Spring 2017 Repeat One(s)

Spring is in full effect here in the beautiful Mojave Desert. I am already thinking about summer, but am not really ready for those super hot days and slightly less hot nights. I am, however, excited for a summer of music. By last count starting in April-August there are 11 shows on the docket. I am sure more will be added. As I am currently procrastinating doing homework, I will be more brief. The following songs have been on heavy rotation for me this Spring. Good news is that I’ll get to see some of them soon.

First up is “Can We Hang On?” by The Cold War Kids. Their song “First” from the previous record is one of my all-time favorite songs, and this one is very powerful and gives me some of those same feelings.

Until I finish my allegedly epic (in my head) post on protest music, the next Repeat One from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit may have to suffice. The first single is called “Hope The High Road” and it is a protest rock and roll song if I’ve ever heard one. Isbell is not ashamed of his politics and his disdain for ignorance. His former bandmates Drive-by-Truckers had  one of the best albums of 2016 that also happened to be filled with social commentary, so its no surprise that he is more overt with this newest song.

“There can’t be more of them than us”, while I am not a praying man, Jason, by god, I hope you are right.

Next is my second favorite set of hometown boys, Imagine Dragons, with “Believer”. I’ll just leave this freaking incredible video to speak on its own. Plus Dolph Lundgren. If this song is any indication for what is next for one of Vegas’ favorite sons and his crew, I can’t wait.

One day my cubicle neighbor and friend asked if I had heard of LP. I had heard the name, but had not really ever given her a listen. That was an error on my fault. I’ve since remedied that, and have been listening almost obsessively. My favorite song is “Strange”.

Last year the band MUNA opened up for Grouplove and my life was forever changed. Since that time they’ve released their first full-length album and have been touring on their own. This version of their song “I Know a Place” is so hauntingly simple and beautiful.

And finally, the one not new song on the list comes from Bhi Bhiman and features Rhiannon Giddens (solo artist and of the Carolina Chocolate Drops). The song “Up In Arms” could also be placed in the aforementioned Protest Songs post, but we can enjoy it hear. This song gives me chills normally, this version even more so.

Diving In

Earlier this year I read about a study that said that people stop listening to new music by the time they are 33. Basically, most people will stop listening to music that they are not familiar with around the age of 33. Now, I would say that since hitting 30, my new music intake has been through the roof. But to prove this study wrong, over the last few weeks I’ve been listening to new music almost exclusively. Here are a few things I’ve found.

1) The National Parks – maybe I should live in Utah, and thankfully I live close enough, because this Utah band is making music that fills my soul. With similarities to some other favorites like Churchill and The Mowgli’s, this multi-member band combines traditional folk elements and indie sensibilities. Here is “Wind & Anchor”:

2) Parade of Lights – Unbeknownst to me, this LA based band got some of their first gigs in my wonderful city of Las Vegas. They have a unique sound in the world of electro-pop combining soothing melodies with strong lyrics and powerful vocals. I am super excited that they are on the bill for Life Is Beautiful this year. They have a similar vibe to some favorites like The Naked and Famous and St. Lucia, but feel a bit more rock to me. Here is “Feeling Electric” from their new album of the same name.

3) Mount Saint – Readers of Sandy Beats will know how big of fans we are of Imagine Dragons. Well, the first few times that I saw them and the first time that @begutierrez they had a husband and wife duo on the drums and keys. I was a big fan of Dan’s booming voice harmonized with Brittany Tolman, and definitely missed those harmonies when the duo decided to leave ID. Well, now I can get more of her voice with her new band, Mount Saint. They are reminiscent of early Imagine Dragons, but also have a bit of that 80’s synth pop that I love. They are based in L.A. so maybe they will hit up Las Vegas soon. Here is “Criminal” from their self-titled EP.

Stay tuned for some more new music…because screw statistics. Ha!

It is the end of the world (aka 2014) as we know it…and I feel fine.

It has been too long, and we are sorry. There has been a long absence from us. But 2015 is upon us, and that means more new music and more shows.

2014 has ended out with a bang. I think I’ve seen the last two shows of my 2014 (who knows, that may change). With great joy I witnessed the homecoming of one of Sandy Beats’ favorite bands, Imagine Dragons, as well as a new locally bred favorite Brumby. I also enjoyed the sweet sounds of one of my Life is Beautiful favorites Priory and revisited my teenage years with Bush.

It is not quite yet time for the best of 2014 from @begt and I, but that will come in January, I can assure you.

