J-Krak Live at Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro

Another successful evening at Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro at Patriot Place. If for whatever reason you missed the show (and shame on you if you did) here are some of the highlights.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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My 2013 Wedding Experience

All this talk of weddings has caused me to relive the experience I had at my best friend’s wedding in July of 2013. It was an absolutely beautiful day and her and I always talk about how we wish we could do it all again.

I think that the reason it was such a blast, aside from the sheer fact that we were celebrating the love of two people, was due in part to the music selection. Before I share some of her playlist, here are some of the top Wedding Songs of 2013.

1. Marry Me – Train

Did anyone else really NOT like this song as much as I did? Well…apparently not if it made this list.

2. Come Away with Me – Norah Jones

I really got nothing to say about this one, too – I cant really say I’m an avid Norah Jones listener. 🙂

3.  Come to Me  – Goo Goo Dolls

Now here’s a band I used to really love. It’s great to see that they are still relevant today.

Now for a brief taste of my friend’s selection:

She didn’t want a traditional entrance (goodbye, Wedding March).  Instead, she chose an instrumental version of this:

A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

Because the bridal party was quite the eclectic group (we were all pretty awesome), she chose to have us all walk into the reception to different songs that she felt represented both the bridesmaid and groomsman pretty well. Here was what I walked out to with my groomsman date:

Shipping Off to Boston – Dropkick Murphys

And then this happened during the reception:

Of course, the highlight of the night was the groom’s 102-year-old great-grandmother rocking out to the chicken dance.

Of course, the bride had a few of the traditional wedding stuff sneak in there, but re-living our early middle-high  school days was well worth it! (Zig-a-zig-ha!)

REMINDER: J-Krak’s First Gig Tomorrow!

Thank you for the promo pic Justin!
Thank you for the promo pic Justin!

Hey folks! This is just a friendly reminder that J-Krak will be playing their first gig tomorrow at 99 Restaurant and Pub in Killingly, CT from 8:30-11pm.

The guys have to be there around 7, so if you’re feeling ambitious, maybe you can stop by early for a little meet and greet…plus I would love the company!

I’m sure you are all coming from different areas, so Here is the exact address:

1068 Killingly Commons Dr                                                        Killingly, CT 06241.

 

 

Top 5 Wedding Songs for 1995

J-Krak remembers this year well, as they gear up for wedding season, 2014.

1995

CD Rack
CD Rack
(image courtesy of Janet Gershen-Siegel)

1995 was a transitional musical time, as tastes changed and radios started playing more and more hip hop, boy bands, and power ballads. It was a motley stew of music, and we’re here to give you our top five wedding song choices. Alas, Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise did not make the final cut.

Number Five!

It’s power ballad time, with Bon Jovie’s Always.

Number Four!

Yes, we went there. It’s a boy band. On Bended Knee, by Boyz II Men.

Number Three!

Here’s another sweet sentimental song, although the film it’s from (Batman Forever) is anything but that. It’s Seal’s Kiss From a Rose.

Number Two!

It was hard to turn on a radio and not hear this song. It’s Hootie and the Blowfish’s Only Wanna Be With You.

Number One!

We couldn’t let our countdowns end without a visit from the King of Pop himself. Here’s Michael Jackson’s You Are Not Alone.

We have one more trip back in time to take. And that will be tomorrow, when we go only a little bit back, to 2013.

See you tomorrow.

Top 5 Wedding Songs for 1985

As the wedding season is almost here – and it’ll be a busy time for J-Krak – we bring you a trip to the past and our picks for the top five wedding songs of 1985. Were you there?

1985

CDs
CDs
(image courtesy of Janet Gershen-Siegel)

Ronald Reagan was president, and Marty McFly was returning from 1955. And while Wham!’s Careless Whisper and Madonna’s Like a Virgin were the top songs of the year, we get the feeling that they weren’t played at too many weddings.

At least, we hope so.

Here are our choices for the top five wedding songs of 1985.

Number Five!

We couldn’t get through 1985 without a Madonna song. This is Crazy For You.

Number Four!

Marty McFly gets a shout out (sort of) with Huey Lewis and the News’s The Power of Love.

Number Three!

For number three, we went with another diva, Whitney Houston, and You Give Good Love.

Number Two!

And here’s the Queen of Soul and the Queen of the Divas, Aretha Franklin, with Freeway of Love.

Number One!

We went for sentiment with our number one pick. I’ve heard this song as the background music for more than one wedding video. It’s Billy Ocean’s Suddenly.

Ready for 1995? It’s coming tomorrow!

In The Studio: New Song in the Works

The sounds of new music are once again coming from the J-Krak studio!

Well, I think this new song actually happened by accident. You see, much of their time has been spent prepping for their upcoming gigs – so new music has kind of been put on  the back burner. So you can imagine my surprise when Justin told me that some time during their practice session this past Sunday, they were able to put a new song together. One that he describes as “culturally influenced.”

Now, the version I heard is (obviously) nowhere near complete. In fact, it was just a rough recording he had done on his phone. But based on what I was hearing, it really made me think of the same kind of musical background as Nelly Furtado’s “Say What You Want.”

Of course, when I say musical background, in this particular instance, I mean the percussion NOT the lyrics. From my understanding of what I was told about this new song, is that they want it to almost be tribal in influence with the use of different percussion and rhythms. Don’t worry, it’s not actually going to sound like Nelly Furtado (nor do the guys even really know her song, I was just basing it on my own opinions – so I could be wrong 🙂 ).

When I asked John how this new song came about, he said:

“Sometimes, Justin has a scat that he really likes and he’ll play it for me and I’ll be like ‘Oh, I can do something with that’ and I’ll create a chord progression.”

