Dar Williams, the Other Folk Meat!

Dar Williams
In The Time of Gods
Razor & Tie
Release: 17 April 2012

Dar Williams has always been a household name growing up on the East Coast. She’s notably a talented singer songwriter whom I… never paid a single ounce of mind to, for no justifiable reason. I guess when I wanted folk music, I went to Ani DiFranco and never looked any further. I think that “go to” has happened to many of us, but tonight I listened to a Dar Williams album in it’s entirely, a few times actually.

First off I will admit this isn’t my first choice in music anymore, yet I found myself in a somber place in life tonight and the album greeted me with open arms. Dar writes beautiful songs. She has a beautiful voice and writes beautiful lyrics. If you listen to her music, I can’t imagine this album would be anything but a satisfying add to your collection of her albums. For a non listener such as myself, I am going to take away this stand out track: “I will free myself”. Next Tuesday when this album drops I ask you to listen carefully to this aforementioned track. I have played it about 10 times so far. Each time as soon as I hear the opening notes, chords, and vocals they force me to pause: and listen. Maybe it’s my situation, or maybe Dar has just been this good all along and this is what you miss when you focus on that one artist that’s gets you by with what you already know. Makes me grateful to always expand my focus.

Music Video: Norah Jones’ “Happy Pills”

Norah Jones Little Broken Hearts cover

Norah Jones is back with a new album, Little Broken Hearts, out on Blue Note/EMI on May 1st. The newly released video is for “Happy Pills” off her fifth studio album.

Norah Jones’ “Happy Pills” Music Video

Norah Jones on Tour:

May 25, 2012      Olympia Paris, France
May 28, 2012      Carré Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jun 01, 2012       Royal Festival Hall London, United Kingdom
Jun 02, 2012      Royal Festival Hall London, United Kingdom
Jun 29, 2012       Kodak Theatre-NY Rochester, United States
Jun 30, 2012       Kodak Hall At Eastman The… Rochester, United States
Jul 14, 2012        Piazza Napoleone Lucca Lu, Italy
Jul 17, 2012        Stadtpark Freilichtbühne… Hamburg, Germany
Aug 10, 2012       Hollywood Bowl      Los Angeles, United States

The track listing for Little Broken Hearts is as follows:
1. Good Morning
2. Say Goodbye
3. Little Broken Hearts
4. She’s 22
5. Take It Back
6. After The Fall
7. 4 Broken Hearts
8. Travelin’ On
9. Out On The Road
10. Happy Pills
11. Miriam
12. All A Dream
*All songs written By Norah Jones & Brian Burton

Kimbra on the road in the US with Gotye and Foster the People

Kimbra Promo photo

Photo Credit: Craig Banks

Kimbra is an amazing singer/songwriter from New Zealand and her debut album, Vows, was release last year in Europe and will be officially released in the United States this summer. Her Settle Down EP is a must-have and I am super stoked to see her on tour in the US. She will be joining Gotye and then Foster the People on this roadtrip. Her tour dates and “Settle Down” music video are below.

Kimbra’s “Settle Down” Music Video

Kimbra US Tour dates:
March 13 – 17 – SXSW Music Conference – Austin, TX


March 22 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
March 23 – Tower Theatre – Philadelphia, PA
March 25 – Terminal 5 – New York, NY
March 27 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
March 29 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
March 30 – Corona Theatre – Montreal, QC
March 31 – Kool Haus – Toronto, ON
April 2 – Pease Auditorium – Ypsilanti, MI
April 3 – Aragon Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 4 – Epic Event Center – Minneapolis, MN
April 6 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
April 8 – Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC
April 10 – Showbox – Seattle, WA
April 11 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
April 12 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA


May 29 – Rumsey Playfield – New York, NY
May 30 – Rumsey Playfield – New York, NY
June 01 – LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
June 04 – Verizon Theatre – Grand Prairie, TX
June 05 – The Backyard – Austin, TX
June 07 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Alpharetta, GA
June 10 – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia MD
June 11 – Summerstage – New York, NY
June 12 – Lachine Canal – Montreal, QC
June 14 – Mann Center – Philadelphia, PA
June 15 – Bank of America Pavilion – Boston, MA
June 16 – The Fillmore – Detroit, MI
June 19 – Downsview Park – Toronto, ON
June 20 – Congress Theater – Chicago, IL
June 21 – Congress Theater – Chicago, IL
June 22 – US Bank Theater – Minneapolis, MN
June 25 – Deer Lake Park – Vancouver, BC
June 26 – WAMU Theater – Seattle, WA
June 27 – Edgefield Amphitheater – Troutdale, OR
June 29 – Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA
June 30 – Gibson Amphitheatre – Los Angeles, CA
July 1 – Gibson Amphitheatre – Los Angeles, CA
July 3 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
July 5 – The Great Salt Air – Salt Lake City, UT
July 6 – Commerica Theater – Phoenix, AZ
July 7 – The Pool at the Cosmopolitan – Las Vegas, NV

Kimbramusic.com | facebook.com/kimbramusic | twitter.com/kimbramusic |

Music Video: Gotye’s “Easy Way Out”

Gotye just released his new music video for the “Easy Way Out,” off his third album Making Mirrors (Samples’N’Seconds/Fairfax Recordings/Universal Republic).  The video is a stop-motion music video from Melbourne director Darcy Prendergast his  Oh Yeah Wow team. Watch the video below.

Gotye’s “Easy Way Out” Music Video

Gotye is heading out on tour with support from New Zealand singer/songwriter, Kimbra. Kimbra already released Vows in Europe and set for a Summer 2012 release. Check out more music from Kimbra here.

North American Tour Dates:
*Kimbra supporting
March 22         Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (SOLD OUT)*
March 23         Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
March 25         New York, NY @ Terminal 5 (SOLD OUT)*

March 27         New York, NY @ Webster Hall (SOLD OUT)*
March 29         Boston, MA @ House of Blues (SOLD OUT)*
March 30         Montreal, QB @ Corona Theatre (SOLD OUT)*
March 31         Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus (SOLD OUT)*
April 2              Eastern Michigan University @ Pease Auditorium*
April 3              Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
April 4              Minneapolis, MN @ Epic Events Center (SOLD OUT)*
April 6              Denver, CO @ Odgen Theatre (SOLD OUT)*
April 8              Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre (SOLD OUT)
April 10            Seattle @ Showbox Sodo (SOLD OUT)*
April 11            Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom (SOLD OUT)*
April 12            San Francisco, CA @ The Independent (SOLD OUT)*
April 15            Indigo, CA @ Coachella (SOLD OUT)
April 22            Indigo, CA @ Coachella (SOLD OUT)

North American Tour Dates:
*Kimbra supporting
March 22         Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club (SOLD OUT)*
March 23         Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
March 25         New York, NY @ Terminal 5 (SOLD OUT)*
March 27         New York, NY @ Webster Hall (SOLD OUT)*
March 29         Boston, MA @ House of Blues (SOLD OUT)*
March 30         Montreal, QB @ Corona Theatre (SOLD OUT)*
March 31         Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus (SOLD OUT)*
April 2              Eastern Michigan University @ Pease Auditorium*
April 3              Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
April 4              Minneapolis, MN @ Epic Events Center (SOLD OUT)*
April 6              Denver, CO @ Odgen Theatre (SOLD OUT)*
April 8              Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre (SOLD OUT)
April 10            Seattle @ Showbox Sodo (SOLD OUT)*
April 11            Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom (SOLD OUT)*
April 12            San Francisco, CA @ The Independent (SOLD OUT)*
April 15            Indigo, CA @ Coachella (SOLD OUT)
April 22            Indigo, CA @ Coachella (SOLD OUT)


Cass McCombs illuminates Bowery Ballroom

To the backdrop of a lit screen resembling digital sequins, Cass McCombs and his band descended onto the stage of Bowery Ballroom.  Despite the glittering panels, Cass and his band were enshrouded in darkness with all overhead lights off.  They rambled into “Love Thine Enemy” from his last album, Humor Risk to start.  With only periodic camera flashes to reveal Cass’s facial expressions, this was a concert where audience members were forced to listen and less about the antics of the artist, not that Cass would oblige.  He leaves his songs to tell his stories.   He barely chatted, only to open with a “hi” and “how’s everyone?” and a thank you with introductions for his band at the tail end.

