Sia's live album was released on April 3, 2007, and here's the product description: Astralwerks is thrilled to release a new mini LP by Sia, Lady Croissant, which was recorded live at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. The recording includes eight songs from both the Zero 7 and Sia catalog. This live performance captures Sia at an incredible height, performing such songs as "Numb", "Don't Bring Me Down", "Distractions" and "Breathe Me". This release also includes a brand new studio track titled "Pictures".
Although the track list isn't long, it definitely includes some of Sia's best songs from both her solo career and her work with Zero 7, showing how well she is able to play material from both of these projects at once, coalescing such different stuff into a streamless, beautiful whole.
Her band plays flawlessly on this release, but by far the most compelling talent is Sia's voice. Live, her voice changes from a soft, airy crooning to a strong, piercing wail that blows you away with its power. The two Zero 7 tracks, "Destiny" and "Distractions" are awesome live, but the real stand outs are her earlier track, "Blow it all Away" off her debut, which gains a much fuller sound live, and my favorite, the amazing "Lentil" which was previously unreleased. Lentil builds from a melancholy reminiscence to an all-out cry for forgiveness. Every time I listen to this song, time seems to stop and my entire being is drawn into her world...something her emotional performance always seems to demand. That's what really good music is all about--you don't hear Sia's music; you feel it.
Get it here.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
So a week after I did my radio show on women in music I've discovered in the past couple years, I found a musician who rivals them all. I'd just bought a few cds from considerably bigger names--musicians who had some in with popular culture (movies, national publications, etc.)--and here's a cute, quiet 22-year-old playing a college show who just floors me...Her name is Haley Bonar, and her music is incredible. She has a beautiful, soft, and mature voice, and her songwriting is honest, lyrical, and intimate.
Apparently she started playing at bars and clubs around her home town of Sioux Falls, SD, when she was just 15, and she released her first LP, entitled "...The Size of Planets," in 2003 when she was 19. She has since dropped out of the U at Duluth and has been touring extensively, playing alongside some pretty big names (Mason Jennings, Arcade Fire, and many more), and released another album, "Lure the Fox" last year.
She's recorded both of these in the twin cities area, so she plays a lot of shows at the Minneapolis/St. Paul venues. I highly recommend seeing her live; she has this striking ability to pull you in so that it seems like you are the only one she's singing to. Her sound is right on, utilizing two types of guitar, keyboard, and backed by a drummer, and bassist / vocalist. Granted, her music is probably better for some occasions/moods than others, as a friend of mine suggested, but she's just really, really good, and deserves to be checked out.
Go to her official website to see news, tour dates, discography, photos, press links, and most importantly, to hear some of her songs streamed: listen to the beautifully poetic "Hawaii," the twangier "Drinking Again," the longlingly commiserate "Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy," and the haunting, incredible "Car Wreck."
Seeing Saul Williams (poet, rapper, speaker, activist, etc.) last night reminded me of this photo. By the way, Saul is INCREDIBLE. If you ever get the chance to see him, don't pass it up, he has some amazingly true and life-changing ideas, and his poems are awesome, to say the least.
I saw Running with Scissors last night (see the trailer here). It was really, really good. It had some of the best usage of music in a film I've ever seen; throughout all the emotional scenes the selections of songs perfectly complemented and enhanced the mood.
One of those songs was "Mr. Blue" by Catherine Feeny...it was so beautiful I could hardly believe it, but believe it I did upon immediately buying her album Hurricane Glass on iTunes (it's also available at cdbaby). Her music has been called "beautiful melancholy," and "intimate but radiant folk-pop." Soft instrumentation pervades, utilizing guitar and light strings, her voice is beautiful and light, and her lyrics are intimate and thoughtful.
Listen to "Mr. Blue" at her myspace page, and check out "Touch Back Down" and "Hush Now" as well. Here's her official website with a nice little bio, news, tour dates, and you can actually stream her entire album under the "music" link! This woman shows a lot of promise and I'm excited to play her on my new radio show.
This show, played on 08.07.2004 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI is part of DMB's exclusive online releases of their live shows over the years, which they call "Live Trax." This show was actually my first Alpine experience, and man it was an incredible show. This was the tour they started playing their new songs, some of which would go on Stand Up. For this particular show, they actually covered "Super Freak" in homage to Rick James' passing...but it was an incredibly good setlist, one you fans of DMB won't want to miss, especially if you were there!!! An excerpt from the buying site:
"The Alpine Valley show was a near perfect setlist from the show opener greeting, Hello Again to the encore featuring Typical Situation followed by Warehouse. New song Sugar Will was played as a long jam and another song making its debut that summer, Joyride, was also featured on the setlist. A special highlight of the Alpine night one Live Trax recording is Crazy Easy, never before released live!
