JaxxShack Picks: June 13, 2016

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox – Postmodern Jukebox is the brainchild masterpiece of arranger Scott Bradlee. PMJ releases YouTube videos each week, which have featured over 70 different guest performers over the years, that turn popular songs into vintage swing/jazz/ragtime gems. The perfect soundtrack to your next Gatsby-esque party.

Ghostland Observatory – This duo from Austin, Texas melds electro music with funk rhythms and rock vocals. They’ve perfected their inventive sound over the last 12 years, and when I listen to them I’m not sure if I want to go for a run or write some crazy blog posts while drinking a bottle of Captain Morgan (one of those little “personal” bottles… I’m not a complete mess).

Lake Street Dive – Awesome folk & southern rock vibes abound. Singer Rachael Price provides an impressive range and bluesy tones, while the rest of the band plays, ya know, the typical instrumental lineup – drums, guitar, trumpet and upright bass. The name? They were inspired by a street in Minnesota with a ton of dive bars (Go Vikings!!!).

JoeJoeKeys: What the Funk!

Last Saturday night, I celebrated the engagement of two really great friends at a gem of a spot in NYC: Howl at the Moon Dueling Piano Bar. I was not paid to write about them, I’m just absolutely stunned at the level of talent that was on stage. Anything you wanted to hear – from the popular 90’s hits, to singles that were released last week, to the most obscure Disney song – this group of brilliantly gifted musicians played flawlessly & with infectious energy. I left without a voice from scream-singing RENT & Bruno Mars songs (I feel you judging), and exhausted from dancing for 3 hours straight. Recommend.

It’s obviously the Week of the Piano (that has to be some astrological *thing*, right?), because I had already planned to write about the talented, funky, and business savvy Mr. JoeJoeKeys. It’s about time we had a little funk infusion on JaxxShack.

It’s completely apparent from the lyrics in each of his songs that JoeJoeKeys has a sincere passion for music. His rhythms vary from song to song while still maintaining that funky groove that just makes you want to dance. He reminds me of one of my favorite under-the-radar artists, Allen Stone, but with a bit more aggressive instrumental construction behind him. (Also) recommend.

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Artist Spotlight: Rent Party Troubadours

So just in case you were wondering, as I was, what the hell a troubadour is – this is for you:

trou·ba·dour noun: a French medieval lyric poet composing and singing in Provençal in the 11th to 13th centuries, especially on the theme of courtly love.
synonyms: minstrel, singer, balladeer, poet, bard; “a band of wandering troubadours”

Troubadours in NYC is a fantastic visual.

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Artist Spotlight: The Artificial Spring

The most interesting show I’ve ever seen was Ben Folds performing with yMusic. Music genius aside, Ben Folds has successfully replaced the guitar with a piano in his various bands to create rock music with more depth and agility than we typically see with the standard drum-bass-guitar lineup. The Artificial Spring, fronted by keyboardist Sean Embry-Stine, embraces this guitar/keyboard swap and strong pop overtones resulting in a “Ben Folds meets A Great Big World” sound.

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Artist Spotlight: Justin Sosa

When I listen to artist submissions I typically just glance at their description of their own sound and aim to develop my own opinion. Music is subjective, and I find that I often hear influences from various styles and genres in every artist’s music – many times in a single song. But, Justin Sosa has mastered the art of defining his own sound so succinctly I couldn’t have put it better myself: Americana-infused, new wave tinged, alternative rock.

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Artist Spotlight: Andrew Iovino (NativeWave Music)

Let’s talk production. Specifically: SERIOUSLY INSANE Producer/Composer/Sound Designer, Andrew Iovino (NativeWave Music). This is definitely one you’re going to want to hear for yourself.

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The Rolling Stones Song You Haven’t Heard

The Rolling Stones album Aftermath is a staple for music nights at our place. Actually, it was in the first group of vinyls we ever picked up – and it’s stayed at the top of the pile ever since (figuratively, since you should never stack your vinyls on top of one another).

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Artist Spotlight: Greg in Good Company

While developing the idea for this blog, I tweeted my contact form out to see if any artists would let me showcase their work (even though I still hadn’t even come up with a blog name). Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting to hear much of anything right away, but only a few minutes later I received an email from Greg Gilman about his band – Greg in Good Company. Sitting there and listening to Greg in Good Company’s debut EP was the first time I had the thought, “This was a really good idea”.

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