i ain’t leavin’/though i know i should

I had the opportunity to see Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps play one of the last shows of their current tour last night at The Hideout in Chicago last night. After the final note of her final song played, I found myself struggling to lift my jaw off the floor, wipe the sweat off my brow, and even begin to comprehend what I had just witnessed.

CSATGS at The Hideout 5/31/13

CSATGS at The Hideout 5/31/13

Anyone who has followed my blog since the beginning knows I’m a big fan of Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to see them live. They brought a full 6 piece for this tour, and my god was it stunning. Caroline is an incredible performer – it took a total of about 5 seconds of her soul-searching, rafter-rattling voice to stun the whole audience into a glassy-eyed silence.

She moves from what almost sounds like 90’s R&B to heart wrenching 60s era soul with incredible fluidity, and I felt so grateful to be in the room at what I can only imagine will be her last time playing a venue that size, because I have to tell you – with what I saw last night they should be easily selling out Lincoln Hall the next time they come around.

Caroline announced that they were working on recording their new album, which hopefully should be coming out this fall. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for this record, especially for those beautiful fall nights, sitting on the porch with this record on sounds about as perfect as it gets.

Check out the videos for ‘Child of Moving On’ and ‘Lack of Height’ below, and keep your eyes on this one guys, this is a show I won’t forget.





you stood strong/though you were wrong

Vandaveer - Studios at SPACE 5/19

Vandaveer – Studios at SPACE 5/19










I had the opportunity to see Vandaveer perform last night in the studio at SPACE, with about 20 other lucky concertgoers.

I was about 4 feet from them, and sat in perfect, reverent silence through most of their 15+ song set. It was almost as if I was at church, if church were a rare, incredible experience, that you longed for with every ounce of your being.

Vandaveer’s music is at times heartening, at times terrifying, and always enveloping. They have a remarkable ability to make time stand still, as haunting ballads sweep through the air and wash over you with a sense of overwhelming yearning.

They released an album of murder ballads entitled “Oh Willie, Please” earlier this year, and it’s hauntingly beautiful. Their previous album “Dig Down Deep’ was one of my favorites of 2011.

Here’s a Lavomatik Session of ‘Dig Down Deep’:


And a great little Take Away Show:


If they come through your town on tour – go see them. Really. Do it.

you’re fireproof/nothing breaks your heart

New spring mix is being reviewed in my ears as we speak. However, it’s been held up a bit because I can’t stop playing the new album from The National. I honestly can’t say enough about how incredible it is. Take a break from your day to watch them play ‘I Need My Girl’ – one of my favorite songs off of the new album:

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: The National: I Need My Girl.

I’ve found myself feeling really vulnerable lately (which The National can do to me). When that happens, I almost always find myself coming back to The Avett Brothers. There is a wonderful, frenetic yet soothing quality to their music for me. Watch this gorgeous video of ‘Laundry Room’ from Cardinal Sessions.


And last but not least for this little update, City and Colour had a Daytrotter session released today, and it’s stunning. Listen to it here. And then get a Daytrotter membership. Best money you’ll spend in a while.

I’ll be back soon with this mix – gotta put it out before ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ is released next week and I get lost all over again!

you’re not that much like me/you should know me better than that

So. The mix is in progress, plans are a-happening for the summer. A few things came up that were too pressing not to share.


The National’s new album is streaming. Listen to it here. Jesus Christ. All of the feelings. Every. Single. God. Damn. One. For a reminder, here’s ‘Don’t Swallow the Cap’:


Typhoon released their first single off of “White Lighter”, due out 8/20/13. This is one of the albums I’ve been, and will continue to be, waiting with bated breath for. The single, ‘Dreams of Cannibalism’ is fantastic.


Heather over at Fuel/Friends posted this today from a house show with Damien Jurado. This song will pierce my heart every time I hear it. Imagine being there. Holy shit.


Mix will be out soon!

Love y’all.

i would love you now/but my hands are on fire

Happy actual warm weather guys!

It feels like the world is picking up some steam again, throwing off the tiredness of winter. Bands are releasing albums, huge tour schedules are being put out, and I see lots of big smiles wherever I go. I have a lot of exciting things in the works for this blog this summer, and I’m super excited to share them all with you.

My next post will hopefully be a new mix – a sort of spring/early summer mix to counteract my previous spring mix, which was very much meant for the very beginning of spring. For now, I’d like to share a few things that have really brightened my past week, in hopes that tehy’ll give you something to smile about as we eagerly await the weekend.

I had the pleasure of seeing Fort Frances play an EP release show in Chicago this past weekend, and man, do they put on a hell of a show. I’m absolutely in love with their new EP, “Harbour”. Click here to buy it, and watch this amazing video of an acoustic version of ‘How To Turn Back’.


The Great American Canyon Band opened up that show, and they’re also a hell of a band to watch live. Their music is mesmerizing, an ethereal throwback to all of the positive vibes of the early 70’s, cars gliding along dusty highways, and the soft breeze in your hair. This video plays off all of that, and I can totally dig it.


Dallas Green, better known as City and Colour, released the first single off of his new album, entitled ‘The Hurry and the Harm’. It’s a stunning song, and perfect for these spring days.


The National released the first video from their upcoming album. I’m beyond excited for this one. Watch ‘Sea of Love’ below.


I can’t stop listening to Kodaline these past couple weeks, and this Take Away Show is unbelievable.


While I realize these links got a little heavier as the post went on, I’m going to end it on a heavy note, because I’ve been meaning to post this video for a bit. Watch Jon from The Head and the Heart absolutely blow you away:



Exciting things ahead. Keep your eyes and ears perked! Happy Spring!


i would never write another song/i would never say another prayer

So, May is a pretty awesome month. I mean, other than it’s 38 degrees and freezing rain. But I mean, otherwise, May is a pretty awesome month.











That’s a whole lot of feelings right there. And a whole lot of dancing, clapping, and singing along. You should come. You really should.


In the meantime, Heather over at Fuel/Friends released an incredible Spring mix today. Go to Fuel/Friends now and download it for free.


Also, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps posted this video with their tour announcement today. Wow. Wow.


Laura Marling played her new single ‘Master Hunter’ on Jools Holland this past week. She’s getting more and more expansive in her talent as she ages (she’s 23). Check this out:


I ran into Shane Leonard of Kalispell last night at the S. Carey show. Reminded me to remind you of how good his album that came out last year is. It’s really a perfect soundtrack for this time of year. Go to his Bandcamp after you listen to this song and buy it. Then sit back with a beer, and enjoy.


As to that S. Carey show. Breathless. Almost speechless. So frequently when I find myself listening to music I find myself having an intellectual reaction, realizing how poignant lyrics are, then getting swept away in the undercurrent of guitar, or piano, or violin. With S. Carey, it’s so much the opposite. His music is a rapidly expanding river of vastness and possibility exploding from behind my ribcage as I try not to weep and shout with joy at the same time. It is so deeply visceral, and so connected to the Earth, there’s an inescapable, very palpable almost aura-like quality in the room when he plays. If you have a chance to see him, please do go. This a cell phone video from last night, but hopefully it gives you some idea of how powerful it was.


I’ll leave you with that, my friends – and I hope to see you out and about this lovely May. Especially once the weather actually catches up.