Sunday, June 22, 2008

Teddy Thompson at the North Star Bar - Philadelphia

A few pics from yesterday's concert.
Teddy Thompson Teddy Thompson Philadelphia
Teddy Thompson Teddy Thompson
He has a really intense gaze and a very interesting face (which doesn't necessarily mean he's interesting, but in this case I think he is -which doesn't mean much since I've lately been proven quite wrong at reading people -but still...).And these are silly remarks but it's something that really catches your eye when you see him. Someone who keeps his distance too (understandable). What I should talk about is his deep great voice and his performance, which was really good (despite there being few people attending). And about the band, specially Jon Darling and Jeff Hill (bass), whom I finally got to meet and had the chance to clarify my doubts (see A Fine Frenzy's and Chris Stills post in March): so I was right, I've also seen him playing bass for Rufus Wainwright and Chris Stills. Pretty good (and an extremely cultured guy, and that's a fact. The things he remarked about my country were spot on).
Back to Teddy, he wore red shoes!! (he has no clue, but that makes him one of us -I got me a pair this winter- not everybody feels like red shoes!!). Here are his:
Teddy Thompson's red shoes
And these are mines, not so cool but...
(see also sidebar photo in Brooklyn)
I wasn't wearing them though. Anyway, his new album "A piece of what you need" came out on June 17th, may upload a vid and more stuff but I won't be able to do it for a while. I'm all summery-diffuse at present time (not focusing, will try and trim this post, they deserve a better one). Do check out this song of his, "What's This?!!", kinda rocks.
Oh, and he's been added last -minute to the Xponential festival lineup on Saturday 12th July!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yael Naim and Carly Simon at the World Cafe, XPN

Pics from today's performances. Will add some notes later.
A vid of Yael performing "Too long". Afraid that both vids are in pretty bad shape as the lighting makes them look like faceless ghosts but ...
Yael did a very nice 4 song set, it's hard not to compare her to Noa, even in her looks, but her music is somehow more innovative and fresher. Her version of Britney Spears' "Toxic" (I confess I do really like that song) was really cool.
...And a vid of Carly's "You're so vain" reinterpreted, as she put it (ie., being an effing lot more sick of the guy in question...!!). She had 8 more people onstage (9 at some points). She did a great version of that song, sounded much better there.
Other than that song, her other songs were sung in too low a key and it didn't do anything for them. There was a big emotional moment when she sung a song she composed for her son and daughter (to sing those lyrics with her son there has to be ...). When she finished she looked at her son, he made a cute face to her and then she went on to hug other members of her band as she cried. Last person to hold was her son again. A song later she was still wiping tears away from her face with the back of her hand (though you'd never guess it if you only listen to the audio).
Just the day before she had done this impressive interview (go to Bill's blog for the link).
To hear both shows go to XPN's archives here!.


Posted 19/07/08
So yesterday I did my first interview ever, which I will post soon, I'll have to tidy this blog up quite a bit before that. I'm on it.
Great new music in my hands, amongst them the mainstream Colplay's new cd, Brandi Carlile (who I've just discovered) and Alanis Morisette's "Flavors of entanglement". I thought this last cd would be a weak one, based on what I had overheard, but while it's not as refreshing or innovative as others of hers were, she's still got it, specially as far as lyrics go. "Straitjacket" is one of the most agressive-electronica tracks, and "Not as we" is another one of the songs that trap you the quickest, capturing the most painful moments after a breakup: the first steps forward (only she comes up with lines as "I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it"...). She's really brave to put herself on the line like that, specially considering the circumstances. & She's not the only one, I've just discovered Juliana Hatfield's myspace and she really opens herself up too in her blog, if you don't believe me read this -and while you're there, listen to "Shining on", great song on, let's say, one of the last steps of most break-ups: giving up on trying to understand why-. Brandi, on the other hand, gives estranged relationships (ex-friends, family...) a poignant spin in songs like Wasted or Turpentine. Tons of honesty, for a change.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sharleen Spiteri - New album "Melody" + "All the times I cried" lyrics

For "All the times I cried" lyrics click here (was sort of tricky for me to find them -I hate not to understand all the words- and people looking for them are ending up in my blog so...)

