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Monday, December 10, 2012

Dani Shay: "One"

There hasn't been much on good ol' Ear It Now in a while, but this is definitely worth it a post.  Definitely. Since I have never watched America's Got Talent or The Glee Project, or, well, Glee for that matter, I had never heard of Dani Shay before I got an e-mail about this single release.  Luckily for me, I saw the name "Fun." in the subject line, and opened that digital dreambox right on up.  Apparently, Dani shared this video first with Fun., who created The Ally Coalition with designer Rachel Antonoff, which raises funds and awareness for LGBTQ equality.  (Dani and her girlfriend, Ali, have been big fans of the band and TAC.) 

Learn more, get the tunes, and find out more than I know on Dani's website here.

But first, take five seconds out of your SUPER BUSY day to watch this video and let this song infect your ears.  I'm going to play it on repeat until everyone tells me to turn it the hell off. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lana Del Ray - National Anthem

She's eerie, she's awkward, she's created buzz across the lands.  And now, she sings the national anthem! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Christopher Paul Stelling - A Roadside Interview

Christopher Paul Stelling doesn’t know who Ke$ha is, and he has probably listened to more books on tape than you have.  In fact, he’s listening to Crime and Punishment, and he asks me what a Ke$ha is.  Good for him, right?

It takes Christopher Paul Stelling and I a little while to get in touch, between missed phone calls and mixed up time zones, but when we finally do, it’s certainly worth it.  I catch him while he’s at a roadside stop with his lady (as he endearingly refers to her) while they grab coffee and she reads the paper.  Our conversation is scattered (mostly thanks to me) and revolves a lot around how he ended up where he is-- a conversation that could easily have gone on for days – considering all of his adventures. 

Stelling has spent time all over the country; he has a phone number hailing from Florida, but now he resides in Brooklyn. At one point he was in Asheville working at a grocery store, and when I spoke to him he was on the road headed to Niagara Falls, followed by a show in Rochester.  I mean, the guy has driven 20,000 miles on this trip alone.  Or so I’ve been told. 

(c/o Girlie Action)

He tells me that over the course of the past two or three years, he has amassed about 50 songs,  and up until he moved to Brooklyn and started playing in the subway after his breakfast-cooking shift, he was just “building guitars and avoiding the inevitable--going out and playing them.” Some of those 50 songs can be heard on his album, and if you're a Daytrotter fan, check out his second session here (which also has some of those 50 songs.)

The Subway was where his now publicist first heard him play and befriended him (Stelling is now represented by Girlie Action Media).  He tells me it was nice because then he at least knew somebody would be coming with him to his shows – a somewhat hilarious sentiment if you ask me. 

In regards to recording his debut album, Songs of Praise and Scorn, which was released on February 12th,  he recorded the entirety of it in a 200 year old funeral home in Louisville, Kentucky.  Sounds eerie as hell, right?  According to him, “Yeah it was creepy, it’s a fucking 200 year old funeral home; it was just unsettling enough that it was fun to work at.” 


We then launched into a vague discussion of songwriting and writing in general-how being somewhere a little bit uncomfortable can be just the catalyst a songwriter needs to propel him into a song.  When you listen to his album, his songwriting skills and finger-picking are signs of sheer talent, the finger picking he claims he just “got into” after playing bass with his fingers for a while.  Meaning, he taught himself the magic that exudes from these songs.

The stripped-down, acoustics of his songs are also a part of his self-reliance; he reveals, “-“I didn’t want to have to depend on anybody.”  Not in a self-centered sort of way, but in an authentic sort of way—meaning he wants to be able to perform without having to depend on a full band or a bunch of other people in order for the songs to sound the way they do. 

Still, he says in a self-deprecating and humorous moment, “I just don’t know how people can even listen to my shit.”  This is probably one of the most reflective statements you’ll ever hear from a musician—humble and honest, with just a bit of a sardonic edge. 

Luckily for him, people can listen to his shit, and they are.  He’s been travelling the country sharing his songs, and meeting people and stumbling across places along the way.  His wife, who sings with him on occasion, comes along for the ride often.  Recently, at a show in Memphis, he was able to introduce himself to Malcolm Holcombe, someone who has become a recent influence for Stelling.  He tells me it was “probably the greatest show of his life.”   You'll notice below that he is playing a show with Holcombe later on his tour in Pennsylvania.  

