Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why I moved to the Mission

This evening I parked my car around the corner from my apartment and heard some salsa music coming from somewhere. The geek that I am, I followed it down the block and found a salsa band rehearsing at Pepe's Automotive Repair on South Van Ness between 26th and Cesar Chavez St. Love it.








Upon further exploration I found that it was Pepe y su Orquestra rehearsing for a gig. The three vocalists are brothers originally from Peru. Love it.

Here are some photos I took with my crappy phone camera.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bobby McFerrin's VOCAbuLaries and the joy of improvisation

Who knows if Bobby even knows what's coming next? But we know it's going to be fun.

I've had the wonderful opportunity to see Bobby McFerrin twice now in my life. Once in the 90s at UCLA's Royce Hall and once last weekend with SFJAZZ. For a vocalist and performers in general, his performances are nothing short of amazing. The joy he exudes for music and his talent is so overwhelming that it's hard to not get sucked in for those two hours.

Read my review of the San Francisco show here. It was the world premiere of his VOCAbuLaries performances and the unveiling of his new album of the same title.

Skip to 2:10 to see how McFerrin performs Bach's "Ave Maria" with the audience.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pomplamoose featured in Toyota Avalon commercial with "Mister Sandman" cover


Okay. Soooo, maybe it's about time I tell you all this. Some of you know, some of you probably don't... But I've been working for Pomplamoose for just a few hours a week since the end of December 2009. I've been doing things like helping them with their volumes of fanmail, the t-shirt campaign and getting licenses for their cover songs so that they can actually make money off of them. It's been super super fun. Jack and Nataly are really the terrific and funny people that you see in their videos.

So I'm super excited that they have a commercial out featuring one of their songs. I think that maybe even last year I would have looked down upon this sort of musical business deal, but you know what? How are artists supposed to make money anymore with the internet? They certainly don't do it selling recordings or touring! And it will bring Pomplamoose more fans.

Anyway, here's the first bit of an article I just posted on examiner.com about it. I hope that it will help loop curious ears into who made this fabulous cover when they hear it during a V commercial break.
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Pomplamoose's cover of "Mister Sandman" originally performed by the Chordettes is currently being featured in a commercial for the 2011 Toyota Avalon. The commercial fits the music perfectly with a quirky 1940s vibe in a train station. Watch the original video here. The commercial has been placed in prime time slots.

Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte seem to be everywhere right now coming right off of airing an interview with NPR just last weekend (listen to the interview and read the article here). Their cover of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" has just passed the 4 million views mark and their cover of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" is striding its way through the 2 millions.

Read more here (cause you know I like the clicks)


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The second Bay Area Ladies Rock Camp a raging success

Me at Ladies Rock Camp 2009 playing the bass with Mama and the Tweets

Just this last weekend was the Bay Area Ladies Rock Camp. I wasn't a camper this year, but put in some time making dinner for the 25 campers and 20 volunteers. I also went to the showcase on Sunday. It was a lot of fun and moving as always (I always cry a little).

I am proud to have been responsible for two of the campers this year: my friends Marla and Crystal. Both learned to play the drums. Marla is in this video below with the crazy green eye-shadow. Crystal, originally from Vancouver, came up from LA for Rock Camp.

Crystal said:
It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I've learned that you can do anything and it's never too late...

After the performances, numerous people came up to me to give me hugs and high fives. They couldn't believe it was my first time picking up drumsticks 3 days ago. They were amazed at how great I was.

Being someone who is generally uncomfortable with praise, it was so crazy. Who knew I was a drummer? Even though I've always wanted to do it, it wasn't until now that I took the opportunity to do so. I'm so glad I did it. As it turns out, I AM a drummer.
Each Lady Rock Camper's tuition for the weekend goes directly to a girl camper that would not be able to afford it otherwise. At the Bay Area camp, 50% of the girl campers are on some kind of scholarship.

Rock Camps are popping up all over the country and all over the world. There might be one in your city. I HIGHLY recommend that you check it out for yourself, your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, step-mom and friends. It is super fun and maybe one of the best weekends you will ever have.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Support singer/songwriters Pam Shaffer and Lia Rose make their studio albums,

In the past week, two singer/songwriters, Lia Rose and Pamela Shaffer, have reached out to their fans asking for help paying for the making of their studio albums. Kickstarter is an awesome site where artists can appeal to their fans (and find new ones) and fans can directly support artists they like. There is no middle man.

