Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Favourites: Song Edition

It's the last day of one amazing year...at least musically speaking. Sure, record sales and the economy are down, but digital single downloads have never been higher. Reflecting on 2007, I think I appreciated the albums far more than I did the songs. This year, it's just the opposite. I had countless songs that I loved, but only a few albums (as a whole) that generated excitement. I really had to work at coming up with albums for my year end list, but I couldn't list enough songs. In fact, at one point, I had over one hundred and fifty songs on my list.

1. That's Not My Name, The Ting Tings
2. L.E.S. Artistes, Santogold
3. Back Of The Van, Ladyhawke
4. Human, The Killers
5. The Toast, Nervous Cabaret
6. Kiss With A Fist, Florence And The Machine
7. I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked, Ida Maria
8. Id Engager, Of Montreal
9. Little Garcon, Born Ruffians
10. Something Is Not Right With Me, Cold War Kids
11. Bullets, Tunng
12. Ghosts, Laura Marling
13. Be The One, The Ting Tings
14. Ready For The Floor, Hot Chip
15. Cologne, Dolly Parton
16. Spaceman, The Killers
17. Mansard Roof, Vampire Weekend
18. Little Bit, Lykke Li
19. Christopher And Anthony, Jape
20. Dog Days Are Over, Florence And The Machine
21. Gobbledigook, Sigur Ros
22. I Like It Casual, Little Jinder
23. I Wrote This Song, Jonna Lee
24. You, Me And The Bourgeoisie, The Submarines
25. Brooklyn Go Hard, Jay-Z feat. Santogold
26. Shake It! Shake It!, Thomas Tantrum
27. Spiralling, Keane
28. Mercy, Duffy
29. It's Not My Problem, Sneaky Sound System
30. Shut Up And Let Me Go, The Ting Tings
31. Better Than Sunday, Ladyhawke
32. Shake That Devil, Antony And The Johnsons
33. Where Do I Begin, Sneaky Sound System
34. Joy, Temposhark
35. Beat (Health, Life And Fire), Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down
36. My Baby Left Me, Rox
37. Crime, Najwajean
38. Gallery Piece, Of Montreal
39. Fruit Machine, The Ting Tings
40. Turn Tail, The Young Knives
41. Paris Is Burning, Ladyhawke
42. I Wish I Could Keep You, Little Pictures
43. Perfect Problem, The Ting Tings
44. You Cheated Me, Martha Wainwright
45. Time To Pretend, MGMT
46. My Drive Thru, Santogold/Pharrel/Julian Casablancas
47. Young Love, Moto Boy
48. They Don't Believe, Russian Red
49. Mademoiselle Opposum, Barbara Carlotti
50. Great DJ, The Ting Tings
51. Don't Leave, Ane Brun
52. Evident Utensil, Chairlift
53. A Dustland Fairytale, The Killers
54. Out Like Bats, Tu Fawning
55. Cold Shoulder, Adele
56. Break In Violence, Nervous Cabaret
57. S E V E N T E E N, Marine And The Diamonds
58. People C'mon, Delta Spirit
59. Good Time, Brazilian Girls
60. M79, Vampire Weekend
61. Heavy Heart, Ghostland Observatory
62. Feel The Love, Cut Copy
63. Dumpster Diving, Castledoor
64. Neon Tiger, The Killers
65. Disco Fiasco, Kristoffer Ragnstam
66. On My Own Again, Kleerup
67. Used To Be, Beach House
68. Springtime, Annuals
69. Watchmaker, The Tom Fun Orchestra
70. Bag Of Hammers, Thao Nguyen with the Get Down Stay Down
71. Girls Girls Girls, Marina And The Diamonds
72. Chupee, Cocoon
73. GFC, Albert Hammond, Jr.
74. El Presente, Julieta Venegas
75. No One But Yourself To Blame, Bo Pepper
76. It's The Love, The Breeders
77. Spotlight, Jennifer Hudson
78. Make Me Smile, Pearl And The Pirates
79. Knickerbocker, Fujiya & Miyagi
80. Lay It Down, Peter Bjorn And John
81. Vidas Paralelas, Ximena Sariñana
82. Through The Night These Days, Jason Collett
83. That's That, Cass McCombs
84. Creeper, Islands
85. The Ides, FrYars
86. How Am I To Be, The Watson Twins
87. Love Is A Stranger, Martha Wainwright
88. Two Weeks, Grizzly Bear
89. The Escapist, The Streets
90. you Have Been Loved, Sia
91. How I Could Just Kill A Man, Charlotte Sometimes
92. And You Give, Michael Barber
93. Hard Line, Jill Barber
94. You Stood Me Up, Benji Hughes
95. Two Doors Down, Mystery Jet
96. This House Can Fit Us All, Little Pictures
97. In Or Out, Britta Persson
98. Beat Control, Tilly And The Wall
99. Wash Away, The Chapin Sisters
100. Disco Lies, Moby

A Waltz To Remember

In reflecting on this past year's films, it comes down to two films that had the most impact on me. One is my favourite, the other, in my opinion, the best film of the year.

