Let’s Talk About: Winter Meltdown

In a spur of the moment adventure this past weekend, I attended the Winter Meltdown concert hosted by 98x FM in Norfolk, Virginia. This is an annual concert hosted at the Ted Constant Convocation center on the campus of Old Dominion University. I had never previously been, but the stars aligned for me as I happened to be in the right place at the right time. By that, I mean that my sister was in Virginia this weekend, giving me reason to head down and visit. That and the fact that the lineup included some very important musicians that I was not willing to miss.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetBANKS: BANKS served as the first performer of the night. I do not recall if I mentioned this previously, but I feel it is important to note that I was supposed to see BANKS a few months ago, tickets in hand and all, but ended up having to leave last minute and could not attend the show. Since that day I’ve been hoping to see her this summer at a few festivals, but to my surprise and joy, she was playing Winter Meltdown! I was not missing it. Due to the fact that she served as the first act, she was only allotted a fifteen minute set time, which was a bit disappointing, but better than nothing. Vocally, she sounded exactly as she does on Goddess, very soulful and sonically pleasing. However, she appeared very uncomfortable on stage. Throughout her performance I kept liking her to Lorde, in that her actions on stage are very atypical. However, unlike Lorde who has a strange demeanor and owns it, BANKS could not quite seem to work the stage. She rarely spoke and repeatedly walked circles in a very small area. This awkward stage presence did not bother me, but might deter some people from seeing her on more than one occasion. I feel BANKS best approach would be holding intimate concerts where she sits and sings, similar to something Adele might do. The only difficulty with this, though, is that her music is electronic. However, I feel with time comes comfortability and soon BANKS will be a headlining success story.

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 Bleachers: Bleachers performed immediately after BANKS, and what incredible performers they proved to be. I had seen, heard rather, Bleachers at Firefly Festival in Delaware, but was about a million miles away from the stage, sleepy in a hammock. Needless to say, this was a very different experience. If there is one thing that is for certain, it is that Jack Antonoff, lead singer, guitar player, and mastermind of Bleachers, has phenomenal stage presence. Many attendees of the show were there for headliners Neon Trees and Rise Against. Thus, I imagine bands like Bleachers and BANKS were not necessarily fitting with the music they enjoy. Knowing this, Antonoff made every effort to hype up the crowd. He was all over the stage, mouthing things like ‘let’s go’ and ‘what the f***’ at the audience members. This seemed to do it’s job. Near the end of the set, Bleachers performed an incredible cover of “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac and by the time they ended with their hit “I Wanna Get Better,” almost the entirety of the crowd had been won over, or at least appeased. Not to mention, the band that stood beside Antonoff were extraordinarily talented. To emphasize percussion, their were two drummers on separate kits, something that is extremely unusual and immensely intriguing. The band also consisted of a key/ saxophone player and another band member who was a jack of all trades, switching from guitar, to keys, to bass. He kept on going even when his string broke. Well played, sir. ALSO, bonus that he plays a rad Rickenbacker bass, very similar to Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint, WOOP. The things I notice because I’m a music nerd.

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HAIM: Ahhhh, yaas. HAIM are just extraordinarily talented. What you expect going into one of their shows is exactly what you get. I’ve seen them twice now, the first was early in the year when they had just started their headlining North American shows for the year. At Winter Meltdown they announced they had been touring their album, Days Are Gone for two and  half years and that Winter Meltdown was their last show for the album. Good for them, they deserve a very long break! Due to the fact that their set was shorter, they did not play all of their songs. The setlist included: Forever, Falling, Don’t Save Me, The Wire, Let Me Go, and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well (it was a big day for Fleetwood Mac). Despite presumed exhaustion, Este, Danielle, and Alana still give it their all. They seemed to be taking some musical liberties as it was their last show. Danielle altered some of her riffs very slightly, which I really enjoyed. PLUS, she got a new Gibson SG, which in case you were wondering is my favorite guitar ever created, besides Fender Strats, so I was a little overwhelmed. Even the Rise Against attendees were talking about how well HAIM could play by the end of their set. Mission Accomplished.

A+ for the day.

Lana Del Rey New Song & Tour

In an overwhelming onslaught of Lana Del Rey-ness, here is a clip of Lana’s new song “Big Eyes” which is featured in the trailer for Tim Burton’s new biopic of the same name. ALSO, Lana has announced tour dates for this summer (yaas, yaas) AND for the first eight dates, Courtney Love will open. GASP.

