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Showing posts from March, 2008

Anna Ternheim - Joe's Pub, 3/24/08

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Swedish singer-songwriter Anna Ternheim played a well attended Joe's Pub show last night, giving the stateside audience the pleasure of hearing her do songs from her Swedish CDs, Singles and EPs. Winner of several Swedish Grammy awards, Anna is set to release her first full length American CD, Halfway to Fivepoints , April 22nd on the Decca label. Decca released a self-titled EP last fall, which is currently available. For some in the Joe's Pub audience, this was an introduction to her music, for others it was a chance to hear her sing songs that had become favorites from afar. In any case, Anna's performance was as deep and beautiful as her songs are, and as she herself seems to be. Between songs she told some stories and gave some background about some of the songs and in so doing offered some much appreciated insight into her and her music. In addition to her singles and album tracks, Anna played a new song, "Summer Rain", and some interesting covers that incl

SXSW Wrap-Up

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One week later, the magnitude of the four day music festival is only now beginning to sink in. Yesterday, while listening to Astrid Williamson's CDs that I picked up at her show the week before SXSW, I realized that so much music had come and gone since then, it took me half a CD to figure out who she was, where, and when I'd seen her (all three of her CDs are excellent, btw). Having now (finally) uploaded all the SXSW pictures to Blogger, I'm amazed to have seen and done everything in such a short time and without an advance game plan. That at least five of the shows were among the best live music I've ever seen was an unexpected and thrilling bonus. New artists I'd never heard before, check. Familiar artists I'd never seen before, check. New types of music I'd not normally seek out, check. Favorite artists doing awesome shows, check. Awesome shows by artists I'd never seen before who have now become favorites, check. Many thanks to Dave from Direct

Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - Sellersville Theater, 3/19/08

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Before reading the following, please start this live version of "Bumpin' on Sunset" from Brian Auger's Live at the Baked Potato DVD/CD . When F. Scott Fitzgerald said "There are no second acts in American lives," he had apparently never met Brian Auger. While this may not apply based on the technicality that he's actually British, Brian's had quite a few second acts in his career which now spans five decades, but none more satisfying for the audience and most likely for him, both personally and professionally, than the current reincarnation of his Oblivion Express. Formed in 1995 as a vehicle for Brian to play with his son Karma on drums and his daughter Savannah Grace on vocals, the next generation Express owes it's existence to the dedication of Karma who not only is a world class drummer but he also handles engineering, producing and road management and probably wears other hats as well in the operation of the band. Savannah sounds great singi

SXSW - Day Four, Saturday, 3/15/08

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South by Southwest 2008 is now history. It's 2:50 am local time here in Austin. Today was a beautiful end to the festival on all counts. Taking it a bit slower today I began by checking out the trade show, Hut's Hamburgers, and Waterloo Records. Then on to the music, saw two artists that I've known through myspace but had never seen before (Hafdis Huld and Brooke Waggoner), a new singer from Britain whose CD just debuted at number one there but is not yet released here (Duffy), saw several previously unknown artists, and the night and the festival ended with a superb set by Brooke at the Hilton Garden Inn 18th floor. Here's today's complete list: SXSW - Day Four, Saturday Hut's Hamburgers Hafdis Huld (Reykjavik, Iceland) 5:30-6:30pm Duffy (Wales, UK) 8-9pm Jenn Grant (Halifax, NS) 9-10pm Look, See, Proof (London, UK) 11pm-Midnight The Soundtrack of Our Lives (Gothenburg, Sweden) Midnight-1am Brooke Waggoner (Nashville, TN) 1-2am In a few hours we'll be out o

Hut's Hamburgers, Austin TX, 3/15/08

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Hut's Hamburgers is now in it's 70th year as an Austin institution, serving up great burgers, fries, onion rings, milkshakes and other goodies. Everything at Hut's is fresh and homemade and tastes it. Hut's is not a fast food stand and there's no drive-through. It's an old fashioned hamburger restaurant, taking you back to the days before there were such things. The classic old style look of the place has been retained and stepping through the door is almost like a step back in time. One of the many burger choices at Hut's is the Dagburger (above) which is a double cheeseburger with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and American cheese. Fries are fresh cut on site and the onion rings are made from large thick slices of sweet onion. Hut's is conveniently located on West 6th Street, near Waterloo Records and Whole Foods' flagship store. The staff all wear a t-shirt that has Hut's logo on the front and on the back it says "God Bless Hut's". I&#

Hafdis Huld - SXSW, Momo's, 3/15/08

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Hafdis Huld is an artist who I'd found on myspace long enough ago that I can't remember exactly how I found my way to her page, but the tunes on her player and the photos of her and her native Iceland were always a unique and enjoyable place to visit. It was undoubtedly one of the most unexpected and happy surprises of SXSW to find her here playing the festival. Backed by a keyboard player and two acoustic guitarists, Hafdis played a nice sampling of her tunes during a late afternoon set at Momo's. With quirky (in a good way) lyrics and fairly simple melodies, Hafdis charmed the audience with songs about ice cream, monsters, ski jumpers, and diamonds on her belly. She introduced "Tomoco" as a single with a video which you can both listen to and watch on her myspace page. Her set included a killer cover version of "Material Girl" backed with banjo, rhythm guitar and xylophone; this was one of the more unusual, interesting and cool versions you could ever

Duffy - SXSW, Stubbs, 3/15/08

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During almost every time slot at SXSW, there are numerous artists who you might want to see, but having missed Duffy's short set earlier in the day, I went with this show over a slew of others in the 8pm time slot, and although I'd not had a chance to previously hear Duffy's new CD, she totally won me over with an excellent show. Live, it sounded like the ultimate in professionally played pop/rock/soul with Duffy's very energetic stage presence and nicely sung vocals. Here's a portion of her opening number, courtesy of youtube user ihavebeenseen . Here's the setlist: Rockferry Warwick Avenue Serious Stepping Stone Syrup & Honey Delayed Devotion Hanging on too Long Tomorrow Mercy And this is a bit of "Warwick Avenue", also from the same source, the sound on both clips is quite good. All the songs were drawn from Duffy's debut album, Rockferry except for one, "Tomorrow" which appears on the b-side of Duffy's "Mercy" singl