Audra Mae is a National Treasure.
If you haven’t seen Audra Mae perform live yet, then I’m sorry, you are missing out. Big time. I saw her last night on the second week of her October 2012 residency at Vermont Bar in Los Feliz. I first saw her 4 years ago at an Upright Cabaret event. She was amazing then, but last night was a Master Class.
Her range is impeccable. You crave the low notes equally to her astounding, effortless high belts. She can alternate between breathiness and power on the drop of a dime. If it sounds like I’m being overly laudatory, well, she earned it. Great songwriting, playful, brassy stage presence and banter, unparalleled vocal CONTROL. Go see her. Now.
I posted a somewhat recent video of Audra, and am kicking myself I didn’t take one of my own last night. The videos don’t hold a candle to the live experience. But it gives you an idea of why comparisons to Bonnie Rait and Brandi Carlile are totally warranted.
Also worth mentioning was her opener, James Byous. His vocals and guitar playing are worth a post of their own. Awesome show.
Tuesday nights in October 2012 at Vermont Bar: http://www.facebook.com/events/350119065080392/
OMG I love Family Guy so much. Lois reads Stewie a bedtime story:
“Good Night Town from Footloose” - I was crying laughing, especially when halfway through, Stewie goes, “who is this even for?” Enjoy.
Music is so powerful. As a performer and an aficionado I see first hand what it can do on so many different levels. This is a must watch.
This is why I do what I do.
If I have the opportunity to make one person feel something they forgot how to feel, I’m fulfilling my calling. #iminitforthemusic
When I first heard “Little Talks” I thought, “Wow, I really like what Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have done with their sound.” Of course, my friend corrected me by informing me that it was not Edward Sharpe, but rather a new band called Of Monsters and Men. Naturally, I had mixed feelings… Here was another band with multiple members, horns, group-backing vocal shouts, and an alternating male / female lead vocal. The similarities to “Home” were obvious and I almost (ignorantly) wrote them off.
That being said, I’m glad I gave them a chance. This Icelandic Sextet clearly lives in the Arcade Fire / Magnetic Zeros world, but with “Little Talks,” they explore a melancholy that seems to break new ground.
Upon closer examination of the lyrics, this song hit me like a stone. The chorus goes, “Don’t listen to a word I say / The screams all sound the same / Though the truth may vary / This ship will carry our bodies safe to shore.” My take on this song is that it’s about the heartbreaking devastation of a couple dealing with one partner’s debilitating battle with Alzheimer’s. (See full lyrics here) The male and female singer alternate lyrics with the female clearly portraying the role of the afflicted partner: “Some days I can’t even dress myself.”
The song is depressing yet beautiful, and the horns perfectly capture the mournfulness, yearning, grief and loss. It’s well and thoughtfully produced - at the bridge and ending of the song you can even hear a ship or empty house creaking.
As for the video, the mixture of animation and live footage is imaginative and visually stunning. I can’t quite see how it connects to the song meaning other than that the otherworldliness of it all does imply a sort-of departure from reality. If you have a better analysis of the video by all means let me know.
The band’s album “My Head is an Animal” was just released and you can buy it on iTunes.
For more info about the band, check out their facebook page.
Gossip is back!! After doing some great solo work, Beth Ditto is back with the band, and the trio’s upcoming album “A Joyful Noise” (probably no relation to the identically named feature comedy starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton) will be released in May.
Their lead single “Perfect World” debuted it’s music video just this past Thursday (April 5th) and it’s already catching heat. First the song - it’s a dark, yet light pop tune that moves from start to finish and makes you want to dance by yourself in your room in as embarrassing a way as possible. Her voice is strong as ever, and in the choruses she hits those high belty notes of hers that we love so much. You can download it on iTunes… and then you’ll want to just keep it on repeat for a couple hours (I can’t stop listening).
The video reminds me a little of the 80’s-esque theatricality of Heart - but in a good way. Here is a group doing yet another church inspired video, but they still manage to make it fresh. The brightly costumed male dance troupe and the exploding prisms of light at the end give this video it’s own vibe and sense of creativity. Overall, the video is well-shot, moody and definitely fits the song.
I’m looking forward to the album. Here’s a sneak peak of the cover:
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
I’m digging this song by acoustic duo Maria Sweet. They are a self-described Shock-Folk, Indie, Lyrical, and other things band out of Los Angeles - local!
Most of their songs are upbeat and fun… that being said, even though “Let’s Make It” is the last track on their 4 song EP, and is a clear outlier from the other tracks, it’s so hauntingly beautiful and has been sticking in my head, so I figured I’d share it. Let me know what you think!
I posted their bandcamp link, but you can also check them out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MariaSweetOfficial
So I recently created some monthly Music Suggestion Lists in Squidoo
Dec 2011 Music List
Jan 2012 Music List
… and people seemed to enjoy them. Also, being in a band here in LA, I meet so many other bands and musicians that I figured it would be fun to share the gems that I find.
If you have any suggestions, PLEASE feel free to send me tips.
I took a nine day trip through the South. One of the stops was in Chattanooga, TN. My friend’s mom’s has a good friend who took us to her cabin out in the woods on Signal Mountain right near a small lake. We brought a guitar and I got to play and sing out in the wilderness just as it begin to rain.
My friend John took this pic while I was playing, and I’m so glad he did cause it helps capture the awesome memory for me. =)
I recorded a fun, arpeggiated cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s poetic classic:
“April Come She Will”
I lay down the music first by myself and then sang this take live to it while filming.
Watch and subscribe to my youtube channel for more videos! (http://www.youtube.com/gregdelson)