Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy new year - And some music for the occasion

If one word can describe these last days of the year over here that is WATER, it's been unexplainably raining non stop for weeks.....glooooomy. Aaaand even some snow. Who'd have thought.
Even so some musicians have weathered this curse and gone out on the streets of Madrid to play the last carols of the year. An example: Dawn Landes' (&Co) very inspired version of Rocking around.., not bad at all:

If the video works funny you can watch it here (there's also other artists)
A little late for a post on carols... but...ahem. Many new additions to the folder this year have been free downloads ..duh , my mind doesn't work tonight. Will finish the post tomorrow.
31/12/09: Guess's raining! Since I woke up, not stopped for a minute. Not good.
Will keep it short, things to do. So, people like Sweet Soubrette and Jem gave away a free Christmas new track on Christmas day (timing's everything, they say), or on a different day (as Camera Obscura "the Blizzard") and others a non Christmas one like Sondre Lerche his cover of Animal Collective's "Bluish" or Sia the previously only for twitterers (me not one of them yet) "You've changed". Of all those, I believe the best is Sondre's (how this guy projects warmth and good somehow). You should find all the links for downloading in their webs/myspace...or let me know. I'm feeling lazy.
Aaaand this morning it was Anna Ternheim who wished everyone a Happy NY giving away a live version of "You mean nothing to me", here. Breathtaking. But not appropiate for happy, she must have a Swedish sense of humour! -best save it for another day.
Big rainy thanks to all of them for their generosity. Will try to remember more.
(Pic: Christmas Tree at the Plaza de España, Madrid)
On second thought, Jem's is probably a better choice for tonight. Oh, and it's still raining!!!.
Champagne in the fridge everybody?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas 2: Norah Jones 2009 Youtube Christmas carol

Attempt nr 2 at Christmas post, was just sent this funny Norah Jones' carol link:

Reasons to post about it:
1. No Bird and the bee carol this year, which is like Christmas sans the tree...
2. Last Christmas posted The bird and the bee's cover of this very song. And reflected on French hens. This one's sans hens...but keeps the tradition. I also posted about Charlie's biting patterns somewhere!
3. It's made me laugh. NO hens, birds or bees but polite cats and smoking orangutans!. Could next year's version possibly beat that? Nope

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Mandatory post- kinda late this year. Butterfly Boucher & her lovely chorus have made it easier by uploading this pretty Christmas song:

We still have cinnamon and chocolate, indeed.
And 2009 is almost over. Effing unbelievable.
May add to this post, had all these things to write about (2009 hasn't been just another year for me) but..

Friday, December 18, 2009

Corinne Bailey Rae's new video "I'd Do It All Again"

“I’d Do It All Again,” the first single from Corinne Bailey Rae’s forthcoming album, The Sea, goes to radio this week, the full album to be released in January. The video for this song was made available yesterday:
Corinne Bailey Rae "I'd Do It All Again"

Corinne Bailey Rae MySpace Music Videos

I'm just going to quote after the info I received: "The video is directed by acclaimed film director Jamie Thraves, the man responsible for such iconic videos as Radiohead's 'Just' and Coldplay's 'The Scientist'. Talking about the video Thraves exclusively told MySpace "Corinne and I met just as I was formulating the idea. She told me she was fan of my work, said she thought it was very real looking, cinematic and quite dark and that's what she wanted for her video, nothing too sunny she said. I looked at her other videos and realised just how sunny they were and why she wanted to do something different for this song but on the day we filmed it was such a lovely sunny day - I told Corinne the sun just seems to follow her around, but it's okay because in sad moments the sun can underline sadness just as easily as rain.""

Seems the unanimous review for this new album is a rawer sound and a deep pain that dyes pretty much all the songs (as is only natural after recent events in her life).
I'm not too dazzled by this first single, though it's really nice to listen to and I'm very much looking forward to listening to the other tracks on the album.
She will tour extensively in 2010, backed by many of the musicians who played on the new album.

So, would you do it all again?
Tags: Corinne Bailey Rae The Sea, Corinne Bailey Rae I'd Do It All Again, Corinne Bailey Rae new video

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Camera Obscura and The starlets at the Sala Heineken, Madrid

The stage...

(Sala Heineken, Madrid)
Lee reaching for every beat...

One of the five highly demanded setlist copies (lucky mee):
Taped some bits of the concert:
*"Pen and notebook"

* Tracyanne talks about playing in Madrid again:

