Archive for the 'Music Monday' Category


official opinions: three thumbs up for peter bjorn and john

This morning at Stitely we jumped at the first chance to play Peter Bjorn and John’s “Second Chance” for this week’s Music Monday. Chicago was fortunate enough to have this Swedish trio visit Lincoln Hall in May of 2011, the same year in which this song was released on their album “Gimme Some.” You might also recognize their name from the popular single “” released back in 2007. Enjoy!


official opinions: an instant mood boost with Islands

Blech! With the gloomy sky and impending rain everyone at Stitely needs a pick-me-up. Luckily, today’s music pick, “Hallways” by Montreal band Islands, is an instant mood booster (according to HuffPo). This single is from latest album “A Sleep & A Forgetting” which debuted last Valentine’s Day. We just love this fun video!


Keep warm everyone!



official opinions: a new single ‘Justin’ time for 2013

After a six year musical hiatus, Justin Timberlake‘s brand new single, “Suit & Tie,” debuted today at 12 a.m. to delighted fans everywhere. Produced by Timbaland and featuring Jay Z, it’s sure to be a huge hit! Of course Stitely‘s very own salesperson Paige was one of the first to download the new single and shared it with us today. Justin’s new album, “The 20/20 Experience,” will be released later in 2013. Enjoy!



official opinions: Happy Haitian Holidays!

On Saturday December 8 my choir (“Chicago’s choir”), the Wicker Park Choral Singers, debuted our holiday concert, It Takes A Village. While the whole program was filled with fantastic music, two of my favorite songs to sing were by Haitian composers. Written in Creole, these songs incorporated a number of percussive elements derived from the sounds of traditional Haitian instruments, syncopated rhythms, and A LOT of multicultural flair. Here’s a nice write-up from about Saturday’s performance and click here for program notes to give you more info about the pieces. Check out the concert recordings below and enjoy!

“Twa Tanbou” by Sydney Guillaume

“Noel Ayisyen” by Emile Desamours

Cheers and Happy Holidays!


Official Opinions: The Macklemore the merrier

So we’ve come back around to another Monday. Hopefully your weekend was as great as ours! Today, Stitely wanted to share with you a rising hip hop artist named Macklemore and one of his hit songs this year “Same Love”. Macklemore, also known by is real name Ben Haggerty grew up in Seattle, Washington and has been releasing music independently since 2000 but has only recently gained a strong following from the mainstream music world. Since teaming up with producer Ryan Lewis in 2010 the two have gained popularity through the web and have thus far accumulated over 41 million hits on Youtube.


Don’t worry, he can take the heat.

“Same Love” deals with same sex marriage and rejecting homophobia as a norm promoted within the culture and genre of hip hop and life in general. The message to get across from Macklemore’s song is that love is unconditional. Love is everywhere. Love heals the things that we thought were broken. It take’s a lot of courage for a straight rapper to call out his own industry for its irrational fears.

For having that strength to stand for what is right, we salute you Macklemore. Your positive messages in the rest of your music shows that you’re deeper than the average rapper. And you have a sense of humor as well?! (Check out Thrift Shop; it’s awesome.) It’s people like Macklemore that make Stitely proud to be a part of Stand Up.

“We press play/ Don’t press pause/ Progress, march on!”


Official Opinions: Thinkin’ Bout who?…You know.

Happy Monday everyone! Happy December! Time has just flown by this year but we wanted to take a moment to think about what’s really important. Yes, we were thinking about you. More specifically Frank Ocean‘s “Thinkin’ Bout You”. To get even more into the nitty gritty we were thinking back to SNL earlier this year where Frank Ocean was the musical guest and John Mayer joined up with the talented R&B singer songwriter to play guitar for both musical numbers. Sigh. What a handsome team.

Frank Ocean

Shh he’s reached Zen

Ocean’s song has been everywhere this year and for good reason, his first debut studio album Channel Orange came out this year in July and has spread like wild fire across the radio, internet and every which way. In addition to being widely successful with his debut album, he is also a member of the hip hop collective OFTGKTA more commonly known as Odd Future.

A soft spoken man with a voice of an angel. We’ll take it. Also it’s been said that Beyonce Knowles cried the first time she listened to this track. True or not, you have to admit you can’t blame her. Here at Stitely we feel the same way. We all agreed, he’s an artist we all love.


official opinions: Perpetuum Mobile- music inspired by food poisoning

After stuffing our faces with turkey and watching hours of football last week (go Bears!), everyone at Stitely needed a complex instrumental tune to break us out of our food comas. Check out Perpetuum Mobile from Penguin Café Orchestra, a group envisioned and founded by British musician Simon Jeffes as a result of food poisoning! After becoming ill, Jeffes had a strange vision and a poem came to him describing the “Penguin Café”. He began writing about the imagined café, and eventually began writing music that would be played in the café. Check out this  interview with Jeffes about his vision & the beginnings of the Orchestra.


