Ben Folds – Way to Normal

29 09 2008

Fumbling through Last.FM, I was stunned to see a new album from Ben Folds.  When the hell did this come out? 

Oh. Today.

I haven’t listened to it yet, but the initial comments don’t look good.  I’ve only heard Dr. Yang & the other full tracks available on Last.FM but they sound pretty decent.  Granted, I don’t think I’ll ever love another album as much as I loved Songs for Silverman & Ben Folds Live

Check out the cover art though – almost Mary Poppins meets Royal Tennebaums. (Don’t ask me how that works. It’s what I see in my head)  And since we’re on the topic of visual, isn’t this kinda awesome? I’ve never heard this version.  Apparently, it’s on the Way to Normal album.


Drink the Night Away

7 03 2008

I know I promised a bit more on the SCE… but I haven’t heard from him and am focused on not overthinking anything.  All things considered, I think he should call me this weekend or next, I’m not picky. Anyway.

Busy weekend.  Drove 2hrs home last night with roomie to meet up with our families and catch the Gaelic Storm concert and 2hours back so I could still get to work in the morning.  My little (not so as she’s got at least 3 inches on me) sister has been Irish Step Dancing for 13ish years now, and everytime GS comes into town they set up that my little can dance some songs at the performances.  It was wonderful to be back home for a bit.  Spent some quality time with the family & niece.  My niece is almost 3 now and absolutely adorable. I call her Little Miss – for Little Miss Dictator – because she is just about the most demanding little thing.  I spent the majority of the show avoiding her tickles and ‘kisses’ (she licks. wtf?)

Gaelic Storm

One of my personal favorites, Gaelic Storm is a great band to see in concert.  If you haven’t seen them live yet, go!  I’ve been to upwards of 8? of their concerts and love it everytime.  It’s hard to dislike Irish music to begin with, but these guys are amazing!  Irish inspired, traditional, folk, pub rock & drinking songs are the setlist.  You might remember them as the band that played in the movie Titanic (steerage passengers’ dance?), but they have been around for quite a while.  

Note the wellies?

Gaelic Storm really has an amazing stage presence that goes beyond just a performance.  They involve the entire audience throughout the show and get everyone dancing in their seats.  They get tipsy (or drunk on St. Pat’s) on stage while the audience gets cranked and sings along to the likes of Kelly’s Wellies, Johnny Tarr, & Kiss Me I’m Irish.

Patrick & Steve take the lead on the vocals.  Steve plays guitar, Pete *swoon* plays the bagpipes, Ryan is on drums, Jessie is their new fiddle and Patrick plays the accordian, harmonica & just about anything else needed for a song.  Patrick could cover the ‘personality’ bit of the show all on his own, but the whole band is exciting to watch. 




Shows sell out fast.  If you hear of them coming near you, buy tickets ASAP. I Promise you won’t regret it.  The concert is always phenomnal and with plenty of laughs.  And after it’s all said and done, it’s out to the local pub for drinks with the fans.   

Singing Along To:

Sia Concert

28 02 2008

Slacking off per usual.  I’ve been meaning to write all week but haven’t really had much to say outside of “I’m feeling paranoid.”  See what’s the point of a truely outrageous rant on the fact that I haven’t spoken to Indie since Sunday?  It’s Thursday.  I’m not going to go into the details of the high levels of brain activity causing a major slippery-Madison-hwys type traffic jam preventing all non-Indie thoughts to escape unharmed.

But I will not subject you to that rant.  I’ve been very good all week.  I have mentioned him only 2x in passing (including to my roomie).  So, for now, Chapter Indie has been closed.

What else is there to write about?  Oooo! How about the concert I went to last night?!


Well, I’d hadn’t actually heard of Sia before Roomie played Breathe Me the night we added new pictures to our HotGuyWall.  (had to add our Hayden Christensen!)  She invited me to the concert, and I’m never one to turn down a concert (Even when I’m paying. gads! All my $$$ is just flying out the door. Please pay me back people!) 

She scared me. A little. Initially.  This is how they walked out on stage:

via TeenVogue

Let’s see, can you pick out the pianist, drummer, bass, Sia, guitar, & cello?  I think not. But those are their actual costumes for the first song.  I’m not familiar with her songs or I’d provide the setlist.  However, I will say she was Phenomenal!  I’m sure you know who she is – without realizing it.  Breathe Me has been featured in various films/shows – most notably the last episode of Six Feet Under.  That song is a little misleading though.  I imagined most of her music to sound like that.  Her personality must also be of that realm – soft, inviting, real.