Just a heads up on Sharleen Spiteri's (Texas) solo album out next month. Bill, from Music & More, has already written a great post in his blog here (youtube video incl.), so little more to add. Her first single "All the times I cried", is really lovely and touching. A 50's-60's dreamy air, Sharleen's voice, lyrics anyone can relate to and a very catchy tune, it works (ok, she uses all the old tricks to make this a hit but this is no fake). Anyway, I love it, was clueless about it, a really nice surprise.
And you can download a new song here for free ("That was a lie", a not so good song, but...).
As for the inspiration for this record and some interesting reflections on honesty from Sharleen herself go here.
Summer holidays around the corner now, last time I had proper holidays (Europe- Christmas) I posted some cool pics, don't know if I'll leave the blogger behind this time though.
Labels: Sharleen spiteri "All the times I cried" lyrics

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jaymay at the Tin Angel (Philly)

Jaymay and Fink’s turned out to be quite a concert. So much better than I had anticipated, sometimes you get these nice surprises. Not only was the venue great for a show like that, and the crowd too, but both acts also put up amazing performances.
Jaymay's cd fell on my hands quite by chance some months ago but I'd only recently started to listen to it, and she sounded much better than in the record, quite a voice. She sung this ton of songs that weren’t in it, explained later that she writes constantly & that being under contract with a major label she can’t release stuff as often as she would like to, so... Still she’s finishing a new 10 song EP this week that will be released in time for her Fall tour (touring with her band, will be back in Philly), each of the songs in it being under 2 minutes long.
I chose to upload this vid ("Lullaby") because this song wasn’t on youtube yet but I like others of hers much more.

Ok, so me being me, I had to ask her a few things I was curious about, and she answered openly, yay for her:
* That line in “Sea green, see blue” “and the sculptor we hardly knew, his limbs were lying askew”: so her love was a real estate person with a bunch of keys for places, some nights they would go to one of them to record and sleep. One of these places was a sculptor’s and he had made this one sculpture that were limbs sticking out: arms, there. And the cardboard and so on...
* Is it the same guy she’s talking about through the record (what with the blue eyes everywhere): yes, except for “Big Ben”, who was a friend with a tragic end.
*Anecdote: a pal gave her a cd of a local female singer saying she'd like it because she's "similar to her". She immediately snapped back "No, she's not" (with politeness, of course, but first things first).
* More things: she expects to have another record out in the Summer. She and her brother-manager are truly nice and super generous people. A really good chat, thanks to them for everything.
And I think that's about it.
Jaymee and me with purple puree!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jakob Dylan at the Blender Theatre, New York

A vid from yesterday's performance, a link to a review here, and I have to say as big as my soft spot for Jakob Dylan is, the concert to me was quite flawed, I guess the stifling heat took its toll on all of us... Plus, the new songs, except for a few exceptions,... aren't doing it for me. Just 10 days ago at the Noncomm in Philly they sounded much better, the version of "How good..." that so got to me then (and pushed me to go to NY yesterday) just slid by yesterday. The songs sounded too alike (his singing could have made them distinct but it didn't happen) and the chorus That is just my take. Other people loved it. It was great to see Fred on board, always tops.
And Jakob's voice was to me far from its best. I wonder about the choice of Wallflowers songs they played. They seemed to go for the ones more in tune with this new album, and for playing them with similar arrangements, doesn't work for me. Would be a great opportunity for some contrast.
Pics were very hard to take because of the faint lighting and the background.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Non Comm -Jakob Dylan, Kathleen Edwards, Yoav, What made Milwaukee...

Wooooooooo, amazing concert yesterday!!
That's a pic of Kathleen Edwards watching Jakob Dylan's performance (click to see better), which was too impressive. His "How good it can get" (and I know how silly it's going to sound, but it's the truth) just couldn't get better, still have goosebumps.Uploaded a mini vid of it (too good, turned the camera off and took in as much of it as I could. One of the best song performances I've ever heard). To listen to it from XPN's archives go here (minute 8). There's also links to the other performances.

Some of his new songs were also really good, but this one's like an old friend to me. He hardly talked, which is a bummer because his banter's almost as good as his music, but he didn't seem to be particularly thrilled with the audience (was fun to see the way he would look at the crowd further away from the stage while singing "Evil is alive and well", my imagination or ...). Still his performance was impeccable, first song starting a bit shaky on the voice, then soon steering.
Kathleen Edwards was impressive too and to my surprise so were What made Milwaukee..., and I'd never heard Yoav before but he had some really good songs. It was a pity the setlists were so short. Escovedo not so much, plus sound for him was way too loud.
More pics (not too good, sort of strict with the no camera policy so I didn't want to risk it too much):

And a vid of Kathleen Edwards' "The cheapest key" (sorry, bad sound)

She did the first song (Back to me) alone, then was joined by another musician who played keyboards, guitar, and sang backing vocals. I guess that limited her song choices quite a bit and unfortunately she didn't play any of my favourites (she played "In state" though, which comes close). Her voice has an even sweeter quality live, together with her characteristic coarseness, and she's just so talented + remarkably beautiful in a discreet manner. Has that that few have.
What Made Milwaukee Famous (and I almost didn't stay, name didn't sound any promising) were really really good too. The singer has a great voice and is quite the rock'n roll type, and some of the songs are ace (my personal favourite being "Sef-Destruct", great lyrics) + they really have a great presence onstage and know how to work the crowd. More than half the people had already left because of how long the concert had already been going on and so on, their loss. I'll upload some vid of them singing with Kathleen Edwards.
One more of Jakob Dylan:

Duet Kathleen -WMMF: