Get Your Soul to the Dance Floor with this Little Ditty!

Lauriana Mae
Love Mae EP
Released: 12/6/2011
Atlantic Records

Lauriana Mae Love Mae EP cover

Atlantic Recording artist Lauriana Mae is inspired by the likes of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Etta James and fuses those big soulful sounds with a modern pop/R&B twist.  There is so much talent on the EP and it’s just Lauriana Mae with the assistance of producer Kwame (Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige).  She doesn’t just belt out the punching pop tunes, she also penned all the tracks.

The EP kicks off with “Money Mae,” which is her moniker, and is something I dare you not to sing along to.  “Like a Drum (Beat It)” and “Love” are the other two tracks to make this EP’s cut.   “Like a Drum” stays with the same catchy beat as “Money Mae,” while “Love” is the smooth jazz ballad.  Even though Love Mae EP is only 3 tracks, it’s a well rounded introduction and there is no reason to not pick up this gem. This EP won’t touch your soul, it’ll grab it and toss it on the dance floor. Now we just have to wait for the full length album. You can pick it up on iTunes here for $2.99!

Lauriana Mae’s “Love Mae EP” Sampler music video:

Bumpus founder bringing the soul with new band, Dance Floor Plans

By Eric Schelkopf at The Total SceneJames Johnston is a soul man. After forming beloved Chicago funk jazz band Bumpus in the late ’90s, Johnston has a new band, Dance Floor Plans, that is all about the soul with a healthy dose of funk.

Dance Floor Plans,, will perform its first show opening for Nikka Costa on Aug. 21 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago.The new band features members of Bumpus, Terrible Spaceship, Clip Art and Mars to Maridia.

DJRC is also on the bill. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $17, $20 at the door, available at

I had the chance to talk to Johnston about his latest project.

Eric: Dance Floor Plans will play its first live show opening for Nikka Costa. Do you think that’s a good gig to introduce the band?

James: I actually can’t think of a better first real gig than opening for Nikka Costa. She’s got the funk and soul, but her music is not completely retro. She brings something modern and we’re trying to do the same thing.

Read the rest of the interview at The Total Scene! (Direct Link)

Instant Pleasure with the House of Rufus

Rufus Wainwright released a massive boxset of his work entitled House of Rufus. This is a collection to behold for true Rufus fans as it is a limited release of 3,000 copies worldwide. Signed versions of the boxset with art canvases have already sold-out.  The boxset includes demos from his personal collection, which is what made him famous. There are also studio demos from Want One and Want Two. There are songs with “Family and Friends,” which includes a new version of Richard Thompson’s “Down Where the Drunkards Roll” recorded with his father, Loudon Wainwright III.  One of the discs in the set is compiled with all his movie soundtrack songs which is dubbed ‘Rufus at the Movies.’

The box set contains:

6 studio albums
2 concerts on CD, including Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall
4 discs of previously unreleased material
6 dvds

At approximately $296.85 (£184.99) the box set is cased in red velvet, would you expect anything else from the House of Rufus? There is a 90 page hardback book with rare and unseen photos, hand drawn tour posters, handwritten lyrics, 4 art prints and much more.  There are also interviews with his friends and relatives with an introduction by Rufus.

One of biggest highlights of the set is the “Family and Friends” disc.   It’s songs like “More Wine” with Julianna Raye and “To America” with Joan Wasser that that truly sum up the feel of the disc. The low-key acoustics and soothing voices of the very talented ladies make this the must have album for any California beach and wine parties.  While the Family and Friends disc is mainly filled with slow tempo to folksy music it’s a surprise live collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys on “Casanova in Hell” that puts the cherry of the disc.

For those looking for the mainstream pop songs from Rufus, turn to ‘Rufus at the Movies.’  You don’t realize how many songs Rufus accumulated for the soundtracks until you see the tracklisting.  For the Rufus fans that want to hear the demos, aka the unreleased tracks, there is a treasure chest full of goodies for your ears.  I do recommend ripping the albums, once you’ve purchased them, on your computer and listening to all the tracks in alphabetical order.  By doing this you have a side by side comparison of the unreleased demos with the full album versions such as “11.11”.

The House of Rufus is the greatest hits collection for fans new and old.  With roughly 195 audio tracks the boxset will keep you occupied for over 2 hours. Mind you this doesn’t include the DVD footage! You can purchase House of Rufus here.

Rufus is currently taking up residency at the Royal Opera House in London for most of July  taking the stage with Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Stephen Oremus, for a revival of Rufus’ celebrated tribute to Judy Garland, Rufus Does Judy! Rufus Does Judy is also included on CD and DVD in the boxset. He then heads to the Midwest for a couple days and then to Canada.

