The Lumineers | Don’t Wanna Go

I thank Pandora over and over again for introducing me to songs and bands that I’ve never heard before. I recently created a station for The Lumineers, and I can’t stop listening to it now. Pandora even showcases some of The Lumineers songs I’ve never heard before. One of the jams that really grabbed my attention was ’Don’t Wanna Go’.

There are probably a lot of Lumineers fans who don’t know ’Don’t Wanna Go.’ I hadn’t heard it until it randomly came across Pandora. ‘Don’t Wanna Go’ is from The Lumineers demo EP which was released on December 15, 2009. The group sounds much different on their demo than they do now. It’s probably even hard for some people to realize it’s The Lumineers actually singing ‘Don’t Wanna Go’ (I had to double-check as well). It really shows how much they’ve grown and developed as a band since then. Take a listen:

It doesn’t sound much like The Lumineers, does it? I still think it’s a solid song though. Believe it or not, The Lumineers still appreciate how ‘Don’t Wanna Go’ and the six other songs (including ‘Flowers In Your Hair’, ‘Classy Girls’ and ‘Submarines’, which also appear (jazzed up a bit) on The Lumineers debut album) turned out on their 2009 EP:

Don't Wanna Go | The Lumineers

The Lumineers demo EP cover art

“Our EP was a demo quality and we liked the way it sounded,” drummer Jeremiah Fraites told PhillyBurbs.com last July. “It took us four or five years to find our humility and find our vulnerability and we stand behind that, having that vulnerable sound and letting it all hang out. We thought, if someone can play any of these songs on just a guitar or just a piano, then it’s probably a good song. Then we loved dressing them up with drums, cello, violin…but we really liked that raw quality.”

The ‘Don’t Wanna Go’ lyrics are a little darker than you’re probably used to hearing from The Lumineers (“There’s some blood around her, etc.), but that was more common for the band a few years ago. Fraites’ brother Josh died of a drug overdose when he was 19 (a tragedy that actually sparked Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz to start making music together), so Fraites says he understand the depths of grief and misery. He admits The Lumineers used to write “depressing songs that were about darker stuff.” ‘Don’t Wanna Go’ seems to fit that “darker stuff” category. They felt if they were “serious,” people would listen to them. The Lumineers obviously changed their tune since then, and folks are listening to them more than ever.

I’m a fan of The Lumineers, but I don’t consider myself a crazed fanatic. I couldn’t tell you where the band is playing right now, their favorite foods, or anything wild like that. I do know that I love their music and I continue to be blown away by them. Whether it’s ‘Don’t Wanna Go’, ‘I Ain’t Nobody’s Problem‘, a new song I saw them perform in concert, or anything else that randomly pops up – the hits keep coming from The Lumineers. I can’t wait to hear what come up next!

Have you listened to The Lumineers ‘Don’t Wanna Go’? What do you think of it? I would love to hear from you! 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 on http://allaroundtim.com!

New Music Discovery | The Apache Relay

I was listening to Pandora the other day when a song reached out and grabbed my attention. I was shaving at the time, so with my hands sopping wet, I risked the life of my iPad to see what it was. The song was called ‘Lost Kid’ by The Apache Relay. It’s the first time I’d ever seen or heard the name The Apache Relay. ’Lost Kid’ made enough of an impact on me that I decided to investigate the band more tonight.

I downloaded The Apache Relay’s American Nomad album a few hours ago and I already can’t get enough of it. The album isn’t new to most fans (it was released on April 12, 2011), but it’s new to me. ’Lost Kid‘ appears to be the most popular song on the album, and it’s probably my favorite as well. I started the album from the top and listened to the whole thing (I’m listening to it again as I write this). Right when ‘Lost Kid’ came on, I couldn’t help but start snapping. Take a listen for yourself!

I like most of the songs on the album. ‘Can’t Wake Up‘, ‘Sets Me Free‘, ’Home Is Not Places‘, ‘Mission Bells‘ and ’American Nomad‘ also really stick out. I started singing along with these guys and I had never even heard their jams before. That’s how catchy the album was for me. There are a couple of songs on the album that didn’t really grab me right out of the gates, including ‘When I Come Home‘ and ‘State Trooper‘ (although I’ve come around on State Trooper after listening to it a couple of times).

The Apache Relay

The Apache Relay

I think The Apache Relay already has an awesome sound, but some argue they’re even better live.

“They’ve got kind of an Arcade Fire meets boys raised on gospel and Bruce Springsteen approach to what they do, and they’re called The Apache Relay,” said the Huffington Post. ”They’re a fantastic live band.”

