Showing posts with label the United Kingdom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the United Kingdom. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2011

South by Southwest here I come! And I'm hosting a Bay Area bands house show

This afternoon I leave for Austin for a week. I AM VERY EXCITED. I see that it's going to be over 80 for the next few days, so not only do I get to enjoy the craziness of South by Southwest, there will be fun Texas-y things to do like hanging out in Barton Springs and maybe even toobing on one of the rivers down south.

This will be my 5th time at the festival, and I *think* I've gotten a the hang of it by now. It helps that I can work from wherever there is internet and I have friends who still live there to stay with. It also helps that I know where all the good taco stands are.

I'm also very excited to be hosting my very first house show on Thursday the 14th with Bay Area bands The Family Crest, Dina Maccabee and Foxtails Brigade! It looks like we're going to have a full house! (Let me know if you're in town and you'd like to come) It's been such a pleasure working with my friends to put this together, and house shows are a really wonderful, intimate way to hear music. I think it will be especially excellent after dealing with the street crowds downtown all week.

My general SXSW advice:
  1. wear comfy shoes
  2. drinks lots of water
  3. don't worry too much about sticking to your schedule of bands to see. Even if you have a badge or wristband or whatever (and you don't really need one by the way, there's so much free stuff going on): shows are full, places are further away than you think, you might want to stay for the next band or you might find that there's a glorious sound coming from that tent over there! FOLLOW YOUR EARS! You never know what might come your way, and that's the whole point of this festival, to discover new things.
And of course I have to tell you who I am most looking forward to seeing:

The Bees:
I have been a fan of the Bees since discovering them randomly on a sampler CD I picked up at a Radiohead concert in 2003. They don't tour to the US very often so I will not be missing this one, even though they are playing at 1 in the morning. They have an 1960s thing going on: garage rock with a psychedelic, folky vibe:



Schmillion:
These ladies are Girls Rock Camp alums, so of course I'm excited about them. They were recently featured on a cnn blog. Woa! They are still in high school and embody what camp is all about. AND, they are sharing the stage of the Girls Rock Camp showcase with the Bangles. Not too shabby.



The Hello Strangers:
My friend and former classmate Larissa Chace Smith and sister Brechyn, whom I've written about before, will be in town from central Pennsylvania! Think Neko Case times two! I love the vocal harmonies. Their music tells the stories of women caught in bad relationships who might take matters into their own hands every now and again. I've not gotten to see them live yet, but love their recordings.



The Defibulators:
Erin B. is the younger sister of Eli, who is my pianist when I sing in Los Angeles. Eli and my brother played music together in junior high. The Defibulators throw a raucous party of what I'm gonna call country-punk. I've been getting to know their music over the years and it keeps changing. The new album "Corn Money" has a fun combination of honky-tonk tunes and 1930s-type ballads.

Defibulators "Corn Money" from Possum Den Productions on Vimeo.

I have a new smart phone so I will be trying out live blogging with it. Stay tuned!

And, of course, I will be eating lots of tacos.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Florence + The Machine at the Oakland Fox Theater, a review

Florence and The Machine at the O2 Empire, Shepherd's Bush, London, 28th September 2009
Photo by preamble

WOW! This woman is INCREDIBLE. Because it's not super professional to say that on examiner.com, I just wanted to get that out of the way here :)

Anyone who takes their cues from Bjork is okay in my book.

READ MY REVIEW HERE


Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over VMA
Uploaded by samiam2546. - Explore more music videos.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quick review: The King's Singers at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco


The "Seattle Times" wrote: "Listening to the King's Singers is just about as much fun as you can have in public with your clothes on!"

The King's Singers are SO English. And what I mean by that is that they are classy and silly all at the same time. And the silliness is so subtle with a look or a small movement. Some of these guys are so dignified as classical singers, but all they need to do is look at the audience and wink, or raise their eyebrows and send everyone into hysterics. Tenor, Paul Phoenix, is the most fun to watch as his whole body moves and bounces as he sings (see, look at him third from the left in the photo above). Dressed in dark velvet blue sports coats and light pink ties, even their wardrobe reflects this attitude.

The first half of the concert was full of classic madrigals including my fav by Monteverdi (see yesterday's post). They also performed a commission that was written by Bay Area composer Gabriela Lena Frank called "Tres Mitos de Mi Tierra, or Three Myths of My Land" which was full of insanely impressive and difficult rhythmic devices that made my jaw drop. When the piece was over Frank, who was sitting in the audience, hugged each and everyone of them. You could tell she was absolutely delighted and adored them personally.

goofballs: Timothy Wayne-Wright Paul Phoenix and David Hurley

In the second half, the King's Singers lightened up the vibe with Randy Newman's "Short People" (yes, we're looking at you David Hurley - so cute!), Billy Joel's "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)" (listen below), and a Harry Connick Jr. tune.

I even spotted Jace Wattig from Chanticleer and chatted with him for a little bit during intermission. My friend and his friend bonded over their experience singing collegiate a cappella at Brown University. As always, it was a fabulous time.

I thought since my last week has been musically full of Billy Joel and the King's Singers that the signs are telling me to bring the two together and share this video with you: The King's Singers perform Billy Joel's "Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)" arrangement by Phillip Lawson.