This week Ed Sheeran has continued to make news and stay at the top of the charts. His hit song “Perfect” was released again, this time as a duet with none other than the Queen herself, Beyoncé.
Its sweet message and melody would make any heart flutter. The lyrics tell a story of falling in love as young kids and continuing to grow their life and love together. Beyoncé joins in during the second the verse and provides an interesting contrast to Sheeran’s raw, emotional voice. They harmoniously come together to create a powerhouse sound that could not be more perfect.
Besides being on the top of the billboard charts, “Perfect” has also been listed as the one of Top First Dance Songs of 2017 according to Style Me Pretty. Sheeran’s other song “Thinking Out Loud” also made the top of the list.
We agree this song is perfect for a first dance because the lyrics make a couple feel like it was written specifically for them and their own love story. This won’t be the last year we hear this song being played for a first dance. We anticipate that this tune will go down as one of the classics for years to come.
2017 is bound to have a cheery end to it with its holiday season. Some top names have released albums this year and now that Thanksgiving is officially over I guess we can take ourselves off “Private Session” on Spotify and be proud of our music selections. We’ve all been sneaking a listen here and there. Gwen Stefani, Sia, Mariah Carey, and 98 Degrees have all released Holiday albums this year.
All worth checking out, but I highly recommend listening to Lindsey Sterling’s Holiday album “Warmer in Winter.” This renowned violinist puts a quirky, blues-rock twist on holiday classics. These aren’t your typical holiday tunes you’re used to. “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” was an instant favorite for me.
This week’s releases came in full swing into the Pop world and the spotlight is shining right on the ladies of the pop industry.
Icona Pop has released another catchy single “Heart in the Air.” Still no record yet though, but I would expect it soon since they’re last full length was released in 2013 and they’re starting to push out new singles.
Tove Lo released a new album as well, only a year after her last release.
Jessie J preaches in her new song “Queen.”
Newcomer to the scene Maggie Lindemann gained notoriety for her single “Knocking on Your Heart” in 2015, and has released a few singles since then. Last week, she released “Obsessed,” a great radio tune that you’ll be hearing a lot of. Maybe this means she’s finally going to release an album soon? Great week in the pop music world. You go, ladies!
Happy Monday! We apologize for the gap in our posts recently but we are back and ready to begin sharing exciting stuff with you again! On a similar note, my name is Emily and I’m the new planning and operations coordinator here. I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management. I’ve always had a passion for music so because of this, I’m thrilled to share different musical happenings each week that I find interesting.
We’ve had an exciting variety of record releases in the past couple of weeks. An impressive release came from 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal, who won America’s Got Talent. See her videos here. She’s definitely worth checking out and will be performing at The Park West this Wednesday, November 15. Taylor Swift also partially released her album last week. She’s not going to release it to streaming services until next week, but you can purchase it now if you just can’t wait at her online store. Interesting (smart?) approach to releasing an album. She did sell 700,000 albums already when I wrote this post and it’s expected to increase from there. So I’d say it’s a pretty genius move on her part. What do you think?
Here’s a taste for what’s been going on around the Chicago music scene the last few years: Pocket Radio is a Chicago-based band known for energetic live shows and music that combines jazz, funk, hip-hop, and soul and gets audiences on their feet. This original tune, written by tenor saxophonist, S. Hudgens, is a perfect example of Pocket Radio’s style.
Stitely Orchestra’s own Bill Overton has been practicing his many instruments during band rehearsals for the musical extravaganza, Louis and Keely “Live” at the Sahara, opening this week at the Royal George Theater.
Louis Prima and Keely Smith were an American musical sensation in the 50s and 60s, virtually pioneering the Lounge Act in Las Vegas. The show is an original Musical Love Story featuring many of the duo’s greatest hits including That Ol’ Black Magic, Hey Boy Hey Girl, What Is This Thing Called Love, Night Train, Ai Ai Ai, and I Can’t Believe You’re in Love With Me.
Frank Sinatra also appears in a pivotal role in this new American musical play, which features a hot seven-piece live band that is guaranteed to bring down the house.
Co-written, directed and produced by Taylor Hackford, best known for directing the movies “An Office and A Gentleman” and “Ray”. Hackford also happens to be married to actress Helen Mirren who is currently playing Elizabeth II in the Broadway run of The Audience.
Book your tickets now!
With so much music in this great city of ours, there is often too much to keep track of. You probably aren’t even aware of half of the live music that take place in the city any given month, and with people like the folks at Sofar, there’s no wonder.
According to their website, Sofar Sounds started in 2009 in a “tiny North London flat. Frustrated by the traditional live music experience, [they] hosted three young artists who played to a carefully selected audience of the true music lovers.”
This is the premise for Sofar Sounds secret shows. Here’s how it works. You sign up for an e-mail list, and every month you are notified of the date that a secret show will be taking place. You can specify which city you would like to attend in (out of many across the country and the world), then give a reason why you should be admitted into the secret show, which usually takes place in someone’s apartment or living room. You won’t know what artist you are about to hear until you show up the night of the show–how exciting!
The link to subscribe to their updates is here. What do you think–would you attend a show featuring a band you’ve never heard of in someone’s house you don’t know?
With Spring just around the corner, I’ve been itching to get out and do more things in the city! If you’re feeling that cabin fever and love hearing new music as much as I do, then here are some shows to check out this month!
Ariana Grande @ Allstate Arena
If you like top pop, head over to the arena for what will surely be an entertaining production with high wow-factor.
The Lone Bellow @ Lincoln Hall
Unfortunately sold out, but had to mention them. If you haven’t heard their new album “Then Came the Morning” it’s a must must must.
Ben Sollee @ City Winery
This cellist and songwriter’s music is incredibly unique and hard to describe. Transcending genre in the best way, Sollee will keep you entertained with his skill and creative use of his instrument.
