Monday, September 28, 2009

Anna Rose To Play Rockwood Music Hall, Tomorrow 9/29

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Anna Rose is releasing her self-titled EP tomorrow, September 29. In celebration, Rose will be doing a show at Rockwood Music Hall on the LES. Drop by and catch her in action if you're in the area. Grab "Picture" from the EP, HERE and check her out for yourselves.

Video: Freshlyground - "Pot Belly"

Check out South African band Freshlyground. I dig them. Vocalist Zolani has a soulful jazzy voice with a lot of charm. They blend afro-pop/funk and jazz for a fun mix of ear pleasing sounds.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Video: Killola - "Cracks In The Armor"

So, those delightful darlings, Killola, have released a video for their song "Cracks In The Armor." Forget about Finding Nemo. Finding Lisa is way more wicked. And, watch for Johnny's bitchin' hair toss around the 2:35 mark ... toss your hair, rescue the chick, rock out. Yep, works for me. Check it all out below.

Bebel Gilberto To Play The Box, 9/29

Exciting news for fans of Brazilian vocalist Bebel Gilberto. She has a new record, All In One, coming out on September 29. The record focuses on the rhythms of her native country and is sung mostly in Portuguese.

But, that's not the only good news. Attention New York! That same evening, September 29, she will perform two shows at The Box, 7:30 and 9:30 respectively. Tickets can be found HERE. Grab one while you can. These will be her last shows in the US before taking off for Europe. You don't want to have to wait for her to come back, do you?

For those interested in a taste of the upcoming release, you can grab her rendition of the Carmen Miranda song, "Chica Chica Boom Chic," HERE.

E, para todos os meus amigos que falam Português e porque traduz o Google, aqui está em Português. E para os amigos, não rir de minhas habilidades de tradução, a culpa do Google! Ok, vá em frente e rir!

Boas notícias para os fãs do vocalista brasileira Bebel Gilberto. Ela tem um novo recorde, All In One, que sai em 29 de setembro. O registro incide sobre os ritmos do seu país natal e na maior parte é cantada em Português.

Mas, essa não é a única boa notícia. Atenção Nova York! Nessa mesma noite, 29 de setembro, ela fará dois shows no The Box, 7:30 e 9:30, respectivamente. Os ingressos podem ser encontrados AQUI. Pega um, enquanto você pode. Estes serão ela últimos shows em os E.U. antes de decolar para a Europa. Você não quer ter de esperar para que ela voltasse, pois não?

Para aqueles interessados em uma amostra do próximo lançamento, você pode agarrar a sua interpretação de Carmen Miranda canção "Chica Chica Boom Chic", AQUI.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Feathered Delight, Juliette Lewis Wowed NY

Juliette Lewis: September 19 @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, New York, NY

If you know me or have been reading my little sliver of space here in the blog world, then you know that I'm a fan of Juliette Lewis. So, it was the fan in me that trotted my happy self down to Irving Plaza and caught Lewis’ headlining set. What a treat!

Her support artists got me good and warmed up for her set. The air was electric and the audience seemed to swell in between the time American Bang left the stage and Lewis hit the stage.

Lewis has an enthusiastic fan base. So, to the loud cheers of the crowd, she took the stage with her top notch band Shirley To (bass), Yves Lelevier (guitar), Chris Watson (guitar) and Troy Zeigler (drums). And, they were joined for a song by Finnie on congas. While I am/was a great fan of The Licks, I find this band to be a much tighter unit and they seemed more apt at showcasing Lewis' vocals in the best frame.

I mentioned to a couple of people that I had gone to see Juliette Lewis and their response was "the actress?" My response was, "the singer." From the moment Lewis hits the stage, there is no mistaking that she is a rocker. She isn't acting like a rocker, she is one and she puts her all into her performance. Saturday night she strutted out in black and red feathers looking every bit the dramatic rock chick ripping into a set that covered not only tracks from her new album Terra Incognita but also her work with The Licks. Lewis seems to have better control of her voice. She sounds more precise but, without losing the edginess that has endeared us to her vocals.