Jul 18      London, UK
Jul 19      London, UK
Jul 21      London, UK
Jul 22      London, UK
Jul 23      London, UK
Aug 12    Interlochen, MI
Aug 14    Chicago, IL
Oct 05     Montreal, PQ

House of Rufus Discs and Tracklistings:

Rufus Wainwright CD

1. Foolish Love
2. Danny Boy
3. April Fools
4. In My Arms
5. Millbrook
6. Baby
7. Beauty Mark
8. Barcelona
9. Matinee Idol
10.Damned Ladies
11.Sally Ann
12.Imaginary Love

Bonus Tracks

1. Heartburn (from McGarrigle Hour)
2. Goodnight Sweetheart(from McGarrigle Hour)


Poses CD

1. Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk
2. Greek Song
3. Poses
4. Shadows
5. California
6. The Tower Of Learning
7. Grey Gardens
8. Rebel Prince
9. The Consort
10.One Man Guy
11.Evil Angel
12.In A Graveyard
13.Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk – Reprise

Bonus Tracks

1. Greek Song (KCRW session 5/6/01)
2. California (KCRW session 5/6/01)
3. Grey Gardens (KCRW session 5/6/01)


Want One CD

1. Oh What A World
2. I Don’t Know What It Is
3. Vicious World
4. Movies Of Myself
5. Pretty Things
6. Go Or Go Ahead
7. Vibrate
8. 14th Street – Album Version
9. Natasha
10.Harvester Of Hearts
11.Beautiful Child
14.Dinner At Eight
15.Es Mus Sein (Non-LP Version)
16.Velvet Curtain Rag (Non-LP Version)

Bonus Tracks

1. What You Got (unreleased)
2. 11.11 (Studio demo)


Want Two CD

1. Agnus Dei
2. The One You Love
3. Peach Trees
4. Little Sister
5. The Art Teacher
6. Hometown Waltz
7. This Love Affair
8. Gay Messiah (Album version)
9. Memphis Skyline
10.Waiting For A Dream
11.Crumb by Crumb
12.Old Whore’s Diet
13.Coeur De Parisienne – Reprise d’Arletty (Live)
14.Quand Vous Mourez de Nos Amours (Live)

Bonus Tracks

1. Southern Soul (unreleased)
2. Gay Messiah (Studio demo )


Release The Stars CD

1. Do I Disappoint You
2. Going To A Town
3. Tiergarten
4. Nobody’s Off The Hook
5. Between My Legs
6. Rules and Regulations
7. Not Ready To Love
8. Slideshow
9. Tulsa
10.Leaving For Paris No. 2
12.Release The Stars
13.Do I Disappoint You – Instrumental

Bonus Tracks

1. Low Grade Happiness (rare UK b-side)
2. Going to a Town (Live at Kenwood House, London. 3/7/10)


Rufus Does Judy CD1

1. Overture: The Trolley Song/Over The Rainbow/The Main That Got Away – Live At Carnegie Hall
2. When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You) – Live At Carnegie Hall
3. Medley: Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love – Live At Carnegie Hall
4. Do It Again – Live At Carnegie Hall
5. You Go To My Head – Live At Carnegie Hall
6. Alone Together – Live At Carnegie Hall
7. Who Cares? (So Long As You Care For Me) – Live At Carnegie Hall
8. Puttin On The Ritz – Live At Carnegie Hall
9. How Long Has This Been Going On – Live At Carnegie Hall
10.Just You, Just Me – Live At Carnegie Hall
11.The Man That Got Away – Live At Carnegie Hall
12.San Francisco – Live At Carnegie Hall


Rufus Does Judy CD2

1. That’s Entertainment – Live At Carnegie Hall
2. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love – Live At Carnegie Hall
3. Come Rain Or Come Shine – Live At Carnegie Hall
4. You’re Nearer – Live At Carnegie Hall
5. A Foggy Day – Live At Carnegie Hall
6. If Love Were All – Live At Carnegie Hall
7. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart – Live At Carnegie Hall
8. Stormy Weather – Live At Carnegie Hall
9. Medley: You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song – Live At Carnegie Hall
10.Rock A Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody – Live At Carnegie Hall
11.Over The Rainbow – Live At Carnegie Hall
12.Swanee – Live At Carnegie Hall
13.After You’re Gone – Live At Carnegie Hall
14.Chicago – Live At Carnegie Hall
15.Get Happy – Live At Carnegie Hall

Bonus Tracks

1. Someone to Watch Over Me (unreleased. Features Martha Wainwright)
2. Everytime We Say Goodbye (unreleased)


Milwaukee at Last CD

1. Release The Stars – Live
2. Going To A Town – Live
3. Sanssouci – Live
4. Rules And Regulations – Live
5. Leaving For Paris No. 2 – Live
6. If Love Were All – Live
7. Nobody’s Off The Hook – Live
8. Not Ready To Love/Slideshow – Live
9. Macushla – Live
10.Gay Messiah – Live


All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu CD

1. Who Are You New York?
2. Sad With What I Have
3. Martha
4. Give Me What I Want And Give It To Me Now!
5. True Loves
6. Sonnet 43
7. Sonnet 20
8. Sonnet 10
9. The Dream
10.What Would I Ever Do With A Rose?
11.Les Feux D’Artifice T’Appellent
13.Les Feux D’Artifice T’Appellent – Alternate Version

Bonus Tracks

1. Who Are You New York? (Live at Kenwood House, London. 3/7/10)
2. Martha (Live at Kenwood House, London. 3/7/10)
3. The Walking Song (Live at Kenwood House, London. 3/7/10)


