DISCOVER: Ten Year Vamp

Some days, I just like to rock out. And I recently discovered a new band to do that with. Ten Year Vamp is based out of NY. And like NY, this band has energy, excitement and edge. This is definitely the kind of music that is sure to bring around good times.

I turned up Ten Year Vamp's album "Don't Act Like You Know Me" on the iPod, while driving around ATL with my boyfriend & our friend, Stephen. Needless to say, new fans were born. Before the first couple songs were over, we had already decided to catch a show whenever they come down to Atlanta.

If they are this much fun just listening to, I can't wait to see them perform live.


VIDEO: Ólafur Arnalds - Ljósið

The song, Ljósið, was featured on my 10 Songs to Listen To list, last week. This video is even more reason to check it out. The visuals are incredible, and they completely enhance the music. Ólafur Arnalds, you are brilliant.


SPECIAL: Mass Solo Revolt are Back with New Songs & New Shows!

(L to R) Russell Sherman, James Frye,
Martin Brummeler, Dave Harrison
Photo by Jason Thrasher (www.jasonthrasher.com)

One of my favorite bands, especially to see LIVE, are Mass Solo Revolt and I'm excited to inform you that they have new songs recorded and a new album coming out. Back in August, I wrote HERE about their fundraising efforts to get the new recordings out. Thanks to many contributors, it will be released very soon.

Word on the street, is November 17.

These hard-working rockers are kicking off the album release of "Bend In Time" with some shows lined up this month. Gotta go if you are in the area! I'll be at the Athens show, so come say "Hi!".

Chicago, IL - the Subterranean
Nov 17 - 7:30 pm
w/Killer Moon & Josiah Leming

Ann Arbor, MI - The Blind Pig
Nov 18 - 9:00 pm
w/ Wildcatting & Bars of Gold

Kalamazoo, MI - The Strutt
Nov 20 - 9:00 pm
w/ Wildcatting & Bars of Gold & Edsel Very

Athens, GA - The Caledonia Lounge
Nov 21 - 10:00 pm
w/ Pride Parade

By the way, just read a great article on Mass Solo Revolt in the recent issue of The Athens Blur magazine Click HERE to check it out.


LISTEN: Jeff Krantz - The Last One to Know

It's here! It's FINALLY here! The debut album of Jeff Krantz was just released yesterday.

I have been enjoying the music of this incredibly talented artist for almost 2 years now. That long, and the debut album is just now released, you wonder? Yes, that's right. Because I was fortunate to have discovered Jeff's music when he contacted me via myspace back in early 2008. Some of you may be familiar with the story since I've written about Jeff several times on this blog. (See HERE)

Having been able to hear some of the earlier versions of his songs, ("Alone", "Bright Light", and the song that first got me hooked, "Last Goodbye") I was extremely pleased to hear the differences in the final versions that ended up on the album. The songs I hadn't heard until now, are just as good too.

Though the album just came out, the demand has been around for awhile. With tens of thousands of fans who discovered Jeff through his online persona on Second Life (find him as Hep Shepherd), thousands more through mySpace, and not to mention those who have been fortunate to see him perform live in NYC, Los Angeles, and on a European Tour last summer, it really isn't a surprise that his album has been highly anticipated.

Initially intending to release the album last fall, Jeff took the extra time to make sure this album best represented his music, rather than rush into something that wasn't quite ready. Jeff is an artist with talent and passion, and he takes his craft seriously. The thought, dedication, and love he put into creating this album is clearly present. Jeff Krantz' ability to deliver insightful lyrics with beautiful heartfelt melodies is something to be experienced. So I suggest you get to it already!

The Last One to Know (2009) is a full-length debut album that must be added to your collection.

Best tracks

Get the earlier version of Last Goodbye (Radio Mix) HERE. Then make sure to get the debut album and listen to the differences. Both are well worth the listen.


On MySpace

On Twitter

On Last.fm

Get "The Last One to Know" on CDBaby, HERE!!!!


LIST: 10 Songs To Listen To - 11.04.09

Click on song titles to hear samples.
Love 'em like I do? Add them to your music collection.

