Chilly Gonzales is a musical genius. Or so he says. This alt-rocker cum piano virtuoso (née Jason Beck) freely admits the name’s just a front – a brand that calls attention to the persona one adopts as performance artist – and prefers to err on the side of outrageous in his work.
Gonzo was born in Canada, lives in Paris, and collaborates regularly with the likes of Feist, Daft Punk, and Drake. He raps while he plays, wears bedroom garb during performances (imagine the juxtaposition of his bathrobe and slippers to the rigid penguin suits of his accompanying orchestras), and broke a Guinness World Record a few years back (for the longest concert by a solo artist – 27 hours, 3 minutes, 44 seconds). His stuff is moving and soulful; he’s turning young people on to the power of the orchestra. And when the orchestra’s rapidly aging current audience is dead and gone in a few decades? The concert halls will be filled with Chilly fans, he predicts. We don’t doubt it.
These days, life consists of bitter winter winds, undulating snow drifts and the desire to remain burrowed under bedsheets. But Matt Hires – a minstrel of poppy love songs with a cheerfully bass-heavy pulse – hopes to change that. Hires makes music so upbeat it might just remind you of breezy summer nights. Today, a few weeks out from the launch of his tour with Matchbox Twenty, Hires brings some sunshine (Florida sunshine, as that’s where he’s from) in the form of a new EP (available Feb. 12). Check it, and the premiere of “Restless Heart,” here.
GameBoys are their instruments and Furbies are their rehearsal audiences. Meet Ary and Pete, two of the four outrageously colorful music dudes behind chip-punk rock group Anamanaguchi. Amidst wrapping up production on their first studio album and prepping for a world tour, the pair stopped by the Closet to chat about gaming love and tamagotchis. But wait! Ahem – Furby on line one.
Trapped in the Tumblr Closet: Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
Sallie Ford – with bandmates Jeff Munger, Ford Tennis, and Tyler Tornfelt of Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside – would like you to rock out with abandon to their third studio album, Untamed Beast, dropping today.
Always sporting her signature horn-rimmed glasses (she owns a different pair for every day of the week), Sallie strives to bring an old-school, off-beat element to the homogeneity that pervades today’s mainstream music. Between prepping for their upcoming tour and aforesaid album release, the quirky frontwoman took a Closet break to chat with us about playing for European audiences, poking at those who need to loosen up, and using her sound to get all up in your face.
Brooklyn-based indie rock group Widowspeak hung out with us, Closet-style. The duo — Tacoma, WA native Molly Hamilton and Chicagoan Rob Earl Thomas — relayed their thoughts on the perfect hot dog (hint: cream cheese plays a role), what it was like recording Almanac in woodsy upstate New York, and prepping for their upcoming world tour. High five indeed!