Hello! I’m excited to announce the first of at least one guest post from Valerie Burn. I have had top-of-my-lungs sing-alongs to her high school mixtapes after being well into my twenties, and thus am very pleased that Ms. Burn has been kind enough to share with us her hottest and slowest summer jams.
Everyone loves a good, hot, summer jam. Everyone. This is science. However, sometimes you need to roll it back. Slow it down a bit. And that is precisely what slow jams are for.
But what, dear readers, would it mean if a song could be both? Simultaneously a hot jam and a slow jam? Before your head explodes, allow me to explain.
Sometimes musicians, usually white ones in indie rock bands, take an amazing hot jam and slow it down – with the tempo, acoustics, or otherwise. It’s like Columbusing, but way cooler and hopefully less offensive. Certainly, some (many) covers are awful, which is why I conveniently made you this list. You’re welcome.
These hot’n’slow jams are the perfect music to listen to at the end of a long night. Party’s over, but everyone’s got time for one last singalong.
01| Are You That Somebody – Gossip
02| Umbrella – Marie Digby
03| Crazy – Emily Asen
04| Hey Ya – Obadiah Parker
05| Hot in Herre – Jenny Owen Youngs
06| Heartless – Virender Singh
07| Whatever You Like – Anya Marina
08| Cry Me a River – Glen Hansard
09| Single Ladies – Pomplamoose
10| Bitches Ain’t Shit – Ben Folds
11| Whatcha Say – Princess
12| Grenade – Julia Sheer & Tyler Ward
13| 99 Problems – Hugo
14| Pursuit of Happiness – Lissie


Honorable mentions (i.e., songs not on Spotify or they might be on this list):
No Diggity – Klaxons
Umbrella – Mandy Moore (starts at 0:35)
World’s Greatest – Bonnie “Prince” Billy
Cry Me a River – Selena Gomez (trust me)
We Found Love – Ed Sheeran
Valerie Burn is a very cool adult who writes things sometimes and is always looking for new and innovative ways to listen to pop music.

sxsw 2012: the pro videos

So, we had this wonderful plan to write this post with lots of beautifully-shot videos to supplement the mediocre camera-phone videos we posted last Monday. It’s proved to be difficult. Our hosting service only allows embedding from certain sites, and most of the videos aren’t found on the approved list. We posted what we could, and linked to the rest of what we wanted to show you. We apologize for the minor inconvenience of opening a new tab and hope you’ll take the time to click. A big thanks to Spotify and Dig for Fire for creating such wonderful concert spaces and videos, as well as DoStuff’s Justin Schaffer.

Yellow Ostrich – The Shakedown

The Sheepdogs – Laid Back

Dry the River – Bible Belt

 Kimbra – Settle Down

Glen Hansard – Say It to Me Now

 Grimes – Genesis
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A$AP Rocky – Peso
Vodpod videos no longer available. 

Of Monsters and Men – Dirty Paws

 Fanfarlo – Deconstruction 

PS – For an extra challenge, play spot the M|H editor. She’s in almost every one of these videos.

every photo we took at sxsw

We started editing photos from SXSW and realized we took 864 shots. M|H thinks that number shows restraint on our part, but it’s still a lot of photos to comb through and edit. To keep you from having to wait, we put every single photo into a two minute and fifty-three second video for you. Check back for edited shots!

All the photos we took at SXSW, unedited. St. Louis Arch, The Salt Lick, We Were Evergreen, La Sera, Dry the River, Kimbra, Spotify House, Friends, Pond, Miike Snow, Hype Hotel, Of Monsters and Men, Hotel Vegan, Glen Hansard, We Are Serenades, Hospitality, Brighton MA, Spotify Live, Grimes, SBTRKT, A$AP Rocky, Say Anything, Night Moves, Father John Misty, Doomtree, Jack White, Andrew WK, The Jealous Sound, Fanfarlo.

sxsw 2012: videos!

After a five-year hiatus, we finally made it back down to Austin, Texas’s South By Southwest festival. It was our first year going without a badge, and it turned out surprisingly well – things are now a lot more accessible to the average fan. To kick off the week, we’d like to share the videos we took of some the artists we were excited to see. Check back at the end of the week for some professionally shot videos we love. Enjoy!

Yellow Ostrich – Whale

Kimbra – Settle Down

Glen Hansard – Say It to Me Now

Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings

Doomtree – Bangarang

The Jealous Sound – Anxious Arms

Of Monsters and Men – Dirty Paws

she dreams in color, she dreams in red – pj20 day one

A week has passed since PJ20 – Pearl Jam’s 20th-anniversary celebration – went down at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin, and I’m still reeling. Above any one band, I’m a music fan. The Strokes are one of my favorite bands, and I was really looking forward to getting a chance to see Pearl Jam, but I wasn’t fully prepared for the overriding sense of love and fandom that settled over the crowd on Day One of the fest. On September 3rd, 2011, 37,000 fans came together in the rain and mud to revel in the two-decades-strong career of Pearl Jam.

