Articles

  • Hotel Cafe Tour: St. Louis, Nov. 8, 2008

    11 nov. 2008, 1h19m

    Sat 8 Nov – Hotel Cafe Tour

    Saturday's show was simply fabulous. The two hours were extremely satisfying, and the format of the show was a pleasant deviation from the standard concert fare.

    The venue was interesting. The bar and restaurant are upstairs, and we all lined up, snaking through the dining area, as we waited for the doors to open. The concert itself was in the Duck Room, a dark, cozy basement that had me thinking that it could easily have been a speakeasy back in the day, hiding under the cover of the legitimate business upstairs. It was such a casual atmosphere, too - the "dressing room" for the artists was right next to the stage and we saw them coming in and out, walking through the crowd, several times as we waited. A couple of people were lucky enough to talk to Rachael before the show, and Kim and I tried as well, but she headed backstage just after we went over to where she was talking. By the time the show started, the crowd had swelled to maybe 400 people. It was nice, though - a lot of enthusiasm, but not with the crush of people that can happen with open-area crowds like this.

    With so many names listed to play during the night, I wasn't sure how that was going to work or if I was going to enjoy it or not. I feared that we'd get just a couple songs from each of them instead of longer sets, and that's exactly what happened. But, it turned out my fears were unfounded; the short sets and quick rotation kept things fresh and kept a wide variety of sounds pumping through the Duck Room. Each musician played 2 songs the first time through, and then we were treated to a second rotation with each artist playing another couple of songs.

    Alice Russell - She rocked my socks off!! She was by far the Queen of Funk for the night, with the bass grooves and her gorgeous voice getting the night off to a great start. She apparently needs a bit more caution around her bandmates, as the guitarist (Jason, I think his name was?) had given her a black eye the day before. It definitely added a rather unique twist to her "look" on stage, though not as much as the bandaged and bloody pinkie that Jason sported. That led to the grossest moment of the night as he removed the bandage to allow him to play slide on his guitar during Alice's phenomenal rendition of The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army", one of the highlights of the night.

    Jaymay - Kim had mentioned her to me before, but I was wholly unfamiliar with her work. I came away impressed with her voice and music, though I'm not sure if it's really my thing or not. I had heard she had kind of a poppy sound, but there was much more of a country/folk feel to it live. She definitely piqued my interest as someone to check out some more.

    Meiko - Completely and utterly unfamiliar with her before the show, she's definitely on my list of artists to check out in the future. She had one of the funniest moments of the night when she came on stage and said it was nice to be playing in St. Louis for the first time - only to be corrected by an audience member that she had been here a while before. I couldn't make out the name of who it was, but her response was, "I don't remember much of that tour. He likes to drink a lot of whiskey!" Another great voice that made the night enjoyable.

    Thao Nguyen - Wow, this chick can rock!! If her album had the same sound and energy that her live show did, I'd have been grooving on it a lot more. With the guitar and the way she worked the stage, I kept thinking to myself, "Hmm, she's definitely getting her Chuck Berry on up there!" I think she worked the crowd amazingly well, with her sing-alongs and her beatboxing on the mic. Any time she comes around the area, I'll be up to watch her perform again.

    Kate Havnevik - I knew the name and had heard a couple of songs, but was not overly familiar with her before the show. I would have enjoyed her performance a lot more if it weren't for the noisy crowd. A lot of what she did was quiet, gorgeous vocals that were simply drowned out by the obnoxiously loud bastards in the room that refused to STFU. Ugh. There were certainly flashes of awesome there that made me want more - pieces of Bjork, pieces of Imogen, pieces of Kate Bush, but in a way that was all her own.

