Monday, December 27, 2010

Ruth on Craig

Some time a few nights ago, I spent my late hours with one of my favorite men, Craig Ferguson, hehe. I love his bunny puppet, too. I'm easily amused. Anywho, his musical guest, Ruth Gerson, was absolutely amazing. Stopped me in my tracks! She has to be one of the best vocalists I've ever heard. She has the look of Sheryl Crow and Tori Amos. But she is vocally much stronger and more mellow with her heart tugging lyrics about life that anyone who's "living" can relate to. Her music is alternative, pop rock, indie, jazz...I think that's about it. And then I looked her up. This Princeton grad made her first CD back in 1997. She was once listed as the second best vocalists in the Italian magazine, Buscadero. Ruth has been working on music since she graduated from Princeton and has also taught there. Why is someone like this not more famous...than Justin Bieber for goodness sakes!? Oy. This should be on iTunes. Ruth is now based in California. Her latest CD, "This Can't Be My Life," came out on July 20th, 2010. Check her out here!

Buon Natale!

Well, I see that my last entry was from...the last holiday! Hahaha...ahem. =)
Anywho, hope EVERYONE'S holiday season was full of fun, food, love and joy!!
After Thanksgiving, I made my way towards Italia! I can't wait to go back!! Firenze (Florence, but it sounds so much cooler in Italiano)was my favorite. Please go visit this Tuscan city when you get a chance. It's so beautiful and relaxing.

While in Rome, my campagni and I had to take the subway to get to our destinations. In every station, the radio/music was playing to keep commuters company. I'm pretty sure it was some sort of station like Z100 because I heard Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Eminem, etc! I don't know why there wasn't any Italian pop. Just curious. Well, here's some of my pictures =) Be back soon!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! As much as I am thankful for all the food that my family and I are going to stuff ourselves with today, I am even more thankful for everything good and bad in my life that has made me who I am. I am always excited to see what awaits me around the bend. I hope that you feel the same about yours. Because life is a WILD ride. This is for y'all!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CMJ @ Bowery Ballroom, on a lovely Wed night

8:30 PM at the Bowery Ballroom. I was aching for my pillow. Way. Too. Sleepy. It was my fault for not sleeping earlier the night before. Hey, laundry day/night is very important. Don't come to me whining when you are down to your last unmentionables. Wednesday is also quite possibly the first time that I've sat at a bar and refused to get any alcohol. EVER. I was that tired. Crazy things have been happening in my life lately. So I guess I shouldn't be too shocked by this. That's what life is. A whole shocking shock of shocks!!

8:36 PM I had the darnedest idea who or what was playing. Good thing I took a picture! A few months ago, I signed up to volunteer for the annual CMJ (College Music Journal) Music Festival. The Festival is a convention for new, indie labeled, unsigned, signed bands to showcase themselves on the stages around NYC. Every night there's about 3/4 groups performing at all the venues listed for the CMJ festival. So you'll get a load of exposure for the $15-$20 you'll have to pay at the door. Or a whopping $250+ for the CMJ pass for the whole week! Yeah. I've been going to one/two shows the last few years. I've always had a great experience. But this year I volunteered instead XD

So, I was lucky to get assigned to Bowery Ballroom because I knew that you can hear the music at the entrance/bar area where I'd be working, anyways. But goodness. Lack of sleep, heavy music and a bar DO NOT MIX WELL. Remember that, kiddos.

Bad Books was the "show" of the night. Everyone who came in was making sure they were there for them. I even saw one of the band member's whole family come. Now that's sweet. Why Bad Books? I can't really explain the name. But it's memorable enough. I was excited to hear them, in part because the band before them were...interesting. Right Away, Great Captain! O.o I was anxious for them to be over. It was just a mess of music. Then I realized it's because their music is very tender and slow. Like Jack Johnson. And it was putting me to sleep. It seems more meant for a coffee bar/lounge place rather than the Ballroom. No hate. Just wasn't the right atmosphere. But I really like their song, "Love Come Save Me." I wish they'd do something with that name. "Oh, what's your band's name?" "Well, it's 'Right Away, Gre-'" "ZZzzzZZ."

