The Latest Buzz
- Grammy 2014 Predictions: Who Will Win vs. Who Should Win
- Favorite Albums 2013: Special Edition
- Erin McKeown Celebrates The Holiday Season With An Anti-Holiday Tour!
- Most Buzz Worthy of 2013: Halfway
- THE ISLE OF YOUTH, LAURA VAN DEN BERG (Book Preview)
- This Buzz for You: Joy Kills Sorrow, Wide Awake (EP)
- This Buzz for You: Noah & the Whale, Heart of Nowhere
- PHILADELPHIA FOLK FESTIVAL LINEUP ANNOUNCED
- And Then There Were None...
- Musicians and Fans: Pheed!
Grammy 2014 Predictions: Who Will Win vs. Who Should Win
Grammy 2014 Predictions: Who Will Win - Who Should Win
The 56th annual Grammy Awards will take place this Sunday night (Jan. 26) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. We’ve debated the headlines; where are Miley and Gaga, will Katy Roar or Sara be Brave, and why on earth didn’t Lorde get a best new artist nod? Eight members of our staff sat over kale laced smoothies, and discussed our love of Kacey Musgraves, Neko Case, and Alabama Shakes, although we do not believe any will win in their respective categories. Instead, we came to an agreement on who we think will vs. should take home the coveted Grammy Award in the following fourteen categories...
Record of The Year:
Prediction - Get Lucky, Daft Punk
Should - Get Lucky, Daft Punk
Album of The Year:
Prediction - The Heist, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Should - good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar
Song of The Year:
Prediction - “Royals,” Joel Little & Ella Yelich O'Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
Should - “Same Love,” Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Mary Lambert)
Best New Artist:
Prediction - Ed Sheerran
Should - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Best Pop Solo Performance:
Prediction - “Royals,” Lorde
Should - “Royals,” Lorde
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:
Prediction - “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk
Should - “Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell
Best Pop Vocal Album:
Prediction - Pure Heroine, Lorde
Should - Unorthodox Jukebox, Bruno Mars
Best Rock Performance:
Prediction - “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons
Should - “Always Alright,” Alabama Shakes
Best Rock Album:
Prediction - Mechanical Bull, Kings of Leon
Should - The Next Day, David Bowie
Best Alternative Music Album:
Prediction - Modern Vampires of The City, Vampire Weekend
Should - Trouble Will Find Me, The National
Best R&B Album:
Prediction - Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys
Should - Girl On Fire, Alicia Keys
Best Rap Album:
Prediction - good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar
Should - good kid, m.A.A.d city, Kendrick Lamar
Best Country Album:
Prediction - Red, Taylor Swift
Should - Red, Taylor Swift
Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Prediction - Unapologetic, Rihanna
Should - Love and War, Tamar Braxton
Favorite Albums 2013: Special Edition
'Tis the season for "best of" lists, and reflecting on artists and events that impacted us in 2013. Our staff stepped aside this year, and asked three very special sisters to pick their ten favorite albums of 2013. After days of deliberation, Hailey, Morgan, and Casey, ages 9, 11, and 12, share their ten favorite albums of 2013:
Tegan and Sara - Heartthrob
HAIM - Days are Gone
Lorde - Pure Heroine
Sara Bareilles - The Blessed Unrest
Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park
Katy Perry - Prism
Selena Gomez- Stars Dance
Danielle Bradbery - Danielle Bradbery
Demi Lovato - Demi
Ariana Grande - Yours Truly
Erin McKeown Celebrates The Holiday Season With An Anti-Holiday Tour!
The very talented Erin McKeown embarks on a tour starting in the Philadelphia area, and traveling to the West Coast of the US this December. Erin shares a message to fans along her entire tour route, kicking off with Philadelphia...
hello philadelphia and surrounding environs!
it's the most wonderful time of the year! that's right, it's time for F*ck That, my annual Anti-Holiday Spectacular. join me and a chorus of cranky carolers as we express our grumpiness, grouchiness, crankiness, disdain and scorn for this most hollow of seasons. we'll be performing the entirety of my 2011 album of the same name, plus we'll throw in a few more surprises. bring your hymnal and come sing-a-long. you'll feel better!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013, Ardmore PA (just outside philly)
Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Avenue
doors at 7p, support at 8p, Erin plays at 9p. $15.
