yup. its the truth. i can’t deny it. last night i went to a secret Hanson show. but you know what, those kids turned into older kids and got really good. you just can’t beat their harmonies. besides Boyz II Men. Boyz II Men’s harmonies are killer. Bust seriously, check out Hanson’s acoustic tour dvd, its amazing. But until then, check out these videos I shot last night (finally got to use my new Flip camera for something!)
Hanson – Change In My Life (this was the encore, but its the best one to watch)
Hanson – Carry You There (new song that they opened with)
I realize I’ve been posting a ridiculous amount of John Mayer stuff recently, but the guy has been doing all of these sweet secret shows around Los Angeles and I just can’t help myself.
Last night, him and the Trio plus a dude on the keys rocked the hell out of the Troubadour. They played a single acoustic song and everything else was rock and blues songs, many of which were covers. It was seriously awesome. Who knew that earplugs would have been handy at a John Mayer show…I mean wow, he really rocked it.
Setlist looked something like this (mind you, i dont actually know the titles or original writers of many songs):
Wait Until Tomorrow (Hendrix)
Come When I Call
Never Said Never Again (written and sung by keyboardist, Matt)
Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone (Bill Withers)
Turn The Lights Down Low (new bluesy song)
Perfectly Lonely (new song)
Whatcha Gonna Do About It (new bluesy song)
Who Says (new acoustic song)
California Dreaming (The Mommas and The Poppas)
Who Did You Think I Was
Unfortunately security was super tight about recording and actually took my Flip and deleted the memory. So here is one of his tunes from the Try! album and a couple originals of the songs he covered last night. Enjoy your week!
I’m going to see Eric Hutchinson headline at the Anaheim House of Blues tonight, so I figured I’d highlight him on today’s bloggy. Ya, I called it a bloggy. You wanna fight? I didn’t think so.
I first heard Eric’s music about 6 years ago when I was a crazy college student who devoured everything that I saw on Aware Records webstore (i dont think it exists anymore). His self produced EP, That Could Have Gone Better, was raw and imperfect, but I really saw potential in it’s voice. The lyrics are as clever as Ben Folds’ or John Mayers and this means a lot to me. There are plenty of good singers out there, plenty that are far better than Eric at both singing and playing the guitar or piano, but I don’t find many better songwriters.
I befriended Eric after hearing his first album and when he moved out to LA I helped him out with some promotional work, handed out flyers with him outside the Hollywood Bowl, set up his Rep page on his website, took him to an open mic or two. Now, 6 years later, thanks to an unlikely promotional push by Perez Hilton, Eric is signed to Warner (he had been signed to a subsidiary earlier but it dissolved and he was lost in the mix) and he is on a world tour, sharing the stage with the likes of Jason Mraz and Kelly Clarkson.
I see nothing but greatness in Eric’s future. His lyrics are clever, his voice and musicianship are maturing and his live shows are as witty as ever.
Eric Hutchinson – You Don’t Have To Believe Me, this is one of my favorite tracks from his current album. (buy link below)
So what ever happened to Howie Day? I had been following him since probably the fall of 2000, right about the same time as John Mayer started to gain a fan or two in the college scene. Back then there was always the sort of unknown singer/songwriter trifecta of John Mayer, Howie Day and Matt Nathanson. Clearly we all know where John Mayer is these days and he deserves the spotlight that he has. Matt Nathanson struggled for a long long time being signed and dropped probably more than once, but he has finally felt a little bit of success with his new album (hear it at www.myspace.com/mattnathanson).
Howie Day, who I’ll be honest, I thought was going to make it before John Mayer, finally got a deal in 2004 and released what I thought was a phenomenal album. The first single, “Perfect Time Of Day” really captured Howie’s energy, but it failed to make a mark on the radio. Then, the cheesy song from the record, “Collide” took off and catapulted the album to something like 800,000 sales. And he has done nothing since then.
I happened to find a few videos from Howie’s second ever show in Los Angeles online and I thought I’d post two of them because it reminds me of the talent I had seen in him almost 9 years ago. He recorded himself and looped it into something really amazing, plus his vocals were often struggling with a pain that came out through his facial expressions and tortured screaming of lyrics later in the songs. I really loved this guy and I’m glad I had the chance to see him in his early days, playing Genghis Cohen and Highland Grounds in front of about 20 people, clearly a few years before selling close to a million albums.