RAGH is headed by the lead singer of Manchester Orchestra, Andy Hull. Their first album, "The Bitter End" was released in 2007. Latest, "The Big Bad Devil and Great Good God," was released this year.

Andy Hull is ALSO one of the lead singers of "Bad Books"! Two gigs, one night. Nice. The band is also lead by Kevin Devine, who is also a member of the Manchester Orchestra. I see them as an indie version of Snow Patrol(song - Chasing Cars). And definitely more mellow. I didn't think that it was possible to be more mellow than Snow Patrol. Bad Books only formed at the beginning of this year, and are getting a lot of buzz already. The band released their first and self-titled album on October 19, 2010. You can get their singles for free from their Facebook page. I ended the night with some pretzels and a cab ride home. Woo!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Introducing the Sultry Jane Lui

So, I was browsing on Yelp this past weekend and came across the events page. Then, I saw FREE CONCERT. I like free stuff =D

I looked up Jane Lui's site and it was sooo quaint and cute! Kind of like florals. Jane was born in Hong Kong but raised in sunny California. You can tell by her personality that she's from the West Coast. Very sunny. There's also Youtube clips of her singing covers and her own songs. Anyone who sings a rendition of Ducktales is awesome in my book! I'd compare her voice and style to Sara Bareilles, but more adventurous and sexy. If you have a chance, download her latest CD, Goodnight Company, for FREE at The physical disc will be available in January. I don't get how that works. But, hey! It's all good.

The free concert was at the right time and place for me to go, too. After a hard day of Monday's work, I ventured down to Rockwood Music Hall in LES. When I walked in, the hostess told me that they were sold out of tickets. "But Jane Lui's site said there was no cover." Hostess says, " Well, maybe it's free to stand by." Um, ok. "There's a free performance in our lounge next door. You can wait there and come back later to see if anyone dropped out." So I go next door to this great looking (but teeny) lounge. And I see Jane Lui getting ready on stage! Apparently the hostess was manning the door for Karen Elson. I mean, how silly of me to not spell out Jane Lui's name for her. Because obviously Karen Elson and Jane Lui sound so much alike.

Anyways, Jane played some of her old and new songs. She has a very strong, deep and sultry voice. Those Youtube clips does her no justice. You HAVE to see her LIVE! She's quite the comedian, too. She can entertain the crowd AND tune her instruments at the same time. Quite the multi-tasker, haha. Her songs are great if you're in a sort of melancholy mood. Just right for the bar lounge. Check her out! Again, her new CD Goodnight Company is FREE to download!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Darn-song-playing-in-my-head of the Week, Like a G6. Literally.

It takes quite some effort to keep a driver awake after a day of zip lining and jumping from tree to tree up by the Catskills. But we did it indeed and got home to our beds safe and soundly, haha. One of the many techniques to accomplish this, is to sing your FREAKIN heart out no matter how bad you are. Or talk about something smelly in your fridge. Not mine. Since Lady Gaga has been overplayed to death, the radio stations decided to move on to something just as good and perform the same overkill as well. But might as well enjoy it before it becomes a dead horse. And now it's stuck in my head, for who knows how long. "Now I'm feeling so fly, like a G6. Like a G6, like a G6."

This is by Far East Movement, a Los Angeles based quartet that encompasses hip-hop, pop and dance music. They are possibly one of the first Asian musicians(sorry, Utada) to hit it big on the music billboards! Yes, yes, I know it's the music that matters. I'm just glad that their songs are such big hits now. And hoping they don't fall into the one-hit-wonder category. It's catchy, poppy and will go pretty far. Last week, "Like A G6" was #2 on Billboard Top 100. Well, I guess it did go far. Congrats! Watch out for their next single, which is free this week on iTunes: "Don't Look Now ft. Keri Hilson." Far East Movement's first album Free Wired dropped yesterday(10/12/10)!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Imogen, hey old friend.

The last time I've heard Imogen's music was a sampling of one of her songs in Jason Derulo's "Whatcha Say." Yes, I really like his song as well. It took a long time to tell people that the catchy hook was from Miss Heap! That was a tad annoying. But as long as people enjoyed the music, I guess. And frankly, I think the mass public does not have the patience to listen to the actual song, "Hide and Seek." I'm drinking my salted hot caramel chocolate(!) at Starbucks as I listen to this song. It's slow, like she's talking to you and expects you to listen to every one of her words. The song is just beautiful.

