Friday, January 30, 2009

Andrew Bird - WHY? in Philly's TLA

Someone's just posted this on youtube*, WOOOWW. Seriously, how good is he?

For my post on when I got to ask him what he's listening to these days go to this post.
Had not listened to this song yet (still working my way through the last two records), was blown away for the the umpteenth time. And he was sick...

This so could be a Carina Round song, would love to see these two work together.
*Thnx to JoThere for uploading!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow and chocolate water

First day of close down due to snow in NJ this year, time for one of my "nobody cares but I've been wandering around in the snow and taking pics, so" post. Beautiful:

Will blog later about the chocolate water, sort of chopped that part out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

To write a song

Check out this blog The New York times is featuring in which singers like Andrew Bird or Suzanne Vega dissect the songwriting process (even featuring demos of the different stages of a song),:
Hope more composers will join.
Phew, was quite behind on my posts, don't think I'll post for a month after this!!! These last few days have been quite the thing in icy, freezing, damn, but damn cold Philly & NJ.

Bird's noble beast + the music he's listening to these days

Very recently I crossed paths for a minute with Andrew Bird, whose music I discovered little ago. His latest album, "Noble beast" has just been released and it has pearls such as "Oh, no" and "Fitz and the dizzyspells", both of which I'm pretty sure we'll soon hear on some stylish tv commercial. They're that catchy but so good too -and yet difficult and dark at the same time, partly because of the intricate lyrics. That contrast is what makes him specially interesting (go figure out what Fitz& Dizzyspells is about!). That said, once you know their meaning they make such perfect sense you wonder how you could not realize: point made with oh no, which everybody knows by now (but hardly anybody guessed before he spoke) is about the idiotic obsession of humans with hiding their emotions & thoughts (like that makes things easier for anybody!).
His music, which has steadily been increasing in popularity with time, revolves around the violin (his playing is more than impressive), sobriety and more and more the whistling - same sonic neighborhood as the violin-, as well as the gorgeous resonance his voice hits sometimes. Check out the amazing violin loops he does live (see what I mean here, specially in Fitz. And how beautiful is that smile at the very end, how shy and happy and short). Most clever stuff. This release is making a lot of noise and getting rave reviews from music gurus everywhere.
Anyway, was able to ask this very determined, thin and bony man of most intimidatingly sharp gaze (who by the way looks much younger in the flesh) about what he is listening to these days, and this was his answer: mainly jazz from the early fifties (instrumental), he named a couple of artists but they didn't sound familiar and I forgot (Lester Young? Not sure -pff I'm a total ignorant in that area, asked if Coltrane, not, older stuff). And nothing contemporary?: Department of Eagles.
So there you go!
A real treat to be able to hear him play and shake his hand.
And find the lyrics for "Noble beast" here (took me a while to find them, really a bummer not to understand every word of a song I like..which is almost always the case when I can't find them written somewhere). -YOu can also check out the song "Fake palindromes" and read what people say about it, wow!
And good interview here (Wireless Bolinger) and mini talk clip here.

Rachael Yamagata for Musicians on call

"Happenstance"' producer John Alagia joined Rachael onstage at Philly's World Cafe (Jan 21st '09) for a song:

She is including more and more songs from her latest release in her set, and I happened to find her before the show and asked about it (was eager to hear some of these songs live). Seems they're still mastering Don't (so not playing it yet, though it's one of the songs she likes best -I agree!), but she has started playing Over and over and the Hidden track (she wondered if people actually gets to hear it or not). Problem with those songs is some of them are 9 -10 minutes long an as she always plays Sunday... and says she's uncapable of editing herself!. Some people's attention span is not that long. Asked her if she didn't get a little blue singing those songs. She said that sometimes she gets "really bummed" but not often.

She always meets her "fans" after her shows, so again I seized the opportunity to ask her what she's listening to these days (next time she sees me, she may start running!!): Jenny Lewis' "Acid tongue", Aztec Camera (she has just discovered it, good old Roddy Frame!), My morning Jacket, Kings of Leon and loves Mute Math's "You are mine".
Show was excellent as usual and don't worry about getting sad-depressed, she will turn it into a more than "uplifting" experience with lots of laughs! (bless her!!).
All proceeds from the concert benefited "Musicians on call", a program that takes musicians to the bedsides of patients in health care facilities. She joined to witness one of those trips (said that she couldn't contribute with her songs or patients would directly pull the plug, lol!), said it impressed and affected her and "had to drink heavily after"...Matt Duke performed as well, I was bummed to miss his performance, really nice talented guy.
Uploaded two vids of Rachael's performance on my youtube profile:
"Over and over" + really funny banter on breaking up through txt mssgng -like she said: us women, we don't need closure, we can just move 0n...-
Another bit of banter I can transcribe is this cute bit, the intro to her last hidden track : "I have to say, as miserable and sad and painful as something can be I'm a big believer in lessons, and a big believer in connections and a big believer in meant to be's and there's a reason, you know what I mean?". Got to learn from her optimism...
Oops, almost forgot, amazing, fantastic Giraldi on drums, specially during "Sidedish friend", and the most innocent face ever, a terrible pic (sorry, he does move a lot):

And guitar guy (can't remember the name, usually there's Kanakis on guitar with her - during the Hotel Cafe Tour he was in front of me and when during one of his interventions he indicated to the audience it was hugging time, he came straight to me and gave me the biggest bear hug ever , got to love the guy- while everybody in the audience hugged one another, it was a blast, that tour too, the whore-tell tour as Rachael named it, because of all the girls and how sassy they got onstage - but this once it was someone different who really got into it too during one of the songs, recorded this bit with terrible sound but will try to upload it, not to miss Yamagata's face, like everybody else, fun and quite like wow.
Tags: Rachael Yamagata listening to, Rachael Yamagata Musicians on call, Rachael Yamagata new songs live

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Adele at the World Cafe

Seems Adele describes her music as "heartbroken soul". Thing is, she opens her mouth, your jaw drops. Amazing voice that sings so effortlessly... Can't say that I like most of her songs (a couple of them I really love though), but I really like the voice (and don't miss her website's great video player).
A pic:

Uploaded this vid of her encore, a cover of Sam Cooke's "That's it, I quit, I'm moving on". She had finished her set (the only part that is being broadcast) and she had a show that night, still she played this one more song for us. Thumbs up-
Listen to the concert: XPN's archives here.
Gossip: I almost bumped into her as she was getting out of an elevator and a few inches away she is pretty tall, way less plump, very white and has a lovely English face, beautiful in a non standard soft way. Well, my ideal of beauty is in sync with the feelings you get when you look at someone. Looking at plastic, empty faces with swollen lips that can only articulate nonsense , that's a pain, if they are "beautiful".
PS Feb: saw her yesterday at the Grammys, she's sabotaging herself with that make up and those grandma dresses, she looks so much better in the flesh.