(Glad to see there are no hard feelings over the “dying young” comment from earlier in the year. Click here if you do not understand the reference)

Click here for the song!

[In what has to be the most random selection of tour dates ever:]

05/07 The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion*
05/09 Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion*
05/12 Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre*
05/14 Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion*
05/16 Chula Vista, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheater*
05/18 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl*
05/20 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre*
05/22 Ridgefield, WA @ Sleep Country Amphitheater*
05/28 Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center %
05/30 Tinley Park, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre %
05/31 Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre %
06/03 Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre %
06/04 Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre %
06/11 Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live %
06/13 Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion %
06/14 Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood %
06/16 West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheater %

* Courtney Love
% To be announced

Stevie Nicks Dedicates Landslide to HAIM 11/29/14

“It was written in 1973, and it has followed Lindsey and I around like a ragged, black cat that you love but it never goes away; it just stays. But it means something, and tonight it means something really special. Um, maybe once or twice, maybe twice in my lifetime I have met a group of other singers, artists, songwriters that I have thought were going to be a major force in rock and roll. And tonight the ladies Haim are here – Alana, Este and Danielle. And I have to say, because I love sharing stuff with the audience about other people that I love –

Um, we’ve been on the road for 27 shows and I play their record every day; I love it. It gives me answers, it gives me advice, it wraps its wings around me and it tells me everything will be okay, and I have such respect for them, and I have such respect for who they are and how they play music and how they put their music together, and it just blows my mind. So, girls, never stop. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow. Don’t stop. Keep doing what you’re doing because you’re important to this world. So, ladies and gentlemen, this song is for Haim. This is Landslide.”

The feels.

Let’s Talk About: Blake Mills In Concert

   IMG_0953The experience of a Blake Mills concert is something that cannot easily be described. Despite my best efforts, I will never be able to properly convey what seeing Blake Mills live entailed.

A few years ago, I attended a concert at the World Cafe Live Upstairs in Philadelphia. If you have not had the chance to see a concert there, I suggest you put in your best effort to get there at some point. The venue encompasses all the qualities of being intimate and relaxed, yet is a powerful and acoustically impressive venue. However, the show room Downstairs at World Cafe is something I had not experienced until a few nights ago. From this point on the Downstairs will serve as my venue of preference. The room is slightly larger and more spacious than the upstairs, but still retains an intimate, friendly feeling. It feels similar to the small, dining establishments that line the streets of New York City. It presented the perfect stage for an incredible night.

yMusic, a six piece ensemble served as the opening act. In and of itself, their performance would have been enough. Violinist Rob Moose provided strings for Blake Mills’ newest album Heigh Ho, and has also performed with many other artists including St. Vincent, Bon Iver, and the Punch Brothers. The group melded violin, viola, cello, clarinet/bass clarinet, flute/piccolo, and trumpet to capture both modern and classical sounds alike. One particular piece, “Music In Circles” sounded eerily similar to the sounds introduced by trailblazing composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. It was euphonious. It was movingly beautiful.

When Blake Mills finally came onstage, I was surprised by his introverted demeanor. I was not expecting an overly talkative and outgoing performer, but I also was not expecting him to seem so shy and humble. Accompanied by his four piece band, he immediately jumped into “If I’m Unworthy” from Heigh Ho and continued into “Hey Lover” from his debut album Break Mirrors. His passion was apparent, but his talent was overwhelming. An unexpected surprise was Blake straying off course down  paths of improvisation and elongated guitar riffs. He appeared to just allow the music to overtake him. I felt I was witnessing a private momentIt was absolutely fascinating and captivating to see such talent and such love for music pour from one individual. Going into the show, I was aware of all the praise Blake has received over the past few years. He has been highly sought after as an in-studio guitarist for artists including Neil Diamond and has been likened to and praised by Eric Clapton. After witnessing him play in person, I realize none of those words even came close to accurately capturing his abilities and talent. I must also applaud his band, for improvising along with him, always closely watching for a slight nod of the head, indicating a wrap-up of a brilliant tangent.

