Pop Icon Howard Jones “Only Gets Better”; Hannah Gill & The Hours Clock In

This summer, decades are colliding. The “whoa whoa whoa-oh-oh whoa-whoa whoa-oh-oh” is meeting “Chickity China the Chinese chicken” and shouting “oho Enola gay.” Yep, 1980s synth icon
Howard Jones is on the road with ’90’s standouts Barenaked Ladies and ’80s stars OMD. That said, let’s focus on Mr. Jones, who revolutionized synth music in the Reagan decade, and in turn inspired countless contemporary acts with his cutting edge ways. And, it’s important to note, Jones has been churning out music long after “Things Can Only Get Better” and “No One is to Blame” burned up the charts.

Never just a novelty act, the musician has toured rigorously over three decades, and released new material – most notably the multi-media project Engage. At the Music Conservatory of Westchester late last month, Jones talked about the ’80’s (and the bad rap it gets), his current tour stateside, and his influence in the industry. Oh, and he also performed a rare, mostly instrumental version of his song “Don’t Always Look at the Rain.” Enjoy this post-shoulder-padded Jones in all his glory below.


All videos filmed by Alye Bea Carlevaro

Unlike the ’80s star above, Hannah Gill & The Hours channels more of an old school 1970s pop vibe rich in soul and blues. The duo (Gill along with guitarist/songwriter/arranger Brad Hammonds) bring a real throwback sound and Gill’s voice, in particular, transports you back in time like the fake abilities of a DeLorean. The lyrics mean something as well – a rarity, sadly in today’s pop climate. Anyway, the duo recently dropped their debut EP, The Water, and it’s an infectious, utterly original album. At the Conservatory late last month, the pair dropped by for a pair of songs and quirky, fun interview. Oh, and I should mention one of the songs performed is a cover of Jeff Buckley’s classic “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over.” It’ll crush you. Anyway, watch and listen and check out Gill’s first A-Sides sesh here.

About A-Sides with Jon Chattman – thisisasides.com :
Jon Chattman’s music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Elle King, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.