Stealing the Show

Caravan of Thieves

If you like artists whose genre is tough to peg, then Caravan of Thieves should be right up your alley. Not only does the band combine elements of gypsy jazz, swing and folk music, but they also add a bit of Vaudevillian theatricality to their live shows. A Caravan of Thieves concert is sure to be something you have never seen before — even if you have seen them before. Continue reading 

Brooklyn Bellows

The Lone Bellow

After bursting onto the music scene in 2013 with a stellar self-titled debut, New York-based The Lone Bellow are now preparing for the follow-up. And while the dreaded “sophomore slump” torpedoes the careers of many bands, guitarist and lead vocalist Zach Williams isn’t worried about the new album. “I really believe in the record,” he says. “I almost see it as a play with four acts, with three or four songs per act. I went through a really heavy situation while writing these songs, and I think it’s going to be a cathartic thing.” Continue reading 

Mission from Mars

Photo by Kai Z. Feng

Bruno Mars knows exactly what he is doing, and he does it better than just about anyone in the business. Not only has he released two chart-topping albums — 2010’s Doo-Wops & Hooligans and 2012’s Unorthodox Jukebox — sold over 100 million copies of his singles and albums and won multiple Grammys, but he’d made a name for himself prior to all of this as a songwriter and producer. B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ On You,” for example? Co-written by Mars. Cee-Lo Green’s “F*** You”? Ditto. Continue reading 

Magnetic Goo

Time changes things, and Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac knows this as well as anyone. After all, before he and Johnny Rzeznik became one of the more notable pop rock acts of the last two decades, they preferred to be noisy rather than pop savvy. But they got the chance to evolve artistically through early albums, get out their inner punk and heavy metal aggressions and figure out who they wanted to be as a band. Takac knows how lucky they are. Continue reading 

The Band That Lived

Harry and the Potters

Though the final entry in the beloved Harry Potter series hit bookshelves seven years ago, and the last film arrived three years ago, The Boy Who Lived continues to live on thanks to the cheeky musical genre known as Wizard Rock, a musical phenomenon which I wrote about in 2007 for EW (“Raise Your Wands: Wizard rock arrives at the library”) just before the final Potter book was released. Wizard Rock combines Potter fans’ love of music and books, so listeners are treated to songs that are based on events from the series. Continue reading 

Free as a Bird

Gabrielle Louise

For her latest project, The Bird in My Chest, singer-songwriter Gabrielle Louise wanted to do something different. “I had my heart set on releasing a book of short stories and poems alongside a collection of music,” Louise says. “So I took everything I had composed in the same time frame — songs, poems and short stories — and I published a booklet to accompany the CD.” Continue reading 

Giant Sounds

Young the Giant

After breaking into the modern rock and alternative worlds in 2011 with hit singles like “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” from its self-titled debut record, Young the Giant needed to decompress before starting work on its 2014 release Mind Over Matter. Continue reading 

Bird Goes Electric

Paper Bird

Pushing yourself to do new things, creatively, can be challenging, but as Esme Patterson — one of the vocalists in the Baroque indie folk-pop group Paper Bird — can attest, such growth and change are necessary. The band’s fourth album, 2013’s Rooms, is proof. Continue reading