Vicky Christina Barcelona

The latest Woody Allen movie is the favourite for many reasons. For starters, it's hilarious. I don't think I was expecting it to be quite so funny when I first ventured out to see it, but was pleasantly surprised by just how enjoyable it was. So much so I returned the following weekend to see it again...alone. Surprisingly, the only other film that I had watched alone at a theatre was another Woody Allen film, 'Match Point'. Secondly, the acting was flawless. During the first viewing, I was in love with Rachel Hall's performance. The second go round, I sat up and took notice of Penelope Cruz's brilliant performance. If it weren't for Viola Davis in 'Doubt', Penelope would be the front-runner for the Supporting Actress Oscar. In my opinion, at least. Finally, I related well to one of the characters in many ways, especially their philosophy on love. Oh, and it's one of those rare movies I not only can watch over and over, but that I actually want to watch again and again.

Waltz With Bashir

The BEST film of the year. It's the story of a man on a journey to reclaim his memories of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by having former comrades tell stories they'd most likely wish they didn't remember. The beautiful animation distracts you from the fact that you're actually watching a documentary all the way up until the brutal, haunting final images. It had such an impact on the entire audience that not one person stirred until it was well into the credits. The film is riveting, engaging and one of the most beautiful films that I've ever seen. On a side note, Max Richter's score is breathtaking. Hopefully it will be nominated for an Oscar since the film itself has been shut out of the Documentary category due to a lame technicality.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Favourites

So it's the end of the year. A wonderful year, indeed. Aside from moving to NYC and getting a new job, the year was full of amazing concerts and brilliant music. Tomorrow I will post my favourite songs from the past year, but today I am focusing on albums. Keep in mind that this is not a best of list, just a list of my favourites. In keeping with the last post, I'm listing 29 to coincide with my age. Also, I don't feel much like explaining what I like about them, as I just am not really in the mood.

1. The Ting Tings, We Started Nothing
2. The Killers, Day & Age
3. of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
4. Santogold, Santogold
5. Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke
6. Jape, Ritual
7. Nervous Cabaret, Drop Drop (In A Little Bottle)
8. Robyn, Robyn
9. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
10. Adele, 19
11. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
12. Cold War Kids, Loyalty To Loyalty
13. Sigur Ros, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
14. Dolly Parton, Backwoods Barbie
15. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark
16. Ane Brune, Changing Of The Seasons
17. OST, Waltz With Bashir
18. The Submarines, Honeysuckle Weeks
19. Sia, Some People Have REAL Problems
20. Keane, Perfect Symmetry
21. Cut Copy, In Ghost Colours
22. Duffy, Rockferry
23. Sneaky Sound System, 2
24. Russian Red, I Love Your Glasses
25. Lykke Li, Youth Novels
26. Laura Marling, Alas, I Cannot Swim
27. Barbara Carlotti, L’ideal
28. Little Pictures, Owl + Owl
29. The Tom Fun Orchestra, You Will Land With A Thud

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great DJ

I know I haven't been around. Now that I will be traveling for work with greater frequency beginning next month, the chances of me being around here more are low. I considered giving the blog up, but I can't bring myself to do so. Instead, I think I may stick to either a weekly or bi-weekly format. What are your thoughts?

On with the show...

As is the now annual tradition, below are my most played songs from the past year according to Last.fm. As per usual, the number coincides with my birthday since I usually post it on my birthday. That didn't happen this year, but I'm still sticking with the trend.

In regards to the tracks, I don't completely agree with the rankings. There were periods of time that I didn't have internet connection and other times where tracks had more plays scrobbled than should have been. One notable track missing is I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked by Ida Maria. I know that I played it more often than Kiss With A Fist, but there was always an issue that prevented it from being scrobbled. But I digress. Here's the list as is.

Track/Artist

1. That's Not My Name, The Ting Tings
2. Nantes, Beirut
3. L.E.S. Artistes, Santogold
4. Back Of The Van, Ladyhawke
5. Shut Up And Let Me Go, The Ting Tings
6. Fruit Machine, The Ting Tings
7. Great DJ, The Ting Tings
8. Id Engager, Of Montreal
9. Jimmy, Of Montreal
10. Be The One, The Ting Tings
11. Underneath, Alanis Morissette
12. Human, The Killers
13. Mercy, Duffy
14. Ghosts, Laura Marling
15. The Zombies Are Inside Out, Feisty Stevens (a/k/a - Feist vs. Sufjan Stevens)
16. Tired, Adele
17. Something Is Not Right With Me, Cold War Kids
18. Past In Present, Feist
19. Kiss With A Fist, Florence And The Machine
20. We Get On, Kate Nash
21. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb, Spoon
22. How I Could Just Kill A Man, Charlotte Sometimes
23. Perfect Problem, Don't Be A Stranger
24. You'll Find A Way, Santogold
25. Back In Your Head, Tegan And Sara
26. Cologne, Dolly Parton
27. Paris Is Burning, Ladyhawke
28. Crash And Burn Girl, Robyn
29. Joy, Temposhark