Be my friend / Hold me, wrap me up / Unfold me / I am small / and needy / Warm me up / And breathe me

No.  The moment she picks up that mic, she amazes with a powerful voice that weaves in and out of the delicate and the harsh.  She’s completely unique and intriguing.  What made the concert was how she carried it.  This wasn’t just a show; it was an interaction with the crowd.  The austrialian dedicated song after song to randoms in the audience – including an “Eric the Truck Driver who had a booboo when I met him at the gas station this morning.”  There is a very different vibe to a Sia concert from your average.  When she stepped away from the mic she was like a little 7 year old girl complete with higher pitched voice, fluttering hands, random dancing and “do you really like me? really? sweeeeeet!” type attitude.  She gave away some of the random stuff animals sitting on the stage and recieved gifts from audience members – many of whom were sporting glow sticks and necklaces.

A bit off?  Seems that way at first, but it’s really kinda like watching your uber-excited favorite niece up on stage because she’s so adorable.  And then she sings.  You HAVE to check out her music.  It’s so beautiful!  She plays with lyrics and the music.  Watching her in concert is like seeing your bestie from elementary standing outside your door “Come out and play!!!!”

Currently Loving:

  • Breathe Me
  • Little Black Sandal
  • Sunday
  • The Girl You Lost to Cocaine

As always, you can watch videos and listen to full length tracks on Last.FM – Sia on

Kate Voegele

27 02 2008

There’s still nothing on tv, in case you hadn’t noticed.  Roomie and I have been watching random shit here and there, but reruns are really boring.  A few weeks back we stopped at One Tree Hill on the CW.  Overdramatic yes, but still kinda fun.  The episode we saw had ‘Mia’ playing for a crowd (including exbf? Kevin Federline *choke*).  I fell in love with the song.  My lack of internet at the time prevented downloading and I forgot about it immediately and moved on with life.  Last night we watched it again and there she was!  A regular character who is an amazing singer? Sweet.

Kate Voegele

In a moment of $7.99 weakness I downloaded the entire Don’t Look Away album by Kate Voegele (aka Mia), and I love it!  It’s so perfect right now.  The power in her voice makes you sing along like you secretly do whenever Kelly Clarkson plays on the radio.  The lyrics are just so damn on.

I was untouchable
Until karma crashed my party
Found out I’m crushable, oh
And I’m the only one who’s sorry
…This is how hurt feels
And it’s everything they say it is

I Get It

I stop to catch my breath
And I stop to catch your eye
No need to second-guess
That you’ve been on my mind
I dream days away, but that’s okay

It’s like I want to hear a silent sound
And then hold it in my hand
But a rose won’t blossom from a ground
Of desert sand, but I like to pretend that

One day I’ll turn around, I’ll see your hand reach out
I’m only fooling myself, oh
But maybe when you smile
It means you’d stay awhile
Just maybe you’d save me now

Well, now it’s etched in stone
That I can’t survive alone
You have the missing piece
That I need so desperately
Yes, I slip away to a day that’ll never come

It’s like a splash of water to my face
When I suddenly realize
That you could never find a place
For me in your eyes, and I don’t know why I keep thinking
– Only Fooling Myself

It’s hard to believe she’s only 20. I mean gah! I’m 21 (22 in T-20 days) and haven’t accomplished half of what she has. You can’t help but wonder what experiences, what relationships, what situations inspires her lyrics – and the passion in her voice. Kate is a singer/songwriter (and apparently actress) who has been writing and performing since high school. She’s currently studying at Miami in Ohio and signed with MySpace Records (seriously?) for Don’t Look Away.

The musical landscape is teeming with singer/songwriters, many of them quite capable, but only a handful have something truly distinctive to offer. Kate Voegele belongs in the latter category. Don’t Look Away, Voegele’s first full-length album (MySpace Records), is a revelation, as the 20-year-old writer/singer, belying her tender years, delivers songs of depth and insight with a powerfully seductive voice that maintains a fierce presence amid dynamic rock grooves and infectious pop hooks. Produced by the veteran Marshall Altman (Matt Nathanson, Mark Broussard), Don’t Look Away is a bravura effort from an old soul with a youthful spirit; think of her album as a female parallel to John Mayer’s Room for Squares—at once a zeitgeist-capturing landmark and the launchpad for a viable career.

