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Music Tea w/Jukebox the Ghost

With their bombastic mix of polished vocals, swingin’ piano hooks, killer guitar riffs and shiny, happy melodies, Jukebox the Ghost knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to pleasing their many, many legions of fans. 

Since linking up at George Washington University in 2003, Ben Thornewill (piano/vocals), Tommy Siegel (vocals/guitar) and Jesse Kristin (vocals/drums) have been working dubiously to make sure they stand out not just in the studio, but on the road as well, having performing over 1,000 shows since their formation. 

Throw in stops along the way on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman and what it all comes down to is……these guys have truly only just begun making their shimmering, one-of-a-kind waves. 

Thanks to their feisty, fiery hot-to-headphones new set, Off to the Races (go here…right now), the fine-tuned Jukebox gentlemen will kick off their biggest headlining tour yet, which will see them taking over stages in Phoenix, Orlando, San Diego and Philly, where it all begins tonight at Union Transfer. Yes. 

So, if you’re looking to truly get down with those grooves as we (finally!!) glide into spring, stream their new set and then go see them reel you in tonight…..you won’t be disappointed. But as you’re looking to to grab those tickets, one-third of this dynamic trio, Mr. Tommy Siegel, stopped by for a spot of piping hot music tea, where he broke mugs about studio time, life on the road and infinite words of wisdom for all of us tryin’ to make in this crazy entertainment world. 

Spill on below and Jukebox the Ghost will see you on the road this spring!

Hey, Tommy! Thanks for taking the time out of your crazy schedule to chat with Philly Mixtape! Kicking things off, how’s the tour prep going so far leading up to tonight’s big opener?  Going great! This record was a fairly elaborate recording process, so we are still figuring out how to execute the tunes live. For one tune, “Colorful” we only realized we needed a mandolin a week ago. So: we’re ironing out the kinks! But so far the new tunes are sounding great and going over great in a live setting.

How have you guys been feeling now that ‘Off to the Races’ is out for the world to get down to? SO excited to get on the road. We haven’t done a full national tour in a couple of years and we are just over the moon to get to do it again.

Spill for everyone a little bit about the recording process of the new set…. Since we’re independent these days, it was a longer recording process than prior records. Most of it was recorded with some friends in NYC, but some of it was also pieced together from home recordings and some sessions in LA.

What can your Philly fans expect from tonight’s big show at Union Transfer?  It’s the first stop of tour, so it’s gonna be fresh as hell for us! Some song debuts, some oldies…Maybe a surprise cover????

What’s on Jukebox the Ghost’s agenda for the rest of the year? More touring!

Sum up the band’s sound in one word……   Hm… fun? We’re generally fun, except when we aren’t! 

One last sip of tea…..what infinite words of wisdom would you give any aspiring musician right now? Ooh… hm… learn to produce your own music! With less and less money coming from music sales, I think artists are at a huge advantage if they can make music cheaply. Recording your own music is empowering as a songwriter and financially sustainable!

And there you have it, kids. For much more with Jukebox the Ghost, get on down right here. 

Cover photo courtesy of Jukebox the Ghost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Super Bowl Halftime Performance of the Day/Madonna

Here….we…..f@#king…..go. 

In just five excruciatingly long days, our very own (and just so precious!) Philadelphia Eagles will take on that other team in Super Bowl LII, while Justin Timberlake will be taking the reigns as our halftime performance host with (hopefully) the most. 

While there’s little tea to be spilled as to what (or who???) Mr. Man of the Woods will be trotting out onto the field this Sunday (stay tuned for a complete Philly Mixtape style analysis later this week), the only thing to do is to tune in and watch it all go down (and that it will, that other teams fans) this Sunday night. 

But of course while we oh, so patiently wait for it all, it’s absolutely necessary to have a reminisce sesh (isn’t that right, Left Shark?) and spill about Super Bowl performances from the past….and kicking things is off is a gigantic set from Madonna that rocked our worlds on Feb 5th, 2012. 

Taking center stage, er, field, Madge burst into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (this was the year the New York Giants beat that team the Eagles are playing) draped and dripping in Givenchy and Bulgari –with that Phillip Treacy crown!–armed with a fortress of Calvin Klein clad Roman-Egyptian Gods while serving us pure “Vogue” realness.

Collaborating with Cirque Du Soleil’s Jamie King and Moment Factory, the Material Girl delivered a high flying twelve minute spectacle that also included hits “Music,” (hey, LMFAO…where ya been?), “Give Me All Your Lovin,” and marching band/Cee Lo assisted versions of “Express Yourself” and “Open Your Heart.” Closing with a halo clutching rendition of “Like a Prayer,” in which the legendary Ms. M literally dropped from the stage into a cloud of heavenly smoke. Like…literally. 

However….sigh….although Her Madge-sty’s now legendary sports showdown set a then Super Bowl halftime-show ratings record with 114 million viewers tuning in (higher than the game itself), it didn’t come off without a hitch…and it was all M.I.A.’s fault. For whatever reason, the “Paper Planes” spitstress decided to flip the world her middle bird during her closing verse on “Lovin,” where we soon learned what happens when you just don’t hit that censor button quite fast enough. M.I.A. was highly criticized for her bold expletive and later fined a whopping $16.6 million which was settled in a confidential agreement in 2014.

But whatever the court case may be (we also doubt Madonna and M.I.A. have spilled tea since then, although the “Frozen” diva did accept her apology), Madonna‘s half-time slay not only solidified another reason why we’re still completely obsessed with everything she does, but it set the bar for every performer who’s stepped in the half-time performance spotlight since. 

In a word, you watching, JT? Because you’ve got some serious werk to do this Sunday. So, Let’s do it. 

Go Birds!

Cover photo courtesy of Yahoo 

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Grammy Performance of the Day/Michael Jackson/”Bad” Medley

To say the 1988 Grammy Awards aren’t a piece of music history would be a huge understatement because holy shit…they most certainly are. 

Not only did U2’s world-changing The Joshua Tree set win Album of the Year, but Ms. Jody Watley snatched it all for Best New Artist and our oh, so dearly departed Ms. Whitney Houston’s opening performance of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” only solidified her big win for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance that night. 

However, the true show stopping moment of the now three decade old evening (!!) occurred when the big, Bad maestro himself, Mr. Michael Jackson, took the stage to serve us with all kinds of life thanks to a career defining medley including “Man in the Mirror,” “The Way You Make Me Feel” and the record’s classic title track. 

While the rousing ten minute (!!) set became another exceptionally solidified reason as to why MJ will forever be the King of Pop, much to everyone’s surprise, Bad was completely shut out of every major category it was nominated in, which was rather shocking as it was this record where Jackson became–and is still is–the only male artist in Billboard chart history (Katy Perry claimed the diva crown with 2010’s Teenage Dream) to land five consecutive number one singles from one album. 

While we’ll never know why MJ only took home the Grammy for Best Engineered Non-Classical Album (say what?) that night, what we do know is that it really doesn’t matter because it’s performances like this one–and pretty much every other one he gave us–are the reason why everyone who takes that Grammy stage doesn’t hold a candle (although some have come close…but no) to what MJ bought on that legendary night thirty years ago as it will forever be in a magically BAD class of its own.

 

Cover photo courtesy of YouTube