New Music 2013 | Alabama Shakes, Macklemore, and Cold War Kids

“Music isn’t what it used to be.”

Turning on the radio is a gamble. Most likely your ears will be filled with “Call Me Maybe”, or some other pop song that you’ll have stuck in your head all day. Music is going somewhere; it’s changing and often I worry about where it’s going. What happened to the Janis Joplins of the music industry?  Or the raw and legendary rap lyricists like Biggie Smalls and 2Pac Shakur? Well, they’re here and louder than ever. 2013 is showcasing some great music artistry, and I am so excited for these bands to take off and show us what they’ve got.

Amongst the Carly Rae Jepsons and Justin Beibers of the music realm, in lies some hope. Turn down the Taylor Swift for a minute to listen to these bands who are bringing back the sounds and vibes of past music generations. Sure, music isn’t what it used to be. Because it’s better.

 Alabama Shakes

When I listened to Alabama Shakes for the first time I thought I was listening to some American rock band from the 60s or 70s. Lead singer and guitarist Brittany Howard made my jaw drop with her impassioned vocals that echo the fervor of Janis Joplin’s singing and songwriting persona. This band is jazz, it’s blues, and it’s rock. We don’t always get to hear different (and often forgotten) styles of music from one band, or even just one song. Hold On, from their debut album Boys & Girls is some kind of love hymn, carried by the soul of Howard’s simple and tender lyrics.  Howard says. “I mean, we never expected the Grammys, we never expected to do world tours. All we did was go into the studio, because we wanted to be like a real band and have an album, and then it turned into all this.” From The Grammys, to SNL, to being featured in Rolling Stone Magazine, Alabama Shakes are taking music that has come before them and turned it timeless.  Click for the  Alabama Shakes Tickets page! Haven’t listened to Alabama Shakes yet? Start now:




UPDATE: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are in the studio mixing together a new album for 2015. Check it out!

Indie hip-hop rapper Macklemore has made a riveting comeback with his album “The Heist”, a collaborative effort with producer and beatmaker Ryan Lewis, and other artists including Wanz and Mary Lambert. With two platinum singles, the album holds its own not only by its high ranking in the Top 40, but by the  brutal honesty and experience of self-discovery which colors “The Heist”. This album brings us back to the days of 2Pac and Lauryn Hill, the days where rappers didn’t have to sing about drugs and sex and violence in order to be recognized. Macklemore touches on his own relapse into addiction, his failed relationships, and the issue of same-sex marriage, in a way that compels listeners to not only listen to what he’s saying, but to believe it. Click here to listen to Macklemore showcase his music, freestyling, and commentary on his contemporaries with The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 Sure, the rap and hip-hop industry has changed drastically since the release of “Big Poppa”, but with new artists like Macklemore we can expect to see the genre progress in a way that is both inventive, and entertaining. Haven’t listened to Macklemore? Check out this NPR Tiny Desk Concert of Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Ray Dalton here.

Like what you hear? Check out TickPick’s Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Concert Tickets here!


Cold War Kids

 Cold War Kids

Bands like The White Stripes, The Pixies, and The Black Keys took turns shaking the rock-alternative scene by bringing back the raw and unrelenting sentiments of 80’s punk and 90’s grunge, while adding sublime undertones that echo rock pioneers Incubus, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana. Now, at the recent release of their fourth album titled “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts”, Cold War Kids have reminded us what we love about the rock-alternative scene while adding a few declarations of their own. The traditional indie-rock sound is infiltrated with blues and groove riffs, taking us for a ride we could have never anticipated.  Cold War Kids have come a long way since the debut of “Hang Me Up To Dry”, and by the new and triumphant backbone of “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts”, it’s clear they have an intention to keep us listening and wanting more. The “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts” Trailers One and Two give you a small taste of what Cold War Kids have brought this year. And if you’re already sold on the talent of this great band, check out their upcoming tour dates:

Apr 38:00 PM Cold War KidsGothic Theatre – Gothic, CO
Apr 58:00 PM Cold War KidsFirst Avenue – Minneapolis, MN From $41
Apr 97:00 PM Cold War KidsNewport Music Hall – Columbus, OH From $33
Apr 108:00 PM Cold War KidsParadise Rock Club – Boston, MA From $49
Apr 137:00 PM Cold War KidsWebster Hall – New York, NY From $48
Apr 158:00 PM Cold War KidsCats Cradle – Carrboro, NC
Apr 169:00 PM Cold War KidsCannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN From $181
Apr 177:00 PM Cold War KidsHeaven stage at Masquerade – Atlanta, GA From $77
May 189:00 PM Cold War KidsMcmenamins Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
May 237:00 PM Cold War KidsThe Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA From $110
May 248:00 PM Cold War KidsThe Music Box of Fonda – Los Angeles, CA From $54
May 259:00 PM Cold War KidsBelly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA

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