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Watch Alabama Shakes Play SNL

By Will Oliver, March 3rd 2015

Alabama Shakes SNL

It’s amazing to see how far Alabama Shakes have come over the years. After seeing them at Bonnaroo in 2012 I knew that big things were on the horizon for the Alabama rock group. Well here we are three years later and the band just played SNL. Yeah, they’ve blown up.

The SNL performance was to promote the release of their new album Sound & Color on April 21st via ATO Records. They played the thrilling first single “Don’t Wanna Fight” as well as the more recent track, “Gimme All Your Love.” 50 Shades Of Grey star Dakota Johnson was the host and had the pleasure of introducing the group.

Both tracks were triumphantly performed by the group, who always deliver one of the tightest live shows that you’ll see these days. Frontwoman Brittany Howard delivers a powerhouse performance, that has surely captured many news fans for herself and the band. It’s incredible to see their rise, but when they are able to take on SNL as if they’ve played it half a dozen times before, they’re ready for the big time.

Find both performances posted below, along with the studio versions.
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Alabama Shakes incredible rise has been one of the best success stories of the last year. It brought them all the way to Westchester, which is actually a bit easier for me to get to than the city. Not many current bands play at the historic theater, as it’s been more reserved for older acts, aside from the likes of My Morning Jacket and Fiona Apple.

Speaking of success stories, it was amazing to see¬†Houndmouth open for the Shakes. It was a perfect bill as both bands came from similar areas and have seen a natural organic rise thanks to good quality music spread with word of mouth. Houndmouth killed it as usual, sounding just right in the theatre, the biggest venue I’ve been able to catch them in yet. I doubt it will be the last time either.

This was my first time catching a real show from Alabama Shakes. Although I did catch a stunning late night set from them at Bonnaroo last year. The band have been touring non-stop since then, and haven’t missed a beat. Brittany sounds as powerful as ever, and the rest of the band seems just as locked in as ever. They played a soulful set that rocked from every angle and pore of the band until they gave it all. With only one official album it’s amazing to not only see them play at such a large theater, but to sell it out. Things aren’t going to get any smaller either. The Alabama Shakes are truly one of the best success stories of the last few years.

Check out some photos of both Alabama Shakes & Houndmouth, posted below.
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[watch]: Alabama Shakes On SNL

By Will Oliver, February 18th 2013 — with 1 comment

Alabama Shakes SNL

It seems like it was not that long ago that I saw Alabama Shakes tear it up at Bonnaroo. It was arguably one of the best sets I saw all year, let alone at Bonnaroo, and I distinctly remember thinking during the firey rendition of “Hold On” that it was only a matter of time until they hit the big time. That time is now, as the band graced the famed SNL sage and absolutely killed it.

They played “Hold On” and “Always Alright”, which you’ll recognize if you’ve seen Silver Linings Playbook (go see it). Check out both performances below.
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[new]: Alabama Shakes – Always Alright

By Will Oliver, November 8th 2012 — with 1 comment

Alabama Shakes have offered a new song titled “Always Alright” for the new film Silver Linings Playbook, which comes out in theaters on November 21.

The song is one that the band has been playing live, and they have finally released it properly on the film’s soundtrack. I’m a big fan of the band and the film is one of my most anticipated of the Oscar season. A good combo, all around.

If you enjoy Alabama Shakes in any way, you will surely enjoy the song.

Alabama Shakes @ Bonnaroo (June 7, 2012)

By Will Oliver, June 13th 2012 — with 2 comments

Let’s make one thing clear. Alabama Shakes are headed towards big, big, things. You probably could already see this coming, I know I did. But even with my faith, the band still managed to blow my mind with their overwhelmingly great set at the tail end of Thursday night at Bonnaroo.

“Hold On” was delivered with a great passion that absolutely tossed the enthusiastic crowd into a grand fever. It should be noted that the song was the 2nd song played during their set, something that worked in their benefit. The crowd went nuts, singing even louder than any early follower of the band could have imagined. I was transported far away from the notion that this was a little gem that I had been keeping my little secret. I was dead wrong. It’s a smashing hit that has reached incredible levels.