Lewis worked the stage reminiscent of Iggy Pop with the attitude of Patti Smith. She's a bundle of wild energy and busted her ass for us. We appreciated it. My fellow audience members seemed to enjoy the new songs as much as the older songs. Of the new songs played, it was "Hard Lovin' Woman" that stood out. While I love the album version, this song gets my must hear live stamp. Lewis belted out the blues like nobody's business ... gritty, passionate and straight from the gut. Lewis has nothing to prove, but for any doubters who may have been lurking in the audience, that song alone should have put them in their places.

She left the stage after "Suicide Dive Bombers" before coming back and donning her feathered head gear. The crowd went wild the moment she slipped it on. She then ripped through her final song of the night, a cheeky version of "Hot Kiss." It was a great show full of fun and energy. We all would have loved more. But, all good things must come to an end. I highly recommend going to see Lewis. And, if you can catch her while she has The Ettes and American Bang out on the road with her, you'll witness possibly the best touring package on the road right now.

Set List
  • Badass Baby
  • Purgetory Blues
  • Ghosts
  • Fantasy Bar
  • Pray For The Band Latoya
  • Hard Lovin' Woman
  • Terra Incognita
  • Uh Huh
  • Sticky Honey
  • Junkyard Heart
  • You're Speaking My Language
  • Suicide Dive Bombers
  • Hot Kiss

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

American Bang Brought Southern Swagger To NY

American Bang: September 19 @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, New York, NY

When I walked into The Fillmore this past Saturday, I went in knowing two of the three bands that were performing that night. It wasn't until I took a glance at the merchandise table on my way to the stage area that I even knew the name of the other band that would be playing that night.

As I stood there waiting for the second act of the night to take the stage, I wondered to myself, where are these guys from and what do they sound like? I also hoped like hell that they would at least be a decent band. Not long after I wondered that, Tennessee band American Bang took to the stage and proceeded to silence my questions. The first thing I noticed, the band, Jaren Johnston (vocals/guitar), Ben Brown (guitar), Kelby Ray (bass) and Neil Mason (drums) looked to be a no frills group of guys. I immediately thought, long hairs from the South who look like the sort of guys you'd hang out with, at your local bar, tossing back drinks. Nice!

I may have walked into the venue an American Bang virgin but, it was clear from the opening chords of their set that I was going to be given a night to remember. They are, all up in your face, straight up rock 'n' roll. Live, American Bang has the intensity of Cream; the fiery, whiskey drinking, kick your ass, foot stomping, Southern boogie and swagger of early Skynyrd; the bombastic bluesy arena rock attitude of AC/DC; and the loud, fast, hard rocking wallop of MC5. Yeah, that's some heavy comparison but Saturday night, bad-assery rained from the stage and this band was responsible for it. Bad-assery, is that even a word? Well, if not, they put on a show worthy of word creation.

They roared through a blistering set that left no doubt that they meant business. Frontman Johnston who in addition to having a good voice that serves him well and playing killer licks, put on a display of charm and swagger reminiscent of frontmen of yore. Guitarist Brown totally rocked out, working his side of the stage like nobody's business; he also seemed to have a cadre of woman cheering him on. The rhythm section of Mason and Ray are a tight driving force that not only demand your attention, but demand that you move. Their rhythms are heavy, particularly Mason who lays down a hard back beat but, doesn't overpower.

For those who want a taste of American Bang and don't already have it, they have an EP out, Move To The Music. If my memory is serving me correctly, Johnston mentioned from the stage that they have a record coming out in January.

American Bang are a damn good live band. They're high energy bad ass fun. While I walked in not knowing who they were, I walked away with that excited, tingly, euphoric feeling that seems to invade every fiber of your being when you witness good rock 'n' roll. I like that feeling.

On the photo side of things, the drummer photo curse continues ... forgive me Mr. Mason for I have blurred you!