One of the commentors on the American Nomad page on iTunes backed that up by saying, “I really like this album, but to see these guys live is much better than the album.”

It sounds like The Apache Relay tour the country like crazy (they reportedly performed more than 100 dates in 2011 alone), so finding a show shouldn’t be too difficult. The only problem is — it doesn’t look like they travel out west very often. I’m still going to keep my eyes peeled for a show in Seattle, because I definitely want to see and hear more from The Apache Relay.

Have you ever listened to The Apache Relay? What is your favorite song? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on music, sports and travel!

The Apache Relay Live

The Apache Relay

 

Skrillex | A Unique Concert Experience

I’ll be honest: I had no idea who Skrillex was before I heard his name mentioned at Bumbershoot (the annual music and arts festival in Seattle). Several people hyped Skrillex as one of the “must-see” acts, but I really didn’t have interest in jamming to electronic beats (even though I was at Bumbershoot the night he was performing). Despite my hesitation, I decided to go to the Skrillex concert anyway, and it turned out to be a worthwhile decision.

Skrillex Concert Live In Seattle

Skrillex performs live at Bumbershoot

After watching Passion Pit crush their performance at Bumbershoot, I ventured to the main stage inside KeyArena (the former home of the Seattle Sonics) where Skrillex already started his show. The building (which seats nearly 17,500) was packed to the brim. Every section was closed off because all the seats were taken. I tried several different aisles, but there was always a security guard quickly sending me back to the concourse. I finally marched to the upper bowl and convinced an usher to let me in. It wasn’t an ideal section to hear the music, but it was perfect for scouting the atmosphere.

Skrillex performed for more than an hour that night at Bumbershoot, but I was only there for the final 30 minutes of his show. The music never stopped, and his fans in attendance didn’t either. Every single person inside KeyArena was moving to the beat. It was like a rave on steroids. There were girls stripped down to their sports bras, dudes without their shirts on, and hundreds of fans waving glow sticks to the beat. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

Skrillex added plenty of atmosphere himself. On top of his bumping beats (a Skrillex concert is LOUD), there were fire cauldrons, lasers, fireworks, flashing lights and cannons that shot confetti into the crowd. Skrillex even jumped onto his turntable a couple of times and started flinging his arms into the air, urging the crowd to make some noise — they were quick to oblige. It was a crazy scene. I shot this video just so you could see what it was like:

I would never think about buying a Skrillex album, but his performance was more than enough for me to research him. Little did I know that Skrillex was nominated for five Grammy Awards last year, including Best New Artist. He wound up taking home three Grammys, and was later named MTV’s Electronic Dance Music Artist of the Year. The guy is much bigger than I ever would have guessed he was.

Skrillex continues to gain in popularity too. His music video for ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites‘ currently has more than 102 million views on YouTube. That’s not a fluke either; all of his videos are popular. Just four days ago, the video was posted for ‘Make It Bun Dem‘ (featuring Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley) — it already has 1.5 million views (again — in just four days). Most of his official videos range from 15 million to 80 million views. That goes well beyond “viral” territory.

Skrillex has five extended plays in his discography – Make It Bun Dem After Hours was just released on August 28th. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites (2010) and Bangarang (2011) are his most popular EPs, going gold (500,000+ copies sold) and platinum (one million+ copies sold), respectively. Believe it or not, I think Skrillex is just scratching the surface — there’s still plenty more to come in the future.

Have you ever seen Skrillex perform live? What do you think of him? I would love to hear from you. Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more from the world of music right now at http://allaroundtim.com!

Meeting, Watching Allen Stone Perform Live In Seattle

I can’t say I listen to a ton of soul music, but Allen Stone is definitely starting to push me into the soul scene. I was already a big fan of Stone before this week, but after meeting him and watching him perform live, I’m a huge fan of Allen Stone now.

Allen Stone Easy Street Records SeattleI just caught Allen Stone at a free in-store performance at Easy Street Records in Seattle. Even though it was a hot, crammed, little music store, it was an awesome atmosphere for a show. There were honestly no more than 350 people in the building, and Stone treated it like any other large venue he’s rocked. The store apparently told Stone he could only play for 30 minutes, but Stone says he told them “f%#@ that” and played for more than an hour and twenty minutes.

Stone played most of his own stuff  from his rereleased self-titled debut album (‘Celebrate Tonight‘, ‘Sleep‘, etc.), but he also strayed off the beaten path a couple of times. The first time Allen Stone covered ‘Six Years’ by Tingsek (a song that’s actually on his vinyl album), and the second time he rocked ‘Is This Love‘ by Bob Marley. Aside from the end of the show, Stone received his biggest ovation after ’Is This Love’. The crowd literally brought (or nearly brought) Stone to tears.

