Friday, March 24, 2017

Fun and Funky

You know the feeling. When that song gets you to jump around, and the vibe flows from your ears to the tips of your toes and all the back again. These songs make you wanna get up, and dance and they can only be described as funky. Here are our selections of bands that will get your toes tapping and hips moving to some much needed groovy beats.

Vulfpeck: From just a listen, you’d assume they are foreign. Maybe somewhere in Europe? However, this Ann Arbor band proves to any listener that funky sounds come from anywhere. Their original sound can only be characterized as funky in the best possible way. Ask anyone who has listened to “Back Pocket” or “1612,” they will probably tell you the same thing: Vulfpeck makes you want to dance. The groove that their music carries makes even the stiffest listeners happy.

Motown: When people think of fun and grooving, most people’s mind runs to Motown. Originally known for the Hitsville U.S.A studio, the accepting scene and vibe surrounding this company’s music was not only adored and promoted throughout the black community but also appreciated by listeners everywhere. Groups like the O’Jays, the Temptations, the Supremes and the Jackson Five all owe their start to Motown. Even their reputation began to slow down, the legacy still continued.

Earth wind and fire: Probably one of the funkiest bands of this century, Earth, Wind & Fire fuses soul and jazz to R&B and disco. The band was started in 1970 and are still performing music today. Earth, Wind & Fire exudes genuine spirit. Their most famous songs, “September,” “Boogie Wonderland” and “Let’s Groove,” are sure to put their audience into a trance. But the best part of listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire is that you know you’ll probably find yourself busting out your funkiest dance moves, no matter who you are.

Kid Bloom: With some funky instruments and upbeat tones,  Kid Bloom creates music that has a modern day 70’s psychedelic feel. Their sounds exert groove, taking you to 50 places in your mind during a three-minute song. Kid Bloom is fairly new with only six songs (all of which are incredible), but they are gradually growing in their popularity. Perfect for a chill hangout or driving home at night, their songs are awe-inspiring.  

Current Groovy Tunes: “Electric U”-Kid Bloom, “Farrah Fawcett Hair”-Capital Cities, “Three Weeks”-Perpetual Groove, “Disciples”-Tame Impala, “When I Get Home” - Post Animal, “Zodiac Shit”- Flying Lotus, “Back Pocket”-Vulfpeck,

Throwback Groovy Tunes: “Boogie Wonderland”-Earth, Wind & Fire, “Baby I’m Yours”-Breakbot, “You Make My Dreams”-Daryl Hall & John Oates, “September”-Earth, Wind and Fire, “Love Train”- the O’Jays, “Superstition”-Stevie Wonder, “Crazy”-Gnarls Barkley, “Supersonic Rocket Ship”-The Kinks, “Take on Me”-A-ha,

Upcoming concerts:

Judah and The Lion-House of Blues-Chicago-March 23rd-8:00 pm

Regina Spektor-Chicago Theatre-Chicago-March 24th-7:30 pm

Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey-United Center-Chicago-March 25th-7:00 pm

Bon Jovi-United Center-Chicago-March 26th-7:30 pm

Foxygen-Vic Theater-Chicago-March 31st-8:00 pm

Bowling for Soup-Bottom Lounge-Chicago-March 31st-8:00 pm

Bastille-Aragon Ballroom-Chicago-April 3rd-7:30pm

Hippo Campus-Metro Smart Bar-Chicago-April 7th-7:30 pm

John Mayer-United Center-Chicago-April 11th-7:30 pm

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Film Composers

With a trill of the flute or a crash of a symbol, the composer can dictate a scene, captivating the audience’s emotions. You may not know their names, they may not be in every magazine, but movies would not be the same without them.

John Williams: With 195 soundtracks and 117 awards under his baton, John Williams has become the picture of a successful film composer. He is known for his work for “Star Wars,” Harry Potter, “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws” and “Indiana Jones,” creating strong pieces that don’t lose their power amongst the grace. His music helps shape characters and scenes in a way that only music can; connecting just as much with the people in their movie theater chairs as the characters experiencing the action on screen.

Alexandre Desplat: An incredibly gifted French composer, Alexandre Desplat knows what music is right for each movie. He makes strong and authentic music, but is also very flexible in his style. He will go from the light, quirky, sounds of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Moonrise Kingdom” to the determined and empowering pieces of “The King’s Speech” and “Argo”. Although there are 171 credits to his name, there is no denying each song written and composed is magical, extending the movie beyond what’s seen.

Justin Hurwitz: “Whiplash," Oscar nominee for Best Score, would not have been the same without its innovative beats and melodies to connect each scene to the drama. “La La Land”, 2017 Oscar winner of Best Score, would have never succeeded without Hurwitz’s music adding to the heart of the musical. Although he is 31 and considered sort of green for composers, we know that his passion and understanding of music in movies makes him one to watch out for.

Hans Zimmer: You could list his 15 nominations or his six awards for his music, but nothing compares to when you listen to “Time” from “Inception,” all while watching the earth fold on Leo DiCaprio. Nothing compares to the rises and falls of “No Time For Caution” and feeling the immediacy and fear that every character is living. Hans Zimmer uses his music to add to the emotion of the piece. Not only does he make the audience sympathize with the characters, but he also makes us feel a part of the film, all with a string of notes and chords that mirror the mood. While other people may have more experience or awards, Hans Zimmer will always be the king of making the viewer feel.

Score discovery:
“Time”- Hans Zimmer, “Inception”
“The Middle of the World”- Nicolas Britell, “Moonlight”
“The Smallest Piece”- Don Romer and Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe”- Alexandre Desplat, “Moonrise Kingdom” “Engagement Party”- Justin Hurwitz, “La La Land”
“Schindler's List Theme”- John Williams, “Schindler’s List”
“Feather Theme”- The O’Neill Brothers Group, “Forest Gump”
“Domestic Pressures”- Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
“The Imperial March”- John Williams, “The Empire Strikes Back”

Upcoming Concerts:

We The Kings-Bottom Lounge-Chicago-March 9th-7:00pm
Panic! At the Disco-Allstate Arena-Rosemont-March 11th-7:00pm
Ariana Grande-United Center-Chicago-March 14th-7:30pm
The Orwells-Metro Smart Bar-Chicago-March 16th-7:30pm
Cold War Kids-Riviera Theatre-Chicago-March 18th-8:00pm
Judah and The Lion-House of Blues-Chicago-March 23rd-8:00pm
Regina Spektor-Chicago Theatre-Chicago-March 24th-7:30pm
Lionel Richie with Mariah Carey-United Center-Chicago-March 25th-7:00pm
Bon Jovi-United Center-Chicago-March 26th-7:30pm