The tracks range from the rootsy acoustic ballad “Wish You Were,” with its mandolin and accordion filigree, and the sparse, piano-based “Kindly Unspoken” to the widescreen heartbreak anthem “Only Fooling Myself” and the ironically titled “It’s Only Life,” a soaring expression of female empowerment, which Voegele describes as “a motivational, uplifting song about dealing with situations rather than trying to hide from them.” “One Way or Another” is an edgy rocker about romantic victimization, while the punchy “Chicago,” she says, “is a metaphorical representation of any kind of escape, about just needing to get away. The line at the end of the chorus is, ‘I’ll be on the seven o’clock to Chicago,’ so it refers to a specific city, but it’s universally applicable.”

Currently Playing:
– One Way or Another
– I Get It
– No Good
– Only Fooling Myself
– Wish You Were

The Redwalls

7 02 2008

Because I’m awesome like that, I hadn’t yet posted an artist this week because I couldn’t decide what to write on.  I’ve started bits on Spoon, Green Day & Paramore, but I just got a recommendation today that I HAVE to share.

For the record – at least 30 percent of the bands I now listen to were suggested by Indie.  In fact, that’s just how we communicate sometimes.  I’ll get the random 3am txt: Reckoner and know he’s referring to one off In Rainbows. Or we’ll send lines of lyrics on aim.  If you don’t know the song.  Look it up.  Love Love Love hearing about music I haven’t listened to before.  Most recent messages have been:

Indie:    marcy playground
me:    sex and candy
Indie:    download all their shit
me:    really? i haven’t heard them since i was like 12
Indie:    yea. they are really good actually.
Indie:    or just get the shapeshifter album
Indie:    bye, bye, pigeon farm, and our generation – those are my favorite songs on that one

Black Keys. Now

because the hook brings you back” (hello blues traveler!)

Suppose it makes sense.  We united over the Redwalls De Nova album which I ran across when digging through his cd case as he was giving me a ride home from work.  Both of us had the cd and neither thought anyone on the face of WI had heard of them.  That got us talking about music, and now we’re both addicted to bands suggested by the other.  He convinced me to actually really listen to Radiohead (before him I had only heard ‘creep’), and I got him on the Kooks & Spoon.

Shit.  I’m totally going on about him again, aren’t I?  eh.  whatever.  Not crushing.  Swear.  I was just having a very emotional few days last week.  My bad.

Anyway, artist this week:

The Redwalls

Found via a Chicago magazine left in my hotel room several years ago. They were playing that night at a bar on Rush but I was, alas, too young to go. I still haven’t had the chance to see them. Boo.

They have a very 60’s rock n roll, Beatles-esqe sound – much more Helter Skelter & Revolution than With a Little Help From My Friends.  The Redwalls are actually from Deerfield, IL and seem to play most of their gigs in the Chicago area – although, they did tour fronting for Oasis a few years ago.  SPIN did a great little bit on them in 2005

A band like the Redwalls gives credence to theories claiming that aesthetic preferences could be passed along through genetic code. But in this case, it’s something much more complex than two siblings collaborating and harmonizing as the Redwalls’ Baren brothers do on De Nova, the band’s major-label debut. It’s as if an anthology of their parents’ pop music, both American and British, was transmitted into these young lads via some sort of groovy amino acids, ones that have recently been jostled into action and manifested in the form of neat and nifty rock’n’roll ditties.

Vocalist/guitarist Logan Baren, who handles the majority of songwriting duties, is 22. Bassist/vocalist Justin Baren and guitarist Andrew Langer — who might as well be blood, having grown up on the same block as the Barens in Deerfield, Ill. — are 20, and more recently added drummer Ben Greeno is 21. Yet on De Nova, the abundant influences come from those acts we tend to call “timeless.” Tinges of Southern rock mix with Beatles-esque melodies and R&B horns — so good to hear a sax these days! — on lead single “Thank You” (listen and watch — check links in right column), while a bit of Kinks-style shuffle provides support to a surprising protest message on “Falling Down.” Later, the band builds a levee-breaking groove on “Back Together” and offers classic mod takes on American guitar soul via the plaintively titled “Rock & Roll.”

Oasis, a band that’s no stranger to rock homage, has tapped these young upstarts to be among the opening acts on five nights of their U.K. tour, including two in Oasis’ hometown of Manchester. But American audiences can catch them at a few varied summer dates. De Nova is out now.

Personally, I love the simplicity of the lyrics & the raw sound. They just make the perfect combination.  Tried to post a vid of them playing on David Letterman but it wouldn’t load so here’s the official vid of Thank You.  If you want to see the Letterman one it’s here:

My absolute favorite song of their’s by far is Front Page. The lyrics are awesome; the tone is beautiful; the guitars are amazing.

“the place smokes, and the palace burns / and the world keeps turning around / and around, yeah”

p.s. Did I tell you about the time we talked about tea for 2 hours straight?