Set List
  • Wildside
  • All Night Long
  • Move To The Music
  • She No Cry
  • Rock 'N' Roll Queen
  • All We Know
  • Whiskey Walk
  • Wild And Young
  • Kiss Kiss Bang

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Ettes Cause A Power Surge In NY

The Ettes: September 19 @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, New York, NY

I've been a fan of The Ettes since I came across their 2006 album Shake The Dust. So, needless to say, I was quite tickled when I found out they would be one of the bands supporting Juliette Lewis this past Saturday. It was the first time I'd managed to catch a show so I was excited.

The band, Coco (vocals/guitar), Poni (drums), Jem (bass) and Johnny (guitar) took the stage first. Those who didn't get their early enough to catch The Ettes set truly missed out on something special. Their set was a walloping display of garage rock. They ripped through a set that had enough punk and girl group sass to make both The Stooges and The Shangri-Las proud respectively.

Coco looks the part of a 60's girl group bad girl ... you know, one part sweet, one part innocent, one part fun, one part mischievous. You half expected her to leave the venue donning a leather jacket, head scarf and shades on the back of a motorcycle. She has a good voice; it's one that ably handled the multi-faceted description I just gave her. Coco is a charismatic front woman who is charming while at the same time displaying a lets get down to business demeanor.

On his first tour with the band, guitarist Johnny, along with Coco set an electric fire of crunchy guitar work that blazed from the stage burning those of us who had the good sense to get there early enough to see them. Hey, sometimes getting burned is fun.

Drummer Poni is to be witnessed. The woman keeps a fierce beat. A tiny woman with a mass of hair, she's a powerhouse drummer. Her playing definitely encourages audience movement. The song "No Home" comes to mind in cementing that notion right off the bat. I heard more than one person after the show comment on how bad ass she is.

Bassist Jem seemed to be the most low key member of The Ettes. He laced the set with a storm of fuzzy bass licks and seemed to be the string that held it all together in a nice tight rock 'n' roll package. He and Poni without a doubt make a formidable rhythm section.

Half of their set consisted of songs from their new record Do You Want Power which I recommend. It is available at shows and digitally online now. The release date of the physical CD is September 29 for those who won't be seeing them live to pick one up. It's the tightest and most polished of their efforts yet it doesn't lose any of the kick that makes their previous efforts the delights that they are.

I can't pick a favorite song from the show because the whole set was dynamite and flowed terrifically. The Ettes are a great live band. For some reason I expected them to sound a lot more raw than they actually are. Raw isn't a bad thing by any means but, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they're such a well-honed band.

The Ettes
are a band deserving of a massive following. With Do You Want Power being such a delight and a killer live show, I expect they'll have that and much more soon.

Set List
  • Red In Tooth And Claw
  • I Can't Be True
  • Reputation
  • Take It With You
  • So Say So
  • Chilled Hidebound Hearts
  • Lo and Behold
  • Marathon
  • No Home
  • Blood Red Blood
  • Dead And Gone
  • Crown of Age
  • I Heard Tell
  • Walk Out That Door

As you can see, my drummer photo curse continues!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Talking To Walls To Play M.E.A.N.Y. Fest 2009

Those rockin' lads known as Talking To Walls are coming back to New York! Say wha?! Yes indeed fellow creatures known as New Yorkers, those CT boys are coming back. This time, they'll be taking part in M.E.A.N.Y. Fest 2009 ... that stands for Musicians and Emerging Artists New York ... yeah, I didn't know either. I'm not hip or down or with it or whatever the young whipper snappers are saying these days. They'll be at The Delancey on Thursday, October 1. I hear it's going to be the "greatest, wildest, most legendary show in Talking to Walls history" ... how could you even think about missing that?! They'll be shooting a video with Irish step dancers (really? wicked!) and just in general rockin' out. You should go and show some love or at the very least some highly energetic lust.

And because you won't have gotten enough Talking To Walls, you'll want to go see them when they wreck havoc over at R Bar on Thursday, October 22. Really, you will!