I was at a photography event last night that was celebrating the winners and runner ups of an annual photography book contest. Do they know how to throw a party or what. Open bar and endless shrimp! Anyways, one of the books I picked up showcased artists (musicians, actors, artists, etc.) in their own comfort. On these pages, i saw Janelle Monae, some of the cast of "Heroes" (I loved it before the series whacked out), and Imogen Heap. It's like being reminded of an old friend. Her words and songs were my comfort through some rough times and also now, while I'm in good times.

"Say Goodnight and Go".

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trombone Shorty on CNN

AHHHHHH!! That's my reaction when I saw Trombone Shorty's interview (<= link) on the homepage of CNN, earlier today. I'm sooooo excited that Shorty has been getting more and more exposure since my last post about him. I hope you get to know him soon, too! This N'awlins native plays a mean trombone and has a voice that swoons the ladies. Finally, a young musician that's up and coming based on his talent and not as a manufactured auto-tuned Ken doll.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Colbie Tonight!

Thanks to my dear friend P, I'm going to see Colbie Caillat tonight! She got free tickets! Yes, I know Jay-Z and Eminem have they're thing going on at Yankee Stadium also tonight(!!!). Did I mention free?
Here's one of my favs from Colbie.

UPDATE (Afterwards)
So this was actually a recording for her "Live" DVD. Colbie was awesome. She sings GREAT live and is so beautiful! We had to sit through a few retakes, though. The experience was...interesting, haha. Her band mate, Justin Young, has a big part in helping her write songs and filling in for Jason Mraz's part when singing "Lucky." But goodness, it is sooo obvious how hard Colbie is crushing on him, ooOOoO. But hey, he is hot, talented and native of Hawaii. It seems that he's looking into doing some solo stuff after Colbie's tour is over, though. Justin is definitely one to keep an eye out for. And according to my friend, her own future husband, haha.
When we were getting seated, I saw this 10 year old boy asking a staff to promise to give his present to Colbie. The boy was so sweet and had so much joy in his face when the staff said she promised. During a break in between songs, the boy screamed out, "Colbie, did you get my teddy bear?" "Tyler? Is that you? Yes, sweetie. Thanks =)" I think that just melted Tyler's heart! It was definitely a sweet thing to see. Maybe because I'm a girl, lol.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oak & Gorski - Cello Rock

This past weekend my friends and I gorged ourselves with fresh oysters and all sorts of seafood until our stomachs (but mainly our wallets) told us to stop. We were enjoying the beautiful weather and being in the presence of other foodies at Asbury Park's Oysterfest! It's a good way to round off the summer. =D

On the car ride back, one of my friends asked if we've heard of Ken Oak. She's a big fan and wanted us to check him out...after we recover.

Ken Oak, cellist and singer, started his journey after he graduated from music school in 2001. He met Ed Gorski (at a Halloween party!) a few years down the road and both have been playing together since 2004. This 2-man band has played in (also their hometown) L.A.'s Street Promenade for years. Ken Oak and Ed Gorski started out as the Ken Oak Band. But after their first album, the band changed to Oak & Gorski (<= link). Their songs are very mellow pop rock. A bit of Daughtry, a lot of Lifehouse and some parts Apocalyptica (another strings band!) with the seriousness of the hair. Oak & Gorski has been making their way through college campus gigs and from their schedule, are headed to Singapore for the next few weeks! Ken and Ed's efforts and dedication to the band didn't come easy. But let their blog tell you.

One of my favorite songs from them is Analog Girl. The video above is Summer's Kiss. Maybe I can request them to play in NY. Oak & Gorski's next and third album as a duo, Love Destroyer, comes out December 2010. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hard To Say - Vonnegutt

Here's one of Vonnegutt's songs. The beginning sounds like a squeaky Linkin Park. But they're not trying to be anything but themselves. Then it gets pretty mellow...well, my version of mellow. I like them. =)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Follow Them

Big Boi has been quite busy working with other singers, lately. The other half of OutKast collaborated with Janelle Monae on one of her new songs, Tightrope. He also teamed up with a new and little known band named, Vonnegutt. I heard their new song, "Follow Us" when they were performing on David Letterman, maybe like a week ago. Love Big Boi's style. He was the only one in NYC (I'm pretty sure) who had a floppy and furry hat with ear flaps on in this 90+ degree humid weather. Even though he was indoors, keeping your style is a must. I totally enjoyed their performance. The song 's hook was crazy catchy.