The sound in the other stuff I recorded was too loud for my picky camera. Or else I'd have also uploaded "If looks could kill", probably the top moment of the night.
The concert was great and as I'd read everywhere, despite their technical difficulty they make the songs sound even better live -Tracyanne had some sound problems for the first songs, though-. And unlike I'd also read, I saw plenty of talking to the public, feelings, smiles and so on. Too serious? No way, they can't all be Robbie Williams (and thank God for that - no harm intended to him, he seriously rocks in a few songs).
The night setlist included half the new record, all the best songs off it, then songs from all their other albums. The most surprising choice was "Pen and notebook", from their first, which was a gift to their vintage fans (not to forget that their first label was Spanish and that they toured Spain extensively during those years, so they have a soft spot for these whereabouts and some people around here have been following them for a looong time). As the song progressed some hush sounds came from a part of the audience and the crowd fell totally silent (that lapsus aside, they had been really well behaved up till then, but that song was the quietest so...). Tracyanne seemed to pour a lot of emotions on this one, to me the saddest Camera Obscura song by far.
And I don't know why I went and wrote this mini bio too (anyway, info on them is very scattered on the web):
If it seems it took a bit for Camera Obscura to find their identity (with their first two records having some maybe too marked influences) that is by now a solved issue. They began their musical career at the same time as Belle and Sebastian, their paths intertwining often, which is natural being in the same city, and Stuart Murdoch producing their first album and also having a hand in the second one (and doesn't "Let me go home" sound just like a Belle and Sebastian song). During those times the singing and composing would be shared/alternated between Tracyanne and guitar Kenny McKeeve as well as John Henderson?, sometimes producing fantastic tracks like "Hands up baby" (written by Kenny). More on that in this article I've discovered by looking for info on John's role, no easy task!. From their third album to date Tracyanne seems to have taken over both roles, which has maybe made them lose some elements but has also resulted in making their sound much more unique (if Kenny still has a remarkable role in the chorus) . The third album would be key in that, as at that moment other influences were thrown into the mix, their album being recorded in Sweden and being greatly in tune with the increasingly important music movement that's been going on up there for a while. And so among the contributors to this album we find well known names there like Victoria Bergsman (The Concretes, Taken by Trees) and Brita Persson. Their tunes get very close to pop perfection in tracks like Lloyd..., If looks.. and so the group consolidates their fan base and widens it considerably.
My Maudlin career, their latest, is just the cherry on top, the best crafted of all, the most poignant in its lyrics... and I just can't wait to listen to what comes next. It seems it won't happen for a while though, as I was able to talk to them for a bit after this show (they are the nicest people) and they said they're too immersed in touring right now (they have a few dates in the US shortly, and then they'll start 2010 touring again..). Well, this group has an amazing number of B sides, exclusive bonus tracks, covers... maybe that could be released first.
Also asked Kenny if they ever play "Roman holiday" live (for some reason, probably its serenity, I listen to this song a lot lately), he said merrily that they do sometimes, when they can remember the lyrics, "which is not often". Well, they've played 67 different songs at least (the lyrics for 66 of them are posted here) so...
To know more about the first three records of the band, you can go to their former (and Spanish) label Elefant Records website, they have bothered to put up a fantastic amount of stuff, including streamings of many full tracks (B-sides, rare stuff ...), info as well as lyrics, video, etc. Thanks to them for generously sharing all that.
I could also talk about the long line in front of the merch table when the concert ended, how loyal their fans are and how they cherish this group: how the guys behind me -one of them seriously gorgeous- whispered to each other "mírala qué guapa es" (kinda translates into " look at her, so beautiful") with such tenderness as soon as Tracyanne appeared onstage... or other stuff, but some things I'll keep to myself. Plus, this post would never end, and I've other things to do in life.
Anybody gets to the end of this post, they get a prize!
Since this post is already too long I've done a different one for supporting act the Starlets, here.
This was posted Nov 9th but I'm pushing it up so my blog looks a bit more musical (that's what it's supposed to be but then I start posting silly stuff... ;)
Tags: Camera Obscura, Camera Obscura Madrid, Camera Obscura sala Heineken, Camera Obscura setlist

Sam Roberts - pump yourself up for the day

Just found this piece of pure rock energy, "Love at the end of the world"

Smokin' performance. Met these guys a while ago, had not listened to anything but "Them kids" and immediately fell in love with this other song and their fantastic live act. Plus Sam speaks perfect Spanish and keyboard guy does pretty well too!!. Told me they have been to Spain (even supported Amaral, which is one of the most popular groups here), and they should come back :) Really cool guys.
Check also Sam's duet with Misstress Barbara -Canadian too- for another energy serving: "I'm running", which you can listen to in her myspace and which I also love.
Feel like this music now.
Oh, and finally got Spotify! -Spotify guy at FICOD invited me-. So discovered a lot of new music these last days, specially b-sides and new albums.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some facts you should know about your ipod -and you probably haven't heard about

Just found out "the hard way" about some issues (I have an ipod touch 32Gb, the following apply to at least this model):
1. If it breaks and guarantee time is over (1 year) they won't fix it. You'll have to purchase a new one, full price. Yep. Unbelievable, right?
With my usual terrible timing mine started giving problems (bad connection to cans) 1 year and 1 week after buying it. However at Apple phone service they were really nice, said they didn't think it was fair not to be covered for only one week and will cover it after all (said it even before I'd have to go into full combat mode). Yep, pretty amazing since I called some weeks after that. Kudos to Apple.
2. When it breaks and it's guarantee covered, they won't fix it either, buuut they'll give you a new one for free and take yours to Appleland for undisclosed use.
3. Your library? Well, you'll have to deal with saving it on your own. When asked they'll direct you to "Senuti" (iTunes spelled backward), a free trial program to transfer the music in your ipod to your itunes library. So you'll have to do that leap of faith and download the said trial thing from one of the fishy websites -at least if your computer's a PC-, risking problems (it doesn't work for me, probably works for most people but I always seem to be the exception). And when you're done with it and you try to uninstall the program...will tell you it has but it won't have. Lovely, right?. Here are a few solutions, I just went to the folder and it let me delete the contents one by one.
I asked about this here some posts ago, how to do it (when I accidentally deleted my itunes library a while ago), but nobody answered (big news, lol).
4. I don't think it's fair ipods are not fixable and nobody tells you when you buy them.
5.I don't think it's fair senuti isn't a free app in itunes.
I rest my case.

PS A week or so later, still dealing with my songs, ...IRIP works best but it's a demo so it will only allow to transfer 100 songs... this web gives a better alternative, I'm on it..

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Professionals discuss online music: FICOD'09

Going on in Madrid these days is FICOD (International Forum on Digital Contents). The basic relation Internet/Music is of course among the topics. I attended this session yesterday: "Record industry?", also available in Spanish in their ficodtv (you'll have so scroll down to see the screen). May post more on it later or may not: it was curious but scarcely interesting as every party held on to their official (and some so wrong) positions. As for the round of questions at the end...oops, no time. Suspicious!
Anybody can attend for free (just by signing in on their website) or stream it (live if you want to) here.
Some really interesting things programmed and some big names attending (Kevin Spacey, Google, Flickr and Spotify gurus...), wish I could have been there longer but I'm an unbusy busy person so couldn't.

Ends tomorrow!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Infected coffee & hearts on the run

Found this in my coffee grounds this morning, as I was going to clean the coffee thing (really!!).
Seems it happens to more people, these hearts appearances in people's coffee, as per my seriously intelectual 5 minute research.

Well, it gets scarier: I swear, as I was writing this post I turned around to see what the men fixing my wall were doing besides a lot lot lot of noise and I see this:

Uggg, bad beginning of the day, lol. They laughed quite a bit when I told them why I was taking the pic!
PS. Forgot about my choice of socks first thing this morning.
(actually these are my "will stay at home today" socks, reason obvious)
PS 2 just a note to clarify that despite the jokes love is beautiful, mostly the one given to one's family, friends and total strangers out of the bits of goodness left in us. This is a horrible world, that's what we have.
PS 3 Report on wall progress: this is the final look..I'd say the rainbow was a nice touch... (pic 24/03/10)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The starlets at Sala Heineken, Madrid

So these guys came up on the Heineken stage with Mahou beer bottles in their hands (a classic Spanish brand)... they were set out to conquer Madrid's crowd and they did!.
Then they played the most assorted music set one could expect: a "spaguetti western" theme, a polka, some true pop, a Manilow style marshmallowish song (the one I liked less by far -oh, I'm suuuuch a bitter thing), all of them introduced and explained exclusively in Spanish by their singer. They seemed to really be enjoying themselves up there and the good vibes filled the place and got everyone (or almost) in a good happy mood . There's a dreamer quality to the singer that taps him directly to the audience. I don't know if that sentence makes any sense because my English is getting worse and worse now that I hardly practice it so my apologies, seriously weird sentences can be expected as time goes by!!
A great supporting band, really knew how to play. You might or might not become a fan afterwards, but chances are you'd have enjoyed this performance quite a bit.
I uploaded a bit of the polka, again the only thing that my limited camera recorded with a decent sound.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I wish I had taken this photo

Came up in Flickr, taken by Anna Szczekutowicz, see it better here.
Not in the mood for further blogging.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Try this free (and great) song

If you're not familiar with Butterfly Boucher, give this one a try. It's from her new just released album and it's available as a FREE download from Rolling Stone (click on this link, then on "complimentary downloads" in the left column).
"Gun for a tongue"

She really deserves way more attention, and hopefully the extensive (and exhausting) US tour she's currently doing will help her build a bigger audience. I missed her when she played at Philly's World cafe earlier in the Spring (was at another concert that night), big bummer.
It's been a while since her first (and most irregular) cd and she seems to have gotten rid of heavy make up in more ways than one, becoming even better. And her worth reading story here.
And this other one of hers, "Keeper", may even be better. Great video too, not official or anything, but great, really captures the strenght she pours into this song.

