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Sofar (sounds) so good…

11 Jan

So we went to a Sofar Sounds show….

Preface: Pokito, a wonderful (tiny) asian/southwestern fusion bar/resto with fantastic happy hour and food. We also met one of the performers (review to come later) who enthusiastically and sincerely asked, “but why are you even coming?” – to which we emphatically responded, to see what’s out there. To seek out some interesting shit.

And then, First, venue: a 20-something gent named Michael let us into his eccentrically appointed artists loft on South 4th (next to the Woods – I’m already on board). We packed into a large room, grabbing a spot on the floor, with 50-60 creative-minded people (read: lots of chambray and denim combos). I brought a travel neck pillow as a butt donut (yasss). After popping a bottle of BYOB red wine and some glasses carried en tote, we were introduced to the Sofar evening’s host, our fellow guests (yes, there’s a meet and greet moment) and then the music began.
Set 1: Magana – This beautiful, subtle singer-song writer had us with her minimalistic, breath-fueled vocals. She was captivating and modest and I couldn’t help but gape. Her song, “No More Friends” brought me right back to college, and a memorable trip to the Bronx zoo. Apparently, she has a full band show at Pete’s Candy this March. I’ll be stopping by.
Set 2: Girl Blue  – holy shit. white girl’s got pipes. With meaningful lyrics and political satire, our pre-show girl crush (said performer we had met at Pokito) had the right aesthetic for the room. Her voice is brilliant and wielded with powerful intention. I could have listened to her sing about tax returns. PLEASE let her sing about ANYTHING. Hailing from Albany, she’ll be opening for Michael Bloom at Bowery Ballroom this spring. I will absolutely be following her tour dates.
Set 3: Micky Sings + Mateo – not for me, but in an “I respect the hustle and what you’re trying to do” type of way. Micky was an aggro male voice who’s played over 400 times in 2016. I think he was a bit restrained by the Sofar format but it is what it is. Mateo on the keyboard grabbed one solo song and nailed it – I’m not a huge electric keyboard gal, but I picked up what he was putting down. They’re at Rockwood on Saturdays in February, if that’s your thang.
Overall, I would say go to a Sofar Sounds show. Get to know their scene, enjoy the unique setting, the undiscovered musicians, and, if you’re blessed by the domestic gods, apply to host one. Everyone on this list owes it to themselves to check it out, should there be events in your hood. Check it out.

She’s bi-PARTY-san

6 Nov

May the best woman win…

Part restrained disco, part oddly Fleetwood Mac-ish (hey now – wait till the female vocals come in), Shiny Toy Guns won’t have you Fading Listening (except, of course, if you’re faded while you’re listening – but that’s another set of circumstances for a different time). Moving along… if you haven’t noticed yet, I have a massive thing for the xx – this Take It Easy Hospital rework of Angels takes things to the next level without losing the authenticity of the original track.  Completely losing the original track, the Cyril Hahn take on Losing You by Beyonce’s lil sis Solange is pretty out there – if by “out there” you get that I freakin lurve it.

Other highlights include the oh-so-dancey Good For You by Icona Pop and DVNO,  a rager crafted by Justice then refined by Kids at the Bar.  Closing things out, the completely sex-i-fied Something About Us by none other than Daft Punk will have you forgetting political lines and seeing… well, stars.  Rock the vote, then rock out, kids.

Want on the mailing list to get the full downloadable playlists?  Leave a comment or shoot me an email to Rhea Recommends at gmail dot com.

Over and out.

She’s So Emo

16 Oct

Oh, so this is going to be a regular thing?