IMG_0939About midway through the show Blake welcomed Fiona Apple to join him for three songs. Blake and Fiona toured together this past year, but it was an incredible surprise to have her come out for this show. Together they sang “Seven” and “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me,” both songs were recorded with Fiona sharing vocals. Their vocal blending was spectacular. Somehow they were able to make two very powerful and unique voices meld together to form one mellifluous cross-harmony. In yoga pants, a t-shirt, and a sleeveless zip-up, there was something extremely endearing about Fiona Apple, and something extraordinarily charming about Blake and Fiona together. What was the most intriguing throughout the evening was seeing the way everyone who walked on the stage stared at Blake in undoubted admiration. They were enchanted by him. Fiona, his drummer, his keyboardist, all followed his fingers rushing up and down the frets of his guitar with such concentration.

Later on in the show, yMusic came back onstage to accompany Blake on “Three Weeks In Havana.” The blend of orchestral voices, guitar, heavy percussion, keys, steady bass, and Blake’s vocals were nothing short of perfect. On occasion he would take a long enough pause in between songs to show his appreciation. On several occasions he referenced how the only people who come to his shows are other musicians and how much he appreciated the support of his band. It was really, really special.IMG_0942

It is hard to think that the night could get any better, but in a complete surprise, Blake welcomed Jackson Browne to the stage. Blake relayed a story that at his high school graduation, he had performed “These Days.”.  Jackson Browne and Blake then went on to perform the hit. It appeared a  last minute encounter. Blake explained that Rob, the violinist, created a string piece for “These Days” in the few hours between sound check and the show. It was also Jackson Browne’s birthday, but I think the ones celebrating were the shocked and elated audience members. For younger readers, if you are unaware of Jackson Browne , please look him up ( I suggest “Stay” or “Running on Empty”). He has sold over eighteen million albums in the U.S. and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He truly is iconic and this performance was one of a kind.

The concert, which lasted over two hours, flew by in what seemed like two minutes.A perfect evening. If I could, I would watch it all over again.

Let’s Talk About: MØ In Concert (Round 2)


A while ago I had returned home from a concert and my Dad asked me ‘if I had gotten my money’s worth.’ Having seen MØ twice now, once in May and then again a few days ago, I simply cannot think of a more appropriate saying. I first saw MØ in a venue with a capacity of 340 people. The venue I saw her in most recently could hold up to 1,000 people. Prior to this leg of her North American tour, MØ had played various festivals in Europe for thousands of people. Despite the minuscule venue in May and the underwhelming turnout in Philadelphia a few nights ago, MØ performed as if she were playing Reading and Leeds or Coachella. This is the driving force that will thrust MØ forward in the music industry.

The musical accompaniment on her tracks tend to be very powerful, yet MØ’s voice compliments it. Her soulful voice is captivating, even when she is in the audience, or crowd surfing (both which happened on multiple occasions). She is 100% authentic, without feeling a need to provide glitz or glam. Her outfit choices, typically leggings, sneakers, and a T-shirt speak to that, yet her artistic vision elevates her shows to something extraordinary. At each show there is a screen on the back wall with a film loop of MØ in black and white projected on it. Like MØ this idea is simple yet entrancing. The energy she has is unlike any other, it seems as though she has been performing forever, when in reality she has not been performing in these environments for very long. Whether you are MØs biggest fan or do not know a single word to any of her songs, it is impossible to leave her concert feeling as though the experience was lackluster. I have attended my fair share of concerts, and what I said before I will say again, she puts on one of the most enthralling, entertaining, and exciting shows I have ever witnessed.




Fire Rides

XXX 88

The Sea

Slow Love

Dust Is Gone


No Mythologies To Follow

Freedom (#1)

Waste Of Time

Never Wanna Know

Walk This Way



Say You’ll Be There (Spice Girls)

Don’t Wanna Dance

Let’s Talk About: Lorde In Concert (Round 2)

photoOn March 8, 2014 I attended the Lorde concert at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. Tonight on September 5, 2014 I attended the Lorde concert at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. It’s quite ironic how the two dates turned out. In a span of time ranging exactly six months, things have changed so much.