Here is the first song from his set at Highland Grounds, playing “Sorry” with some typically dope looping towards the end.
And here is is singing a great version of “She Says” mixed with some U2 and some comments about a vinyl record cover that was on the wall that read “How Big Is God?” He was obsessed with it the whole show.
Figured I may as well keep the lame reality show posts going by including this video of Chris Daughtry singing “Poker Face” by Lady GaGa.
For those who don’t know, Daughtry came in third place on American Idol a few years ago. I think it was the year when grey-haired Taylor Hicks won the contest with Katherine McPhee being the runner up. It was definitely the season that proved you don’t need to win American Idol to be the most successful of the crew. Both Hicks and McPhee were quickly dropped from their labels after putting out horrible albums that nobody wanted to hear. McPhee even sang some awful song about the greatness of open toed shoes. Seriously people? She was so hot and had a great voice and thats the song you give her? No wonder labels are dying. The only artists from these shows that survive are the ones who actually have some songwriting talent on their own and don’t just take whatever songs are given to them and make a crappy pop track.
Daughtry is not my kind of rock. It is very mainstream, Nickelback-esque music. I don’t own any of his albums, but I do love his voice. This recording from some radio station in Europe shows how raw and talented he is. He takes a run of the mill pop song and actually makes it listenable. Good job Mr. Daughtry, perhaps you have a future in this business.
I’ve been to a handful of really amazing concerts in the past month and what I find absolutely incredible is that nowadays I can almost guarantee that I will find a video of the show on youtube by the time I get back to my apartment. The video and sound quality often suck, but still crazy that I can get home and relive a few moments of what just rocked my life. So here are some clips of those shows (the first two clips were from smaller shows, so the quality is better)
Rooney, acoustic at the Hotel Cafe. This is a new tune for their upcoming album.
The surprise David Gray show at midnight on a different evening at The Hotel Cafe.
Phoenix at The Wiltern rocked my world. Didn’t know what to expect, but damn.
and finally, Ray LaMontagne with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (at the Bowl of course)
Warning: This post may cause women to throw their bras and panties at the computer screen.
I don’t want to blow my load too early on this new blog, but I feel the need to both fill it up a bit and let the entire world know how in love with the new Paolo Nutini album “Sunny Side Up” I am. This guy, who I believe is half Scottish and half Italian, put out a really fantastic debut album a couple of years ago on Atlantic Records. His voice is one of the raspiest i’ve heard in years, and clearly from these first two posts it can be seen that I love a good raspy voice. His debut was full of soul, but was definitely produced by a major label. It had similarities to James Morrison and other recent European singer songwriters. BTW, why is it that English people are so much more accepting of old school rock music? Amy Winehouse never would have broke in the US if it wasn’t for her massive following in the UK, she is just too classic. America needs to grow up and realize that while the Black Eyed Peas can put out a super sweet pop hit, there is more to music than that. Anyhow…
Nutini’s new album is a fucking miracle. It summons Otis Redding, Bob Marley, Pete Seger and god knows who else. Atlantic clearly let him do what he wanted on this album, most likely because they realize he probably won’t make it big in the States anyhow, so he may as well just let his soul loose, and that is what he did. If you only have 8 minutes left in your life, spend it listening to “Coming Up Easy” and “No Other Way” (tracks 2 and 7 respectively) and you will die a happy person. He exudes passion, soul and mastery over his raspiness. Other songs, like “Pencil Full of Lead” are simple, old old old style happy songs with silly lyrics. Most of the tracks are less than 3 minutes in length, welcoming back the old standard in rock music, but I wish they were each 30 minutes beacause I hate when they end. So go out and BUY THIS RECORD.
I’ve decided to finally start blogging about music that I like. I’ve got pretty eclectic taste I guess, so things will definitely vary.
For my first post I thought I’d put one of my absolute favorite undiscovered singer/songwriters, a guy by the name of Joshua James. He hails from the state of Nebraska, mostly known for their corn rather than their music, but he brings with him an incredible folk earnestness that shows in his music. His first couple of albums and EPs were rather mellow, but in the way that sucks you in. His high pitched raspy voice is touching and hard to resist. The way he exudes power through his melody is incredible. I’ve included two videos below, one being a take on one of my favorite mellow songs of his, FM Radio and the second being a newer song that brings some rock into his repertoire. I’m excited for his new album which comes out in late September as it should contain a lot of cuts that show off the new rock edge that he has been enacting in concert.