Rufus Rarities CD

1. Money Song (unreleased)
2. Ups and Downs (rare promo only track)
3. Red Thread (unreleased)
4. St James Infirmary (unreleased)
5. London (unreleased)
6. A Bit of You (rare Japanese bonus track)
7. Ashes (unreleased)
8. In With the Ladies (rare UK bonus track)
9. Miss Otis Regrets (unreleased)
10.Cowboy Song (iTunes exclusive track)
11.Patience is a Virtue (rare US bonus track)
12.Shoes (unreleased)
13.Fame Into Love Into Death (unreleased)
14.One More Chance (unreleased)
15.Hankering (unreleased)
16.Dreams and Daydreams (unreleased)


Rufus At The Movies CD

1. I’m a Running (Tommy Tricker) (unreleased)
2. Le Roi d’Ys (The Myth of Fingerprints)
3. On The Banks of the Wabash (The Myth of Fingerprints)
4. Complainte de la Butte (Moulin Rouge)
5. Hallelujah (Shrek)
6. He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother (Zoolander)
7. Across The Universe (I am Sam)
8. It’s Only a Paper Moon (Stormy Weather)
9. I Wonder What Became of Me (Stormy Weather)
10.I Eat Dinner (Bridget Jones The Edge Of Reason)
11.I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise (The Aviator)
12.King of the Road (Brokeback Mountain)
13.The Maker Makes (Brokeback Mountain)
14.Bewitched, Bothered, Bewildered (The History Boys)
15.Another Believer (Meet The Robinsons)


Family and Friends CD

1. What’ll I Do (Kate & Anna Mcgarrigle, Rufus & Martha Wainwright)
2. Au Fond Du Temple Saint (David Byrne)
3. So Easy (Teddy Thompson)
4. Old Paint (Loudon Wainwright) (Rare US bonus track)
5. Casanova in Hell (Pet Shop Boys)
6. What Can i Do (Antony Hegarty)
7. To America (Joan Wasser)
8. Tired of Wasting Time (Sloan Wainwright)
9. Chelsea Hotel No 2 (Live)
10.Everybody Knows (Live)
11.More Wine (Julianna Raye)
12.Lowlands Away (Rufus and Kate from Rogues Gallery)
13.Scarecrow (Kristian Hoffman)
15.Down Where The Drunkards Roll – (Loudon Wainwright) (recorded May 2011 unreleased)


Rufus Original Demos CD

1. Foolish Love (unreleased)
2. Danny Boy (unreleased)
3. Beauty Mark (unreleased)
4. Damned Ladies (unreleased)
5. Liberty Cabbage (unreleased)
6. Matinee Idol (unreleased)
7. April Fools (unreleased)
8. Get Out of Town (unreleased)
9. Sally Ann (unreleased)
10.Sweet Repose (unreleased)
11.In My Arms (unreleased)
12.Keep Cool Fool (unreleased)


Rufus Does Judy DVD

1. Overture: The Trolley Song/Over The Rainbow/The Main That Got Away – Live At The London Palladium
2. When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You) – Live At The London Palladium
3. Medley: Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love – Live At The London Palladium
4. Do It Again – Live At The London Palladium
5. You Go To My Head – Live At The London Palladium
6. Alone Together – Live At The London Palladium
7. Who Cares? (So Long As You Care For Me) – Live At The London Palladium
8. Puttin On The Ritz – Live At The London Palladium
9. How Long Has This Been Going On – Live At The London Palladium
10.Just You, Just Me – Live At The London Palladium
11.The Man That Got Away – Live At The London Palladium
12.San Francisco – Live At The London Palladium
13.That’s Entertainment – Live At The London Palladium
14.I Can’t Give You Anything But Love – Live At The London Palladium
15.Come Rain Or Come Shine – Live At The London Palladium
16.You’re Nearer – Live At The London Palladium
17.A Foggy Day – Live At The London Palladium
18.If Love Were All – Live At The London Palladium
19.Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart – Live At The London Palladium
20.Stormy Weather – Live At The London Palladium
21.Medley: You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song – Live At The London Palladium
22.Rock A Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody – Live At The London Palladium
23.Over The Rainbow – Live At The London Palladium
24.Swanee – Live At The London Palladium
25.After You’re Gone – Live At The London Palladium
26.Chicago – Live At The London Palladium
27.Get Happy – Live At The London Palladium
28.Hello Bluebird – Live At The London Palladium
29.Someone To Watch Over Me – Live At The London Palladium
30.Everytime We Say Goodbye – Live At The London Palladium
31.San Francisco – Reprise, Live At The London Palladium
32.Credits – Live At The London Palladium