Official Opinions: The Clark Kent of Music

Thanksgiving hits us later this week almost as hard as the second serving of mashed potatoes and gravy. Don’t worry this Monday Stitely is channeling our inner superhero to march on till we can relax with food and family by playing “Superman” by Joe Brooks.

This mellow tune comes from the young 25 year old British singer who is mostly an unknown name here in the states but has a huge following online and was discovered originally on Myspace amassing over 11 million song plays and over 100 thousand profile friends. Back in 2008 on Myspace he was titled as the number 1 unsigned artist in the UK.


How could not love a face like that?

The song “Superman” is a pretty simple tune all about a guy who really cares for a girl, but doesn’t think he’s good enough for her. We don’t know, this guy seems to have it all going for him. Check out the video which in itself has been played over 11 million times.

He may not be superman but we think he’s done a pretty good job fulfilling all the other requirements it takes to be with someone else. Good on you sir, we hope you gain the fame you deserve here in the states!


Guest Star: Mr. Piano man, Leandro Lopez Varady

Leandro Lopez Varady is a native from Buenos Aires, Argentina who has been surrounded by music his entire life since his family is heavily involved with all things music. Now, Leandro lives and works in Chicago as the pianist for 312 Chicago. Read on to learn a bit more about this great pianist.


Stitely Entertainment (SE): Who or what inspired you to be a professional musician?
Leandro Lopez Varady (LLV): My father, Osvaldo López, great jazz drummer (he played with Wynton Marsalis, Buddy de Franco, Tete Montoliu among others)

SE: What’s your craziest event story?
LLV: When Chick Corea signed my book of his songs in a press conference in Buenos Aires and looked steady at me for a few seconds. I was 13 years old. I do not know if it was crazy but definitely changed my life.

SE: Do you play in any other groups? Tell us about them.
LLV: Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, a combination between jazz and classical music. Cirqua Rivera Dance Company (CRDT), a dance company that plays mostly original music. Steve Hashimoto’s “Sueños”, a latin/jazz band. Bryson/Bailey project, a straight ahead jazz group.

SE: How did you become involved with music?
LLV: Both of my parents are musicians. My father was a jazz drummer and my mom is a harpist, pianist, singer and composer. Also my uncle was the violin concert master in the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Music was around me since I was born (actually I was exposed to music since I was in my mom’s womb. She was doing a lot of recording sessions at that time).

SE: What was your first concert?Terry Callier
LLV: I was invited to play a composition of mine by a world known argentinean jazz pianist, Enrique “mono” Villegas. I was 14 years old. Although it was not a concert it made an impression on me I will never forget.

SE: If you could share the stage with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
LLV: Dead, J.S.Bach. Alive, Chick Corea.

SE: You are stuck on a desert island forever. Which three albums do you want with you?
LLV: “Daphnis et Chloé” (complete ballet) by Maurice Ravel (Cleveland Symphony conducted by Seiji Ozawa), Oscar Peterson “Tracks” (solo piano), The Bill Evans trio, “Moon Beams”.

SE: Beatles or Stones?
LLV: Beatles


Official Opinions: The Late Terry Callier We miss you already

The cold hit Chicago like a ton of bricks today, but at Stitely we march onward. To say goodbye to the lovely autumn we offer a song of blues, jazz and folk- a shortened version of Terry Callier’s “You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman” entitled “Blues.”

Mr. Callier was a Chicago native and was once labeled as “the new folk sound.” He was an active musician in the ’60s to the early ’80s, and again from the ’90s until his recent death at the age of 67. He spent his musical hiatus taking care of his daughter and working as a computer programmer at University of Chicago. In the late ’80s and ’90s British DJs began playing his music in clubs, and this helped to reinvigorate his popularity and encourage him to play again.

“Blues” is a newer version of his 1973 song “You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman” which is a lot darker, shorter more biting than the original song. Take a listen to the original below and compare.

As said earlier, Terry Callier just recently passed away from cancer. However, this rockin’ song is filled with his great beat and spirit, as well as lyrics that stick with you. The ending repetition of “You might miss me when I’m gone” is an understatement. Terry Callier, thanks for the soul.

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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January 2021