Posts Tagged ‘Live Performance’
By: Rob Brayl
“After people have written my life for me for the last four and a half years — and it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, it’s what sells the most magazines that week — this was the first time I could dig into my emotions and write from this perspective, and not have to apologize for being human. A lot of people don’t see me as that, and haven’t for a long time.”
On new album Spitfire
This is the most honest record I’ve heard in years. LeAnn Rimes has taken the pain of tabloid fodder and created an album that solidifies her place as one of the greatest female performers in country music. Her voice is crystal clear and her nails are sharp. Not many women could have handled the sexist double standard in this situation the way that she has. She is no longer a child prodigy but a female pioneer, tearing down the celebrity walls and revealing a vulnerable human being underneath.
Two of my favorite tracks from Spitfire below: Who We Are (tear-felt live performance) + the incredible Where I Stood following.
[Related Post: Rimes Releases Stunning Ballad To Ex-Husband]
By: Maria Ciezak
MARIA CIEZAK: You guys are one of my/New Jersey’s best-kept secrets. For future fans, can you provide us with a brief background story? How did you all come together?
TREVOR NEWCOMB of ONLY LIVING BOY: First off, thanks for doing this interview with us. We really don’t want to be a secret, so we appreciate it. The first time we played on stage together was probably in the 6th grade. We kept playing and learning together and we went on to graduate high school together. In 2006, we formed Rabid Roy with the intension of “making it.” Rabid Roy became OLB after a couple of tough years and one bad record contract. Since the formation of OLB, we’ve independently toured most of the country, put out a few full-lengths and several singles and EPs… You know, trucking.
MC: Now I am assuming the band is named after the Paul Simon song? Are you guys mega fans?
OLB: We all love us some Paul Simon but the name is just a coincidence. We needed a name for the band and after several months of tossing around terrible ideas, Paul Simon’s Only Living Boy in New York came on the radio while we were on our way to a jam. The rest is history.
MC: You just released a new EP entitled Cool Collected Headcase, and it’s been getting a ton of buzz. I know you worked with Paul Ritchie from The Parlor Mob in the past. Where was this recording done?
OLB: We plan on working with Paul again; he’s the shit. This time around, we got the opportunity to work with Billy Perez at SST Studio in Weehawken. SST isn’t on a lot of people’s radar, but I suppose that’s purposeful. To put is plainly, SST is the most incredible studio we’ve sat foot in. Throughout the years, as some of the big analog studios in NYC closed, SST acquired their gear. So it’s packed with incredible recording equipment and a ton of history. It’s in an amazing space – huge rooms, huge ceilings etc. They’ve hosted some ultra big acts. Everyone from the Crows to Nirvana to Sabbath has done something there. It’s crazy.
MC: Who does most of the writing? Is it a group effort?
OLB: Joe is the core writer, but once the rest of us get involved with his ideas you never know where the song is going to go.
MC: What comes first? The music or the lyrics?
OLB: One thing’s for sure, Joe writes 99% of the lyrics. He has books/journals of lyrics and ideas. I think some of his lyrics are done first and then it hangs around until the right song comes together, but most of the time it’s music, then lyrics.
MC: How do you keep yourselves so original in such a mainstream day and age? Do you even think about it?
OLB: Oh, certainly it’s best not to think of it. We just do us. We just try to maintain some sort of edginess and rawness. And of course, we try to record and perform with energy and power. And I suppose if there’s one benefit of being a trio, it’s the fact that there isn’t a lot of them out there and there’s way fewer that sound anything like us. I know lately we’ve been getting a lot of QOTSA comparisons and that’s cool, but I can tell you, with all honesty, we got that 5-6 years ago before we ever even knew of them. We are sponges. We absorb influences all the time. Everything we hear. It’s true.
MC: Your live set is something that everyone must experience. How do you determine a set list for each show? Does it require much catering to certain venues?
OLB: Thanks. We usually write out a set and then do some improving once we get going. And we don’t mind taking risks. We’ll play new songs or old songs that may or may not be ready for the stage. I think risk-taking is something that is important with rock. We aren’t afraid to push the envelope. We aren’t afraid to fuck up. When I see other bands perform with that attitude, and they pull it off, I think it’s exciting. Like watching a stuntman almost wreck.
We really try not to cater sets for anything, but inevitably we tend to play louder and harder at bigger places. Also, sometimes we play acoustic; we can do more than rock at 115db.
MC: Any tours coming up in the near future?
OLB: Hell yeah. As Lemmy from Motörhead says: “You’re not a real band if you don’t tour.” We’re heading out in July for a couple weeks, working our way out to the Roots Rock & Deep Blues Festival in Minneapolis, where we will join our good buds in Poverty Hash (their lead man, Joe Roberto plays harmonica on our track Spread Your Butter). Also, we’ll have to hit some college circuits in the fall. Lately, we’re looking for some good bands to hit the road with. It’s always more productive and fun that way.
MC: If you could place yourself on tour with any artist, who would it be and why?