Borrowing largely from Humor Risk, Wit’s End and Catacombs, Cass and his gang of four melded nicely throughout the set on “My Sister, My Spouse,” “Buried Alive” and “The Same Thing”.  The gents on lap steel and keys really enveloped the wayward nature of the nomad singer-songwriter’s compositions.  Some songs even ensued praise from concert goers as one shouted “That was niiiiice,” after the conclusion of “Harmonia”.   A few deviations from the trio of last albums were “My Master” from the A album, the tribute/protest song “Bradley Manning” and “Angel Blood”, which had been played plenty in the fall 2011 tour and captured by Pitchfork and Daytrotter.

The appropriate swan song of the night had to be “County Line,” which you could feel the crowd anticipating.  NPR labelled “a song for ever time” and that it is.  For Wednesday night’s rendition in New York, the bluesy waltz was stretch for maximum appeal.  The perfect lullaby to send this writer back to her own county line (Kings).

Sharon Van Etten warms up Mercury Lounge

On a crisp evening, fans poured into Mercury Lounge to witness a rare, intimate concert with Ms. Sharon Van Etten.  Weeks before her latest LP, Tramp hits stores February 7th, she played to a sold out crowd on Wednesday.   She thanked her fans for giving up their hump day to hang with her.  Amongst her fans in the crowd was one Aaron Dessner of The National, who also helped producer her upcoming release.  Though not in attendance, Sharon’s other fancy friends include TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone (who was given a demo personally from Van Etten) and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who is her fellow Jagjaguwar label mate.  Girl rolls with fine company.

Covering her new album from side A to B, she began with “Warsaw” and continued in order of the track list.   As most of the songs were very new to her audience (unless they had streamed her performance the day before at The Greene Space for WNYC’s Soundcheck), they piped up for her single “Serpents”.  She had taken the single out for a spin on her first network television appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a few weeks earlier.   She then went on to introduce the next tune “Kevin’s” as a song about quitting smoking.  Though there was little chatter between SVE and the crowd, she brought out a ukulele and an omnichord.   The latter instrument elicited a cheer of “OMICHORD!”

“All I Can” was well received by the entranced audience.  This reporter overheard one concertgoer say, “I really loved that last song.”  Sharon’s echoey vocals sure do that to listeners.   Her vocals were enhanced especially by bassist/keyboardist Heather Wood Broderick (Horse Feathers, Efterklang) on the second to last song “I’m Wrong”.  Though there was no encore, the crowd left completely satisfied and blessed to witness a true artist on the heels of a breakout.  SVE plays additional New York shows in February:

February 24 – Music Hall of Williamsburg
February 25 & 26 – Bowery Ballroom

Needless to say, not to be missed.

Set list
Give Out
In Line
All I Can
We Are Fine
Magic Chords
I’m Wrong
Joke or a Lie

Music: Lana Del Rey – Born to Die Remixes

Born to Die Lana Del Rey REmixes

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die [Single Version]
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die [Single Version] by PurplePR

Lana Del Rey didn’t have a fantastic weekend as her two performances on Saturday Night Live became a prime target for negative backlash from media and viewers alike. She was criticized for everything from her hair and the way she moved. It was her first US TV appearance and SNL is a big way to make any debut. Can we say nerves? She hasn’t even released her album yet.

On a positive note, today two remixes of her song “Born to Die” have been released on iTunes and on Soundcloud to stream. Below are the Woodkid and Clams Casino Remixes. Above is the original version of the song for listening pleasure.

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die [Woodkid Remix]
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die [Woodkid Remix] by PurplePR

Lana Del Rey – Born To Die [Clams Casino Remix]
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die [Clams Casino Remix] by PurplePR

Richard Marx Shares His Stories With Billboard

Richard Marx has stories to tell in more ways than one. The veteran hit maker recently sat down to share memories about his number 1 hits “Hold On To The Nights,” “Right Here Waiting,” and “Satisfied” as part of a new video series from Billboard to celebrate reaching 1,000 No. 1 songs on its Hot 100 chart. “I just write songs that I’m proud of, that I like, that I want people to hear,” explains Marx, “I’ve never had the experience of either phoning it in or thinking, ‘Ooh I’ve got a smash here.'”

Marx, who has also written hit songs for Keith Urban, N’Sync, and Luther Vandross among others, will further celebrate his legendary career with his upcoming solo release, Stories to Tell, a collection of his greatest hits, acoustic versions, and live tracks that will also include a DVD of Marx’s recent performance at the famed Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. The deluxe album, currently available exclusively at Walmart and Richard Marx’s online store, will get a wide release on February 7th.

Visit Richard’s official site for more details, and be sure to enter his special iPad giveaway atwww.richardmarx.com/ipadcontest.

Official Sites: 

Introducing Graffiti6

Schubas – Chicago, IL

Graffiti6 is:
Jamie Scott and Tommy D
Pete Cherry
Leonn Meade
Joe Glossop

Graffiti6 Schubas - Chicago, IL 12/22/2011

Graffiti6 is made up of core members Jamie Scott on vocals and Tommy D. on bass. The duo hail from the UK and co-wrote all of Gaffiti6’s songs from their first major label album release, Colours. The album is slated for an early 2012 release off Capitol Records.   The band was just signed to Capitol Records back in April of 2011 and is gaining huge momentum in the United States.  Earlier this year they released their EP Free, which is available now on iTunes, and also hit the road with Latin pop singer, Ximena Sariñana.

Graffiti6 Schubas - Chicago, IL 12/22/2011

This past Thursday night in Chicago, Graffiti6 ended their first US tour opening for Ximena. There was a decent crowd as Jamie and Tommy started their acoustic set.  The two appeared very comfortable on the intimate stage at Schubas.  Jamie told the crowd, “This is our first time playing in Chicago.”

Jamie introduced “Goodbye Geoffrey Drake” with the story behind the song. He first asked the crowd if anyone was in love and to put their  hands up if he or she were. As the crowd raised their hands Jamie noted that at the last stop nobody did. The crowd laughed.   He then proceeded into the story about the song, FYI it’s fiction.  It’s, however, funny in that dark humorous kind of way that the Brits are known for.  “Goodbye Geoffrey Drake” is a tragic love song about a girl who leaves a boy. The boy couldn’t deal with the fact that she left him, hunts her down, and kills her. He then comes to realize he can’t live without her so he kills himself.

Not all their songs are so dark and part of the crowd recognized their next song in the set.  Jamie started by mentioning that they were in New York last October after their song “Stare into the Sun” debuted on Grey’s Anatomy. They owe a lot to this song that got them signed to Capitol Records.

Graffiti6 “Stare into the Sun” Acoustic

They also played “Over You” which is on their upcoming release.  The song is about a girl who broke Jamie’s heart. The crowd felt the deepest sympathy for him, but he told the crowd not to feel sorry for him, he’s fine!  They also played their latest radio single, “Free” that is on the Free EP along with Colours.

The acoustic set went over well in Chicago. If you missed them on their US tour don’t fret because they are coming back to the States to open for Augustana in January! This means they will be playing Chicago again.  Also look for their upcoming full length release, Colours, in early 2012.