10 Songs To Listen To (listed in no particular order)

Jeff Krantz - The Last One To Know (Title track from an incredible debut album released today!)
Olafur Arnalds - Ljósið
Marina V - Moonlight Lullaby
Sondre Lerche - Words & Music
Dala - Levi Blues
Ten Year Vamp - Never Know
Woods - Rain On
The Veils - The Letter
The Blue Seeds - Lost and Delirious
Spy For Hire - There's Your Mistake


VIDEO: Thom Yorke - "Reckoner"

Such an awesome performance.

Saw this LIVE on the big screen, via satellite when I attended the film premiere for The Age of Stupid.

I ♥ Thom Yorke.


MARK IT: Jennings at Locos - 10.09.09

Coming back to play her hometown for one night only, is the incredibly talented artist, Jennings. You've read about her on this blog, here . And if that hasn't convinced you enough, then just come to the show and see for yourself.

601 S. Enota Drive
Gainesville, GA
October 9 (Friday)
9:00 PM


SPECIAL: Smashing Pumpkins NEW Album, Billy Corgan's NEW website

Yeah, boy!!!

Billy Corgan, *dreamy sigh* just announced that the new Smashing Pumpkins album "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope" will be available to the public..for FREE!!!



Billy clarifies it on the official website:
Each song will be made available absolutely for free, to anyone anywhere. There will be no strings attached. Free will mean free, which means you won't have to sign up for anything, give an email address, or jump through a hoop. You will be able to go and take the song or songs as you wish, as many times as you wish.
The 44 song album began recording on 09/15/2009. I can't wait to start listening...

Click HERE for full official announcement.


Mr. William Patrick Corgan, *again, insert dreamy sigh* has a new site up called Everything From Here to There. The site is actually rather spiritual and introspective, and is best described by Billy himself:
The purpose of this website is to discuss openly and without fear concepts of Mind-Body-Soul integration. If you are drawn to the Hidden Truths, drawn to God as something beyond limitation, and drawn to Love as the greatest force in the Universe, then you have come to the right place at the right time. This is a place of Love.
Check it out at: www.everythingfromheretothere.com


SPECIAL: Sondre Lerche & My Birthday

Happy birthday to me! Yes, really. It's my birthday. And what makes it more awesome, besides taking the day off from my regular job and spending it with my awesome boyfriend?

The release of Sondre Lerche's newest album "Heartbeat Radio".

If you've seen the movie "Dan in Real Life", starring Steve Carrell, then you're already familiar with this amazing talent. That's how I discovered his music.

So, if today's your birthday too (Happy Birthday!) and even if it's not, celebrate like me & get this new album!
You can get it on iTunes HERE


SPECIAL: Mass Solo Revolt - The Band / Bend in Time - The Recording

The guys of Mass Solo Revolt are seriously talented musicians, know how to especially capture an audience at their live shows, and are now working hard to bring fresh new tracks to pleasure our ears and rock out our souls.

For various levels of contribution, you'll get anything from a cd, special edition stickers and shirts, your name in the CD liner, and more!

So come on, and help out. Every bit helps, and besides getting some cool limited edition merch, you can know you've contributed to something the world can never get enough of... the sounds of Mass Solo Revolt.

Click the image below for more information on how to take part.


FEST!: 2nd Annual Mule Fest - Athens, GA - Benefitting Nuci's Space

One of the things I love about Athens, is that they are never short on resources for great music and live entertainment. Just stop by any night of the week it seems...you are sure to find music from all genre and then some!

As if that isn't cool enough, Athens also has numerous festivals happening throughout the year and there's another one coming up!The 2nd Annual Mule Fest is going on from 08/21- 08/23.

Tickets are available at www.mulefest.com, NUÇI’S SPACE at 396 Oconee Street or School Kids Records downtown. You can get a 3 day wristband or individual day passes. Prices are as follows:
3 day pass - $15 adv / $20 day of show
Fri. day pass - $8 adv / $12 day of show
Sat. or Sun. day pass - $10 adv / $12 day of show
An all-ages event, bring friends and family.
Kids under 12 are FREE w/ the purchase of an adult ticket.

