Cobalt & the Hired Guns “Of Summer” Video

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  When life gives you snow, you make snowballs.  When life gives you ThunderSnow, you invite a bunch of people over the next day to shoot a snowball fight / snow frolicking music video! For those who don’t know, Cobalt & the Hired Guns is the band I played in from it’s origin in 2003 (2002 if you count Tom and I collaborating) until I moved to Seattle this past May. I watched […]

Drew Grow (& the Pastors’ Wives) Benefit Show 2/19

I’m still pretty new here.  I feel like I’ve just started catching on to a lot of the most fantastic music being made in the Northwest.  I commonly ask people I meet what regional bands they love, and a name that came up several times in the fall as a must-see was “Drew Grow and the Pastors’ Wives,” but I never made it out to a show. Fast forward to December, when I started to make new friends who are […]

Volcano Diary’s postponed CD Release Show TONIGHT

It seems fitting that as Snowpocalypse 2011 (Snowmageddon, Thundersnow, what have you) hits Chicago this week, I reflect on Seattle’s Snowpocalypse 2010.  A few days before Thanksgiving, Seattle got hit with a full day of snow and ice.  By Chicago standards, it was not a lot.  By Seattle standards, plus black ice on Seattle hills, it was a mess.  Natural disaster puns aside, one of the casualties of the storm was The Volcano Diary‘s much anticipate CD release show at […]

Interview: Campfire Ok

First, let’s all take a personal moment and watch this beautiful acoustic session at KEXP: The band is Campfire Ok. I have not seen this band live at a club yet, but will soon (see below).  Yet, thanks to their collaborative creativity, talented friends, and the internet, it feels like I already know them intimately.  I found myself humming “Strange Like We Are” every morning walking to work and spending a large portion of my valuable procrastination time watching this […]

Interview: Ravenna Woods

There is a certain controlled manic-ness to Ravenna Woods’ music that is uniquely energizing and best experienced live.  It doesn’t need to be loud or distorted to be big and movement-inducing.  In fact, guitarist Chris Cunningham can’t sit still – either onstage or during our interview – but manages to make this an extremely endearing quality that conveys a sense of urgency which serves the music and lyrics.  I also love that everyone usually sits down on stage except drummer […]

CD Review: HOW FAR to AUSTIN – Goodnight Madison

Goodnight Madison marks an exciting turning point for one of Chicago’s hardest working bands. HOW FAR to AUSTIN (HFTA) has been a well-respected name in the Chicago music community for several years thanks to a tireless touring schedule and a uniquely entertaining “Rock n’ Soul” style.  Working and playing alongside them the past couple years, I watched HFTA find success building its audience via classic but uncommon means.  Unlike most indie acts, HFTA tours regionally as a full 7-piece band […]

My All-Chicago Mix, vol. 1

Convergence. Sometime earlier this year I started creating a couple fun new iTunes playlists: “Music By People I Know” and “Chicago Music.” Upon moving to Seattle I stayed with my friend Phil who is famous in his social circles for his mix CDs (he calls them “comps”). The mix playlist below, which I made for Phil back in June, is a direct result of these two events. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and feeling very thankful for the community of […]

Interview: The Volcano Diary

Alicia Dara is answering new questions. As a Seattle-based singer/songwriter she released five records and toured extensivley over 10+ years.  The latest, 2008’s The Secret Dream of Tigers, felt like the final chapter of that story.  All the questions had been answered.  It was time to find some new questions and start making music in a new way. Now, as the frontwoman of The Volcano Diary, Dara is exploring new sonic territory via collaboration.  In addition to working with skilled […]

Interview: The Elderly

Story time:  A few weeks ago I played a short set at a musical house party in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.  It was a great night with a lot of really nice and fun people (not to mention the made-to-order crepes) and after sets by Chicago buddy Emily Claire Palmer and myself, everyone was just hanging out and jamming it up.  At some point there was a momentarily lull, and before I knew it the host was making an announcement that […]

CD Review: Diana & the Dishes – Take a Picture

Diana & the Dishes’ debut album Take a Picture plays like the soundtrack for a hot new Broadway musical in absolutely the best way a modern record could.  It’s not just the veritable pit orchestra playing behind front woman Diana Lawrence, nor simply the classic and effortlessly jazzy chord changes.  It comes down to songwriting and lyrics – so strong and rich that they nearly become visual. Writing original, memorable, and non-cheesy music and lyrics for musical theater may be […]