As if I needed another reason to crush on Robert Downey Jr., turns out he has a killer singing voice too?

Back in October of 2011 Sting celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. He was joined on his favorite tunes by fellow superstars Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen… and Robert Downey Jr.

Turns out Sting and RDJ have been pals for awhile now. Back in 2006, both appeared on Ellen to promote the film “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints,” with Sting as executive producer, and starring RDJ. It was there that RDJ expressed his thanks to Sting for helping through his experience in prison. RDJ said, “Your album, Brand New Day, came out and it was just so strange because it was never really a brand new day (for me); it was the same day all over again. But that helped me so much because it was such a beautiful and hopeful album.”

RDJ joined Sting and his band at his birthday concert on a killer cover of The Police song “Driven To Tears.” Footage of this performance was recently discovered and has gone viral. It’s hot. Check out the vid below, then go listen to Robert Downey Jr’s 2004 album “The Futurist.”

This week’s Music Monday shall be known as “Tunes Tuesday.” Because it’s Tuesday. Sometimes you gotta shake things up a bit, keep ‘em guessing. Yeah, that’s why it’s a day late… on purpose.

This week’s pick comes to us courtesy of Jeff Stitely himself: it’s the jazz trio The Bad Plus.

He saw them in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase 3-4 weeks ago, after his interest was piqued through his 11 year old daughter. Jeff’s daughter is in a billion dance classes, and is currently doing a modern dance choreographed to the CD version of the song “Flim.”

The Bad Plus consists of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King. Their music combines elements of modern avant-garde jazz with rock and pop influences. They have recorded killer versions of songs by Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Rush, Neil Young, David Bowie, Queen, Radiohead, and Tears For Fears.

Check out their version of “Everybody Wants To Rule the World.” This was recorded live at The Basement Night Club in Sydney, Australia.

And here is the song that started it all: “Flim.”

If you feel like road-tripping, the trio will be back in Illinois in March at The University of Illinois Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, in  Champaign-Urbana, IL. Watch them combine forces with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

 

There were so many classic and beautiful weddings that took place this past year – too many to recap. So, let’s focus on the wonderfully weird and unique ones!

This one is our favorite due to its musical theme: a bride and groom played a guitar duet when the bride walked down the aisle.

The groom is a guitar teacher, so of course he pulled out an electric guitar during the processional and started playing Pachelbel’s Canon in D. To add to the surprise, the bride joined in having just learned how to play.

Check out the video, it’s adorable.

See the other 9 wedding stories HERE

Call us sentimental. Call us nostalgic. Call us to book one of our bands for your wedding. It’s January after all, and we know you just got engaged over the holidays! Congratulations!

There’s a beautiful silver lining to the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013. James Costello was waiting at the finish line at the Boston Marathon when his life was dramatically changed. In a twist of fate, his life was also changed for the better.

Costello suffered severe burns on his right arm and leg, sending him to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital for treatment. It was there that he met his future wife, nurse Krista D’Agostino. Eight months later, on an all-expenses paid “Heroes Cruise” with other victims and first responders,  Costello asked D’Agostino to marry him in the French city of Lyon.

“I’m happy to announce that we will spend the rest of our lives together. I now realize why I was involved in the tragedy. It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life,” he wrote on Facebook.

Boston Marathon Proposal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And they lived happily ever after.

Check out the full story at People.com

It was my turn to pick the song for Music Monday this week. Hurray! (This is Sarah, by the way. Nice to meet you.)

Since it’s always hard to choose just one song, I picked something that covers the bases. This is “Evolution of Music” by the insanely talented a cappella group Pentatonix:

A Cappella is defined as “without musical instrument,” and while accurate, that definition barely does it justice. A Cappella has become more mainstream in the past few years, with hit shows like The Sing Off  and Glee, and the the movie Pitch Perfect. Ben Folds, one of the judges on The Sing Off, recently wrote a blog post that can explain this phenomenon way better than I can. Check it out here.

Pentatonix is made up of five vocalists, Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi, Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola.  The group is named after the pentatonic scale, a musical scale or mode with five notes per octave, a concept the group believed matched their membership. They replaced the “c” on the end of the word with an “x” to make it more appealing.

The group gained real notoriety when they won the third season of The Sing Off. They also have a pretty significant online presence on YouTube; check out the rest of their videos here. If you want to see them live, they are kicking off a worldwide tour in 2014.

In homage to the holiday season, here is Pentatonix’s version of “Carol of the Bells.”