Indie: twinings
me: love that stuff
Indie: yea
Indie: so quit ur bitchin’
me: still think you’re a bit cracked on the citrus
me: but i haven’t had any lady grey in a while so maybe i guess you might be right
Indie: It consists of black tea scented with oil of bergamot, lemon peel and orange peel.
Indie: bam

…how lame are we?

Band of the Week: Mando Diao

30 01 2008

I’m a total music junkie.  Give me an hour and I will spend 70% of it on, Stereogum, NME, random music blogs like the indie dancefloor & drooling over Andrew Kendall’s delicious concert photography. All those times I was dicking around on the comp when supposed to be working or studying… yea. checking out music.

I like to categorize my music by how it feels – there are certain artists that are perfect for just chilling out (José González, Jack Johnson), driving around (John Mayer, Redwalls), Lux nights in alone (Cat Power, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Charlotte Gainsbourg), or feeling depressed (Dashboard Confessional), getting ready for a night out (Fever Marlene, LA Soundsystem, Kanye West) or spoiling yourself with guilty pleasures (Phil Collins, Miley Cyrus, anything Disney).

So I’m gonna attempt to share with you a different artist each wk.  Eventually I’ll figure out how to post a song or two from the band for either downloading or listening. Let me know if you have any ideas.  Currently thinking of something like Radio.Blog.Club.

via Anthem Magazine

My current obsession is very much in tone with The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys, etc.  Mando Diao is a Swedish band out of Borlänge.  I ran across them a while back on when their music video Long Before Rock ‘n’ Roll was getting lots of plays.  Their music ranges from the raw edge on Rock ‘n’ Roll to the poprock Wildfire. The huge variation in sound shows an amazing propensity to grow with their next album without falling into the rut so many popular bands do – where all their songs sound the same.  Mando Diao’s lyrics are catchy but smart.  Love the bits from Wildfire “She said I hate you ‘cause you breathe” and “There were sweet memories / In the corner of my mind / They were telling me to throw up / All the things that I want to hide.”

Unfortunately it looks like they’ll be won’t be touring stateside anytime soon. So will have to be contented with listening online.

Top Songs :  Down in the Past, Long Before Rock ‘n’ Roll, The Wildfire (If It Was True)

p.s. – totally adore the graphics on their webpage! The mix of bright & muted tones and the mixed media look is amazing.

The Wildfire (If It Was True)
Well there’s something in the way
She said I hate you ’cause you breathe
It’s not the first time that i heard it
But this one is out of reach
I got my mind set on destruction
And if it will strike me hard
Will you remember me

Oh it’s in the way you set your life
On your alarm and hit the snoozer
You waste your life expectancy
You throw away your hopes and dreams
The night will never end, it’ll stay forever
Well the dark will eat you up inside

So I smile and shed a tear
And said when will you go away
She said who cares you`re not
Entitled to ask those things today
Don’t let the salt get in your eye
Don’t let the ghost get in your heart
There were sweet memories
In the corner of my mind
They were telling me to throw up
All the things that I want to hide that

We’re having fun in the daytime
We’ll chase the stars in the nighttime
And we’ll take the sun in the morning
We just don’t care if they see us fall
If it was true

Well today I bought the paper by myself
And cried ’cause everyone was happy
And on the streets well they where dancing
To some kind of Puerto Rican music
That we would hate
But we would just move along to

So if you’re driving in your car
And hear this song on radio1
Well I know that it sounds silly
‘Cause you don`t have a car
But I just read it in a book
That these things happen in the fictive world

So I smile and shed a tear
And said when will you go away
She said who cares you’re not
Entitled to ask those things today
Don’t let the salt get in your eye
Don’t let the ghost get in your heart
There were sweet memories
In the corner of my mind
They were telling me to throw up
All the things that I want to hide that

We’re having fun in the daytime
We’ll chase the stars in the nighttime
And we’ll take the sun in the morning
We just don’t care if they see us fall
Just don’t care
Just don’t care at all
If it was true

Well there is something in the air
That makes it difficult to live
The way we lived back in the days
When we had all the time to kill
It’s just the wildfire burning
There’s no way to put it out
Just a wildfire spreading
Through my days and throug my nights
Don’t ask no questions
Don’t ever tell no lie
I’m so tired of explaining
Every minor detail of my life

We’re having fun in the daytime
We’ll chase the stars in the nighttime
And we’ll catch the sun in the morning
We just don’t care if they see us fall
We’re having fun in the daytime
We’ll chase the stars in the nighttime
And we’ll catch the sun in the morning
We just don’t care if they see us fall
Just don’t care
Just don’t care at all
If it was true