Music at this festival includes almost all genres of music: acoustic, jammin', alternative-rock, Americana, blues, funk, jazz and soul. So you are sure to find stuff you love, and even discover something new! Performers include:

The Incredible Sandwich - Photo by Nathan Rodriguez

Ken Will Morton - Photo by Andy Payne
a personal favorite (see recent write up on him HERE)

Lefty Williams - Photo by Kasey Brookshire
  • Pam Blanchard and The Sunny Side Up Band
  • The Lee Boys
  • The Bearfoot Hookers
  • Half Dozen Brass Band
  • Betsy Franck & The Bareknuckle Band
  • BradDowns & Poor Bastard Souls
  • Fly Brothers
  • Free Lunch
  • JazzChronic
  • Laissez Funk
  • Lingo
  • Lefty Hathaway
  • Nathan Sheppard
  • Soulhound
  • Trey Wright Trio
  • The Tropical Breeze
  • Steel Drum Band
    and more....
You'll even find comedy in the Green Room from:
  • Chris Patton
  • Harold Kizzapps
  • Jonathan Lowder
  • Brian Stoltz
Here's the thing...

Not only will you find over two dozen awesome acts to check out, but you will be helping to raise funds for a great cause. Attending the festival raises money for NUÇI’S SPACE, which is a non-profit health and music resource center in Athens, GA. Learn more about NUÇI’S SPACE at www.nuci.org

Nuci's Space - Photo by Buck Sharp

This incredible organization seeks to prevent suicide by musicians who suffer from depression and/or other such disorders. They provide obstacle free treatment for musicians, and assist in their emotional, physical and professional well-being. A long standing, well-respected resource in the Athens music scene, it is a valuable organization to keep up and going.

I think it's really inspiring and I commend everyone involved (festival organizers, pr, the artists, Nuci's space, sponsors, etc) for putting something like this together. What a great sense of community! Sounds great, right? The best part is, you can take part in all this too! Help contribute and do something good, while at the same time having a ball and go to Mule Fest 2009.

For more details and information, check out www.mulefest.com


SITES TO SEE: www.valemmichfans.com

Check out this great fansite created by fellow Val Emmich fan, Mary Berras.

There are lots of photos, news, interviews, etc. to check out. Some contributed from yours truly! ;-) I think it's awesome when devoted fans go the extra mile to show their support for such incredibly talented and amazing artists like Val Emmich. Thanks so much for doing this, Mary!

Here's the thing about Val...not only is he an incredibly creative and multi-talented individual, but one that is in touch with his fans. He recognizes and appreciates the support of fans. I think having that is really key in why his music (among his many talents) can really make a connection.

So, keep sharing your amazing talent, Val Emmich and Mary Berras! It's noticed and definitely appreciated!


DISCOVER: Ken Will Morton

Ken Will Morton - Photo by Reid Hartley

So, I've been listening to the music of Ken Will Morton lately...and I gotta say, this guy's good. Really good. His style reflects the sound of legendary talents like: Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. With the talent to uniquely infuse various forms of rock - classic, alt, indie, and southern - Ken Will Morton is a true American rocker! I love that his music has a lot of blues and folk in it, and his lyrics are honest and soulful.

It's clear that Ken has developed his own signature style...and it's awesome. Check out the video below of his song "Devil in Me".

An established musician, Ken is not a newbie to the music scene. In fact, he's toured most of the U.S. and even in Ireland! Festivals he's appeared at include: SXSW, AthFest, Joshua Tree Music Festival, etc. So, it may have taken a little while for his talents to reach my ears. But, I'm glad it finally did! Now the rest of you should discover him if you haven't already!

Ken Will Morton - Photo by Alisha McKellar

Based out of Athens, GA (a local talent!) I'm looking forward to catching one of his shows out there next month. I suggest you do the same, if you can. And for us lucky ones in the South... he's got several show dates lined up! In fact, there's one this Friday!