As for my favourite tracks and albums of the year, those lists will hit the blog next week. I'm on holiday from today through Monday. I leave in a few hours for Indiana (blah) and will most likely not have internet access where I'll be.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fight The H8

I wasn't sure if I would ever return to the world of blogging, but today's protest against Prop 8 compelled me to make at least one new entry. I can't even begin to put into words just how moved by today's events I was. Way more than five thousand people crowded around City Hall in downtown Manhattan (covering, at the very least, five city blocks) to show support for equal rights for everyone. There were so many people (myself included) that were nearly brought to tears several times throughout the rally. Below are a few random shots of the crowd:







Here are a few videos that I was able to capture:

YES WE WILL!!!



Heather Matarazzo, Actress, Lesbian (we met her after the rally and she is so genuine and sincere)



Christine C. Quinn, NYC City Council Speaker



Emanuel Xavier, Poet, Activist, Author, Gay Man



Gay Men's Chorus singing the national anthem


Also out to show their support:

Kate Shindle
Former Miss America, HIV/AIDS Activist




Kim Stolz
America's Next Top Model Cycle 5 Contestant, MTV News correspondent, Host of mtvU series 'The Freshman', Model


Wilson Cruz
Actor (My So-Called Life)


And, last but not least, a few shots of my group:

Reybee and Chad

chad, Mary Lynn, Me and Reybee

Me and Reybee

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

All The Calories They Eat

I know I've been away from the blog for a while...and I'm actually considering taking a break for a little while longer. Right now it just seems like a chore when I post, and something like this shouldn't. That just tells me that my heart just isn't in it right now. But I've hit a bit of a rough patch here lately, dealing with being a little bit homesick (just missing my friends back in Texas a bit). I expect to be back up and running after my visit back "home" this time next month.

All that aside, though, I just stumbled across a great emerging artist. She's a Brit and, at least with the song I'm posting, sounds very ABBA-esque. Of course, I'm not the biggest ABBA fan, so I may be way off on that comparison. Judge for yourself, though. The singer is Marina And The Diamonds (despite the name, it's just her) and the song is Girls Girls Girls.




Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Like I Birthed You From Some Greasy Crevice On My Underside

I know that I have been absent for a couple weeks, but here come the excuses! Work has been busier and more draining than usual. My mother was in town for a few days. My laptop is nearing the end of its run and has essentially become a desktop. And my dog at my homework. But now I'm back...somewhat. Unfortunately, I am traveling for work and do not have access to my extensive collection of music; therefore, I am unable to post newer music. As a result, I'll be taking the NBC route and presenting a "it's new to you" song from a band that I've previously posted about here.

The Tom Fun Orchestra is, apparently, "the world's premier Vaudevillian Cluster Rock ensemble featuring an ambitious mix of electric and acoustic instruments and enough skilled musicians on stage to intimidate even the largest crowds." In other words, think of them as Canada's answer to Gogol Bordello...only without the accent. I posted their most accessible song, Watchmaker, back a while ago. After I wore that song out, the band's other songs became lost in the immense number of new songs that have been coming my way. The other day, though, I felt compelled to revisit their music and was reminded of just how interesting their work is. That's why I'm posting their song When You Were Mine. It may take a few listens, so give it a chance.





For additional songs and tour dates (sadly, none in the U.S.), visit them on MySpace.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Will Listen To Your Every Word

I'm a big fan of free stuff, but an even bigger fan of free music. It is a safe assumption that if you're here, then you probably are, too. Which is why I'm happy to let you in on not only some free tunes, but what I consider to be some really fantastic songs. I'd definitely pay for them if it weren't already available for no charge. Richard Swift creates some gorgeous tunes with only a four-track recorder and a computer. His new EP, Ground Trouble Jar, sounds straight out of the 60s or 70s and feature some beautiful vocals. So head over HERE to download the album if you like the sample below.




BANG BANG BANG On The Wall

The always beyond brilliant Ladyhawke is back with her third single, Dusk Till Dawn. As per usual, both the song and video have an undeniable 80s vibe. And get ready for September 22nd, cause that's when she finally releases her album...something we've all been waiting some time for.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Some People Want To Do Crazy Things

So I have three new obsessions that just started this week. The first is, if you know me at all, quite shocking due to my lifelong dislike of fruit. I was roaming the LES over the weekend and felt compelled to try out Liquiteria. As I was studying the menu, one of the guys behind the bar asked if I wanted a sample. It was taken with much hesitancy because the Green Monster (which, contrary to what the name suggests, is not actually green) contains my most hated of all fruits...strawberry (you'll also find blueberries and bananas in there). To my delight, the mixture was sweet and delicious. Now I find myself scurrying over there at least once a day...out of the way (and rather pricey - a little more than $6 for my drink alone) as it may be.

