If you’ve watched any TV this holiday season, it’s likely you’ve come across Acura’s commercial featuring a familiar holiday tune – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today.” You’ll remember the original version from the maroon-clad foursome Horatio Sans, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan & Tracy Morgan on Saturday Night Live in 2000. This hilarious song was an immediate SNL classic.

The version featured in the commercial (as well as topping my holiday playlist) is former Strokes’ lead singer Julian Casablancas’ 2009 cover of the comedy sketch.

Both videos are featured here—which one to do you enjoy more?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFfXqz1h5AY

 

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Photo by Britta Marie

When it comes to weddings and technology, couples have a lot of choices. Do we create a wedding hashtag? Do we encourage our guests to Instagram the day and offer well wishes on Facebook and Twitter? While many couples embrace technology,  a new trend is starting to emerge–unplugged weddings. Many couples are choosing to ask their guests to be fully present during the day by putting their phones away and leaving the photography to the professionals. The hope is that people would engage more with each other and enjoy the day in-person rather than through their phone screens. Besides, who wants to be that guy holding up his iPad trying to get a good shot of the couple while blocking the view of everyone behind him?

So what do you think? Should guests be keeping their electronics away during the wedding, or should we encourage celebrating on all social media platforms? Comment below!

When one thinks of wedding planning, certain things often come to mind. For many it’s all things bridal–lace, pink flowers, and possibly bridezillas. But with both men and women establishing themselves in their careers and have busier lives before tying the knot, the load of wedding planning is starting to be more equally distributed.

Take a look at the following articles that include interviews with grooms-to-be who feel their opinions and responsibilities should be equal to those of their fiancé.

Grooms as wedding planners?

Grooms Playing Bigger Role in Planning

What do you think? Are weddings still all about the bride? Or should both parties be equally represented in the event?

This weekend folk duo The Milk Carton Kids and singer/songwriter Sarah Jarosz teamed up in a collaboration tour and headed to Milwaukee, WI for a Halloween performance. While listening to mellow folk tunes may not be everyone’s ideal Halloween night, it was truly a show worth seeing! The musicians even got in the Halloween spirit during the encore! Check out the link to their encore performance (feat. “Joni Mitchell” and “Simon & Garfunkel”) below!

Whether we admit it or not, we all love T. Sweezy. She’s just cheesy enough to appeal to middle school girls and just hip enough to appeal to fraternity bros. With the release of her newest album, 1989, the Queen of Break-Up Tunes is pushing the boundaries of her identity as an artist, refusing to be pigeon-holed in one specific genre.

Even though Swift is trying to “shake it off,” she is still undoubtedly renowned for her many break-up songs that you just can’t help but sing along with. Gone are the days when break-up songs inspired you to sit on the couch and eat a pint of ice cream—they are now taking a turn toward the upbeat. See below for a list of break-up tunes through the ages that you just can’t help but sing along with.

Break-Up Songs List:
1958 – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – the Platters
1962 – Big Girls Don’t Cry – The Four Seasons
1972 – You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
1978 – I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
1980 – Keep On Lovin’ You – REO Speedwagon
1983 – Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
1990 – It Must’ve Been Love – Roxette
1992 – I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
1996 – Don’t Speak – No Doubt
2006 – Irreplaceable – Beyonce
2009 – Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
2010 – Rolling in the Deep – Adele
2012 – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
2013 – Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus

With so many danceable break-up songs out there, we in the wedding industry ask: Would you want to hear break-up songs at your wedding?

We want to hear from you! What is more important: Lyrics that match the tone of your wedding, or a beat that gets people on the dance floor regardless of the words? T. Swift seems to draw from the best of both worlds—what do you think? Comment below!

 

Stitely Orchestra's talented keyboardist, Chris White is headed to the Birch Creek Music Performance Center to teach lucky students at the Jazz Vocal Camp from August 10th-15th.  Birch Creek Music Performance Center on Wisconsin's beautiful Door County peninsula is a young musician's dream. Founded in 1976, Birch Creek is a unique summer music school that provides talented students (typically age 14-19) advanced training as well as the opportunity to perform publicly alongside some of the top music professionals around.  The camp offers four 2-week resident summer sessions in Symphony, Percussion & Steelpan, and Jazz. The student-faculty ratio is 2-to-1, ensuring that students receive attentive hands-on mentoring from top music educators and performers.

Chris obtained a B.A. in English from the University of Toronto and then decided to focus his studies entirely on music. In 1997 he attended Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music and pursued his Masters degree in Jazz Studies, graduating with a Phi Kappa Lamda award (National Music Honors Society). Gaining valuable experience in Indianapolis, he performed with The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, David Baker, Jamey Aebersold and Oliver Nelson, Jr.  He has studied piano with Luke Gillespie, Lynne Arriale, Joanne Brackeen, Barry Harris and Andy LaVerne.  In August 2000 Chris was invited to perform in the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia hosted by James Moody, Rufus Reid and David Baker. Currently he is an instructor of jazz piano and theory at Lake Forest College, North Park University and North Central College.  He is also a combo and theory instructor at Midwest Young Artists in Highwood, IL.  Chris has performed at The Jazz Showcase, Andy’s, The House of Blues, Navy Pier, The Peninsula Hotel, the Coq D’or at the Drake Hotel and many more.  In 2010 he completed his Doctoral of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Here in Chicago, we have plenty of winter.  Depending on the year, it can start as early as October and last until early April.  And as any wedding professional will tell you, January through March are typically slow wedding months.  Snow, slush, unplowed Chicago streets…..these are just a few reasons to opt for warmer months.

But, brides who live in sunnier, warmer areas of the US and want to have a Winter Themed Wedding, can get their wish.  One of many companies providing that snowy winter wonderland look is Snow Business.  Working with both corporate and wedding ciients, they can create snowy effects ranging from gently falling snow to enough snow to stage a snowball fight.  And all without the cold!

Chicago wedding band leader Derrick ProcellChicago Groove Collective’s dynamic and multi-talented bandleader, Derrick Procell, will be performing from Noon to 1pm at the Summer Courtyard Concert in Waukegan on  July 11, 2014.  Sponsored by the Waukegan Public Library, Derrick will entertain the lunchtime crowd with his unique blend of Country, R&B and Rock & Roll.  You can check out more about Derrick by visiting his web site at http://www.derrickanamerican.com/

wedding band song

I am generally not a fan of new bands and when I say new, I mean bands that were formed after the year 2000.  One Republic is an exception to that rule, as are the Black Keys, but that is a post for another day.

One Republic got it’s start in 2003 according to Wikipedia, but they didn’t hit my radar until my daughter hit her teen years.The band’s recent hit “Counting Stars” has become a highly requested song at the weddings where the Stitely Orchestra performs.  I heard their latest single from their 2013 album Native called Love Runs Out.  That title doesn’t scream “wedding song”, but there is just something about it that makes me think it will be requested by more than one couple.

Dancing to a Chicago wedding band

Stitely Orchestra, Chicago Groove Collective and 312 Chicago all get a kick out of learning fun new songs for our clients.  What do you think?  Will Love Runs Out be the next big wedding hit?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE5WscjdNZs

I’ll bet when this bride was planning her beach wedding, she didn’t see this coming…

sea turtle

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s actually pretty cool. Check out the full story here