sister introduced me to the Cold War Kids a few years ago. I didn’t do my due diligence when she told me about them back then though. I bought their song ‘Hang Me Out To Dry‘ and listened to it over and over again, but I didn’t really dig into them. After a while I found other new tunes, and the Cold War Kids mixed in with all the other jams I have on iTunes.

Cold War Kids | Miracle Mile

Cold War Kids

That’s not going to happen this time around. I’ve already put some serious time into the Cold War Kids. On top of ‘Miracle Mile‘, I also like ’Lost That Easy‘ and ‘Bottled Affection‘ on their recently released Dear Miss Lonelyhearts album. I’m a big fan of their older stuff, too. I’ve downloaded ‘Audience‘ (my favorite Cold War Kids song so far) from their Behave Yourself EP, and their entire Mine Is Yours album (with my favorite tracks being: ’Mine Is Yours‘, ‘Louder Than Ever‘, and ‘Skip The Charades‘).

The band clearly took a different approach (some call it the “evolution” of the group) on their Dear Miss Lonelyhearts album, and according to several reviews I’ve read, many of their loyal fans aren’t happy about it. They liked the Cold War Kids just fine before, so they’re not pouncing on the new tunes. I guess that’s where I’m at an advantage. Since I didn’t really listen to the Cold War Kids before, I didn’t fall in love with one sound or the other. Instead, I like everything they’ve put together.

I feel like I’m just scratching the surface with the Cold War Kids. ‘Miracle Mile’ is just the start for me. I’m honestly thinking about dropping $50 on iTunes to snatch up everything the Cold War Kids have released over the years (their first release was in 2005). I really can’t wait to dig into them more. I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed.

Have you ever listened to the Cold War Kids? What do you think of ‘Miracle Mile’? How about the new album as a whole? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more of my new music discoveries right now on!

Cold War Kids | Miracle Mile

Cold War Kids lead singer Nathan Willett

New Music Discovery | Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley has one of the most unusual stories you’ll find in the world of music. The guy hitchhiked across the country, worked odd jobs and played small shows for more than 20 years before he finally caught his break. Oddly, Bradley was discovered by his record label while performing as a James Brown impersonator named “Black Velvet.” Bradley, who is 64-years-old, now performs under his real name, and he just released a new album called Victim of Love.

Bradley is referred to as ”The Screaming Eagle of Soul.” Take one listen to his music and you’ll see exactly where the nickname comes from. Bradley’s incredible pipes quickly take you back to the heyday of 1960s soul music. He turned out several singles starting in 2002, but Charles Bradley didn’t release his debut album (entitled No Time For Dreaming) until 2011 (when he was 62). This is Bradley’s song ‘The World (Is Going Up In Flames)’:

Now, Charles Bradley is revealing his new material on Victim of Love. His song ‘Hurricane’ is currently the Single of the Week on iTunes (download it here). Bradley’s second studio album (recorded with the Menahan Street Band) is already receiving rave reviews. The Boston Globe calls Victim of Love “powerful,” while Billboard says the album is ”intense.” ’Strictly Reserved For You’, ‘Victim of Love’ and ‘Dusty Blue’ are sure to be the most popular jams on Bradley’s new release.

Even if you don’t dig his music, I encourage you to read about Bradley’s past (click here to check out the bio on his website). His story is so incredible that it’s been turned into a documentary called Charles Bradley: Soul of America. The film debuted at SXSW last year. Luckily, someone took notice of Charles Bradley when they did — otherwise he would have wallowed away in a small club impersonating someone else. We would have never heard his voice. ”The Screaming Eagle of Soul” arrived on the scene late in life, but as they say, it’s better late than never.

Have you ever listened to Charles Bradley? What do you think of his music? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and . Don’t forget to also check out for the latest in the world of music, sports and travel!


New Music Discovery | Allen Stone
Meeting, Watching Allen Stone Live In Seattle

Charles Bradley | Victim of Love

Charles Bradley

Lissie | The Queen of Covers

I’m always on the search for new music, so one of my friends introduced me to Lissie a couple years ago. They wanted me to listen to her cover of Kid Cudi’s ’Pursuit of Happiness’. I hadn’t even heard Kid Cudi’s version before, but I thought it was a good song. I quickly bought the jam on iTunes, but I honestly didn’t look at much of Lissie’s other stuff. That all changed the other day…

Lissie | The Queen of Covers


I was wandering through iTunes and Lissie suddenly came to mind. I was searching for good new jams, and I figured she might have something to offer. I stumbled across her Covered Up With Flowers EP from 2011. It’s definitely not the manliest name, but I decided to check it out. The title describes exactly what it is: Lissie covering popular songs in her own style.

