I saw a free screening of Adam last night at the Angelika in downtown Houston. The soundtrack features songs from Joshua Radin, Maria Taylor, The Weepies and Miranda Lee Richards. Most listened on Paste is the Radin/ Taylor duet “When You Find Me.” My favorite is The Weepies “Can’t Go Back Now” off the 2008 album Hideaway. To preview the entire album click here.
Rocks Off concert promoters present the Houston Press music award nominees each year with a showcase in downtown Houston. Several bars and clubs participate hosting performers from the ballot. First, I saw Runaway Sun, up for the Best Blues Group award. This summer they released The Bridge, a ten-song LP recorded at Houston’s Sugar Hill Studios. A self-titled EP was released in 2008. Below please have a listen to “The Ballad of Marylou.”
[audio:The Ballad of Marylou.mp3]
“The Ballad of Marylou” by Runaway Sun
Next, I saw Kristine Mills who has been nominated for Musician of the Year. She’s a jazz singer, born and raised in Houston, TX. She regularly performs at Trulucks Steakhouse. A schedule of performances can be found at Kristine Mills Music.
At Martells I saw The TonTons. The TonTons are nominated for Best Guitarist and Best Female Vocal. Saturday night they had their CD release party for their ten-song self-titled debut. All I can say is Asli Omar looks like she sounds amazing. She was drowning in base and percussion the entire time. I can’t blame her though, she asked several times for more vocals, the venue just wasn’t suitable. From what I could make out, she sounded a lot like Cat Power.
The Irish rock band, Blaggards, closed the evening. Among the original songs, their set also included several covers. They teased us with AC/DC’s “Back In Black” within a song called “Nancy Whiskey.” They did the Irish traditions, “Whiskey In The Jar” and “Drunken Sailor.” Lastly, they threw in a little Johnny Cash with “ Folsom Prison Blues.” They seem to have a pretty good following in Houston and I think Martells is their regular venue.
Winners will be announced this Thursday, July 30, 2009 at Warehouse Live.
At the Woodlands Pavillion for the second time in one weekend, Linds and I went to see The Fray. The line-up included three piano fronted bands, as Meese and Jack’s Mannequin preceded The Fray. Meese’s Frontman, Patrick Meese, once part of a band headlining The Fray, has contently found himself invited to the opening position by his old friends. His Denver-based rock/pop group also includes his brother, Nathan Meese, drummer, Benjamin Haley, and guitarist, Mike Ayars. Their debut album called Broadcast is available now. Their set ended as The Fray joined them on stage throwing toilet paper around. It was a little bit of farewell fun since Meese was on their last night of the tour.
In the picture you can see Isaac Slade of The Fray taking a picture of the crowd.
Below are two songs performed by Meese. “Next In Line” is their current single.
1. Next In Line
2. Tell Me It’s Over
Jack’s Mannequin began their set with the radio friendly, “Mixed Tape.” Fueled by energy and contagious lyrics, the group cranked out a 13 song set which left me wondering if The Fray could possibly impress me more. They did a cover of “Watch The Sky” by leader, Andrew McMahon‘s, former band, Something Corporate. Shortly after, they ended their set with a cover of Tom Petty’s, “American Girl.”
1. Mixed Tape
3. Holiday From Real
5. I’m Ready
7. La La Lie
9. Dark Blue
11. Watch The Sky (Something Corporate cover)
13. American Girl (Tom Petty cover)
Singing “Happiness” under a single blue spotlight, Isaac Slade, dramatically ushered in The Fray. The down-tempo version was cut short and “Over My Head (Cable Car)” picked up where it left off. They did five songs before finally introducing the piano with “How To Save A Life.” Before beginning, Slade informed us that each of his songs have a person behind them, meaning they are all written about someone. “How To Save A Life” is about a friend he had back when he was 17 who tried but couldn’t put his life back together. He described it as a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces. He realized that he didn’t know how to save his friend. He also realized that they had to part ways before he found himself following his friend’s downward path. Thus the lyrics, ‘he goes left and you go right.’
“You Found Me” concluded the main show, but they continued with probably the longest encore I have ever witnessed. They started it with “Look After You,” which they wrapped around a little “Man In The Mirror” tribute. Then strangely, in my opinion, they performed an acoustic version of J.T and T.I’s “Dead And Gone.” During this cover, Meese came out dancing around in their underwear. I was a little turned off at this point but they recaptured my attention with, “All At Once.” Lastly, they reprised “Happiness” elongating the “Hey-ay-e-yay-e-yay” lyrics with atmospheric accompaniment. Slade said, ‘get your phones out,’ as nobody waves lighters anymore, instead we use the backlight of our mobile phones. I liked the fact that they started and ended with the same song even though, initially, I was upset because I hadn’t yet heard my favorite song, “Enough For Now.”
