Monday through Friday at 6PM PST over on indie-pop band TWIN XL’s instagram, viewers will find a themed live stream. TWIN XL, is a three piece from Los Angeles, consisting of brothers and former members of The Summer Set John Gomez and Stephen Gomez, and Cameron Walker.
These weekday live streams allow for the band to stay connected to fans during these uncertain times. Each day follows a different theme ranging from Q&A’s, talks about the making of one of their songs, games, and play music.
On Monday March 30, John Gomez and Walker tuned into Instagram for one hour to play songs per request of the audience.
Starting off the stream, Cameron played an unreleased song of the band that they have played at shows called “Melt”, mentioning the possibility of the track being released soon. After that, Gomez and Walker would read the chat in the stream taking song suggestions. Some songs they played included “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional, “Love Like Woe” by The Ready Set, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. Gomez even pulled out an oldie and played “Chelsea” from his former band The Summer Set.
The whole stream felt like a jam session between friends. The two did come to the stream with a song they wanted to perform but the rest was up to the fans. As the stream started Walker joked by saying “we are going to ruin your favorite songs”. From the start it was clear that this stream was about having fun, and that is exactly what the stream was, fun.
TWIN XL set up these weekday live streams that have happened consistently for the last two weeks, to give fans one hour a day for some fun and stay connected. As concerts are being postponed or cancelled, bands are trying to find ways to stay connected with their fans, and provide them with some form of content in lieu of a concert.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne, better known across the globe simply as Hozier, has been an active participant in the live-stream concert trend that is sweeping the globe. The music industry enigma’s most recent endeavor took place on Friday via Billboard Live’s facebook page in an effort to raise money for the Downtown Women’s Center in LA, which focuses on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women. While in his previous livestreams Hozier has been accompanied by bandmate Alex Ryan, he buckled down in his bedroom by himself for this one due to intensification of the lockdown, joined only by his acoustic guitar. After talking a little about the Women’s Center, Hozier jumped into material from his massively successful 2014 self-titled debut, which birthed chart-toppers like “Take Me to Church” and launched him into wide-spread fame.
The Irish musician started off with an acoustic rendition of “To Be Alone”, a bluesy rock number off of his first album. Even without the driving electric guitar and hard-hitting percussion of the original track, Hozier kept all of his power with his soulful vocals and guitar-playing. He then invited fans to send in requests, humbly stating that he could “try and God knows that’s the best I can do” (Yeah, okay Hozier *insert eye-roll here*) before moving into a soft-spoken version of fan-favorite “From Eden”. The beautiful number was accompanied by bright slide-guitar and whispered falsetto brushed across the tops of the airy track’s high notes. “Cool.” Hozier breezily said before diving into some questions from the stream’s viewers.
“What are you some of the ways you’ve been keeping busy during these times?” He read aloud from the comments and questions streaming in at real time. Hozier took the moment to speak of the effect that the pandemic has had on the live event industry and of his own plans for the year. “I’m very very fortunate that I didn’t have touring plans this year. So a lot of musicians and in particular independent musicians, freelancers, anybody involved in event management or gigging….” He trailed off in thought before coming back, restating “I’ve been very very fortunate”. Hozier shared that his plans have not been heavily affected by the pandemic, a fact not all that surprising for a man who’s infamous among fans for backing out of the spotlight for years at a time when he’s not touring to work on his music without the constant pressure typically forced on artists by labels and the public. He did share what he’s been up to though: reading, writing, and walking “at safe distances from other people”.
Hozier spoke a little more about the Women’s Center and encouraged viewers to donate if they could before cutting off his own thoughts. “And- Yeah. What are we doing? I suppose I’ll sing a song” he said with a grin. “That’s what I do”. He spoke on as he tweaked his guitar. “Today was a sad day, sadder than normal. Bill Withers passed away, who I’m sure you’re familiar with, and it’s an absolute tragedy”. He then spoke of Withers influence on him personally before paying tribute to him with a haunting cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine”, one of Withers’ classics. Not surprisingly, he did the soulful track justice, effortlessly building the intensity with his impassioned playing and singing before pulling back to let the last section breathe. “Isn’t that a beautiful song?” He mused.
Hozier followed the heartfelt cover with “Cherry Wine”, one of the most beautiful and patient songs from his debut. Seeing that the album version is a live recording with just acoustic guitar as well, his livestream edition sounded eerily similar and was charged with nostalgia for longtime fans. The world stood still for a couple moments as the musician’s remarkable ability to make everything feel alright washed over like a wave of cool and calm, serving as a personal reminder that if Hozier told me to jump into a volcano he’d probably ask in such a way that I’d not only oblige but think it was a fantastic idea. Remarkable.