This second one comes as a shock for me. I generally don't do too much reading, aside from the occasional magazine. In fact, the only time I have ever truly been captivated by a novel is when I was reading The Fountainhead in high school and, in the past decade since, any of the three works of the brilliant Zadie Smith. But since I've moved to NYC, I've felt as though I could be doing so much more than just listening to music and people watching whenever I'm riding the subway. So I picked up The Road, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel from Cormac McCarthy. I wound up finishing the novel in a day, due partly to the larger than normal font. But that left me hungry for more, so I rushed out and picked up The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay, which is a book I've actually been wanting to read since it hit shelves in 2000. Now I'm completely wrapped up in it. So much so that it's actually inspired me to pick up my pencil and start drawing again. How long that'll last is anyone's guess.

And, naturally, my third obsession is some new music. Actually, the song I'm posting isn't necessarily my obsession, as it's really the entire new bundle I snatched up yesterday that is. This one just happens to be a fun, summery song that just helped put me back into a good mood. It's called Good Times and it's from Brazilian Girls, an NYC-based group. Their new album, New York City dropped earlier this week.






Of course, if you like what you hear, head over to Amazon or iTunes (via the link below) to download the album.
Brazilian Girls

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm Still There Holding Your Hand

One of my new favourite songs is I Wish I Could Keep You by New Zealand-based duo Little Pictures. It's a cute, pop-y song, plus, it makes me think about someone I know. Their debut album, owl + owl, is out now and may be ordered via Lil' Chief Records.





Monday, August 04, 2008

I Stood By It Until It's Last Sigh

The musical talent runs in the family, at least in the case of The Barbers. Last month I reported on Matthew Barber, but now it's his sister's turn. Jill Barber has delivered a saccharine sweet album all about love. Where her brother puts a pop twist on folk, she takes a decidedly country route. Dare I say I may just be more impressed with her body of work...enjoy Hard Line, a track from the album For All Time. Now, mind you, this album was actually released in Canada all the way back in 2006, but it's just now finding its way outside of that market. It's a good thing.







Download the album via Amazon or iTunes (the latter via the link below)
Jill Barber

Sunday, August 03, 2008

There's No Way You're Breaking My Heart

Be on the look out this Tuesday for new artist Little Jinder's debut EP, Polyhedron. She's from, where else, Sweden, and it's very evident in her songs. Below is one of the tracks from the album, I Like It Casual

Friday, August 01, 2008

I Can't Help It If It's True

Pitchfork has just made me the happiest guy alive! They've debuted the first single, Id Engager, from Of Montreal's upcoming album Skeletal Lamping! This is something that I've been eagerly anticipating since first listening to their previous effort, the amazing Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer, just under two years ago.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across another track from the album, Feminine Effects. While I absolutely love it, Id Engager, while kind of lacking a hook, is far more, well, engaging. It's also more along the lines of what they had to offer on Hissing Fauna..., although I've read that the rest may be more of a departure than this. If you enjoyed the previous album (most of my readers back then thought was far too funky) then you'll definitely love this single.






DOWNLOAD, courtesy of Pitchfork (Right click and 'save as...')

I strongly recommend you support this band (cause they are my favourite) by pre-ordering via Polyvinyl. It's a great deal, too. If you order the three different versions of the vinyl single in the package form, it costs you a mere $10. BUT WAIT! That's not all. The vinyl will also contain the link to download all the tracks in mp3 format. I just did my part and pre-ordered, so should you!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Leave Me Nothing I Don't Need At All

Johnny Flynn's debut, A Larum, hit US stores this week. The lead single, The Box, had caught my attention a while back. However, it failed to sustain it for very long before other music I was discovering back then hit my ears. It was a great song, and one that, after a few revisits, am finally beginning to truly appreciate it. And now he is heading across the states along with a favourite artist of mine, Laura Marling. I've missed her the past couple times she has come through town, but hopefully that will not be the case this time. Of course, my being there depends on if work keeps me in NYC or not, as they perform on a school night where I live.

September
13 - Allston, MA - ICC Church
15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
17 - Philadelphia, PA - Side Chapel @ First Unitarian Church
18 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
20 - Chicago, IL - The Bottom Lounge
23 - Englewood, CO - The Falcon
26 - Los Angeles, CA - The Hotel Cafe
28 - San Francisco, CA - Cafe Du Nord
30 - Portland, OR - Lola's

October
1 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
3 - Montreal, QC - Pop Montreal Festival
4 - Toronto, ON - Rivoli

Check out the video for The Box



And for Laura Marling's Ghosts, one of my favourite songs of the year.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Like It's Nothing You've Ever Seen

Swedish singer-songwriter Kristoffer Ragnstam's new album Wrong Side Of The Room drops August 19th courtesy of Bluhammock Music. If the lead single, Swing That Tambourine, is any indication, this album should be hot.