ResidentBand Features Killola

Our friends over at ResidentBand have put together a video announcing Killola tour dates for their Maximum Bits Tour. Yes, Killola is hitting the road. No, they're not coming to NY ... what's up with that?! It's been nearly a year since I peeped them. Oh Lisa, Johnny, Mike & Dan how sad you've made me. I'll have to try and ease my sorrows sitting around in my spiffy Killola tee-shirt, watching ResidentBand clips while sucking back Twizzlers and cheap booze.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Video: Cage The Elephant - "Back Against The Wall"

Any video that has a smack down with garden gnomes in it is all right by me. Oh, and I dig the song too.

Garden gnomes are like the cockroaches of lawn decorations. You can't get rid of them and they seem to mysteriously multiply! Am I the only one that feels this way?

Juliette Lewis Tomorrow Night In NYC!

Juliette Lewis is coming to rock NY TOMORROW, Saturday, September 19. She'll be over at The Fillmore at Irving Plaza. Be there!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Karin Park Makes US Debut At Pianos

Karin Park: September 16 @ Pianos, New York, NY

I paid a visit to the LES to catch Swedish/Norwegian singer Karin Park make her NY debut. Park's band which consists of herself (vocals/keyboards) and her brother David Park (drums) took the stage at Pianos.

For those unfamiliar with her work, she plays deliciously groovy electro-pop. I myself was just recently introduced to Park's music so I wasn't sure what to expect live. It's always nice to walk into a show not knowing what to expect and walk away afterwards pleased with what you saw. While it was a short set, it was an effective set and an excellent introduction. I'm absolutely hooked on "Ashes" and "Can't Stop Now" which were both done last night and even more fun live.

Park is a striking woman and cuts a fierce pose on stage. She has a strong stage presence and put on a good set. If you're a fan of electro-pop, hers is a show to check out.

New York, you still have a chance to catch Park live. She's supporting Datarock at Highline Ballroom tonight, September 17. So, get there early enough to see her set. This isn't a random support act situation. Park's latest record, Ashes To Gold was produced by Datarock frontman Fredrik Saroea and released on Datarock's YAP Records label.

On a side note, I have to mention that I had a chance to meet Park after her set last night. Though she confessed to being a bit nervous, I can say it didn't show. She is an incredibly nice lady. They didn't have a set list written down and she was kind enough to write it out for me after the show so I could share it with those of you in my happy little blog world. So a big thank you to her for that!

Here are a few photos from the show.
Set List
  • Bedtime For The Children
  • Desire
  • Ashes
  • Can't Stop Now
  • Out Of The Cage

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ash Unvails "True Love 1980" Video

For those who haven't heard yet, Ash is releasing a collection of 26 limited edition 7" and digital download singles. These singles will be released every two weeks over the coming year. The first single, "True Love 1980" will be released on October 12 and serves as "A" in their A - Z Series. Check out the video below.

When I first heard of the A - Z Series it seemed a bit odd to me in this day and age when so many artists are reverting to focusing more on albums as a whole then on the we must have (preferably hit) singles mantra. I'm talking play their own music, non lip-syncing, real musicians as opposed to the throw away pop act du jour that insists on wrecking havoc on the development of our youths taste buds. But then I thought about it. I think Ash may have hit on something solid with this. People like to collect things ... it's apparently some inbred instinct that we're born with. So, folks will endeavor to collect all 26 of these songs even if there are a few they may not like because you can't have an incomplete collection. Not to knock stamp collecting, but collecting Ash seems way more fun!

The video ... "True Love 1980"

I don't normally list complete tour schedules nor do I usually mention dates that aren't in NY (or sometimes NJ) but in keeping with the spirit of their A - Z Series, they're going to embark on a two month, 26 date UK tour starting in Aldershot and ending in Zennor. That's a cute, quirky and fun way of choosing tour destinations. Since I like cute and quirky stuff, I'm listing the dates. Hey Ash, how about an A - Z tour of the US?