There seems to be a tendency among musicians who had a giant breakout hit like Hozier did with “Take Me to Church” to avoid playing these hits when they don’t have to, so I was a bit surprised when he busted out the song that launched him into mainstream popularity back in 2014 to close the set. But Hozier, ever a man of the people (even if he hides from them in the woods for years at a time) brought back the hit for his last song of the night.
“I have not played this song on guitar for um, many moon now, for years I would say”. Hozier teased with a coy smile as he tuned his guitar. “There was a time when I’d play it 3 times a day. So hopefully that will sustain in this first time I’ve played it in years”. Hozier thanked his viewers and Billboard before reminding everyone to donate to the Women’s center one final time.
Not shockingly, he followed that intro with a perfect rendition of the dark and soulful tune, reminding everyone of why we fell in love with his music in the first place.
“Or something to that effect” Hozier said before signing off and returning to his preferred state of anonymity, presumably “In the Woods Somewhere” (Hah, Hozier puns) where he belongs.
“And wash them hands,” Hozier said as he waved his way off the air. Your wish is my command, Hozier.
Erin P.S. Zimmerman has not only the memory of an elephant and the rhythm of one of Destiny’s children, but she’s the twin sister of our Editor, so she’s an absolute magnet for pop culture. She took a side road and grabbed us a large quantity of songs for a playlist that easily covers the entire decade. We’re sure it was inspired by her Spotify plays, as well as a deep dive into each year and her own iTunes library. But this girl’s got some gems. So read em, listen to em, and celebrate 2020 with the sounds of the past!
Dick in a Box – Lonely Island ft Justin Timberlake
One of the first times I realized that my mom has a wicked dirty sense of humor. In 2011, we requested this one at a piano bar “for our mom”. They pulled her on stage to sing and dance…and boy, did she!
I’m on a Boat – The Lonely Island
Everyone seemed to know this one, and it brought us all togethe
Water Landing – Third Eye Blind
Favorite TEB song. My new bf at the time – now my husband – made me a mix CD when we started dating, and this was the first song.
Boom Boom Pow – The Black Eyed Peas
“You’re so two thousand and LATE!” – Also, my sorority formal date’s “THIS IS MY JAM!”
Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects
Our anthem for all the bullshit left behind in high school.
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Favorite moment of my study abroad trip to London: a packed room at a bar singing this to a live band playing a cover.
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
There is no physical possibility she could walk off the plane at LAX, hop in her cab and look to the right to see the Hollywood sign.
Battlefield – Jordin Sparks
Why DOES love always feel like a battlefield?
Fireflies – Owl City
Why did we like this one so much??
I Love College – Asher Roth
This is the given on the soundtrack of someone who was in college in 2009 or any year after.
Breakeven – The Script
This introduced me to The Script. Which became part of the soundtrack to my summer.
Lines, Vines, and Trying Times – Jonas Brothers
YES, this is the whole album. Because I loved about 4/5ths of it. And it was the magical soundtrack to exploring London and Los Angeles.
Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner
Someone told me they thought of me every time they hear this song because I probably think I’m cooler than them. I am.
Billionaire – Travie McCoy ft Bruno Mars
Heard this one for the first time driving around Los Angeles with some friends. And I could picture myself as a billionaire VERY clearly – and still do every time I hear it!
Club Can’t Handle Me – Flo Rida ft. David Guetta
Always blasted in my dorm with my roommates. Always never at the club…because it can’t handle me right now.
Whataya Want from Me – Adam Lambert
I felt like I had his vocal range. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. Also: what I sang in my head every time someone from high school reached out to me…
If I Die Young – The Band Perry
My co-worker’s young daughter loved this song. And creepily sang every word as she stared deep into my eyes. I lived to tell the tale.
Shout It Out – Hanson
Yes, it’s another boy band album. I truly love all of the upbeat music on this, and it’s great for running through the sprinklers and then enjoying a bomb pop on a summer day (or upbeat music for your NYE)!
Under the Mistletoe – Justin Bieber
My sister received a video invitation to a Christmas party in Manhattan, New York that featured this song. And it was original and funny and I can’t help but love the song now.
Rolling in the Deep – Adele
Power ballad and my introduction to Adele [insert heart eyes]
Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
My little bro learned the dance. We made the gold box head from the video for him. This was his anthem.
Raise Your Glass – P!nk
Underdogs. Weirdos. Dirty little freaks. I’ve never felt so seen…
F**kin’ Perfect – P!nk
NOW I feel seen.