Set List:
Lay me down
Goodbye Geoffrey Drake
Stare Into the Sun
This Man
Free – single just gone to radio so we should be hearing this one!
Over You

Tour Dates with Augustana:

01/17     Anaheim, CA                         House of Blues
01/18     Los Angeles, CA                    El Rey Theatre
01/19     San Francisco, CA                 Great American Music Hall
01/21     Seattle, WA                           The Crocodile
01/22     Portland, OR                          Doug Fir Lounge
01/24     Salt Lake City, UT                  Club Sound
01/25     Denver, CO                            Bluebird Theater
01/27     Minneapolis, MN                    Varsity Theater
01/28     Chicago, IL                            Park West
01/30     Ann Arbor, MI                        Blind Pig
01/31     Boston, MA                           Paradise
02/01     New York, NY                        Gramercy Theatre
02/03     Philadelphia, PA                    Theatre of the Living Arts
02/04     Washington, DC                     9:30 Club
02/06     Charlotte, NC                         Visulite Theatre
02/07     Atlanta, GA                            Vinyl

Photos of Graffiti6’s Set at Schubas:


Written by Yvette Casillas and Jessica Emmerich

Emily Hurd’s Christmas Gift to Fans

Emily Hurd Enter the Skyline poster

Painting by Emily Hurd

Not every musician creates gifts for their fans every Christmas. Emily Hurd has made a tradition of it for her loyal fans.  She recorded a Christmas album and sent it fans that signed up for her email list one year. It was initially free, but those who missed signing up for her email list, can now purchase it on iTunes here.  This year Emily created a 18″x24″ poster painting for fans to download (image above) and print. Additionally she is offering “My Favorite Part” (non-holiday song) off her upcoming release, Long Lost Ghosts, for free. The download is only for a limited time as it expires on January 1st, 2012.

For more info and to grab these goodies while they last head over to Emily’s site! Don’t forget to sign-up for Emily’s email list to stay up-to-date and to receive her exclusive offers!

Emily’s Long Lost Ghosts Album Release Party
January 20, 2012
Strobe Recording Studio
2631 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
Doors: 7 pm
Show: 8 pm
Tickets: $10 at the door
*This performance will be recorded and videotaped.  BYOB

Music Video: Tristan Takes on Lana Del Rey’s “Born to Die”

Tristan Clopêt covers “Born to Die” by Lana Del Rey

Tristan Clopet turned the tables of of Lana Del Rey and covered “Born to Die” during Tristan’s Living Room Session. It’s all piano and melodic vocals. Take a listen.

Graffiti6 Does Wham

Graffiti6 Covers Wham!’s “Last Christmas” below:

Graffiti6 checked in from the set of their “Free” video to give fans an inside look at the Downtown, Los Angeles shoot.  Lead singer Jamie Scott and producer Tommy D explain the meaning behind the song and introduce director Jay Martin to discuss the video concept.  Watch the clip to see Jamie joking around about looking like the Incredible Hulk in the storyboard.

Jamie also sat down to wish everyone a happy holiday with a beautiful rendition of WHAM!’s “Last Christmas.”

“Free” will appear on Graffiti6’s debut album, Colours, due out via Capitol Records on January 24th.  The Free EP is available on iTunes now.

The Making of FREE

The Phantom Leak

Alright I have to vent here for a second.   Many artists complain about their new music being leaked.  For some, they have every right to be angry because someone down the line genuinely took their music and sent it out into the great abyss of the internet.   Then there are some who say “leak” and it’s just a huge promotional stunt for fans to flock to their favorite p2p or file sharing service to pick up the newly “leaked” music.  I have an email sitting in my inbox concerning Asher Roth and it’s stating one of the tracks from his upcoming album has been leaked. The problem is I clicked through the link they gave me and it’s on the artist’s website.  LAME!! When music is genuinely leaked it’s generally via a p2p network like The Pirate Bay or a YouSendIt link being passed around.  When an ARTIST posts the track themselves online it is NOT LEAKED!

I still remember how excited I was for Miss Lolene’s debut label album, Electrick Hotel, to drop.  Then weeks before the date someone leaked the entire album.  Lolene was pissed, as she should have been, and she refused to release the album and went into the studio to re-record a new one. The problem with that is it’s been almost 2 years and there isn’t a new full length album out. She did release a mixtape, but the mixtape didn’t do justice for the tracks I did hear off the Electrick Hotel.  As a fan I really wanted to hear the album and couldn’t get my hands on a leaked copy or even buy a legitimate one. The situation was a bit frustrating. If music from an artist is released the artist should really go with the flow and take advantage of the situation. Instead of not releasing the album, creating remixes of all the songs and selling them on the likes of iTunes could have helped make money.  Remixes are hot!

The moral of this story is if you music gets leaked go with it, and release your music earlier.  The real fans are still going to buy the ticket to go to your show even if you are just starting out. For those who fake the leak of their albums that’s just tacky and you need to stop it.


Paul’s Twelve Musical Christmas Wishes

Twelve Musical Christmas Wishes

Paul's Christmas List12. I wish that someone would tell Justin Bieber that he is too young to have a “beard.”

11. I wish someone would string my guitar. (The last time I put new strings on Kurt Cobain was still alive).

10. I wish Beyonce/JLo would return my calls and have those court orders… ooops.

9. I wish Motown would rebuild the snakepit and start making relevant music again.

8. I wish Jessie J. would explain those two puppets in the intro to the “Price Tag” video.

7. I wish Pitbull and T-Pain would be my wingmen for a night.

6. I wish that every day I was shufflin’.

5. I wish Paul McCartney would get a facelift. The ex-Beatle looks like an old woman.

4. I wish Billy Corgan would get dropkicked by his fans in music and in pro wrestling.

3. I wish for two 2012 shows; Tim Minchin and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

2. I wish to sign a songwriter’s agreement – at least get some love for my lyrics.

1. I wish Elvis was still alive and all the impersonators were dead

The Berklee Lollapalooza Scholarship Auditions

lollapalooza logoIf you attended Lollapalooza this past summer you may have seen Julia Easterlin perform on the Google+ Stage.  Julia is a product of the Berklee College of Music and she landed the slot at Lollapalooza by attending Berklee and lending a hand in kicking off the partnership between one of the most recognizable music festivals and notable music schools.   Each year Lollapalooza will donate a full tuition scholarship to one lucky musician who auditions for Berklee and then is accepted. The musician must be an outstanding one from the United States that demonstrates a financial need.   If having fully paid tuition wasn’t a big enough prize, the lucky student also gets to perform on one of the Lollapalooza stages next year.

Julia Easterlin at the Google+ Stage Lollapalooza 2011

The process isn’t an easy one. All the candidates for the Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship must apply to the college and then participate in the live auditions as well as an interview at one of the Berklee auditions being held around the country.  Today and tomorrow mark the beginning of the auditions in Lollapalooza’s stomping ground, Chicago.

Berklee College spends 175 days per year on the road holding auditions to attract talent to the school.  They also visit more than 50 sites around the world and it’s all supported by a $25 million scholarship fund.

If you are interested in applying to The Berklee College of Music, head over here.  The application deadline for Fall 2012 is January 15.

The first recipient will be chosen in March and announced at Lollapalooza 2012.  

For full audition dates and locations head over to Berklee’s website.