Jul 31 2009 - 8:00 PM
Big Daddy’s
Helen, Georgia

Aug 5 2009 - 8:00 PM
Jot ’Em Down BBQ (FREE SHOW!)
Athens, Georgia

Aug 6 2009 - 8:00 PM
Terrapin Brewery
Athens, Georgia

Aug 13 2009 - 8:00 PM
Rye Bar
Athens, Georgia

Aug 15 2009 - 8:00 PM
Alamo Jacks
Newnan, Georgia

Aug 16 2009 - 8:00 PM
Miss Newby’s Liquor Locker
Panama City Beach, Florida

Aug 28 2009 - 8:00 PM
567 Cafe
Macon, Georgia

Sep 18 2009 - 8:00 PM
Home Team BBQ
Charleston, South Carolina

Sep 19 2009 - 8:00 PM
The Basement/ AMA Convention
Nashville, Tennessee

Oct 2 2009 - 8:00 PM
567 Cafe
Macon, Georgia

On MySpace

On Twitter

On Facebook

On Last.fm

On iTunes


GALLERY: Nappy Roots - Athfest 2009 - 06.27.09

With Big V after the show.

With Fish Scales after the show.

Photos from the main stage show at Athfest 2009
in Athens, Georgia.

Click on image below for full gallery.


GOODIES: iTunes Celebrates "Indie-pendence Day" with free Indie Music Sampler pack

iTunes is celebrating Independence Day weekend, with free downloads!

Click HERE to get a free 20-track sampler featuring music from such indie artists, as Grizzly Bear, Woods, Telekinesis, Eels, the Horrors, and more.

GALLERY: Dead Confederate - Athfest 2009 - 06.26.09

Photos from the main stage show at Athfest 2009
in Athens, Georgia.

Click on image below for full gallery.


FEST!: The 1st Annual Red, White and Brewgrass Festival

Fourth of July is just a couple weekends away. The awesome city of Athens, GA is offering up yet another festival to celebrate America with some fun times and great music, along with tasty food, drinks and more!

The first annual Red, White & Brewgrass Festival is going to be one fest to check out!

Though I wasn't unfamiliar with the genre, my interest didn't really develop in this type of music until about a year ago. Someone had introduced me to the music of Packway Handle Band, and I found the songs unique, beautiful, and refreshing. Talented musicians, I'm glad that they are not only co-hosting the event, but peforming as well. I have always heard great things about their live shows, and look forward to experiencing it myself firsthand.

Packway Handle Band | Photo by Jessica Horwitz (2008)

I do however, have firsthand experience enjoying the venue that is co-hosting. The Melting Point is an awesome venue, and one of the best out there. I've seen some of my favorites perform here (Glen Phillips, Antje Duvekot, Val Emmich, etc.) and enjoyed the delicious food while doing so. The people there are friendly and the service is quite good. Naturally, making it a great location for the festival.

If that isn't enough to whet your whistle, think about this. The tickets are totally affordable and the value you receive makes it definitely worth your while. With 14 acts performing on 2 stages, your sure to have an enjoyable time! You'll get to experience some of the best bluegrass and Americana bands in the region. What better way to celebrate the independence of our nation?

Red, White & Brewgrass Festival
Saturday, July 4th, 2009
$15 advance
$20 day of show
$10 (UGA Students
with I.D.)

Doors open at Noon.
1:00 PM - Midnight

Now, just because it mentions "Brew" in the title, does not mean you have to be 21 to go. Just that you need an adult with you if you are under 18.

The following groups are included in the line-up:

Mountain Heart

Packway Handle Band

The Dappled Grays

The Corduroy Road

Bob Hay & The Jolly Beggars

Curley Maple featuring David Blackmon

Johnny Roquemore & The Apostles of Bluegrass

Jumpin' Jesus Christers

Mayhem String Band

North Georgia Bluegrass Band

Peachtree Station

Solstice Sisters

String Theory

Hawk Proof Rooster


ON THE ROAD: Works Progress Administration

Glen Phillips, one of the most incredible singer/songwriters out there, is touring with his new band Works Progress Administration. Tour starts next week!

