CBGB Reflection

I had to take a minute to reflect on how unbelievable last weekend was. I can’t even put in to words how lucky I was to be able to take part in the CBGB music festival this year. I got to meet a music industry legend, see some of my favorite bands, and meet/see several awesome likeminded musicians.

photo 1Being able to witness Seymour Stein win the CBGB icon award was pretty surreal. I mean this guy has signed and worked with some of the biggest names in music; Madonna, The Smiths, The Talking Heads, The Ready Set….okay that last one was a joke. But, either way he was so grateful and humble and just really loves music. It was really inspiring to see that even with all of his success he’s still just a music fan at heart. He turned that passion into his life and I’m hoping I’m able to do the same.

photo 2Van Toffler’s keynote was especially resonated because, like most people my age, MTV literally shaped my musical tastes until late into my high school years. The video reels of past VMAs, episodes of Jack Ass, classic music videos, etc brought me back to when my mind was at its most impressionable. He did a really great job appealing to that nostalgia and turning it into inspiration. Like Stein, his success is pretty much the same story just written on different pages: A guy taking control of his destiny and turning what he loves into a career. Granted, the music industry was a much healthier place back when they started. But, there’s still something to that personal drive that’s applicable to any and every aspect of my life.

photo 4The Festival in TImes Square was pretty unreal too; Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket, Divine Fits, James Murphy. People would pay really, really good money to see that. It was so weird being in Times Square to see shows on Saturday afternoon. Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead in Times Square on a weekend. Grizzly Bear and My Morning Jacket were perfect. I only caught half of Divine Fits set but they were  killing it too. I love music and I love being a part of this community. I’m working hard to try and marry this whole music writing outlet with creating my own music. This past week was definitely the kick in the ass I needed to get my shit together and make that happen.


Shuffle 03: Spiritualized – Come Together

I’m all about the throwback tunes lately. I was recently introduced to Spiritualized last year when I read a review of their 2012 album Sweet Heart, Sweet Light on P4k. I ended up loving the album so much it was number 3 on my top 10 list of 2012.

This particular song is from Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space. AMAZING record. I really love the choir and the trumpets on “Come Together.” This live performance is pretty next level; it’s so big and chaotic. I’m really, really bummed I didn’t get to see them live when they came through NYC last year.

Ducktails: Wish Hotel


Here’s my latest for Violent Success. It’s an album review of Ducktails’ Wish Hotel EP. As a big fan of Real Estate, I haven’t actually gotten around to listening to the guitarist Matt Mondanile’s side project until now. It’s nothing extraordinary but I appreciated the experimentation on this record. Check out the in-depth review!


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The other night I was lucky enough to see one of my favorite bands, Portugal. The Man, live for the sixth time. If that weren’t already awesome enough, I then got to type up my thoughts on the show and call it “work.” As you can see around my little blog here, I do that all the time so that’s nothing out of the ordinary. However, this time I took to social media so I could share my thoughts with a few of my followers who might be interested.

Completely shocked, I woke up this morning to a RT from Portugal. The Man’s official twitter account. I’m definitely making it a bigger deal that what it is, but it was just a surreal moment of genuine connection to this entity that I’ve always admired from an inherent distance. I hope they read my review. And I hope that they were inspired by it to keep creating and in turn inspiring me and thousands of other people like me.

/end fanboy rant

Shuffle 02: St. Vincent – Paris is Burning

Annie is such an amazing musician that it’s kind of irritating. I often find myself wallowing in pure jealousy at her creativity. She’s a tour de force on all musical fronts – singing, songwriting, performing, creativity, etc. The voicings of the opening few chords of this song are so hauntingly alluring. I also can’t get enough of the 6/8 section at the end of the song because it’s just so brilliantly addicting.

I’m drawn to her music so much because it can be so traditionally beautiful one minute and then take a really dark, unexpected turn the next. It’s such an accurate reflection of life. Even though something can be so beautiful on the surface there’s always an inherent darkness that can rear it’s head with just one unexpected turn. This isn’t necessarily a band thing. I think as people we need to explore those dark roads less traveled and live out different experiences to find out who we really are. It really is an amazing testament to art mimicking life.

To this day, St. Vincent’s set at Bonnaroo 2012 is still on of my favorite performances ever. Annie’s voice is everything to me – there is so much depth and so many ayers to it. Her dynamic as an artist is honestly making her one of my favorites ever.

Local Natives – Who knows Who Cares (live)

I just discovered La Blogoteque not too long ago. If you’ve never heard of it definitely check out the YouTube channel. There are tons of ridiculously amazing stripped down performances by great musicians.

This one is definitely one of my favorites. I’m really excited I’m going be seeing Local Natives next week at Terminal 5. The vocal work these boys put in is nothing short of admirable. Can’t wait to hear these harmonies live!

Father John Misty – Only Son of the Ladies Man (live acoustic)

I’m having the hardest time quitting Father John Misty. This video has just over 2,000 views and I’m pretty sure they’re all from me. I really love this guy’s delivery. It’s like he’s not taking himself seriously at all but the connection to song and lyrics are so honest.

There isn’t a whole lot happening musically but there’s so much content in his words. I was lucky enough to catch his set at Bonnaroo and he’s definitely a showman! Really great stuff.

Shuffle 01: Arctic Monkeys – I Wanna Be Yours

I can’t get enough of the Arctic Monkeys new album. This song in particular is one of my favorites. I love the old school RnB vibe they’ve got going on and Alex and Matt are killing that riff in the chorus. The “Pacific Ocean” lyric is pure sexuality. Well done, guys. This album is definitely a contender for my top 10 of the 2013.

I also found this pretty decent quality gem of them performing this song for the first time at Club 69 in Antwerp. Alex seems not quite as comfortable without a guitar strap around his shoulder. This guy exudes so much cool though it almost doesn’t even matter.

My Favorite Albums of 2012

Here’s to a solid one post per year! If you can count on anything it’s that I will be doing this at the end of every year. It’s been a pretty rough one and, unfortunately, I didn’t get to listen to nearly as much music as I usually do. But here are some nifty tunes that helped get me through 2012. I’m essentially exporting this list from FB so I can have it here as well.

10. The AntlersUndersea EP


9. Chromatics – Kill For Love


8.  Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan


7. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls


6. Jack White – Blunderbuss


5. Beach House – Bloom


4. Japandroids – Celebration Rock


3. Spiritualized Sweet Heart Sweet Light


2. Grizzly Bear – Shields


1. Tame Impala – Lonerism

Looking back this list turned out a lot better than I expected it to! There are some really great albums in this bunch.