Magic Man: “Paris” Video
Nancy Hoang   |   February 2, 2015   |   Videos 

With the advent of services like SoundCloud and Spotify, I’ve completely forgotten that music videos are still a thing and considering today is #MagicManMonday, I figured I’d share the music video for “Paris.” Perhaps it’s just me but I have a penchant for music videos with plot lines and dancing that I just don’t get, whether or not it’s because I’m simply not deep or cultured enough, I still like ‘em. I watch in the hopes that one day, I will have gathered enough intellectual prowess to understand. In the mean time, the actual music will sustain me.

Magic Man are also about to tour! And I’m too lazy to copy over the dates so check out this photo or this link for more info.

Magic Man is Alex Caplow, Gabe Goodman, Joey Sulkowski, Justine Bowe, Sam Lee.


CRUISR: “All Over”
Nancy Hoang   |   February 2, 2015   |   Tracks 

It’s really quite spectacular how awful my brain is at making connections. I love science and making connections is an integral part of that but the amount of time I spend trying to understand how unbelievably dim I can be would suggest otherwise. I had spent all of last summer obsessed with one song and that was “Kidnap Me” by CRUISR. I had first heard it as background music to one of Top with Cinnamon’s videos and soon enough the song was on repeat and lyrics were memorized. Fast forward to present day and “All Over” is constantly playing around me and yet it took a visit to CRUISR’s SoundCloud page to finally realize it was the same band who created both of these songs that I’d spent hours listening to! I don’t know, man. I couldn’t tell you how I let that one slip past me. I’m hypothesizing right now that my recall ability is quickly diminishing with age (note: I’m 20).

While I still can’t believe I didn’t make that connection, I’m certain that CRUISR’s summery indie-pop songs are going to get me through these northeastern snow storms. “All Over” has the amazing ability to put me into such a positive mindset and want to start jumping when the chorus hits. So I’m gonna do just that. *Closes laptop, quick facepalm, jams out to CRUISR*

Last thing: dear CRUISR, please play another NYC show because I missed out on your Webster Hall show and Verboten is in the middle of bumblefuck, Brooklyn.

CRUISR is Andy States, Jonathan Van Dine, Kyle Cook, Bruno Catrambone.

Tour Dates:
03/10/2015 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox
03/11/2015 – Covington, KY @ Madison Live
03/13/2015 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
03/14/2015 – Little Rock, AR @ Brooklyn, NY
05/05/2015 – Brooklyn, NY @ Verboten


Kina Grannis: “Oh Father” Video
Nancy Hoang   |   January 28, 2015   |   Videos 

The music video for Kina Grannis’ “Oh Father” from her ELEMENTS album is just visually stunning. It is equally as beautiful as the song itself and it is so rare that I enjoy a music video. I find myself clicking the replay button on this music video over and over partly because the cinematography is beautiful but more so because I simply love hearing Kina’s voice. She’s like an angel but without wings (finish that quote). To top it off, her covers are just as great as her original music and if you’re new to Kina Grannis, I would suggest this “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran cover to start with. Perhaps you can follow that up with this “Clean” by Taylor Swift cover because I find it so much more enjoyable than the original.


Ski Lodge: “Trust”
Nancy Hoang   |   January 28, 2015   |   Tracks 

For fans of Ski Lodge’s music, the usage of synths on the band’s new single, “Trust,” is very noticeable from the outset but it’s a shift in a different soundscape that I think fans will still enjoy. I certainly do but then again, I genuinely enjoy everything Ski Lodge puts out. The three month period that “Trust” took to record sounds like a mighty long time so I’m hoping more music is to come out of those recording sessions. (I need it for all the SL shows I keep missing!)

Ski Lodge is Andrew Marr, John Barinaga, Jake Beal, and Jason Weiss.


Andrew Belle: “Sister” (Hushed)
Nancy Hoang   |   January 28, 2015   |   Tracks 

Andrew Belle’s Black Bear Hushed EP features stripped down re-recordings of tracks from his Black Bear album and considering that it’s the closest thing I have to seeing him perform live again, I’ll happily take it. When I saw him perform at Highline Ballroom, his songs were stripped down from what they sound like on record and it made the show a lot more intimate. And even though remixes aren’t my favorite thing, the hushed versions of these Black Bear tracks are an exception. They sound so ethereal that I can almost pretend I’m back in the darkness of Highline, listening to Belle and co. performing.

Andrew, come back to New York already.


Relient K: “Be My Escape” Anniversary Lyric Video
Nancy Hoang   |   December 17, 2014   |   Videos 

Man, MMHMM is ten years old. *deep breath* The feels man, the feels. The Relient K team released a lyric video to their classic, “Be My Escape,” with footage from their MMHMM 10th Anniversary tour and now I just feel old. My biggest priority in grade school was making sure I got home by 5pm so that I could watch music videos on TRL. Now listen up kiddos, when the original “Be My Escape” music video would make the top ten on TRL, nine year old me would fangirl so hard. I fangirled for Relient K when “fangirl” wasn’t even a term yet. Ah man, just leave me to my nostalgia.