    Rachael Yamagata - Man, what is there to say? She was why I wanted to go to this show and everyone else was just a super yummy added bonus. And wow, did she deliver! Rarely at concerts do I ever get to hear the songs I want them to play the most, but Rachael came out and blew me away with "Be Be Your Love" right off the bat, followed by "Faster" in her first go-round. When she came back on, "Elephants" and "Sunday Afternoon" were next up on my list of most-wanted and she rocked the house with them. The guitarist's solo on "Sunday" was all-the-more impressive knowing that his pinkie was useless and hurting him so much - now THAT is dedication to the job! She closed the show with "Reason Why" and then it was time to go home, happy, tired and satisfied from a night of great music.



    Now, going back to the whole noise issue during the show: What is wrong with people? I just have huge issues with this on so many levels.

    1. If you paid money for a ticket to go to the show, why would you spend your time talking when the musicians are playing? If all you want to do is drink and talk, go to a bar or stay home and have a party - it's a lot cheaper and more convenient that dropping cash on a concert ticket!

    2. Do you not realize that other people are there to actually HEAR the music? If I wanted to hear Jackass A talking to Jackass B, I would buy tickets to a show with their name on it. But you know what? Your names weren't on my ticket! I saw "Hotel Cafe Tour" on my ticket, so unless you're with the tour, I don't want to hear you! This is even more frustrating for artists like this, where a lot of the music can be subtle and quiet and the background noise of Le Jackasses simply overpowered it.

    3. If the artists ask you to be quiet, and several people in the crowd are shouting at you to be quiet, why is it so hard to realize that people want you to be quiet?? One lady even shouted back something like, "God, why should I be quiet? It's a concert!!", and that was just the perfect description of what is wrong with these people. That attitude of, "It's a concert so I should be able to talk loud and do whatever I want", shows such a fundamental selfishness and lack of appreciation for music that it makes me all sad and whiny.

    Seriously, if you want to be loud and listen to music, just go to a bar. Or buy the CDs and crank them up at home. But out of respect for the artists and the people at the show that actually WANT to hear the music, don't go to concerts. If you can't muster the basic decency to be quiet during a show, then just don't go, or maybe just go to really loud metal concerts where no one can hear you anyway. I know that if you're one of the loud people at shows, all you really care about is yourself and what YOU want to do, but in the future, could you please just be selfish enough to want to go somewhere else so that the decent people of the world can actually enjoy the music?
  • Thoughts on the new Last.fm and my recent musical enjoyments

    24 jui. 2008, 23h04m

    I've held off for a bit before writing about the recent facelift that Last gave the site. I wanted to really get a feel for it and see what I thought before I critiqued it.

    Overall, I'd give it a B+. When I first saw it, it was rather jarring to see such a drastic change. Nothing looked the same. But once I started getting used to where everything moved to, I started liking it more and more. And there are some really powerful tools that they've added that make me one very happy camper:

    1) Live updating of charts. WTF? Seriously? You can do this now???? I've been here for 2 years and have been wanting this the whole time, and finally it's arrived. The second a track is scrobbled, I get to see that show up. This is how it always SHOULD have been, and I think this is one of those things where we're seeing the impact from CBS' purchase of Last. They finally had the capital to build the infrastructure necessary to do this and I couldn't be happier.

    2) Simple, fast customization of charts. This is freakin' awesome! With a simple click, I can switch between the various options for chart display and not have to leave the page or wait for it to reload. This is an excellent use of AJAX scripting and as a coder, I'm impressed. But as a music lover and charts junkie, I'm even more thrilled by this since it used to be such a hassle to go through and look at the chart histories.

    3) The new streaming player. I'm very much enjoying the new music streaming capabilities of the site. Most of the time, I try to use
    Simplify Media to stream my music when I'm away from home, but I've now got a solid second option for playing my library. An excellent job on this.


    The drawbacks:
    1) What the heck happened to Recent Visitors?? This was one of my favorite parts of being a subscriber, and now it's gone. I met a ton of folks on Last just from either seeing they'd visited me or them seeing I'd visited their page, and now that's gone. Bring it back!!

    2) I think it's a huge mistake for the shoutbox to be buried at the bottom of the page. Last is supposed to be about this great social side to music, but they've now made it harder to socialize with others. It's not that big a deal since it's at least still on the page, but it just seems to go against the ideal of what the site is about.