The dates ...
Oct 19 - Aldershot @ West End Centre
Oct 20 - Bradford @ The Gasworks
Oct 21 - Carlisle @ The Brickyard
Oct 23 - Dundee @ Fat Sam’s
Oct 24 - East Grange @ The Loft
Oct 25 - Falkirk @ Behind The Wall
Oct 27 - Gloucester @ Guildhall
Oct 28 - Hastings @ Crypt
Oct 30 - Ipswich @ Corn Exchange
Oct 31- Jersey @ St. Helier Havana Club
Nov 2 - Kingston @ The Peel
Nov 3 - Loughborough @ University
Nov 4 - Milton Keynes @ Pitz Club
Nov 6 - Newport @ TJ’s
Nov 7- Oldham @ Castle
Nov 8 - Plymouth @ Hippo
Nov 10 - Queens Park @ Corrib Rest
Nov 11 - Rotherham @ The Vault
Nov 12 - Swansea @ Sin City
Nov 14 - Tunbridge Wells @ Forum
Nov 16- Upper Norwood @ Gipsy Hill Tavern
Nov 17 - Ventnor @ Winter Gardens
Nov 19 - Worcester @ Dive Bar
Nov 21 - Exmouth @ Pavilion
Nov 22 - Yeovil @ Orange Box
Nov 23 - Zennor @ Village Hall

Video: The Heavy - How You Like Me Now?

I don't even need words for this one. But, for those who do, this is The Heavy. If you don't know who they are, watch and discover. They're bad ass and they have a new record, The House That Dirt Built, set for release on October 5.

The Heavy put on a good live show. And so, with a new record, of course they'll be out on the road promoting said record. I suggest you go see them. If they're not playing near you, you better drive somewhere! Yeah, they're that damn good live.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alberta Cross Covers Lennon

Alberta Cross has a new record, Broken Side Of Time, set to come out on September 22. Until that record lands in your happy little hands, you can grab their cover of John Lennon's "Steel and Glass" HERE, to tide you over.

For a taste of the upcoming record, you can check out The Making of Broken Side Of Time ...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Brant Christopher - Climb

Last month, singer-songwriter Brant Christopher released his new record, Climb. If you know the name or he sounds familiar, it's probably because he spent the last three years touring with his trio Fort Pastor.

Climb is raw and well crafted. Christopher's gritty vocals have an easy to listen to warmth to them. When I first listened to the record it was "Criminal" that immediately drew me in. On second listen, I was taken by the complete album. This is one of those albums that isn't about the single. It's an album that beckons you to listen to it as a whole. If you're a fan of acoustic singer-songwriters, Climb is a record to check out.

Christopher, like many others in this world, has an active social conscience. He's the Director of Strategic Initiatives as well as the Artist In Residence for the Not For Sale Campaign; a campaign to put an end to global slavery. I don't generally mention stuff like this when writing about artists not because I don't believe in or support such causes, I just choose not to add activism and politics to this forum. But, since 100% of the proceeds from this particular album goes to benefit the Not For Sale Campaign, I'll mention it.

The highlights of Climb for me are the bluesy "Criminal," "Oceanside" and "Shoes For Margaret."

Check him out for yourself ...

"Shoes For Margaret"

Track Listing
  • Climb
  • Criminal
  • Didn't Know
  • Eyes Are Opened Wide
  • Grace
  • Hold Up My Head
  • Not For Sale
  • Oceanside
  • Shoes For Margaret
  • What Do I Know

Friday, September 11, 2009

Megaphone - Exit Silent Mode

Orlando hard rock quartet Megaphone, released their latest album, Exit Silent Mode this past August. I wasn't sure what to expect when the record landed in my hands but, that's never stopped me for popping a disc in the player and giving a spin.

Megaphone, who formed in 2004 are, Matt Bloodwell (guitar/vocals), Paul Smith (lead guitar), James Woodrich (bass) and Scott Smith (drums). Exit Silent Mode, produced by Bloodwell and Justin O'Neill is the bands second full-length record.