TWO SETS, BE PROMPT. 1st set new + old faves. 2nd set Anti-Holiday Spectacular!!
click here for tickets and join the Facebook Page for this event.
WARNING: this show is not suitable for children. on purpose.
want to sing in the cranky chorus? we'd love to have you! there is no musical talent or rehearsal required. you'll get two tickets to the show, a copy of the CD, the handmade hymnal, and the esteem of the rest of the audience. the only catch is you must wear your most awful holiday outfit. email me for a spot, include the show you want to attend in the subject line. i recommend you be quick about it, the chorus will fill up fast (ask these folks how they liked being in the chorus, and these folks too).
start a new anti-holiday tradition or join us again to celebrate the world’s first anti-capitalist, pro-queer, suspicious of christmas-as-patriotism, sex-positive, not safe for work, multi-ethnic, radical leftist Anti-Holiday Spectacular!
purchase SMALL DEVIANT THINGS, Vol. 2 + 3
COMPLETE TOURDATES! click here for more info.
12/4- Ardmore Music Hall, Ardmore PA (just outside philly!) tickets
12/5- Littlefield, Brooklyn NY tickets
12/6- Club Passim, Cambridge MA 7PM tickets
12/6- Club Passim, Cambridge MA 930PM tickets
12/8- McCabe's, Santa Monica CA tickets
12/10- Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco CA tickets
12/12- Bunkbar, Portland OR tickets
12/13- Barboza, Seattle WA tickets
12/15- The Hideout, Chicago IL tickets
12/21- The Dream Away Lodge, Becket MA
click here for more info.
Most Buzz Worthy of 2013: Halfway
"Wish the Wind Would Blow Me"- Bob Schneider, Burden of Proof
I'm always in awe of Schneider's ability to write both incredibly crass and tremendously heartfelt songs. This one is of the latter persuasion, and he nails the sentiment of longing so well here.
"Man"- Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, the Harder I fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
I've been waiting for a new Neko Case album since the day after her most recent one was released, and this single to support her upcoming record makes me think the wait will be worth it. She sounds like she's having so much fun here.
"The Jailer"- Erin McKeown, Manifestra
A song with a strictly political agenda—and an important one at that!—that doesn't once feel forced is an accomplishment in and of itself, but that guitar lick? Good lord, McKeown. What can't you do?
"That Kind of Lonely"- Patty Griffin, American Kid
My favorite song on Griffin's flawless record. Reminds me of the Living With Ghosts days, AKA the best days of any days.
"My Love Follows You Where You Go"- Lori McKenna, Massachusetts
Again: my favorite song on a flawless record. This one gets my toe tapping and my heart breaking at the same time. Lori is a master of all things.
Jay Nash, "Sailor" from Letters of the Lost: About the defiant stubbornness of self-belief, refusing to be beaten by anything or anyone. I appreciate that kind of obstinacy, and it's also emblematic of the album as a whole, as well as Jay as an artist who makes his music his way.
Joy Kills Sorrow, "Was It You" from Wide Awake (EP): I just really cannot get enough of this song. Hands down, my favorite on the EP and a solid opening track.
Laurence Fox, "Gunfight" from Sorry for My Words (EP): Haunting vocals and arrangements on this track (and the remainder of the EP) prove Fox is as good as music as he is at acting. Fans of Ben Howard will hear and appreciate similarities in Fox's sound.
Boy, "Oh Boy (Acoustic)" from Mutual Friends: This track is an extra on the physical copy of Mutual Friends, and while I like fuller version as well, the stripped down version of it is even better. I was lucky enough to catch Boy while they were on their first short US tour and can say Mutual Friends is as enjoyable stripped to just Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass with guitarist Deniz Erarslan. You'll want a physical copy of this album; trust me.
"This Hell Where We Belong" by Humming House
"This Hell Where We Belong" featuring Kristen Rogers on vocals (a new song recorded for Justified) aired on FX Networks Justified on February 26th.
Humming House will be on the 2014 Cayamo Cruise (www.cayamo.com).
Shovels and Rope's Cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Johnny 99"
They can do no wrong in my book. See them opening for Dawes this summer!