Look At Me Now – Chris Brown ft Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes
I spent an entire week vacationing in San Diego practicing rapping to Busta’s verse. I got most of it, performed it at my 21st birthday party, and retired from the rap game.
Good Life – OneRepublic
Upbeat. Meaningful. Nostalgic. Perfect for a party!
Pretty Girl Rock – Keri Hilson
Because, of course.
Jessie J’s entire album: Who You Are
Spent the summer – and fall and winter and spring – driving around with my twin sis rockin’ out to this one! Daddio’s favorite is Price Tag
Threw it on the Ground – The Lonely Island
Makes me giggle. Referenced often to this day.
Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye
Just one of those songs from 2012 that defined the year…because it was played non-stop on every radio station. So, everyone knows it.
We Are Young – Fun
Another one of those anthems for people of all ages about going out and painting the town red – or setting it on fire, whatever
Ni**as in Paris – Jay Z and Kanye West
A fun one that made at least SOMETHING in Blades of Glory funny.
Birthday Cake – Rihanna ft Chris Brown
Super weird collaboration following his assaulting her and the romantic breakup that followed 3 years prior…but a super catchy – albeit sometimes annoying – track.
Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Who didn’t love this song, and then become a complete thrift shop junkie? It took me years to get back to thrifting and getting anything good!
Flawless – Beyonce
Empowerment anthem OF THE DECADE. And, most days? I DID wake up like this.
Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
Cried. Sang it with the windows down driving up the 101. Made my bridal party do a dance to it. There is video evidence.
Royals – Lorde
I had somehow forgotten this song. It played in perpetuity from 2013-the KC Royals 2015 World Series Championship. Now I can’t get it out of my head…
Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus
An ode to Miley’s breakup, breakdown and ripping off the bandaid that was her Disney persona. And you, too, can get a skin for your MacBook that turns your Apple logo into the wrecking ball in question.
Girl on Fire – Alicia Keys
ANOTHER empowerment anthem? We will take all of them we can get!
Try – P!nk
Have you ever seen the music video? Watch it. NOW.
You and I – John Legend
Hell, really I just mean all of the album “Love in the Future”. Best of 2013.
Happy – Pharrell Williams
Who doesn’t want a feel-good song to take you from down in the dumps, to dancing on the hood of your car? Or the bar? Or the table or the street?
All of Me – John Legend
Bawled. Became first dance at wedding. Years later, I told John Legend to his face that he only makes music to purposefully make me cry. And he guaranteed tears at his concert. And he delivered. Damn him.
Turn Down for What – DJ Snake and Lil Jon
Only video I took at my wedding: Dance off in the foreground between 5 VERY white boys to this song. In the background? Family friend Russian kicking my 9-year-old niece into 2016.
Chandelier – Sia
I DO want to swing from the chandeli-here!
The Man – Aloe Blacc
Best basketball warm up song. Best slideshow music for the graduating seniors of the St. Pius X high school basketball team.
Partition – Beyonce
This one just has me feelin’ myself, no matter what mood I was in before! In fact, I’m going to go listen to it, now!
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa ft Charlie Puth
First death of a friend my age. This played on a slideshow. He’s all I think of when I hear it and I cry. Which means I cried while watching Fast and the Furious. But not because of Fast and the Furious.
Take Me to Church – Hozier
The year I really STOPPED going to church. But his voice more than made up for it!
Elastic Heart – Sia
Two words: Shia. Labeouf.
Outlaws – Alessia Cara
I felt like this was the anthem for myself and my fellow entrepreneurs as we retreated in the mountains and built our businesses and white-water rafted and had a jolly ole time.
House Party – Sam Hunt
How the twin and I have always lived our lives: entertaining from the comfort of our own homes.
Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
Sorry – Justin Bieber
OK, let’s be honest. The whole damn album. I’m not embarrassed. I danced my way through 2016 to JB.
Work from Home – Fifth Harmony
I had just started working from home as a full-time freelancer when this one came out. So, it was constantly in my head – and is a fun one to dance to, as well!
Just Like Fire – P!nk
Apparently, I am drawn to fire. I believe it’s the Aries in me…
One Call Away – Charlie Puth
Sister broke up with her boyfriend. I rallied the troops and had friends and family from across the US lip sync on video and put it together as a breakup gift. And a perpetual reminder.
Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya
Calling society in to question. While being catchy and easy to dance to? Yes, please and thank you! Because smashing the patriarchy can and should feel a hell of a lot more fun!
Lost Boy – Ruth B
Haunting, gender-bending, put into question how we see ourselves vs. how we are seen.
I know, deep, right?