All I Want DVD

1. Overture – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Concert Film]
2. Childhood – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Behind the Scenes]
3. New York, LA & The Big Break – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Behind the Scenes]
4. Pills, Partying & Poses – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Behind the Scenes]
5. Excess – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Behind the Scenes]
6. After The Party – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Behind the Scenes]
7. The Wants – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Behind the Scenes]
8. Hometown Waltz – A Portrait Of Rufus Wainwright – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Behind the Scenes]
9. Gay Messiah – Studio Frisson, Montreal Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
10.Crumb By Crumb – Studio Frisson, Montreal Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
11.Rebel Prince – Studio Frisson, Montreal Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
12.The Art Teacher – Studio Frisson, Montreal Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
13.This Love Affair – Studio Frisson, Montreal Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
14.Poses – Studio Frisson, Montreal Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
15.Movies Of Myself – The Corn Exchange, Cambridge Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
16.Go Or Go Ahead – The Corn Exchange, Cambridge Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
17.I Don’t Know What It Is – The Corn Exchange, Cambridge Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
18.Beautiful Child – The Corn Exchange, Cambridge Performance – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
19.Beauty Mark – Live At Central Park Summer Stage – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
20.Cigarettes And Chocolate Milk – Live At Central Park Summer Stage – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
21.Dinner At Eight – Live At Central Park Summer Stage – 2.0 Dolby Stereo [Music Video]
22.The One You Love [Music Video]
23.California [Music Video]
24.April Fools [Music Video]
25.The Maker Makes [Music Video]


Prima Donna The Story of an Opera DVD

1. Opening: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
2. The First Workshop: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
3. The Genesis of Prima Donna : Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
4. Melody: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
5. Montréal: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
6. The Insane Rage: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
7. In It For The Long Run: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
8. Getting Signed: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
9. Orchestration: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
10.Leeds & The Second Workshop: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
11.The Orchestra: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
12.Shakespeare In Berlin: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
13.Countdown To The Premiere: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
14.Kate & Zebulon: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]
15.Fireworks: Prima Donna – The Story of an Opera [Documentary]


Milwaukee at Last! DVD

1. This Is Me
2. Release The Stars – Live
3. Brooches 1
4. Going To A Town – Live
5. Sanssouci – Live
6. Rules And Regulations – Live
7. Brooches 2
8. Tulsa – Live
9. The Art Teacher – Live
10.Brooches 3
11.Tiergarten – Live
12.Leaving For Paris No. 2 – Live
13.Get Up To Dance
14.Between My Legs – Live
16.Do I Disappoint You – Live
17.A Foggy Day – Live
18.If Love Were All – Live
19.Nobody’s Off The Hook – Live
20.Beautiful Child – Live
21.Not Ready To Love – Live
22.Slideshow – Live
23.Macushla – Live
24.14th Street – Live
25.Playing-out And Changing-up
26.Coming Out
27.I Don’t Know What It Is – Live
28.Pretty Things – Live
29.La Complainte De La Butte – Live
30.Glamming-up Onstage And Changing Backstage
31.Get Happy – Live
32.Gay Messiah – Live
34.Grey Gardens – Live
35.Verdi: Rehearsing For A Wedding [La traviata / Act 1]
36.Not Ready To Love – Live from Montreux Jazz Festival 2007
37.14th Street – Live from Montreux Jazz Festival 2007
38.Get Happy – Live from Montreux Jazz Festival 2007


Live at the Fillmore DVD

1. DVD Intro (Rufus Wainwright/Live At The Fillmore)
2. L’absence – Live at the Fillmore
3. 14th Street – Live At The Fillmore [Music Video]
4. Harvester Of Hearts – Live at the Fillmore
5. Natasha – Live at the Fillmore
6. The Art Teacher – Live at the Fillmore
7. Hallelujah – Live At The Fillmore [Music Video]
8. Matinee Idol – Live at the Fillmore
9. Vibrate – Live At The Fillmore [Music Video]
10.Gay Messiah – Live at the Fillmore
11.Want – Live at the Fillmore
12.Greek Song – Live at the Fillmore
13.Foolish – Live at the Fillmore
14.I Don’t Know What It Is – Live at the Fillmore
15.Dinner At Eight – Live at the Fillmore
16.Beautiful Child – Live at the Fillmore
17.Oh What A World – Live at the Fillmore
18.Liberty Cabbage – Live at the Fillmore
19.California – Live at the Fillmore
20.As In Happy – Live at the Fillmore
21.DVD Credits (Rufus Wainwright/Live At The Fillmore)

 Release The Stars DVD

1. Track By Track interview
2. The Art Teacher – Sympatico/MSN Presents Live @ The Orange Lounge
3. Rebel Prince – Sympatico/MSN Presents Live @ The Orange Lounge
4. Gay Messiah – Sympatico/MSN Presents Live @ The Orange Lounge
5. Vibrate – Sympatico/MSN Presents Live @ The Orange Lounge

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Sullivan Loves You Back

Jazmine Sullivan
Love You Back
J Records

On “Love You Back” – the latest from singer/songwriter Jazmine Sullivan – the too-young-to-feel-this-old songbird warbles a piece she co-wrote called “Famous.” A well blended orchestral pop nugget with one of the coolest guitar bits buried in the melancholy conclusion, the song fairly warns of what is to come for Philly native who stretches musical borders to their breaking point. [Read more…]

Norah Jones Opens Up About Collaborations On New Album

For the past two weeks, Norah Jones has premiered an exclusive video vignette spotlighting each collaboration off of her newly released album, …Featuring. For the first time, fans can now watch each of the 18 video vignette’s in their entirety through a brand new widget. See what Norah Jones had to say about working with some of the biggest icons in music such as Foo Fighters, Herbie Hancock, Belle & Sebastian, Talib Kweli, Dolly Parton, and more. [Read more…]

