Tag Archives: bands

April 2020 Funky Time Jams

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April 2020 Funky Time Jams

Hello! We are officially one week through April and what feels like one thousand years in self-isolation. So, music has definitely been a big part of helping to make the time go faster. There’s something about playing a familiar song while tucking into a good book that is so comforting – especially when it’s so easy to feel unnerved even in your own home. This is the music that has been keeping me company as yet another day in quarantine passes by:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

A random compilation, I know – but this has been such a random feeling time. Everything just seems so up in the air and I never know what mood I’m in. Sometimes all I want to hear is top forty hits all day. Other times, I want nothing more than to time travel back to the 50s and 60s as I eagerly await for the completion of another day.

While Ohio is under a stay at home order, I have been clinging to a schedule and normalcy. This means following along with my music listening times daily like when I’m in the shower or writing in the morning. It’s nice to hear something that puts me more at ease when I’m trying to relax or upbeat tracks when I need to get ready for work.

Familiar things are my friends right now and the songs above have all been there at some point during this whole ordeal. Whether that be to save me from boredom or to hype me up, there’s nothing better than some Old Faithfuls!

What have been your favorite songs lately? What do you play to fight the lock down blues? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

March 2020 Funky Time Jams

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March 2020 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! One of my clients at work absolutely loves oldies style music. This has definitely opened a whole new genre to me and I am actually pretty obsessed. I find myself humming the catchy, poppy tunes constantly and feel like I always have an earworm in my head of songs from the 1950s. Before, I was a-okay with just hearing this music for fifteen hours of my work week but I’ll be goddamned if I say that I’m not listening to it all the time now! Especially some of the following:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love music of all kinds. I dabble in all genres and I always enjoy hearing things that I haven’t heard before. But, after being exposed to this golden era of music, I can honestly understand why people say “they don’t make music like this anymore” because it’s one hundred and fifty percent true.

I just love the talent behind all of these short and sweet songs. The big band instrumentals, the amazing vocals, and the way I want to get up and dance to each song is something that I don’t hear or feel on the radio today. Hearing modern remakes of all of these classics would be cool but nothing will ever beat the real thing.

I feel like I’m traveling back in time when I listen to the oldies and from now on you can find me posted up at The Hop! 😀

What are some of your favorite oldies? What genres of music have you been exploring? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Essentials For Your Home Recording Studio

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Essentials For Your Home Recording Studio

Music has been a big part of cultures around the world for centuries, but it seems like independent and aspiring music producers have become more prevalent in recent decades. Thanks to innovations in technology and music-making equipment, at-home production is more accessible than ever before.

Even if you don’t have room for a full studio in your home, there are some fantastic instruments and music-making tools out there that don’t take up a lot of space. One of these is the Alesis v25, which is a 25-key MIDI keyboard with drum pads. Despite not being as popular as other 25-key MIDI keyboards out there, Alesis v25 reviews make it sound like an excellent choice for producing music and beats at home. It’s also one of the most affordable at $179 retail.

Top Keyboard for Recording Music at Home:

The Alesis V25 is a very intuitive and powerful MIDI keyboard for at-home music production. It has 25 keys, eight drum pads, and four rotary knobs to expand the melodic range and chords you can produce with the keyboard. You can even play bass lines.

  • Full-sized, semi-weighted keys prevent cramping in hands and fingers
  • Velocity-sensitive drum pads for adding beat patterns
  • Responsive rotary knobs to fine tune effects
  • Plug-and-play technology for a simple USB connection and digital audio workstation (DAW) detection
  • Compact, portable, and lightweight (5.4 pounds)

Once you have the ideal keyboard for making music, it’s time to stock up on some other home recording equipment to mix, edit, and refine your work.

Essential Audio Recording Equipment:

Your home recording studio or station should include some critical pieces of equipment, but you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for it. The list of essentials is quite short and you can find proper quality equipment for affordable prices both online and in stores like Best Buy and even Walmart. The leading necessary audio recording equipment you should have includes:

Microphone:

Home music production cannot be achieved successfully without a microphone and long-lasting mic cables. For home recording, cardioid microphones are best because they help reject any sound coming from behind you. While you can easily spend over $1,000 on a quality condenser microphone and stand, there are several excellent options for $300 or less.

Mic Stand:

Be sure to get a quality mic stand as well! You don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-quality microphone, only to knock it over and ruin it. There are excellent mic stand options for any budget, and you can probably spend less than $50.

Headphones:

Your smartphone earbuds won’t do for home recording, so be sure to invest in a good pair of over-the-ear headphones for mixing and monitoring when you’re recording. Before you buy, compare the specs based on your needs. Look into the headphones’ drivers, impedance, and sensitivity.

Audio Interface:

A USB audio interface is necessary to connect your headphones, microphone, and speakers to your computer for editing and mixing sounds. You can probably find what you need for less than $200, depending on the kind of system and types of features you require.