On Covered Up With Flowers, Lissie covers ‘Pusuit of Happiness‘ by Kid Cudi, ‘Nothing Else Matters‘ by Metallica, ‘Go Your Own Way‘ by Fleetwood Mac, among several others. Aside from ‘Pursuit of Happiness’, the cover that stuck out to me the most was ‘Games People Play‘ by Joe South. I’d never heard this song before (by Lissie or Joe South), and it’s far from what I normally jam out to, but for some reason the song got stuck in my head. Take a listen…

Little did I know, Joe South won the Grammy for Song of the Year in 1970 for ‘Games People Play’ (click here to listen to his version). Lissie also got the name of her Covered Up With Flowers album from ‘Games People Play’. South originally sings, “And they wile away the hours, in their ivory towers, till they’re covered up with flowers, in the back of a black limousine.”

Lissie’s covers don’t stop there. A simple search on YouTube will guide you to several others that aren’t on Covered Up With Flowers. I’ve spotted ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ by Led Zeppelin, ‘Hello‘ by Lionel Richie, ’Free Bird‘ by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and many others. On top of her covers, Lissie has her own material as well. She released her debut album called Catching A Tiger in 2010, and it looks like she has a new album coming out in 2013.

Have you ever listened to Lissie? Which of her covers are your favorite? Do you like her original music? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest. Don’t forget to also check out for more on music, food and travel!

Lissie | The Queen of Covers


New Music Discovery | Spoon

I’ve loved music my entire life. I remember playing air drums to ‘Born in the USA’ on a road trip with my family when I was a little kid, jamming out to Sublime in high school and college with my friends, and now perusing the radio or iTunes for new jams these days. Over all that time, I never heard Spoon. They’ve been making music since 1993 (nearly 20 years of my life), and I’m just now listening to them for the first time.

I’ve always listened to music, but I really started digging into it over the last few years. That means I occasionally come across a band that I’ve missed along the way. I found the Pixies a couple of months ago (no, I’m not joking), and now Spoon is one of my new favorites. I guess it’s strange to call them “new,” but technically Spoon is new to me (even though they’ve been jamming for decades).

I was introduced to Spoon by a local radio station. I was driving home from work the other night and heard a jam that caught my attention. Luckily, I was just pulling into my garage, so I whipped out Shazam to find out what it was. The answer: ‘You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb’ by Spoon. I immediately fell in love with it. Take a listen!

‘You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb’ is one of the best songs on Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga album. There’s a good chance I’m telling you something you already know, because the album was released in 2007. After I heard ‘You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb’ on the radio, I instantly bought the album and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. ‘Don’t Make Me a Target‘, ‘The Underdog‘ (which I’m pretty sure I heard in the past, but didn’t know it was Spoon) and ‘Black Like Me‘ are my other favorites.

I’m just now getting into Spoon, so there are years of tunes to catch up on. I’ve listened to a few jams on their Transference album (released in 2010), but I haven’t looked into much of their older stuff yet. It could honestly take me an entire week (or longer) to listen to everything Spoon has put out, because they’ve released seven albums since 1996 (who is this jerk calling them a New Music Discovery???). No matter how long it takes to backtrack — I’m sure it will be time well spent. From what I’ve heard so far, Spoon is totally worth it.

I’m not even going to ask if you’ve ever listened to Spoon, because chances are you have. Instead, I’ll just ask you what your favorite Spoon song is. Maybe you can help me pinpoint where to start in my search for other killer tunes. Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out for more on the world of music, sports and travel.

New Music Discovery | Spoon


New Music Discovery | Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

I’ve always wondered how bands come up with their names. The Beatles, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse — the list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ve heard these groups a thousand times, but their names are really strange when you stop and think about it for a second (give it a try!). New bands keep coming up with new, interesting names. Here’s another one you can add to the list: Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

The Thao part of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down is easy to understand. It’s the name of lead singer Thao Nguyen. The Get Down Stay Down part is little harder to grasp. Apparently Nguyen originally suggested “Thao & The Get Down” (which I personally think would be better), but it was later expanded to Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. When my sister suggested this group to me, I thought she was recommending two different bands. But in reality, she was suggesting one band with a long name.

It’s a unique name and it’s very fitting for a band that makes unique music. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down is San Francisco-based alternative folk rock group, and they just released a new album called We The Common in February. The most popular song on the album is the title track ‘We The Common (For Valerie Bolden)’. Take a listen!

