Sunday, November 30, 2008

Around New York ... December 1 - December 7, 2008

Upcoming shows in the New York area ...

December 1 -- Chester French at Music Hall of Williamsburg
December 1 -- Snow Patrol at Bowery Ballroom
December 1 -- Jim Jones at Mercury Lounge
December 1 -- Dave Mason at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
December 2 - 4 -- Curtis Stigers at The Blue Note
December 2 - Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains plus Josh Reichmann at Union Hall
December 4 -- The Teenagers / Heloise & The Savoir Faire at Music Hall of Williamsburg
December 4 -- The King Left / The Howlies at Mercury Lounge
December 5 -- Grace Potter & The Nocturnals at Webster Hall
December 5 -- Modern Skirts plus Princeton / The Brilliant Mistakes at Union Hall
December 5 -- B.B. King at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
December 5 - 7 -- Rachelle Ferrell at The Blue Note
December 6 -- Hayes Carll at Union Hall
December 6 -- Johnny Winter at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
December 7 -- Nada Surf / Delta Spirit at Webster Hall

Friday, November 28, 2008

AC/DC's Black Ice

I ended up buying Black Ice, the latest from AC/DC. I had been hesitant in buying it but, based on the word of about a dozen people, I decided to give it a shot. I like AC/DC. I like them a lot. I just don't generally buy their CD's anymore.

So, I sat down to have a listen and it's a solid record. It's AC/DC. They're pretty much always solid. If there is one thing that AC/DC is, more than anything else, they're consistent. They are possibly the most consistent band in the world.

Black Ice, gives listeners what they want and expect ... blues based rock 'n' roll with bar band appeal. Yeah, so their brand of bar band is arena sized, but it's still the tried and true bar band sound that we all know and generally love from AC/DC. If you're looking for some great artistic statement, you're looking in the wrong place. This is a band who has long subscribed to the stick with what you're good at, if it ain't broke don't fix it method of doing things.

Funk? Did AC/DC just throw a little funk out at us? Yeah, they did ... vaguely. "She Likes Rock 'n' Roll" has a little funk vibe going on. Well, hells bells ... get down with your bad selves! I'd pay money to see Brian Johnson bust a move. Yeah, maybe not. Also, something about the title track, "Black Ice" reminds me of their classic song "Back In Black" only not as good.

Would I recommend Black Ice? Probably, but only to an AC/DC fan (who would likely already have the record!) or perhaps casual listeners and those on the fence. Non-fans and beginners I'd point them in the direction of earlier classics first.

Track Listing
  • Rock 'n' Roll Train
  • Skies On Fire
  • Big Jack
  • Anything Goes
  • War Machine
  • Smash 'n' Grab
  • Spoilin' For A Fight
  • Wheels
  • Decibel
  • Stormy May Day
  • She Likes Rock 'n' Roll
  • Money made
  • Rock 'n' Roll Dream
  • Rocking All The Way
  • Black Ice

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving nearly here, I'd like to take a moment to wish those who celebrate a Happy Thanksgiving. May you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday.

Peace & Happiness,


Monday, November 24, 2008

12 Questions with Daniel Iorio

I've been listening to Hike, the twelve song effort from The Daniel Iorio Group (D.I.G.) for a while now. As a matter of fact, it's been in heavy rotation on my iPod. I realized my knowledge about the group was rather limited. To be honest, I didn't know much beyond knowing that I liked the record a great deal. I became curious about the group and wanted to know more about the record and the men who put together such a good record. Well, when I get curious, I start asking questions. I contacted singer/songwriter/producer Daniel Iorio who kindly agreed to quench my curiosity. I sent over a "quirky" photo request, which landed me a Simpsonized version of Mr. Iorio, along with the batch of questions and this is what I learned!

QuirkyNYChick (QNYC): Tell me a bit about the band. How did you come together and what were you doing prior to d.i.g.?

Daniel Iorio (DI): Ooofff. Big question right off the top, eh? lol!

There have been a few incarnations of d.i.g. I was in a Montréal band called Ecclestone for about 7 years. The group parted ways in 2002. We enjoyed some modest success, and were fortunate enough to open up for some legendary acts such as YES, Nazareth & April Wine during our time together. Dan Legault, who co-produced/engineered “Hike” and plays a few instruments on the album was Ecclestone’s drummer. Our last cd together was released in 2001 and called “Datamantra”.