PJ Panorama

After losing some time getting lost on some of Wisconsin’s loveliest back roads, I arrived at Alpine’s sprawling grounds and settled into a spot in front of Stage Two to catch Glen Hansard (The Swell Season, The Frames, Once). Though generally much mellower than those on the main stage, Hansard embraced the festival’s overall feel with a healthy dose of fuzzed-out guitar and raw vocals that often dug in to the crowd, shiv-like. As the rain started falling again, Hansard abandoned the ukulele song he had planned to play in favor of a group sing-along to “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” despite not really knowing the lyrics. It all worked out, though, and Hansard wrapped up the set with his Academy Award-winning hit “Falling Slowly“. Sadly, Eddie Vedder did not join him as he did on Day Two.

After spending some down time grabbing dinner, exploring the grounds, waiting fruitlessly in line for the Pearl Jam museum (but getting to sign the PJ20 wall nonetheless), and letting my +1 buy me a $12 beer (thanks again, pal!), I hunkered down at the bottom of the lawn to check out Mudhoney. I was largely unacquainted with their music, but enjoyed them for about the first half of their set. They made for an excellent time machine, and it would be fun to catch in a small club both twenty years ago and now. By the end, Mudhoney had started to grate on me, as their sound wandered farther from its punk roots into generic hard rock.

Next up was Queens of the Stone Age. Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard put out the band’s debut album, and it wasn’t hard to connect the musical dots from PJ and the early-90s Seattle scene to QOTSA’s sound. Queens of the Stone Age are ridiculously good at what they do, applying a pop swagger to gritty rock at an impressive volume. While a near-deafening level of sound could easily be dismissed as a gimmick or macho posturing, the decibels really work in the band’s favor, packing a punch the right way and not just for its own “these go to 11” sake.

Queens of the Stone Age – No One Knows

Getting to see The Strokes was the part of the day to which I was most looking forward. Since first hearing “Last Nite” ten years ago, I’ve been madly in love yet had never seen them live. They did not disappoint. I still get goosebumps watching videos from the night, including the one below of Eddie Vedder lending his voice on “Juicebox”. The set seemed shorter than the band’s allotted 45 minutes, but in truth, for me, anything less than every song they’ve ever written wasn’t going to be enough. Despite the public consensus that the members of The Strokes don’t really care very much for each other at this point, they haven’t let whatever qualms they have with each other interfere with their ability to perform. Abruptly leaving the stage to the echos of Julian Casablancas howling “he’s gonna let you down”, the band reminded the crowd that they did anything but that. OK, fan-girl gush over.

The Strokes – Juicebox f/Eddie Vedder

For the main event, Pearl Jam played a two-encore set that spanned three hours and the bulk of their catalog. As a casual Pearl Jam fan (read: their radio hits), I didn’t know most of the original songs they played save “Do the Evolution” and “Better Man”. Despite this, the band was totally engaging. It’s readily apparent how Pearl Jam has lasted twenty years and remained popular; the songs are solid, the band has a solid chemistry and camaraderie, and Eddie Vedder’s voice is still incredible. Furthermore, the band holds a deep appreciation for its fans. I’ve seen hundreds of bands and Pearl Jam’s fans may be the most devoted I’ve seen. The Alpine PJ20 shows were the only US dates on the band’s tour, and the parking lot was evidence that people had come from all over the country. Said Vedder, “Us making it 20 years was probably easier than some of you making it here tonight.” The band expressed its gratitude throughout the evening, visibly humbled by the outpouring of support ringing back at them.

For the first encore, Pearl Jam welcomed Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave) to the stage. Pulling material from Mother Love Bone and Temple of the Dog, Cornell sounded as good as he ever has – hands-down he has one of the best voices in rock. To finish out his guest appearance, Cornell dueted with Vedder on “Hunger Strike”, the quintessential 90s rock track that allowed both men to play off each other’s vocal strengths.

Chris Cornell wasn’t the only guest to join Pearl Jam – nearly everyone playing the fest stopped by at some point, from Dhani Harrison on guitar to Liam Finn and John Doe (X) singing backup. As PJ20 was designed as a two-day destination festival, the end of the night was a bit anti-climactic for me as I was only able to attend the first night and was craving the hits, but by listening to the chatter around me I knew people couldn’t wait until Day Two.

Eddie Vedder (PJ) & Josh Homme (QOTSA)

Check out the rest of our videos from PJ20:
Queens of the Stone Age – Little Sister | Queens of the Stone Age – Go With the Flow | The Strokes – Last Nite | Temple of the Dog – Hunger Strike
Sorry there aren’t any from Pearl Jam, we were holding out for “Even Flow”

Release, Arms Aloft, Do the Evolution, Got Some, In My Tree, Faithful, Who You Are, Push Me Pull Me, Setting Forth, Not For You, In the Moonlight, Deep, Help Help, Breath, Education, Once, State of Love and Trust, Better Man, Life Wasted Reprise, Life Wasted
Rearviewmirror, Star Dog Champion, Say Hello 2 Heaven, Reach Down, Hunger Strike, Love Reign O’er Me, Porch
Kick Out the Jams
Day Two Set List