"Wild Old Dog" - Patty Griffin
This song really struck a chord with me. She's a brilliant songwriter. Seeing her perform this live was mind-blowing.
Bosnian Rainbows, "Torn Maps"
Alternative rock from Texas, yes. Teri Gender Bender's vocals are superb. Know her from Le Butcherettes, yes!
She lends her talents to an incredible band, who are a must hear live!
The band: Teri Gender Bender (on vocals), Deantoni Parks (drums, keyboard), Nicci Kasper (synths, keyboards), and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (guitar, backing vocals, keyboard).
Wow, people! Listen:
On tour, find dates here: http://rodriguezlopezproductions.com/Bosnian_Rainbows
James Blake, "Retrograde"
It is James Blake at his best, in his zone, and pulling our ears in a wonderful Blake-ian direction. Give him about a minute to tickle your ears, and wait for his lyrics/vocals.
This Brit was amazing at Coachella. You can watch his appearance on Letterman here:
Tegan & Sara, "Closer"
You have got to give it to team Quin on this track. Catapulting them into mainstream, I read. Tegan and Sara have always been favorites. I suppose the radio play, print media, television appearances, and Katy Perry tweeting emojis help spread the word to those who love firework based costuming.
Tegan and Sara need no fireworks, instead, pop and indie crashed, and in the wreckage, we find "Closer." My favorite song of the year, so far.
THE ISLE OF YOUTH, LAURA VAN DEN BERG (Book Preview)
Though the faithful readers of The Buzz About know us primarily as an arena wherein we rave (and occasionally rant) about the latest records we’ve encountered, I’m trying something a bit different. I think it’s a fair assumption that many of you listeners and lovers and makers of music out there are also equally passionate about books. Novels, memoirs, poetry, short stories—I imagine so many of you have bookshelves as overcrowded and threatening to capsize as mine. So after receiving (ever so luckily) an advanced copy of Laura van den Berg’s forthcoming collection of stories, The Isle of Youth, I felt compelled to sing the book’s praises here, in the hopes that you’ll pre-order this fantastic collection this instant, or else eagerly anticipate its release in November.
I first came across Laura van den Berg’s writing by way of the Best American Nonrequired Reading collection, which featured, several years ago, her terrific story “Where We Must Be,” which remains one of my favorite stories—tender, clever, funny, and confident. Soon after, van den Berg released her first collection of stories, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us. The title is a mouthful—which does not even remotely bother this Fiona Apple megafan—and it should be: that collection is packed front to back with stellar prose, masterfully-created characters, and a style all her own. Stories with hearts as big as the ones collected in her debut can’t be contained by a title any briefer.
It was my great privilege, then, to get my hands on The Isle of Youth, and after reading the collection twice over—I’ve read some stories three or four times at this point; LvdB’s stories are so worth studying—I’m in awe of how much Laura van den Berg has raised the bar in the four years since her first book. Each and every story is a gem, and that’s such a rarity when it comes to the short story collections. Even with my favorite collections from writers I love like Amy Hempel, Joy Williams, and Ann Beattie, you’re bound to find a dud here and there. I think this goes for most of my favorite albums, too. So it’s a testament to Laura’s brilliance to say that each and every story in this book is mandatory reading.
Throughout my first read and my subsequent revisits, I was reminded of a line from Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) that I keep tacked above my desk. It’s from an interview she did the year after she got sober, and in discussing her various addictions, she says, “Everybody needs to get out of somewhere. Lots of people don’t.” I think this is a sentiment shared by so many of the narrators in The Isle of Youth, a collection that orbits themes of escape and disappearance; vanishings and materializations. Be they literal escapes—like the missing father in “Opa-Locka” and the mother-daughter magic duo in “The Greatest Escape”—or figurative, the characters in this book all need to get out somewhere. And, per Chan Marshall’s observation, a lot of them don’t. There are places and positions that these characters find inescapable, and what van den Berg does with that frustrated stagnancy is often what’s most moving about the stories. There even comes a character, in the title story, who says, so painfully, so honestly, “I just wanted to get out of my life.”
This is why Laura van den Berg is as revered as she is, and why I know this book will only bring her more praise and acclaim, all of it so hard-earned and so deserved. Due out from Farrar, Straus and Giroux on November 5th, and available for pre-order now.
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