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Available Now: VSQ Performs the Hits of 2015, Vol. 3

By Jessica Apperson


Available Now: VSQ Performs the Hits of 2015, Vol. 3!

Buy Here: Stream on Spotify:


1. Hello (Adele)

2. Adventure of a Lifetime (Coldplay)

3. Here (Alessia Cara)

4. Lean On (Major Lazer)

5. Like I’m Gonna Lose You (Meghan Trainor)

6. Tennessee Whiskey (Chris Stapleton)

7. Writing’s On the Wall (Sam Smith)

8. Stressed Out (twenty one pilots) Save

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New Release: VSQ Performs The Hits of 2014, Vol. 2

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Vitamin String Quartet is back with more of your favorite songs from 2014 with VSQ Performs the Hits of 2014 Vol. 2. Hear VSQ’s take on the aching beauty of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” the soaring pop melodies of Sia’s “Chandelier” and the funky playful beats of Pharrell Williams’ “Come Get It Bae.” Violin, viola and cello breathe new life into the biggest hits of the year (so far!).

1. Come Get It Bae (Pharrell Williams)
2. Boom Clap (Charli XCX)
3. Sing (Ed Sheeran)
4. The Walker (Fitz & The Tantrums)
5. Chandelier (Sia)
6. Ain't It Fun (Paramore)
7. A Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay)
8. Stay With Me (SAM SMITH)

Buy it now! 

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Rock the Casbah: Famous Music Venues

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The spirit of the infamous but now defunct New York music club CBGB will be reborn this summer, in the form of a music festival and movie. Originally intended to showcase the music styles it was named after (Country, BlueGrass, and Blues), CBGB became a breakout forum for Punk and New Wave bands like The Cramps, Ramones, Misfits and Talking Heads after it opened in 1973. Many mourned its closing in 2006 – but six years later, its death inspired a movie (coming to theaters in 2013) directed by Randall Miller and starring Alan Rickman as owner Hilly Kristal, Rupert Grint as Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome and Malin Akerman as Blondie’s Debbie Harry. The first CBGB music festival was also born this year, which will take place July 4 - 8 and will feature Cloud Nothings, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Guided By Voices and The War on Drugs. Here’s a look at some other infamous U.S. rock venues: Whisky A Go Go Location: Los Angeles, California Opened: January 16, 1964 Notable Acts: The Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield and Love were regulars, and The Doors used to be the house band (until the debut of the oedipal lyrics in "The End" got them fired). Many British bands invaded the Whisky for their first headlining performances in the area, including The Kinks, The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Oasis. One night…: The Doors opened for Van Morrison's band Them during a two-week residency in June, 1966. On the last night of the residency, the two Morrison bands (one headed by Jim, the other by Van) jammed together on "Gloria," a song written by Van Morrison that The Doors did their own sexually-charged cover of years later. Fillmore East Location: New York City, New York Opened: March 8, 1968 Notable Acts: Classic rock legends Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Led Zeppelin (opening for Iron Butterfly!) played this historic venue during the brief three years it was open. The Allman Brothers Band played so many shows there that they were sometimes called "Bill Graham's House Band," after venue promoter Bill Graham. One night…: Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys was recorded live at the Fillmore East on New Year's Day 1970. What some people wouldn’t give to have been there… Red Rocks Amphitheatre Location: Morrison, Colorado Opened: 1906 Notable Acts: From opera singer Mary Garden in 1911 to The Beatles in 1964 (the only concert not sold out during their US tour), this natural amphitheatre has hosted many bands throughout the years. Many more bands have recorded live albums there, including U2, Neil Young, R.E.M., Phish and Coldplay. There’s just something about Red Rocks… One night…: During a 1971 sold-out Jethro Tull performance, about a thousand fans showed up without tickets and were directed by police to an area behind the theater where they could still hear the music but not see the band. Growing unsatisfied with what they were given (as humans often do) the fans charged the amphitheatre and were met with clouds of tear gas from the police. The winds blew the tear gas over the gates and into the amphitheatre. This "Riot at Red Rocks" led to a five-year ban of rock concerts at the venue. But they couldn’t keep the rock out of Red Rocks for long…