Also check out Ellemacho, the group she's formed with other 2 musicians, all for fun seems, some great songs too. Unfortunately few people seem to know them.
And...part II: Discovering new music...
is getting harder and harder in Europe, for what I've seen lately. Just like I discovered Butterfly through lastfm radio, that service is not free here anymore (like Spotify in my country), and most of its available full tracks in the US are not so in Europe. Same story with IMEEM, which I 'd listen to so much lately. Pandora's not available here either and even some regular youtube videos are not viewable here because of copyright issues -sigh-. "Listening services" are a whole different story from downloads, I don't think the restrictive path is the one to take, people end up listening to way less new music as it becomes so much more time consuming to find it, but... If the money asked for these services is not something most people can't pay, it involves a change of mentality that's going to be tougher. It's funny that in a country like the US, where people have a culture of paying for radios they listen to (member supported radios like XPN and NPR) just because they want to help (these radios are available to everyone regardless) there's much more liberty when it comes to online music listening. Maybe that should give us Europeans some ideas...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Keane - Sovereign Light Cafe

Can't resist posting on Keane's new song:

May seem a little song , but damn catchy it is, and with strength too. Springsteenish vibe to me, don't know why. Sung for the first time on Sept 19th, apparently still on the works, so open to changes.
Thanks so much to the person who's posted a link to download the track (I believe bootleg sharing is legal? specially if it's unreleased material), found it through lastfm , worked for me (and I do buy their cd's).
And thanks so much too to the person who originally uploaded it to youtube (and so fast!), hope this one is it. Because yes, what's the deal with all those youtube polluters who insist on copying other people's videos and re-uploading them over and over again only in worse quality? Some kind of ego problem, laziness or what? They only make it harder to locate the best copy and dilute the number of plays while at it. Bad practice -am sure they're all really nice people, they just need to stop doing that (by the way, some of these replicators posted the lyrics to the song).
Now that I'm "removed" from the music scene it's great to find these things on the internet through others, my biggest thanks to them.
And yes, Infotaupe made it safe to the other side of the ocean. Infotaupe now hates cardboard boxes and houses with a small number of cupboards! (her things arrived not 2 weeks ago). Wish they sorted themselves out alone like in a Sara Lov's "A thousand bees" video fashion !!.
And now I'll disappear into the ether again.....gloops glooops gloooooooops-----------
Back to the song, it's funny how we don't want to lose what we've already lost. Silly people we all are.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Goodbye Philadelphia

Time to go...

Many memories and so much music, my three years in Jersey (so close to Philly) have been a fantastic experience.

No idea if I'll keep posting. Still have a lot of stuff on Philly venues etc as well as other things, and I always wanted to do a giveaway too, had these cool cd's back in February but time flew...
Whatever. Have a great summer!!.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hearings for parking tickets in Philly

Drafted july'09, post activated a little later...
Yesterday I had a hearing for a parking ticket (Philadelphia). Figured I'd write about it since I tried to do a little research on the web before attending and couldn't find anything.
So, I got to the Parking authority half hour in advance but signed in anyway. They told me to sit and somebody would call my name. They said it would be 1 hour wait, give or take. Room was crowded, I left and came back 15 minutes later. I had printed photos, etc (they said to bring "evidence") but once they called me (aprox. 30 minutes after sign in) I was in for a surprise: a woman showed me a paper with my ticket nr and amount owed and asked if that was the ticket I was disputing. I said yes. She asked if the vehicle was in my posession (had been towed! -uggg. Got it back the same day after paying the towing), I said yes and just like that she said "The city of Philadelphia would like to cancel this ticket as a courtesy". No showing photos, no explaining....seems the money collected for the towing was enough. I asked about a refund for the towing amount since I didn't agree with the fine, she said impossible (!!!)
Hearings are usually scheduled approx 3 months after the fine. My ticket was a relatively small amount ($45), and it was defective (they said I was parked in the wrong street). They had no reason to issue it either because the signs were not where they should have been. In fact they towed like 20 cars at once...
It would have been easier to me to pay that fine than having these adventures, and if I had been guilty I certainly would have. But quite a few of the people in charge of traffic fines in Philly are of the highly predatory, abusive and cheeky kind (NY too), and that should be fought, if it's a nuisance. Abuse is never something one should remain passive about.

And just for the record, traffic officers in general have all my admiration (once my car stopped dead in the middle of the Walt Whitman bridge, electric everything not working -battery-, couldn't even turn on the lights or use the car horn to signal (yep, really really scary). I managed to place the emergency triangles with cars speeding by and making gestures to me and blowing their horns -like it was my idea to stop there!-, and officers showed up really soon, pushed my car with theirs all the way to a safe location, and made sure I got it under control. But there sure are some rotten apples in the basket.
Just info...
Tags: disputing parking tickets Philly

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elizabeth and the catapult at the World Cafe FAN

Another fantastic concert by them, this time with a bassist. A great last FAN for me. Setlist: Just uploaded a bit of "Rainiest day of Summer" to youtube (ahem, the whistling, pre-recorded, right?), which I love, so really glad they played it this time. Impossible not to think of The Carpenters and a bit of the Beatles' Abbey road-ish vibe, but all put to use for the best.

Elizabeth has one of the most beautiful voices I've heard (even better live). And fat chance that she hits a wrong note with it.
Can't believe they aren't more known. Can't believe that song was not on youtube yet (I checked 3 times, still can't believe it). They've even made it to a popular movie soundtrack ("New in Town", Renee Zellweger...ahem, not supposed to admit that I watch those silly movies. But lately I even enjoy some of these quite a bit (watched "Penelope" and "In Brugues" last week and really enjoyed them -thought I wouldn't, you never really know).

