Posts Tagged ‘live dance band


Official Opinions: The Office Party Survival Guide

It’s that time of year again. Cubicle dwellers dread checking their e-mails daily because they know that soon enough they’ll see the “urgent” message regarding their RSVP to the holiday office party. The veterans will immediately seek a way out. The 20 year employee miraculously has no problem calling his wife and saying, ” You know, I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and we should really spend some more time with our family. Wouldn’t it be great if we visited your parents for the week?” It will be a cakewalk compared to dealing with the new kid who’s a bit too open about his personal life after a few glasses of punch.

If your office actually puts on a great party at the end of the year, then this post isn’t for you. However, we’re not all that lucky. For the rookies out there who aren’t able to come up with an escape plan before the party committee corners you, here are a few tips on how to survive the office party and avoid going down in office lore as “the guy that mistook the copy machine for a urinal.” Continue reading ‘Official Opinions: The Office Party Survival Guide’


Stitely Soundboard: the pure joy of hitting things

I had the privilege of being invited to Lawrence University in Appleton, WI as a guest clinician a few weeks ago. I love teaching because it always reminds me of what I need to work on and it brings me back to basics. Music is a lot like sports, in that basic fundamentals are the building blocks of what it takes to be really good. I guess that’s true with just about everything.

It was really inspiring for me to work with such dedicated and hungry-to-learn students. My favorite moment of the 4 hour drumming session was working with a student who had not played much drum set at all, though she was a very proficient mallet player and classical percussionist. We turned the lights off and I asked her to pretend she was 4 years old and to just hit the drums like there was no right way to do it. The idea is to move through some of the intimidation factor of sitting at a drum set and not knowing what to do. She started to hit the drums and after a few moments this big grin came across her face. It was amazing as the whole room felt the pure joy of making sound.

I realized at that moment why I started playing drums in the first place. It’s so cool to hit something and have sound come out! Then to top it off, hitting drums usually makes people smile or even dance! It’s really a magical kind of experience that is easy to forget once you get into serious studying and practicing. So I’m in this room with this college student hitting the drums and I’m experiencing it like I’m 10 years old again, feeling like I’m the luckiest person on the planet.

–Jeff Stitely


Official Opinions: tech-savvy weddings

Lately, the term “on-the-go” seems to be ingrained in everyone’s life. Although at times it may appear that there is not enough time to get things done, so many tools have been created to make life easier to handle and aid in multi-tasking. Brides-to-be, especially, have very long to-do lists with the addition of planning a wedding. For this reason it is not too surprising that there have been apps created to help brides plan their wedding while they are on-the-go.

1. Wedding 911 by the Knot is an app that is a Q&A forum for future brides to get instant answers to their wedding questions.

2. Wedding Dress Look Book by the Knot is an app where you can browse for dresses by body type and style while out and about. It also links to where these dresses or ones similar can be found at boutiques around your city.

3. The Wedding Envi app helps to streamline the early planning process by serving as an organized on-the-go source of inspiration. With a large database of images for all categories ranging from cakes, dresses, invitations, flowers, and hairstyles anyone in the wedding party can search through these images to save and forward them. The images also link to sites where more information can be found about the inspiring photos.

4.The MyRegistry app allows you to create a gift registry for your event, compare prices before adding items to your registry, keep track of gifts purchased, send e-card invites to allow friends and family to check out your registry and even scan bar codes to add them to the list.

5.Waltz…Your Wedding Dance App allows you to watch instructional videos for classic dance moves to give you the confidence you need to dance that first dance as well as other dances through the night. Whether you are taking lessons and need to practice or just want an introduction to the dances this is a great tool to pick up some new moves to use during your night’s entertainment.

Not only is this on-the-go technology aiding in organization, but a few professional photographers are also beginning to use them as tools to help capture moments during the weddings themselves. Whether it be as a tool that helps in moments where large cameras may intrude, or to film the whole wedding this may be a trend that starts popping up. Below are a couple short wedding videos shot on an Apple iPhone.



Official Opinions: chicago music playlist

Music. It’s what fuels life. Music can alter emotions, move a crowd, bring a smile, and simply complement your life. It is so strong in fact, that often times I will be sitting on the train, walking through the city, or spending time with friends and hear a song that fits so perfectly with the moment that it is as if my life had a soundtrack. I believe though that everyone’s life has a soundtrack to some extent, be it music or the bustle of trains mixed in with city sounds.

Chicagoans are very fortunate to be surrounded by music. This is a city that has more street performers, live music events, and start-up bands than you could count. For this reason this blog will be dedicated to those Chicago artists that may not be as known. Give them a listen. They may end up in your playlists or your life soundtrack.

1. The Bright White – Red Summer Rose

2. Gaberdine – 1918

3. I Luv Luv Birds – Flicker

4. California Wives – Blood Red Youth

5. Smith Westerns – All Die Young

6. The Corduroy – Lines

7. Emblems – To Your Door

8. Paper Arrows – Look Alive

9. The Congregation – Save the Wine

10. Dastardly – Villain

Any other Chicago bands to listen to? Leave a comment, I would love to listen.



Official Opinions: It’s alive

“You hear that? The scratches, the imperfections, it’s not digital, it’s alive.”

That quote, taken from a television show titled 90210, is in reference to a vinyl record player. As we become more advanced with technology, we seem to increase our distance from reality. From the first live music radio and record players all the way to Internet radio and mp3 players, we have found ways to customize our music and carry it anywhere at the expense of making it less and less real. Even “live” radio is recorded and sometimes retouched before hitting airwaves. We have grown accustomed to flawless playback, annoyed at the slightest imperfection in a track like a minor scratch or glitch causing it to skip even a millisecond of the song. Is this why some people still habitually choose prerecorded music for their special occasions over live music? I believe that when it’s possible, live music is the way to go, and sometimes the imperfections add that special touch, that sense of realness. There is something comforting about being in the presence of live music and seeing the human musicians actually creating the music as I hear it. Live music will never go out of style, and it’s important to take advantage of that. Go to a live concert, visit a club that still hosts live bands and singers, but most importantly, hire live music entertainment for your special events. Give you and your guests something real to enjoy and remember. Whether it has a minor flaw or it’s perfect, it’s alive.

Check out some of these live music events from Chicago:


Official Opinions: get ready to dance!

Mark your calendars and get ready to dance on Monday, January 17th.

Stephanie Rogers Band is having a free concert at SPACE in Evanston. The band will play from 7:00 – 8:30 and there will be appetizers and drinks. Come join us to dance and start the week off right!

Hope to see you there.


Official Opinions: Lindsey’s music monday choice

Today’s Music Monday pick is Black River Killer by Blitzen Trapper. The band has truly captured the art of seamless editing and storytelling in this video. Thanks Lindsey for this music find from Portland, Oregon!

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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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