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I have neglected this blog. Oops.
Life has gotten in the way. Work, dating, the beach… did I say dating? Yeah, that hasn’t gone so well. Not worst-date-ever material (yet), but guys, here’s a pointer: don’t take a girl to Shakey’s and expect a second date.
Now that we have that out of the way.
Friday night, Becca and I made a field trip to LA for what we thought was going to be a quick 30 minute set by my girl crush, Meiko. It turns out the set was part of a showcase for the Worldwide Radio Summit, and the two of us were amidst a plethora of record industry people. You know, something I’m used to every Friday night. No biggie. It’s not like I won a contest on Facebook or anything.
As a certified Meiko stalker, I was singing along to all of the “new” songs she played. She started out with a sweet number in which she repeated “I’m in love” numerous times. I whispered to Becca that I’d like to relate to that song in a decade or so. No rush.
Part of Meiko’s charm is her banter with the audience in between sets. Though she was obviously in front a bunch of industry power players, she didn’t tone down the feistiness too much, and disclosed that she was dating a “hot British guy.” That led into a song entitled “I’m Not Sorry,” which was a non-apology for wanting a housewife’s life. However, most housewives would blush at a song like “Between the Sheets” which is Meiko’s most lyrically intense song. It details an affair with a man that she wants public (she tells him to ‘leave the lights on’) yet she knows it can never be. The symbolism of the lights is intriguing, as Meiko’s lyrics are mostly surface level –- yet hilarious and subtle all the same.
Though it was a short set, she did not fail to disappoint. The looks she gave the small audience of less than 40 people were naughty and sneaky, and perfectly Meiko. However, Becca and I didn’t want to leave so soon, so we opted to take advantage of our scratchy red wristbands and saunter to the next stage, where another showcase was starting.
Who would be playing, but Matt Nathanson. The transition from Meiko to Matt was not a difficult one at all, as he kept referring to his stage as “the brothel.”
His first song was “Mercy”, which gave Duffy’s song of the same name a run for her money. The way he kept singing “Less drowning, more land” with distortion became a little swoon-worthy.
He easily transitioned from upbeat pop (‘To the Beat of our Noisy Hearts’) and radio-worthy songs (‘Faster’ – which he noted was “Like S&M”… was he channeling Meiko?) to his most famous song, “Come on Get Higher.” Oh, and a note about this one: I distinctly remember this song being played over and over in movie theaters before the feature started, and many times I was with my parents while the song played. I will never think of the song in the same light now, since apparently it’s about “Getting naked in an awesome slap and tickle type way.” Um, hi Mom and Dad?
Bec and I weren’t feeling like being smashed into another room, so we sat on a couch in the lobby while listening to British band Scars on 45. They were great music to listen to, and the guy-girl duets were fantastic.
All in all, the showcase was a pleasant surprise.
And my first experience in a brothel was swell.
Welcome to Flashback Friday — a look back on the week in music. I’ve posted some noteworthy news on the Facebook page (what? You haven’t become a fan yet? Do that. Now.), but here are the gems:
- The White Stripes have, indeed, broken up. The writing has been on the wall for a while, what with Jack White’s multiple endeavors and some subtle hints in the Under Great White Northern Lights documentary. But still. Bummer.
- The Avett Brothers hinted at an album in mid-2011. If this is true, I will be very, very happy. Speaking of happy…
- Fleet Foxes promises their long-awaited new album will be released on Tuesday May 3rd. The title track is now available for download on their website. Southern California dates:
- May 6 -Spreckels Theatre – San Diego
- May 7 – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood
Not much to report when it comes to new releases. Save your money for the next few weeks, with gems from Bright Eyes and other indie darlings waiting to hit your ipod.
The one spectacular release has been receiving buzz from all sorts of media and word of mouth: Barton Hollow from the Civil Wars.
I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Hotel Cafe in December, and it was, without a doubt, one of the best live acts I had seen in 2010. Joy Williams and John Paul White possess a chemistry unlike any other duo I can think of. Their folky acoustic sound can put one to sleep on one track, and be the perfect road trip device the next.
Check out the album live streaming here via Spinner, and see what I mean.
Then, buy Barton Hollow and have it forever and ever.
So much is happening in the music world — and since I have a fulltime job, it’s hard to post about each newsworthy item.
Enter the Facebook Page!
Like us. Because I said so.
It’s been a month since I’ve been to a show. A month. What is wrong with me? Thankfully, that will all change tomorrow as I head from behind the Orange Curtain and into LA to see the Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlile. That should be a great Friday night show: chill, with a few songs to get me going. My days (and nights) have been busy to say the least lately, and it should be nice to sip a drink, sit down, and listen to Brandi and the Brothers Avett.
There are tons of other shows playing this week, and I’ve narrowed it down to about two a day for you guys. If you have a ticket to any of them, I covet that confirmation code.
The Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlile (w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals) @ Nokia Theatre [of course I’m going to list the show I’m heading to. Say hi, yo.]
Listen: The Avett Brothers – Slight Figure Of Speech
Aimee Mann @ Largo [great, intimate venue for her.]
Matt & Kim [left] @ Music Box, L.A.