From then on it was clear coasting for Brittany and the Shakes, who easily laid down the most soulful jams of the night, as well as the festival. The songs off their debut album Boys & Girls take on a new life live, grasping a firm grip on the feeling of that particular night, giving the crowd a unique performance of each song that can’t be reciprocated. It’s unique to the moment, grasping a hold of what they are feeling, just like any good soulful band should do.

Alabama Shakes will soon be at the top of the world, and it’s a great thing for all of us.
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[music video]: Alabama Shakes – Hold On

By Will Oliver, April 4th 2012 — with 1 comment

Rock and roll is far from dead. With bands like Alabama Shakes on the verge of breaking out, I think we will be alright. “Hold On” is the first song that I heard from the band, when I saw a live video a few months back. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Here’s the music video for “Hold On”, which features a mind-bendingly good rendition of the song. Someone bring these guys back to NYC when I don’t have school!

It’s the first single from their debut album Boys & Girls, out next week on ATO Records. Pre-Order the album here.

[new]: Seratones – “Sun”

By Will Oliver, April 1st 2016

Seratones

Louisiana soul-rockers Seratones will release their anticipated debut album Get Gone on May 6th via Fat Possum Records. Today they’ve shared the energetic and sun-soaked new single,”Sun.”

Imagine Alabama Shakes pissed off and playing the diviest bar imaginable. There’s an unshakable urgency to the main guitar riff of “Sun” that hits hard as all hell and doesn’t look back for even a second. Those who claim that rock and roll are dead clearly just need to look a little bit harder.

Stream “Sun” below and check up Seratones upcoming tour dates, which include supporting dates for The Dandy Warhols in New York later this month.
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We All Want Someone’s Best Songs of 2015

By Will Oliver, March 18th 2016 — with 1 comment

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Artwork thanks to our very own Anthony Bauer

We look back 2015 fondly, one of the best years of music in some time. There was almost too much of it, making it nearly an impossible task to come up with my top albums of the year. Even worse, was choosing the best songs of the year.

Many albums had multiple offerings that deserved recognition, but I tried my best to limit it to one song per artist, except for a few special cases. It wasn’t easy to do a top 100 list, but it was fun to reflect on 2015 with all the sounds that helped soundtrack my life throughout those months.

Below you can find the list posted in countdown style from 100-1, and I’ve created a handy Spotify playlist in countdown order for your listening convenience and pleasure. I’ve posted the embeded playlist below.

Until next year Read the rest of this entry »

Will’s Best Albums of 2015

By Will Oliver, March 18th 2016

bestof15banner-willfinal

Artwork thanks to our very own Anthony Bauer

We’re certainly far enough removed from 2015 now for me to properly look back at the year and realize how remarkable it was. I meant to get this list up in January, but as it does, life got in the way and things got delayed. Sure, I may have missed the “list” cycle, but that’s ok. Now with some more time I was able to catch up on albums I wasn’t able to get to during the 2015 calendar year, as well as give some albums the chance to further reveal themselves to me over time.

2015 saw an abundance of great artists converge to release new material, almost to the point where there was a consistently too much great music on a week-to-week basis. Worlds smallest violin playing, I know.

I already shared my honorable mentions for best albums of the year, and many of these albums were good enough to make a top list any other year. But 2015 was a really great year, and this top 50 list really demonstrates how much quality stuff was released.

Without further ado, here are my top 50 albums of 2015.
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Anthony’s Best Albums of 2015

By Anthony Bauer, March 12th 2016

bestof15banner-anthonyfinal

Looking back on 2015, it has got to be one of the best years that we’ve had for music in recent¬†memory. Not only did we get an insane amount of releases, but we also got an equally insane amount of quality releases across the board. Narrowing down all these releases into a “top 10” style list was very, very difficult. Instead of another “best albums of 2015” list, I thought I’d switch things up a bit and go through my favorite album releases in 2015 (which lets be honest, there were a lot).

The year brought us some wonderful debuts, a couple surprises, and a few releases that were a more return to form of sorts. So in no particular order, here are my favorite albums of 2015:
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