Be sure to check out

The String Quartet Tribute to the Doors Available now at VSQ Online Store, iTunes and Amazon

and also:

The String Quartet to the Who's "Tommy"

The String Quartet to Led Zeppelin

The String Quartet Tribute to Coldplay

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Music Mondays: Spring Fever

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We're only five days into the month of March and VSQ has already caught a powerful case of Spring fever! With just three more weeks before Spring officially makes its way out of hibernation, we've mustered together a few of our favorite Vitamin String Quartet "Springtime" covers to keep this fever burning until it's official arrival. 1. Dog Days Are Over - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Florence and the Machine 2. Nine in the Afternoon - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Panic! At The Disco 3. Boston - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Augustana 4. Ocean Avenue - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Yellowcard 5. Today - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Smashing Pumpkins 6. Speeding Cars - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Imogen Heap 7. The Cave - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Mumford & Sons 8. Beautiful Day - Vitamin String Quartet Performs U2 9. Chocolate - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Snow Patrol 10. Do You Realize?? - Vitamin String Quartet Performs The Flaming Lips 11. Pumped Up Kicks - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Foster the People 12. Dare You To Move - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Switchfoot 13. Maggie May - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Rod Stewart 14. Look After You - Vitamin String Quartet Performs The Fray 15. In Bloom - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Nirvana 16. Clocks - Vitamin String Quartet Performs Coldplay

Listen to our "Spring Fever" playlist on Spotify now!

What are some of your favorite tracks that put you into "full spring?" Share below!

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Coldplay Up On The Wire

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In the interviews leading up to Mylo Xyloto, Chis Martin cited at least three separate influences on the concept behind the album: graffiti art, the White Rose movement, and, most perplexingly, the five-season HBO drama The Wire. I don't understand how that works either. The Wire is a now-legendary HBO series that ran from 2002 to 2008. It focused on the city of Baltimore, particularly the drug trade; from the European suppliers down to the lowliest dealer. It was a complicated, gritty and sharp television show that sounds absolutely nothing like a Coldplay song. But, evidently, it was one of the things on Martin's mind in the lead up to the album: "I think the next one will be quite stripped down and based upon this story idea which I can't talk about because it might be bad. . . . Ever watch The Wire? 'Cause they're always popping up to Philadelphia. The main thing I do on tour is write, and then go watch The Wire" For a band like Coldplay, this immediately sounds like a bad idea. They're fine musicians, but urban drug thrillers are not their wheelhouse. But they did it, so I decided to listen to Mylo Xyloto with an analytical lens to try and identify any shades of The Wire in its themes, imagery or characters. It is, supposedly, very narrative driven: two lovers, a gang called The Lost Boys, and the dark world around them. It turns out that trying to find even the faintest elements takes some work. Not just for traces of The Wire, but for any of the reported influences. As a concept album, it's actually not very defined or structured. The two characters are just expressed as regular love songs and that gang appears once. Still, with a little deconstruction, there are certainly things that you can imagine coming from the mind of someone who has just watched a lot of The Wire. The first blip is on the third track, “Paradise,” which is a bit of character establishment. It's a song about a girl who dreams of escaping her predicament, as seen in lines like: “When she was just a girl, she expected the world / But it flew away from her reach and the bullets catch in her teeth.” I can see an emotional cousin here. The yearning to escaping the crushing heel of reality has been a constant theme since season one. When D'Angelo Barksdale, nephew of the west Baltimore's top drug crew, makes a deal with the police, he does so on one condition: he wants to start over, somewhere, anywhere, so that he can breathe like regular folk. On the ninth track “UFO,” Martin sings “It just seems upstream I keep rowing, still got such a long way to go.” There is no clear path through life, but it's always a fight. You can draw that same thematic line to a memorable conversation from season five between Dennis Wise, a retired contract killer for the drug gang, and Duquan, a nerdy kid trying to survive his surroundings. “How do you get from here to the rest of the world?” asks Duquan, and just like in the song, there is no answer. The protagonists in either story are locked in their troubles because they don't see any exits. Then there's the theme and plot device of surveillance. Throughout the entire series, the success of the Major Crimes Unit is predicated upon their ability to gather enough evidence so they can get up on some surveillance. Hence, The Wire. In response to this, the drug trade creates increasingly complicated systems and codes, involving everything from picture messages to disposable cell phones. It's easy to hear Chris Martin trying to emulate this tension on “Major Minus,” which starts: “They got one eye watching you, one eye on what you do, so be careful who it is you're talking to.” It's not an explicit allusion, but it's the same exploration of paranoia. It sounds like fear and confrontation. Ultimately, no, it's not a 1-to-1 reference. It's unlikely that this album would be a good soundtrack to Omar robbing stash houses with his shotgun. But it probably shouldn't be, because that's how inspiration works. You absorb it and hammer out something new, something made from the essential spirit, but forged with your own voice.