In the meantime…

My “classic” Repeat One of the moment is “Calamity Song” by indie folk leaders The Decemberists.

My “new” Repeat One of the moment (which should be no surprise) is “Shut Up and Dance” by WALK THE MOON (who will be gracing Las Vegas in May!!)

And while they didn’t play the song when I saw them this week…it is only fitting to honor Imagine Dragons with “Look How Far We’ve Come”. If the time comes that I leave Las Vegas, this band will signify my time here. I cannot help but get goosebumps any time I hear their music.

Another band I saw recently who has held a top spot on my playlist as of recent is We Were Promised Jetpacks. This Scottish band rocks my world each and everyday with “Quiet Little Voices”

As mentioned, Las Vegas bred Brumby is new discovery to me. “High Waters” has been on my playlist for the last week.

I’ll leave you with my three biggest Life is Beautiful surprises. First up is St. Paul and the Broken Bones with “Call Me”. If this doesn’t get something stirring inside of you, I think you should call your doctor.

Nahko and Medicine for the People brought me back to my roots with with “Manifesto II”.

And finally, Catfish and the Bottlemen with “Cocoon”.

Imagine Dragons @ BOK Center, Tulsa

A week ago, I woke up with Imagine Dragon‘s “Nothing Left To Say” in my head. It stayed there the whole drive back from Tulsa, even though my friends and I were listening to a bunch of different music. That was the last song of the show the previous night. A show that rocked the BOK Center in Tulsa. 

It was an amazing show. We got there in time to catch The Naked And Famous, but late enough to miss Nico Vega. I only knew NV played when I saw the shirts at the merch tables. 

Imagine Dragons dedicated the night to Tyler Robinson, who passed away last year at a very young age, after battling cancer. All the profits from that show also went to the Tyler Robinson Foundation, which was such a great gesture. The whole band wore matching shirts promoting the foundation. 

ID started out with “Fallen” one of my most recent favorites. Can you believe I didn’t know of the existence of this song until about 4 weeks ago? It came up on Pandora while I was getting ready for work and I had to run to the living room to check out the name of the song, because it didn’t sound familiar and I recognize that it was ID. That’s when @DocMurda pointed out I didn’t have the deluxe version of the album (damn you, deluxe versions!)

They played several favorites, from “Amsterdam,” to “Demons,” which made everyone get up and  take out their phone to record it, to the must of probably every performance, “Radioactive.” No “Tokyo,” though. I keep my hopes high that “Tokyo” will make its way back into their catalog. 

Now, before you hit play on the videos, let me apologize. I really don’t have any business singing, but you know… that’s what we do at concerts. Sorry for messing up the videos (LOL!)

Now, if you thought “that wasn’t so bad” well, that’s because this is where it really gets bad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkyxzqpChSE

And here’s The Naked And Famous, who put on a great set. They sound a lot better indoors (last time I saw them was in the open, at the Blvd Pool at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas). They are coming back to Tulsa on May 31. And I’m currently looking for someone who wants to come with me to that show. Any takers?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcVI1mIYsf0

Imagine Dragons, Tulsa 2/22

I haven’t been posting much lately, but it’s because I haven’t had time to search for new music as I usually do. I’ve only been craving Vegas… that music scene is so awesome. I’m totally jealous of @DocMurda. He went to The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan to see Fitz And The Tantrums and Capital Cities last night. I blame his texts for the weird dreams I had.

But I have my share of awesomeness coming up, as I get on the road to Tulsa with a couple of friends on Saturday for a night with Imagine Dragons. Aaaah, yeah! And not only that, but I’m also excited to catch The Naked And Famous once again, as they are opening for ID (note to self: find the TNAF t-shirt). I just realize that my first ID and TNAF concerts were both in Las Vegas (I’m telling you.. I’m jealous).

Tulsa, I can’t wait!

New Video: “On Top Of The World” by Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons has had an awesome week. They took over Twitter trends on Sunday night during their performance of “Radioactive” at the MTV EMAs. Today, they released the video for “On Top of The World.” The video is pretty damn cute, if you ask me. You get to meet Dan’s (main vocals) family and Wayne’s (guitar) wife. I don’t know that Ben (bass) is married or if that’s just a fantasy, but those kids are hilarious and look exactly what I would picture his sons to look like. The mini tribute to The Beatles (goals?) and the whole faking the moon landing theme are light and quite appropriate for this fun song. Click play and enjoy!