My heart breaks for Newtown… the families, the students, the town, and the state of Connecticut. It breaks for these United States of America. Do we need TSA in our elementary schools now? I hope not. I just pray for the families and hope this tragedy will be the last in a sad, sick and twisted trend of late. I hope it leads to a serious reevaluation of our mental health system and to some sort of gun control. In any event, on with today’s column which seems all so inconsequential now. When we collide we come together, If we don’t we’ll always be apart. I’ll take a bruise, I know you’re worth it. When you hit me, hit me hard. Man, those lyrics just cut to the core don’t they? The words come from Biffy Clyro’s breakthrough single “Many of Horror,” which scored significant airplay a couple years back. As a matter of fact – it’s still in heavy rotation on many alt-rock stations and deservedly so. The song is almost as good as Jason Segal’s Andre the Giant impersonation, and trust me to quote Andy Samberg pretending to be Nicolas Cage – that’s “high praise.” Anyway, the Scottish trio are back with their new single “Black Chandelier,” which proves they’re no one-trick ponies – although I have to admit, I’ve never seen a pony who knew more than one trick. The band (Simon Neil, James Johnston, and Ben Johnston) just released that single off their forthcoming Oppositesalbum, which [...]
Is there anyone out there who can take another season of Randy Jackson shouting “dawg” repeatedly? I’m not sure I can. American Idol is back next month, and admittedly, I’ll be watching but I’m not sure how long I can stomach it. Thankfully, the emergence of The Voice will make my decision leaving Jackson and the new judges easier. That show is far more entertaining thanks to the quality of contestants, and the genuine sincerity and banter among the judges. As a matter of fact, maybe I’ll try out on the show since I dig it so much — well only if they add deaf auditions to compliment their blind audition rounds. Anyway, let’s get to the first A-Sides “contestant,” which is hopefully why you clicked the link to this post. The Jersey native made a name for herself during the current season of the Carson Daly-hosted show when she chose Cee Lo Green to be her coach after he turned his chair around following her cover of The Pretenders’ “Brass in Pocket.” When she lost a battle round, Christina Aguilera scooped her up and put her on Team Xtina. While she was eventually voted off, Chevonne was praised by all the coaches – especially Aguilera who praised her originality and energy. Chevonne, who sang backup for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball from 2010-2011, is currently raising $10,000 on Kickstarter to fund her debut album and music video. The campaign ends soon but the goal is in sight.
At the time, they were two of the biggest rock stars the world had ever seen. So, expectations were probably off the charts when Mick Jagger and David Bowie decided to join forces and record a song together in 1985. The results, however, were surprisingly as uneventful as Pons Maar’s vocal stylings as the Dominos Pizza Noid. Yep, their cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ classic “Dancing in the Streets” wasn’t rocking – at all. The music video that accompanied it, however, was epic… well, epic for all the wrong reasons. The video is arguably the most embarrassing thing to come out of the Reagan decade. Having said that, it’s a guilty pleasure I keep coming back to for decades. Forget the moves like Jagger, it’s worth watching just for The Rolling Stones’ icon’s facial expression as he shouts “Back in the USSR!” Let’s quickly move from that not-so-dynamic duo to a pair with a real pair. IAMDYNAMITE are a twosome that you can really get behind. Their in-your-face debut “Supermegafantastic” was among the year’s best, and Chris Martin and Chris Phillips’ rocking sound landed them spots opening up for Sum 41. Late last month, they filmed an A-Sides session at the Music Conservatory of Westchester and just killed it even though Martin was fighting a cold. Watch below, and get that “Dancing in the Streets” video out of your mind forever. Watch. Listen. Love. “Where Will We Go” Hey Girl Interview with Two Chris’ and a Jon Find them: [...]
“Look at the birds up in the tree.” “We’re not birds, we’re a jug band.” – Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas That immortal exchange between a bear puppet and a band of otters (one at least) from the 1979 iconic Christmas special have nothing to do with this column but needed to be said somewhere, somehow. So, there you have it. Anyway, underrated Christmas TV specials aside, it’s December, which means everyone and their father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate are unleashing their year-end “top” whatever lists. Suffice to say, this blogger is no different.
In the summer of 1984, my parents took my sister and I to see Gremlins, and it scared the bejesus out of me – whatever the word “bejesus” means. An avid moviegoer and fan of executive producer Steven Spielberg, the film selection seemed like a no-brainer for my parents and I even though I was eight years old. But, after the sweet introduction to Gizmo – the second the Gremlins appeared (or didn’t – I bolted after the science teachers gets it), I bolted the theater in tears. That brings me to today’s A-Sides. Say what? Yes. My favorite Mogwai’s catchphrase was “bright light bright light,” and the name of our first artist today is just that: Bright Light Bright Light. Convoluted opening graphs aside, this singer/songwriter is quite good whether you feed him after midnight or not.
If video killed the radio star then Tweeting and texting have killed the spelling and grammar star. Seriously, those 140 characters and word shortcuts have all but undone everything I learned in college. But I digress. Unlike my grammar, Andy Grammer is doing quite well. Did you see what I did there? Sigh. Off-putting segues aside, the Californian’s self-titled debut album has already scored two mega-hit singles in soon-to-be platinum “Keep Your Head Up” and soon-to-be gold “Fine By Me.” A third hit track with an “illuminating” music video – “Miss Me”- is right on its heels. Grammer, who has toured with Train, Gavin DeGraw, and Colbie Caillat, recently hosted the red carpet coverage for the American Music Awards, and will soon embark on a headlining tour. Days before he hit the AMA’s and weeks before touring, he stopped by for an A-Sides session at the Music Conservatory of Westchester. There, he performed “Miss Me” and let me interview him with what I will simply refer to as “Jon’s shaky cam.” Watch. Listen. Love. Miss Me
Sometimes in life dreams aren’t going to come true. I’m clearly not in Jamaica as I write this, and the last time I checked, Kanye hasn’t invited me to party with him in Miami. But, thankfully, there’s music in the world and it makes life so much more tolerable — especially on a lame Monday mid-day. Today, I’m psyched to premiere a lyrics music video to a new duo in the indie pop scene, who I suspect will break out like a kid before an Oxy commercial any time now. Like Sleigh Bells but lighter, Matt & Kim but less quirky, and absolutely nothing like these chicks (I do miss them), Frank + Derol are a twosome breaking through to the mainstream. The indie pop tag team consists of Codi Caraco and Brandi Cyrus (yes, Miley’s older sis), who met five years ago, and started making music together shortly thereafter. The culmination of their collaboration and friendship just dropped this fall in the form of a debut EP. Frank + Derol have a full-length album due early next year, but until then watch this, and read along.