A few weeks ago they did another concert here in Philly (posted about it below), and I asked her which of her songs was her favourite. She told me but then by the time I got to write the post I wasn't sure (I have this terrible memory that mostly remembers what it shouldn't. The other stuff, it doesn't really care much about!). So I asked her again this time: it's "Golden Ink".

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Benjamin Franklin Bridge

When I started blogging about the Tower Theater I wanted to do a post on things to do while in Philly, for those who aren't from around these parts. But then I'd hardly seen anything myself. I've done a better job of my "tourist" duties by now and this is the number one thing I suggest.
Just like when going to New York everybody recommends (me too) walking the Brooklyn bridge, I'd not seen any such thing about the Ben or any other Philly bridge in the usual tourist guides etc. And it is a great thing to do. You'll get glimpses of the city like this one (note the train!- btw, another option is taking that train -NJ transit-, ride in the first car, first row, there's a window in the front -generally quite dirty but not enough to block the view...almost)

It's a gorgeous walk, and even on relatively hot days there's a nice breeze up there.
I don't think it's always open (I've only recently seen people up there, and just did this a few weeks ago), as there's a pretty "drastic" weather in this city sometimes and also some maintenance work going on on the bridge itself, but you can check its status here. Right now only the south way is open. And if you're into photography, you'll be busy. This is my  favourite bridge.

Once done, I used to recommend a little walk (around 15 min) to "The Franklin fountain". Not anymore. Go to Bassetts instead. Better ice cream, waay better service than the snotty brats at Franklin and to top it, cheaper. On 1136 Arch S.

Well, to continue after the bridge, you're in Market street, which at that point is one of the liveliest places in the city, full of little restaurants, bars, and a few feet from concert venues like the Tin Angel or the Khyber, so plenty to do (terrible area to park, though). Or get yourself a Rocky or Philly T-shirt for $5 at Old city t-shirts (233 Church St, same price in 2009 as in 2016!)

So July = people going missing (it's called holidays). Lucky them will be lying on the beach somewhere nice, reflecting on nothing at all. I'm still here though, stuck with the usual stuff... really should know better by now. Take at least a "mental holiday", hmpf. A permanent mental holiday from certain things should even be better... will work on it, hope I'm luckier than with my new year's resolutions...shouldn't be difficult...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wilco and Conor Oberst at Frawley Stadium (Delaware)

Conor Oberst
A few pics, will post more later. Also uploaded a few bits of Wilco's show on youtube. Unfortunately the bits of Conor I recorded were so loud that the sound was completely distorted..

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Diane Birch at the World Cafe

Diane Birch

Was hardly familiar with Diane Birch when I went to XPN's free at noon a few Fridays ago, one of those artists who are at their best live.

A pic and setlist:
Diane Birch setlist
Great voice and surprisingly strong songs for a first album-.

Melody Gardot at the World Cafe

One of the few that sell out in Philadelphia (her city) as soon as a concert is announced. Pic and setlist of her June show:

She's another one to see live, I have yet to listen to either of her albums in full (ahemm, specially the last album. Read somewhere that the orchestration's excessive, I agree it dilutes things quite a bit), but live she's a different story. And her sense of theatrics is fantastic, always so perfectly put together and taking full control of the stage. But why does she insist on speaking in French???.
The best moment is still by far when she plays "Worrisome heart", that song's atmosphere fills the room to its last bit of space.
Uploaded on youtube a bit of the jazzy cover she did of "My favorite things" that night.
Tags: Melody Gardot setlist, Melody Gardot concert Philadelphia

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Camera Obscura finally...and tour

So a few days ago I had the chance to finally see Camera Obscura play live, and it was one of the music sets I've most enjoyed so far. Bummer that these things end so soon.
Although their image is pretty serious, offstage the band are at the very least as nice as their songs -the kind of people you'd like to have as friends.
And when they started playing the chords to "Honey in the sun" ... drummer Lee Thompson will make your jaw drop.. to the floor.
Asked Tracyanne what she's listening to these days and I'll share, hope it's ok. Surprising stuff, really: lately lots of Michael Jackson (these days...), Kanye West, Grizzly Bear and Anni Rossi, who's been supporting them on tour. That mixed with the usual: Patsy Cline... Who'd have guessed! (not the Patsy part).
They came to Philly's TLA, a few weeks ago and I couldn't make it (hggg). There's a nice review here (don't agree with the lyrics being any weak though. And the titles of their albums, like "Underachievers try harder", how cool is that!!) and some videos on youtube.
Their US tour now finished, they're back to Europe with a lot of dates, here (i should be able to make one, don't know yet where though!). Lucky UK is first.
Hands down, one of my most played bands these days.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Elizabeth and the Catapult play in Philly for the first time.

Elizabeth and the Catapult and Jeff Taylor
(At the Tin Angel on the 27th June)
Such a fantastic show!. In the pic with Jeff Taylor, he sang a few songs with them (these two, some chemistry).