From what I’ve seen of John and Justin’s work, their method (usually) goes a little something like this:

  1. John creates chords and melodies on his guitar, bass and MIDI system
  2. Justin hears sample and comes up with a scat version of what the lyrics might sound like and where they’d fit
  3. Lyrics are created and recorded
  4. Song is mastered and released to the masses.

Pretty cool, right?

Unfortunately, there is no saying when the guys will have a full studio session devoted to recording – especially now that it’s their busy season – but as always, we’ll keep you posted.

KrakHeads

Interesting Musical Events around New England, Week of April 28 – May 4, 2014

 

Some New and Not So New Sounds Around New England

Once again, we’re coming to you live with some offbeat musical attractions and events around New England!

Bach Birthday Bash Featuring Ray Cornils & Choral Art Society

Head up to Maine and celebrate Bach’s birthday with organ music! The Friends of the Kotszchmar Organ report that this May 3rd concert will feature Municipal Organist Ray Cornils, in Kennebunkport. Tickets cost $15 for this classical music concert.

Shelburne Falls Art Walk

In Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, on the 3rd, “Follow the “decorated shoes” throughout the Village. Mingle with local artists, view demonstrations, enjoy live music, participate in community art projects, and ride Trolley No.5. Recently, the Village of Shelburne Falls was designated a Cultural District by Massachusetts Cultural Council. Come and see why!”

Javanese Gamelan Music

On May 1st, in Middletown, Connecticut, you can, “experience the culture of Java with beginning students of Javanese gamelan. The concert will include a prelude by the Wesleyan Youth Gamelan Ensemble.” Admission is $2.

Inductions in the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame

The Providence Journal reports that the “Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame will induct singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler, blues guitarist Duke Robillard, and the late Randy Hien, owner of the Living Room, among others, to its 2014 class.” The ceremonies will be held on May 3rd and 4th.

CDs
CDs
(image courtesy of Janet Gershen-Siegel)
You can find Janet on .

Top 5 Wedding Songs for 1975

Album
Album
(Image courtesy of Janet Gershen-Siegel)

As J-Krak prepares to play weddings, particularly in June, let’s get back to our classic wedding song countdowns!

1975

It is a fairly safe bet that Carl Douglas’s Kung Fu Fighting should not be on this list. We also resisted the temptation to add Morris Albert’s Feelings.

You’re welcome.

Number Five!

We decided to start off with a song that these days is a bit more obscure, but it could get people on the floor in 1975. It’s Stevie Wonder’s Boogie On Reggae Woman.

Number Four!

Here’s another one you rarely hear these days. It’s Leo Sayer’s Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance).


You also rarely see such outfits or hair these days.

Thank God.

Number Three!

We’re not quite at disco (we will be with number two), but this one comes close. It’s Tavares’s It Only Takes a Minute.

Number Two!

Our number two song is the classic disco number, Van McCoy’s The Hustle. Do you remember learning to hustle? We learned it in gym class, no lie. But I digress.

Sorry, it’s Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony.

Number One!

There could only be one number one. Who else but The Captain and Tennille’s Love Will Keep Us Together?

You can put your disco shoes away now, for tomorrow we’ll jump ahead a decade and hit 1985.

UPDATE: J-Krak Gigs – Dates and Times

I should really apologize. I know my posts and ramblings about J-Krak’s upcoming gigs have probably been confusing. So, I dedicate this post to straightening it all out for you, so you can clear your schedule and come pay us a visit in good ol’ RI.

Date Location Time
2-May 99 Pub & Restaurant, Killingly CT 7:00 PM
7-May Tasting’s in Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA 6:30 PM
9-May Rusty’s Restaurant and Bar, Middletown RI 9:00 PM
24-May Thirsty Beaver, Cranston, RI 9:00 PM
6-Jun Mickey Doyles Sports Bar, Fall River, MA 10:00 PM
27-Jun Greenwich Club, East Greenwich, RI 2:00 PM
8-Aug Rhino Bar & Grille, Newport, RI 9:00 PM

Starting the weekend after Memorial Day, they will also be playing every Friday from 2-6pm at the Rhino Bar & Grille in Newport.

It has also been confirmed that, starting June 10, every Sunday from 6-10 J-Krak will be playing at the Scorpion Bar in Foxwoods. That’s right around the corner from home, folks. No excuses if you aren’t there!

**Disclaimer: Event times are estimated and could change**

 

Top 5 Wedding Songs for 1965

Let’s jump ahead ten years, shall we?

Turntable Spinning
Turntable Spinning
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons User Tengilorg)

J-Krak plays weddings. What if they were playing them back in 1965? Lyndon Johnson was president. Beatlemania had hit. But what would you play in order to get people dancing?

1965

Would they be playing  I’m Henry VIII, I Am, by Herman’s Hermits? Uh, maybe not, unless it was the bride’s eighth wedding.

Let’s count down what they would be playing, or a disc jockey would be playing, to get everyone up and on the dance floor.

Number Five!

Our fifth song is the sentimental Baby I’m Yours, by Barbara Lewis.

Number Four!

Our number four song is a nod to the fact that the times, they were a-changin’. It’s I Got You Babe, by Sonny and Cher.


Maybe the older guests would sit that one out.

Number Three!

Our third selection is a fast number. It’s Wooly Bully, by Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs.


You can still hear this one played at weddings.

Number Two!

It was a difficult choice between number one and number two. The silver medal goes to the Righteous Brothers, with Unchained Melody.

Number One!

Who beat the Righteous Brothers? It was the Temptations, with the classic My Girl.

They don’t make ’em like that any more. Don’t touch that dial! We’ll go ahead another decade in our wedding music next blog post!