School of Seven Bells @ Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa
Belle & Sebastian with Jenny & Johnny @ The Palladium [anyone have a free, extra ticket? This should be a great show. Jenny & Johnny is, of course, a duet consisting of Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) and Jonathan Rice. Their debut album is fantastic.]
Listen: Jenny & Johnny – Scissor Runner
The Soft Pack @ Detroit Bar
Tired Pony [members of Snow Patrol, R.E.M., Belle & Sebastian] @ El Rey
Jenny & Johnny @ the Troubadour
Broken Bells [left] @ The Wiltern [James Mercer of the Shins teams up with Danger Mouse for a positively unique sound. Loving their album.]
Lissie @ Troubadour [Newcomer solo artist is the darling of indie radio stations. Check her out.]
Listen: Lissie – Bully
The Like @ Detroit Bar
Going to any shows this week? Excited for any coming up this month? Leave a comment.
Nick Hornby and Ben Folds – Lonely Avenue (Nonesuch)
Yes, that Ben Folds. And yes, that Nick Hornby. Brick. High Fidelity. Teaming up for what is to be a very intriguing album.
Author Hornby and musician Folds collaborated on this album, with the former writing the lyrics and the latter taking care of the music. Since Hornby has had no experience in songwriting, which is a different beast from the short stories and novels he’s used to penning, it will be interesting to see how Folds can translate them.
Buy Album: Lonely Avenue
download mp3: From Above
From two masters of their craft, we move on to newcomer Cameron Mesirow, who performs under the name of Glasser. This solo artist has been getting a fair amount of play on indie radio, for good reason. Her strong voice compliments the vast amount of strings and percussion she uses, without it being overwhelming. She only broke out onto the scene last year with her first EP, and I doubt we’ll be hearing less of her anytime soon.
Buy album: Ring
Download mp3: Home
Listened to either album? Think I missed one that deserves to be talked about? Leave a comment.
Here’s what you all (well, hopefully one or two of you) have been waiting for: the first Sarcasm And The City Playlist!
Are you a fan of indie bands? Then this post isn’t for you, and you will probably give me lots of comments about how these songs are soooo December 2008.
The new album from Dave Matthews Band won’t be released till June 2 (which is also my birthday, so please send presents), but you can download their first single off the album for FREE right now.
Already download it? What did you think? Leave a comment.
Never heard of Meiko, Emily Wells, or Laura Jansen? Well you’ve probably heard their songs. All three are the darlings of network TV lately. Meiko has been featured on numerous Grey’s Anatomy episodes, while Jansen’s song “Soujah” was placed in MTV’s Newport Harbor (and don’t give me the “I don’t watch reality shows about rich teenyboppers. You do. Don’t lie.)
I saw these three two nights ago at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach. It was a great cap to the weekend.
Laura played first. The girl is fun to watch, period. A smile was plastered to her face the whole night. I LOVE to watch talented artists who love what they do. She played piano while occasionally incorporating a backup musician.
She only has one EP to her name, but a second album is probably coming soon, as she played many new tracks. She performed her most popular track, “Souljah” (which you already know, since you’re a closet Newport Harbor watcher.) She also charmed her audience with “Single Girls”, which is sings about the trials of recently becoming, well, single (“One more glass of wine before I turn off the lights/this time I’ll be fine“… no, I’m sure no girl can relate.)
She introduced her song “Elijah” by saying “You know, every singer/songwriter has to write a song about organized religion to fit the mold.” This may be true, however not many people choose to write about an Old Testament minor prophet (or was he a major one? I dropped out of bible college after 3 semesters.)
Laura Jansen – Souljah
Visit – myspace – facebook
Buy album – Trauma
Emily Wells played next. Her latest album, Symphonies, is primarily instrumental, which is probably why it’s my favorite album of hers. That is honestly not an insult to her. I’m just not a fan of her singing, yet think she is a very talented musician. Emily is an inverted oreo – white on the outside and black on the inside. She has an obsession with the Notorious B.I.G and even covered “Juicy.” Hence the title of this post.
My two favorite songs of hers – Symphony 6 and Take it Easy San Francisco – were played beautifully.
During “juicy” and a few other songs, Emily did turn tables. It just looked awkward. While Laura Jansen seemed to play for every single person at Saint Rocke, Emily seemed to be playing for herself. Again, my opinon, but this is my blog dang it, and I can say whatever I want. So there.
Emily Wells – Symphony 6 (Fair Thee Well & Requiem Mix)
Buy album – The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties
Meiko played a more extended set, and played through most of her self-titled album. “Boys with Girlfriends” and “Under my Bed” (arguably her two most popular songs) were the most well-received, though my friend Steph was disappointed that she didn’t get to hear “Piano Song.”
Meiko is a crack up. She’s hot, talented, and funny. Hell, I’d go out with her. Wait, no I wouldn’t.
She prefaced most of her songs with an explanation of the song. “Under My Bed” was about her ex she moved to LA with, but broke up with him soon after because “yeah, he sucked.” Another song was about a boy “who wasn’t very nice.” In short, Meiko writes songs about every girl’s love life.
Most of the songs were acoustic, with a few supported by drums or trumpet. When it comes to lounge shows, I’m a fan of the raw, stripped-down sets and Meiko didn’t disappoint.
But bottom line: Show was good. Buy their albums. You will like.