Here's a phrase you probably haven't heard before: "German techno marching band." Enter MEUTE.
MEUTE in a nutshell: they take songs that exist firmly in the world of EDM and bring them to life as an 11-piece marching band. Marimbas, saxophones, trumpets, bass drums, even matching red jackets. The works. The group has gained an impressive following in Europe over the last few years, starting out in public city squares and eventually graduating to massive headlining shows and massive festival crowds. With their performance at U Street Music Hall, the Hamburg-based group continued their worldwide conquest with their first-ever concert in North America.
Part razor-sharp condemnation of our modern world, and part journey through Jana Hunter’s recent reidentification as “they/he,” Lower Dens’ The Competition utilizes the power of the dance floor to make a case for love and acceptance not just in dangerous times, but as the law of the land. It’s a powerful and ultimately uplifting statement from this revered Baltimore-based band and not just the best album of their careers, but one of the most essential listens of 2019.
K. Flay took the stage at The 9:30 club crouched in the dark on top of layered rectangular platforms that illuminated as she launched into her hit "Not in California." Her setlist, which featured every song off of this year's Solutions, plus her biggest hits from 2017's Every Where Is Somewhere and 2014's Life as a Dog, mixed elements of rock, pop, and hip hop, highlighted the multifaceted nature of her career.
It's likely that we'll look back at 2017 as the year almost everything fell apart, downerism ruled the land, and we came very close to being broken as a people.
But we didn't break. We made it. And on this final installment of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast for 2017, we're discussing the music that lifted us up, dropped us down, and sometimes even showed us the way, but never, ever let us down.
Thanks for tuning in all year. We'll see you soon. Until then be good to your ears, but be better to your people...
Looking at Allen Stone, it’s unlikely the first thing you’d think of is “soul singer.” His J. Mascis-Meets-Todd-Snider appearance and Billy the Kid sneer do a fantastic job of disguising the spectacular voice inside. It’s a voice that’s perfectly made to sing R&B, landing somewhere between Jamiroquai at his Stevie Wonder-invoking best, a soulful Jason Mraz, and a less depressed Ray Lamontagne.
Stone developed his voice singing in the same suburban Washington state church where his father was a preacher. Though he’s still just 25 he sounds like an old soul on his two records, 2010’s Last to Speak and his 2011 self-titled album – or at least as much like an old soul can when singing about Facebook status updates as he does on “Contact High,” one of the standout tracks on Allen Stone.
Sounds Like:Raphael Saadiq, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Why you should care:Who doesn't like shaking their ass from time to time?
If you've read these pages at all you'll know that I'm a sucker for old school soul music. If every record ever released sounded like"Pain In My Heart" or "Night Beat" then that would be just fine by me. Luckily we live in a day where artists like Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Mark Ronson, and a whole host of others seem to agree with me. Now it's time to add another name to that list: Larry g(EE).
Coming to the world from deep in the heart of Texas (Dallas to be exact) g(ee) and his band have crafted a sound will leave you feeling nostalgic as much as it will demand that you shake your ass. Are g(EE) and his cohorts purveyors of party music? Soulful R&B balladeers? Minor pop geniuses? With only four songs on his debut EP, Weekends, that all remains to be seen, but for now it's safe to say that g(EE) and his band are grabbing nationwide attention, and he certainly grabbed ours.
Check out the track "I'm Your Fool" (which may or may not be my current JAM) from Weekends below, then wait patiently until Larry g(EE) and his band bring their party to your town later this year. If this is just the start for Larry g(EE), we can't wait to see where he goes from here.