The record kicks off with "Write It Down" a song that sounds like what would happen if Stone Temple Pilots and The Foo Fighters joined forces. I think it's a good opener for the album, a nice area rock anthem if you will, and is followed by the punchy "Gravitate" that works to get your head bobbing along. It also has the most noticeable guitar solo. As I continued to listen, I started to think they reminded me of The Goo Goo Dolls before they went well, gooey. At the same time I started to think I could hear some latter day Def Leppard type sounds floating about. What? You didn't think I could write about a record without offering up some sort of potentially questionable comparisons, did you?!

While this is a hard rock album, they offer enough hooks and pop nuances to entice casual hard rock listeners. Megaphone finds a nice comfortable blend of kick you in the gut, Mama said I shouldn't listen to this, guitar rock and easily digestible commercial rock.

The album overall is a solid piece of work. It reminds me of the stuff I listened to as a wee teen in the 80's (minus the Aqua Net induced hair nightmares) without sounding annoyingly dated as well as managing to touch on the 90's alternative rock sound. Exit Silent Mode is one of those records that makes you think you've heard it before but you haven't. It's just a comfortable, familiar sound that fits well in a hard rock fans music library.

The standout tracks on the record for me are "Whisper" which is my favorite, "Write It Down," "The Sin" and "Horse You Rode In On."

Check them out for yourself. Have a listen to "Write It Down" and "My Favorite New Disaster" from Exit Silent Mode below.

"Write It Down"

"My Favorite New Disaster"
Track Listing
  • Write It Down
  • Gravitate
  • The Sin
  • My Favorite new Disaster
  • Bad To Good
  • What If...
  • Whisper
  • Uncelebrated
  • We Were Young
  • Making Sense
  • Horse You Rode In On
  • The Last One

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Keegan DeWitt To Play Public Assembly, 9/13

Fellow New Yorkers, looking for a show to go to this weekend? Well, you can head on over to Public Assembly in the Borough of Brooklyn to check out Keegan DeWitt. He'll be over there this Sunday, September 13.

Can't make that show or just want to hear more of DeWitt? Well, he has a new record, Islands, coming out on Tuesday, September 15. If you're unfamiliar with his work, you can check out the song "Telephone" HERE.

Also, check out this video from his Lake Fever Session. He does a nice cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Wild Heart" with the lovely voiced Madi Diaz.

ResidentBand On iTunes!

The good folks of ResidentBand are now on iTunes! All of their videos can now be downloaded for FREE in HD. Just search the iTunes store for ResidentBand or click HERE. Well, what are you waiting for? Go download some videos!

Video: Juliette Lewis - "Fantasy Bar"

Juliette Lewis released her new record, Terra Incognita on September 1. I'm a fan of Lewis' music endeavors; she rocks from her gut. But, I'm not sure I'm feeling Terra Incognita as much as I thought and hoped I would. While I like it, I don't know that it'll get as much play on my iPod as her last couple of records with The Licks, Four On The Floor and You're Speaking My Language.

If hearing the album just isn't enough for you New York, Lewis is doing a show here on Saturday, September 19 at Irving Plaza. If you're around, head on over and checheck her out. You'll get a from the gut, energetic, hot, sweaty, rock 'n' roll feast.

In the mean time, check out the video for "Fantasy Bar" which at the moment is my favorite song from Terra Incognita.

Video: Miss Derringer - "Click Click (Bang Bang)"

Miss Derringer, the band that consists of Liz McGrath (vocals), Morgan Slade (guitar), Sylvain de Muizon (bass), Cody James (drums) and Ben Shields (lead guitar) released their new record, Winter Hill, on July 14. Not familiar with them? Think a punked out Shangri La's or Blondie and you get the delight that is known as Miss Derringer. Check out the video for the opening track on Winter Hill, "Click Click (Bang Bang) below.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Beatles Day!

Today, 09-09-09 has been declared Beatles Day. It's the day the much anticipated, digitally re-mastered Beatles catalogue, The Beatles, and the equally anticipated video game The Beatles: Rock Band are being released.

