Posts tagged Jesse Ruben
[Night Out] Jesse Ruben @ Gramercy Theatre (04/18/2016)

Holy crap, I know what Jesse Ruben looks like not performing at any of the multiple Rockwood Music Hall stages now! After releasing his latest single, "This Is Why I Need You" late last year, the homey is gaining momentum at a nice pace. In addition to hopping about on The Hype Machine charts, he's also been romping around in Europe over the past couple of months playing shows.

Last week, I got to see him charm the pants off of a crowd in Gramercy Theatre that was very eagerly waiting to see American Idol season 8 winner Kris Allen. Jesse is charming as fuck, let's be very clear on this. Fortunately he's as talented as he is charming. Dude had that crowd wrapped around his little finger by the end of his set. There was even a nice swarm of fans, presumably old and new, lined up to meet him after the show. I guess I'm normally navigating to one of the bars to get more wine when this part happens at Rockwood, so it was adorable to finally witness. 

Don't worry though, I know how to make sure to keep Jesse feeling humble. All I had to do was pretend to be one of the overzealous future #teen fans that will inevitably fall for him and want to add him to their Snap stories. He did not know how to handle that at all, lolol. Fam is a little skittish around social media, but I will break him into it, best know. 

#skoaradio 10/17/2015 liner notes - THE #CMJ2015 EDITION
#CMJSELFIE, basically.

#CMJSELFIE, basically.





But in all seriousness, I am having a blast at CMJ 2015 this year and I can't believe all of these little band babies are going to leave me. #RUDE.

Anyway I'm too exhausted to be witty rn. I'm gonna go grab coffee before my first Pianos margarita of the day.

Until next week!




UPDATE: Grab this week's mixtape on iTunes.

[Night Out] OMG CMJ 2015 Day One: Velise, Good Morning, Crooked Colours, Garden of Elks, Jake Isaac, Jesse Ruben

I decided this year that if I was going to have any sort of peace of mind that planning out my CMJ days as much as possible was a necessity. If day one was any indication of how all my pre-planning will pay off this year, I think this is going to be a really fun few days of music.

Day one was mostly a lot of things I took chances on without doing a TON of research beforehand. After grabbing my badge the first band of the day was Dallas band Valise, who of all the newcomers for the day I had listened to the most (and this was mostly because they got added to my research playlist earlier than the other bands and you know how I feel about shuffle). For haphazardly setting up and starting a little late, it was easy to tell that they'd easily kill at Pianos or Mercury Lounge outside of CMJ.

There was slight change to the days schedule. I'm not sure if it was a glitch in the CMJ app or human error on my part, but Holiday Mountain apparently weren't playing at Pianos anymore because I accidentally starting snapping Crooked Colours from Perth, Australia. Even after re-announced their name and I realized what was going on, their blend of melodic moody synth-rock made me stick around for a couple of songs. In fact, despite it officially being fall now I enjoyed their cover of MGMT's "Electric Feel" quite a bit.

I cut my time with them short to go meet up with my new Aussie best friends Good Morning for a quick interview before their set at Cake Shop. We had a nice chat about the Melbourne scene, records we were into, etc., all of which you'll be able to hear on this week's special edition of #skoaradio. Again, hadn't spent as much time with all the music I was seeing today as I had wanted, so I was happy to discover that they were

It's not a CMJ day without stressing yourself out by attempting to go back and forth between Manhattan and Brooklyn, so I decided to see what sweet Britches ("Britch" is a term I coined to call Shey which is a combo of British and bitch") were playing at The Living Room for the Music Is Great showcase thrown by the British Consulate.

First up was thrash pop band Garden of elks, who hail from Scotland in Great Britian (hence why music is GREAT, get it!?). Anyway, I noticed the singer/only member of the band kept referring to himself as we, which I noted on Instagram. I didn't learn until after the set that apparently about 48 hours ago the band was actually a trio but there was a falling out of sorts. Not gonna lie, what dude was able to pull together in the name of "the show must go on" was pretty impressive even if there were a couple of rough moments. I hope this is not the last we hear of this project.

Next up was the upset of the night, London's new national treasure Jake Isaac. I had briefly sampled him prior to heading out for the day and apparently he's been in my musical blind spot because a ton of my friends like him on Facebook already. Honestly though, anything you hear recorded won't be as good as the energy and pure charm that oozes out of his body. Accompanied by just a kick drum and his acoustic guitar, Isaac delivered a string of heartfelt tunes, one more powerful than the next. At one point he decided to experiment by leaving the mic and kick drum behind to perform in the center of the crowd, making a point to sing and strum in every direction throughout.