They said that it was the first time they weren't playing with a bassist in years, but that they were really loving the sound...couldn't play "Taller children" because of that though (somebody requested it). I don't really like that song much so...a very different matter was their not playing "Rainiest day..." ...was in the setlist but they forgot. Hmm.
They played a few new songs, have uploaded a bit of "Hypochondriac" I recorded since I can't find it anywhere else and it's really wow. Can't quite understand half the lyrics (anybody help?). Also uploaded the cover of M. Ward's "Fuel for fire" they did with Taylor. This last one sounded much better live. Really nice people, Elizabeth's voice is effortlessly impressive and Pete Woodman on guitar is pretty amazing. But the three of them really show that they've been playing together time enough to do so almost as one and that they're such talented people. After the show they stayed around to chat with everybody.
Opening act was Christina Courtin, whose first songs were pretty haunting.
Finished the post!. Since when I was almost packed to leave it's all been postponed a few more weeks...big mess but have a bit more of time. Pretty nerve wrecking, these last days before moving somewhere else.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lloyd Cole at the Tin Angel - Nov'08

I've just realized I didn't do a post on this one (really thought I had until I went and tried to look for it!. Then realized at that time I didn't want to post for a particular reason), can't be. Even if it's a short one, I'll sneak it now somewhere.
I started listening to him ages ago, and by then he already had a long career behind him, with an impressive amount of songs. He now lives in the US and is a very meticulous and quiet middle aged man in black, incredibly serious about his playing. .
..ever seen a setlist like this one?
For someone who has not seen any image of him since his 80-90's grey eyed heartthrob aloof aired days, it's a change. He's still very much his very English self though, (his humour too!, made us laugh a lot) and a fantastic musician. And his voice has hardly changed.
He played solo and after the show he was very accessible (though his particular distant) so I was able to talk to him and ask him about "There for her", one of my all time favourite songs. He told me he also thought it was one of the best songs he's ever composed but that it was difficult to play it solo, hence his not playing it... bummer. I heard half of that song on a "independent" radio station one night ages ago, managed to record like 20 seconds of it (on tape, was that looong ago), loved it but didn't have the title, and no google then to do a search by lyrics. And few people listened to him in my country, certainly no one around me. I recognized his voice (I was quite taken with everything British then, would spend my allowance on imported Smash Hits and listen to the BBC Top 40 on the AM radio, lots of static, the sshhhs ended up being too much for me!) but that was all my info. A while after I went to the only record shop in my area that had his music and out of the Lloyd Cole cd's they had I tried to guess which had a title in it that could be my mystery song. I bet on "Love story" and my father bought it to me... it wasn't in it. Much later I remembered and googled it, finally found it, finally listened to it in full. When you have that story with a song, it's serious :)
Just lately heard Camera Obscura' explain that their song "Lloyd, I'm ready to be heartbroken" (fantastic song) is a reference to him and his famous Are you .... Apparently they sent it to him first thing and turns out his son is a Camera Obscura fan!
And it's a fact we take for granted that these days of Internet magic are so fantastic for music was so much harder before. I've been using IMEEM quite a bit lately, pretty fast and has this ton of music, lots of different versions of songs and curious things. It's visually ugly and as far as radio /stats go lastfm is way better. But it has so much more music available. I recently read that this kind of sites (the article specifically mentioned Spotify as an example, which is not available here so I have no clue,but seems to be very popular in Europe), have reduced illegal music traffic by half. Still I doubt copyright owners are happy about it!
Anyway, I owe Lloyd for so many great songs (I'm still discovering some of them, today I listened to "Margo's waltz for the first time -shame on me-, so good, so dispassionately passionate, he was always one of the wisest). I also owe him for quite a lot of improvement of my English, after so many hours fighting to understand his lyrics, my Collins beside me...
I uploaded a few vids of his performance on my youtube channel.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lisa Hannigan at the Artist Den

This show as recorded on the 17th June in Montclair, NJ (the city of the million traffic lights, all strictly unsynchronized for further enjoyment...can be pretty nerve wrecking when you're running late...)
Post in progress, will write it later but I wanted to post pics (they said no flash photography, took some non-flash as always). Concert was great.

Been to 4 concerts these last 3 days so hope to post on one or two at least. These days are coming to an end for me so I'm trying to make the most of it!
PS May'11: You can now watch a preview of the episode on MSN here (depending on your location), or you can like the Artist Den on facebook and you'll have access to a preview (try here in case it works without the like step). Can't believe the time it's taken to finally be able to watch it!
Labels: "The artist Den lisa hannigan"

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sad day for my country today.
There's some really brave people out there, there's also the viciously coward and mean. Sometimes these seem to win.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The white rabbits - It IS frightening!

In the same line as the Annuals' two drummers, the White rabbits actually go and beat them by at some points making it three drummers. Saw it at their World Cafe show back in May 15th (ahemm, slight delay in posting), one of the guitars would also have a go at it (cymbals mostly). Still Jamie Levinson and Matthew Clark are the two official drummers, and seeing them play live is pretty impressive, speed and energy-wise, wow. Also operationally-wise: Clark (rotating the most) would alternatively play guitar or keyboards in other songs, and he was not the only one switching instruments/places...
Also check out Clark's palest blue eyes if you can. If you do you'll see I'm not being frivolous by mentioning them!. I had not paid attention until I asked him one of my usual dumb questions (he was most nice though!)
Listen to the whole set here (XPN Archives)

And this little guy I met this weekend reminded me I had to do this post!:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Camera Obscura's "Honey in the sun" video +Keane dj

Camera Obscura' s just posted their latest video on Spinner here. Last track on their album, "Honey in the Sun" (5min 45s long!) is nevertheless my favourite one off "My maudlin career". The video isn't anything new but the photography in it is pretty beautiful and almost any still off it would make a fantastic pic.