Yeah, yeah, yeah so it's not an official take off of work, have a cookout holiday or anything; but, you can still have some fun and blast a Beatles song or two or how about the whole spiffy collection. I'm sure your boss won't mind. So, toss on your Beatle boots, put on your mop top wig or if you're among those who prefer to go the more trippy years, get some peace and love facial hair going, wear some funky threads and enjoy the day. Now, if you get fired and or committed to an institution of the mental variety for any of the fully costumed, spontaneous, Beatles moments you may partake in today, don't blame me. But hey, send photos of yourself being carted off!

You know, I think every NY band should find a roof top and have their own concert to celebrate the day. Let your inner John, Paul, George & Ringo out. It's just a thought!

In the mean time, check out this little clip of The Beatles performing "I Saw Her Standing There" ... click HERE.

I searched high and low for this ... okay, I just popped The Beatles in the YouTube search box but, that doesn't sound as dramatic! Anyway, I pulled up "Get Back" from their legendary rooftop performance. I like that song. It's funky. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

ResidentBand Features The Deadlies "One More Time"

Our friends over at ResidentBand have a new episode out, Episode 21. This episode features The Deadlies who used to be called The Neon Tigers. Check out "One More Time" below. Also, pop on over to the ResidentBand site ... they have a blog now with show reviews and other cool stuff.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chris Kirby Checks Into The Vampire Hotel

Canadian musician Chris Kirby recently released his Gordie Johnson produced sophomore effort, Vampire Hotel. When I first looked at the CD, I thought, oh, no way in hell I'm going to like this. But, I popped it into the player to give it a listen. Always listen folks. I have been pleasantly surprised more than once in my lifetime by something I just knew I'd hate.

My thoughts after my first listen. It started off well enough but somewhere along the line it all went awry. What starts as a harmless revved up Michael Bolton/Chicago hybrid type of disc ends up sounding like someone dared the cabaret singing guy at the local piano bar to bust out some R&B. What? Was that mean? I'm just saying, if the guy started bustin' out show tunes, he'd probably sound right at home. I know y'all are thinking the mild mannered QNYC must be recovering from some summertime, outdoorsy, heat induced, brain damage or something of the sort to go there like that. That being said, I've never seen him live but I have a feeling he's probably a very energetic performer that probably puts on an entertaining show. You never know. Hey, my mind is still boggled at the fact that I found a Tony Bennett show to be entertaining!

Did I digress? Anyway, after a second listen, I decided that Vampire Hotel isn't a horrible record, it's just not my thing. Kirby sings on-key with a decent enough voice, even tilting in the direction of blue-eyed soul. And, the music and songwriting are decent enough too. Aspirations I think are bigger than the label that was slapped on this effort though. Who labeled it R&B/soul anyway? Let us just call it pop. I can swallow that label and appreciate the record more under the pop label. The two tunes that stand out for me are "Fool No More" which seems to be aiming for a Stevie Wonder vibe and "Don't Forget About Me" with it's feel good music.

For my tastes, as an R&B record, it misses. As an AM radio, adult contemporary, pop staple, it's a thumbs up.

Check him out for yourself. Have a listen to "Don't Forget About Me" from the album Vampire Hotel.

Track Listing
  • Day Job
  • Come Clean
  • Lift This Fog
  • Don't Forget About Me
  • Heavy Rain
  • See you Again
  • Fool No More
  • Princess
  • Entertainer Of The Year
  • Identity Crisis
  • Golden Year
  • Vampire Hotel

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New York Goes Calypso ... Now, The Rest Of The World

Brooklyn band Calypso have set loose a four song EP titled Teen Age. If you're in or around the NY area, you've probably already checked these guys out or at least know about them. But for those who aren't in the know, the band is fronted by brothers Sonny and Michael Kilfoyle, is terrifically fun and full of catchy tunes. Check out their wicked tune "Casually Sad Mercedes" HERE (right click, save as).

Track Listing
  • Casually Sad Mercedes
  • Son Of A Gun
  • Post 110 Pills
  • Santiago!