Well, I'm sure you all know about Big Boi(!), so let's chat about Vonnegutt(<= link). Vonnegutt started in 2007. They're also signed(since 2008) to Big Boi's label, Purple Ribbon Entertainment. The group has been working behind the scenes for a while with guitarist/singer, Neil Garrard doing session work and front man, Kyle Lucas doing mixtapes. Vonnegutt's music is a mix of hip-hop and rock. Their songs reminds me of Linkin Park and a peppier version of Coldplay. They've got potential. Their first full album comes out in 2011. Look out!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"The ArchAndroid" - Janelle Monae (is back)

Here's the arrival of Janelle Monae's second album! The ArchAndroid. This Kansas City native has not backed down from her sci-fi influenced style. All her videos portrays such interesting stories but all of them pertains to the androids oppression by humans. Kind of like Battlestar Galactica or Matrix? I'm a sci-fi junkie as well and I continue to look forward to see what Janelle has in store for us. Below is her new video with Big Boi. I can't get enough of how good she looks in those shoes!
She's definitely one of a kind. Though, in my previous post about Janelle, I said that I hope she does not get too commercialized. Unfortunately, that happens with too many talents. But it's also another way to have mass appeal(and the big bucks!). I recently read an interview of Janelle by the Chicago Tribune. Janelle reassured us this won't happen. She ended the interview with, "You have a choice: You can be yourself, or you can follow the pack. It's very important to represent the many sides of us that are out there. I want to redefine how a woman can dress, how she can wear her hair. It's sad when you feel you have to change who you are to get your voice out there. We can have a better, happier society when people are accepted for who they are." Love it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wipe Out

And this was the scene at last Sunday's annual Blues BBQ on the Hudson...
Lots of wet people and wet food. Oy, soggy pulled pork is just wrong. I didn't last very long there, even though I had my rain boots on. Hopefully next year's event will be sunnier.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Remember NOLA

At the historic Preservation Hall

At the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets

For this post, I'd like to focus on something else. Five years ago, this week, Hurricane Katrina formed and extended Mother Nature's wrath over Louisiana

and Mississippi, in the middle of the night. Many didn't even have a chance. New Orleans took the worst hit. We all witnessed what happened in the horrendous days afterward, through the major TV networks. The reporters became the representatives of the people when no one came. They became rightfully frustrated and angry(which is against a reporter's job to be objective) when the authorities were on the air with them and demanded answers and actions. I can go on and on about how inefficient, disappointing and disorganized the local and federal government were at this time of our fellow Americans' need, but that would take more than one post.

These are some pictures I took when I went this past May. The city has regained most of its flair back (Bourbon Street is HOPPIN') and will continue to recover. Many have returned but many have also decided to never go back.

While visiting the 9th Ward, I saw a familiar Chinese sign that was tacked onto a huge tree at a random street corner. I saw the big red sign from at least a block away. It's the Chinese character for luck, fu. I was speechless. That sign meant more than 1,000 words. (

A few projects have helped build beautiful eco-friendly houses and gave them to the former residents. But many blocks remained the same/untouched from the day the National Guard came in to search for survivors. The markings are still on the houses. When I saw this, all I could think of was, "How did we let this happen?" Not Katrina, obviously. I mean the scenes from the Superdome, young and old people fainting on the streets from lack of health care, the chaos. The Riverwalk was absolutely unrecognizable from the garbage and people hopelessly and aimlessly wandering. And I thought I had problems. Psh.

Anyways, let the future of this great American city (and the birthplace of JAZZ) be brighter and livelier than ever before.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bernal/Eckroth/Ennis...needs a shorter name!

