Thursday, November 20, 2008
Hey Ben Harper fans, Ben is working on a side project that he says plays "absolute, unapologetic rock music".
They are called Relentless7 and consist of:
Ben Harper-Slide guitar, vocals
Jason Mozersky- Lead guitars
Jordan Richardson- Drums
Jesse Ingalls- Bass, Keys
Check them out at www.relentless7.com.
In the advertising and marketing worlds, it seems as if every agency and their moms are hosting artist showcases every day, and yesterday was no exception. Most of these showcases greet you with grandiose plates of food, enough beer and wine to get your drunk for the entire weekend (too bad it was noon yesterday), and a plethora of CDs to take home in hopes that one may like a tune and want to use it in their next big project.
Yesterday's showcase featured David Ford and Ingrid Michaelson...yes the girl who sings about buying you Rogaine. David Ford, a songster from England as he calls himself, first took to the stage of the mini-theater. A colorful lad, Ford briefed us by telling us it was early for him and that his brain was still waking up. But for just waking up, he really impressed me. His lyrics drive deep and touch on politics, love, being away from home, and the pathetic economy due in part to a defunct credit system. Not hearing him before, I was quick to tell his influences could have been Damien Rice, Howie Day (She Says Howie Day), and a little Irish sound like Dropkick Murphys. Ford definitely has a solid sound and a highly recommend checking him out!
Then Ingrid took the floor. Now 99.9% of the world knows of Ingrid thanks to a placement in an Old Navy commercial. That quickly took a no-name artist playing in coffee houses to headliner on a massive US tour. Who would have thought that using the lyrics like "I'll buy you Rogaine, when you loose all of your hair" would propel someone's career? Aside from that song, which is called The Way I Am, Michaelson has an artsy folky sound that works very well. Backed by a drummer, a bass player, and two female guitar players who lend the vocals, Ingrid's troupe tickles the ears and puts a smile on your face.
After the showcase, I was invited to see them play at Park West. In addition to David Ford, who by the way put on a crazy amazing show live with looping pedals and passionate vocals, and Ingrid Michaelson, who did an impressive version of Radiohead's Creep, Newton Faulkner graced the stage as well.
Now Newton Faulkner is another English gentleman, but with blonde dreads down to his butt and a major label (Sony BMG) backing him. I had repped Newton for Aware Records, so I was very familiar with his music, but I didnt realize he had the personality like he did. A storyteller for sure, Newton explained to the crowd how he was invited to play for a radio station early in his career and they requested he cover a song. Now Newton is a man of his own music, so this was a challenge for him. For 3 days he crammed to learn as many covers as he could including Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and even Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round. A person close to him told him to avoid the latter and go with Massive Attack's Teardrop. Newton played all three and I have to say, his version of You Spin Me Round was hilarious! Overall his performance lit up the crowd and opened himself up to many new fans. He masterfully used his guitar as indeed a guitar in addition to bongo drums and a scratch pad, and used bass pedals to further emphasize his massive sound.
Check out all 3 artists:
David Ford www.myspace.com/davidford
Ingrid Michaelson www.myspace.com/ingridmichaelson
Newton Faulkner www.myspace.com/newtonfaulkner
**Ingrid introduced a new song called Everybody. Look for it. I think it is going to be her next hit. Very well produced catchy tune**
Friday, November 14, 2008
As an Aware Rep, it is my duty to help spread the word about great musicians that you should listen to and get to know. In the past, we have helped propel the careers of Jackopierce, Mat Kearney, The Working Title, and The Heyday.
Today, I would like to introduce to you Angel Taylor. Angel is a singer/songwriter/piano player with a sound she describes as "a beating heart on a sleeve". Expect to hear her music on Grey's Anatomy on of these days!
Check her out at www.myspace.com/angeltaylor
Or check her out at Schubas (Chicago) on December 10th.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Yesterday afternoon I was invited to a showcase at Comma Music, a Chicago recording studio specializing in producing music and voice overs for commercials. The band was none other than the Eagles of Death Metal.
Now with a name like Eagles of Death Metal, one may expect hard core noise with blood and carnage. But the guys insist that it is just a name and they prefer to play garage rock! If you are a fan of muscle cars, rocking guitars, thundering drums, and some tattoos to cover your skin, then these guys are for you!
The guys, consisting of Jesse Hughes on lead vocals and guitar, Dave Catching on guitar, Brian O'Connor on bass, and Joey Castillo on drums, put on a killer showcase. In front of about 20 people, they had everyone bobbing their heads and tapping their feet on the rustic hard wood floor. It was very impressive! Some may recognize the name Joey Castillo. He was the drummer for Danzig and Queens of the Stone Age. And I have to say, Brian O'Connor has to have the biggest hands I have ever seen in my life. Imagine a hand that could cover the whole body of the guitar. They are HUGE!
This Downtown Records band recently put out an album called Heart On and it already reached number 57 on the US charts. With Hughes shredding his guitar and Castillo pounding on his drums, these guys have a lot of potential. And to boot, they are great people. Each member came around and personally introduced themselves and urged that we come to the show. I had just met them that night, but felt like we were best buds by the time they headed out the door and loaded in their van to play their gig at the Bottom Lounge.
If you want to put in an album that is going to get you moving and waving the rock symbol with your fingers, then go grab some music by the Eagles of Death Metal.