 

 

Do you love bacon? I do!!

Organizers behind the annual bacon festival in Des Moines say they’ve booked their first reservation for a bacon-themed wedding. The Iowa Bacon Board (yes, that exists) says the lucky couple will be wed at the seventh annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival.

Though the “Viva Las Bacon” weddings will take place in the private Chapel OHHHH Bacon, one wedding will be free if the ceremony takes place publicly on a stage.

There are three more wedding packages available, so get on it! After months of dieting to squeeze into a wedding dress, I can think of no better way to celebrate. Oink!

Via Huffington Post

 

Our very own Mike Arnopol, bassist for Stitely Orchestra, turned us on to this amazing funk and R&B musician, Jon Cleary.

Cleary is an accomplished pianist, vocalist, and song-writer, and is currently playing with The Absolute Monster Gentlemen. He was born in England and bred in New Orleans, where he spends most of his time performing, save for the occasional tour of Australia or gig in Paris, France.

We at Stitely aren’t the only ones who think he’s amazing. His performing and recording credits also include work with B.B. King, Keb Mo, India Arie, Ryan Adams, and Bonnie Raitt. Cleary was a touring member of  Raitt’s band since 1999 and appeared on the albums Silver Lining and Souls Alike on which Raitt covered several of Cleary originals.

Even Rolling Stone Magazine think he’s the jam, saying “Cleary can be an absolute monster on his own, but Cleary’s full combo R&B is as broad, deep and roiling as the Mississippi river, the combined swinging product of local keyboard tradition, Cleary’s vocal-songwriting flair for moody Seventies soul and the spunky-Meters roll of his Gentlemen.”

Check out this clip below of Jon Cleary and The Absolute Monster Gentlemen live, recorded at The Basement Night Club in Sydney Australia. It’s funkalicious!!

Oh man, I sure could have used this list for my wedding. The list below was taken from an article on Huffington Post. They have an entire section devoted to weddings, which isn’t surprising; as of June 2013, American weddings are a $51 billion industry.

My favorite quote from this article is “try not to be too hard on yourself; after all, the most important thing is that you both successfully complete your vows. Everything else is just icing on top of the cake, as far as I’m concerned.”

Amen, sister.

10 THINGS BRIDES FORGET TO DO

1. Bring Your Marriage License

2. Vendor Meals

3. Favors

4. Guest Book and Pens

5. Invitation suite

6. Cake Knife and Toasting Flutes

7. Tech Chargers

8. Passport and Identification

9. Thank You Notes

10. Online Reviews

For more details on each of these items, check out the article HERE.

Jason Derulo has given the world its next top wedding song: “Marry Me.” Not to be confused with Train’s “Marry Me,” or Bruno Mars’s “Marry You,” or Paula Abdul’s “Will You Marry Me Boy” (OK, you probably weren’t thinking about the last one), it is the second single released from his third studio album Tattoos (2013).

jason derulo

Jason wrote the song for longtime girlfriend Jordin Sparks about his intention to marry her… so that should tide her over for now, right?

I first heard this song on satellite radio while cruising down the highway. It didn’t strike me as anything special musically, but when I saw the title “Marry Me,” I stayed tuned in. Being in this industry, it seems like a no-brainer that this song will be requested. After listening to the lyrics, it doesn’t really seem that ideal for a wedding, in my humble opinion. I mean, he hasn’t actually asked if she’ll marry him yet, he’s talking about doing it in the future when he’s set financially, so there’s no need to rush (as if Jason Derulo doesn’t have enough money). Romantic? Meh.

Sometimes we get requests for songs, where the chorus or most high-profile part of the song seems romantic or appropriate when it’s really not. We always encourage people to put a lot of thought into their song choices, to listen to all of the lyrics, especially during a special dance when their guests are paying close attention.

This is just food for thought. At the end of the day, it’s ultimately about what makes the bride and groom happy. It’s their day after all.

Check out the song below:

Today Jeff shared with us one of his favorite albums: Timeless by John Abercrombie. Recorded in June of 1974 with John on guitar, Jan Hammer on piano and organ, and Jack DeJohnette on drums, it was a lovely, peaceful soundtrack to the snow falling outside our office window.

When naming the album “Timeless” Mr. Abercrombie really hit the nail on the head; nearly 40 years later it more than holds up. We particularly enjoyed “Love Song, a beautiful and soulful, improvised tune. Check it out below.