Milo Greene @ Lincoln Hall
While Milo Greene is not actually a real person, the band certainly and thankfully is. Check them out.
The Dodos @ Lincoln Hall
The band has been around for about 8 years, but is consistently coming up with new and interesting additions to the genre. Check them out at Lincoln Hall!
The Apache Relay @ Schubas
More people should know about them. Period.
Bob Schneider @ SPACE in Evanston
This Austin, TX native will be playing back-to-back shows at SPACE in Evanston. Definitely one to catch! A unique and intimate venue featuring a uniquely talented lyricist.
Shooter Jennings @ City Winery
Get your country on.
March 12 & 13
JD McPherson @ Lincoln Hall
This man is true rock and roll. Headlining 2 show at Lincoln Hall it’s a wonder that they’re both not sold out yet. Get on this!
Thelonious Monday: An Evening of Bebop Jazz @ The Double Door
To jazz up your monday night, head to the Double Door for a unique night, tributing a legendary jazz musician.
Maroon 5 @ United Center
Mat Kearney @ The Riviera
A favorite of many, Mat Kearney is sure to entertain on his tour for his new album “Just Kids.”
Mortified! @ Lincoln Hall
While not exactly a music show, this hilarious comedy event is worth every penny! Listen as Chicagoans read their middle school and high school diaries out loud! So relatable, so hilarious, and completely mortifying in the best way.
Penny & Sparrow @ Schubas
This up-and-coming duo has been around for a while, but their newest album has gained well-deserved traction. They are ones to watch!
Matthew Perryman Jones @ City Winery
So mellow. So beautiful.
The von Trapps @ SPACE
Great-Grandchildren of the legendary Capt. & Maria von Trapp, this group has toured across the world, carrying on their family’s musical legacy.
Well folks, winter is here to stay in Chicago it seems. As the light at the end of tunnel still feels miles away, I’ve been searching for fun things to do in the city that won’t freeze my buns off. Going to shows is one of my favorite things, so I’ve compiled a list of shows taking place this month for you to think about attending! The list includes venues all over the city and suburbs, as well as old friends and new faces in the music scene. See below for a schedule with descriptions.
Wednesday, February 11
Winning the award for my new favorite band name, this band’s blend of “neo-soul, R&B, and ‘young funk’” is sure to be an exciting addition to your February.
Thursday, February 12
Up and coming Nashville singer/songwriter teamed up with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys to record her second album. Definitely one to watch.
For a little added southern warmth & Alabama Shoals flair to your February, don’t miss this singer/songwriter, Jason Isbell.
Friday, February 13
For your Chicago jazz fix let this incredible trumpeter whisk you away.
Saturday February 14
For a Valentine’s Day throwback hit up the City Winery for 10,000 Maniacs’ 2 shows.
For an even throwier-back (as well as a pretty penny) Fleetwood Mac will be playing their second show at Allstate Arena in the past year.
Tuesday, February 17
For all the Portlandia lovers out there, head to the Riviera for the grandest reunion show of the season.
Another American folk singer/songwriter whose sure to entertain in the most mellowest of ways. The intimate setting of the SPACE venue in Evanston is the perfect place to experience this kind of music.
Thursday, February 19
Winning the award for my second-favorite new band name, Timer Timbre will be your fix for all things bluesy and all things Canadian this winter.
Friday, February 20
The New Zealand pop artist will surely entertain and impress with her killer pipes at this unique Chicago venue.
Wednesday, February 25
Enough said. It’ll be what you think it will be…probably awesome.
Thursday, Februray 26
Nothing like your emo past-self getting a little love this winter. For a night of nostalgia, nothing is better.
Saturday, February 28
Japanese-American house artist brings electronic energy that will help you to celebrate the end of this wintery month, in one of Chicago oldest and most unique venues.
On a sweeter more mellow note, the Punch Brothers will be your bluegrass fix for the month. Their harmonies are beautiful and you’ll feel refreshed after listening.
So there you have it—your Chicago music for the month of February. Links to tickets are on all the artists’ names. Click through and enjoy the music!
Here at Stitely Entertainment, we don’t just play music for weddings but we love to revel in the musical roots of Chicago’s blues and jazz scenes. This week’s Music Monday will be featuring 2 Chicago jazz staples: The Bobby Lewis Quintet & the Jazz Showcase venue, founded by Joe Segal.
Jeff Stitely has been playing with the Bobby Lewis Quintet for about 15 years, but Bobby Lewis’ legacy started much earlier. Moving to Chicago in 1961, Bobby quickly became the top studio call for recording on albums, commercials and films. As a studio recording musician he has logged over 7500 recording sessions and has recorded with names like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Al Jarreau & Frank Sinatra, Ramsey Lewis, Natalie Cole, Jack Teagarden—the list goes on. He also accompanied Tony Bennett for 15 years in all his Chicago appearances. Lewis not only plays with the greats, but is one himself. He has recorded 11 albums and acted as executive and musical producer on all of them.
This week, his Quintet will be playing at the Jazz Showcase, Chicago’s oldest jazz club. Established in 1947 by Joe Segal, and now owned and operated by his son Wayne, the Jazz Showcase is a cultural icon in Chicago. Joe has been called the “ambassador of jazz” to Chicago and is constantly doing whatever he needs to do to keep jazz alive in the city. The Jazz Showcase features live jazz 7 nights a week and continues to be a space where jazz thrives.
With two pillars of Chicago jazz being represented this weekend, there is no excuse not to come out and take a listen! The performances will take place Feb. 5-8, at 8 PM & 10 PM, with an additional 4 PM matinee on Sunday. For more information and tickets go to jazzshowcase.com.