In January of 2014, I decided to start Ker’s Corner as a way to express and discuss my love for music. At the time, it was a love that had always been present and was slowly beginning to grow stronger each day. A few months prior I had started my freshman year in college and was beginning to view the world differently. View my life differently. I was at a complete loss about what I wanted from my life, what I wanted to do with it and what would make me happy. Music was the outlet that allowed me to forget everything for just a moment. Tonight in her concert, Lorde discussed that moment when you first submerge underwater in a bath, how it is a moment of immense clarity. When I would listen to music, I would feel that brief moment of clarity, the moment was fleeting yet overwhelmingly comforting. Prior to the Lorde concert in March, I had been to quite a few concerts, but never did I think concerts would play such an important role in my life.

In May, June, July, and August, I saw eight concerts, more concerts than some people see in their entire lives. In September and October I am seeing five more. I realize how truly fortunate I am in being able to attend so many concerts and have such amazing experiences.  It seems a bit crazy to some people, but to me, it all finally seems to make sense. The end of my freshman year of college, around March, seemed to be a turning point in my life. I began to experience a lot of changes in my life and form vastly different opinions and perspectives and thoughts on what I wanted. This past summer I took time to really reflect on my life and discover myself, as they say. A process that really only seems to be resolving itself right about now, which is why it is funny that the second Lorde concert happened to be at this point in time.

I know I’m rambling a lot about my life and not the actual Lorde concert, but to properly convey and express my experience requires this (probably uninteresting to you) backstory so please bear with me.

As I was standing in the audience tonight as Lorde began to play “Ribs” (if you read my first Lorde review you will know that that is my favorite Lorde song, if you did not read it I just told you, so now you know) I felt this sort of peace come over me. In that moment standing there, listening to the music, eyes closed like a loser, I was extraordinarily, exceedingly, exceptionally happy. I don’t know if anything will ever result from my having this website, but in that moment it was almost as if I had an epiphany. I want to experience that moment over and over again for the rest of my life. More importantly, I want to come home and share it with those who weren’t there to experience it themselves. In A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, there is a section titled “Sky Dance” in which Leopold describes in such beautiful detail the dance of a bird. He compares the bird’s ‘dance’ to a performance set on a stage with proper lighting and the most perfect set design. His main reason in doing this is to describe this vision as best as he can to those who have not seen it. I want to do that. It sounds bizarre, but I associate passages like Leopold’s to music. I see such a strong connection between music and nature, two things that are most magnificent in their purest and simplest forms.

Putting Lorde aside, Ella aside, the qualities and attributes associated with the pop singer aside, and simply thinking of the music alone is still such a marvelous thing . Music, in a sense, is just a grouping of sonic waves; but the beauty is that individual waves coalesce to produce art that surrounds us in the most intricately simple way. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t have to. However, bringing Lorde back into this (thank goodness considering this is supposed to be about her concert) I am completely dumbfounded by the fact that she was criticized so greatly in the early stages of her career, and still to this day. I understand people have different interests, taste, likes and dislikes etc. but to listen to Lorde, who is producing lyrics more profound and fascinating than most people in the music industry today, at the mere age of seventeen is absolutely captivating. She is captivating.

It is nice that I was able to attend two of her concerts in the past year as I am able to look at them side by side and ‘evaluate’ tonight’s concert by comparing it to the prior concert. Tonight’s show in Philly kicked off this leg of her North American tour; a tour that will certainly be outstanding if tonight was any indication. The venue was much bigger this time around. The production much more grandiose.  She spoke for a majority of the concert, unlike last show where she barely said ten words. She is embracing herself and her talent more than ever.

As I drove home from the show (a whole two hours, meh) I listened to Pure Heroine (bet you didn’t see that coming) and (was very focused on the road but) spent a great deal of my drive admiring the sights out the window. It might appear as though I was on a concert high, but for some reason everything appeared more beautiful. The silhouette of the trees lining the road were darker and more pronounced. The hazy cloud, just transparent enough the see the outline of the moon behind it seemed more picturesque. Life seemed- seems- much more lovely.

Thank you Lorde.

(and thank you readers for indulging my most personal, irrelevant, potentially cheesy, and probably boring for you post yet).

Also, it’s currently 2:00 AM and I usually go to sleep at like 10:00, so sorry if this is terribly written. I was just too excited to write about it to wait until the morning.


Glory and Gore

White Teeth Teens

Tennis Court

Buzzcut Season

No Better

400 Lux

Flashing Lights


Biting Down

Heavenly Father

Still Sane




A World Alone