Shows: September to mid-May.

Posted in Music on May 15th, 2014 by byronkho

Since September, I’ve seen: Avicii, Above & Beyond, Alesso, Knife Party, Martin Solveig, Benny Benassi, Tiesto, David Guetta, Bassnectar, Madeon, Bingo Players, Sander van Doorn, Hardwell, Madeon, Queens of the Stone Age, Calvin Harris, Deadmaus, Empire of the Sun, Imagine Dragons, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Public Enemy, Solange, ASAP Rocky, Nero, Wolfgang Gartner, Emeli Sande, Haim, Alunageorge, Rudimental, Jesse Rose, Mord Fustang, Baam Bada, the Meta, Umer Piracha, Kaskade, CHVRCHES, Pretty Lights, MGMT, Little Green Cars, Gareth Emery, Madeon, Ghost Beach, Robin Thicke, Vampire Weekend, Avett Brothers, Manufactured Superstars, Icona Pop, Sky Ferreira, the Knocks, Sirah, K Flay, Icona Pop, KT Tunstall, Brian Lopez, Atoms for Peace, Sebastian Ingrosso, St. Lucia, Two Door Cinema Club, Morning Parade, Biffy Clyro, Aijia, Clara C, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, David Ramirez, Ellie Holcomb, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Rimbo Wong (the Curtis student I help sponsor!), Song Dogs, Jessie Ware, Mikky Ekko, Val de Val, Ross Bellenoit, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, Mount Moriah, Pine Barons, Paramore, Metric, hellogoodbye, Matrimony, the Falls, Foxes, Night Panther, Ivan & Alyosha, the Wild Feathers, Tin Horses, the Wayside Shakeup, the Smith Westerns, Lucy Stone, Roscoe Bandana, Mo Lowda & the Humble, Ali Wadsworth, Brown Sugar, Former Belle, Zoe Keating, twentyonepilots, Switchfoot, New Politics, MS MR, Perseverance Jazz Band, A Great Big World, Secret Someones, Phosphorescent, Sea Wolf, West Philadelphia Orchestra, Honey Watts, Little Silver, Mesiko, Ellie Goulding, the Last Band in Illyria, Black Horse Motel, Spirit & Dust, Reed Turner Band, Conway, Dead Professional, Oldermost, Nicole Atkins, Arc Iris, Davey Horne, Okkervil River, Typhoon, London Grammar, HAERTS, Moon Taxi, Revivalists, Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society, Nickel Creek, Carsie Blanton, Eli Conley, the Gallerist, Secret Sisters, Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Willie Watson (formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show), David Tanner & Honky Tonk-o-rama, Thelma and the Sleaze, River City Tanlines, Francesca Battistelli, Jim Ed Brown, Riders in the Sky, Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely, Larry Gatlin, Carson Peters, Charlie Daniels Band, Vince Moreno, JP Harris and the Tough Choices, Cooper and the Jam, The Cordovas, Steve Gorman and Audley Freed of the Black Crowes, Tennis, HAIM and Carrie Underwood.

In the next few months, I’ll (likely) be seeing: Foo Fighters, Outkast, Jack Johnson, Imagine Dragons, Arctic Monkeys, Beck, the Lumineers, Band of Horses, Pretty Lights, Weezer, Broken Bells, Band of Horses, Young the Gian, Childish Gambino, Tegan and Sara, Big Gigantic, Girl Talk, Cage the Elephant, Portugal the Man, Grouplove, Local Natives, Ziggy Marley, Iron & Wine, Sleigh Bells, Jake Bugg, Amos Lee, Third Eye Blind, City and Colour, Chance the Rapper, Kaiser Chiefs, A-Trak, the Airborne Toxic Event, Phantogram, Washed Out, Tune-Yards, Walk Off the Earth, the White Panda, American Authors, Martin Garrix, Cash Cash, G-Eazy, A Great Big World, RAC, Lucius, Smallpools, Bleachers, the Mowglis, NoNoNo, Kodaline, White Denim, Asaf Avidan, Cherub, Sir Sly, Aer, Johnnyswim, Vic Mensa, San Fermin, Geographer, Courtney Barnett, the Colourist, Wild Cub, Dan Croll, Shakey Graves, Goldroom, Wild Child, Little Comets, Magic Man, Boy & Bear, Royal Teeth, the Ceremonies, Gregory Alan Isakov, Bad Things, Andrew Belle, Basic Vacation, Hunter Hunted, Misterwives, Vance Joy, X Ambassadors, the Unlikely Candidates, Bronze Radio Return, Little Daylight, Kongos, Saints of Valory, Holychild, Parade of Lights, Son Lux, Salva, Gemini Club, Step Rockets, the Griswolds, Sleeper Agent, John & Jacob, Pigpen Theatre Co, the Weeks, High Highs, Caroline Glaser, Lily Mae, Courrier, Cruiser, New Sweden, Mean Lady, Christian Porter, Stop Light Observations, Breach the Summit, F. Stokes, Nothing, the Tontons, DRGN KING, Cakes da Killa, Denitia and Sene, Charliered, Downtown Club, Mike Taylor, Weekend, Khari Mateen, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the Head And The Heart, Bear Hands, Die Antwoord, First Aid Kit, Willy Mason, jj Grey & Mofro, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Last Chance, Diana Lawrence, PHOX, Trails & Ways, Flume, Janis Ian, Shemekia Copeland, Tempest, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Lone Bellow, Sarah Jarosz, Loudon Wainwright III, JohnnySwim, Rebirth Brass Band, Kwesi K, Hot Club Of Cowtown, Old Man Luedeke, Steep Canyon Rangers, Dhaka Braka, Natalie McMaster, the Oh Hellos and NEEDTOBREATHE.