US Audition Dates:
Atlanta, Georgia
November 29, 2011
November 30, 2011
December 1, 2011
December 2, 2011
February 7, 2012
February 8, 2012
February 9, 2012

Austin, Texas
February 16, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland
November 29, 2011
November 30, 2011
December 1, 2011
February 29, 2012
March 1, 2012

Chicago, Illinois
December 13, 2011
December 14, 2011
January 4, 2012
January 5, 2012
January 6, 2012
February 14, 2012
February 15, 2012
February 16, 2012

Cleveland, Ohio
February 7, 2012
February 8, 2012
February 9, 2012

Dallas, Texas

December 8, 2011
December 9, 2011
February 13, 2012
February 14, 2012

Denver, Colorado
February 11, 2012
February 12, 2012

Houston, Texas
December 5, 2011
December 6, 2011
February 23, 2012
February 24, 2012

Los Angeles, California
December 6, 2011
December 7, 2011
December 8, 2011
December 13, 2011
December 14, 2011
December 15, 2011
January 31, 2011
February 1, 2012
February 2, 2012
February 3, 2012
February 21, 2012
February 22, 2012
February 23, 2012
February 24, 2012

Memphis, Tennessee
February 25, 2012
February 26, 2012

Miami, Florida
February 27, 2012
February 28, 2012

Grammy-Winning Songwriter Richard Marx Releases New Holiday EP

Richard Marx the Christmas EP coverNow Marx is resurrecting his solo career with the release of The Christmas EP, a five song set of holiday classics like “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” and “Alleluia,” plus a new track, “Christmas Spirit,” which can already be heard in Hallmark’s 2011 Holiday promo spots.  This will lead up to the February 7th wide release of Stories To Tell, his new deluxe album featuring acoustic versions and original recordings of his greatest hits.  Stories To Tell also includes a live DVD, recorded at the legendary Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London.

For more information on Richard and his amazing career, visit RichardMarx.com. The Christmas EP is available via his website and through all digital retailers, with physical copies available via Amazon’s Disc on Demand program.

Official Sites:

Over The Rhine at Le Poisson Rouge

On a cool, crisp evening in New York, the fans of Over the Rhine descended into the cellar of Le Poisson Rouge.  The real life couple of Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler rose to the stage starting off with “Born” off their 2005 Drunkard’s Prayer album.  The crowd was in for a treat as Karin thanked the masses for coming to their holiday tour.  Getting down to the holiday spirit, Karin crooned “All I Ever Get For Christmas in Blue” with her signature pipes.  Before continuing the festive caroling with “White Horse”, Linford asked his wife if it was true that she once put a plastic horse under the Christmas tree in the hopes it would be a real horse Christmas morning.  Karin admitted she did and that her mother was relieved when there was no Christmas morning miracle.

Then the evening really heated up when the cable to the kick drum shocked the drummer as they started into “I’m On A Roll”.  They dug deep into their 20 years of songwritng to fulfill a request by singing “Suitcase” from their double album Ohio. Though they did treated fans to oldies but goodies, they played a majority from their latest album The Long Surrender, including “The King Knows How”, “Undamned”, “All My Favorite People” and “Rave On”. The pair also debuted a new song “Sacred Ground” and a new as-yet-named holiday tune. Of course they dusted the set with Christmas songs from their previous holiday recording Snow Angels. The true Christmas gift was their Hank Williams cover of “Still in Love With You” with the accompaniment of openers, The Milk Carton Kids.

All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue
White Horse
I’m on a Roll
The King Knows How
Sacred Ground (new song)
New Christmas song
Snow Angel
Pull Through
North Pole Man
All My Favorite People

Rave On
Drunkard’s Prayer
Still In Love With You (Hank Williams cover)

An Evening with Corey Taylor

Corey Taylor
An Evening with Corey Taylor
The Rave – Milwaukee, WI

An Evening with Corey Taylor Milwaukee

I’ve kept every ticket stub for every show I’ve ever attended since my first show at age 11.  Over the course of 14 years I’ve attended 48 concerts and 14 festivals.  Never, ever have I attended a show quite like the Corey Taylor acoustic tour aptly titled “A Evening with Corey Taylor”.

Corey is known for his deep lyrics, his soul bearing voice and his appreciation for honesty, whether those he’s being honest about appreciate it or not.  Recently he authored “Seven Deadly Sins” and has taken his book tour on the road, along with his acoustic guitar, his hilarious stories and a promise to his fans of “I won’t lie to you while I’m up here.”

Corey opened his set Wednesday night with a common topic while in Wisconsin, the cold.  And of course, getting old, and how differently the cold affects you when you’re old, and a man.  Stating that ‘they’ should “Give you a book when you’re like six about all these changes that are going to happen” like the dropping of the boys.

He went on to talk about the holidays and his friends attending Thanksgiving at his house several years ago when he proudly cooked his first turkey.  Corey worked the crowd into fits of laughter as he talked about each of his friends and expressed his frustrations as they continued to complain about their families until he lost his cool on them, prompting more laughter from fans as he acted out the evening.  On a more serious note he ended the topic with the statement that, “You may not love the family you’re with, but you’ll die for the family you find over the years.”  Personally, I’m all for Corey going on the road and doing just stand up, this man could give Dennis Leary a run for his money.

The show moved into a reading from Corey’s book.  At this point in the tour he had worked through the whole book and decided to read the ending to the crowd.  He shared with fans that the original idea of an audio book had been thrown out by the publishers.  When Corey shared this with fans at the time that he was writing the book, there was such an overwhelming response and amount of calls demanding the audio version be made that publishers brought it back on the table and confirmed the audio version would be made and read by Corey himself.  He thanked the fans for making it happen but expressed that he “Had no clue how boring THAT would be.”  The room was pin quiet while Corey read except for well placed applause to key moments or funny quips exciting more laughter from fans.

When the book closed the lights came up, with plenty of prompting, and Corey opened the floor for a little Q&A.  After explaining several times to fans the difference between a question, which he would answer, and a request, which he could not fulfill, the questions started flowing.  This is something that not a lot of fans have the opportunity to do, so I hope each and every person at each stop of this tour can truly appreciate the gift they are being given.

After a short potty break “Because in my old age my itty bitty bladder can’t hold as much”, Corey came back on stage, the lights went back down and he broke into song.  Opening with acoustic versions of “Snuff”, “Through the Glass”, “Vermillion part 2”, and a very funny remade version of “Spit It Out” Corey worked the crowd, still joking between songs and throwing out dedications to Slipknot’s late bassist and great friend Paul Gray whom Corey says he knows “Is still with me every time I get on stage.”

Overall this show was funny, with its dedications and in depth discussion of Paul Gray it was heartfelt and a little sappy, and in every way, was one of the best shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending.  If you’ve missed this show, I recommend you check out the dates and swing by a show if it comes near you again, this is once in a life time and a must not miss for any fan of Corey Taylor, Slipknot or Stone Sour alike.

A few interesting question and answers that were enjoyed by all whether getting a good laugh or nearly breaking tears:

Q: Do you (Slipknot) really sniff a dead Crow before every show?

Yup, this was confirmed, so the next time someone says it’s a rumor, you can say you heard it here.  Corey Taylor has confirmed that before each Des Moines show in their early days they would huddle and each sniff a dead Crow in a jar provided by Clown.  However, Corey has specified that it was only at the Safari shows in Des Moines and never on the road.  An interesting tidbit; The Crow is now a permanent stage piece at Safari having been cemented into the newest stage built in the club.

Q: What’s your guilty pleasure in terms of music?

The answer; Everything.  Corey informed the crowd that they need to listen to the preshow music at their shows, because it’s coming from his iPod.  So, what do I remember hearing while waiting?  ‘Ghostbusters’

Q: Who in the music business would you punch in the face if you could and why?

After a little thought Corey answered with Cher.  The why; “That’s where it all started.  All that auto tune bullshit.”

Q: What is your hand gesture from?

