I’m not sure about you, but whenever I venture onto YouTube, I inevitably end up watching live performances by my favorite artists. I’m not going to say how much time I have given to these random excursions when I should be doing something more productive, like studying for the GRE or sleeping. But let’s just agree that we’re lucky to live in an age where we can watch and hear some of the greatest music ever recorded. Here’s a roundup of the best live performances I’ve found yet this week:
1. “From Eden” by Hozier.
I have been addicted to this song for months, pretty much since I first heard Hozier sing it right in front of me at Beale Street Music Festival. The addiction has become so strong that not only do I listen to “From Eden” at least once daily, but I have scoured the Internet for the best version of the song. And now I think I’ve found it. Hozier’s performance of “From Eden” for the surprise concert series SoFar showcases his unique, soulful voice even better than the recorded version. It’s toned down, with no backing vocals or instruments, and this element allows the listener to hear every single satisfying note that Hozier hits.
2. “You Talk Way Too Much” by The Strokes.
The Strokes are the greatest rock band of our time. I stand by that statement, and it’s not only because I was at this concert (losing my voice as I screamed along with Julian), or the fact that this show was the best one I have ever been to in my lengthy concert-attending career. It’s because The Strokes, and the music they make, are timeless. “You Talk Way Too Much” hails off of Room on Fire and sounds just as good live now, in 2015, as it did in 2003.
3. “Goodbye Kiss” Cover by Lana Del Rey (original by Kasabian).
Sometimes I have a craving to hear certain artist’s voices, and Lana Del Rey definitely falls into that category. While I love Kasabian and their original recording, Lana Del Rey’s version of “Goodbye Kiss” brings out the sorrow in the song with a wistful melancholy all her own. Plus, if you haven’t tuned into BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge channel yet, here’s your chance. Popular artists have covered everything imaginable for BBC Radio 1 (like Bastille’s hilarious version of “We Can’t Stop.”)
4. “Everything is Embarrassing” and “You’re Not the One” by Sky Ferreira.
In honor of her birthday today, I revisited some old favorites from Sky Ferreira. With her sophomore album Masochism due sometime in the coming year, Sky Ferreira will soon be back with all new music. Her strong, smooth voice has never sounded better than on these performances for Newtown Radio.
5. “The Golden Age” by Beck.
Who knew that Beck and Sky Ferreira shared a birthday? I was already obsessing over Beck’s 2002 album, Sea Change (which I somehow had never listened to until this week), when I learned that today is his birthday. “The Golden Age” opens Sea Change with an ethereal, simple guitar, setting the tone for the rest of the album. The Apple Music description of Sea Change calls it Beck’s “breakup album,” but I beg to differ. I don’t see how anyone could listen to a Beck album and dismiss it as such. Who cares if it’s a slower-sounding album? Beck is a master of music as we know it and, if anything, the thoughtful pacing of Sea Change proves it. Besides, I’ve never found a song that sounds so much like “All Things Must Pass” than “The Golden Age,” and there are few compliments bigger than that.
These are just a few of many amazing live performances out there for your listening pleasure. What have been some of your favorite music discoveries this week?