Norah Jones Releases …Featuring and Talks on Foo Fighters Collaboration

Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Norah Jones has released …Featuring, a brand new album full of collaborations from some of the biggest names in music. The 18 track record has a whole host of guest stars ranging from Belle & Sebastian, Herbie Hancock, Outkast, Talib Kweli, Ryan Adams, The Foo Fighters and more. …Featuring is now available on Amazon and through Norah Jones’ official website.Fans can also check out a brand new video of Norah Jones speaking on the track “Virginia Moon” with rock and roll legends, Foo Fighters, on IGN. [Read more…]

…Featuring Norah Jones

Norah Jones
Release Date: 11/16/2010
Blue Note/EMI Records

Norah jones featuring cover

It took a couple spins, but …Featuring Norah Jones is officially stuck on me. Yes, stuck on me…ok stuck like glue. Norah Jones gets clever with the title of the album, not so surprising considering the amazing music she creates. The entire …Featuring album is chop-full of duets with artists from Q Tip, Talib Kweli, Foo Fighters, and Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. It’s eclectic to say the least. [Read more…]

Norah Jones: She keeps talking and we keep listening

In the newest release of video shorts, Norah Jones talks about collaborating with M.Ward on “Blue Bayou” off her upcoming release …Featuring. Check the newest video out below:

There is something about Little Willies (….Featuring Norah Jones)

Check out what Norah Jones had to say about collaborating with the Little Willies. On a side note, why would you name your band Little Willies?

Norah Jones To Join The Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Grammy Award winning artist, Norah Jones will be performing live on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Monday, October 25th. The American singer-songwriter will perform “Chasing Pirates” as well as several other songs from her forthcoming album …Featuring with legendary hip-hop group, turned house band, The Roots. Check your local listings for more information and make sure you tune in to NBC to watch Norah Jones give a special televised performance! [Read more…]

Stewart Swings with Soul

Rod Stewart
“Fly Me to the Moon:
The Great American Songbook:
Volume Five”
Arista Recrods

With great love for the music traditionally considered the American Songbook I waited with baited breath for this release. This is the swinging cocktail party of some of the greatest songs of the 20th Century as performed by one of pop music’s most unique chameleons, Rod Stewart. [Read more…]

Say YES to Willis

Daphne Willis
What to Say
Vanguard Records

Daphne Willis

Daphne Willis knows exactly who she is – now it is time for you to find out. By way of introduction; she is a smart and soulful songwriter. Her spunk and sass translate to relevant pop that resonates with confidence and passion for what she is doing.

“What to Say” Willis’ most recent release jumps off with Everybody Else a crackling bit of indoor fireworks that lets you know she is here and paying attention isn’t an option; it is an obligation.

Willis delivers pop with a heavy hand dipped into the pool we know as soul music resulting in multi-layered music worthy of someone far beyond her 23 years on this earth.

On “What to Say” Willis has clearly been paying attention to her elders – but does nothing to impersonate or channel them. She is her own woman and the music is better for it.

Far Away is another chance for her to showcase her songwriting that – at times – alternates between the obligatory internal rhyme schemes often found in better hip hop songs and her signature style which is both charming and accessible.

All I Know continues to feature her unique hybrid songwriter style – while upping the ante with more intricate arrangements that support her clear and confident voice.

This ambitious release includes twelve songs – each songs flashes its own individual vibe – each very clearly and unabashedly he work of a youngster with the talent of her elders.

Stand Out Tracks
Everybody Else
Far Away
What to Say
Still Tryin’

Mutts Have Gone to the Dogs

The Mutts
The Tells of Parallels

There are moments when they sound like Frank Zappa’s back up band sans Zappa.

There are moments when they sound as confused as I am trying to figure out what – exactly is happening here. [Read more…]

Sonar Chicago 2010; The Multi-Media Post

Sonar Chicago
Millenium Park & Chicago Cultural Center – Chicago, Il
9/09/10 – 9/11/10


From, “Sónar is the festival of advanced music and multimedia art that takes place at various venues in Barcelona (Spain) in the third week of June since 1994.

Sónar is a pioneering festival that is unique in terms of its format and content: a leading international benchmark thanks to a carefully assembled range of culture that combines entertainment with artistry, the avant garde and experimentation, featuring the most consolidated artists and trends in electronic music and their interactions and hybridisations with other genres…

To date, Sónar has travelled to London (an annual event since 2002), New York, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Frankfurt and Tokyo, among many other destinations, and in late 2010 a special format festival will be held for the first time in the North American city of Chicago, on 9, 10 and 11 September.

Sónar Chicago is the result of an initiative by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs -the public office planning and promoting musical, performance, and visual arts events in Chicago-, the Institut Ramon Llull, -the consortium made up of the Government of Catalonia and the Government of the Balearic Islands-, Advanced Music -the creators of Sónar festival – and AC Entertainment -the promoter of the Bonnaroo festival.”

