I don’t care what anyone says. The song of the summer isn’t Carley Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” or Maroon Five’s dated “Payphone” and it’s certainly not Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.” For my money, and mind you I make very little of it, it’s Electric Guest’s “This Head I Hold.” Already a hit on alt-radio, this song by the duo of Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton has captured the 1960s and 1970s groovy feel like no other band in recent memory. Seriously I can picture Dick Nixon socking it to me every time I hear it on the radio — whatever that means. Sure it doesn’t have the legs Jepsen’s song has had, but Guest have climbed the charts since its release, and already performed the track on Late Show with David Letterman. It’s appeared on countless television spots. But, the L.A. tag-team of Taccone and Compton are far from two-trick ponies. Their debut album “Mondo” has been well received, and provides a nice soundtrack to anyone willing to give themselves a self-high five. The MTV “buzzworthy” band are currently on tour, and stopped by Primary Wave Music’s Listening Room earlier this month for an A-Sides. There, they performed two songs including “Head” and sat down for a chat. Watch. Listen. Love. Oh, and watch their version of “Troubleman” exclusively on asidesmusic.com.
You wore flannel, and it was widely acceptable. You grew your hair out, but shaved it on the sides to create an awkwardly overgrown mushroom look. You moshed at any club who’d have you no matter which band was playing. Yep, you were so much cooler back in the 1990s. We all were. Well, not all of us. If you were in New York City last week — specifically the legendary Roseland Ballroom — you saw firsthand that alt-rockers Everclear are as cool now as they were back when you were grunging things up as a punk kid. The band brought its Summerland Tour to the Big Apple last week along with co-headliners and fellow 1990s icons Sugar Ray, and killed it. The tour, which also features Pog decade staples The Gin Blossoms, Lit, and Marcy Playground, comes on the heels of Everclear’s first album in six years entitled Invisible Stars. Hours before he took the stage and led a good old-fashioned mosh pit, Everclear frontman Art Alexakis sat down backstage for an honest and deeply-felt interview. It’s good to have the band — responsible for one of the ’90s best songs (“Santa Monica”) as well as its most underrated ones (“Amphetamine”) — back together again. Watch the interview below, and we’ll forgo the live performance A-Sides in favor of the band’s new music video for “Be Careful What You Wish For.” Watch. Listen. Love. Just Under Seven Minutes With Art Alexakis: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWgT4KzL9mY&w=560&h=315] Everclear: “Be Careful What You Ask [...]
Being released from their record deal felt so freeing for the band Everest that their latest album in many ways felt like the very first time. No need to cue Foreigner. That’s just what the band conveyed to me during an A-Sides session filmed at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY earlier this month. Their new album fittingly called Ownerless, the LA-based band, which was formed by Russell Pollard, Joel Graves and Jason Soda back in 2007, told me during an A-Sides session earlier this month that leaving Warner Bros. allowed them to make the kind of music they always wanted to, and perhaps strayed from. Watch below, and enjoy their performance of the title track. Oh, and catch them on the road alongside Alberta Cross and this fall with Neil Young with Crazy Horse. Yeah, I said Neil Young. Bad to the ass. Anyway … Watch. Listen. Love. Everest – “Ownerless” [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCJ4Pd1fs5U&w=560&h=315] We move from a band opening up for a legend to a newcomer starting to open some eyes. How’s that for a segue? Westchester native and current Brooklynite Danny Chait has been getting some notices with his old-school “songwritery” rock EP “The Back Room.” Chait, who played South by Southwest (SXSW) and CMJ Music Marathon, stopped by the Conservatory to film an A-Sides session and perform his track “On.” Watch below you will. Yes? “On” and interview [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L383hMGZ4k4&w=560&h=315] About A-Sides with Jon Chattman Jon Chattman’s music series features artists (established or not) [...]
Missy Higgins is already orca-big in her native Australia, and it’s pretty safe to say she’s on the way of being that super-sized in the states. The singer/songwriter, whose album “The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle” was released in the U.S. today, is spending her summer and fall in grand style by headlining shows of her own as well as joining fellow Aussie Gotye on the road for a series of shows. Higgins has already gained notices from Yankee audiences for taking on the Kimbra vocals when Gotye performs his International smash “Somebody I Used to Know” in concert. Last week, Higgins filmed an A-Sides session at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains and discussed how intimidating it was to take on Kimbra’s big voice. More importantly, she discussed her new album – the first in five years – and the evolution of her songwriting process. She also discussed the delightful contrast of being certified gold in Australia and being a rookie here in the states. She also performed two songs on piano, and killed it. Watch “Everyone’s Waiting” below followed by an “intimate” interview. Oh, and watch her live version of new single “Hello Hello” exclusively on asidesmusic.com now. “Everyone’s Waiting” [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI7U-o52J98&w=560&h=315] “Hello Hello” [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KiJUkOTQKc&w=560&h=315] Interview: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiU3p_OobAg&w=560&h=315] About A-Sides with Jon Chattman Jon Chattman’s music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, [...]
It’s fitting that Broadway star Andrew Keenan-Bolger is appearing in an Alan Menken-penned musical on Broadway. Much like the famed and multi-award winning composer (“Tangled,” “The Little Mermaid” – the list goes on), Keenan-Bolger is finding himself in the good graces of Disney. Prior to taking on the role of Crutchie in Disney’s “Newsies: The Musical,” he’s appeared in “mouse” company productions of “Mary Poppins” and “Beauty and the Beast.” He’s also starred as Omar in the world premiere of “Aladdin.” In an interview at the Primary Wave Music Listening Room in New York City, I spoke with the young Broadway star, and asked him why he’s been so fortunate to appear in so many Disney incarnations. I also spoke to him about the evolution of the “Newsies” musical, which he’s been a part of from the getgo, and what he thought of the critically-panned/cult sensation film the current Tony Award-winning musical is based on. Watch. Listen. Love. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9wJVv1dYdc&w=560&h=315] About A-Sides with Jon Chattman Jon Chattman’s music series typically features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing.Note: in this case, it’s just an informal interview. No song. [...]
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHV04eSGzAA&w=560&h=315] It’s pretty obvious that despite having millions of hits on YouTube for quite some time now and being a smash success already in Australia, everybody in the States got to know Kimbra thanks to the insanely popular song “Somebody I Used to Know.” The New Zealand beauty’s appearance on Gotye’s International and certified platinum U.S. hit put her on the map months before her debut album Vows even dropped here. The success of that ultimate “FU” break-up song lead to appearances on Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and, yes, a regular place inside your head for the better part of a year. But, have a listen to Vows, and you’ll discover the multi-talented artist is the total package and I mean that in a very unLex Lugar kind of way. Even though she just dropped her debut album in the States, Kimbra actually released it (to much fanfare) in Australia a year ago, and started working on it over three years ago. The US version features those original songs along with a few new tracks, including the summer alt-rock smash “Warrior,” which finds Kimbra performing to ’80s-inspired synth with Mark Foster of Foster the People and Atrak. I recently caught up with the “superstar” (and I say that in a very Molly Shannon way) by phone (shaky reception and all) and asked her about the evolution of Vows, becoming a superstar with the Aussie Gotye, life on the road, and when we can expect new music from [...]
Smorgasbord is a terribly undervalued word. It encompasses so much by saying so little. The word comes into play – for me anyway – when I think of indie roots rockers The Hollows. The band, who released a self-titled EP last week, features members who play a variety of instruments – from banjo to horns – that the best way to describe them may very well be a “smorgasbord” of musical talent. As their press release clearly states each member of this “freewheeling hootenany of a band” contribute to the writing and arranging of the material, which serves up a fresh, rootsy, arguably offbeat sound. The band, which prides itself in not having a “front man,” consists of college buds Erik Saxvik, David Paarlberg, Jeffrey Kurtze and Daniel Kwiatkowski along with Rob Morrison and Justin Aaronson. The six buds came to the Music Conservatory of Westchester late last month to perform “August” off their new EP and take part in a typical “A-Sides” lowkey, informal chat. Watch. Listen. Love. “August” Live [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1qlELpIjMQ&w=560&h=315] Chat with Chatt [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua7WQ32gosY&w=560&h=315] Like The Hollows, Audra Mae provides your ears with authentic, totally original musical flavor that doesn’t sound like everybody and their mother’s brother. The Oklahoma City folk rocker has been writing for others for years (Susan Boyle among them), and it’s clearly her time to be front and center now. The distant relative of the immortal Judy Garland just dropped her sophomore album “Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound” a few months [...]
For the better part of three decades, the Swedish music scene was generally represented by the schmaltz of ABBA, the four-hit-wonder appeal of Ace of Base, and the incomprehensible ramblings of The Swedish Chef. But, something happened a few years ago. Indie pop rock acts like Peter Bjorn & John and Lykki Li broke through to the mainstream, while house hunters Swedish House Mafia invaded dance clubs worldwide. The latest band to come out of Nordic country – The Royal Concept – seem poised for stardom as well. A cross between The Strokes and Phoenix (and yes they’re totally fine being classified as such), the quartet recently dropped their five-song EP, and single “Gimme Twice” has more hooks than Heidi Fleiss and is already heating up on alt-rock stations – at least the one I listen to (SiriusXM’s Alt-Nation). On a recent balls-hot Thursday afternoon, David Larson (vocals), Filip Bekic (guitar), Magnus Robert (bass) and Frans Povel (drums) stopped by the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY for an interview and to perform two songs for “A-Sides.” The interview and “Gimme Twice” can be seen below, while their live version of “Goldrushed” can be viewed exclusively at asidesmusic.com Watch the interview, love the song, and grab the infectious EP. As a matter of fact, I dig the EP so much, I’ll give away five copies for five random people who comment below or on the asides site. Interview [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-w3kjhY2Po&w=560&h=315] “Gimme Twice” [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HiPo7r0Zvo&w=560&h=315] “Goldrushed” [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cnowC9o7PY&w=560&h=315] About [...]