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.
Richard Marx’s hit song “Hazard” was about a serial killer. Its music video, which I believed came in two parts (Google it), drove the lyrics home with a post-mullet Marx getting out of dodge in a small town. Why do I bring this up? First, someone has to. Second, because that song — like so many — focused on some depressing things and resonated with the masses. Let’s face it — for the most part, depressing songs or songs about dark subject matter are way easier to relate to sometimes. I’m not saying you’re a serial killer if you loved “Hazard,” but you get my point. Right? Break-up ballads kill it on the charts for this reason. People love to hear words that echo their own sentiments. Anyway, many times — and I say this contradicting my intro purposely (hey, I got to namedrop Richard Marx!) ra-ra songs come out and instead of coming off as pretentious and generic, motivate you to raise your game a bit. “Live it up…You’re growing up.” That’s a quote pulled from “Where the Kids Are,” an throw-caution-to-the-wind hit alt-song by Los Angeles-duo Blondfire. The band, which consists of siblings Bruce and Erica Driscoll (and in this post “touring brother” Steve Stout), recently signed with Warner Bros. Records, dropped an EP (“Kids” is on it), and will release their first full-length album as Blondfire by early 2013. Late last month, I interviewed Erica Driscoll and Stout at an H&M in Midtown Manhattan before a gig [...]
Jack Dishel is a NYC-based singer/songwriter who records under the moniker Only Son, and is a former lead guitarist for The Moldy Peaches. But hang out with the native New Yorker (by way of the Russia as a wee lad) for like five seconds, and you’ll see why his side gig is as a stand-up comedian. Dishel is one funny dude, as you’ll see in an A-Sides interview below, but let’s focus on the music. That’s why you opened this post, isn’t it?
The Jezabels are only a band who put out one of the best albums in 2012 so far. Below is their exclusive “A-Sides” performance of “Sahara Mahala” off their last EP. Get their new album “Prisoners” now, and thank me later. Oh, and be on the look out for the full Jezabels session soon on the interwebs.
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