Bernal/Eckroth/Ennis performing @ Garage (on 7th and Grove)

How about B/E/E? Eh, I might suggest it next time I see them, ;) This past week, my friend, "Co Co," and I went to see them perform in the West Village. I first saw these guys at a Jazz Fest, with another friend, "Rio Rio," in Long Island City earlier this year. This trio, Natalia Bernal, Mike Eckroth and Jason Ennis, were my favorite performance of the whole festival. B/E/E (I'm using this, simplified) is a Latin jazz trio from New York. They focus mostly on jazz infused folk Brazilian/Chilean music. All you want to do, is sip on wine with some old friends and enjoy their performance. Natalia is an amazing singer. She's not a hip-hop or pop star, but she's a beautiful (physically and vocally) and passionate singer. More in tune for my calm side. Jason Ennis is the guitarist and group leader (I'm assuming here). He has like 5(!) other bands that stays close to Latin roots (samba, choro, hand drums, etc.). I haven't checked those out yet =/
B/E/E plays at Garage about once a month. Check the schedule and drop by if you're around. The place has great happy hours, too ;) Maybe I'll see you there!

Here's their FIRST CD! La Voz De Tres, released in May 2010. Their website also has complete translations.

Oh, yeah. They signed my CD. Woo! I support my beloved awesome local musicians.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Like, The Offsprings

The Like - June Gloom

Around 1:30 a.m.-ish, on a random night, I was eating meatballs and sipping on a glass of sauvignon blanc. Yeah. I don't get the meatballs, either. I was waiting for CSI: Miami to come back from commercial. So I did the flip and landed on some channel that was interviewing a British band, "The Like." Well, I heard Brit accents and I assumed they were. But they originated in Los Angeles. Then I flipped back to Lt. Horatio. And finished my meatballs.

The lead vocal of the band, Elizabeth Berg, is American and daughter of big music honcho, Tony Berg. Tony has been a staple guitarist for many bands like, Air Supply. Elizabeth started the band back in 2001. Avaerage age is around 25. Now, with a new addition to her band (from 3 to 4 members), they've been hitting more circuits in the U.K. What's up with the U.K. connection? That accent I heard was from Tennessee Thomas, the drummer of The Like. She's also Pete Thomas' kid. FYI, Pete Thomas is the former drummer for Elvis Costello and one of the best and most wanted drummers in the field. If you've got the connections, why not use it? Especially when you're the offsprings! And I guess it helps to write your songs since its in your blood already, haha.

Their new album was released in June 2010, entitled Release Me. It's quite a catchy song. I like this latest album better than their first one, Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? (circa 2005). They're a bit more grown-up now. And then I find out they actually toured with Muse. ?? MUSE!! Oh, connections or talent related? Heck, if you both, use them!! Awesome. And just a note, I heard of Muse and listened to their songs waaaaaay before that tweeny cheesy Twilight explosion.

I am surprised by how much I like their songs, though. Indie catagory, again. I'm not even a hipster!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jonatha Brooke & Dollhouse

I was so freakin' upset when Joss Whedon's Dollhouse was canceled. This was one of the most intriguing series (as most Whedon's shows are) I've ever seen. So sad that it was canceled after only 2 seasons. But reality shows like Big Brother and Jersey Shore (I disclose that I may have watched a few episodes) goes on year after year. What are the American public filling their minds with!? Sigh. Oh, Victor. I'm going to miss you. At least the series was given like 3 episodes to wrap things up...with warp speed. And if you don't like it, it's because you just don't get it =P

Anywho, back to the point. The title song, "What You Don't Know," is by Jonatha Brooke. I'd compare her to Shawn Colvin and Sarah McLachlan. Very soft, slow and intense. This song absolutely fits in with the darkness and hope portrayed in Dollhouse and I love it. It says how she'll be here with the ability to be and do anything. But before you know it, she'll be gone.

I wasn't too crazy about the hook, though. If anything, it's not even necessary, haha. Ahem. So I started to research (a.k.a. Google, Youtube) her other songs. Apparently, she also appeared on the soundtrack of "Return to Neverland," named "I'll Try." It displays her nitch which is very fairytale. Jonatha's songs appears on a long list of TV series. Her work is pretty contemporary adult. She's had some success in the early 90s and continues to play, write and French, too. Oui, oui! Jonatha's latest album came out in 2008, called The Works with mixed reviews from critics. Critics, schmitics. Don't let them stop you from listening!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Em and Ri's New Controversy