At the end of the show Slade preached that wherever we are in life we can’t give up until we get to where we want to be. Then he proceeded to tell us that he wishes he could have coffee with each of us, as he talks to us for an hour and a half on stage but never gets to hear our story. As we were leaving, Linds told me that she didn’t think that she had ever been to such an amazing concert before in her life.
2. Over My Head (Cable Car)
4. She Is
5. Say When
6. How To Save A Life
9. Little House
10. We Build Then We Break
11. Where The Story Ends
12. Never Say Never
13. You Found Me
1. Look After You (Michael Jackson “Man In The Mirror” covered within)
2. Dead And Gone (J.T. T.I. acoustic cover)
3. All At Once
Yes, I was late to a friend’s birthday party because I went to a Rod Stewart concert! I had entered a contest through the Houston Chronicle via Twitter, just to see if I got lucky. I won four covered seats at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX. I called my dad and asked if he liked Rod Stewart and his responses were, “Well, he’s getting kinda old,” “he used to dance quite a bit, but he’s probably too old now,” and “usually when they get older they don’t perform their songs from top to bottom. They’ll shorten ‘em because they get winded.” We went anyway.
We were pleasantly surprised, to say the least. He put on a great show. The man still gets good use out of his dancing shoes and he played for a good hour and a half. While I didn’t record the full setlist, I have provided an incomplete and out of order listing of what I remember.
The blue suit jacket he appeared in was just one of three ensembles. His last quick wardrobe change was jeans and a cowboy hat, seeing as he was in Texas.
He did a Sam Cooke cover of “Twistin’ The Night Away” and credited the late Mr. Cooke as one of his influences back when he was a kid. A cover of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” by a back-up singer/dancer nicely filled what I assume was a much needed back stage break.
Homage was paid to Michael Jackson, as footage of him with the Jackson 5 in their 70’s bell bottoms and tasseled vests flashed across the JumboTron.
During “Hot Legs” he kicked soccer balls into the crowd, something he’s been known to do at live shows, as he’s a fan of Scottish national football. Following his “Maggie May” encore, he made his way to the curtain and literally leapt off the stage and out of sight.
1. Some Guys Have All the Luck
2. Forever Young
3. The First Cut Is the Deepest
4. Twistin’ The Night Away (Sam Cooke cover)
5. Downtown Train
6. You’re in My Heart
7. Proud Mary (Tina Turner cover)
8. Have I Told You Lately
9. Hot Legs
1. Maggie May
With a vision to become a pop band that did not sound like every other pop/rock act out there today, The Blue Effect has honed a retro sound, driven by piano and saxophone, with a distinct 1960’s-influence.
Formed in 2007, the band has created a full length album available on iTunes released under their former record label, Diversion Productions, in Southfield, Michigan. The band has been a featured artist on Break Thru Radio (highlighting top college bands) and their song, “Mother Mary,” was the song of the month in April for an online showcase of Singer/Songwriters. This summer, the band has played high profile shows throughout Michigan such as the Crofoot Ballroom, Pike Room, the Blind Pig, the Modern Exchange, and St. Andrews Hall. July has seen the band touring the Midwest, headlining at the Verve in Indianapolis and co-headlining at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago. They are currently looking for a serious management company to bring them into the regional/national music scene.
Below please find mp3’s of “Whole” from the album, The Blue Effect: Tonight’s Entertainment, and “Apparantly” and “Follow Me” from their self-titled 2008 EP. “Follow Me” is their best produced song, according to Peter.
“Whole” by The Blue Effect
“Apparently” by The Blue Effect
“Follow Me” by The Blue Effect
Austin-based Electric Touch played Warehouse Live on Friday with The 71’s. I had gone outside but came back just in time to hear them address the crowd with their British accents and then do a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together.” Their self-titled album comes out August 26, 2009 on Justice Records. “Lines” is a great song but visit their MySpace and have a listen to my other favorite, “Give Me A Sign.”
“Lines” by Electric Touch
Regina’s fifth studio album, Far, was released June 23, 2009. When it comes to Regina Spektor I have mixed feelings. I like her ballads but I have a hard time with songs like “That Time” from Begin to Hope. I dislike the guitar and even the way she sings the song, even though I love her voice. Some of her delux demos, like “Music Box,” bother me as well. On the other hand, I love the piano ones, such as “Real Love.”
I have some favorites on 11:11, including “Sunshine,” “Buildings,” and “Rejazz.” It’s clear to see her influence on artists like Kate Nash. I must be the billionth person to compare the way Kate and Regina speak their lyrics, as in “Consequence of Sound” from Songs.
As for Regina’s newer stuff, “Better” from Begin to Hope is a good song and of course “Laughing With” from Far.