Pop Filter or Shield:

An inexpensive and essential piece of equipment for any home recording studio is a pop filter or pop shield, especially if you’re recording vocals. Pop filters not only protect your mic from vocalists’ spit, but they also block “plosives” and maintain the quality of your vocals. You can probably find a quality pop shield on Amazon for less than $30.

Speakers:

Decent studio speakers or monitors are a must for any home recording studio. Without them, you may find that your work sounds very different (and less-than-desired) when played outside of your studio headphones. There are countless different speakers to choose from, but a few things to consider are amplification, placement in your studio, size, listening distance, and connection to your audio editing equipment. For a direct link to your computer or audio interface, a USB connection will do, but for interfaces with balanced outputs, you’ll want a balanced XLR or jack input.

Acoustic Room Treatments:

When recording from a room or space in your home, you’ll need to think about more than just any sounds from the outside. The reverb of sounds within the recording area can affect the audio as well, so you will need to install acoustic panels and diffusers on the walls to create an accurate acoustic environment and make your sound better. You can make your own panels for a fraction of the cost of acoustic treatments, which can get pretty pricey.

Use the tips above, start recording your tunes, and maybe you’ll catch your big break!

Featured Image By: Reinhold Schlager from Pixabay.

February 2020 Funky Time Jams

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February 2020 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! We are flying through February and are already onto our second Funky Time Jams post of 2020. Crazy! January lasted forever and February has felt like a whirlwind of work, appointments, and all Super Bowl everything. I, myself, was a huge fan of the half time show and have been on a bigger Shakira kick than usual and have found myself revisiting all of JLo’s classics, too. Let’s get to it:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!!

This month, blackbear’s “Hot Girl Bummer” has been my absolute number one Funky Time Jam. I heard it a few weeks ago on my way to work and it was stuck in my head all day but then I forgot about it. Then, as luck would have it, it showed up on my YouTube playlist and I must have listened to it at least one hundred times by now. It’s so different than the normal pop or rap hits that I’ve heard because of its electronic beat and I am one hundred and fifty percent there for it.

Now, as I mentioned before, I thought the Super Bowl half time show was an amazing success. Normally, not a day goes by where I don’t think about Shakira at least once (lol), so imagine that constant loop going on in my head all day every day post Super Bowl!

Of course, I was thrilled when she began performing Hips Don’t Lie because I’ve always loved that song. And it makes it even more fun to hear it now because when I’m ice dancing the Cha Cha I always skate to it. Hips Don’t Lie and the Cha Cha ice dance music happen to have the same beats per minute and nothing makes me feel more saucy than skating to Shakira. Everyone should try it some time. 😀

What did you think about the Super Bowl half time show? Which song have you been playing on repeat? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

December 2019 Funky Time Jams

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December 2019 Funky Time Jams

Hello everyone! We are in the final stretch of 2019, which is so crazy to me! It seems like just yesterday that we were ringing in the new year. Now is the time to make your final holiday preparations, decide on your new year’s resolutions, and do what you can to finish up 2019 strongly. So, allow me to suggest some tunes as you work on wrapping up the month and year:

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

This past month, my boyfriend and I watched the Motley Crue movie called The Dirt. Now, mind you, I have never listened to them before in my life but my man is a fan so I decided to give them a go. And, despite all of them being batshit crazy, their music sure is catchy! They actually just announced that they’re going to start touring again so if they come anywhere close to my neck of the woods, I think that Johnny and I are going to go!

And, speaking of concerts, we will be attending the Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Osbourne show in Pittsburgh this coming year, compliments of Johnny’s Christmas gift to me! I am so freaking excited because this will make it the third time I’ve seen Marilyn Manson perform and it never gets old.

Finally, I just had to pepper in some new years themed songs amidst all of the crazies listed above for your enjoyment. Happy last month of the year!

Are you attending any concerts soon? What is your favorite music based movie? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

November 2019 Funky Time Jams

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November 2019 Funky Time Jams

Howdy! We are moving right along in November and the holiday season will be officially upon us in the blink of an eye! The weather is cooling down, the Christmas shopping has begun, and some of you might already be thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions. November is undoubtedly a busy month full of the hustle and bustle of family gatherings and plenty of cooking. It can also be a bit of a stressful time if that really isn’t your thing, so allow these fiery, fiery jams to keep you sane in the midst of it all!

^^^ And, as always, I have no rights to these songs or videos!

So, I don’t know if any of you have seen this hilarious video of Bill Hader dancing but it has become quite the thing on social media and people have began playing a wide variety of music over the video. From Smash Mouth and Michael Jackson to Lil Nas X and Britney Spears, the joy of the video is that his dancing literally goes with any song. This includes “Don’t Trust Me” by 3OH!3 and ever since bearing witness to it, I have been on the biggest kick of their music a la freshman year of high school 2008. It amazes me that I still know all of the lyrics to their songs and it definitely makes my crazy amount of driving for work much more tolerable!