I absolutely LOVE this song and video. It's so full of love and hate, but in the end its about the pain that both bring. For one thing, not all relationships are sunshine and unicorns. And not all relationships are as destructive as what Em and Ri are singing about. There's been a slight uproar on how this video, featuring Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan, glams up domestic abuse. I don't think so. This video is telling a story. The story is how destructive a relationship can be to both parties. Of all people, Eminem and Rihanna can relate. It doesn't offer a solution in the end. It shows how it can become a continuous cycle. I think it is brave of these artists to make this video. If this controversy can bring light to the seriousness of domestic abuse, then so be it. This also prompted Megan Fox to donate her salary from this video to help women recovering from domestic abuse.

It hurts to know that you are hurting the one you are supposed to love. It's even sadder to see that sometimes, these people can't help themselves. At this point, a lot of strong support will be needed to separate(the only option left) the 2. Hopefully, in time before everything burns down. We live in a society with so much knowledge of the past that we can only hope to learn from it. But because we are humans, we also never learn until it happens to us.

For domestic abuse information, please go to or call 1-800-799-SAFE(7233).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Apocalyptica Rocks

Apocalyptica feat. Gavin Rossdale - End of Me

I've heard of this group here and there before...although I have no idea why. Maybe it's because they rock cellos, literally. And I'm a huge fan of stringed instruments. Anywho, I caught the end of their performance at the Montreal Music Festival. I didn't expect anything to my liking, at first. But I came out thinking that this neo-classical metal stuff is pretty dang awesome. I will be listening to them more. I was very impressed by how they managed to head bang their 3 foot long hair in perfect circles AND play their cellos. Now, these are musicians.

They are billed a cello metal rock band. Talk about yin and yang, haha. This 4-man band consists of 3 classically trained cellists and a drummer. They hail from Finland and formed in 1993. If you are into the likes of Evanescence, Three Days Grace or Seether, def give Apocalyptica a try. And as it PAINS me to say this...they rock much better than Linkin Park. I mean, check this video out and see for yourself.

This video was just released in July, 2010. "End of Me" is part of Apocalyptica's 7th album, 7th Symphony, to be released in August, 2010. Enjoy!

On a side note, it's nice to see Gavin back. I feel like I haven't heard from him (musically and not Gwen related) since I left for high school!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vijay Iyer Goodness

Talk about an over-achiever. Vijay Iyer, a Brooklyn-based Jazz musician, also has a bachelor's from Yale in the studies of physics and mathematics. Oh, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California. And some music awards thrown in the mix.

I was browsing through some magazines at Barnes and Noble this past weekend after leaving my friends' new digs around the upper east side. They made me an awesome stew of mussels, diced tomatoes and mushroom rice with a hint of lime. Yum!

It was good to be able to walk it off in a bookstore. There's always some interesting publications that catches your eye. I'm intrigued by the "Paris Review." Goodness knows I have to keep up my reading and writing. Then I came across this magazine about Asian Americans. It was maybe about 30 pages flimsy. I flipped through it and saw Vijay Iyer's picture with "JAZZ" splashed across it. How cool. And he's a physicist.

His CD, Historicity, is making some waves already. Some of his songs are quite Avant-Garde-ish but at the same time, he makes his piano not just take the lead, but also converse with the other instruments. I still haven't listened to all his songs, but he will be performing at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival on August 29th(more details on the right sidebar).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MNDR ... er?

So this gal strolls onto stage with a black t-shirt, plastic triangle bracelets and a HUGE pair of French Country styled glasses. She started to set up the stage. Without a second look, I thought it was probably a local college student working as a stage hand. I thought wrong.
She was one of the opening acts for V.V. Brown. MNDR is actually a duo with Peter Wade and Amanda Warner who is also the front of the band. I was all sorts of confused when she started her performance. It was not that odd, it was just that my mind and ears are not used to this kind of music. They are ULTRA electropop to the NEXT level. The NEXT level. And I like electropop! I wasn't sure what to make of it during the first few songs. But I had no doubt of MNDR's talent. The songs were really melodic. I finally got into the groove when she got to her last 2 songs. It's an acquired taste.

Amanda (who hails from Cali) had a lot of synthesizers and electronic automatic systems backing her up because she was a one man live band. But she's quite a singer and songwriter. She owned the stage. And the lights.