If you like what you hear and are in the NYC area, check him out on August 27th at Piano's, along with The Break And Repair Method (Who are actually really good, too).






DOWNLOAD (Right click and 'Save Link As...')

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Then I Set Fire To Our Bed

Normally I wouldn't find the idea of an abusive relationship so fun, especially considering one of my dearest friends was in such a bind at one time; However, Florence And The Machine have made such a delectably catchy song out of a couple that beat each other up that I've been forced to make an exception. And yes, the band has stated that this isn't about domestic violence, but rather about a couple pushing each other to psychological extremes and how relationships can be completely destructive. The lyrics make it a little difficult to believe that, but you decide for yourself. Regardless of what the song is about, it's hard not to want to dance and sing along to it.

Song: Kiss With A Fist




Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thank You For Being A Friend

Some very sad news today - Estelle Getty has passed away. Best known for her performance as the cranky yet lovable Sophia on a total of three different (but related) sitcoms, the long running Golden Girls and two of its spin-offs, Empty Nest and the short lived Golden Palace.

Getty has been suffering from Lewy Body dementia for a long time and was forced to stop making public appearances back in 2000. What's odd is that I was just thinking about this last night, so it's an sad coincidence that it actually occurred the following day.

She touched millions of hearts and will be missed by each of them.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Go Ahead, You Know You Want It

Because I promised you yesterday, below are the remainder of the videos I took of Santogold performing at SummerStage in Central Park yesterday. Let me apologize for all the stupid hands. The annoying people who surrounded me insisted on standing if front of me to wave their hands and seemed to follow wherever I pointed my camera.

L.E.S. Artistes



Say Aha



Shove It



You'll Find A Way



Unstoppable



For more pictures, click HERE

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Polish Up Til You Make It Gleam

Must like last week, I found myself back in Central Park for yet another free concert (thanks to SummerStage). Unlike last week, I actually started off in the correct line. The show was fantastic! The headliner was Santogold, but the brilliant DJ Diplo, another DJ and some rappers all performed prior to her storming the stage. Below is the first video from the concert that I've been able to upload (it's a slow process when you're internet connection isn't reliable). I was able to get all but two songs recorded, so there are a few more that I'll be posting. But, for now, below is Santogold performing Creator

I'll Let My Heart Remind Me

The Rifles are a London-based rock group whose lead single from their soon-to-be-released sophomore effort is the stuff iTunes ads are made of. Maybe it is just me, but I Could Never Lie just makes me want to get up and dance stupidly around my room.







Like what you hear? Head on over to their MySpace page to find more songs and, if you're in the UK, tour dates (thru end of November). Be sure to head over to iTunes (via the link below) or Amazon (UK) to support the band.

The Rifles (UK only)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All This Pain I've Tried To Hide

A couple weeks ago I was listening to some of my favourite songs from a couple years back. This included a few tracks from Red Book, a particularly strong pop album from the Glasgow band Texas. I've been a fan since the nineties, so it got me wondering when they would be putting out a new album since a couple years had passed. I put on checking because I've been particularly lazy as of late. Imagine my delight when, a few days later, I stumbled across a familiar name on a site I visit frequently. It started bugging me, so I looked it up. Turns out it's the lead singer, Sharleen Spiteri, and her solo debut hit stores yesterday. The first single, All The Times I Cried, is indistinguishable from her work with Texas, but that isn't a bad thing by any means. She's knows what her fans like and uses it to make the transition easier. Of course, the rest of the album, Melody, isn't much different either, it just has more of a retro-pop vibe.








Visit her MySpace page for additional info. Use the iTunes links below to pick up her new album if you're in the UK.

Sharleen Spiteri

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Central Park Summer Stage LAMC

Yesterday Summer Stage hosted a concert in Central Park with performers Julieta Venegas, Plastilina Mosh and DJ Bitman. Unfortunately for me (at least at first, Bon Jovi was also performing in the park. No, I didn't want see that band, but I ended up standing in line to see him for two hours because where I entered the line (after walking south five blocks just to get to the end of it) there was no information about who was performing, just that it was for a concert. Thankfully by the time we moved up six blocks there were people standing around directing people to the concert I was there for. Of course, that meant standing in yet another long line when I could have already been in the venue. I was pissed but quickly got over it once the show started up. DJ Bitman got the crowd warmed up. From what I heard yesterday, his style reminded me of the band Avalanche (if they were to add the occasional rap in, that is).

Bitman was followed by Plastilina Mosh and their mix of dance, rap and rock. They started off very strong and got the crowd dancing and jumping around. They hit a lull toward the latter half of the middle when they started experimenting a little, but then kicked it back into high gear as they wrapped up their set. See video below:





After a slew of ten minutes more, Julieta Venegas took the stage and had the crowd roaring. She was pretty amazing, but I'll let the video footage do the talking. Oh, and I know the video is really shaky, but keep in mind that at this point I had been standing for five or six hours and had to deal with people pushing their way through the already crammed together crowd. And it's just my digital camera, so no steady cam.

