As I approached the entrance to Sokol Auditorium, it was almost impossible to tell that a show had begun only minutes before. I breezed through the entrance to find a very short, hardly memorable set by alternative pop-rock band Shoreline Ends. After a short wait, Secondhand Serenade's John Vesley took the stage, blowing the crowd away with his acoustic guitar and heartfelt vocals.
Avey Tare's first solo album isn't quite what you would expect out from a crucial member of Animal Collective. Then again, you never get what you'd expect from the genre-defying experimental group. For Tare's first album from the late 1990's, he recruited friend Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) to beat the drums. Nine albums later, they are still creating music. Panda has gone on to record three solo albums with a fourth coming soon, including the highly acclaimed (and 2007's best) "Person Pitch." It's no wonder Tare finally decided to try it himself, and the final product is the challenging "Down There."
Last Monday morning saw two hours of sleep and a big psychology test. All of these stresses suddenly seemed distant and unimportant when I ventured out into a mild November morning to buy a copy of Josh Groban's fifth studio album, "Illuminations."
What do they sound like?" is a question often asked when you tell someone about a new band. Sometimes, one can just say that a band makes rock music. Other times, the answer is more difficult, and we try to compare them to a better-known band. If the band is worth talking about, comparisons are difficult to come by. A band worth taking notice of isn't trying to sound like someone else or copy the latest "in" band. A band worth noticing makes its own sound.
On a chilly night, much of the city's youth and youthful gathered at local historical musical hotspot Sokol Auditorium to see Grammatik, VibeSquaD and the evening's headliner Pretty Lights. The cold weather couldn't stop a sold out crowd from dancing themselves clean on Nov. 15.
The Sokol Auditorium was packed to the max on Friday night as a sold-out crowd jumped, bumped and cheered to the mashup magic of Girl Talk, aka Gregg Gillis, during the first stop of his fresh 40-city North American tour.
Reel Big Fish's recent return to the metro on Nov. 13 was another show for the books. The fun started at Sokol Auditorium with the quirky duo Koo Koo Kangaroo. Suburban Legends were up next, with an almost-boyband approach to ska music. These California boys had their horn section dancing most of the show, and closed out their set with the whole band doing a synchronized finale, reminiscent of N*SYNC.
Bruno Mars has said in interviews that from a young age he was exposed to a variety of music including reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B. He began impersonating and performing songs by Michael Jackson, Elvis and The Temptations. It's these artists' influence that listeners can hear the most of in Mars' debut fulllength album "Doo-Wops & Hooligans.'