Anybody familiar with this band knows how much better it will make you feel about acting like an utter dork in love matters. With poignant self explanatory lines as "The trouble is I got myself close to hating me, when I wake up in the morning it's your face I see" they'll still manage to uplift you to "happy as a clam" state. A public service!.
Still, dork / dorkette or not, half the tracks on their latest cd are completely fantastic. And they're currently on tour (U.S.)!

Lately my posts have been most erratic, seems I only get to post the short ones. If anybody follows this blog (I doubt it, but I have a few subscribers, thanks to them whoever they are!), just a note that I'm temporarily busy, unmotivated, and a bit overwhelmed by big changes so "solid" blogging's been relegated somehow. :)
Proof of that is the nonexistance of posts on all my Keane adventures last May!. Tonight Y-Rock on XPN will broadcast the songs each of them chose to dj when they visited the radio back then. I'm still sort of surprised that on such a short list one of Tim's was BFL's "Daniel". Kudos to Natasha.
If you can't listen to it today, not to worry, Y-Rock usually posts the takeovers some time later as free podcasts available for listening here.
Nicest guys.
Labels: "Keane takeover", "Keane XPN", "honey in the sun video"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Only today cheaper tix at Livenation!

A heads up on LiveNation's 24 h. promotion: only today tix won't be charged the service fee. So if you're planning on buying a ticket, today's the day.
For instance:
*Tori Amos at the Tower Aug 15th
*Cat Power, The pretenders and Juliette Lewis at the Tower on Aug. 13th
And since I'm not a Livenation fan (and I have nothing to do with them) , there's many other concerts as worth checking out coming soon:
*Elizabeth and the Catapult at the Tin Angel (jun'09)
*Melody Gardot at the WCL (jun'09)
*Hayes Carll at the Tin Angel (jun'09)
*The Wallflowers at the Keswick (jul'09)
*Camera Obscura at the TLA (jun'09). Last but definitely not least.
I'll think of more and post them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Baked oatmeal

I had to send this recipe to somebody (or else she may stop talking to me!), so I might as well share it, make this blog even more surreal...
It's delicious (I'd go quite easier on the sugar though).
We stayed at a lovely B&B in Lancaster County not long ago and Carol, the owner, would cook this for breakfast. She's so used to being asked for the recipe she had this photocopy ready.
I still haven't tried to do it though. The thrill of cooking disappeared for me the moment that cooking became one more daily chore...

Another post sneaked between older stuff....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The unfindable "S" (almost!)

So I was bored bored bored today with boring things to do, and after doing other silly stuff I went and wasted more time in front of my computer (how original). And typed "I'm bored" in lastfm's music search, see what inspiring ideas would come up. Haaa, that's when my boredom disappeared because "S" and her song "I'm so bored I'm going to sleep" showed up and triggered my curiosity. Since it sounded quite suitable I tried to listen to it... not available there so after a few searches (ok, this post is boring, it has to be...) I came up with a myspace for her but she wasn't in charge of it. So next step? Googling "S" didn't seem like a brilliant idea somehow ... well, at some point ended up finding her myspace here. But the page's so sparse, hardly any friends... Oh, and her latest track is called "??????" (- really good, not available for download though).
Well, I really like her music and it's different and curious, and finding it seems like one of those searches for the treasure with clues and a prize at the end. Guess she didn't make it to the "promote yourself" classes..or maybe she just prefers it this way...
PS There's actually more than one act with the name "S", the one I'm referring to is Jenn Ghetto (ex- Carissa's Wierd), she actually had great reviews of her record "Puking and crying" (don't let the title scare you away) a while ago, but seems it's still pretty off radar (can think of a few reasons...)

Well, people are not usually curious, though as Colin Farrell said in some award show (I couldn't stand the guy until he said this sentence) "curiosity is love". Couldn't agree more.As always I kind of Check out her music though.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Regina's new song - Eet (lyrics)

Woke up this morning to find this new little jewel by Regina Spektor. A somehow different sound for her in that chorus with the piano and the big drums (can't help it, that part reminds me of Keane's "Everybody's changing" but with its own identity). Coolest end. Lyrics here (songmeanings), also people's thoughts on the song's meaning.