Here is Venegas performing her new song, El Presente



Venegas performing Eres Para Mi



I have several other performances from the show, check them out HERE.

For more pictures, click HERE

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Concierto Gratuito en Central Park

Julieta Venegas will be performing at Summer Stage in Central Park today at 3 p.m. I'll be there and so should you. It's FREE, so you don't really have any excuses.

Not sure how to get there? Click HERE for directions.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

All You Soul Searchin' People

The Band: Delta Spirit
The Song: People C'mon
The Album: Ode To Sunshine (to be released August 26, 2008)







Visit MySpace for more songs and tour info. Click on the iTunes link below to support them...

Delta Spirit

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Careless In Our Summer Clothes

As I've previously mentioned, this past Friday I went to Celebrate Brooklyn, a free concert in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. The performers were locals Sam Champion and Elvis Perkins In Dearland, with not-so-local headliner Cold War Kids. Champion and Perkins were both great, but, as expected, Cold War Kids put on a phenomenal performance. With this band, you either like them or hate them, no real in between. At least in regards to their work in the studio. Their live performances are a whole other thing. Granted, most people were showing up because they are fans, but there were also a lot of folks checking them out for the first time...but everyone was really enjoying their set. As of right now, I have only been able too upload one video (performing 'Hang Me Up To Dry') since it took much longer than expected to load. I'll post the others once I've been able to get those up on YouTube.

Monday, June 30, 2008

And I Drink Your Love

I promised you I'd be posting today and what better time to do so than during an unexpected layover? I'm making my way down to Florida for business...but you don't come here for my ramblings. You come here for the music, so I'll get on with it.

Canadian singer-songwriter Matthew Barber has already scored a number one hit in his homeland and I think it's about time he conquer America. Okay, very slim chance of that happening with the current tastes of most Americans. Given the opportunity (which isn't likely, either), he could very well storm the adult contemporary charts. While his lyrics are simple and a tad trite, he somehow makes it work. If you're anything like me, you'll find yourself putting him on repeat.

Listen to And You Give, the first single from the new album, Ghost Notes.








Like what you hear? Then check him out over on MySpace for additional songs and upcoming performances. Pick up his album via iTunes (use link below) or get in the old fashioned format via Amazon (import only).

Matthew Barber

Sunday, June 29, 2008

HAPPY PRIDE!!!

So it's Pride today and I should have been having a fantastic time. While I did have some fun prior to all the rain, it pretty much spiraled downward quickly. Oh well, I'll post all the pictures and videos tomorrow. In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek. It's helped steer my mood into better territory, so I thought I would share it with all of you.



BTW, I also have pictures and video from Friday night's Celebrate Brooklyn concert that features Cold War Kids.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bring Your Nieces And Your Cousins

One of my favourite bands, Cold War Kids, is putting on a free show this Friday as part of Celebrate Brooklyn. Other artists performing will be Elvis Perkins In Dearland and Sam Champion. The show will be at the Prospect Park Bandshell and starts at 7:00 p.m. I'll be there and so should you!

For those in NYC, take the F train to 7th Avenue. Exit at the front of the Brooklyn-bound train leaves you at 8th Avenue and 9 Street. Walk 1 block to park's 9th Street Entrance.

A Hundred Millions Ways To Break A Heart

I'm making a conscious effort to bring more male artists into the fold. For a while there my playlist consisted of female singers and female-fronted bands, so that was reflected on my blog. But now that I'm finding worthy songs from male artists, I need to start posting here.

One such artist is Benji Hughes. It's hard to pin him down, but he's kind of a mixture of Beck and The Eels. The tracks are a bit lighter and fun, though. And he definitely doesn't look anything like I thought he would. The song I have here is called You Stood Me Up, and it's about exactly what you'd think. He gets stood up by a girl. It's a really great track that's a nice summer vibe. Enjoy!








If you like what you hear, head over to iTunes (via the link below) to pick up his EP, A Little Extreme. His double disc album A Love Extreme is due out next month.

Benji Hughes

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Best.Concert.EVER

Last night I saw The Ting Tings at Southpaw in Brooklyn, and it was hands down the best concert I've been to. Okay, so I may be a little biased considering they are my favourite band, but there is a reason that it was sold out last night. Their set list played out like a greatest hits set would for a band that's been around much longer. Each song had the entire club dancing, jumping about and singing. Yes, just about everyone there seemed about as in love with The Ting Tings as me.