MNDR apparently formed in 2009. In less than ONE year they've already become opening acts to the likes of Massive Attack and YACHT. They're also featured on Mark Ronson's new song, "Bang Bang Bang." Now that's accomplishment. MNDR is definitely going to make an impact in the next few years. All the new electropop bands has a lot of catching up to do.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fallin' for Trombone Shorty

First off, tell me how handsome this man is!! Ok, back to what I was going to say...whatever that was. So a few months ago, I was sweating like a hot sundae down in New Orleans when I first came across Trombone Shorty's name. The music fan that I am, I checked out the local music stores to see what they had to offer. I went to the Louisiana Music Factory on Decatur Street. The guys behind the counter reminded me of my old orchestra teacher(whom I still keep in touch with!) from junior high, with his buttoned down shirt and slicked back ponytail. I asked the fella, "You got any local contemporary jazz music here?" "Sure do, Miss." The good sir lead me to the listening stations and picked out a few for me. After a couple of tracks, I finally reached Trombone Shorty's. I looked at his CD cover and thought, "Well, ain't he trying to look smooth." I pressed PLAY for his CD, Backatown. Dun dun dun duuuun Hey! Dun dun dun duuuun Hey! That was from the first track, Hurricane Season. As I was reading the CD booklet, Shorty started to sing to me. Well, from his second track, On Your Way Down. Awh, man. He sings great, too! Then we got to Something Beautiful with Lenny Kravitz. Oh, Lenny. Sold. Done deal. For $8.99. The good sir told me I was lucky. I got the last CD in stock, and he spotted someone who also want to get it. I'd like to think I'm lucky, too. For many reasons.

Nope. Not the end of my story with Shorty. Last weekend, I went with my friend, "Yo Yo," to the Festival dete de Quebec a.k.a. the Quebec Music Festival. She's been wanting to go see Rammstein (German metal. We'll get to that review soon. I promise.) since last year! She got the all access pass, which meant that we can go to any concert we want to for the time we're there. I checked out Sunday's schedule and I saw that Trombone Shorty was going to perform about 4 hours before Rammstein at a close-by venue. I was at work so I just went "Oh!" But inside I was screaming like a teenage girl at a Jonas Brothers' concert. Or are they onto Beiber? Eh, teens, haha.

My gosh, Trombone Shorty was non-stop energy and loved the audience as much as we love him. Now he sang to me. He made sure his band got a chance to do their thing, too. Big D on the percussion. Freaky Pete on the guitar. I don't know why he's Freaky...haha. Also, Joey with his Sideshow Bob hair (beautiful and shiny hair) on the drums. Shorty surprised us with a throwback to Louis Armstrong. He did a great imitation of his voice while singing, The Saints Go Marching In. Totally N'awlins. After his performance, we got to meet him while the band was packing up. I am lucky! My friend was smitten by how cute he is. Rammstein what? Ha! I was smitten by how talented he is and how awesome it was that I got to meet him. And yes, his handsomeness was totally the cherry on top. SMITTEN. Sigh, I also forgot to bring my copy of his CD to sign. Maybe next time. He'll be in NYC performing at South Street Seaport on August 26, 2010!! Do come join me if you can! You'll have a great time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Get Ready for CMJ!

The NYC CMJ Music and Film Festival (going 30+ years) is a week long industry showcase of developing musicians and film artists from all genres.
This year's will be held from October 19 to 23, 2010. I love that this is open to any artists who wants to showcase their talent. They just need to submit an application (and be good, I assume). So who knows what ya gonna get at the Festival! Right now they are selling tickets for the whole sha-bang. Basically, an all access pass to all the shows. Or you can buy single concert tickets. Most of these concerts will be held downtown Manhattan/Brooklyn. And you can get about 4 different acts in a concert. I haven't attended any of the films but I'll look into it this year. Check out the site (when it's more informative in a few weeks) if you're interested in something new.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Janelle Monae and her Many Moons

I can't for goodness sakes remember how I first heard about Miss Monae. But anywho, somehow I ended up at one of the CMJ Music and Film Festival concerts last year headlined by her. Woo! She is absolutely great live. This girl can sing, rap and dance until her poof un-poofs! Her energy goes on and on and on.... I loved cheering for her after her performance. One of the best live music performances I have ever seen.