    If they keep working on the new design and refining it, I just see it getting better and better. Not that I'm going to go anywhere else, but this redesign has certainly given me more reason to keep coming back.

    Now, on to the music. I'll use the handy-dandy charts to see my top artists from the last 3 months to see what I've been listening to. And here they are:

    No.ArtistCount
    1 Róisín Murphy263
    2 John Mayer162
    3 Tegan and Sara153
    4 Rachael Yamagata98
    5 Ani DiFranco86
    5 Bent86
    7 Moloko80
    8 Natalie Walker78
    9 Sia76
    10 KT Tunstall74
    11 Feist72
    12 Tori Amos65
    13 Laura Veirs64
    13 Jamie Lidell64
    15 Lamb57
    16 Beth Orton56
    16 Snow Patrol56
    18 Everything But the Girl54
    19 Deee-Lite50
    19 MC Frontalot50


    Now, of course I wouldn't be me if me regulars of Johnnie, Ani, Bent, KT, Torie, Lamb, Beth and EBTG didn't show up in there somewhere. I've talked about them all so much, though, that I'm going to look at the newcomers, the trailblazers, the funky fresh tunes that I've been sinking my ears into lately.

    As you can tell, I've been loving me some Róisín. She has been everything I was hoping to find and more. If I had an iPod in the car instead of listening to CDs when I drive, her playcount would easily have doubled, too! Ruby Blue is an awesome album, with her time in Moloko being very evident. I love the use of horns throughout the album - something I was not expecting at all, but that works very well. With Overpowered, she took a big step forward and took the music deeper into the electronic world of sound. The synth and bass is very well done and complements her incredible voice. Scarlet Ribbons is a song that just touches my heart a bit and makes me hope my daughters feel much the same way when they grow up.

    Another fairly new player in my library is Tegan and Sara. I had stumbled across them a little before my last journal in March, and I'm still very much enjoying them. The one "problem" I have is that there's some punk influence there, which means their songs tend to be short and so their playcount is a bit inflated simply because 30 minutes listening to them will get 10 tracks scrobbled instead of 6-7 from another artist. But waaaaaaaah - I'm just a whiner, huh? :)

    Ms. Yamagata is back at the top of my charts after her long-awaited return from the abyss of Record Label Hell®. For anyone that's a fan and hasn't discovered this yet, she's released a 3-song EP as a bit of a teaser for her upcoming album. It's available on her site as a download for $3, and it's definitely worth it if you've been as starved for new material as me. I still haven't found a release date for her new album, but hopefully it's not too much longer.

    Another re-emerging artist on my list is Natalie Walker. I loved her voice when she rolled out Urban Angel and she's just dropped her new album this week, With You. I'm still digesting it, but I'm not disappointed. I don't like it as much as her first one at this point, but I'm still enjoying it after the first couple of listens. I fully expect it to grow on me more as I hear it.

    Laura Veirs has been a joy to discover. She's another one that hunnybee7 introduced us to, and I've been quite happy about that. I can't quite describe the music, but it's a mix of acoustic folk and grunge rock with lyrical vocals that tickles my ear drums when i listen to it. Highly recommended.

    Last but not least is MC Frontalot, the Nerdcore rapper from the rough streets of inner-city Mario Land. Would you have ever thought that someone could mix gaming and general geekdom with hip hop? Not only has he done that, but he's done it extremely well. Along with Optimus Rhyme (and others I'm unaware of, I'm sure), Front has brought some serious geek credentials to the rap game and makes for a light, enjoyable listen that will make you laugh a lot.


    Well, I think I should wrap up this novel for now. Keep an eye out - I may shock you all with another post one of these days! :)
  • Funky fresh tunes! (to me, at least)

    16 mars 2008, 21h14m

    After my last rant wondering where the good music had run away to, I've been pleasantly surprised lately.