Also, do be sure to check out the video at the top for “Stoned & Lonely” by my boyfriend’s band The Outside Voices. Shooting this music video was an absolute HOOT so see if you can spot your favorite Lil Red hanging out and give their page some love. ❤

What is your favorite viral video? Are you looking forward to the upcoming holiday season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Raconteurs Concert

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The Raconteurs Concert

Hello hello my darlings! On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to be able to see my beloved Jack White for my second birthday concert in a row with The Raconteurs at Stage AE in Pittsburgh. As we all know, I love Jack White more than I love myself most days so when The Raconteurs came out with their first album in eleven years, Help Us Stranger, going to see them was an absolute necessity when they announced their tour.

As luck would have it, they ended up playing in one of my favorite cities (Pittsburgh), at one of my favorite venues (Stage AE) so my parents treated me to two tickets for my 25th birthday. For the past several years in a row, I have attended a concert with my sister for my birthday outing with her and it always ends up being one of the best nights of my life. I am so thankful to Kristen because even if she doesn’t like the band or is unfamiliar with them, she will go with me and words can’t describe how appreciative I am for that.

So, off to Pittsburgh we went to get re-antiquated with Stage AE, where we went to see Marilyn Manson two years ago and Jack White who we saw last year. Stage AE is such a fantastic venue because you can get so close to the stage, and we ended up being in the front row like how we were for Marilyn Manson. And, being that close to some of your favorite musicians is an experience that everyone should have.

Now, you’re probably wondering “where are the pictures?”. And, unfortunately, I have none. Jack White is quite strict about his “no phone” policy at concerts so Kristen and I just left ours in our car. However, the people who did bring theirs with them had to put them in a bag that was sealed with a security tag like they use at clothing stores and could only be removed by security after the show.

I understand this rule and I don’t. It is definitely nice to fully experience a concert without your phone in hand. However, not being able to snap a few pics or take a video is disappointing – especially since we were so close to the stage. I just feel lucky that when I saw Jack White at X-Fest last year, he was performing with other bands so the no phone rule didn’t apply and I was able to take pictures and videos to my heart’s content.

Speaking of other bands, Ex Hex opened for The Raconteurs and they were very good! The all female alt band really held their own nicely on stage and performed songs from their new album It’s Real. Ex Hex hasn’t been on my radar since my PacSun days so it was nice to see them evolve musically and I enjoyed their performance. They wouldn’t necessarily be who I would pick to open for The Raconteurs but it set a good vibe for the amazingness that was to come.

The Raconteurs came out swinging, opening with Bored and Razed and following up with a much loved favorite off of Broken Boy Soldiers, Level. They played a solid mix of nine songs off of Help Us Stranger with nine other tracks from Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers Of The Lonely peppered in for good measure.

I would have loved for them to throw in more of their heavy hitters from the albums, because a few of their choices were a bit too slow paced for my liking. This is especially due to the fact that a lot of their more mellow songs are sung by Brendan Benson with Jack White only accompanying on vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the songs. But, Jack White has an undeniable presence and Benson just didn’t have that. It was also difficult to hear him throughout the concert.

It was awesome hearing a majority of the album Help Us Stranger, though, and their strong points were definitely with Don’t Bother Me and Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying). Shine The Light On Me was another especially powerful one off of their new album. The lighting was also very cool throughout the concert, going between green, red, and a lovely pale yellow which looked awesome on stage.

The highlights for me during the concert were when they brought back songs off of their first album, Broken Boy Soldiers. Their performance was really strong during these songs and it was amazing to hear them close with Broken Boy Soldier, because that’s my absolute favorite song by them. The instrumentals paired with the shocking green light made for an unforgettable version of it and that is what I immediately think of when replaying the night in my head.

Thankfully, they encored with SEVEN MORE SONGS because the first half of the show just wasn’t enough. And, it was a spectacular ending when they concluded with a long version of Blue Veins set to moody midnight lighting and, of course, ultimately bidding their farewells with Steady, As She Goes – as to be expected.

Despite some qualms with not having my phone and a few song choices I could have done without, it was an overall fantastic concert. The gentlemen in The Raconteurs play off of each other so well and are such a cohesive group that watching them put it all together was nothing short of mesmerizing. Although they sounded great, Jack White definitely carried the weight of the show on his shoulders. And, believe me, I am so okay with this. But, it would have been nice to have seen the other guys step up a little more because they are all extremely talented, in their own right.

My fourth concert experience in Pittsburgh was an absolute success and I am looking forward to attending more shows with the best sister a gal could ask for. Sadly, Jack White didn’t notice me pounding White Claws in the audience, but there’s always next time, right?

What concerts have you been to this year? Who else is a fan of The Raconteurs? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: NPR