Corey launched into an explanation about watching Kung Fu theatre from the 80’s and decided to use the hand gesture that the Kung Fu Masters use when dismissing a student.  He states that he was stunned when people started doing it back to him.  He went on to say that he wonders how many people actually know what it means.

Q: When will another CD come out?

Corey has confirmed that Stone Sour is working on a new demo.  He says that it’s “Much darker than ‘Audio Synchrony’.  It’s like ‘The Wall’ meets ‘Dirt’ on steroids.”  As a side note Corey confirmed that Slipknot will also be on tour next summer.

Favorite quotes of the evening not already mentioned:

“It’s not a Stone Sour song asshole, cuz I wrote it for Slipknot!”

“Watching him (Slash) play is like watching someone who isn’t even trying but it’s still fucking great.”  Also on Slash “We’re on stage and I can’t even look at him, I’m standing there trying not to go fan boy.”

“That’s the Wisconsin I want to be inside!…Sorry, I just went somewhere way wrong.”

 Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos of Corey:



Eleanor Friedberger whites out Le Poisson Rouge

On a crisp evening in New York City, Eleanor Friedberger, one half of the brother sister duo The Fiery Furnaces, graced the stage of Le Poisson Rouge, performing selections from her debut solo album, Last Summer, as well as new material. Eleanor opened with the first single “My Mistakes”, donning a full white suit and matching white Keds.  Who said you can’t wear white after Labor Day?

Eleanor peppered her show with new material “a song about falling in love”, “Stare at the Sun”  and the rocking “That Was When I Knew” for the encore.  Her lyrics present sharp narratives with decisive repetition.  It’s especially noticeable live when she chimes “Wrong, wrong, wrong” in the later newbie and even in “Inn of the Seventh Ray” where a broken promise rings over and over in her memories.  She even counted out 2-0-1-0 for “Glitter Gold Year”.

Behind her mint green electric guitar and manicured bangs a la Patti Smith, she was completely comfortable on stage, except a moment before kicking into “Roosevelt Island”. Eleanor had to hold up saying she was tipsy and blamed it on the suit.  Fashion is painful.  She took a mini breather and a sip of her Corona.  All good!

Eleanor was happy to play an early show because she was due to attend a wedding post-concert.  Maybe an explanation for the all white ensemble?  Drawing from her recent album she performed “Scenes from Bensonhurst”, “Early Earthquake” and ended the set with “I Won’t Fall Apart on You”.  The fans at the lip of the stage bopped “on and on and on” to the conclusive song.  Post show, Eleanor got behind the merch table.  Let’s hope she made it in time to that wedding or her white hotness would have been missed for the matrimonial bliss.

Over the Rhine brings The Long Surrender

Over the Rhine
The Long Surrender
Now available
Great Speckled Dog

The wife-and-husband duo of Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler known as Over the Rhine return with their twelfth studio album. The couple have been making music for over two decades and for their latest, The Long Surrender, it was for the fans. No literally. The album was fan funded and released on the couple’s label Great Speckled Dog (named after their own beloved Great Dane, Elroy).

With the new album, OtR team up with Grammy winning producer Joe Henry to craft a stellar treasure trove of songs.  Karin explains that the album title “speaks to our ongoing desire to let go of certain expectations (and much of what we are so convinced we know for sure) in favor of remaining open and curious. It seems like many of our friends are currently wrestling with various forms of ‘letting go,’ so hopefully, the ideas conjured by the title feel somewhat universal. And I think the title speaks to the arc of a lifelong commitment to writing and performing regardless of recognition. Learning when to work hard and when to let go. Learning to leave room for grace to billow our sails occasionally. Learning not to white-knuckle everything.”

With that mantra, Lucinda Williams lends her vocals for “Undamned”, which pairs nicely with Karin’s vocals as they melt nicely into Lucinda rasps. “Infamous Love Songs” is classic OtR, as Karin enunciates each lyric with aching desire. A slight lyric low point would be the reference to “fuzzy whuzzies” on “Only God Can Save Us Now”, but that’s redeemed by the slow waltzy ballad “Days Like These” with lyrics that any top 40 pop artist would kill to cover.  “Oh By The Way” showcases the heart of OtR at its best when Linford and Karin sing together.  “All My Favorite People” has Randy Newman-esque keys anchored by Karin’s pitch perfect vocals that trickle in the memories of the gang from Toy Story.  Another solid release from the pair from Ohio.

Track list
The Laugh Of Recognition
Sharpest Blade
Rave On
Infamous Love Song
Only God Can Save Us Now
Oh Yeah By The Way
The King Knows How
There’s A Bluebird In My Heart
Days Like This
All My Favorite People

Tour dates
11.5 – Louisville, KY / Bomhard Theater
11.13 – Los Angels, CA / El Rey Theater
11.15 – San Francisco, CA / Great American Music Hall
11.17 – Portland, OR / Aladdin Theater
11.18-20 – Seattle, WA / The Triple Door12.2 – Boston, MA / Berklee Performance Center
12.3 – New York, NY / Le Poisson Rouge
12.4 – Alexandria, VA / Birchmere
12.5 – Philadelphia, PA / World Cafe Live Downstairs
12.7 – Columbus, OH / Lincoln Theatre
12.8 – Kent, OH / Kent Stage
12.9 – Grand Rapids, MI / Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center

Feist goes full “Metals”…kinda

Available now

It’s been four years since the ubiquitous “1234” graced the iPod nano commercial and skyrocketed Leslie Feist to a guest spot on Sesame Street.  She spent the time off jamming with old friends Broken Social Scene and retreating to a cabin in Big Sur to write her latest album, Metals.

Feist is back with a more percussion heavy effort, as opening track “The Bad in Each Other” thunders into a gush of tenor thumps and snare whips.  “The Commotion” causes quite the bombastic hiccups of choral crescendos, while “Undiscovered First” jiggle jangles and rattles through horns.  Feist doesn’t diverge too much from her sound, in fact “Caught A Long Wind” brings memories of “The Water” from The Reminder, with its stark piano and her vocals on full display.  The first single, “How Come You Never Go There” struts in with a bittersweet ditty of heartbreak.

The setting of where she recorded can be heard in her references to “horizon lines” on “The Circle Married The Line” and song titles like “Cicadas and Gulls”.  Other choice tracks include “Bittersweet Melodies” and “Get It Wrong, Get It Right”, which will not disappoint Feist fans (or as some would call the brunchwave).   You can listen to the whole album below to make your verdict.  Brunchers unite!

Track list
The Bad In Each Other
Caught A Long Wind
How Come You Never Go There
A Commotion
The Circle Married The Line
Bittersweet Melodies
Anti Pioneer
Undiscovered First
Cicadas And Gulls
Woe Be
Comfort Me
Get It Wrong, Get It Right

Tour dates
11.06 – Atlanta, GA  / Tabernacle
11.08 – Dallas, TX / Majestic Theatre
11.12 Los Angels, CA / Wiltern Theatre
11.14 San Francisco, CA / Warfield Theatre
11.16 Portland, OR / Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
11.17 Seattle, WA / Moore Theatre

Cass McCombs returns with his second album of 2011

Cass McCombs
Humor Risk
Release Date: November 8, 2011

The prolific Cass McCombs doles out his second album in 2011.  The first was Wit’s End, which contained charmer “County Line” as well as other moody waltzes.  With Humor Risk, Cass rocks it out a bit more.

The opening track “Love Thine Enemy” trembles in with an incessant bass line, and Cass even breaks out the electric guitar for “Mystery Mail”.  At the heart of Humor Risk is poetic lyrics set against melancholy cadences.  On “To Everyman His Chimera”, Cass spits  “California makes me sick. Like trying with a rattle snake.”  OUCH!

