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disarm promises

24 Jun

It is almost the end of June and I am left wondering where the month went. Throughout early life, we define the passing of time by our academic years. The six years of pre-adolscence get lumped into one’s elementary school period, then the three awkward in between years of middle school, followed by two rounds of being freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Suddenly we emerge from it all and have no way to qualify our time, no freshman fall to refer to or that really wild spring of junior year. All we have are the growing number of years between us and our academic based selves, and the changing of seasons and coming of holidays to keep time.

I suppose I am now entering the summer before my senior year of being an adult. I tend to fair well as a senior, having picked up on things along the way, so this should be a good thing. But then what… super seniors foreverz?

Today’s Emo: Disarm (Smashing Pumpkins cover) / The Civil Wars

‘I used to be a little boy / so old in my shoes’

As I mentioned, Civil Wars really brought a show to the Great American Music Hall on Sunday night, and I heard Saturday’s sold out show was equally as dazzling. The Music Hall is a perfect venue… grandiose and intimate at the same time, with a sprawling domed ceiling and wrap around balcony, it is big enough to accommodate a solid crowd, but boosts acoustics that make you have to whisper and try to hide coughs during guitar strums. A great backdrop for the delightful banter and beautiful americana that Joy and John Paul delivered, the duo managed to make their original songs sound even better than the studio recordings, and also delivered two covers: Billy Jean and Disarm.

A folky Billy Jean was loads of fun, but they made Disarm their own… respecting its sanctity but stripping it down and weaving arching harmonies with gentle guitar while quietly building the chorus into something epic yet hushed. Chills. A really special moment that I have been reliving all week. This recording is from a prior show, but does the experience justice. Enjoy. #emo

Today’s Untz: Promises / Nero ft. Sub Focus

‘you got me so high / don’t you see it in my eyes’

England untz forces unite to present Promises: a little drum and bass, a little dubstep, and a lot of fun. Nero and Sub Focus’ track exudes energy, packing a lot of punch while still being totally easy to listen to. Volume down, charges me through the work day / volume up, time to play… a perfect Friday find. Check out the heavier, tougher stronger version a la Skrillex for all those that like it a little harder. #untz


king hollow

15 Jun

Which legs are mine? Whose mystery stems?

Today’s Emo: Barton Hollow / The Civil Wars

‘miles and miles in my bare feet / still can’t lay me down to sleep’

Funny how people cringe and turn their nose up at the idea of “country” only to embrace a similar sound as long as it is “folk.” Guilty as charged, I have long distanced myself from my Oregon country radio roots of Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban and their songs about American flags, kissing on porch swings, and who keeps the cat after a breakup, but happily settle into folk groups using similar instruments and sounds to produce rolling harmonies, foot stomping sensations, and that feeling of home.

A fresh, beautiful and simple but sassy tune, Barton Hollow makes me really excited to see these two play live on Sunday. I am admittedly a little bummed they are married to other people as I really hear some fire burning in these vocals, but maybe they are having an illicit affair. At least they are not siblings. #emo

Today’s Untz: The Immortals / Kings of Leon (Royksopp remix)

‘spill out on the streets of stars / and ride away / find out what you are / face to face’

Another electro gem borrowed off my friend Tom’s BlogJuice, I am totally digging Royksopp’s crazy mix of this Kings track off Come Around Sundown. The two headed Norwegian monster of untz take the slow and steady ballad The Immortals, flip the vocals into something childlike, and inject some serious beats, mixing things up to the point that you need the chorus to trace your way back to the original song. Pleased to dance my face off. #untz

jump in the poison

8 Jun

Tired. Busy. Happy.

Today’s Emo: Poison & Wine / The Civil Wars

‘oh your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine / oh you think your dreams are the same as mine’

Back in the day, my second grade class at Hoover Elementary watched Ken Burn’s classic mini-series, The Civil War. While fascinating, most of the information presented during the epic five hour series has long left my little head, but the musical theme, Ashokan Farewell, left me memorized, and the song’s sweet violin and sigh inducing melody has been unshakable after all these years. My coworker, Court, recently recommended The Civil Wars in response to my sharing of The Head and the Heart (a formidable trade) and I instantly thought back to the documentary and its score. While lacking a violin, The Civil Wars also deliver minimalist folk at its finest: gentle guitar strumming, soft keys, silvery vocals, and aching harmonies… chills.

Joy Williams and John Paul White joined forces in Nashville in 2008, and have been gaining momentum since this track was played on Grey’s Anatomy a couple years back. I first heard The Civil Wars on Tuesday, and have already grabbed tickets to see them play the Great American Music Hall on the 19th. #emo

Today’s Untz: Jump in the Pool / Friendly Fires (Thin White Duke remix)

‘I looked at you I knew you wanted to / jump in the pool’

Things that are good: the return of sunshine, a dear friend in town for the week, and the Friendly Fire’s new album, Pala. I failed to get tickets to see the indie Britt rockers play at the Independent this June, but am taking it as a godsend because my concert budget for spring/summer is already becoming astronomical (see above). So instead, I am happily drowning myself in this flashed up version of Jump in the Pool, of their self titled album. Hop in. #untz