HUMBLE – Kendrick Lamar
I saw this one as a challenge for me to be less humble and take up space, while also singing along loudly in the direction of folx who need to sit the f*** down, shut up and listen.
Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
Does anyone else see Jane and Rafael from Jane the Virgin when they listen to this song? No? Just me?
Redbone – Childish Gambino
A range and style no one expected, but everyone needed.
Slow Hands – Niall Horan
Sexy from a former One Directioner…I should have seen it coming.
Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato
Hate the saying. LOVE the song.
DNA – Kendrick Lamar
The BEST song to lift heavy weights and smash a bag around to! TRY to tell me differently!
Better Life – P!nk
Sad and beautiful. It helps me to stop and take inventory and answer P!nk’s question for myself.
Younger Now – Miley Cyrus
How I feel with each passing year…
Bastards – Kesha
First song on her 2017 album. “Don’t let the bastards get you down” (America’s official slogan since, what, 2016?)
Everybody Lost Somebody – Bleachers
Bleachers makes depression fun by helping folx find commonalities in one another. YOU are not alone!
[Some of the above songs are in the article about favorite albums I wrote to wrap up 2017: http://imperfectfifth.com/top-17-of-2017-from-someone-whose-opinion-you-shouldnt-care-about/]
Finesse – Bruno Mars and Cardi B
LOVE the throwback late 80s/early 90s sound. MORE PLEASE!
All The Stars – Kendrick Lamar & SZA
Black Panther. Entire Marvel/Disney soundtrack produced by Kendrick Lamar. My mom is friends with SZA’s mom.
This is America – Childish Gambino
Calling us out. Poignant. This IS America. Always and still.
God is a Woman – Ariana Grande
Finally. Someone got it right.
Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
I’m still trying to hate it. But every time it comes on – and it still does a LOT – my foot just gets a’tappin’!
Thank U, Next – Ariana Grande
I find myself singing this at my husband of 5+ years. Gotta keep um on their toes!
Hey Look Ma, I Made It – Pan!c at the Disco
Haven’t heard much from Pan!c since the mid 2000s…and now they are back and better than ever! In fact: theirs was my favorite show of 2019 (and Elizabeth’s! Check out her review here: http://imperfectfifth.com/elizabeths-favorite-shows-of-2019-dont-threaten-me-with-a-good-time/)
7 Rings – Ariana Grande
Sound of Music is my favorite. And so are my bitches (though, I don’t have 6 of them…probably)
Old Town Road – Lil Nas X ft Billy Ray Cyrus
Lil Nas X became a role model, THEN came out (and became an even BIGGER role model), all while trolling us with this annoyingly catchy – but really bad – anthem of 2019.
Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
Hate to say it…I love it. Because, well, I don’t always want to be the nice guy!
I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber
This is literally how I feel about everyone and everything. Except for my family. Sometimes. Other times, it’s exactly how I feel about all humans except myself.
Homecoming: The Live Album – Beyonce
Watching it live. Listening to it in its entirety. Tears to my eyes and over a decade of music and emotions.
Learn more about Erin at EZVisibility.com.
I’m a nostalgic person by nature. This time of year brings out all the memory triggers – smells, sights, yearly movies, conversations with family. Thinking back on the gifts I’ve gotten through the years, the most memorable often include music.
As a kid, my cousins and I drew names for gifts. Our family didn’t get together very often since we lived in different parts of the state, so Christmas at my grandmother’s house was a big deal. Christmas when I was eight was huge – the gift from my cousin was The Partridge Family Christmas album! Three of my cousins were slightly older than me, so they talked about songs and bands that were not on my elementary school radar. The Partridge Family, however, was on my TV every Friday night and now I had their album! The songs were Christmas standards, sung by David Cassidy, Shirley Jones and studio musicians. Very pedestrian by grown up standards, but that album meant the world to me. It even had a card attached to the front of the cover that was “signed” by the entire Partridge Family. What did I know about mass produced autographs? I nearly wore that record out playing it well beyond the holidays.
As a teenager, I would often get albums as gifts – Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Don Henley’s Building The Perfect Beast, all the albums by Hall & Oates. Music is so easy to gift and so appreciated. I still have an extensive album collection, even though I have most of the music downloaded, because they bring all the great memories to the fore. Reading liner notes was the best because you would know an entire song and be able to sing along immediately. As I got older, albums gave way to cassettes, then CDs.
Then came concert tickets!