This is video I shot of Allen Stone rocking ‘Six Years’ at the performance…

I’ve listened to Allen Stone’s album too many times now (because it’s rad), but I honestly think Stone is even better live than he is on CD. You don’t lose anything in his live performance (the guy still has killer pipes) like you might with some musicians. In fact, I think you gain a lot watching Allen Stone live. His music has tons of feeling (as does most soul music — hence the name), but you can really see the feeling when Stone is on stage. Plus, it’s cool to see such a quirky dude rock a microphone.

Allen Stone keeps the crowd jamming throughout his show as well. Whether it was asking you to be background singers for ‘Say So’ (Say so! Say so! Say so!), grabbing a loved one for ‘Your Eyes’, or even forcing you to dance (he says it’s something he does at every show), Stone keeps you active during his performance. The best word to describe it — fun.

Tim Lewis KOMO Allen Stone Tove Tupper SeattleAfter the show Stone met with fans for pictures and autographs. He said he wanted to meet everyone — whether they wanted to hug him or slap him in the face. I didn’t wait for him after the show, because I actually ran into Allen Stone on the streets of Seattle. My friend Tove and I were strolling down 5th Avenue when we spotted Stone outside of a store. I’m not one to make a big deal about celebrities, but I have a mutual friend with Stone, so we went up to say hello. The guy is awesome. He’s just a normal dude who loves to sing. He’s definitely getting more popular though, because several people approached him on the street before and after us.

I have a feeling a year from now Allen Stone won’t be this easy to access. He’s now signed with Dave Matthew’s record label ATO Records, and his career is ready for take off. I can’t imagine Stone will be playing too many more music stores in Seattle anytime soon. It’s fun to meet/see a guy before he gets big — and BIG is definitely in Allen Stone’s future.

Are you an Allen Stone fan? Have you seen him perform live? What do you think of his album? I’m curious to know what your opinion is. Leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to check out more of my music posts right now on http://allaroundtim.com!

New Music Discovery | Allen Stone

When you see Allen Stone you’ll likely ask, “Who in the world is this guy?!” But, when you hear Allen Stone sing you’ll say, “Holy cow (for lack of a better word)!” The Chewelah, Washington, native is taking the music world by storm, and there’s no slowing him down. If this is your introduction to Allen Stone — get used to hearing his name, because his music isn’t going away anytime soon.

Allen Stone Music | Capitol Hill Block Party

Allen Stone performs at the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle

I’m not the only one who shares this opinion either. The New York Times says Allen Stone’s music “reaches back four decades to the late 1960s and early ’70s, when songwriters like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers brought introspection and social commentary to soul music.” While MTV bluntly says ”Allen Stone has the best effing voice I’ve ever heard, and there’s no two ways about it.” And that’s just scratching the surface. NPR, USA Today, Billboard and many others have also given Allen Stone rave reviews. Oh, yeah…he’s also performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Conan.

Up until now, Allen Stone has created this success on his own. He released three albums by the time he was 24-years-old. His third album wasn’t out for more than 48 hours before it launched to No. 2 on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart. That was before he signed with a label — which is a different story now. Allen Stone recently signed with Dave Matthews’ label ATO Records. They’ve since taken Allen Stone’s song ‘Sleep‘ to the radio, and they’re re-releasing his already popular self-titled album on July 31st. Instead of just being on iTunes though, Allen Stone’s music will now be available in physical locations for the first time.

Even if you don’t like R&B or soul music; you have to listen to this. I hope you appreciate Allen Stone’s music as much as I do. Like I said before — it’s a very unique look with a very unique voice. Enjoy!

Pretty impressive, huh?!

Often credited for being from Seattle, Allen Stone was actually born in Chewelah (pronounced chew-EE-lah), a small town of about 1,500 people located in Eastern Washington (about 45 minutes north of Spokane). He began singing in his dad’s church, leading worship by the time he was 14. I actually learned about Allen Stone through a friend of mine that grew up with him in Chewelah. To say that there’s hometown pride is an understatement: I mentioned to a friend on Twitter the other day that Allen Stone is from Chewelah. Stone noticed the tweet and responded by simply saying, “CHEWELAHHHHHH”.

No matter where he’s from — it’s all about where Allen Stone is going. His music is ready for lift off, and we should all feel fortunate we’re along for the ride.

What do you think of Allen Stone’s music? Do you have a favorite Allen Stone song? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment right here, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget you can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest, and read more about music right now on http://allaroundtim.com.