6/18 - San Diego, CA

6/21 - Telluride, CO
Telluride Bluegrass Festival

7/04 - Berwyn, IL

8/16 - Schwenksville, PA
Philadelphia Folk Festival

8/18 - Exton, PA
Concert in the Square

8/19 - NYC
Joe’s Pub

9/06 - Groveland, CA
Strawberry Music Festival

9/18 - Asheville, NC
The Grey Eagle

9/20 - Decatur, GA
Eddie's Attic

11/12 - Fairfield, CT
Fairfield Theatre-Stage One

12/06 - Chicago, IL
Old Town School of Folk Music



LISTEN: The Goodfight - Good & Evil (A Double EP)

The Goodfight. This one man rock-n-roll band, is also known as Jonathan Rich. And let me tell you... this artist chose an appropriate moniker to go by. Emphasized, more so after listening to his most recent release.

The phrase, "To fight the good fight." has religious origins, but generally, it summons one to keep having faith, believe in it, and then share that good with others.

So, here I am... with renewed faith and belief in the music of today. Happy there is still plenty of talent existing out there who have yet to be discovered among the 'mass-produced-and-manufactured' sounding stuff.

This album is a clear example of that existing talent. And now, I'm glad to do my part by sharing with you.

Good & Evil (2009) is a double EP that should not be missed.

Best tracks -
Side 1: We Are Far Too Easily Pleased
Best tracks - Side 2: Holiday
Jonathan's edgy vocals, expressive lyrics and fluid melodies are like the perfect storm. All combining just right, and thus expressing the passion and depth of his music.

I had a hard time picking the best tracks overall, so I went with picking the best of both sides. That was still challenging.

Each side of the double EP has a distinctness that sets them apart. Each song, individually, stands well on its own. What I think really makes this album stellar, is that when listened to from beginning to end, they cohesively create something more incredible and bring the music of The Goodfight, to a whole other level.

I'm glad someone found it necessary to share this music with me, and now it's my turn to do the same. Click on the links throughout this blog, or on the link below to hear for yourself.

The Goodfight Audio Player

Then go get the album here:

The Goodfight Webstore

I'm so excited that this artist is based right out of Athens/Atlanta, GA. I look forward to catching a live show soon, so I can share about it with all of you here. And it looks like he's got a couple coming up! Hope I can make one of them!

The Masquerade
Jun 18 2009
7:30 pm
695 North Avenue NE
Atlanta, Georgia

Eddie’s Attic
Aug 22 2009
8:00 pm
515-B North McDonough Street (upstairs)
Decatur, Georgia

Meanwhile, keep 'fighting the good fight'...


I DIG: Jennings

"And you make me laugh when I'm mad You make me smile when I'm sad and I hate that I'm lost and loving it"
- Falling Higher

Jennings. I freakin' love this girl. She's got a powerful voice with a distinct style. The layering of her music, emotions, and lyrics together, projects big things ahead for this artist.

Her song, "Falling Higher" has been stuck in my head for awhile now. In fact, this past week alone, EVERY MORNING, I wake up with it in my mind. I LOVE when a song does that to me. Makes me want to know more about the artist, and hear more of their music. That doesn't always end up being the case, but it applies here.

Having listened to Femtastic (2007) and Storybook EP (2009) over the past weeks, I really dig what I'm hearing. I guarantee you will too, so do yourself a favor and check her out. You can sample some of her tracks here:

Tennessee and New York, you are in luck! Jennings has several shows coming up.

Cafe Coco
June 8, 2009 - 9 pm
Nashville, TN 37203
Info: (615) 321-2626

Lucky Jacks
June 18, 2009 - 10:30pm
New York, NY 10002

The Children's Magical Garden
June 21, 2009 - 12:30 pm
New York, New York

R Bar (2 Dates!)
July 23, 2009 - 8:00 pm
August 27, 2009 - 8:00 pm
New York, New York
Info: 212-334-0484

Jennings is definitely one to watch, so look for more mentions of her throughout this blog in the future! Meanwhile, check her out in the links below:


FEST!: Athfest 2009 is Coming Soon + Mike White Gallery Bonus!