Swedish trio Niki and the Dove‘s 2010 track Mother Protect gets the Goldroom treatment; the resulting mix is a small synth-pop celebration that’s perfect for shaking the goods.  On the other end of the spectrum, one of my favorite bands, Tame Impala returned to the studio to create their sophomore album, “Lonerism” – introspective and psychedelic songs like Mind Mischief are sure to continue growing a fan base for the Aussie band.   Tickets for NY shows sold out large venues in a day (I snagged a pair for the Webster Hall show this November back in August) – keep an eye out for upcoming show announcements.  The latest track I’m getting all emo over?  True Romance is a giddy electronic chronicle of young love whose sound inspiration was allegedly “Kanye West producing an Arcade Fire song” according to Citizens!, the five-member all-male band behind the track.  Whatever that means, this Gigmesh remix nails it.  If you’re as big a fan of Chad Valley as I am, give a listen to Tell All Your Friends and I’m sure you’ll do just that.  Head’s up; he’s opening the Windish Agency’s CMJ Showcase at Brooklyn Bowl on Friday, Oct. 19th – snag tickets and party with the cool kids (including yours truly).  Rounding things out with a dark finale, First Aid Kit relies on haunting vocals doctored to produce the perfect chilling sensation, reminding you that though it’s still Autumn, Winter Is All Over You.

Friends: enjoy the listen and expect the full Rhea Recommends: She’s So Emo playlist, coming to an inbox near you soon.

She’s Fall Mixed Up

24 Sep

It’s about time.

CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share – Bubble gum synth pop, and that’s fine by me.  This Glasgow-hailing trio is buzzing right now – they’ll be touring with Passion Pit this Fall; I can only hope they’ll hit the US. hard.

Escort – Cocaine Blues – BK-based contemporary disco that’s catchy as hell.  Apparently their live sets feature a 17-piece line-up.  October 27th at Webster Hall. Color me interested.

Sky Ferreira – Everything is Embarrassing –  US singer-songwriter-model-actress-whatever, this chick’s got chops.

Lana Del Ray – Backfire– Sure, she’s awkward as F live, but with the catalog of hauntingly sensual tracks she’s amassed over the past year, I’ll give her a pass for the whole SNL blunder.  This one doesn’t disappoint.

Jamie xx – Rolling in the Deep (feat. Childish Gambino)– The boys managed to sneak their way into this one by piggy-backing re-inventing this not-just-quite played-out Adele mega hit.  Love Childish Gambino’s feature and if this is your first encounter with the solo work of the xx’s Jamie Smith, you owe yourself a good catchup session.

Till next time – RR signing out.

Rhea Recommends Chicago: The Deep Dish

10 Aug

It's Better Backstage

Seeing as I had the absolutely fabulous opportunity to hang in Downtown Chicago this past weekend, you’re getting the (deep) dish on some of my trip highlights.  Between the music, the culture of Chi-Town and a BYOB brunch to rival some of NYC’s best,  I‘ve got some awesomeness to share with y’all you all.

Let’s talk eats… obviously, I managed to get a BYOB brunch in there (2x).  Yolk in South Loop (S Michigan Ave btwn E 11th St/E Roosevelt) was legit.  We rolled up with bottles of Prosecco, ordered some orange juice to-go and hung out/drank in the courtyard while waiting for our table.  Once we were called, we had some top notch egg dishes in skillets, omelets and sammies – everything costs under $10 and includes your choice of pancakes (a HUGE order), an English muffin or toast.  Oh, and there’s NO CHARGE for Egg Beaters or whites.   Kick ass deal.  This girl LOVES it.

Music?  Yeah, there was music.  Holla for Lolla(palooza) – some of my favorite eargasm-able artists rocked the crowd.  My highlights include:

Foster the PeopleHoudini

PhantogramWhen I’m Small

Manchester OrchestraI’ve Got Friends

Local Natives Cubism Dream

Fitz and the TantrumsDon’t Gotta Work It Out

Foster the People @ Belve Lounge

Culture, ok, there’s some of that too.  Chicago-natives and tourists alike will enjoy the Architecture Tour ($25-35) – it’s a 90 minute expedition through the Chicago waterways checking out the buildings that make Chi-Town architecture truly remarkable.  You get a little history, learn some fun facts – and hey, you’re on a boat!  It’s definitely another attraction I deem worthy of looking up for – c’mon kids, your neck can handle it.

Marina City (Bertrand Goldberg)

After a long day of adventures in the windy city, treat yourself to a delicious little dinner – I’m a big fan of the inexpensive family-style Italian fare at Quartino.  Thin crust pizza may not be Chicago’s signature slice, but the folks at Quartino know how to make a mean crispy pie.  Not in the mood for Italian?  Not a problem! Sign onto and get hooked up with 30% off the total bill at the city’s hottest restos.   Over and out; it’s been real, Chicago.

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