OLB: We’d love to go out on the road with any band that rocks and can help us get in front of more people. Top pick: Queens of the Stone Age. Or any Dave Grohl or Josh Homme project. Those guys are the top dogs in rock, as far as I’m concerned.
MC: How much material is there in the Only Living Boy vault? Are there a lot that don’t make the record?
OLB: So much material. Between his solo stuff and the OLB stuff, that Joe Cirotti is a writing machine. Currently, we’re working on songs for the record that’s coming out after our next record. So we’re like three albums ahead already. We constantly write and record demos. Many of them don’t make it to the albums or haven’t yet. Many of them we still play live.
MC: What is the ultimate goal for Only Living Boy? The music business is so different these days. Is getting a record deal somewhat of a priority?
OLB: Good question…
Every time I feel like I have a grip on the biz, I realize I have only the benefits of my own successes/mistakes to reflect on; otherwise, I’m half guessing just like everybody else who is short on investors.
Having a career is our ultimate goal. I would be satisfied being a lower-middle class full-time musician. However, we’re not looking to sell ourselves short. I think another equally important goal is to share our music with as many people as possible. So some combination of that: a career and maximum exposure. That’s my pragmatist stance.
Now, a record deal? That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And it doesn’t always involve the combination of exposure AND career that we are looking for. That being said, we will be looking for some sort of “deal” over the next few months, however, in the mean time, we won’t stop outing our music by ourselves.
MC: Now that you guys have made quite the name for yourselves in the Tri-state area, if you could have done anything differently, would you?
OLB: I spent most of my twenties traveling the country playing honest music with my two best friends – I’m pretty lucky. So I don’t have too many regrets.
One thing though, if you’re in a band and you’re thinking about signing to a label or some other business arrangement, consider who it is that represents you and what they have to gain/loose from the process. Sometimes it seems like someone is fighting for you when, really, they’re only worried about themselves or they may be too short-sighted to give two shits about how your career goes in the long term.
MC: What advice do you have for bands just starting out?
OLB: When pursuing your art, patience is the key and so is being yourself. That is, unless you’re ok with being a tool.
MC: Five words why people should listen to Only Living Boy.
OLB: Real rock and roll lives on…
By: Rob Brayl
It’s not a coincidence when a song finds you at the exact moment it’s needed. That’s precisely what happened to me with this stunning gem. Emeli Sande’s stripped-down/piano-drenched Read All About It Pt. III.
This track is gorgeous and its words bleed a vulnerability that’s nothing short of naked. Painfully honest. Sincere.
Watch + listen to a live version of the track below.
By: Rob Brayl
Adam Lambert has joined forces with AT&T + the Trevor Project for Live Proud, a campaign created to empower the LGBTQ community.
Glambert is currently offering a small group of contest winners the chance to enjoy a killer VIP experience, seeing him perform in an intimate setting in Los Angeles. To enter, fans must submit an image or story that represents an AT&T Live Proud moment.
In addition, AT&T will contribute $25,000 to $50,000 to the Trevor Project, an organization that focuses on both crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.
The contest runs through June 30th.
Participants are encouraged to like the AT&T Live Proud Facebook, which will lead to AT&T donating a dollar to the Project. They can also RT @ATT, @TrevorProject or @adamlambert in tweet that mentions #attliveproud and AT&T will donate 50 cents to The Trevor Project.
Have at it, folks! And may the fierce be with you!
+ Enjoy Adam’s recent, gorgeous cover of Rihanna’s Stay below.
By: Rob Brayl
“Puttin’ my defenses up, ’cause I don’t wanna fall in love; If I ever did that, I think I’d have a heart attack,” the 20-year-old pop star sings on the first single taken from her forthcoming album, Demi. Adorning an edgy look for the Chris Applebaum-directed video, the track stylistically pours over cool visuals to further cement Lovato as an undeniable pop presence.
“I think for fans or friends or anybody who’s afraid to fall in love, I’d rather live my life with my arms open than closed off the entire time,” Lovato told E! News.
Check out the premiere of Lovato’s Heart Attack below.
I f*cking love!
By: Rob Brayl
-Pink, Live from the Izod Center
By: Rob Brayl
ROB BRAYL: I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the new album (‘Wax Wings’, due out May 7th), and it’s an exquisite record! You MUST be getting butterflies leading up to its release?
JOSHUA RADIN: I am but mainly because I’m self-releasing a record for the first time. It’s scary but fun.
RB: I’m literally sitting here with my headphones on, trying to pick a favorite track from the record. I’m having a hard time, but I’m leaning towards ‘Your Rainy Days’ and ‘Like They Used To’. May I ask your personal favorite?
JR: Thank you so much! Well, that’s nice to hear. I guess if I had to pick a favorite it would be ‘Back To Where I’m From’.
RB: Being that this site is known for spotlighting indie artists, I was particularly fixated on the fact that you chose to release your new album independently. What was your frame of mind regarding this move?
JR: I like releasing music more often than most labels will allow. So I’m going at it on my own in order to put more music out into the world.
RB: I understand the title comes from Greek mythology. Can you speak on this a little bit?
