Playlist for a Pandemic, a look at music series on YouTube

The worst symptom of the Coronavirus might be boredom. So it’s time to go down some of these wormholes on YouTube to get me through the social distancing.

Also, to start writing my blog again.

So I’m going to do different topics, I think mostly music related. This one will be kicked off with some various music series on YouTube that are fun to follow. To be honest, I haven’t checked in with some of these for a while.

AV Undercover

This is a fun series where top up-and-coming acts come through and cover a song from a selected list. Some of these can be really inspired.

Other times, you’re wondering what the hell you just watched.

But that’s the pure fun of this series. I haven’t been following this lately. But above is a fun cover of “Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl” from Looking Glass. Or maybe you’ll know it better from Guardians of the Galaxy II,

Below is one of my favorites from the series, which is Ted Leo and the Pharmacist covering “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” It’s just a fun rock-punk vibe to an 80s staple.

And this one might be my favorite, Nada Surf covering “Bizarre Love Triangle” from New Order. This song seems to be a favorite of a lot of people as I’ve seen numerous covers of this song. Nada Surf added some horns and a beatbox (kind of) to this song which makes it fun.

PS22 Chorus

I stumbled across this when I was looking up music from Walk The Moon, and “Anna Sun” was one of those earworms I couldn’t shake off. That’s when I discovered this performance with this chorus in New York. It’s a really good series that’s truly inspiring.

Here’s another fun video with Portugal the Man performing “Feel It Still” with the chorus.

Live from Daryl’s House

This is an amazing series that features Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates, and he brings in various acts for some amazing jam sessions. This started when I was obsessed with Fitz and the Tantrums and I was blown away when they were on.

I think this one is a real gem with Nick Lowe, covering his hit “Cruel to be Kind.”

And finally, here is Neon Tree with Daryl covering their hit “Animal.”

Let me know what your favorite music series are on YouTube and I’ll feature my favorites in a future blog. I need the inspiration during this pandemic.

Predicting Coachella 2017: Hello old friends, acts due to return

 

By Leighton Ginn

Here’s a few acts I’ve caught at Coachella, which I hope will return.

At least, these are the acts I’m feeling right now. I’m sure there’s more I’ll be able to think of afterwards.

GROUPLOVE

 

I caught Grouplove both times they were at Coachella and they were fantastic performers, a hippy band with the energy of a death metal band.

I read somewhere that “Shark Attack” is a song they wrote from their first time at Coachella, so it only seems natural they would be a regular.

They released “Big Mess” this fall, so they’ll have new music.

Outside of Coachella, I caught them at the Troubadour and the Jimmy Kimmel Show and they never fail to bring the fun.

Looking at their tour schedule, they will end their spring tour on April 13 in Santa Cruz, Ca. The first weekend of Coachella begins April 14.

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

Fitz and the Tantrums have been on a little unusual schedule at Coachella, as they never hit this festival right after releasing new music. It usually comes at the tail end of a run for a CD.

So last year, Fitz and the Tantrums didn’t play as they performed in 2015. And during 2016, they released their self-titled “Fitz and the Tantrum,” which included the hit “Handclap.” The LA Times declared it the song of the summer.

So far, the band doesn’t have its schedule made out for 2017, but if Coachella comes calling, you would expect the LA-based band will return.

TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB

One of the great indie-rock bands, Two Door Cinema Club has come up with more of a pop sound in their new CD, “Gameshow.”

It shows their diversity, particularly with the disco sounds of “Bad Decision,” although some fans were still longing their indie-rock sound.

But even critics of the new sound can’t deny the songs are catchy. And Two Door Cinema Club has a deep catalog.

In their last Coachella performance in 2013 was dazzling.

THE KILLERS

The Las Vegas natives were dazzling headliners in 2009, sandwiched between Paul McCartney and the Cure. But that was the last time they played Coachella as a group, although lead singer Brandon Flowers has returned as a solo act.

The Killers will have new music in 2017, and a return to the Empire Polo Grounds would be an overdue return.

PETER BJORN AND JOHN

These guys are much more than the theme song to “Two Broke Girls.”

They are a great Swedish band. Admittedly, when they last played Coachella, it was after their first CD, and playing the main state seemed a little big for the trio.

But their sound got bigger and they’ve been even more dynamic.

In the summer, they released a new CD “Breaking Point” and played FYF festival on the USC campus.

While they have a great array of hits, I really loved this cover they did with the AV Club and wish they would include it on their setlists.

I caught them on the Sunset Strip the day before their FYF festival and they were glorious.

After 10 Coachella’s, my Top 10 show

 

By Leighton Ginn

Living in the Palm Springs area, going to Coachella is fairly easy since I don’t have to make travel arrangements. And thank God I don’t have to camp.

So going to Coachella has become an annual event. This is my look back at 10 of my favorite shows from my first 10 times at Coachella, which runs from 2003, and 2007-15. I did not include any from the 2016 show, but you can find my recap from those shows on the links below.

Coachella 2016, Day 1 recap

Coachella Day 2 recap: from great to legendary

Coachella Day 3 recap: Crazy fun

PRINCE (2008)

I grew up loving Prince’s music, so I was geeked when he was a late addition to the 2008 lineup, bumping Portishead as the main headliner.

And he did not disappoint.

The show opened with Morris Day and Jerome doing a quick medley of “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.”

Prince was decked out in white and had a funny pronunciation of Coachella that me and my friends still joke about today.