With that said, here are the artists I was able to experience…
[Read more…]

In Photos: New Mastersounds at North Coast Music Festival 2010

New Mastersounds
North Coast Music Festival 2010
Chicago, IL

New Mastersounds is:
Eddie Roberts – guitar
Simon Allen – drums
Pete Shand – bass guitar
Joe Tatton – organ and pianoNew Mastersounds North Coast Music Festival 2010

Check out more photos from the New Mastersounds set after the jump…

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos:

All photos by Matt Ginger

This “Lemonade” not too tart – not too sweet

Lily Schaffer

Lily Schaffer LemondaHer voice is salty – sweet – easy on ears as honey on the tongue. Her name is Lilly Schaffer and her disc “Lemonade” is just what it sounds like – a little complex – a little delicious – and completely refreshing.

Schaffer comes out of the gate like a sepia chanteuse spinning her ancient musical yarns through her own neo-modern filter. By the end of “Lemonade” we are slowly seduced into the singer/songwriter world of the 21st century.

“Lemonade” is a collection of smart – well-crafted songs by this veteran of Chicago’s open mic scene. She explores the standard questions of love and identity – but does so with wit and warmth meted out carefully so as to not distract from the music.

Stand Out Tracks

Rubber Match
Everything You Read
The Sweetest Thing

The Right Now is perfect for right now

The Right Now
Carry Me Home

Photo by Seth Thompson

The toughest part about writing this review is the knowledge that “Carry Me Home” will be put into the recreational rotation which means less listens. (A music writer’s work is never done.) [Read more…]

Old Timers Bring Down the House

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park
Jethro Tull/Procol Harum
Sunday June 20, 2010

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

Going to see Procol Harum was a leap of faith for me. Growing up and being so heavily influenced by lead vocalist Gary Brooker was one thing – seeing him and the band playing songs that are four decades old was another.

When he and the band strode out on stage in polo shirts and dress slacks – I thought it was someone’s grandpa got lost and wandered up onto the stage.

When he opened his mouth to sing; I was sure I was in the right place – maybe not the right time. His voice was flawless. How can this be 2010? This guy – this 65 year old man sang like it was 1972. The band worked their way through the old catalog and the new and about the time they got to “Conquistador” was I was in fits. At “Whiter Shade of Pale” you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Next – classic rock’s favorite leaping gnome took the stage at the breezy out door arena.

For the youngsters who are looking to expand into true “alternative’ music, the best place to start is Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull.

They were the original “alternative” band back in 1968.

While the rest of the rock music scene was screaming guitars and ripping off Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon, Tull was doing covers written by the likes of King Henry the 8th (you know the guy – fat, royal, cuts off heads…)

Anderson and company found a way to blend rock and roll with folk music – dashed with a little medieval-prog rock. Then they centered it all around Anderson and his flute.

With hits such as “Aqualung,” “Locomotive Breath,” and “Songs of the Wood” the group has sold over 60,000,000 records.

Tonight – despite all the years – all the tours – they played with the enthusiasm and humor of kids on a lark.

Anderson’s cod piece is gone (thankfully) but his trademark quasi-yoga poses and his urgent flute playing carried the night.

Martin Barre – guitar virtuoso and long time Anderson compadre – is 64-years old and I put his playing up against any of the younger players out there. He had been doing what he does on that Paul Reed Smith 513 for a long time – but his power and his passion come through on every note.

They blended the old hits with the newer cuts and gave the audience exactly what they came for – a rousing set of incredible music played by outstanding musicians.

This will likely be the highlight of the summer for live music. Not too many bands can span as many generations as these two bands. Even less bands out there could put on a show like I witnessed.

If you get a chance to see either of these bands – by all means – this is no nostalgia act. This is real rock and roll.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

And art rock for all…

The Fakeout The Tease and the Breather

Canasta Press Photo

The Chicago art-pop-rock combo Canasta has a way of releasing  records that are relaxing, but in no means lazy. They are ambitious without being overwhelming. They are textured soundscapes filled with thoughtful and intelligent lyrics moving delicately about the pastiche of musical ideas.

Sound pretentious? I thought you might think so. (College writing class wasn’t wasted on me.) Canasta is a group who relishes the process of playing music and making music that is as timeless as it is contemporary. The music is as conversational as it is narrative.

On The Fakeout The Tease and the Breather they deliver on the promise they made with their earlier release “We Were Set Up” (which includes the best Chicago song of the 21st century, “Slow Down Chicago”).

Part of the group’s success us that they are – for the most part – multi-instrumentalists. They all take a hand at singing with Matt Priest  handling most of the heavy lifting. Elizabeth Lindau offers perfect complement to his laid back style.

Lindau also plays the violin and keyboard and percussion. As a matter of fact guitar player Jeremy Beckford and drummer Josh Lava seem to be the only two listed that don’t have more than one instrument after their name. This does not discount their contributions to the band – it exemplifies the opportunities the other musicians provide.

Another of the rewards derived from listening to Canasta is the unpredictability of the music. While most pop music is predictable and can be played along with after a listen or two, Canasta arranges the songs with care and a sharp focus. They bring everything they have to the table very time.

They can be light and playful then turn on a dime and be dramatic and poignant – before drifting back into something else which might just be an infectious beat. They can get intimate and then anthemic.

The Fakeout The Tease and the Breather is a solid album – a necessity for anyone who enjoys smart music that resides at the corner of pop and art.