NPR Music calls Thao Nguyen “one of the most commanding and distinctive young singers around.” They describe her as “quirky but cutting, playful but forceful, controlled but ragged.” I’ve seen a few different people actually lean toward the “quirky” description when talking about Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. It’s definitely a different sound, but one that I appreciate.

I can’t say I’m a fan of every track on We The Common, and I honestly have to be in the right mood to listen it. I’ve turned on Thao & The Get Down Stay Down a few times and loved them, but other times I get ten seconds into a song and shut them off. Some of the band’s other popular tracks (according to iTunes) are ‘The Feeling Kind‘, ‘Holy Roller‘ and ‘Kindness Be Conceived‘ (which is one of my personal favorites, because of the bluegrass feel).

I think you’re either a fan of Thao & The Get Down Stay Down or you’re not. I don’t see much of a middle ground, but I could be wrong (it’s happened several times before). I’m really interested to hear what you think of them. Please share your opinion in the comment section below or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also check out more from the world of music right now on I can’t wait to hear from you!

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Thao Nguyen

Jeremy Loops | Mission To The Sun ‘Howling’

This might sound strange, but I think listening to the radio is like watching a drama on television. You never know what’s waiting around the corner. When you’re expecting to hear one thing; something new jumps out and surprises you. Sometimes the surprise sucks and it’s not worth listening to, but other times it piques your interest. That’s exactly what happened when I heard Jeremy Loops Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’ for the first time.

Jeremy Loops | Mission to the Sun 'Howling'

Jeremy Loops

If you’re looking for a happy song — this is it! Jeremy Loops Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’ has a strange name, but it’s a fun-loving mix of sound, instruments and lyrics. It wasn’t until I did some research that I learned Jeremy Loops is from South Africa. He’s a ”modern day one man folk band” and he usually puts on a show all by himself (he has help from saxophonist Jamie Faull on Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’). Since I wouldn’t do Jeremy Loops any justice, this is how his Facebook page describes his music:

“Jeremy has embraced technology in all its illustrious forms and creates his finely woven tapestry of sounds using his guitar, ukulele, harmonica and beatbox skills. He runs this all through a gamut of loop pedals, echo and distortion units and through the speakers to leave a crowd quite literally awe-struck, standing there going…’where is this all coming from?’”

The video for Jeremy Loops Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’ will help you understand it all. I think it’s amazing to watch Jeremy Loops in action. He’s like a conductor and an entire orchestra all rolled into one. The guy starts Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’ by looping noises from a kids toy (you can hear the noises throughout the entire jam), and then incorporates his guitar, harmonica and beatbox too. You have to check this out!

It’s impressive to watch Jeremy Loops in action, but I also think Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’ is a good tune. It’s one of a few creative songs on the Jeremy Loops EP he released in October of 2011. I was trying to find more jams by Jeremy Loops and it sounds like his debut album comes out soon. I don’t know how soon though — it’s only described as “upcoming.” You can find one of his new songs called Down South right now on YouTube. The video for Down South actually gives you a much better view of Jeremy Loops as a one man band (even more so than the video for Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’).

A lot of people think the radio is a boring way to listen to music (thanks to iPods, etc.), but I’m on the opposite side of the argument. That’s because I can drive around in my car in Seattle and hear tunes from a one man band who makes music halfway around the planet in South Africa. I could have scoured iTunes or the internet for hours and never would have crossed Jeremy Loops Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’. Thanks to the radio I found his jam and I’m really glad I did. I’ll be looking for more from Jeremy Loops in the future.

What do you think of Jeremy Loops Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’? How about Jeremy Loops as a musician? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out for all the latest on music, sports and food!

Jeremy Loops | Mission to the Sun 'Howling'

Jeremy Loops singing Mission to the Sun ‘Howling’

Typhoon | Common Sentiments | White Lighter

I’m not sure why the Typhoon is named Typhoon, but I’m sure it’s because they bring a typhoon of sound every time they perform. The Portland-based band typically performs with 10 to 14 people on stage. From drums to violins to guitars to trumpets to keyboards – Typhoon has it all. I latched on the group a year or so ago, but there’s a new Typhoon jam that I just caught wind of. It’s called ‘Common Sentiments’. Take a listen!

There’s clearly a deeper meaning to ‘Common Sentiments’ (with lyrics like “Some white ghost from my past comes to split me wide open” and asking over and over “When am I going to feel better?”), but I don’t know what it is (and I don’t really care). For now, I just really like the sound of the song.