    Right now, Gaelle is blowing my mind a bit. It depresses me to know that this album has been out since 2004 and I just discovered her in the last month! What really hooked me was mercy street, her cover of the Peter Gabriel classic. I stumbled across it somewhere on Last.fm radio and it was good enough to lead me to her album. It's phenomenal. There's some Erykah Badu soul, some Blue Six mellowness, mixed together around her fabulous voice and some interesting lyrical content. Highly recommended!

    I've been digging Tegan and Sara lately as well. I've known about them for years, but must have had bad luck. Everything I heard sounded like overly whiny, annoying crappy folk music. Wow, was I wrong. Last.fm radio and some tracks from hunnybee7 showed me how wrong of an impression that was, so i ended up picking up their first album. It's a great listen! From what I've heard, I think I like it better than the subsequent albums, simply because it sounds more raw and true, less studio polished. I'll reserve judgment until I give the rest a good listen instead of just 30-second samples. I REALLY want to track down a copy of Under Feet Like Ours, but it's apparently nigh impossible to find. If there are any helpful people out there that might point me towards a digital version, I'd greatly appreciate it. :D

    I don't remember if I found it on Last radio or if fallingskymomma hooked me up with it, but Galaxies is a gorgeous song. We picked up Laura Viers' full album recently, and I'm squeezing it into my rotation the last day or two. I've really liked what I've heard lately, though a more thorough vetting of it will be needed before I can give a full review.

    One last promising musical prospect is Róisín Murphy. She was the lead vocalist for Moloko, if you're familiar with them at all, and I stumbled across her on Bravo's big musical fashion show, of all places. I'm outing myself as an initially reluctant fan of Top Chef and Project Runway, so I tend to check what's on Bravo when I chanced upon her singing Overpowered during the live show, which just blew me away. I have yet to find it on iTunes or Amazon, but I'm still looking. Ruby Blue is up next on my purchase list, though!
  • Where has the time gone?

    14 jan. 2008, 5h36m

    Wow, it's been a while since I wrote anything on here. I guess it's time for me to remedy that with some random crap.

    First off, Where the Hell is Rachael Yamagata's new album?? It was originally supposed to be out sometime in September-ish, and four months later there's still no new information that I can find anywhere. WTF??? I needs me some new Rachael!! After hearing "Sunday Afternoon" (video below), which I would guess is one of the new songs, I'm SOOO looking forward to its release.




    And what's the deal with Lou Rhodes' new album, "Bloom", not being released in the U.S.? I love the bits I've heard off it, but I'm not inclined to drop $30 on Amazon to get a copy of it. The same goes for Transnormal Skiperoo - why is an American artist's album not available in the U.S.? It's been released in Europe since October and Amazon is showing the U.S. release won't come until March... WTF??

    Yes, I'm whining right now - because I'm jonesing for new music! There's just been nothing that's really slapped me upside the ears and said, "OMG Listen to THIS!" lately. I've enjoyed finding Lily Allen (thanks, hunnybee7!) and a few others, but just nothing that has wowed me.

    Sia has a new one out that I'll probably take in soon, but the three albums I REALLY would like to listen to are listed above and I can't listen to them!

    Other than that, things have been going well. I've been keeping busy enough between my real job at the paper and my seemingly-unreal job playing games online (yes, I actually do make money playing games - pretty cool, huh?). Add the family to those, and I'm lucky I get any time at all to "waste" digging around online any more.

    I miss spending a lot of time on Last, finding new music and new people to share it with, but I'd say the trade off has been a good one. I've very much enjoyed my new job in the six months I've been here. I've been constantly amazed at how my kids have been growing and turning into these wonderful, fascinating miniature people. I'm so excited (and terrified!) at the thought of seeing them grow up into young people... teenagers... young adults... eventually even grown ups like me! HAH!

    Maybe I'll actually find time to write in here more often than once every 3 months. Guess you'll all just have to wait and see. :P
  • Check your settings - cool new addition!