I cannot hear Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” without thinking of the first time I heard him sing it – November, 1984. It was also the first time I had seen Bruce live in concert and that song closed the show. Even though everyone in the crowd should have been spent after the four hour show, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” just re-energized the full house. There was very defined time line – those events before that show, and those events that occurred after that show. Although I had been to live shows before that, all that came after would be compared to Bruce Springsteen live. It’s a high bar, but one that most artists meet in their own way.
Another special show was taking our family friend to see Barry Manilow. Her name was Mary Louise Weaver and she could not have been a bigger Barry fan. She was speechless, teary-eyed, smiling and singing – mostly simultaneously. She knew all of his music and had the best time. I was so happy to witness her happiness.
I am now a grown up with grown children, but I still experience the same excitement when I hear a song from any time in my life. Fortunately, all three of my kids have grown up loving music, so my husband and I did something right. We have a great time listening to different genres and attending different shows. I love to sing at the top of my lungs driving in the car, around the house, or at any concert I am attending. Music is a great unifier and sharing music is a gift that we can all give each other.
Now, it’s time to fire up the turntable for that Partridge Family album.
What’s your favorite musical memory? Share with us so we can feel that nostalgia too, over on our Facebook page!
2019 has seen a plethora of music come through Kansas City, both large tours and one-off intimate shows. We are fortunate to live in an area that attracts artists of all musical genres.
Two of the shows I enjoyed most this year were Panic! At The Disco (February 2, Pray For The Wicked Tour) and Backstreet Boys (September 7, DNA World Tour). Before you think this is the opinion of someone who grew up on boy bands, understand that I am the mom of young women who listened to boy bands as a part of their musical repertoire. Road trip music did include the Backstreet Boys and Panic!, but playlists also consisted of Garth Brooks, P!nk, show tunes, The Temptations, and the Proclaimers among others. Music, and live music, are givens in our family.
When these two tours were announced, I knew that my two daughters and I had to go to both of them. I had never seen Panic!, but both of them had, so I was excited to see this show. It did not disappoint. The show was sold out and everyone was on their feet the entire time. Brendon Urie entered the stage by leaping out of a hole in the floor and the energy did not wane from there. With a full band that included strings and horns to back up Urie, the entire show was a musical gem. In addition to the songs, which everyone knew every word to, lights, pyrotechnics, and graphics were used to create an event, not just a concert. Brendon Urie also spent some time playing piano, both at the front stage, and an auxiliary stage which was then elevated over the crowd.
I can honestly say that I came away from that show hoarse from singing at the top of my lungs. It was so much fun to watch other people enjoy themselves. All 14,000+ of us were at a party together and no one left dissatisfied. Don’t threaten me with a good time!
(Fuck A) Silver Lining
Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time
Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)
Hey Look Ma, I Made It
The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Nine in the Afternoon
One of the Drunks
Dancing’s Not a Crime
This Is Gospel
Death of a Bachelor
I Can’t Make You Love Me (Mike Reid cover)
Dying in LA
The Greatest Show (Benj Pasek & Justin Paul cover)
King of the Clouds
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)
Emperor’s New Clothes
Say Amen (Saturday Night)
I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Backstreet Boys were another first time show for me. Once again, my daughters had seen Backstreet Boys, so I was looking forward to going with them. What I didn’t expect was for this show to sell out as well! Although the crowd was slightly older than the crowd at Panic! At The Disco, there were plenty of younger people in the audience as well. And once again, these were people who did not sit down during the show!
Backstreet Boys employed a more traditional stage, but were in constant motion to cover the entire area. This also allowed them to take turns singing lead. There was not band on stage, but no one seemed to mind – these fans were here for the Backstreet Boys. The Boys, which I hate to say since they are all married men with children, interspersed medleys with their full length songs to cover most of their broad catalog. Everyone knew all of the songs, regardless of whether they were 20 years old or on the newest album. And they sang every word.
And I sang every word and danced with my daughters, just like other moms in the audience danced with their daughters. Live music can help you create memories like none other.
Everyone (First verse only)
I Wanna Be With You
Don’t Want You Back
Nobody Else (Brain Solo, First verse and chours)
Get Down (You’re The One For Me)
Chateau (Howie Solo, First verse and chours)
Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely
More Than That
The Way It Was (Nick Solo, First verse and chorus)
Shape of My Heart (No second verse)
Drowning (No second verse)
Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
As Long As You Love Me
Don’t Wanna Lose You Now
I’ll Never Break Your Heart
All I Have to Give (Conversation Mix)
All I Have To Give
Backstreet Boys DNA Tour Remix
Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
We’ve Got It Goin’ On
It’s Gotta Be You
That’s the Way I Like It
Get Another Boyfriend
I Want It That Way
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Larger Than Life
What was your favorite show of 2019? Let us know on Facebook!