I became a solo artist by default when the band split up, although still collaborated with Dan Legault and Ecclestone guitarist Rob Phillips from time to time. I was writing like crazy and couldn’t stop. Tunes kept accumulating.

No longer having a band to arrange songs with forced me to start experimenting with loops and samples on my computer, something that I would have normally considered somewhat blasphemous as I’d always been a very organic songwriter up to that point. As a result, I produced a lot of haphazardly recorded lo-fi home demos and uploaded them online as a lark. Remarkably, they helped create a buzz on the net, which lead to my signing an independent recording and publishing deal in 2003. Marco Desgagné (bassist) joined me around that time, and was part of the sessions that took place in Toronto under that deal. D.I.G sort of started taking shape at that point. Between 2003 and 2006, different variations of D.I.G played several shows in Montreal and Toronto. Unfortunately, like too many indie deals, things didn’t pan out despite the three grueling years of sacrifice, tons of commuting and non-stop hard work. I was pretty much ready to call it a day and took a break from music. I redirected my energy to martial arts and meditation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bob Schneider Heats Up New York

Bob Schneider: November 15 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Once again I found myself in the lower regions of New York City's East side. This time, it was to see the charismatic Bob Schneider. It seems every time I go to the Bowery it's raining! This was a show that was worth getting wet for though.

The show kicked off with the talented Amie Miriello. I wasn't familiar with her work prior to the show. The lady can sing. She's a very personable entertainer and I really enjoyed her set. My favorite of the night from her set was the wonderful "Hey."

So, I got myself up front, against the stage, right there under Bob. This isn't a bad place to be. Nope, not at all. Other than a slight neck ache from looking up and a blinding headache from the brutal assault of the lights on my congested head it was a great place to be. Colds and flashing lights don't mix ... just so you know. I told myself I was reserving what little voice I had in case he played "Tarantula," which he did. I did attempt to 'la, la, la' during "Getting Better" prior to that though. If you were near and heard what sounded like an off-key frog, that was me! All hope for my poor throat was gone with "Assknocker" and "Mudhouse." Some songs you just can't resist singing along to.

I'm not sure how to describe one Bob Schneider. He's a bit of a jack of all trades type of musician. He's a storyteller with a wicked sense of humor. He's a multi-instrumentalist. He effortlessly exudes charm. You know what to expect (a bit of the unexpected) while at the same time he keeps you off balance just enough to completely blow your mind at each turn. One moment he's the guy you want to toss back drinks with, the next you want to hug him and give him a bowl of soup. And if you're one to go all weak kneed and girlie, he offers opportunity to do that too. It's said, that once you see him live, you're forever hooked. I have no doubts that that's true.

Schneider who during the course of the night played guitar, keyboard, harmonica, the trumpet and a cymbal was joined by Jeff Plankenhorn (guitar), Harmoni Kelly (bass) and Conrad Choucroun (drums). They were just as talented and entertaining as their leader. This is a group of people who covered just about every musical base possible and made it all fit without making you wonder "what the hell?" Where else are you going to get the 'rap song,' "Bullets," and the sultry "Slower Dear" (which I was very happy to hear) in one show?

Schneider's shows aren't just concerts. They're experiences with audience participation. I had a great time in spite of having a horrible cold. I would gladly go out in the rain and sound like an off key frog again for Mr. Schneider. Does that mean I'm hooked?

I was loaded up on cold medicine and didn't take setlist notes. But, to the best of my memory, the below is what was played ... obviously not in this order. I know I'm forgetting a few ...

Set List (Updated)
  • When The Sun Breaks Down On The Moon
  • Game Plan
  • Metal & Steel
  • Blue Mountain
  • Changing Your Mind (w/Amie Miriello)
  • Realness Of Space
  • Bullets
  • Cheaper
  • The Californian
  • 40 Dogs & Cigarettes
  • Gold In The Sunset
  • Trash
  • Getting Better
  • Ready, Let's Roll
  • Big Blue Sea
  • Sun Hurts My Eyes
  • Captain Kirk
  • Tarantula
  • Snakebucket
  • Slower Dear
  • Country Club
  • Mudhouse / Heart Holds Diamonds
  • Assknocker
I still swear I heard "Looking At The People" and "Greg The Gangster" ... perhaps I was more loaded up on cold medicine than I thought or the voices in my head were doing their own show or I was wishful thinking!