Chances are for Stelling, that show in Memphis will be one of many great shows over the course of the next several years.  Be sure to check out the tour dates for him below, and make sure you head over to his site for more information, a chance to closely read his lyrics, and have a good listen to the album.  

4/25 – Providence, RI – Local 121
4/26 – Burlington, VT – Monkey House
4/28 – Philadelphia, PA – North Star Bar
5/18 – Bethlehem, PA – Godfrey Daniels- w/ Malcolm Holcombe!  (you guys see this, right?!)
Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good Old War - Again?!

I think it's important that I keep you up to date on Good Old War.  Last week, these lovely gentlemen performed "Better Weather" on Conan--and, as always, they proved once again just how talented and charming they are.  Their album Come Back As Rain dropped in March, and they have been ferociously touring ever since.  In fact, just last night they sold out Chicago's Lincoln Hall---plus, they had Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, in the audience!  A while back, we had a quirky interview with lead-guitarist Dan Schwartz  here, well before the boys had reached all-star status.  Check them out on Conan below in case you missed it.  

Need more tour dates, amazing merch, or pictures of their beautiful faces?  Head to their site.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Caveman & More

Ear It Now is back. It's been a slow year or so, but be expecting more posts, and be expecting to read more specifically about the Nashville and Chicago music scenes.

First things first, Caveman. A while back, I reviewed their show at The Basement, and the Brooklyn-based rockers certainly impressed me. They've got quite a stretch ahead of them this spring, and have just recorded an NPR Tiny Desk Series, which you can check out below.

I love Tiny Desk concerts almost as much as macaroni and cheese, and this one is no exception. Tour dates here:

Caveman Tour Dates:
3/29: Syracuse, NY @ Syracuse University

3/30: Bethlehem, PA @ Nowadays Festival

4/9: Washington, D.C. @ Red Palace

4/10: Columbus, OH @ The Basement

4/11: Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig

4/12: Chicago, IL @ Schubas

4/13: Madison, WI @ UW Madison

4/14: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry

4/16: Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room

4/17: Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

4/18: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

4/20: Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore

4/21: Seattle, WA @ Barboza (Neumos)

4/22: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

4/24: San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar

4/25: Los Angeles, CA @ Echo

4/27: San Diego, CA @ Casbah

4/28: Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress

5/1: Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar

5/2: Columbia, MO @ Mojos

5/3: Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub

5/4: Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy

5/5: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) w/ Beirut
Saturday, March 3, 2012

Heartless Bastards-Tonight @ Mercy Lounge!

The Heartless Bastards (originally from my lovely hometown of Cincinnati) will be hitting up our beloved Mercy Lounge tonight to infect your souls with delicious tunes. Check out this video of them on Letterman about a week and a half ago. Their most recent album, Arrow dropped a few weeks ago on Partisan records and has been getting raving reviews from a myriad of outlets.

Definitely check them out tonight if you're in town, and pick up a copy of Arrow if you happen to swing by Grimey's this weekend.
Monday, January 16, 2012

Walk Off The Earth - Gotye Cover "Somebody That I Used To Know"

So, apparently this video has just gone VIRAL. I'm talking over 23 million views in the last few weeks alone. So, I'm probably one of the last people with a computer to talk about it. But, in my humble opinion, it's still well worth posting just in case you a) haven't seen it or b) need to see it again.

A good cover is hard to find. You want it to sound enough like the original so that you still actually enjoy the song, but it needs to have enough character on its own to be even somewhat decent. (This is why karaoke never works or constitutes as a 'cover', because neither of the aforementioned requirements are met.)

This cover stays true enough to the original song but IS PERFORMED WITH ONLY ONE GUITAR.

Apparently these guys have been around for a bit and have gained a bit of notoriety for covering some other songs as well-- they're from Canada, and all I can say is that I'm excited to see what else they've got.


If you would like to feature your band or music on earitnow or have questions or comments about existing content, or show review requests for Chicago please contact me via email michael@earitnow.com~ many thanks and enjoy your stay!

For Nashville show review requests please contact liz@earitnow.com


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