Be sure to check out:

Vitamin String Quartet Performs Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto Available now at iTunes

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New Arrival: Vitamin String Quartet Performs Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto

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Available now at iTunes

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Five Fall Albums to Be Stoked For

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The leaves are changing. The air is getting crisper, and the title of this piece is self explanatory. Here we go with the music….

1. Wilco – The Whole Love (9/27)

Jeff Tweedy and the crew explore the realms of punk while embracing the classic American rock that they’ve done so well for more than 15 years for this their eighth studio album, and Wilco’s first on its own recently formed label, dBpm Records.

2. Blink 182 – Neighborhoods (9/27)

Yes, that’s correct, they're the same Blink 182 you remember from basement high school house parties. (And dammit if “Dammit” isn’t still a great song.) The reunited trio based Neighborhoods heavily on a slew of beats that drummer Travis Barker concocted late in the recording game, which caused this album’s release date to be pushed from last spring. Singer/guitartist Tom DeLonge tells Rolling Stone: “We always had more potential than we were living up to. Hopefully from this point forward, we’ll be able to show that.” We hope so, too.

3. Feist – Metals (10/4)

Leslie Feist and her troop recorded the followup to 2007’s The Reminder in a converted barn in a remote part of the central Californian coast. So it's no surprise that Metals is a raw collection of songs that Feist herself says is about “good people screwing each other up.” We like the sound of that.

4. Björk – Biophilia (10/11)

Björk has always been a bit of an odd duck, which is why we love her so. With this seventh studio album, Biophilia, the Icelandic singer returns to form with a collection of songs about plate tectonics, lunar cycles and DNA. Each song also has its own iPad app. All hail the queen of strange.

5. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto (10/24)

England’s Coldplay spent the past two years recording their fifth studio album with a bit of help with musical genius Brian Eno. Coldplay drummer Will Champion told Rolling Stone that the legendary producer created a list of ten rules for the band to follow while recording, one of which was “thou shalt make music like an Italian cook, with simple and strong flavors.” It sounds like advice one might get from singer Chris Marten’s wife Gwyneth Paltrow. Either way, we’re down for a taste. Be sure to check out: The String Quartet Tribute to Bjork: Violently Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to Coldplay Avilable now at iTunes and Amazon

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Vitamin String Quartet Performs Hits From The Grammys

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Vitamin String Quartet Performs Hit From The Grammys iMix In honor of the 52nd Grammy Awards that are coming up this weekend, we've put together a iMix of our favorite grammy nominated tracks performed by none other than, you guessed it, Vitamin String Quartet. Listen out your favorite songs from 2009 reinterpreted with the classy edge and warmth that only stringed instruments can provide. Click here to download


1. Use Somebody - Kings Of Leon Song Of The Year 2. What I've Done - Linkin Park Best Hard Rock Performance 3. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight - U2 Best Rock Song 4.Star Trek Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media 5. Decode (From Twilight) - Paramore Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media 6. Kids - MGMT Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals 7. Life In Technicolor II - Coldplay Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

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