    5 nov. 2007, 6h07m

    I cruised by mrkvm's page and saw something weird - the Overall Artists and Overall Songs charts were displaying just the past three months!!

    I thought that was pretty cool, so I dug through my site settings on Last to find a new option under the "Website" tab for which overall charts are being displayed. Maybe I'm just slow and it's been there a while, but it's new to me so I thought it was cool enough to share. So there. :P :)
  • My best of '07 so far

    6 sept. 2007, 17h21m

    This is not your typical "best of" journal. I'm not going to go into what my favorite releases of the year have been - too much of what I get into isn't "fresh" enough to qualify for that, so this is an overview of my most-listened-too artists. The chart parameters are imperfect, so it's really only a discussion of my last 6 months worth of listening rather than the year as a whole, but c'est la vie.

    Here they are as listed in my rolling 6 month chart as of this morning:
    1 Flunk 578
    2 John Mayer 545
    3 Lamb 514
    4 Ani DiFranco 478
    5 Feist 477
    6 Snow Patrol 463
    7 Tori Amos 439
    8 Bent 359
    9 Tracey Thorn 357
    10 Lou Rhodes 347
    11 Beth Orton 336
    12 EBTG315
    13 Joshua Radin 304
    14 Mos Def 302
    15 Bliss 300
    16 Hird 293
    17 Imogen Heap 290
    18 Milosh254
    18 Rachael Yamagata 254
    20 Quantic 224

    Looks about right. The only real surprise to me on their is Tori. She's one of those I really don't seek out to listen to very often, yet she has so much music I like in her rather large catalog that she ends up playing in random on iTunes a LOT!

    A closer look:
    Flunk — Not surprised at all that this is No. 1. They've been one of my favorite recent discoveries, so I dove into them big time. I've enjoyed all their albums and most of their mixes - highly recommended!

    John Mayer - Heh, and I haven't even been listening to him that much! He's probably my favorite artist of the last few years. It's solid bluesy rock with a pop feel, but the lyrics are what get me. The man has a way with words that's simply incredible!

    Lamb - To some extent, Lamb's numbers come from the same phenomenon as Tori, EBTG, Ani and Mr. Mayer: I have so much of their music that just putting it on random means I hear a ton of their stuff! But, with Lamb, I've been listening to them quite a bit recently. I had taken a break, but when I discovered Lou Rhodes' solo album, it rekindled my Lamb infatuation!

    Ani DiFranco - If Ani ever falls out of my top 10, there's something seriously wrong with me!! :)

    Feist - Her recent album is simply spectacular. I was fully prepared for a sophomore slump, especially since her debut was so amazing! And yet, she managed to come out with something even more brilliant and raspy - an album that should strongly contend for Album of the Year, IMHO, and I expect to see a ton of award nominations for it!

    Snow Patrol - Another fairly recent discovery for me. These guys really made me think, "Wow, there's still a band that's making thoughtful rock music? I thought that died in the 90s!" I've been unimpressed by their first album, but everything else they've done has been excellent!

    Tori Amos - Even when I get sick of Tori, I still can't stop listening to her! Just imagine what her numbers would have been if I had liked her newest album...

    Bent - I love these guys. They're the band that, when nothing jumps out at me as something I'm in the mood to listen to, I can always put on Bent and be happy with the choice. And, the more I've listened to it, the more I've liked Intercept!, their newest release.

    Tracey Thorn - I was absolutely thrilled to finally have new material to enthrall me with Tracey's voice. It's an excellent album; I actually really need to listen to it more often! That's the price I pay for having so much music in my library; even great music like this ends up getting short shrift sometimes.

    Lou Rhodes - I love her album. Her voice is simply exquisite, one of the most piercing voices I've ever encountered. I was a little hesitant at first when I heard it was acoustic; I wasn't sure how her vocals would translate to that sound, but I was completely blown away. I just wish I would have known about it at release rather than going 6+ months before I found out it existed!

