Sunday, December 30, 2007

Grammy bore

-PS I have changed the date, this was posted on the 12th February (but I don't want first post after the blog header to be politics )-

Well, things are kind of silly these days. Grammys were definitely cheesy, seemed more like a prom night or a barbie dress up contest in Texas..... really, these aren't the oscars, it's music!! (only ones to be saved from the wreck as far as attitude goes were the Foo Fighters and little more) . Onstage K. West's first performance was good, second was also silly, sorry, but if this had been anybody else onstage singing that mamma mamma mess, people would vote him for next person to ridiculize in American Idol's auditions (I don't mean to be insensitive -unlike the said contest- but pushing feelings aside and seeing it as the music performance it was...). Beyonce and Tina, sort of entertaining but the version turned out quite blah as far as real emotion goes, and Winehouse, really, sort of sinister to watch, can't enjoy and take my mind out of her physical frame; and still she was one of the best of the night. I know most of the musicians are not known for their rosy cheeks and healthy glow but there's a line . And then the politics, of course, not to be missed in any event, with Will.I.Am, most eminent wise man, pointing his very infalible finger to the right vote........... enough already!!!. What a nightmare if the people with more records sold should tell us who to vote (so Spears, Aguilera, Carey and Will.I.Am - Michael Jackson and Hanna Montana are probably in the list too- would make a great choice, I'm sure. Great, I trust these people's careful pondering of things so much it's one thing I won't have to think about anymore!!). Really, enough already.......feels like real music and its spirit only briefly touched the Grammys stage. And there were a few good jokes too...
Probably the same will apply to the next oscars (does the academy actually update its files? seems a party of friends, same people getting the same awards every year. I get it, I see this week's top 3 movies at the box office, and I guess they're all just a bit massively depressed). I hope they also agree with Will I Am in who to vote or else my mind will snap and and my brain will shortcircuit!!

PS I know probably Will.I.Am's intentions are good, he'll feel very strongly about it an feels that in his position he has some kind of duty to do all he can. But the more influential you are, the more careful you have to be, these are shades of grey we're talking about here. And there's a time and space for politics. And there are some minimum necessary rules to the game, you just can't cheat like that.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas and a wonderful new year to all! I would have liked to post a Christmas pic or something but I can't. I'm away, and trying to figure out the equation for happy (or at least peaceful) holidays once more.
Would like to feel at least as happy as these two!!

PS 24th December. I made a little effort and I've taken these pics today, went for a walk and it was an amazingly beautiful morning, anyone guess where?.
Sunny and quiet.

And in this yacht a familiar song was playing: ' could be the end of everything so why dont we go somewhere only... ' (like the ghost of past times. These days I keep listening to The Wallflowers, specially If you never got sick, don't know why) - (and it was still sunny, but my camera was set to "candlelight", hence the blue, experiments...).

Again, happy holidays

PS 25 dec. Today I took this one, and a slightly better one. I'll be back to my usual music topics when I return from these déjà vu holidays ...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ingrid Michaelson at the WCL

Last Friday I went to see Ingrid Michaelson at XPN free at noon (for those not from around here, it's a Philly based radio station located in the University area, that organizes free concerts every Friday at noon, among many other things) .

The setlist included, among others, Breakable, The way I am, Keep breathing, Overboard, and a holiday song she said it was the first time she was performing live, and it lasted a little less than an hour.
The place was quite packed, and audience was very mixed in ages, styles, you name it. Pics are taken from the distance, I'm afraid, I could have gotten nearer but I was very cosy in "my" staircase and had a "panoramic" view!!
Ingrid's singing was impeccable, and specially poignant in Keep breathing, which is the song I like best (the lyrics are so spot on on such a difficult theme to write about), as opposed to "The way I am" which has the type of easy tune that tends to get on my nerves after listening to it a few times . On stage with her were 4 more musicians that managed to do a very good job of all songs. The following day was her birthday, and the radio people not only brought her a cake (click to enlargen, see the candles?), they also gave away fake glasses to the audience (not to me, I was five minutes late so...) and at one point the cake came out and everybody sang happy birthday to her wearing those glasses (you can see them on a few people onstage too), which was really cute.

In between songs she'd talk about things and the songs "stories" (like Overboard, which she made notes for during one of those typical lobster boat ride excursions in Maine, where a very handsome-manly fisherman was explaining lobster facts to them and her friend kept saying how cute he was and that she felt like fainting and falling overboard so he would rescue her. Or something like that.). She was fun and charming. Then she had a mini interview and she was asked things like her afterthoughts on lending her song to an Old Navy commercial, how fans had reacted. She gave a pretty good answer, and main reason (apart from $$) was that many more people were going to get to hear her music, and at this point in her career it totally makes sense to me.
She also talked about Grey's anatomy, she pointed out that they're doing a great job of promoting new artists. It really works for both ends, it's got one of the best sountracks around.

And that's about it. Then they raffled a cool white electric guitar that I had no chance of winning (again, since I was late, I didn't enter it, there goes my chance to learn to play guitar!), and I went home in broad day light, which is weird for an after-concert!
You can listen to the concert clicking here (XPN's archives), then in "hear the complete show". There's also the setlist for the show.
PS Feb'08: It made it to youtube, watch Keep breathing here.

Next spring records will bloom

More and more artists are planning to release records next spring:
* Alanis Morissette will release "Flavors of entanglement" early spring (good!!)
* Dido will try to have hers ready for March
* Madonna will launch "Licorice" in april (Kanye West will be helping out, he seems to be everywhere!!)
* Wheezer will do so in April
* Sheryl Crow is releasing Detours in February (whatever... I don't say it to be mean but she did one of the best 007 themes ever and then... come on, Sheryl)
* Portishead are releasing their first record in 10 years in April too (looking forward to that, really curious, could go either way)
* Moby will launch "Last night" in March
* I bet Coldplay's Prospekt (or else) will finally have bloomed too
* And Jakob Dylan's solo album will also spring, hopefully (whoeee !!!, can't wait for this one)

Others supposedly releasing new records in 2008 are: Keane (september as per Q magazine), Franz Ferdinand probably, The cure, Kaiser Chiefs, Oasis, Morrisey (later in the year), REM , U2, maybe Blur ... tough competition next year!! (a few heavyweights from the past among them returning from years of slumber, interesting).

PS 15th January: Q magazine's editor's letter in this month´s issue talks about 2008's expected releases too, read it here .