these lonely dreams need something to work towards

Courtney Marie Andrews is a stunning songwriter from the Pacific Northwest.

She released a new album today – “On My Page’, and it is absolutely heartbreakingly beautiful. It’s the perfect soundtrack for strong coffee, spring mornings, and watching the dew drip in the soft April sunlight. Listen to this track, watch a video of her play, and then head over to her Bandcamp and buy the album. It’s a whole $5. I promise it’s worth it.


This video was recorded in December – but this is the title track of the album.



Seriously guys, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. Right now. Listen to it tomorrow when you’re fighting the sleep away and settling into your morning.


on why this weekend was awesome

This weekend I had the opportunity to see two absolutely incredible shows. On Friday night I found myself at Schuba’s for the incredible triple bill of Pickwick, Basia Bulat, and The Local Strangers. Then, Saturday Night, The Local Strangers played a small, intimate house show in Evanston, that may have been one of the more perfect concert experiences I’ve experienced in a great while.

For those who haven’t caught on to the wonderful, infectious music that Pickwick is making: watch this video, then run over to iTunes, or to their website, and pick up their debut album “Can’t Talk Medicine”.


Basia Bulat was a name that had been on the edge of my radar for a bit, but I never had taken the time to really listen to her music. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, don’t make the mistake I did – watch this one, then go get her newest album, “Heart of my Own”.



As far as The Local Strangers are concerned – I spent a lot of my weekend with them, hearing their powerful, soul-searching, eyes-to-the-stars music wash over me. They released their debut full-length last year, and it’s absolutely gorgeous – not to mention that Aubrey and Matt are two of the sweetest, most earnest people you’ll ever meet. I can’t say enough positives about this band. Listen to the song ‘I Will Let You Down’, then watch this video of an incredible new song they played last night. The video isn’t great – but it’s the best I can convey the power of this song. Seriously, go buy their album(s). Right now.


All in all – an incredible weekend.

P.S. – Watch this Take Away Show with Kodaline that was posted at the end of last week. It’s haunting and painful and gorgeous.

Links! Links everywhere!

The internet has been a very happy place for people who like music so far in April. I’m going to avoid doing too much writing, and just encourage you to check out all of these songs, streams, and videos, they’re all incredibly worth it.

First, The National played 3 new songs on BBC Radio 1. The interview is great too. They also released the first single, ‘Demons’. Check both below:



Then, The Shouting Matches debut album is streaming on NPR. For those who haven’t heard this is Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)’s new side project with Phill Cook (Megafaun) and Brian Moen (Peter Wolf Crier). It’s sexy, gritty, stripped down blues-rock and it’s absolutely worth your time.


This Noah Gundersen song from SXSW came out a few weeks ago, but I still can’t stop watching it.


Then there’s this new track from Small Houses (whose newest album came out this year, and it’s one of my favorites so far):

Adam over at songsfortheday turned me on to this stunning band Folly and the Hunter – check out this video, their album comes out tomorrow! This is seriously, stupid good.

Now, to brighten your Monday Night/Tuesday morning, have a little party with this video of Wild Cub performing one of my new favorite spring songs:


Last but not least, Heather over at Fuel/Friends posted an incredible piece about her experience at the Room 125 Classroom Sessions. If you give a shit about art, you really need to go over there and read it. Link is in the sidebar!

Good luck getting through the week y’all!

Why can’t you see heaven won’t wait for us?

I hope you guys have had a chance to check out the spring mix. If not – I’ll post it below, this time complete with a download link.

While you guys are checking that out – I wanted to make a note about a few artists who appear on that mix, all of whom I’ve had the pleasure to see live in the last few days. If you dug (or dig) their tracks on the mix, here’s a bit of a follow-up.

Hey Marseilles are currently touring in support of their sophomore album ‘Lines We Trace’ which is absolutely magical. Their song ‘Tides’ appears on the mix, and check out this video of ‘Heart Beats’ to get a taste of how truly awesome they are.


Mike Clark is a phenomenal talent from Colorado. He’s playing 4/4 in Chicago at the Sol Cafe in Rogers Park. Don’t be dumb. Be there. Check out this video from his recent chapel session with Fuel/Friends – then go download it for free!


Jeremy Quentin, who performs under the moniker Small Houses, writes the kind of songs that creep into your heart, and your head, and hold you blissfully hostage. He’ll be back in Chicago this summer, and his new album ‘Exactly Where You Wanted to Be’ is one of the best of the year so far. Listen to this, then go buy it. Trust me. Also, watch the rest of this room 125 session when you have a chance.


Last but not least, Hoots and Hellmouth, fronted by Sean Hoots, who is currently doing a solo tour with Small Houses, released a phenomenal album last year, and you should check out what they’re up to. I have a lot of love for the music they’re putting out.


And, as promised – one more link to the Spring Mix, which has a song from each of these bands/artists. Listen, download, enjoy!

Download –

a brand new day: music means family spring mix 2013

Here it is.

A new mix.

This one took me awhile. Spring is such a complicated time for me – and it’s been made even more complicated for me this year by a March marked both by sorrow and fear, but also by the blossoming of an incredible relationship and wonderful friendships.

In so many ways I look at spring as a precursor to summer, a readying of sweat-drenched smiles and outdoor adventures. But it’s also a time for growth, for rebirth, for shedding the heavy winter snow that has held you down and for readying yourself to move into the year with your head held high and your heart exposed and vulnerable. So this mix, hopefully, is a gentle shove, encouraging you to place one foot before the other and let the first few sunbeams of spring dance across your face, reminding you that everything will, in fact, be okay.

Please take the time to listen, experience some music from astonishingly talented artists, and ready yourself for the warm months ahead. Let’s make ’em special. As per usual, comment or e-mail if you want a download link.