The Band
All Photos: © L.R. Adams

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Video: Marina V - Babushka (live)

Marina V: November 11 @ Caffe Vivaldi, New York, NY

This is the beautiful song dedicated to Marina's babushka (grandmother). The gentleman from punkcast was also at the show and shot this great video.

Video Credit: punkcast

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chinese Democracy, Not An Urban Legend After All

I was tooling around iTunes earlier seeing if they had anything that caught my eye. I discovered you can pre-order Guns 'N' Roses' Chinese Democracy now. WHAT?! You mean to tell me that record's not just an urban legend, like the kid whose stomach exploded from eating Pop Rocks? Who knew? The expected release date is November 25. I might buy it. Then again, I might not. Maybe I'll wait 17 years to buy it ... took 17 years to make ... it only seems fair!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Marina V Charms New York

Marina V & Nick Baker: November 11 @ Caffe Vivaldi, New York, NY

I took a trip to Caffe Vivaldi in the West Village to see Russian songbird Marina Verenikina who was accompanied by Nick Baker. I'd never been to Caffe Vivaldi before so I wasn't sure what to expect. It's an adorable little bar/cafe with a small area up front for live acts. I'd guess it holds about forty or fifty people. That might be a generous count though.
Marina has a lovely voice and is a captivating performer. She sang the beautiful "Babushka," a song dedicated to her late grandmother, in Russian. I had no idea what she was saying but it was absolutely stunning live. Though she did a number of songs solo (accompanying herself on piano), Nick added his talents accompanying her on acoustic guitar. For the song "Hope," my favorite from her newest album Modern Fairytale, she proved she's quite capable with an acoustic guitar too. With the exception of the closing number, The Beatles "Here, There & Everywhere," all of the songs were Marina & Nick compositions. They happen to be excellent songwriters as well.

With the size of the venue, it felt like you were sitting in someones living room. Marina's strong voice would serve her well on a big stage and I'd love to see her in that setting. But, it was nice being able to hear her in such an intimate space where crisp clean vocals such as hers shine. Both Marina and Nick lit up the room with their warmth and charm. They put on a terrific down to Earth show. After the show, they greeted their fans with hugs and smiles.

Marina & Nick after their set @ Cafe Vivaldi

I had a great time and look forward to seeing them perform again.

Set List
  • I'll Be Alright
  • Rain On The Butterfly
  • The Strength I Need
  • Hope
  • Sunshine Guaranteed
  • Babushka
  • Wilhelmina
  • Underneath Your Sky
  • Something Of My Own
  • Here, There & Everywhere

Marina V - Hope (live)


(all photos ©L.R. Adams)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Take A Hike with The Daniel Iorio Group

Last month I picked up Hike the self-produced first CD by Canadian band The Daniel Iorio Group (D.I.G.). This is another group I came across while browsing about Amie Street where I picked up the title track and a couple of other tracks before the full album was released.

D.I.G. have pulled together twelve pop/rock indie tunes that sometimes dip into Beatlesque territory. At the same time, they pull from folk rock with tinges of bluesy soulfulness that suits Daniel Iorio's voice well.

The standout tracks, the poignant "Helicopters" that makes me sad each time I listen to it. "Black and Blue" which to me is reminiscent of George Harrison only with stronger, more soulful vocals. And, my personal favorite, "Ain't Got You." The music on this one has a bit of a trippy feel to it. This is the song that was on repeat for a while on my iPod.

Hike is an enjoyable record. I think is worth checking out if you like solid acoustic based indie tunes.

Track Listing
  • Atisha's Lamp
  • Hike
  • Northern Lights
  • Black And Blue
  • Is It Just Me?
  • Helicopters
  • Rogue
  • One Of A Kind
  • Ain't Got You
  • All That You Are
  • Wandering In The Ether
  • Ruins
Stalk Them Online

Saturday, November 8, 2008

20 Questions with Hot Seconds Frontman James Love

If you’ve been following my blog, then you no doubt already know one of my favorite albums of the year is Hot Seconds self-titled debut. While listening to the album one evening, I realized that I really didn’t know much about the band. It was then that I decided to do what any inquisitive gal would. I set out to remedy that! So, I sent over some questions to their frontman/guitarist/lyricist, James Love. To my delight, Mr. Love was kind enough to answer them. Not only that, nice guy that he is, he agreed to my quirky desire to use a self-portrait instead of a promo picture and sent one in … thanks!

Check out what Mr. Love has to say!

