In which I talk about Sloss Music & Arts Festival

Living in Mississippi means that it’s sometimes hard to find cultural events to attend, which is why when a friend of mine told me about Sloss Fest in Birmingham, Alabama, I was totally down. This was the second year for Sloss, a two-day music and arts festival featuring three stages of music, food trucks from local restaurants, a whole slew of tens for local and regional artists, and lots and lots of hot weather.

Sloss Music & Arts Festival is held at the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, a National Historic Landmark, which is super cool. Like it says on their website, Sloss Fest is “about more than 30+ bands on 3 stages, it’s a celebration of the unique, creative culture that makes life in Birmingham so special.” Birmingham really is a wonderful city, so I was excited to experience something else there.

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There were some really cool bands at the festival – from Fitz & the Tantrums to Death Cab for Cutie to Jr. Jr. to Grouplove – playing on three different stages. Two of the stages were set across a wide open lawn from each other and one was on the other side of the entrance in a giant, metal shed. Thankfully, there was one big tent in the middle of that open lawn for shade and two free water fill-ups. Unfortunately, the gates didn’t open till after noon, so it was HOT HOT HOT. I know that the festival coordinators had absolutely no say about the weather but it was approximately the temperature of Hades that weekend. The good thing was that everyone else was just as sweaty so nbd.

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One of the coolest parts of the festival was the booths for regional and national artists. I was super excited to find out that Fur Turtle – who has created posters and art for one of my favorite musicians, Joshua James – was going to be there. He was one of the first artists we sought out when we got to the festival on Saturday, and I immediately saw a twenty one pilots poster in his booth. I, of course, had to have it, and I’m super excited with my purchase. This is what the poster looks like (image from Fur Turtle’s website).

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My favorite performance on Saturday was Grouplove on the Steam Stage. I might’ve loved them even more live than I do recorded. Grouplove’s two singers – Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi – were phenomenal, jumping around, head-banging, rocking out, and singing to their – and all of our – heart’s content. It was impossible to look away from them because they are so obviously passionate about music and in love with performing. Their music had everyone jumping and dancing despite how hot it was. Such a great performance.

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I also saw Death Cab for Cutie (who was cool and relaxed and maybe a bit boring in parts but still super fun to see live) from the front row and Logic (who is a really talented rapper; couldn’t stay for his whole set though).

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On Sunday, my favorite was definitely Jr. Jr., despite the fact that earlier in the day, they were 30 minutes late for their signing (my friends and I waited for almost an hour to meet them and their whole band didn’t even come). Even though I was annoyed with the signing debacle, their set was awesome. They sound exactly like their recorded albums, which is rare and wonderful.

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And this is where the weekend got a little disappointing. My friend and I went over to the Shed stage to see The Struts for a few songs and then head over to the other side to see Fitz & the Tantrums. Of course, the sky took it as the time to let the rain fall. It was a relief because it had been so hot, but they had to postpone all of the sets to avoid ruining the equipment or electrocuting all of us. Because they had to postpone it though, we weren’t able to see either of the sets because we were going to another show that night (Parachute).

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But you know what? Despite the HOT weather and the rain and the late bands, I had a fantastic time at Sloss Fest, and I would definitely go again next year.

Note-Able: The Neighbourhood

Note-able is my very, very irregular post in which I talk about songs, musicians, bands, concerts…in other words, any music that I find special or worthy to be discussed.

Note-Able Black & WhiteSpecial Black & White version of note-able graphic to fit The Neighbourhood theme. 🙂

I love The Neighbourhood. I’ve loved them since fall 2012, when I won tickets to see this band I had never heard of at this small, wonderful venue in Glasgow, Scotland. There were maybe 50 people there, my knees were touching the stage, and the band walked right off the stage and came to talk to us. This is one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, and I immediately fell for The Neighbourhood – I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve bought (or downloaded for free, in the case of #000000 & #FFFFFF) every single song they’ve released since then. I’ve seen them 3 more times since Glasgow, and now, today, I’m seeing them for the 5th time. They’re the only band I’ve seen this many times, but they put on an amazing show every single time. Plus, they’re some of the coolest musicians I’ve met.

So since I’m currently on my way to Atlanta to see the band, I thought I’d share some of their music with you guys. They recently released a new single called “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” and a video, and it’s pretty much perfect. Listen and watch below.

Some of my other favorite songs by The Neighbourhood (all linked to YouTube):

Afraid // West Coast  // Female Robbery  // Let It Go  // Jealou$y
And, of course, Sweater Weather

Check out The Neighbourhood’s YouTube page for more music – it’s ALL good.

I’ll see you guys on Monday, but until then…do you have a song you think is note-able? Link me up in the comments! I love discovering new music.

Note-Able: AWOLNATION’S “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)”

Note-able is my very, very irregular post in which I talk about songs, musicians, bands, concerts…in other words, any music that I find special or worthy to be discussed.

Note-Able on Caught Read Handed

I love AWOLNATION. Their album Megalithic Symphony is one of my most played albums. The physical CD is one of the few that is constantly in my car AND on my phone AND my MP3 player. I will play that CD until it’s dead and then I’ll buy another one. I don’t care that I have it on my computer and could just burn another. When I found out yesterday (apparently I’m a little behind) that they were FINALLY releasing a new album in March and had already released a single – Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) – I immediately bought it. I have played it at least thirty times.

I’m so excited to have new music from them. My favorite thing about AWOLNATION is that while they do have a distinct sound, every single one of their songs is different. And incredible. They’re versatile and unique. Plus, Aaron’s vocal range is amazing. Yeah, alright, I’ll tone down the fangirl. I just really appreciate them as a band, and I’m really happy about the new music. I’ve included the music video for “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” below. It’s a fun video so you should definitely check it out.

What do you think? Do you have a song you think is note-able? Link me up in the comments! I love discovering new music.

Note-able: The Hanging Tree, sung by Jennifer Lawrence

Note-able is my very, very irregular post in which I talk about songs, musicians, bands, concerts…in other words, any music that I find special or worthy to be discussed.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s kind of obsessed with this song, right? I’ve read the books, you’ve read the books, we’ve read the lyrics to this song, probably more than once (at least in my case). They are haunting and creepy and maybe give you the chills (again, at least in my case). You might’ve even imagined what the song sounded like, how the melody went. But nothing prepared us for Jennifer Lawrence singing it in the first installment of Mockingjay. Her voice isn’t perfect. I doubt I’d buy her CD if she came out with one. But her voice is soulful and gave life to this song in a way it never really got in the book. I got chills in the movie theater, sitting there listening to her sing this song and watch those people march. Every time I listen to it now, I get those chills again. I can’t stop singing, “Are you, are you coming to the tree?”

Alright, you’re probably tired of me blabbing on and on about it. If you haven’t heard the song, listen to it below, and then tell me what you think in the comments!

Note-able: Joshua James

So I’m going to start another semi-regular post where I tell you guys about the music I’m listening to/new music I’ve found. Other than books, music is my other passion in life. I listen to music every single day, and I love going to live shows. I am sure that at least some of my followers like music as well, so maybe we can connect over yet another thing!

Tonight I’m going to see Joshua James live for the third time. You can tell he’s a passionate singer even if you’re just listening to his recorded music, but when you see him live, it’s incredible. He is absolutely amazing live. Electric. You can FEEL his emotion. He’s so passionate about his music and this definitely comes out on stage. It is very intense. Sometimes he’s so emotional that his voice cracks. It’s such a crazy contrast between how he acts offstage. On stage he is so intense and offstage he is so sweet and humble.

Here are two of my favorite songs by Joshua James, and you can find more on YouTube or his website. Enjoy!