Classic Cass for fans.  A little country.  All little rock.  All heart.

Track list
Love Thine Enemy
The Living Word
The Same Thing
To Every Man His Chimera
Robin Egg Blue
Mystery Mail
Meet Me At The Mannequin Gallery

Tour dates
11.30 – Los Angeles, CA / The Echo

12.1 – San Diego, CA / Casbah
12.4 – San Francisco, CA / Great American Music Hall
12.6 – Vancouver, British Columbia / Electric Owl
12.7 – Seattle, WA / Tractor Tavern
12.8 – Portland, OR / Doug Fir
12.9 – Eugene, OR / Cozmic

Music Video: Emily Hurd’s “Long Lost Ghosts”

Emily Hurd is returning with her 8th studio album Long Lost Ghosts.  The music video was directed by Tony Bartman. Emily is an indie singer/songwriter from Chicago who’s last album Daytime Fireflies knocked our socks off!

Emily also does a really cool thing for fans every Christmas season where she puts together something special for fans that’s only available at Christmas time.  Keep an eye out at emilyhurd.com for more details!

Music Video: Lucy Rose and the Bombay Bicycle Club “Video Games”

Lucy Rose and The Bombay Bicycle Club joined forces to cover Lana Del Ray’s “Video Games” for BBC Radio 1.  Lucy Rose is currently on tour with Bombay Bicycle Club and providing vocals for the band.

Need to hear some of her music? Lucy recently released her newest single  “Middle Of The Bed” in the US along with a remix by Jack Steadman (singer of Bombay Bicycle Club). Check “Middle of The Bed” below:

Lucy Rose - Middle Of The Bed by Lucy Rose

Lucy on Facebook

In Photos: Ani Difranco at The Voodoo Experience

Ani Difranco
The Voodoo Experience
New Orleans

Ani Difranco Voodoo Experience New Orleans

Ani Difranco helped kick off the 2011 Voodoo Experience down in New Orleans. Check out our recap of Day One of the Voodoo Experience, The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly! The wrap-up includes photos from Soundgarden’s set as well as links to Fitz and the Tantrums and My Chemical Romance.

Click on the thumbnails of Ani Difranco to enlarge the photos:

For more reviews and concert photos check out The First 3 Songs!

Lucinda Williams On Tour and Hits Durty Nellies

Where: Durty Nellies in Palatine, IL
When: Tuesday, Novemnber 8, 2011 @8PM
Tickets: $30/$35.00/$40.00 Purchase HERE!
Opener: Blake Mills
Doors: 7:00 PM
Show: 8:00 PM

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams, will perform in Palatine, IL on November 8 at Durty Nellies in support of her latest album, Blessed.

Blessed, the stunning new album from three-time Grammy Award-winner Lucinda Williams released on March 1st by Lost Highway. The Los Angeles Times gave Blessed a 4-STAR review, and added, “…one of the best albums she’s ever released… a dynamic, human album, one that’s easy to fall in love with. Highly recommended.” The New York Times said the Blessed is “…one of her best.”

Lucinda Williams Official Web Site
Lucinda Williams on Facebook

More Tour Dates for Lucinda Williams:

10/19/2011 – St. Petersburg, FL
Jannus Landing Purchase Tickets
10/20/2011 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The Parker Playhouse Purchase Tickets
10/21/2011 – Live Oak, FL
Suwannee Music Park Purchase Tickets
10/22/2011 – Chattanooga, TN
10/24/2011 – Athens, GA
Georgia Theatre Purchase Tickets
10/25/2011 – Roanoke, VA
Jefferson Center Purchase Tickets
10/26/2011 – Baltimore, MD
Ram’s Head Purchase Tickets
10/28/2011 – Allentown, PA
Allentown Symphony Hall Purchase Tickets
10/29/2011 – Glenside, PA
Keswick Theatre Purchase Tickets
10/30/2011 – Westhampton Beach, NY
Westhampton Beach PAC Purchase Tickets
11/01/2011 – Ridgefield, CT
Ridgefield Playhouse Purchase Tickets
11/02/2011 – Burlington, VT
The Flynn Theatre Purchase Tickets
11/04/2011 – Concord, NH
Capitol Center for the Arts Purchase Tickets
11/05/2011 – Lebanon, NH
Lebanon Opera House Purchase Tickets
11/06/2011 – Buffalo, NY
Town Ballroom Purchase Tickets
11/11/2011 – Lawrence, KS
Liberty Hall Purchase Tickets
11/12/2011 – Denver, CO
The Paramount Theatre Purchase Tickets
11/13/2011 – Grand Junction, CO
The Avalon Theater Purchase Tickets
11/15/2011 – Sacramento, CA
The Crest Theater Purchase Tickets
11/16/2011 – Eugene, OR
MacDonald Theater Purchase Tickets
11/17/2011 – Portland, OR
The Crystal Ballroom Purchase Tickets
11/19/2011 – San Francisco, CA
The Fillmore Purchase Tickets
11/20/2011 – San Francisco, CA
The Fillmore Purchase Tickets
01/27/2012 – Los Angeles, CA
UCLA Royce Hall Purchase Tickets

The Way Sound Leaves a Room

Sarah Jaffe
The Way Sound Leaves a Room
Kirtland Records

sarah jaffee the way sound leaves a room cover Sarah Jaffe’s The Way Sound Leaves a Room features some heartfelt singing and some strong songwriting, but it just isn’t consistent enough to be a compelling choice when seeking music to work with or just chill out with. Her sense of irony seems to almost weigh down her energy and the sense of play that resulted in songs like “A Sucker for Your Marketing.”

In fairness – after the fifth or sixth listen – it did kind of grow on me. It may have been familiarity – it may have been the uniqueness of Jaffe’s voice. It may have been the slightly less than traditional arrangements (“All the Time”). The trouble with that is most people aren’t patient and want to fall in love with their music before they are distracted by the next new thing.

“Clementine” – a lovely piano ballad – is worth the time. This song will surely put Jaffe on the musical map. No longer encumbered by the necessity to buy an album – this is one download that will surely define Jaffe and help her to develop the following she deserves

While she shows some serious musical intelligence (and diversity) on this release – some different sounds and different arrangement paradigms, she rests carefully – almost gingerly – in world of country-tinged indie-folk music. Even in the most sparsely populated songs – she finds a way to fill the sound with textures and colors.

“Louder Than Ever” is the rare song that reflects itself with uncanny precision. The mood set by the instrumentation reflects the whispy vocals which support the ethereal lyrics. The song seems the perfect opportunity for Jaffe to break into the mainstream – which tends to be afraid of anything new or valuable.

If you have the time to fall in love with some sweet music – give “The Way Sound Leaves a Room” a chance. If you need instant gratification – Bruno Mars will surely have something more to your liking out any day now.

Stand Out Tracks
“Louder Than Ever”
“Shut It Down”

Peter Gabriel + Orchestra + Greatest Hits = NEW BLOOD out 10/11


“New Blood – Live in London” Concert DVD Out October 25th

Peter Gabriel

“The orchestra provides different dimensions to the music that weren’t there initially. Rock artists work slowly in studios, building up layer by layer, and one of the great, powerful advantages of an orchestra is all these musicians playing at one moment with all sorts of colors and personalities.” – PETER GABRIEL

On the heels of a limited sold-out US summer tour that earned Peter Gabriel some of the best reviews of his career, he will release a full-length CD NEW BLOOD on October 11, 2011 distributed by EMI. A continuum to his recent Scratch My Back release, the NEW BLOOD album will feature some of Gabriel’s biggest hits from his prodigious career, reconstructed and re-imagined with orchestral arrangements and recorded live with the New Blood Orchestra. Gabriel hand-selected the songs and enlisted the help of longtime collaborator John Metcalfe for the arrangements and Ben Foster as conductor of the 46-piece New Blood Orchestra.