To find out about this summer’s local shows, log on at

Stand Out Tracks
Becoming You
I Was Going with This Magazine
Reading the Map Upside Down



Following the success of their 2009 Century Media Records debut CD which debuted at #1 on the prestigious Billboard Heatseakers chart, Iwrestledabearonce will reissue the It’s All Happening CD June 29, accompanied by the It’s All Remixed! bonus CD and DVD featuring a host of remixes and exclusive video. After wrapping their current European trek, the group will bring their one-of-a-kind, fearless live show to North American audiences this summer, including dates with Otep from June 17-July 16 and a stint on the Vans Warped Tour from July 20-August 15.

The three disc deluxe It’s All Happening re-issue package also includes song stems for listeners to create their own remixes. In addition, five lucky fans will find an IWABO “Golden Ticket” inside the CD packaging. This will grant the winner and a guest access to three IWABO shows of their choice, a meet and greet with the band, IWABO merchandise and memorabilia.

[Read more…]

Norah Jones Pushes ‘The Fall’ In Chicago

Norah Jones
The Chicago Theatre – Chicago, IL
March 20, 2010

Norah Jones The Chicago Theatre

Not many artists kick off their live show with six brand new songs in a row. Not even when on tour promoting their latest record. However, that is exactly what Norah Jones did last night when she performed to a sold out crowd at The Chicago Theatre. On the road in support of her new album The Fall, Norah Jones pushed her new tunes to the max. Not until the seventh song in did Jones revert back to an oldie. Upon completing the first midtempo keyboard-heavy song of the evening “Chasing Pirates,” Norah informed the audience that, “We’re playing all new songs from my new album for the first few minutes.” If fans wanted to hear Norah’s early material, no one dared to object to the singer/songwriter’s decision to plug her latest musical effort, The Fall. Norah works hard for her money. Clearly, the fact that Norah Jones has won multiple Grammy Awards (12 wins out of 18 nominations!) in the past seven years has no effect on this woman’s work ethic.

More photos of Norah Jones and the set list from the show after the jump…

Set List / Chicago

I Wouldn’t Need You

Light As A Feather

Even Though

Chasing Pirates

Young Blood

It’s Gonna Be




Cold Cold Heart

Back To Manhattan

Sinkin’ Soon

Jesus, Etc. (Wilco cover)

Man Of The Hour

Don’t Know Why

You’ve Ruined Me




How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart?

Come Away With Me


“It’s Gonna Be” is a throwback to 1969-1970 when Norman Greenbaum’s hit “Spirit In The Sky” was omnipresent and selling over two million copies. “We’re going to do a song from my last album. It’s a song called ‘Broken,’ announced Jones while two of her band members respectively arranged themselves with an upright string bass and a xylophone. What surprised me the most at last night’s concert, was that Jones did not sit down at her upright piano until eight songs through her set when she played another new track from The Fall, “Waiting.” Up until then, Jones was either steadily strumming on her red-and-white electric guitar, or on stage right standing behind her keyboard.

“You guys wanna hear a happy song now? I wore my party dress for you guys,” said Jones, cute as a button in a strapless polka-dotted red, black, and red dress straight out of a 1950s high school prom. “It kinda doesn’t fit under the piano, but whatever.” The happy song that the jazz piano major from the University of North Texas performed next just happened to be my absolute favorite track from the Norah Jones catalog. One simply cannot help but smile and sing along when you hear “Sunrise.” Believe me, just try not to hum or “hoo” along with the singer’s angelic and ethereal voice. This tune is addictive. And to imagine I first heard it at work while hostessing at the Olive Garden. The job was horrible, but it introduced me to one of my favorite pieces of music ever. “Sunrise” was accompanied by a gorgeous spectacle of lights set against a backdrop of four white curtains hanging from the ceiling. Rich, warm tones of red, orange, yellow, magenta, fuchsia, purple, pink, gold, and any other color reminiscent of a splendid summer sunrise and/or sunset illuminated the stage and its performers.

“Thanks, we’re going to do an old song now,” announced Jones before launching into “Cold Cold Heart” from her debut record Come Away With Me. “It’s way older than I am. And it’s probably older than most of you, too.” Next up was a cover that I somewhat expected would be included in the night’s festivities. “We’re in Chicago, so we’re going to do a song by our favorite Chicago band, Wilco,” Jones exclaimed. Performing a cover of Wilco’s “Jesus, Etc.” has become a staple of Norah’s live show. “Thank you, Jeff Tweedy,” gushed Jones, an avid and long-time fan of Chicago’s very own Wilco. “We actually did some shows with them and we sang this song in tribute to them to be funny. They played it, too.”

“We’re going to do a song about a dog here,” Jones said by way of introducing the next song “Man Of The Hour.” However, Norah was left alone on stage for this one, where she proceeded to perform “Man Of The Hour” sitting at her piano. This was the only moment during the entire show that had Jones playing solo, with only her delicate voice coming through the house PA, supported by her college-trained tickling of the ivories. “Man Of The Hour” is about man’s best friend. That’s correct, a dog. “Sasha and I have our dogs out on the road with us, which is really fun,” admitted a smiling Jones. Sasha is the only female member of Norah’s touring band. What is it with girls and their dogs? I suppose once you listen to the comical lyrics that compare a boyfriend to a canine, why not have your dog with you to keep you company?