A true surprise of the show included Super Freak, DMB’s tribute to the late great Rick James, which sent the crowd into a frenzy! Other highlights included Dave singing parts of #36 on the outro of Everyday, the solemnly beautiful I’ll Back You Up and Bartender, which was dedicated to the troops working hard to keep the world safe for us."
Go here to see the setlist or buy.
Cat Power's voice is mature far beyond her years. When I first heard this song I envisioned a fourty-something woman singing in a smoke-filled jazz club...I love this video, she looks and sounds fantastic. So much personality, yet she makes you wanting more. Cool how her athletic jacket lends tribute to the album's title, and more? Chris Ott over at Pitchfork seems to capture her aura well in his review for her previous album:
"Liz Phair was a grifter. Using sexuality as a weapon, she turned the tables on obsessive boys and set their hearts aflutter with brazen lyrics, from the flagellant lust of "Flower" to her dead-to-the-world praise for doin' it doggie-style, "That way we can fuck and watch TV." Yet, forgiving a few heartfelt ballads like "Explain It to Me", Phair was in many ways a coy tease, partying and watching porn with guys she'd never date, despite their lust for her.
Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) was never such fun, never crude or masculine; she's the opposite fantasy, the porcelain art-school doll whose blissful confusion you could never hold in your hands. She's the girl that never called you back, that made you lose your cool and leave two messages. Every time you see her on the street, or a mutual friend tells you, "Yeah, I saw her at Cokie's, she's dating the guy from so and so," it ruins your weekend.
The cagiest of modern songbirds, Chan has a famously fragile ego and skittish countenance. She's wrestled with the consequences of baring a relentlessly observant soul to the world, and bagged on any number of shows when heckled or simply "not feeling it."...read the rest of the review here: You Are Free Pitchfork Review.
Check out her myspace page.
I was introduced to Regina just a few weeks ago and now I'm going through her back-catalog and let me tell you how talented this woman is. Her stuff is different, but her sound is beautifully unique and varies from album to album and song to song. Her most recent album is definitely the most approachable...Anyway, check out this video and you can actually listen to almost all her music, and view the videos for On the Radio, Samson, Better, and Us on her website. Go here: http://www.reginaspektor.com/
Dave Matthews once said about Radiohead:
"[Radiohead's music] can take you down a quiet street before it drops a beautiful musical bomb on you. It can build to where you think the whole thing will crumble beneath its own weight - and then Thom Yorke will sing some melody that just cuts your heart out of your chest. There's a point on the album Kid A where I start feeling claustrophobic, stuck in a barbed-wire jungle - and then I suddenly fall out and I'm sitting by a pool with birds singing. Radiohead can do all of these things in a moment, and it drives me fucking crazy." (thanks meg)
I have two suggestions from them:
1. listen to "Let Down" (Ok Computer) really loud, over and over again.
2. listen to "Fog (Again)" [Live], well, just listen to it, it's pretty incredible. It's off the Com Lag: 2+2=5 [EP], and you can download it on iTunes...There's something about the short sad songs with a slightly upbeat guitar riff or piano beat that really get me (e.g. Dear Chicago - Ryan Adams).
I decided to start up a blog today after I came across a really cool blog from a guy somewhere over in Germany who posted good music, videos, photos, and thoughts on there. I come across stuff that I want to share with people so often that I'm glad I finally can. When I heard this song, I immediately wanted other people to hear it, because there's something so uplifting about it. I was watching Heroes, episode 5, and I know I'd heard the song before on the show, but I finally found it; it's called "Eyes" by Rogue Wave. Here's the lyrics:
Missed the last train home
birds pass by to tell me
that im not alone
well im pushing myself
to finish this part
i can handle a lot
but one thing i'm missing
is in your eyes
have you seen this film
it reminds me of
walking through the avenues
well im washing my hands
of attachments, yeah
i will land on the ground
but one thing I’m missing
is in your eyes
Anyway, you can hear it streamed at http://www.myspace.com/roguewave. I love this song so much! It reminds me of walking through city streets, thinking about that girl you like but always seem to miss. It really makes me want to be back in the city....I guess that's what it's supposed to remind you of, haha. Anyway check it out.