JR: In several past songs, I’ve referred to my love as the sun. The album title is a reference to the myth of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun on wings made of wax and feathers. The wings melted and he fell, just as I have, over and over again. Sometimes I think love is something I’ll never get too close to again, and other times I feel the confidence to fly too closely to it.
RB: Obviously rap will never be an influence in your work, but since you’re from Cleveland and all, I have to ask: What do you think of Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly?
JR: To be honest, I don’t know who that is.
RB: Speaking of influences, what is your driving force when creating music?
RB: I always ask this, because it’s fun… Current guilty pleasure(s)?
JR: Girls. (The TV show)
RB: If I were to steal your iPod, are there any artists I may be surprised to find?
JR: Probably not. But who knows? I like all kinds of music.
RB: I saw you perform last year here in the city and actually met you very briefly after the show. You seemed as genuine and real as your music and I think it shows in your performances. The connection you have with the audience is incredibly honest. Are you planning on touring with the new material?
JR: Thank you! I try really hard to connect with everyone during live performances. I am going to tour this record but in just a few intimate venues in just a few cities. I spent half of last year on the road and I’m a little burnt. I’m needing home right now.
RB: It’s a well-known fact that you performed at Ellen DeGeneres’ wedding. I just wanted to end this interview by saying thank you for supporting gay rights. We love you!
JR: [Laughs] Yes, I did, and I do. She is an amazing woman as is her wife.
By: Rob Brayl
Artist to watch!
Meet Anna Nelson AKA Moxi, a Los Angeles-based singer and performer whose floating soundscape of vintage keyboards, big backbeats, and signature Omnichord strums are quickly brewing a buzz. With dreamy lyrics and hypnotic melodies, Moxi’s distinct soprano voice (backed by producer/writer/multi-instrumentalist Andy Toy) takes the listener to a wistfully introspective space.
Her EP In My Dreams was released last month via CatBeach Music.
Watch the video for Terrible Disguise below.
Totally diggin’ this girl!
By: Maria Ciezak
One of my most recent favorite indie finds, Atlas Genius, have finally released their full-length debut record, When It Was Now. The band wrote, recorded and produced the album independently at a studio they built in their hometown of Adelaide, Australia. It’s mixed by Michael Brauer of Electric Lady Studios in New York City. These guys are incredible. You may recognize them from their popular radio smash, Trojans, which picked up national attention last year.
Currently, the band’s on the road with another indie rock gem, Imagine Dragons, and will also be playing South By Southwest in March.
Their latest single, Symptoms, was released on iTunes for free this week. I personally downloaded the whole album, and love every last second of it.
By: Rob Brayl
Certain songs are like fuel. They take you places. Others are like pain medication. They get you through shit. When a song contains both of these elements, it’s a serious addiction waiting to happen.
That’s what this song is for me: a freakin’ addiction. I literally cannot stop playing it; I feel it in my veins. And while the music video was disappointing and weird (to see it, go find it for yourself), the song stands on its own. It’s rad and without flaw.
Check out Radioactive by Imagine Dragons below.
Love! Love! Love!
By: Maria Ciezak
Unless you live under a rock (well, with this East Coast weather you may be doing it for warmth purposes), you have heard Thrift Shop, the smash from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz. I am not here to review the song, or to illustrate how I throw my fists up whenever I hear it, but simply to get Macklemore on your radar.
FYI: The Thrift Shop video already has over 78 million views on YouTube, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Macklemore spent years building a fan base in Seattle. Alongside DJ and music director Ryan Lewis, the pair has been established as the faces of Seattleâ€™s hip hop scene. Their DIY-driven music has gone national, thanks to a tireless work ethic and co-signs from rap stars like Mac Miller, Big Sean and Schoolboy Q. I find this so interesting, for working in the business, it’s refreshing to see someone have a number one smash based on that good, old-fashioned theory: hard work.
Macklemore recently told MTV: “We’ve talked to a lot of labels and we talked to some legends in the game in terms of labels. I had some great conversations, but right now, we’re doing it ourselves and that’s what makes the most sense for this project.”
Let’s just say he is far from being a one-hit wonder. The Heist is compacted with hit after hit. I highly recommend you familiarize, for Macklemore is already reaching household name status.
Musicians should take a notes from this guy, and understand that no matter what the critics say, anything can happen once your mind’s set.
By: Rob Brayl
Sometimes, wasting our lives by watching reality TV can have its payoffs. Ya know, when you discover a fresh, new artist playing in the background as something dramatic happens on the screen. That’s exactly the story behind Midian’s Bitter, which had people buzzing after it was used on VH1′s Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.
Her massive and soulful voice may remind you of Etta James, Adele, or even Christina Aguilera. On first listen, I actually thought it was Adele singing, but then realized Midian’s voice paints a different shade as she pouts the lovesick blues.
Regardless, the sound stings and leaves a mark behind.
Bitter is one of five tracks on Midian’s debut, self-titled EP, which was released earlier this month.
Bask in the bittersweet glory of the live version of Bitter below.