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!