This treatment is applied with painstaking attention to detail and stunning effect to songs including “Mercy Street”, “Don’t Give Up”, “Digging In The Dirt”, “San Jacinto”, and the all-time classic “Solsbury Hill”. The intention was not to simply rework Gabriel’s biggest songs, but rather, find songs that were enhanced by the massed strings, brass, woodwind and percussion. “Don’t Give Up” – now with Norwegian singer Ane Brun’s vulnerable, cracking vocals replacing those of Kate Bush – rides a stirring, uplifting coda. Where the twinkle of “San Jacinto” was originally supplied by loops from a Fairlight sampler, piano and bows now provide the otherworldly magic. But probably the most extraordinary reinterpretation is that of “Rhythm Of The Heat” where Metcalf has recast the original’s extended African drum jam into a dizzying, swirling orchestral maelstrom.

NEW BLOOD will be available as a standard single-disc and digital download. A special 2-CD version will include the standard album plus an added disc of instrument versions. There will additionally be a heavyweight vinyl version available November 8th that is released with a bonus 7″ featuring “A Quiet Moment” and “Solsbury Hill”). The filmed concert “New Blood – Live in London”, recorded October 23rd, 2010 at the Hammersmith Apollo will be available in 3D, blu-ray and standard DVD on October 25th.

Pre-order your own copy of NEW BLOOD now:
iTunes http://goo.gl/N4Vyc
Amazon http://goo.gl/1kope
Womad http://goo.gl/TSQZq


1. Rhythm of the Heat
2. Downside Up (Featuring Melanie Gabriel)
3. San Jacinto
4. Intruder
5. Wallflower
6. In Your Eyes
7. Mercy Street
8. Red Rain
9. Darkness
10. Don’t Give Up (Featuring Ane Brun)
11. Digging in the Dirt
12. The Nest that Sailed the Sky
13. A Quiet Moment
14. Solsbury Hill(Bonus Track)

Special 2 CD Edition
1. The Rhythm of the Heat (instrumental)
2. Downside Up (instrumental)
3. San Jacinto (instrumental)
4. Intruder (instrumental)
5. Wallflower (instrumental)
6. In Your Eyes (instrumental)
7. Mercy Street (instrumental)
8. Red Rain (instrumental)
9. Darkness (instrumental)
10. Don’t Give Up (instrumental)
11. Digging In The Dirt (instrumental)
12. The Nest That Sailed The Sky (instrumental)
13. Blood of Eden (studio track)

Fruit Bats and Vetiver buddy up at Bowery Ballroom

Subpop labelmates Fruits Bats and Vetiver graced the stage of the Bowery Ballroom for a good ol’ jam session.  Vetiver covered most of their latest release The Errant Charm, much like their set a few months back at Mercury Lounge.  Andy Cabic and crew strummed through the delightfully summery “Everyday” from their last album Tight Knit.  The greatest treat of the set was when Eric Johnson of Fruit Bats joined Vetiver on a cover of Bobby Charles’s “I Must Be In A Good Place Now”.   You knew it was a special night as Andy had previously told Yours Truly, “It’s always great to play this song live in places that you had a great day cause then it just ties them all together.”

The good vibes continued as Fruit Bats took the stage to a rousing welcome, as they open up with “Heart Like An Orange” for their latest Tripper.  Eric relinquished his guitar to croon “Darling you better leave ” as hand claps ensued.  After the experience, Eric quipped that it was the first song singing like Bono sans guitar and comparing his performance to a few David’s – Bowie, Byrne and Matthews.  Band played the first few chords of “Crash Into Me” for laughs.  Though most of the set was peppered with tracks from Tripper, old fans were delighted to hear “Lives Of Crime” as they sang along and bopped about.

The encore was full of love to openers Citay and “super tight bros” Vetiver.  Eric and company jingle jangled into “Primitive Man” from their previous album The Ruminant Band.  Then the dance floor erupted as the kick drum thudded to open “When U Love Someone”.  To top the night, Eric’s falsetto on “You’re Too Weird” left him striped of guitar and hat. It was a easy breezy night of west coast singer songwriter goodness.

Sting: 25 Years

sting 25 years boxsetIt’s really been more than 25 years of Sting, but this is just counting his solo career days.  To celebrate Live Nation is taking Sting out on a stripped down tour across North America. For those die-hard Sting fans when I say ‘stripped down’ I mean musically and not physically, sorry! Sting will be accompanied by a five piece band in more intimate venues. The tour kicks off October 21 in Boston and wraps up in Vancouver on December 8th. The tour ties into the release of the boxset Sting: 25 Years that will be released on September 27th.

Tickets go on sale beginning September 19th at Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com. Members of the Sting fan club will also able to purchase tickets in advance with complete tour and ticket information at www.sting.com.VIP Packages are available through VIP Nation, including premium exclusive seats, merchandise and more. For more information please visit:


October 21 Boston, MA The Wang Theatre at the
On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am
Citi Performing Arts Center

October 26 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theater
On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am

October 29 Washington, DC Constitution Hall
On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am

November 1 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am

November 5 Chicago, IL Rosemont Theatre
On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am

November 6 Detroit, MI Fox Theatre
On sale Sep. 26 @ 10 am

November 12 Miami, FL The Fillmore Miami
Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am

November 16 Dallas, TX Verizon Theatre
On sale Sep. 26 @ 10 am

November 17 Houston, TX Verizon Wireless
Theater On sale Sep. 26 @ 10 am

November 20 Denver, CO Wells Fargo Theatre
On sale Sep. 26 @ 10 am

November 22 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
On sale Sep. 26 @ 10 am

November 28 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am

December 2 San Francisco, CA Nob Hill Masonic Center
On sale Sep. 26 @ 10 am

December 5 Seattle, WA The Paramount
Theatre On sale Sep. 26 @ 10 am

December 8 Vancouver, BC Queen Elizabeth
Theatre On sale Sep. 19 @ 10 am

Itinerary subject to change. Additional cities and venues to be confirmed.

Sarah Jaffe to Release “The Way Sound Leaves A Room”

The CD/DVD Collection is out September 27th

Sarah Jaffe, who broke out in 2010 with her critically acclaimed debut Suburban Nature, has grown, tinkered, and experimented to create The Way Sound Leaves a Room.  The CD is a collection of demos, covers, and an acoustic version of “Clementine” (the single from her debut album) and is being released with a DVD that captures a stunning live performance and behind the scenes footage from her sold out Wyly Theatre show at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District.

The Way Sound Leaves A Room is out September 27th on Kirtland Records and is meant to bridge the gap between her debut album and her second full-length studio release which Sarah is currently working on for an early 2012 release.  Fans and critics alike can get a glimpse of Sarah’s evolution in sound by listening to her home demos: “Better Than Nothing Outro,” “The Way Sound Leaves A Room,” “When You Rest,” “A Sucker for Your Marketing” and “All That Time.”  She further showcases her exploration with sound through her cover of the Cold War Kids “Louder then Ever” as well as Drake & The Dream’s “Shut It Down.”

The Way Sound Leaves a Room is a snapshot of where she is at right now, with more to come on her second full length release.  Please contact us for a digital or physical copy of the new CD/DVD.  Also catch her at CMJ 2011, details to be announced soon.