The awesome thing about the concept behind Kickstarter, is that if you donate money to Pamela or Lia's projects you are really just pre-paying for the album you would have bought anyway. So it's really more of an investment in the music that you like. And it's just another way to donate to the arts.

Pamela says,
"I love donating to the arts whether it's by purchasing a friend's album, being a member of LACMA or dropping cash in a tip jar for a musician on 3rd street."
If you take a look at the Kickstarter site, it has allowed Pamela and Lia to award various amount donations with different prizes: house shows, signed CDs, pre-release downloading and handmade cover art.

I'm going to donate some cash right after I finish this post. Every dollar helps them get that much closer to a finished product, and studio recordings ain't cheap to make. (Update: you can sign in through facebook and then pay through Amazon, so you don't have to open another account or give your credit card out to yet another site. Easy-peezy)

Check out the widgets below and their music. Please think about supporting these ladies on Kickstarter to make their studio recordings.

Los Angeles musician Pamela Shaffer needs help finishing her album

Bay Area musician Lia Rose (of Built by the Sea) needs support making a solo album




Bay Area talent gives back to the diabetic community with "Sugar Rush" (or my first paid PR gig!)


When Ziva of WomenRock contacted me with a paid PR gig for this fundraiser for The American Diabetes Association, I couldn't say 'no.' No time to learn how to write a press release like the present. Turns out, it's not that complicated! And it's for a good cause.

So if you're in the Bay Area next Thursday the 15th of April and want to hear some local music (all of these artists will be new to me, so I'm certainly excited) come out and support the fight against Diabetes.

Oh, and there will be some silly vaudevillian style sexy dancers too (they're called the Cheesepuffs)!

READ MORE ABOUT THE EVENT HERE

Monday, April 5, 2010

Q&A with Kyle Jarrow, book and lyric writer of Duncan Sheik's new musical 'Whisper House'

Kyle Jarrow and Duncan Sheik teamed up to write 'Whisper House'
photo via latimes.com

One of my favorite things about Davies Symphony Hall is the variety of performers that grace its stage: like ukulele musicians and big band orchestras. But it’s a special treat when the Symphony itself invites someone extra special to be its guest.

This week, Wednesday to Saturday, The San Francisco Symphony slips something a little different between Poulenc and Gounod classics: selections from a new musical called Whisper House, composed by so-called “one hit wonder” and Grammy winning Duncan Sheik with a book written by New York City’s “hipster playwright" Kyle Jarrow.

Don’t be too surprised: Duncan Sheik went onto receiving a 2007 Tony for his masterpiece Spring Awakening and Kyle Jarrow won a prestigious 2004 Obie Award at the age of 24 for A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant. The two were introduced by a mutual friend and dove right into writing the musical Whisper House. The musical has just come off a successful six week World Premier run at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego.

Last week I was able to chat with Kyle over email and ask him some questions about working with Duncan and his experience with Whisper House...

TO READ MORE, CLICK HERE

Friday, April 2, 2010

300 followers on facebook!


Always More to Hear has 300 followers on facebook!

THANK YOU FOR READING! AND THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!! You guys are the reason I do this, and I thank you.

-Jamie

New artist: Lissie Maurus (she covers Gaga's "Bad Romance")

I totally dig Lissie's I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-haven't-gotten-around-to-brushing-my-hair-yet look. You go girl.

For those of you who like Neko Case, listen up! I was playing on the internet this morning and Lissie Maurus, a Southern singer/songwriter caught my eye. She was just at South by Southwest and seems to have caught some folks' attention. There's a little bit of buzz going on about her right now, and rightly so.

She's got quite a voice and I have the feeling that like Neko, the songwriting and production quality (all that wonderful guitar reverb!) of recording will get under my skin and put me in that happy, warm place every time I listen.

Do not underestimate the power of making a good cover. That is how, especially on the internet, people will find you. That's how I found Lissie, watching Lady Gaga covers.

Here's her cover of Gaga's "Bad Romance"



And here's an original called "In Sleep"



What do you think?