Katie White (pictured) and Jules De Martino infused so much energy and fun into their performance that it didn't really matter that some of us had waited nearly three hours to hear 10 songs. Thankfully, I was one of those few that was there early, which got me a spot front and center at that stage. Little did I know that by the end of the night I would have White's crotch in my face on multiple occasions. She was constantly jumping over the equipment and getting right at the edge of the stage...her favourite spot being directly in front of me. Had I known that I was able to bring my camera, I would have been able to get close ups of her pores. I will say this, she's become far more greater presence on stage than some of the early footage I've seen. Meanwhile, Jules De Martino (who I must say I have a slight crush on) was pretty much confined to his drums, but he was equally energetic. I just wish he would take his sunglasses off for once.

Oh, and lest I forget, their opening act, Anni Rossi, was amazing. She did wonders with just her voice, a violin and a suitcase. Definitely check her out.

Please go visit The Ting Tings' Myspace page to find out if they are coming to a city near you. If so, I highly recommend you go see them. You won't regret it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh Ooh

So I told you that I would be back, and here I am. A little later than I said, but better late than never...right? I swore to myself that I was going to avoid posting songs by female artists (or groups w/ a female on vocals) because this blog has way too much estrogen for its own good. I know I'm gay and all, but still. well, my best friend informed me that one of my favourite Mexican singers was back with some new material and I just couldn't resist posting here since I've fallen in love w/ the song. You don't have to know Spanish, this song is addictive regardless of what language(s) you understand. The artist is Julieta Venegas and the song is Gol. It was originally done by Anita Tijoux (she actually is featured on this version, as well), but Venegas got a hold of it and put her twist on it.





Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Prospect(ive) Park

Since moving to NYC about a month ago, I've discovered that I'm far more popular with the men here than back in Texas. Maybe they smell fresh meat. Or it could just be that I feel more comfortable here than I have elsewhere. Or maybe there's just something in the water that impacts their judgment. Whatever it is, I'm enjoying the attention. There's been a drought for the past two and a half years, so all the attention is really rather refreshing. A little strange for me, though, since I'm not used to it yet.

That being said, I went on my first date since this past Friday. It was with an attractive fellow that I had bumped into the previous weekend. We enjoyed a movie (The Strangers), followed by coffee. While we have a second date lined up for Friday, I'm not holding my breath. It isn't that I'm necessarily being pessimistic, it's just that there hasn't been a second date in the past three years. If it happens, it happens. At this point, I'm really just focused on having some fun, not necessarily looking for a boyfriend. Not that I'm opposed to that either.

Speaking of having fun, I actually have another date this weekend w/ another very recent transplant from Texas. Well, it's kind of a date. We're both really attracted to each other, but are trying to approach this first as friends. That's why we are doing non-typical date activities, such as shopping for window a/c units. He'll also be meeting my friends and me out in Prospect Park for Brooklyn Pride that night.

So yeah, I'm really loving NYC. It's just amazing to finally feel at home somewhere.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lets Try This Again

I have good news for anyone that has been waiting for me to return to this here blog: I'M BACK!

I'll understand if you have your doubts, as I've said this before in the past month. This time it's true, though. Since I am only home roughly two days out of the week, I have been trying to simultaneously get settled in my new flat and go out exploring my new home. Naturally, the blog suffered as a result. But never fear, I am back in nearly full mode. Unfortunately, the site I use to store all the music I pay here has canceled my subscription because of an issue with Paypal, so I'm going to spend my free time this week searching for another site. So while I'll be updating, new music will most likely not hit the site until this weekend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

But I'm A Riot

I've been singing the praises of The Ting Tings for just under a year now, ever since I first heard their single That's Not My Name. Their debut album, We Started Nothing was finally released last week and I can honestly say that it is truly one of the best albums I've heard in a long while. There are at least three songs (the aforementioned 'That's Not My Name', plus 'Great DJ' and 'Fruit Machine') that I've had on heavy rotation for six months now, and their latest (which nabbed a coveted iPod commercial) 'Shut Up And Let Me Go' is just as catchy. What am I getting at? This punk-dance duo from England know how to make pop music that is addictive, guilt-free and long-lasting. We Started Nothing has easily secured its position as best album of the year, at least in my book. And yes, I can say that even if we are only at the half-way mark.

On a side note, I should be back to posting new music (and there is plenty I can't wait to share with you) starting either Thursday night or Friday morning. I know I said that I would be posting this weekend, but I was still trying to get settled in my apartment and had a lot going on. Besides, I have a long train ride awaiting me Friday morning, so I'll have plenty of time on my hands.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Keep Your Head

Hey folks...I just wanted to stop in to let you know that I have not abandoned this here blog. As you may know, I just moved to NYC a couple weeks ago and started a new job (which has me traveling Monday through Friday) last week, so I've been spending time adjusting. This blog is still very important to me and, in fact, I have a contest coming up here soon. I'll probably post details this weekend, so keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Ain't Freakin', I Ain't Fakin' This

Okay, I'm freaking out! This has been an overall great day. For starters, I finally secured an apartment in NYC. Then iTunes has The Ting Tings up for grabs for free (for which I made the comment that all they need now is an iPod commercial to get them the mainstream exposure they so rightly deserve), then I found out that I should receive an offer on a new job tomorrow and now I've just learned that the aforementioned The Ting Tings actually have an iPod commercial AND a new song. It's called Shut Up And Let Me Go. Oh, and their highly anticipated (and not just by me) debut LP, We Started Nothing drops on May 20th. I don't think I could take any more good news...check out the new iPod commercial below...