St. Vincent returns with the beautiful Strange Mercy

St. Vincent
Strange Mercy
Release Date: September 13, 2011
4AD / Beggars Group

Ms. Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) returns with a refreshing third album entitled Strange Mercy.  Annie’s indie rock darling status is not in jeopardy.  Far from it.  It almost feels like a return of sorts to the songwriter that wowed us with Marry Me. Rather than composing on a laptop for her first album, Annie concentrated on the lyrics and guitar.  Striped down with minimal embellishments, unlike the heavily orchestrated sophomore effort, Actor, Annie wanted to be straightforward.

“I wanted to make things direct and immediate,” Clark says.  “I didn’t tinker.  I tried to keep the arrangements pretty simple and use just enough instrumentation to get the point across.  I didn’t want anything to get in the way.”

On the opening track “Chloe in the Afternoon”, there are guitar riffs that tremble into a delicious cacophony arising from a swirl of high vocals.  The second single from the album, “Cruel“, brings back hints of Actor with a sprinkling of woodwinds and bounces to an infectious guitar melody.  On “Cheerleader”, Annie laments “I I I, I don’t wanna be a cheerleader no more / I’ve played dumb when I knew better / Tried too hard just to be clever. ”  Her songwriting on this album encompasses more singing than her past two albums.  It’s a treat to hear Annie’s vocals, though not to fear her prowess as a guitarist is fully intact.  Annie really lays it out there with “Northern Lights” as she shreds over pounding drums.  Annie’s vocals anchor the down tempo “Champagne Year” with lyrics,  like ” I make a living telling people what they want to hear”.  Her ethereal voice is spotlighted against sparse instrumentation.  “Dilettante” continues with sweet vocals juxtaposed against cranking guitars.

Annie is always evolving and Strange Mercy is only one of the many albums that will define an extraordinary musical career.  You can listen to the full album streaming currently at NPR.

Track list
Chloe in the Afternoon
Northern Lights
Strange Mercy
Neutered Fruit
Champagne Year
Hysterical Strength
Year of the Tiger

Tour dates
9.30 – New York, NY / New Yorker Festival

10.2 – Minneapolis, MN / McGuire Theatre
10.3 – Milwaukee, WI / Pabst Theatre
10.5 – Chicago, IL / The Metro
10.6 – St. Louis, MO / Old Rock House
10.7 – Lawrence, KS / Liberty Hall
10.8 – Boulder, CO / Boulder Theatre
10.10 – Salt Lake City, UT / Urban Lounge
10.12 – Vancouver, BC / Commodore Ballroom
10/13 –  Seattle, WA / Neptune Theatre
10/14 – Portland, OR / Crystal Ballroom
10/16 – San Francisco, CA / Treasure Island Festival
10/18 – Los Angeles / Music Box
10.20 – Phoenix, AZ / Crescent Ballroom
10.23 – Dallas, TX / Kessler Theatre
10.24 – Austin, TX / Moody Theatre @ ACL Live
10.25 – Houston, TX / Fitzgerald’s
10.26 – New Orleans, LA / Tipitina’s (Uptown)
10.28 – Atlanta, GA / The EARL
10.29 – Asheville, NC / Moogfest
10.30 – Charlottesville, VA / Jefferson Theatre

11.1 – Washington, DC / 9:30 Club
11.2 – Philadelphia, PA / Union Transfer
11.3 – New York, NY / Webster Hall
11/4 – Boston, MA / Royale

Natasha Bedingfield’s “Strip Me”

Natasha Bedingfield
Strip Me
Released: 12/7/2010
Label: Phonogenic/Epic Records

natasha bedingfield strip meSome say the summer is nearly over, I say it’s not over until I see snow. For me this summer was filled with lots of pop and rock releases but the ones that is still replaying, Natasha Bedingfield’s Strip Me.  It’s the third studio album for the London pop singer. Her sophomore album Pocket Full of Sunshine had two major hits, “Love Like This” with Sean Kingston and “Pocket Full of Sunshine”, which has sold over 3 million copies to date.

Strip Me was released December of 2010 off Phonogenic/Epic Records and the first single “Strip Me” was used in the Rachel McAdams and Diane Keaton’s Morning Glory. This past spring Natasha embarked on a U.S. Tour and made TV appearance like Bravo’s Platinum Hit as a guest judge with Jewel.

The album is really an uplifting one and sends a message to not hold on to the material things in your life and each person has a voice that no one can take away.  It’s songs like “Weightless” and “Neon Lights” that make the album pop and send those messages.  This is no surprise as Natasha brought Grammy award winners to produce and work on the album such as John Shanks (Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow), Ryan Tedder (One Republic, Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis), Wayne Wilkins (Beyonce, Jordin Sparks), John Hill (Shakira), Kleerup (Robyn, Cyndi Lauper), Danielle Brisebois (“Unwritten”).

Standout tracks:
Weightless (album and less is more version)
Neon Lights
No Mozart

Purchase links:

Lyle Lovett at Ravinia

Lyle Lovett
Ravinia – Highland Park, IL

In what has become a yearly tradition, Lyle Lovett made his 16th appearance at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park on Sunday August 21st. I have had the pleasure to attend this a few times now but have previously always been in the lawn area. The lawn at Ravinia is typically a wonderful place to see a show, you bring a picnic, chairs, beverages of your choosing and you sit out under the stars to hear some great music. This year we were seated in the pavilion area and the difference in the experience is just staggering. In the smaller, more intimate setting you can really experience all that is part of a Lyle Lovett show, much more than just the music streaming through the speakers.

It may sound a cliché but a Lyle Lovett show really is an experience like no other. From the 14 piece Large Band who backs him, the impeccable production and sound, outstanding musicianship from all involved, and in the right setting, an audience who sits mesmerized by every word and every note. With hundreds of concerts in my past, a Lyle Lovett show is always much anticipated and fondly remembered.

Volumes have been written about Lyle Lovett and his genre hopping abilities and in a live setting that comfort with multiple styles is evident. A jazzy instrumental opening moves in to the classic standard “Stand By Your Man” followed by a downright dirty guitar duel to open “It’s Rock & Roll”, a song he penned with friend Robert Earl Keen. The evening continues with musicians and backup singers assembled in various configurations – a sparse group for the haunting “She’s Already Made Up Her Mind” and “North Dakota”, mandolin and fiddle for a bluegrass break, and the whole Large Band at other times.

One has to discuss the Large Band when talking about a show like this. There is a tremendous amount of talent up there on that stage including drummer Russ Kunkel and bassist Leland Sklar who between the two of them i think have played on just about everything. Singer Francine Reed is always a show stopper with her “Wild Women (Don’t Get The Blues)” and the rest of the crew does an outstanding job as well. Each is given many opportunities to be featured and it really is a band effort – Lyle obviously enjoys playing with these folks and it’s obvious that there is a tremendous amount of respect among all the musicians for each other. The arrangements are impeccable even with the whole band on stage and while it’s obvious that the songs are well rehearsed, there are also flourishes of improvisation as well.

Mixed in between the songs Lyle was also a wonderful host for the evening. Stories about the songs were interspersed and his humor shines through. Banter with the audience and the band was a big part of the show. A song dedication to a mother whose son had just left for Afghanistan was poignant and one of the more moving moments of the evening.

While there is always a little bit of variation, Lyle’s setlist doesn’t seem to change too much from year to year. That’s ok with me though, It’s sort of like watching a great movie you’ve seen before but you just can’t help but watch again if you have the chance. With each listen I just learn to appreciate them more. There is also a comfort in hearing these songs, they are old friends and once a year you get to spend a few minutes with them and be reminded why you love them so much.

As the show ended and the lights came up, the crowd buzzes as they discuss the highlights. My wife and I share our thoughts and we hear others do the same. As we walk back to the car, our faces hurt from smiling, our souls renewed from the music, we remember why we make the long journey to see this show – and vow to do it again next year.