Thursday, January 19, 2017

[LISTEN] Ryan Adams - Doomsday


Can you stand and face your fears, my love?
I will for you

Ryan Adams' new album, Prisoner, is due February 17 via Pax-Am/Blue Note, and today we've been given another taste. This one's titled "Doomsday," complete with yearning harmonica reminiscent of songs like "Firecracker" and "Desire." Classic RA, if you ask me.

Also, a few tour dates to pass along!

March 5 - The National - Richmond, VA
March 6 - The National - Richmond, VA
March 8 - Township Auditorium - Columbia, SC
March 9 - North Charleston Performing Arts Center - North Charleston, SC
March 10 - The Parker Playhouse - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
March 12 - Gasparilla Music Festival - Tampa, FL
March 14 - Orpheum Theater - New Orleans, LA

Friday, January 6, 2017

[PHOTOS] Whitney at Thalia Hall in Chicago


Chicago's Whitney played Thalia Hall in December, and Speakers in Code photographer Amanda Koellner was on hand to capture the action. Whitney will be playing Delmar Hall in St. Louis on May 9th, and tickets are available now.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

7 Years of Speakers in Code: Music is the Healing Force


Music is the healing force.

That's our mantra.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported Speakers in Code the last 7 years. I appreciate you and the conversation you bring to my life. It's also fair to say that I probably wouldn't have met a lot of you if it wasn't for this site, and for that I am grateful.

Content will be light in the weeks ahead as my dog needs most of my attention right now, but I'm not going anywhere. I plan on doing this until I physically can't anymore. Of course I won't try to predict the future and don't think promises are a great idea, but I still love doing what I do, and I believe the best is yet to come.

I also love working with our talented team of photographers. I have learned so much from all of you, and your work ethic is second to none. Thank you.

Thanks as well to all of the supportive music publicists, venue owners, and St. Louis media. You are the light.

To celebrate 7 years, I think it's time to dust this one off...

Click here to listen to the Ryan Adams Hardee's Biscuits and Chicken story!!

I wish you all the best in the year ahead.

Peace and love always,

Jason Gonulsen
Editor, photographer, writer
Speakers in Code

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

[INTERVIEW] Moving Hearts and Hips: Gina Chavez’ Musical Legacy


Moving Hearts and Hips: Gina Chavez’ Musical Legacy

Written by Elisa Regulski

“It starts raining on us in the desert, men are screaming for Rhianna, and I’m just like ‘this is totally not what I expected in Saudi Arabia.’”

Six days at a massive music festival in Austin was nothing compared to what Gina Chavez referred to as “the weirdest but best gig ever.”

When Gina and her band arrived at the U.S Embassy to perform as part of the U.S State Department’s American Music Abroad Program, she had no idea that a party like this would take shape. Women tore off their abayas and gay men shouted requests. Drenched with rain, the revelers in the crowd basked in her Latin-infused sound as she played in front of a massive American flag.

“I do love that…some tax dollars go to making these cultural exchanges happen.” Chavez said, “The fact that we can provide this little piece of earth where people can come and be themselves for a couple hours.”

Gina’s no stranger when it comes to world travels. She recently finished touring through Australia and spreading her music across Jordan. Even with all of her cultural exchanges, however, Chavez still confesses that there’s so much she doesn’t know.

“I’m a Catholic. I consider myself a well-educated woman, and I realized I knew, like, zero ZERO about the life of Muhammad,” Chavez passionately explained, “And this is why we have so much of the awful racism and stereotyping we have in our world. We’re not even open to knowing about it.”

Chavez’ strives to connect and educate people through music. Combining pop, folk, and Latin sounds, her music has a life of its own. She was first inspired by the six-count chacarera rhythms heard in Northwest Argentina. Today, her infectious beats and smooth vocals excite listeners all over the world.

Her songs have garnered impressive recognition, from being named Austin’s Musician of the Year in 2015 to winning the 2014 Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Most importantly, though, Chavez wants to inspire.

“It may seem kind of cheesy, but I want to move people’s hearts and hips,” she laughed.

Her ideal concert setting would include a vast audience that’s full of different cultures. The people may look different, but they’re all soaking up the music in the same way.

“[People are] realizing we’re all the same. We all want to party. We all want a shoulder to cry on, and we just want to be loved.”

Chavez reaches for that musical utopia one show at a time.

“I like the fact that music can bring us together and break down barriers. I think, on some level, if I could claim my own legacy that would be part of it.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

[REVIEW + PHOTOS] Brian Setzer Orchestra at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix


Brian Setzer Shreds Christmas Cheer 

Words and Photos by Joe O'Toole

Legendary rockabilly guitarist Brian Setzer and his 16-piece orchestra (and two beautiful backup singers) threw the Christmas party of the year on Thursday night to a sold out crowd at Phoenix’s famed Celebrity Theatre. This being the 13th Annual “Christmas Rocks! Tour”, rockabilly and swing fans turned out in full force to jump, jive and wail the night away.

Rocking’ Around The Christmas Tree got things started as the dance floor began to bustle. Once the tight horn section hit, the crowd responded with overwhelming approval. Brian effortlessly shredded away on his Gretsch, displaying technical prowess throughout a set highlighting Christmas classics like Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, Angels We Have Heard On High, and Rockabilly Rudolph. Upright Bassist John “Spazz” Hatton slapped out the rhythm, occasionally giving us insight into his nickname by dancing gleefully, even standing atop his instrument and somehow holding down the bass line. Exceptional musicianship and the party vibe made for an enjoyable throwback to 40s Swing and 50s Rockabilly.

As enjoyable as it is to hear Rockabilly takes on Holiday classics, what Brian Setzer Orchestra does best is Swing. Jump, Jive & Wail (Louis Prima) is a quick reminder of the sudden and meteoric Swing Revival of the late 90s. Don’t be shy, a lot of us took those Swing dance classes thanks in big part to Brian Setzer Orchestra. I eyed some other 40-somethings heading to the dance floor for Dirty Boogie and This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof to show off their best moves. Rockabilly classics and Stray Cats hits like Rock This Town got even the most reserved of folks out of their seats and boogieing.

Brian led his band through a 90-minute set of joyous celebration with precision and energy, something he’s been doing well for 35 years. In the music world, 2016 was a rough year. The number of big-name deaths is staggering and leaves music fans in a stupor. Legends like Brian Setzer remind us to enjoy ourselves and dance like nobody is watching. He delivers like it’s his job to make us happy. And we hope we can do it all again next year. Merry Rockin’ Christmas!