Another Guiltless Download

So Coldplay is following in the steps of Radiohead and NIN and providing their fans with some free music. This time around it is only a song and not the album, but we'll take what we can get, right? Head over HERE to retrieve the free download.

Guiltless Download

If you're in the US, do yourself a favour and head over to iTunes. RIGHT NOW!!! The Single Of The Week is none other than Great DJ by my favourite band of the moment The Ting Tings.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Be Back Soon

I've been absent far longer than I like; however, the upcoming move has eaten up a lot more of my time than I was anticipating. I've been on several interviews, apartment hunting (although I think I finally have a place, will find out tomorrow) and getting in quality time with friends. And don't even get me started about the packing.

The good news is that if I get this apartment, I should be back to posting on a regular basis as early as late next week.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sings A Song

Russian Red is a singer from Spain whose latest album is, so far, one of the best this year. Can't find a street date, but Eureka Records will be releasing it. There are many brilliant songs on it, so if you can find it you definitely should buy it. Below is one of my favourites, They Don't Believe...







Thursday, April 10, 2008

¡¡Segundo Cumpleaños!!

Hard to believe that this here blog has been going on for two years now. It was initially a personal journal, but it's slowly shifted into more of a music blog over the past year or so. I'm really much happier with it in it's latest incarnation, as exposing people to new music is far more therapeutic for me than exposing too much of myself.

So I guess what better way to celebrate a music blog's birthday than by posting a song? I don't really have much in the way of birthday music, the closest being the song Birthday by indie artists The Bird And The Bee.







Put Your Records On

My departure date is growing ever closer and I'm nearly finished with my packing, so I am working on posting on a more regular basis.

Today's posting is about a French artist by the name of Barbara Carlotti. I'm not able to find out any information about her in English as they are blocking a lot of sites here at work now. The album, L'ideal, was released in late March. The album's vibe is very French and (for me) conjures of memories of The Triplets Of Belleville (which is a delightful film if you haven't already seen it). Below is one of my favourite tracks from the album, Mademoiselle Opossum






Dying for more? Check her out on MySpace and you'll be treated to additional songs and tour dates. Buy her music via iTunes links below:

Barbara CarlottiUS (back catalog only)
Barbara CarlottiUK
Barbara CarlottiFrance

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Appropriate Bathroom Conversation?

Picture it: The restroom at my office, I'm standing at one of two urinals and a co-worker steps up to the other one (to my left).

Co-Worker: Hey Gringo
Me: Hey
CW: Are you growing?
Me: .....

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

With A Little Smile

Sorry for being such a YouTube whore as of late, but I'm just too preoccupied right now. Just came across this and felt the need to spread the beauty. The artist is NajWaJean and the song is Crime. Press play, sit back and enjoy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

To Make You Nervous

So posts have been scarce over the past week and there isn't a good reason as to why. Going through boxes and repacking have hit a stand still due to it being excruciatingly boring. Undue stress has been had over upcoming interviews. Having never been on one before, the idea of going on one is kind of nerve-racking. So I figured I'd take a moment away from the anxiety and post the new video from Jonna Lee. I'm such a sucker for a good love song, and this is about as sappy as they come. The song is I Wrote This Song

Saturday, March 22, 2008

You Set Me On Fire

She's been making the rounds in the blogosphere for over a year now, but Ladyhawke's 80's throwback Back Of The Van finally has a video. It's decidedly retro and brilliant.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Like A Lick Of Ice Cream

I'm spending my Friday night attempting to make sense of my rushed packing from my previous move. I don't think that I realized just how daunting a task condensing everything I currently own into one car load. Yep, I've gone from a huge 960 sq ft. apartment to a nice sized spare bedroom to a Ford Focus. One good thing is really coming out of this task, though, I'm coming across music in my collection that I may have tossed to the side after only one listen or had overlooked entirely.

I've had Beat (Health, Life And Fire) by Thao Nguyen with Get Down Stay Down on heavy rotation for the past few months and felt it was time to revisit their album for something fresh. And while today there seems to be a new female singer-songwriter along the same lines as her, she manages to stand out despite there not being too much to help distinguish her from the pack. Aside from the album, We Brave Stings And All being a solid effort and the subtle sense of rawness. Okay, I'm kind of getting off of my point...which is that I'm in love with a new track, Bag Of Hammers. In it she asks her lover not to leave, but to stay so they can rebuild their relationship. At least that's what I take away from it. Whatever it is about, it's has a great beat and chorus. Makes me want to get up and dance...if only I could.