Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ingrid Michaelson-Park West-11.19.2008

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

Ingrid Michaelson

Newton Faulkner

**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**

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