And he just killed it.

What is still talked about today is Prince’s amazing cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”

There was also an amazing cover of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” by Prince’s backup singer Ledisi that blew my mind.

Sheila E was there was well pounding on the drums and also performed her hit “The Glamorous Life.”

It truly was legendary.

Dearly Beloved, We Are Gathered Today to Talk About Prince

THE HIVES (2003)

The first show I ever saw at Coachella and they had me hooked. They have the punk rock spirit I love and it’s just great Rock N Roll.

Their logo was “Your new favorite band,” which has been true since I’ve seen them play.

Lead singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist at one point yelled to one of the other stages to quiet down or he would kick their asses.

Guitarist Nichoulas Arson might be the most intense guitarist I’ve ever seen and he can really shred. He also brings a lot of charisma to match Almqvist.

They would also play again in 2012, and that was a great show, where they came out in full tuxedos and their roadies were dressed as ninjas. But I got caught in a mosh pit, which I’m too old for. But I’ve seen them several times, and dragged many of my friends to catch them. They never put on a bad show.

But there’s nothing quite like the first time.

Coachella acts that were worth the heat stroke

PAUL MCCARTNEY (2009)

A chance to watch a Beatle, and McCartney put on an amazing show that exceeded my expectations.

How McCartney continues to kick ass at his age is really amazing. I wasn’t blown away because he was able to perform so well at an AARP age. I was blown away by the showmanship.

He was on another level.

There were three moments during the show were McCartney dedicated songs to important people in his life: John Lennon, George Harrison and his wife Linda.

The day of the concert marked the 11th anniversary of the passing of Linda.

Later that year, there was the release of the Beatles’ Rock Band video game, and several of the graphics were used during McCartney’s show.

As the years go on, I gain even more appreciation for Paul. He was my favorite Beatle, and someone said he’s the keeper of the band’s music by performing live. I never thought about it that way before, but it’s very true.

Happy birthday Pete Townshend, here are some of my favorites

 

AMY WINEHOUSE (2007)

I was captivated by Winehouse the moment I saw her sing “Rehab” on David Letterman. She was a lot of fun and had a classic sound.

This was right before Winehouse blew up, so she played in a tent, and she rocked the joint. My friend was tripping out at the male backup singers, who were a lot of fun.

I remember on Letterman, Winehouse was in this little black dress and looked elegant with her beehive. At Coachella, it was cutoff jean shorts and a wife beater, but still the beehive. Kinda awesome.

She was a lot of fun and such a great voice.

Wow, it was just special. I’ve been to Coachella 10 consecutive years, and Winehouse was the first in this run.

Bands I’d like to see at Coachella 2017 who haven’t been there before

PHOENIX (2010)

On 2010, there was a volcano that forced several European bands to cancel because they couldn’t get a flight.

Luckily, the French band was already in America, but their lighting people didn’t make it.

So before the show, they apologized, but said they will do their best.

Well, we didn’t miss the lights because they put on a fantastic show.

They performed on the Outdoor Stage, so this was before their 2013 headlining set.

I have always said I love energy bands, and they generate it. But it’s not overt. They intrigue me with their certain je ne sais quoi.

 

VINTAGE TROUBLE (2013)

A rhythm and blues band that shreds so hard, you would think they’re on a mission from God.

Not a lot of people know them, but their music is fun, fast and furious.

They’re a great live band led by Ty Taylor, a force as a front man.

It’s old school and their kind of music is the roots of everything we love.

 

MARK RONSON (2008)

No one had any idea what this show was going to be line. Mark Ronson was just known as the producer of Amy Winehouse’s breakout CD “Back to Black,” and wasn’t a singer.

What he put together was a stirring show of jazzy, bluesy and soulful numbers

Joining him on stage were a bunch of great singers. One that stuck with me is Sam Sparro, as it was the first time I heard his hit “Black and Gold.”

FLORENCE + THE MACHINE (2015)

I saw Florence two times at Coachella, but picked her most recent performance because of her surprising effectiveness.

I had tickets to Weekend 2, and the week before she had broken her foot jumping off the stage.

So Florence did her whole show from a chair, and was a captivating show. It’s also a testament to her voice and songwriting.

One of the surprises was her having Father John Misty as they sang, of course, “Love Hurts.”

A performance from Florence + The Machine that will bring you to tears

 

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS (2012)

DSCN1792

One of my favorite bands, this was their debut at Coachella. Playing on the main stage, Fitz and the Tantrums captivated in support of their debut album.

I had caught them several times, and each time, they gave a great performance. I really admired the professionalism of the whole band to insure the put on a great show each time because they toured a lot. But the energy was always high.

This was at the tail end of their touring to support “Pickin’ Up The Pieces,” their debut CD. It was during this show where they gave a sneak peak performance of “Out Of My League,” which would be the first hit from their next CD, “More Than Just A Dream.”

 

CAPITAL CITIES (2014)

The energy was crazy for this set.

Capital Cities came out in colorful blazers, belted out numerous danceable hits and had a trumpet player that was fantastic.

They were so fun.

 

Honorable mentions: CAGE THE ELEPHANT (2009), SHE AND HIM (2010), WOLF GANG (2012), TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB (2013), NEW ORDER (2013), GROUPLOVE (2012), MADNESS (2012), HOCKEY (2010), FOSTER THE PEOPLE (2014), AC/DC (2015), JACK WHITE (2015), HAERTS (2015)