    Beth Orton - Much like Bent, it seems like I can always put Beth on and enjoy - regardless of my mood or the day or what I'm doing. Her catalog of music has such a wide variety of sounds that I often wonder if it's all from the same woman, but she's done it all so well.

    Everything But the Girl - I'd been taking a bit of a break from them, kinda like Lamb, until Tracey's album came out. Now, they're kind of back out of my rotation a bit. When I found them, I listened to them SOOOO much that I'm still a bit burnt out. Love the music, though.

    Joshua Radin - I've really enjoyed discovering his music. He strikes me as a modern male folk singer, with a twist of pop in there. He's kind of like an updated Nick Drake with much less of a melancholy overtone. However you describe him, he's always good stuff.

    Mos Def How the !@#!%?@# did I not listen to him before now? How did he manage to fly under my radar for so frickin' long? How did it take him performing on a rerun of The Chappelle Show and in The Hitchhiker's Guide for me to check out his music? He's the epitome of what I love about good hip hop: Socially conscious, mostly positive yet with criticism when necessary, topped with enough braggadocio to remind you that, yes indeed, he's a rapper from Brooklyn and proud of it!

    Bliss - This is kind of an anomaly, in the sense that it's due more to experimenting than anything. I found Quiet Letters and loved it. It's one of my favorite mellow albums I own. So, I checked out the rest of what they've done, and it's very hit and miss. The first problem is, there's like 4 bands called "Bliss" so finding the right one was a bit tricky. The bigger problem was that the rest of there stuff was just so... Celine Dion. I was looking for more of the ethereal, beautiful sound I first heard, but instead came up with New Agey, fluffy pop Muzak far too often. There's still some signs of where they are now in earlier albums, but it's rather sparse. I hope that Quite Letters is a sign of their future so that I can continue to be amazed rather than disappointed.

    Hird - This band is testament to the wonder of mix albums. Never heard of them at all, then I picked up a Nordic mix album on iTunes on a lark. And now, they're one of my top 20 favorites! Excellent beats, great vocals, strong lyrics. If you dig a chillness to your beats, check out some Hird!

    Imogen Heap - Though I'm not nearly as infatuated with her music as I was when I first found her, I have a feeling that whenever she finally drops a new album, I'll be right back with her. She has such an interesting sound to complement her voice, I can't help but dig it.

    Milosh - It's such a nice contrast to have a male voice interspersed amongst all my favorite female vocalists. He creates a very chill atmosphere; it seems almost pleasantly spooky at times, which sounds kind of weird, but I think it makes sense once you listen to him.

    Rachael Yamagata - This one is going to be soaring up the charts soon, as her new album is ready to go as soon as they set a release date. I've heard a couple tracks from it and been blown away. She was another one I was prepared to be disappointed in with her new release. Happenstance was so freakin' good to me that I couldn't imagine her being able to come close again, but if what I've heard is any indication of the new album as a whole, I think she just might have pulled it off.

    Quantic - This one should probably be higher, since Quantic Soul Orchestra isn't counted as part of the numbers even though it's the same band. Neither are all of the "Quantic featuring XXXXXX" songs. It's one of those failings of Last.fm that sucks - and yet I have absolutely no clue how they could possibly fix it without making everything hideously complicated. Anyway, love them Quantic beatseses!
  • Thoughts on Last.fm being sold to CBS

    30 mai 2007, 17h07m

    As reported on the BBC, and confirmed on Last's blog, Last.fm has been purchased by CBS. What does this mean for us, the users of Last.fm?

    My initial reaction was, "Hmm, that's an interesting combination", followed quickly by, "Man, that sucks." I always seem to have that initial negative backlash to corporate acquisitions of companies I like, mostly because I've seen it turn great companies, great sites, into utterly useless commercial crap far too often.

    After reading a bit more, though, I have hope for this. If CBS manages to keep a mostly hands-off leash on Last, this could turn out to be a great thing. Last has a great vision for what they want to do and some great people doing their damnedest to turn that vision into reality. If those people keep the reins and even 80% of the ultimate decision making power for the site, then I think they'll have a chance to pull this off and end up making Last even better, a truly comprehensive music source on the web.

    My concern on this is that CBS didn't make this purchase just to look cool. They're going to want some sort of return on their investment. I have no idea what sort of revenue stream Last has developed, though I doubt that it's insignificant. Still, if you just think that CBS will want an overall profit in 10 years, that means Last will have to rake in more than $25 million a year to give CBS a profit in that time frame. Is that doable without destroying everything that makes Last great? I don't know. Is it doable without turning Last into a tool that focuses on promoting CBS-affiliated stuff as a way to make up for "unacceptable" revenue levels? I don't know.

    I want to be positive about this move, because I've come to treasure Last.fm as a musical resource and an outlet for my own musical experiences. I don't want to see the community and connections that I've made on here turn into an ugly spectacle like MySpace.

    So, to Russ, Mustagila, other Last staff that I've conversed with on here, and the staff as a whole - keep fighting the good fight! Keep doing whatever you can to stay true to the vision you have for Last! As long as Last focuses on the music and not the money, I think you'll see that the vast majority of us that have been with you thus far will stick around for the ride to see where you take us! Good luck and congratulations!
  • Love Lamb? Check out Lou Rhodes solo!

    21 mai 2007, 23h08m

    In doing some recent research into Lamb, one of my absolute favorite artists, I stumbled across the names of its two members and a little info on what they were up to now. One of the articles I found mentioned that Lou Rhodes, the female half of Lamb, had gone on to record some solo work.

    My first response to this was to hit iTunes and see if it was available there. Not only is it on iTMS, but there's a second version with 3 bonus tracks that are excellent! I highly recommend any that enjoys her exquisite, sultry voice to pick it up.

    Found a couple videos as well, so here ya go.

    Clip of three songs, live and acoustic:


    "Tremble" video:


    Lamb's "Gorecki" video:
  • Rachael Yamagata - New tunes, good video clips, she's amazing!

    19 mai 2007, 1h59m

    I absolutely fell in love with Happenstance when it came out. There is so much passion and depth to her music that I can't resist. I've listened to that album, her EP and her iTunes release of the KCRW session so much that I can't even count the number of times.

    I've been waiting for her to release some new material, and when I read in March that she had finished up recording and sent the new album off for production, I somehow became even more excited than I had before. And now, she's released an awesome little teaser trailer for the album and I've found a live performance of at least one of the songs off it, so I thought I'd share here.

    Rachael Yamagata teaser trailer:

    Wow, this is a freakin' awesome way to preview an album!!


    Live performance - "Sunday Afternoon":

    This song? It makes me need to find new ways to say "awesome", "amazing" and "earth-shatteringly fantabulous"!


    Live - Unknown song:




    And heck, here's some more Yamagata goodies on YouTube.

    "Worn Me Down" video:


    "Be Be Your Love" live:


    "Meet Me By the Water" Pride and Prejudice video:


    "Ode to..." video? live?:


    "Reason Why" live, with crowd flirting:
  • Acoustic John Mayer is fabulous

    17 mai 2007, 23h39m

    I just picked up John Mayer's new EP on iTunes, "The Village Sessions", and I am being blown away right now. I loved these songs on Continuum (WTH?? How is Continuum not listed as an album on Last?), and this is even better. It's all been pared down to a guitar and his vocals, stripping out the lushness of the studio version and really drilling down to reveal the barest, most essential essence of these songs.

    I've never seen him live, but I really hope to get the chance some day. At the very least, I really hope that the As/Is live series that he's released on iTunes is continued through his upcoming tour. Just this little taste of live Continuum has me salivating at the chance to get more. I might even have to delve into the world of bootlegged concerts to feed my need!

    Anyway, if you like Mr. "Top 20 New Guitar God according to Rolling Stone" Mayer at all, then I highly recommend finding a way to add Village Sessions to your collection. Awesome tunes!!