PS sweet hair Matt Thiessen.
PPS Shout out to the guy at 2:06 making eye contact with the camera and holding up skittles.


The Neighbourhood: “#icanteven”
Nancy Hoang   |   December 11, 2014   |   Tracks 

The Neighbourhood are just so cool and hip that I can’t even string together words adequate enough to describe them.


Pandora Discovery Den Holiday Concert 12/06/14
Nancy Hoang   |   December 8, 2014   |   Concert Reviews, Photos 


Last night the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center was cast in a calming blue light with giant, ornate snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. I’d like to say the decorations were because they really enjoy winter over at the Manhattan Center but really, it was for Pandora’s Discovery Den Holiday Concert. With Rudimental, Kiesza, and The Neighbourhood set to perform, it was going to be a pretty stacked night of killer performances; the wait times between acts could also be considered killer. Interestingly, Skylar Astin and John C. McGinley from Ground Floor came out to introduce the first act and their (probably last minute) awkward introduction was forgotten by the time Rudimental came on.

When Rudimental took to the stage, it instantly became a party in the Grand Ballroom. The packed audience danced and waved their glow sticks in the air to what was a mercilessly fun performance. A definite set highlight was “Waiting All Night” thanks to its killer vocals but this was a constant factor throughout their set. There was not a single point in which vocal performance faltered and that was pretty impressive with the never-ending motion and dancing happening onstage. There were moments when Piers Agget and DJ Locksmith could be seen running around the stage like they were kids in a candy store. It was obvious that everyone onstage was having a blast and that resonated out to the audience.

But while Rudimental’s dancing caught my eye, it did not compare once Kiesza’s performance began. From the instant she stepped onstage, her sense of relatability to the audience was indisputable. It was nice to see her quickly engaging with people in the crowd and having that warmth returned back to her. And then things got real serious when Kiesza removed her jacket, became alone onstage, and delivered a shiver-inducing rendition of “Sound of a Woman” from her album of the same name. The serious moment ended when Kiesza’s dancers became armed with bubble guns and she lit up her mic stand. And when this mic stand was glowing red during “Over Myself,” it was amazing to see her adoring fans in the audience also change their glow sticks to red. Kiesza closed her stellar set with her hit single, “Hideaway,” to colossal cheering.

The end of Kiesza’s set brought forth The Neighbourhood who went onstage at a perfect (not late at all) 10:50 pm. Lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford stated that the band would only be in New York for their give or take 40 minute performance so they got straight to business. With a backdrop of black and white static playing behind them, The Nbhd’s set started off with “Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh).” The audience naturally moved even closer to the stage, making use of every possible open square inch while singing every word to The Nbhd’s songs. I was pleasantly surprised to hear my personal favorite, “Jealou$y,” mostly because I think it sounds like Sexy Sax Man. What fans have named “sexophone” in this track is just the best.

Pandora chose the perfect set of artists for their holiday concert because each act was completely on point with their performances. With concert-goers parading around in their blue Pillsbury beanies and colorful glow sticks, the holiday concert was overall a really chill and enjoyable experience. Just a bit of advice for next time Pandora, maybe invite Ryan Gosling to introduce the acts? And then introduce him to me? Just saying.


Photos: New Politics @ Irving Plaza 11/25/14
Nancy Hoang   |   December 5, 2014   |   Photos 

I have a lot of faith in New Politics’ ability to put on a show and considering the amount of times that I’ve been fortunate enough to see them perform live, I’m encroaching upon fangirl status – a label I will be proud to don. NP’s show during Thanksgiving week in New York City was absolutely splendid. I have nothing but accolades for their immaculate stage presence and musical talent. While I’m sad that lead vocalist, David Boyd, did not make a circle pit in the crowd to break dance in at this particular show, their set at Irving Plaza was flawless nonetheless. There’s really no words to fully describe the magic that is a New Politics concert so go ahead and imagine for yourself with the photos below.

New Politics is David Boyd, Soren Hansen, Louis Vecchio.


Ariana Grande: “Santa Tell Me”
Nancy Hoang   |   December 1, 2014   |   Tracks, Videos 

I am such a fan of Ariana’s Christmas songs and any haters can take a step to the left because I’m not having any of that bullshit. (Talkin’ to you Bette Midler.) Ariana’s 2013 Christmas Kisses EP is still great and I play it all year round. “Snow in California” is in general, one of my favorite Ariana Grande songs so I was naturally very excited to learn that she released a new holiday single. “Santa Tell Me” is available on iTunes riiiiight meow and it’s great.

iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Dates:
12/05/2014 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
12/06/2014 – Rosemont, IL @ Allstate Arena
12/08/2014 – St. Paul, MN​​​ @ Xcel Energy Center
12/10/2014 – ​Philadelphia, PA​​ @ Wells Fargo Center
12/12/2014​ – New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
12/15/2014​ – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center
12/21/2014 – ​Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center