Inevitably, the time came for Jones to knock out one of her big hits. The first few bars of “Don’t Know Why” was met with claps and shouts of approval from fans seated in the audience, who had been waiting patiently to hear a song that they knew. Radio fans is what I call those people. With “Don’t Know Why” out of the way, Jones took a few seconds to verbalize her appreciation of those fans in attendance. “You are great audience. It’s like I can feel you.”

“You want to hear a song about Texas? Let’s do a song about Texas,” Jones said while addressing her band as they stood by waiting for their boss to make an impromptu decision regarding which song would be next on the set list. “It’s the only song about Texas we have,” joked Norah before beginning to play the opening notes to “Lonestar.” After paying tribute to the state where Jones lived out her formative years, Norah told the crowd with a hint of disappointment, “I thought we were going to have some honkytonk dancers, but I think they were just going to the bathroom. We had it last night. Oh well, maybe next time.” Maybe next time, indeed. Although it will definitely NOT be me getting up out of my seat to dance the honkytonk. However, count on yours truly being at the next Norah Jones concert in Chicago. Witnessing the talent of Norah Jones right before your eyes is worth every penny of her ticket price.

For the encore, Jones and her band got up close and personal with each other as they gathered around a single microphone on stage right. From here they began to play a beautiful acoustic arrangement of “How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart?” With the first of three encore tunes wrapped up and out of the way, Jones gave in to the wishes and desires of fans who have followed Norah’s music since the beginning. “Come Away With Me” may have been the third single to be released from the artist’s debut record with the same name, but it is arguably the biggest hit of Norah’s career to date. “No, YOU come away with ME,” a smiling Norah told a fan sitting up front who shouted out the song’s title as Jones adjusted her electric guitar. I was caught off guard upon realizing that “Come Away With Me” was not the last song of the night. Jones is obviously very proud of her new record and its tunes because she chose to end her set with yet another new one, “Stuck.” When it was all over, Norah lovingly told the crowd, “Thanks a lot, Chicago! Have a good night!” before she sauntered off the stage and out of sight.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

The Lost Fingers – “Stuck In The 80’s” covers album in stores now!

lost fingers

The Lost Fingers are a Canadian gypsy-jazz music group based in Quebec City. Guitarist Byron “Maiden” Mikaloff and vocalist Christian Roberge met at the Quebec Conservatory of Music, and participated in several music projects together before The Lost Fingers. Formed in 2004, the band drew inspiration for the name from legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who lost the use of the 3rd and 4th fingers on his left hand in a caravan fire at the age of 18. In 2006, Mikaloff and Roberge recruited bassist Alex Morissette, and the lineup was complete. Their young history as a band has already seen them opening for the French guitarist Patrick Saussois, appearing in three international music festivals, as well as playing live on several television and radio shows.

Lost in the 80s, their debut album of jazz covers of 80’s songs (in a French accent, no less), earned a platinum certification for sales of 100,000 within Quebec alone. The album’s success snagged the trio a few of Canada’s coveted Juno Awards – the country’s Grammy – and have been previously billed as the stars of the Montreal Jazz Festival. Now the band is attempting to bring this buzz and success stateside! In addition to their über-fun catalog of 80’s arrangements, The Lost Fingers recently released a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” as their tribute to the late-great icon.


[Read more…]

Audio Preview of New Christmas Track from Nikki Yanofsky

New Holiday Track from Nikki Yanofsky

nikki yanofsky

Just in time for the holidays, 15-year-old rising star Nikki Yanofksy has released a new Christmas ballad, “One Wish This Christmas.” The song – co-written by Nikki herself – is available for sale on iTunes in their Holiday store.

Already the recipient of a Gemini Award, the Canadian equivalent of an Emmy, and two Juno Award nominations for her CD/DVD tribute to her idol Ella Fitzgerald, Nikki’s big voice and bubbly personality are ready to take the world by storm. Nikki is currently preparing New to Me, her US debut album, for a Spring 2010 release. Featuring updated jazz standards and folk classsics, the record will also showcase some of Nikki’s original material, including the song “For Another Day,” co-written with Norah Jones’ songwriter Jesse Harris. Check out a new video from Nikki for a glimpse into her busy schedule, in addition to cameos from Harris and legendary music producer Phil Ramone.

Red Rock Resort and Smooth Jazz 105.7 THE OASIS present Free Jazz Fridays

Weekly poolside concert series begins on June 5

LAS VEGAS – May 12, 2009 – Red Rock Resort is celebrating summer by bringing the great sounds of jazz by popular local and regional performers to one of the hippest summer hot spots in town, The Sandbar. The free poolside summer jazz series begins on June 5 at the outdoor poolside venue at Red Rock Resort. Patrons are invited to enjoy jazz music by the pool every Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The shows are 21 years and older and have no cover.

The Sandbar at Red Rock Resort is the ideal spot to relax and listen to summertime jazz. Sitting on three acres of poolside perfection, The Sandbar features a beach area, cabanas, wading pools and an island. Each week will feature a different band or artist. On July 24, Free Jazz Fridays will not take place as the Country Crows are headlining that night. Below is the summer calendar:

Dates after the jump….

[Read more…]