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Showing posts from May, 2006

Dixie Chicks on Howard Stern, 5/25/06

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It was a big week for the Dixie Chicks , with Tuesday's release of their new album Taking the Long Way , a cover story in Time Magazine , and appearances on most major talk shows including two days on Good Morning America (interview Tuesday, live performance Friday), and this morning's visit to the Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio . Natalie Maines Think what you will about Howard, but once you get past the naked girls, strippers and porn stars, once you get past the bathroom humor and foul language, deep down there is a very funny performer who is very good at what he does, and even deeper down there is a very sensitive guy who usually comes in on the caring, humanistic, and even the moral side of most social and political issues. His musician and celebrity interviews have been a mixed bag but I've got to say that this morning's appearance by the Dixie Chicks was perhaps the best musician segment I've ever heard in nearly twenty years of listening

One Amazing Night in New York with Jackie, Melody, and Holly, 5/23/06

Any one of these three performances would have been worth the trip from Philadelphia to New York, but catching all three in one night was almost more musical joy than a person should be allowed to have. Let me start by thanking Dave for the last minute invite to take the place of someone who couldn't go to see Jackie Allen at Joe's Pub. That plan wasn't in place more than a few hours before word came via MySpace that Holly Palmer had scheduled a date at Arlene's Grocery the same night. Only a pleasant New York walk separates the Lafayette Street location of Joe's Pub from the Lower East Side neighborhood that's home to Arlene's Grocery and the Living Room among others. The 7:30/9:30 timing seemed to make possible the doubleheader of shows; that we also got to see Melody Gardot play at Pianos involved a combination of serendipity, timing and logistics that likely could only happen in nyc. After strategically parking the car near Arlene's Grocery, we had

Melody Gardot - Pianos, NYC, 5/23/06

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Pianos , located on New York's Lower East Side, a few doors down Ludlow Street from the Living Room, is notable for many things not the least of which is a terrific five dollar happy hour burger special, and a delicious gazpacho. Pianos also offers multiple music venues, with a downstairs club where the steady stream of equipment carried in suggests that the music leans more toward rock than the upstairs venue, where like the Living Room, singer-songwriters perform for free, earning their keep through voluntary donations and selling their cds. Walking back after seeing Jackie Allen at Joe's Pub, we stopped into Pianos just in time to catch Melody Gardot who had just gone on. The second floor venue at Pianos is essentially a room with a microphone, with no stage and no lighting to speak of. Melody at one point, humorously pointed out the irony that a club called Pianos doesn't have a piano. Melody sounded great playing a number of tunes from her Some Lessons EP, inclu

Victoria Vox - Grape Street, Philadelphia, 5/12/06

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Victoria Vox brought her Jumping Flea Tour to Grape Street in Manayunk tonight and offered a thoroughly charming performance. Undaunted by a tiny turnout, Victoria played an excellent set of songs drawn mostly from her current album Victoria Vox and Her Jumping Flea . The stories between the songs were as engaging as the music; with a refreshing sense of humor, Victoria told about growing up in Wisconsin, living in France as an exchange student, and the travails of life on the road as a struggling musician. Accompanying herself on guitar and ukelele (the jumping flea) she played a nice mix of original compositions and cover tunes such as an inspired medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World". The ukelele gives her music a nice retro feel, evoking the sound of the thirties and forties. Victoria embraces the Hawaiian ukelele tradition both in some of her song selections, and in her pineapple ukelele. Her original composition "Ameri

Keane - Second Album Due June 20th

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Keane's second album, Under the Iron Sea , is set for release June 12th in the U.K. and Europe, and June 20th in the U.S. and Canada. The first track from it surfaced today as a download only video. The song "Atlantic" sounds like a significant departure from their first album, being more dense, more intense, less anthemic and less hook-reliant, almost sounding like a throwback to the days of progressive rock. The excellent Austrian fansite Keane.at describes "Atlantic" as an experimental track. The somewhat bizarre video can for the moment be seen here . The first proper single will be "Is It Any Wonder?" which is set for release on May 29th. The full tracklist for the new cd has been confirmed as: 01. Atlantic 02. Is It Any Wonder? 03. Nothing In My Way 04. Leaving So Soon? 05. A Bad Dream 06. Hamburg Song 07. Put It Behind You 08. The Iron Sea 09. Crystal Ball 10. Try Again 11. Broken Toy 12. The Frog Prince The album was produced by Andy Gr