Her first CD, Metropolis, is popular for the hit "Many Moons." I also love the song, "Sincerely, Jane." She's going through this phase where her songs are about her being an android from outer space. Ya. Besides that, her music is very indie hip-hop and her style is a throwback to the glamour of 1940's. I love it!! Especially, how she gets her fashion style AND the concept of her as an android tied together so naturally. I must add that her poof is pre-Snooki. But I'm not sure if she or V.V. Brown had it first. Great people think alike. She's so raw and talented.

Her songs start out so pumped up and let's have party, run, fly, etc. But they almost always end so emotionally sad. Like at the beginning of “Many Moons,” the singer acknowledges that there is so much going on that she realizes to herself that she is “free but in your mind. Your freedom is in a bind.” As much as you strive and strive, there will be an end. And the only hope is to “go home” to Shangri-la. Or maybe I'm just checking the lyrics too much.

Before you even walk in the door, you know that Bad Boy Records has got her COVERED. Her posters (I mean the fancy huge kinds), were everywhere. Including a huge cut-out of her that was tacked onto the train station closest to the venue. An entourage was on the look out so no one took and ran with it either. As much as I like Janelle, I think she's dancing on thin ice of becoming too commercialized. Might be taking this android thing a tad too far. She has 3 more CDs to produce with this concept. She doesn’t need to be a product of anyone else’s but her own. Janelle Monae is doing great by herself.

Friday, July 23, 2010

MGMT ... What's in a name?

The group formally known as "The Management," was forced to change their name when it was discovered some other band had it first. So they became MGMT. Which I say is a way cooler name, anyways. MGMT has been making waves in the indie world for a few years now. Their song "The Kids" hit up the Euro scene much faster then their home here in the States. MGMT is Brooklyn (I'm guessing Williamsburg-ish) based with Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden. Well...they're actually from Connecticut. Still tri-state... My favorite song of theirs is "Electric Feel." The band sang with high pitched voices with the intention of getting the girl. The concept is like Maxwell's. But that's where the similarity starts and ends. I also seriously think whoever made the video for this song was high throughout most of the 70's and had nothing but psychedelic neon food and imaginary fuzzy creatures as friends. This is not a judgment, it's only an observation. They are very electronica pop with a huge dose of hipster. But some of their songs are way too hipster for me (such as "It's Working"), haha. There was hot pink ice cream involved.

V.V. Brown was in Town

I'm a huge fan of Ugly Betty. How can I not be? Its got glamour, shadiness, love, back-stabbing, out-of-control floral prints, and more than what your fanny-pack can handle! So when it came time for the last season, I made sure I didn't miss a thing. During the episode when everyone (and I mean everyone) hooked up in the Bahamas, I was amused and loved the song that came on for that moment which was "Shark in the Water," by V.V. Brown. It was so fitting. And catchy. Basically it means, "Please come be my hero/heroine, something is trying to get me." Proceed to flutter eyes.

This was my first introduction to V.V. Brown. She's a singer/songwriter and a London native who flares of indie punk/pop/jazz. Not one overcomes the other. Think sundress, pearl earrings and Converses. Her album, Traveling Like the Light, was released in February 2010. Once I heard she was going to perform at the Bowery Ballroom(sometime this past April) I rushed to get my ticket! Online. JUST in case it sold out. And the place got pretty packed. Her and her band were great. I was lucky enough to run into her when she was walking into the Ballroom! She was so nice and took the time to take pictures! Anywho, back to the music. Her other songs, "Crying Blood," and "Game Over," are so original and definitely indie. These would sound great acoustic style as well. One of the best parts of the show was when she sang Drake's "Best I Ever Had." LOVE her version! It was so freaking smooth. Check her out!

Thanks for your company!

Hi, all! After many years of toiling away at my corporate job, I finally realized that it is my love of music that powers this (and everyone else's whether you know it or not) life of mine. It happens very so often that I would introduce and surprise close friends to the new and exciting music my ears are currently hooked on. With their suggestions, it was time to set up a place to share these discoveries that won't be found on major local radio stations. Yet. I hope that I can help introduce something new and exciting into your life, too!