Get this video and more at She's been posting new songs in her myspace for a few weeks now, her album Far out in a few weeks-.
And last time I'm embedding a myspace vid, quite the nuissance.
TAgs: eet lyrics, regina spektor eet, regina spektor eet lyrics

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tim's got what it takes

My utmost admiration to this guy. Leaving all else aside, it takes what it takes to venture out on the street, alone, a mere thirty minutes after a gig at a 6.000 capacity sold out venue to meet a big crowd waiting, more so when in progress is a cosy after party thrown for you inside the venue. It takes what it takes, won't say the pair that come to mind 'cos I don't want to be vulgar! ;)

This was what was waiting for Tim Rice-Oxley (Keane). The other band members,Tom and Richard, would show up an hour and a half later. He had time for every single person, with a smile and thankfulness (real or not is somehow beside the point, looked real though).
I'm so glad there's still people like that.
PS No disrespect to the people waiting (me among them for a while!), they did "rise to the occasion".
On second thoughts: Olé tus huevos!!
-May 27th '09, Radio City Music Hall, NY-

Moby and Citizen Cope discuss radio

So these last few days have been most unsettling to me, lots going on, still trying to digest things, will blog a bit about what I can (unfortunately will have to keep the most spectacular moments to myself for different reasons) hoping it will help. Will start with what's last (apart from tonight, going to Atlantic city for another concert!, so much driving is killing me)
Yesterday I attended a panel discussion with Moby moderating!. The issue at stake: Is radio still important to artists?, as part of a Noncomm radio meeting.
As surprise guests Citizen Cope and Sean Hoots (Hoots & Hellmouth) joined. A pic to illustrate (totally s*cks, seems a halos reunion but I was quite beat)

Was pretty interesting and Moby turned out to be a quite a hilarious but serious talker. To take the suspense out of the answer to the moto at stake, it really depends on the type of audience you have (internet, word of mouth...) but it always helps. And of course Non commercial radio is essential to these artists who don't go for big station fan bases.
But they dealt more with other topics such as success, how it affects a career...well, they agreed it can be a quite intense experience that may take you time to deal with but none of them consider themselves mainstream artists and as Citizen Cope put it "you make a hit for you, you aim for a song that brings a tear to your eye, goosebumps when you play it, touches you and hopefully it will touch someone else too" and "whatever success you achieve is accidental". As Moby added, record labels, in these their desperate times, can compel artists to take dramatic decisions.. He also said that success confused him for a few years on how to move forward, and that his moment of "epiphany" happened at a Grammy awards, sitting between Ludacris and Christina Aguilera, and thinking "what am I doing here, I have nothing in common with these people", that with all due respect "mainstream world had nothing to do with me". He remembered past milestones like his first ever release in 1983 with a hardcore band that sold 200 copies, or the time he did an interview in a top 40 radio st. where he was addressed to as Mob 9! (that came up when asked about what makes an interview good or bad, ahem, we get the idea) or the time he was included in a metal radio playlist and had to play concerts in between heavy metal bands (quit it as a mere "self preservation" thing, audiences weren't exactly appreciative!).
As Citizen Cope put it, the hardest part is getting to have the first 100 people in a venue, after that it all sort of comes naturally.
And they also brought up the festivals, so in fashion these days, also so helpful in terms of taking your music to more people, and surprisingly going on in the weirdest places (Moby's summer gigs include places such as Romania, Croatia, Morocco or Estonia). Well, those people deserve some quality gigs too!.
In the end, nothing new under the sky but very nice and interesting to hear these clever guys talking about these things in such a no fuss upfront way.
To wrap things up there were a few concerts scheduled later, I saw Cory Chisel again (always up for it!) and Serena Ryder, quite a voice.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Keane at the Tower Theater

May 20Th '09, some pic I took during my time at the first row.Bedshaped, of course, deep blue.
Still have two dates near, I'm tempted! ...
This girl has posted the best vids of the gig (amazing camera):TristinAlix11 , HD. Thanks so much for posting.
Mi vid is terrible in comparison:

I hardly recorded any more than that.
Will finish the post later.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Coldplay -The free album

Yesterday Coldplay made their "LeftRightLeftRighLeft" album available for download for free (still is here), 9 tracks of live versions of some of their best. So a big thank you to them, for there may or may not be marketing reasons behind it, but it undoubtedly is a very generous gift from them to their fans.
And a fantastic album too, it really captures the energy of their live act in a surprising way. If there's something Chris Martin can't be accused of is of not giving it all live, even during their most grueling tours. Saw them in their second Philly performance last year, didn't seem in "automatic mode" at all.
Specially outstanding "Viva la vida", love that song (still they could have done without the pre-recorded chorus for the live thing).
The cd cover: a paper butterfly confetti like those they shower the audience with during their live performances (I kept one, wonder where it is!).
PS March'10: found them!, here:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Meiko & Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons at the Tin Angel

Some pics & Meiko's setlist of their May show in Philly:

Her encore was Piano song, "super freak" is a cover and "Good looking loser" is a new song she told me she had recorded but not released yet and was very excited about. "Inspired" by an ex of hers who shares my nationality, funny!.
And Cory Chisel & The wandering sons, a really great band to listen to live:
Posted a video of each on youtube: Meiko's here, and Cory's here.
The only other time I had seen Meiko live was last fall in the Hotel Tour together with, among others, Rachael Yamagata, who showed up at this show with most of her band. It's great when people are real pals and show their support for one another.
And have just seen the new lastfm player widget (when you play your library), real neat. As slow as usual though.