QuirkyNYChick (QNYC): I’ll start with a question that has bugged me a little for a while. The band name, what’s the proper spelling … all lower case or proper capitalization? I’ve seen it both ways.

James Love (JL): Either or really, we like both.

(QNYC): Who came up with the name for the band and is there a story behind it?

(JL): Eran came up with it. We were passing round emails with tons of names and all were getting shot down. We were almost called Chinese Helicopter Pilots! Hot Seconds was one of the first that seemed cool in retrospect. We had to decide and that was the one.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Torrid Evening With The Heavy

The Heavy: November 5, 2008 @ Mercury Lounge, New York, NY

I made my way down to Lower East Side venue Mercury Lounge again. This time it was to see UK band, The Heavy.

Also on the bill was Kenan Bell whose set I didn't see and Pennsylvanian band Illinois. I wasn't familiar with Illinois prior to going to the show, but I'd seen a picture of them with their singer playing a banjo. That was all I needed to see. I knew at that moment I had to get there early enough to catch their set. They were good! I'll be checking their music out more when I get some time. I posted photos of their set and their set list in an earlier post.

Now, I came to be a fan of The Heavy by accident. Someone recommended a band with a similar name to me. I went searching around the Internet and never found that band but what I did find was The Heavy. At the time I got hooked by this great band, their album Great Vengeance And Furious Fire hadn't been released here in the States yet. Once I finally found a place to buy it, I had to pay in Pounds! Turns out, the record had only been out a week or two in the UK at that point.

Since I had gone though the whole paying in foreign currency thing to get their music, I had to see them live! As fate would have it, I missed the shows they did in these parts when the record was released over here earlier this year. Well, I wasn't about to miss them this time!

I planted myself right up front and waited for The Heavy to hit the stage. Their set started in the dark. Now, not everybody can get away with playing a song sans lights, making the audience focus on a voice. That's how The Heavy kicked things off. When you've got a voice like The Heavy's Kelvin Swaby, you can do that!

After the low key soulful start, The Heavy launched into a tight set that kept the audience enchanted. Vocalist Swaby takes the old school soul singer approach to performing ... working the stage and working up a sweat. He didn't limit himself to the stage either. He jumped into the crowd several times getting up close and personal with the audience. The man is an entertainer.

The rest of the band, Dan Taylor (guitar), Spencer Page (bass) and Chris Ellul (drums) while more sedate than their frontman, held their own playing their dirty mix of soul, funk and rock. They kept you moving with their intoxicating take no prisoners efficiency. They were hot and stanky! Yeah, they were that damn good.

The set list flowed perfectly. I would have been happy with any set as long as it included "Set Me Free" which this one did. There were plenty of opportunities to sing along or howl as was the case during "Big Bad Wolf." Swaby sang to the ladies and interacted well with the energetic audience.

The Heavy put on a great show. They asked via song "How Do You Like Me Now?" With the smiles and enthusiasm of the audience, I would say, everyone liked them plenty! I enjoyed myself. I wiggled and eyewitness accounts say I even waggled. I was a dancing sweaty mess.

The Heavy are dirty. They're funky. They're full of sweaty soul. They're bad ass hot stanky fun ... yeah, again, they're that damn good. They are, well, HEAVY!

And Mr. Swaby, you can sing to me anytime.

Set List
  • She Got To Go
  • Strong Enough
  • Dignity
  • Coleen
  • Big Bad Wolf
  • Set Me Free
  • Sixteen
  • You Don't Know
  • Girl
  • In The Morning
  • How Do You Like Me Now?
  • That Kind Of Man
  • Oh No!
Stalk Them Online

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Russell Garcia Follow Up

After I posted the story about the missing Oscar, I received an email asking me if I knew anything about what Russell Garcia was up to these days. Well, I did some searching around the internet and found that Garcia has recently worked with jazz vocalist Shaynee Rainbolt.

Rainbolt released an album this year titled Charmed Life: Shaynee Rainbolt Sings Russell Garcia with Russell Garcia and his Four Trombone Band. The album features Garcia's songs as well as Garcia himself.

More info can be found here ...

Track Listing
  • When I First Saw You
  • Flyin' Free
  • I Remember
  • Soft Warm Lips
  • Come Home Again
  • Sounds In The Night
  • What To Do
  • After Winter
  • Go Slow
  • When I Go I Go All The Way
  • Haunted By Desire
  • Livin' In Harmony
  • Warm And Wonderful
  • Five A.M.
  • The Time Traveler
  • Charmed Life

Photos: Illinois Live

Illinois @ Mercury Lounge November 5, 2008

Set List
  • Heart
  • She's So Blonde
  • Tree
  • Irish Whiskey
  • Screendoor
  • Hang On
  • I Hate Love
  • Old Saloon
  • Nosebleed
  • Old Man Rivers
Stalk Them Online

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Semi Precious Weapons Loves You!

Several weeks ago, I picked up We Love You. the debut record by Semi Precious Weapons. I actually picked up the version that came with the bonus gun shaped USB necklace because it was, well, cute! The USB contains a couple of videos ("Semi Precious Weapons" and "Her Hair Is On Fire"), wallpaper, photos and a digital copy of the CD booklet.

We Love You. is a fun record. It's one of those records that you put on when you want to sing along to something or dance around the room uncontrollably. In my case, I do both somewhat questionably!

Upon seeing frontman Justin Tranter with his stunning eyes spectacularly made up and his stiletto boots, you might mistakenly think you're going to get some glamorous pop band or a dance act. You don't get either. What you get is some pretty solid rock 'n' roll. The band, Cole Whittle (bass), Dan Crean (drums) and *Aaron Tasjan (guitar) provide the perfect foundation for Tranter to be the rock star he was obviously born to be.

We Love You. houses some catchy songs. The catchiest of the bunch and my personal favorites, "Magnetic Baby" and "Her Hair Is On Fire" take the gloves off and dare you to sing along. I've also become very fond of the dramatic "Time Zones."

You don't have to see these guys live to visualize their performance ... it comes through loud and clear on record. We Love You. is what would be playing if you were "making out" with some bad boy in the bathroom stall of a dingy rock club. They're a luscious blend of rock, glam, sleaze, drama and fun.

*Tasjan has since left the band and has been replaced by Stevy Pyne.

Track Listing
  • Taste
  • Magnetic Baby
  • Semi Precious Weapons
  • Bleed To Heal
  • Genius
  • Her Hair Is On Fire
  • That's Kunt
  • Jesus
  • Time Zones
  • Rock 'N' Roll Never Looked So Beautiful
  • Magnetic Baby (radio version)
  • Her Hair Is On Fire (radio version)
Stalk Them Online

Monday, November 3, 2008


Tomorrow's election day. Go vote!

I don't care which candidate you choose to vote for so long as you're using your voice.

We can complain about the state of our country until we're blue in the face. But, you can't expect things to change if you don't make an effort to change them. What we want changed may not happen. But, if you vote, it won't be because you didn't try.

Video: Little Jackie - Guys Like When Girls Kiss (live)

Little Jackie: October 25, 2008 @ Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Little Jackie - Guys Like When Girls Kiss (live)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Misplaced Oscar?

I was doing a little online browsing when I came across a story titled "The Case of the Misplaced Oscar" over on Well, my curiosity was peaked. How do you misplace an Oscar I wondered? The only way to find out was to read the story. So, I did!

It turns out that this isn't a case of 'I put my Oscar in the attic and now I can't find it' or 'it was misplaced when I moved.' This is a story of how someone was mistakenly given credit for the work of someone else and got an Oscar in the process!

What's the story and how did someone get an Oscar that should have gone to someone else? Long story short, Charlie Chaplin did a movie called Limelight back in the early 50's. Composer and arranger Russell Garcia did the arrangements for the movie. Some 20 years later, Limelight gets released in the U.S. and its score nominated for an Oscar. Chaplin was asked who arranged the score. He said Ray Rasch who had worked with him at the time. Apparently, symphony orchestra arrangements weren't his thing and Garcia landed the gig. The Oscar folks asked Rasch's widow who else had arranged the score. She said, 'someone named Russell.' The only Russell that came to their mind at the time was another film arranger, Larry Russell. The Oscar folks asked Russell's widow if he'd done the job and she said, 'he must have' and Oscar's were given to Rasch and Russell.

Garcia never put up a fuss over the situation and the whole thing seemed to have been forgotten about. That is, until Jazzwax's Marc Myers was doing research after interviewing Garcia who still isn't interested in putting up a fuss. Garcia seems content allowing his work to speak for itself. Would he like to have his Oscar after all these years? Probably, awards are nice to have. But, in the scope of things, getting a pat on the back in the form of a shiny piece of statuary isn't a big deal. Are the Oscar folks going to give Russell Garcia his Oscar? I hope so.

You can read the story at the following link: