It’s Halloween today, and you’ll be reading or seeing highlights of the day on most sites. Gee, I can’t wait to find out who Katy Perry dressed up as this year! Oh, sarcasm. You are a wonderfully loyal friend. Anyway, costumes aren’t all that’s going on in the world. There’s, of course, a bitch of a storm named Sandy who is still causing problems on the East Coast. But, I’d rather not focus on the former or the latter. And since Hurricane Sandy has screwed up so many lives, I’d rather focus on music because, you know, it has a healing power like nothing else. This week’s A-Sides sessions feature three vastly different artists, who should find a home on your iPod playlist very soon. First up are the Kopecky Family Band, a Nashville-based six-piece who just dropped their debut full-length album “Kids Raising Kids” last week. The band, who aren’t family but clearly have a kinship in music, formed back in 2007, and released three EPs prior to this release. On the eve of their album release date, the band (Gabe, Kelsey, Steven, Corey, Markus and David) filmed two songs and an interview at the Music Conservatory of Westchester. Watch their performance of “Heartbeat” below followed by a brief chat. Oh, and for an exclusive performance of “Change,” visit www.asidesmusic.com. Get on this train now before everyone jumps on.
John Basedow, pop culture enthusiast and fitness guru, will be honored this Friday, Nov. 2 as part of the POP GOES THE CULTURE event at White Plains Performing Arts Center. For tickets, visit wppac.com!
It stood there under his nose like some beautiful piece of art — just asking to be talked about, critiqued and dissected. It curled a bit, was well-groomed, and stood out on an already distinguishable face. Years ago, I might’ve made it the focal point of the interview (I had, after all, co-authored the humor book Sweet ‘Stache: 50 Badass Mustaches and the Faces Who Sport Them), but not anymore. The furry ship of mustache rebirth is a bit played out, and a gimmick wasn’t needed when interviewing singer/songwriter Foy Vance. The Northern Ireland native has such a smooth and moving voice that it’s no wonder he has a strong fan base, and has warmed stages recently for David Gray and Michael Kiwanuka. Last month, I caught up with the gifted artist steps away from the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., where he’d take the stage later before giving way to Gray. From Bambu, a Peruvian restaurant next to the venue, Vance performed “Be the Song,” a tune off the Academy Award-winning short The Shore and discussed it and more. Watch. Listen. Love. Foy Vance: “Be the Song” Live
Teen Commandments Perform “Dancer”: TC Interview: Two Members of Luther Perform “An American Gothic”: Luther Interview: Brick + Mortar Perform “Heatstroke”: BM Interview: 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, 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.
Sleigh Bells photographed inside their dressing room at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. Photo/Jon Chattman
Does anyone remember that cheesy commercial for Maxwell House’s International Cafés line from back in the day? You know the one I’m talking about. Two old friends are reminiscing about a trip they took senior year to Paris after sipping on some vanilla-infused coffee. (It was pre-Starbucks probably.) Anyway, it was a terrible commercial that ended with them remembering the name of the waiter at that cafe — “Jean-Luc!” That little trip down commercial memory lane is brought to you for no reason other than for me to set up today’s A-Sides with a band with a world view. (See what I did there? Yes, it’s called an intentionally bad segue.) Rupa & The April Fishes have nothing to do with coffee, but its members (Rupa — guitar, vocals; Mario Alberto Silva — trumpet; Aaron Kierbel — percussion, contraptions; Safa Shokrai — upright bass; and Misha Khalikulov — cello) are from all over though they currently call San Francisco home. The band’s lead singer Rupa — by the way — has been singled out by NPR as having a voice “like sips of hot coffee with bits of spiced cake.” See, that segue above wasn’t as crappy as once thought.