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Four thoughts.

Posted in Personal on March 17th, 2010 by byronkho

1) I always wondered this. Why are a lot of East Coast American kids brought up to idol worship Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen? Is it the hometown heroes thing? I mean, they’re great – don’t get me wrong – but they’re good in a way that many other bands and singers are great. Growing up in Canada, we had our idol worship of Canadian musical stars (no, not Avril Lavigne and GOD no, not Celine Dion) like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Bryan Adams, Neil Young and the Tragically Hip. There are others, of course, but they’re more topical idols. People like the McGarrigle Sisters (big in Maritime folk… but you might know of their progeny, Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright), Ashley MacIsaac (crazy Scots fiddler from Cape Breton, but you might know his stateside relative, White Stripes’ Jack White), Rush (some of you latecomers referred directly from Rock Band, ahem), Guy Lombardo (betcha didn’t know he was America’s top big band leader in the 1930s and Louis Armstrong’s favorite band), Jon Kimura Parker (classical pianist, I had his uncle as a piano teacher for a few years, so I got dragged around to a few of his shows), Glenn Gould (another famous pianist, did THE definitive version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations) and Oscar Peterson. Or the just famous: Shania Twain, the Crash Test Dummies, Diana Krall, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, k.d. lang. Not downgrading their contributions of course. OK, so massively sidetracked. Anyway, my Canadian idol list has only one idol who is basically unknown to a lot of the United States, the Tragically Hip… but every good Canadian knows their Hip. I have yet to hear Ahead by a Century on an American station, and it’s not for lack of trying (the only station I can imagine playing it would be the local NPR station, though I haven’t been present for an airing just yet). Anyways, I was trying to figure out what defines an idol. Why do I instinctively know that the Hip is an idol and that Billy Joel isn’t, but on the other side of the Great Divide, the opposite is truth? But then I realized it was a stupid question: we learn from example. Everyone you grew up with says they’re gods, so they must be.

Goodbye, Kate (RIP January 18, 2010).

2) Were your musical tastes as a kid or junior high student cringeworthy? Do you listen to your old mixtapes and them burn them in gasoline fires? I had a friend tell me she was into “slit your wrists” music when she was a kid, a fact that made her “sound awful.” The musicians involved includes such luminaries as Dashboard Confessional, Coldplay, Guster, Jimmy Eat World, Matt Nathanson and Lifehouse. I had issues with that list, first being that I don’t know if those count as slit your wrists music… she did agree it was “weepy emo” but the real suicides (not talking in any serious statistical way here) were either satanist metalheads, or NFG, Saves the Day, the Misfits, My Bloody Valentine (which actually is decent shoegaze but is so asking for a rusty razor in a bathtub) and MAYBE Weezer fans. For me, the epitome of suicidal emo is My Chemical Romance, though temporally they are too late to be of use to my generation of 14 year old bleeders. Second, the only embarrassing inclusions on that list are Coldplay and Lifehouse. They’re not even really emo… they’re like this weird category unto themselves. Yes, they’re pop and rock but they don’t pop’n'lock like the rest of the goombas. Back to embarrassing… so I played some Aerosmith for a girl during elementary school and got laughed at. It was BIG. I though Aerosmith was cool, and here this girl was acting as if dudes with long permed hair, tight leather pants and more eye makeup than an aging hooker were LAME. I was like whatevs, you’ve got no taste. And then I stopped listening to Aerosmith for several years. OK, so that doesn’t count as cringeworthy but it was cringeworthy WHEN I was a kid. In junior high, I remember liking a lot of that 90s R&B stuff, ska/punk (Dropkick Murphys, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish), the Cardigans, No Doubt, Oasis… I did like the Pixies, which is still cool… oh, I remember one lemon: Savage Garden. I actually liked Truly Madly Deeply for a little while, a dirty secret which became less dirty when I couldn’t (and still can’t) stand the song any more. If I dug down into my old mixtapes (which are mostly lost), I could probably find a lot more dirt but I know it’s there. The only consolation? I liked some of the songs from all those emo or pseudo-emo bands above but I was in no way, shape or form an emo kid. Much better to have been a nerd than one of those stringers. Haha!

Music to die to.

3) Jason Nevins is annoying. Stop making a career out of remixing top 40s. Worse, his recent work is vapid and boring, and they still keep putting them on clubplay.

4) Smokin’ tracks.

Wale needed the hipster-ized version. Lady Gaga don’t sound herself, I always picture Santogold doing it.

Fear of Tigers burning up my speakers on a daily basis. Hourly some days.

What has Big Boi been up to lately?

Holla, homeboys from the T Dot. Canadian rappers K-OS and Saukrates hit it Western style on I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman. Samples Phantom Planet’s California (best use of it… so over the OC), Nelly Furtado guests (can’t really make you love me… omg is that another Canadian? this post is just full of dem), video rocks and then BAM Astronaut right at the end.

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