Tag Archives: Jason Mraz

‘Call Me Maybe’ most shared song in Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Twitter/@carlyraejepsen

Queens prefers pop, according to social music sharing service Spotify.

An analysis of what songs were shared the most in New York City found that each borough has a distinct taste in music.

In Queens, the most shared song on Spotify from July to mid-September was Carly Rae Jepsen mega hit “Call Me Maybe.” Though the borough’s favorite genre to share was pop,  “Thinkin About You” by R&B singer Frank Ocean tied for the top spot.

The same Frank Ocean song was a favorite among Brooklynites.

Spotify  called Manhattan “slightly ahead of the curve” when it comes to music, and said the borough shared folk rock song “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers the most.

Staten Island also shared a folk rock song the most, but it was Of Monsters And Men’s “Little Talks.”

Finally, in the Bronx, the top shared tune was Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been.”


Queens top shared songs:

1.  Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe (Pop)

1. Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You (R&B)

3.  Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (Indie/Pop)

4. Maroon 5 – Payphone (Pop)

5 . Major Lazer – Get Free (Hip Hop)

6 . Fun. – Some Nights (Pop)

6. Fun. – We Are Young – feat. Janelle Monáe (Pop)

8.  David Guetta – Titanium – feat. Sia   (Dance)

9.  The Lumineers – Ho Hey (Folk Rock)

9. Jason Mraz – I Won’t Give Up (Pop Rock)


Crooner, guitarist and Astoria resident Aaron Lavigne ‘keeps it simple’

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

qc 4w

Mid-West transplant Aaron Lavigne is more than happy to contribute to Queens’ flourishing music scene.

“I’ve been fortunate to have been involved in [the Queens music scene]” said Lavigne. “It’s always been a welcoming sense of community — anytime and anywhere I play, I’ve only met the most positive people and artists looking to help each other.”

Crooner, guitarist and current Astoria resident, Lavigne began his musical dabbling back in high school.

“I was into everything from alternative to punk rock,” said Lavigne. “I didn’t really start to ‘seriously’ play until about five years ago when I started writing songs.”

Lavigne draws inspiration from the artists he grew up listening to: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and even newer musicians including the Avett Brothers, NOFX and Band of Horses.

“Anything that attracted me with any kind of soul or substance to it,” said Lavigne of his influences.

Lavigne catalogs his pop, rock and soul sound as an amalgamation of Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Jason Mraz and Jeff Buckley. He prefers his songs’ subjects lean towards the simpler side, centering on themes of girls, animals and nature.

When Lavigne sets down his guitar, he moonlights as an actor, currently participating in the Off-Broadway revival of “Rent” at New World Stages in Midtown Manhattan. Between one stage and another, Lavigne can be spotted cruising the streets of Astoria on his bicycle or catching a Cincinnati Bengals game.

Coming off a six-month-long tour of the southeastern United States with his backing band, the DownTown Crowd, Lavigne is in the early stages of planning his next release, an EP of six or seven songs.

“I’ll be full time with ‘Rent’ for a while, which will allow me to stay in New York and record my next EP,” said Lavigne. “We’ll begin recording in late January with a summer release. I’m really looking forward to this next EP!”

Lavigne believes his song writing style has evolved since past projects, benefiting in part from his new mantra: “keep it simple — simple and open.”

Escaping with The Yes Team

| bdoda@queenscourier.com

Jonathan Walsh, Kinnie Dye, Jackson Price, TJ Moss are The Yes Team

While so many people just dream of leaving their troubles behind, packing a van full of essentials and heading to the Pacific Ocean, The Yes Team actually did it.

In what they dubbed “The Kindness of Strangers Tour,” The Yes Team – a folk, pop and roll band straight out of Astoria featuring young musicians Kinnie Dye, TJ Moss, Jonathan Walsh and eventually San Diego’s Jackson Price – packed their acoustic guitars, an African djembe drum and their positive vibes in search of the best locations to display their talents on the West Coast.

“We dream big dreams and live bigger lives,” said Dye. “I don’t think we were prepared for how much of our money was going to be used to get across the country. We went out there not knowing anyone and relying on friends of friends to house us. It was an incredible experience. Life changing. We met so many amazing people by just being open to every moment and every opportunity.”

When they finally reached the “Welcome to California” sign, their reliable purple van – that was their living space and sleeping quarters for many consecutive days – broke down and they spent the night in an Auto Repair parking lot. According to the Team, it was the best part of the trip.

Dye and Walsh were part of Moss’ first project, The TJ Moss Band, which had national successes opening for Joss Stone and being featured in

TimeOut New York Magazine for winning “Battle of the Bands: Brookyn vs. Queens.” Eventually, Dye and Moss, who had met during their college years, decided they wanted to get out of the city and have their music reach new ears. After petitioning many friends to join them on their trek to California, only Walsh said yes. And just like that, The Yes Team was born.

“We originally were going out as two separate entities, but once we got in the van and started singing together we knew…it was instant. We were starting a brand-new project together,” said Dye.

Their first gig together took place in San Diego at an open mic coffee shop named Rebecca’s to a crowd of about 70 people.

“We got there having been a band for about 24 hours. We killed it. After we finished, we knew we had something special,” said Dye.

The Yes Team is reminiscent of Jason Mraz with a touch of Jack Johnson mixed with a Corona and lime. Their beachy, politics-free, laid back grooves are mirrored by an even more relaxed, but not lazy, vocal. For a band that is just beginning to blossom, their harmonies are well thought out and playful. Their title track from their six song EP “Back to the Sea” tells the tale of leaving the day-to-day grind of city life in search of a more hassle-free environment closer to sun and surf. Other songs like “Life is Good” challenge listeners to stay positive even when times do not seem too optimistic:

“You have to fight for what you believe in / You have to believe in what you’ll be receiving / when you look inside and decide to love what you see / Life is good to those who seek it /And refuse to be defeated…”

For Dye, these affirmative lyrics are not just words, but a way of life. She even has the word “yes” tattooed on her hand.

“It’s all about attitude,” said Dye. “The tattoo on my hand is a constant reminder of what I’m putting out there in the world. Kindness is often taken defensively in the city. People aren’t used to actual contact on the street. I make eye contact and smile at strangers. Weird, I know. How many people will smile back? Our music is soothing, positive and sends out ‘feel good’ vibes.”

Since moving to Astoria in 2004, Dye has noticed that there is always a live music scene going on around the Long Island City and Astoria area. Before extensive touring, she was involved with booking local acts through Why Leave Astoria – a web-based movement that focuses on local happenings, eateries and news.

You, too, can hear the band play at Session House in Manhattan on Friday, November 11 or on Thursday, November 17 at Rest Au Rant in Astoria – a cozy tapas wine bar and featured dating hot spot. Their entire EP, videos from their trip across the country, as well as their social networking link are available online at www.yesteamgo.com.

Bottom line: The Yes Team is worth checking out to escape from the weight of the world. Their acoustic melodies have just begun and to those paying attention, the best is yet to come. Who wouldn’t want to head back to the sea?