Val's Music Blog  1.1.15  


HAPPY NEW YEAR!                                  







Happy New Year from Valslist Music ...


For those of you who have been following Valslist since its launch seven years ago, you might know me as the music blogger or the playlist maker. If you joined us a bit later in the game, you may know me as the music columnist for Make It Better  magazine or author of the weekly "Music Match" column in New York Times'
Booming. You may have joined our Valslist Music Club and come out to a show with us, or downloaded our music app ValslistRadio to get our playlists on your phone. If you're a more recent follower of Valslist, you may have caught my artist interview with Grace Potter, John Oates, or Lake Street Dive. If you're in Chicago you may know me from my house concerts; we've hosted 50 of them. Some know me as the music fest concierge who took 30 adults to Lollapalooza last year - and wrote about it. Maybe you don't really know what Valslist is, but you discovered a new band from my Music Monday TV segment on "You And Me This Morning"  WCIU ChicagoAll you really need to know is Valslist introduces new music to busy adults who don't have time to find it themselves. We have a website and a mobile app to make it easy.

If you're an industry player:


You may know me as a tastemaker who hand selects your best music and introduces it to my 21+ audience. I put your music on my playlists, I recommend your shows, I write about you, share your videos. Wherever Valslist goes, your music goes with me.



If I've interviewed you or your band:

You know I'm not the NPR guy or the MTV girl. My interviews are laid back, a carefree conversation about trivial and quirky stuff your fans want to know. I have no agenda, I'm not using you as a stepping stone to anything else. I simply want your name and your sound in front of people who are looking for good music.  



If you read me you know I'm old-school when it comes to music:


Today more than ever, artists need us at their live shows. It's their bread and butter. Pick up a few tickets, grab your friends, and GO. When you get there: LISTEN. Many don't. Yea, concerts are a fun scene. But actual listening is the ultimate gift to the artists on stage. Of course they want you to sing and dance. But if you're that sloppy-drunk guy in the back, or giddy social girls who couldn't even name the headliner, or loud talkers with a long story to tell, the band will simply smile and tolerate you because they have to. But the super fans in the audience will not. They paid money to hear the band and you're in their space. So take your noise outside. And if you love the artist, the sound, the night: BUY: a CD, EP, t-shirt, vinyl album, a download on iTunes... It's how you support the artist whose music you love. And it's never been more important than now. Too many pocket their sound and walk away. Not cool.



If you've gone to live music with me: 

* You know how silly I think you are when you watch the live show through your phone as you record video that will never sound as good as what you're missing live. 

* You know I'm a sound freak and will never understand why great venues will crank it up so loud that even twenty-somethings complain. 

* You know I protect and promote the artists I love no matter what -- even when they wear in-ears and sing off pitch because they can't hear themselves, or when they won't ask the sound engineer to turn up their vocals, or when they forget to say hello to their audience.

* You will hear my story about how Valslist created a QUIET APP (The Q) five years ago and Apple declined it, saying it "wasn't fun enough". 



If you've come to one of my intimate living room concerts:

You've experienced quiet listening at its best. You hear the poetry in the songwriter's lyrics. You see the artist's foot on his looping pedal and finally understand how he makes that sound. You hear the private story behind an artist's song, life on the road, who they are and why they chose this career. And finally, you see first-hand how difficult it is to actually make it in today's music industry. When you've been part of that conversation, you gladly fill the tip jar, you buy their CDs, you come away different. 



If you've followed me at all over the past seven years:

You know I desperately want to disrupt the music industry in 3 ways:

  1. Prove that the 30+ demographic is an important, lucrative audience
  2. Nudge adults back out to live music (small room vs. arena)
  3. Create more quiet listening gigs for the artists who deserve them 

7 YEAR ITCH?  Yep, I have it and we've only scratched the surface
In 2015 we are expanding the business to a brand new untapped audience...
                                                                                                         stay tuned.



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A few Valslist favorites from 2014:





(electronica singer/songwriter -Australia)

                                         "Talk Is Cheap"    (album: Built on Glass  April '14)
Chet Faker - Talk Is Cheap live at 2014 Aria Awards 26 November 2014
Live at 2014 Aria Awards 26 November 2014




(synth-pop band -Baltimore)


                                             "Doves"   (album: Future Islands March 2014)

Future Islands - Doves (Live)





(multi-instrumentalist indie folk trio -Traverse City)


                                           "Epitaphs"  (album: Bittersweet July 2013) 


Epitaphs by The Accidentals (Official Video)

(singer/songwriter -Ireland)

                                             "To Be Alone"  (album:  Hozier July 2014)
Hozier - To Be Alone (live in Kilkenny)
(Live in Kilkenny)


(singer/songwriter -Burlington)

                                     "Dreamin' "   (album: Feathers & Fishhooks  Aug 2012)
Rayland Baxter - Dreamin' - 7/27/2013 - Paste Ruins at Newport Folk Festival
7/27/2013 - Paste Ruins at Newport Folk Festival

(folk, blues, soul, pop duo  -Nashville)

                                        "Heartbeats"  (album:  Heart Beats EP  June 2013)





(American indie rock band -Philadelphia)


                          "Under The Pressure"  (album:  Lost In The Dream  March 2014)


The War on Drugs - Under The Pressure (Official Video)






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The Best Is Yet to Come.






A boutique music website that helps busy adults keep up with new music. Effortlessly.





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