Typhoon honestly reminds me of the groups of people (some call them “hippies”) you randomly see jamming out at the city park. Instead of meeting at the local park, Typhoon just brings their instruments into the studio or on stage and they start to whale away. Unlike the folks in the park, Typhoon keeps everyone together to make an incredible sound.

Typhoon Common Sentiments


NOTE: Yes, I realize that was one of my more random music observations.

‘Common Sentiments’ was released in August on a two-track vinyl called Common Sentiments 7″, but Typhoon has much bigger plans for the song. According to their website, ‘Common Sentiments’ is “the triumphant first single from Typhoon’s forthcoming full length, White Lighter (coming in 2013).” The band released a teaser video for White Lighter, but it’s still unclear when the exact release date is. I honestly can’t wait to hear more.

Like I mentioned, I started listening to Typhoon around a year and a half ago (if not longer). I’ve never bought one of their albums (they have an EP called A New Kind of House and a full-length album called Hunger and Thirst), but there are a couple of Typhoon songs I really like. ‘CPR/Claws, Pt. 2‘ is the jam that originally turned me onto them, and then I got hooked on ‘Summer Home‘ after that. Other than those two songs, ‘Common Sentiments’ and ‘Green‘ (the B-side track on the Common Sentiments 7″), I haven’t listened to Typhoon much. I plan on digging into them more now, especially when White Lighter comes out. I’ll be sure to report back with the latest!

Have you ever listened to Typhoon? What did you think of ‘Common Sentiments’? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out all the latest from the world of music, sports and travel right now on!

Typhoon Common Sentiments

Typhoon performing ‘Common Sentiments’


New Music Discovery | Alt-J

As far as I’m concerned, my sister is the master of music. When she suggests a band — I listen. I’ve learned about some of my favorite groups through her, and the hits keep coming. She came through in the clutch for me again when she recently introduced me to Alt-J. It’s a strange band name and a very different sound, but I think these guys are pretty awesome.

Yes, Alt-J is really their name. Well, the band technically just goes by a triangle symbol, but they’re verbally known as Alt-J (which is the keyboard shortcut for the Greek letter Delta (aka a triangle) on Apple OS X). The group is from England and they’ve already found plenty of success in the UK. As for the United States, their music is just starting to make a splash here. Alt-J actually launches a North American tour in March, including stops at major music festivals like Sasquatch and Coachella.

An Awesome Wave | Alt-J

‘An Awesome Wave’ cover art

Alt-J formed in 2007 and released their debut album, An Awesome Wave, last May. It was an instant hit in England, winning the 2012 British Mercury Prize, which is an annual award for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. After Alt-J’s success in Europe, An Awesome Wave was released in the United States in September. I just heard the album for the first time last week and immediately snatched it up on iTunes.

It’s hard for me to describe what Alt-J sounds like, so I’ll let iTunes do it for me. This is how their review describes An Awesome Wave:

“Its take on postmodern pop mines the best elements from folk-rock, garage rock, dub-pop, indie rock, vintage cinema scores and a capella harmony before constructing layered, angular arrangements with sonic ore.”

I’m not sure iTunes did a better job describing Alt-J (I think they forgot to use layman’s terms), but maybe it did. Here’s an idea! How about you just take a listen for yourself? This song is called ‘Breezeblocks’…it’s Alt-J’s most popular and succesful song:

‘Breezeblocks’ is the song that originally caught my attention, but Alt-J has several other great jams on their album. ‘Fitzpleasure’, ‘Tessellate’, ‘Matilda’ and ’Dissolve Me’ are all listed as Alt-J’s most popular songs on iTunes. I’m personally fond of ‘Something Good’ and ’Hand-Made’ as well. Aside from the three random interludes sprinkled in, I’m pretty high on the entire album.

Alt-J | New Music Discovery


I understand that Alt-J isn’t for everyone (and they all look like they’re 16-years-old), but I appreciate everything about them. They offer solid vocals, good beats and some fun instrumentals. I’m truly amazed at out how Alt-J (and similar bands) keep everything together to make incredible music. When I listen to Alt-J, I feel like there needs to be 12 people in the band to make it all work, but ultimately there are just four dudes bringing that sound together.

Alt-J might not make a mainstream splash in the United States (sorry, the name isn’t catchy and their sound might just be too “out there”), but I’m all for them. In fact, I’m excited to hear more from them in the future (maybe I can even catch them in concert). Music doesn’t have to be popular to be good, right?

What do you think of Alt-J? I’d love to hear your opinion! You can leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more from the world of music, sports and travel right now on!