I can't recall the last time I saw an opening act at CMJ get begged for an encore, so I'm going to just say he's the only one I've ever seen get called back out for an encore. He selected what I thought was an ironic cover, Bonnie Rait's 1991 classic, "I Can't Make You Love Me". As he sang out that exact phrase I felt like any second the crowd was going to swoon back, "TOO LATE! WE ALREADY DO! YOU'VE ALREADY WON US OVER!" I know I was certainly smitten. So much so that I grabbed him as soon as I could squeeze my way through the people who lined up immediately to meet him once the crowd allowed him to finish. We had a nice chat on the rooftop of The Living Room. Side note: if you've ever wanted to hear me flustered by a new band and also unapologetically fangirly simultaneously, this week's #skoaradio is a must listen for this interview. He also said he was playing Rockwood the following night. I may have to duck out on Magic Sword a little early to experience that, although they may have to carry me out afterwards from all the swooning.

I ended the night by cabbing back to Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 to be a good friend to my fellow sandwich lover Jesse Ruben, who I learned after our official interview doesn't really like Reuben sandwiches all that much. The songs were great, as usual. The banter in between was better than usual. Apparently there was a lot of coke in the bathroom outside of Rockwood Stage 3 and he just had to share how humorous that was to him. This marked his fourth CMJ performing. I feel like with the new music he's prepping to release to the masses coupled with slow build of opportunities he's been getting lately in the form of placements that he may grow out of his Rockwood home sooner than any of us might realize.

Make sure you check out this week's #skoaradio on on Saturday from 12pm -2pm EDT for the special CMJ edition featuring live interviews with as many of the artists that I saw this week as I can get to hold still for a few minutes. You can check out all the photos from yesterday via the gallery below!

[NIGHT OUT] OMG CMJ 2015: Kibbe's Picks For This Week

It's that time of year again! You know, the one where I bounce back and forth between lower Manhattan and Brooklyn to see how many new bands I can fall in love with. I HAVE SO MANY NEW BAND CRUSHES YOU GUYS AND I HAVEN'T EVEN STEPPED FOOT INSIDE A VENUE YET!! *PRAISE HANDS EMOJI*

If you're out and about in NYC for CMJ, you can catch me attempting to attend all of the following events. If you can't be in NYC but want to follow along, you can add me over on Snapchat: heylookitskibbe (original amirite?).

If you see my smiling/exhausted face grab me and say hi!





**my brother is going to be in town Friday & Saturday so unless he wants to come out to stuff I'll only be out after dark :/ **


Please enjoy a sampling of the bands I'm going to go check out via the playlist below!

[Night Out] Mansionair @ Pianos & Jesse Ruben @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 (10/02/2015)

When last we met I had decided that Australian band Manisonair was worth seeing twice in a week. This was of course before Hurricane Joaquin was threatening to get all Sandy all over NYC, which brought a nice chunk of rain to the city that never sleeps. For those that don't live in NYC and have the luxury of automobiles to drive around in when it's raining, most NYers rage quit on any plans they make whenever they are faced with a potential downpour. I was literally moments away from this point in my evening plan making until my favorite local troubadour, Jesse Ruben, tagged me in a tweet that he'd be doing a set later in the evening at Rockwood Music Hall stage 1. After verifying that I had enough time to get down to the Lower East Side but also show hop, I grabbed my biggest umbrella and trudged out in the mini-monsoon for what I affectionately referred to all evening as "CMJ practice".

Just like their set at Baby's All Right, Mansionair killed it yet again. They proved in that performance that it didn't matter the size of the stage or audience, they were always going to give it their all. The audience responded accordingly to their energy. In fact, it sounded like I wasn't the only one at Piano's that was a repeat customer for the band. I heard several references to Summerstage and Baby's All Right. That spoke volumes of their stay power, imo. They finally got around to the song that I had waited all evening for, "Shadows", which prompted the one and only note that I took for the entire evening, which reads (and this is a direct quote):  "SHADOWS IS THE PIANO SONG THAT BROKE YOUR HEART". There is currently no recording of this song yet so you are going to have to take my word for it for now. 

When I got to Rockwood stage 1 I was pleasantly surprised at how full the room was considering Jesse was filling in last minute. As soon as he started playing though, it was pretty apparent that most of the people there were just happy to be in a warm/dry room and drinking alcohol. It didn't take too long for Jesse to win the majority of the room over. He's good for that. He even managed to get the room completely quiet for the entiretyof one of his softer tunes. Gotta give the guy props. There's never a doubt in your mind that music is his one true passion once you've sat through one of sets.

I've thought a lot about what it would take for him to see more national/mainstream-esque success. I've yet to put my finger on what the answer is. I know a few songs are seeing air time on some MTV shows and his charity project based on his song, "We Can" continues to gain traction in schools nationwide, so maybe good things are just around the corner for my favorite sandwich-loving singer-songwriter.

Listen to Mansionair's latest EP, Pick Me Up.

And obvi check out the homey Jesse Ruben. My favorite songs of his are on his EP, Thoughts
I've Never Had Pt.1, which you can check out below.