Spring Tigers @ Athfest 2008 - photography by Mike White

OMG. It's just under a month away! Better get your calendars marked and preparations made! It's almost here!

Athfest 2009
June 25-28
Downtown Athens, GA


I can't wait. I only attended one of the evenings last year, but plan on going all three days this time. I discovered one of my favorites, Mass Solo Revolt at last year's Athfest and wrote about them HERE.

Really excited to see who I discover this year! :)

Centro-matic @ Athfest 2008 - photography by Mike White

Also, one of the most talented photographers, particularly in the field of music, has an exhibit opening the week of Athfest.

Featured HERE back in January, his work has also appeared in Paste, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and SPIN (look for him in the upcoming July '09 issue)... just to name a few!

Check out the incredibly rockin' and badass photography of Athens' own, Mike White!

We Versus the Shark @ Athfest 2008 - photography by Mike White

Mike White Photography Exhibit
June 21 - July 12
199 Prince Ave, Athens, GA 30601
(706) 543-6592

For all you facebook users, check out these 2 links:

Allison Weiss & The Way She Likes It @ Athfest 2008 - photography by Mike White


Thanks, Mike for letting me put these up here!


GALLERY: Val Emmich - The Melting Point - 03.27.09

Sorry these are so late posting. It takes awhile to process through the several gigs of photos and select for the gallery and though I try to get them up within the timeframe of a show, it sometimes can take longer. Anyways, for all you Val Emmich fans out there... ENJOY! (And if you aren't one yet, you should be! He's AWESOME!)

Photos from Val's show at The Melting Point
in Athens, Georgia, on March 27, 2009.

Click on image below for full gallery.


LISTEN: Lucky Diaz - Rainy Day Dimes (EP)

The most common association of a rainy day is sad and gloom. So if you are feeling down in the dumps, don't despair! This album is your remedy! Get yourself some!

Feeling pretty good about life already? Why not feel even better?! This album is guaranteed to pick-you-up!

Rainy Day Dimes (EP) (2009) is the recent release from, Lucky Diaz, an accomplished musician, composer, and all-around natural creative talent, based in Los Angeles, CA!

Best tracks
The catchy and uplifting melodies combined with positive lyrics in "The Way" can't help but pick up one's spirits. "Song for You" also instills heart warming feelings of inspiration. That makes both of those songs easy favorites for me. I have to say that
"Before the Fall" rounds out my top 3. I love this one because it's full of romance and charm, yet conveyed in a more subtle and tender manner than the other songs.

Those are my top 3 out of the 5 songs on the album, but as a whole it's all wonderful.

Lucky takes those rainy day dimes and turns them into 'sunshine gold' with this EP. Don't miss out. Pick up this album and just get to feeling good already!

If you are in the Los Angeles area, you are in luck. Lucky's got a show at Genghis Cohen on next Friday, May 29 and an EP Release Party in the VIP Lounge at Cinespace on Friday, June 12. Click HERE for more details, or visit the links below for more on Lucky Diaz!


LISTEN: Dare Dukes - Prettiest Transmitter Of All

Twop. Pang. Hmm... trying to make a new word to describe the sound of Dare Dukes. Okay. So those words don't really work. Nevertheless, I love his music. It's like pop...with a bit of twang.

Prettiest Transmitter of All (2008) is the latest from Mr. Dukes. Go on and give it a listen.

Best tracks

So...the thing I love about Dare's music, and how I feel it is unique, is that it has a very retro vibe. I'm a designer, so I noted that even the cd's packaging design emotes a very retro kind of feel.

I need not close my eyes as I listen, to breathe in the feelings of nostalgia I get. Maybe it's because, like me, he's got Northern California roots and makes references in his songs, of places familiar to me.

But I think it's more than that. I think he has found a way to connect music of today with music of days gone by, in a manner that makes one wonder not where he is...but when he is.

Whatever the case, the music is good. Really good. I've been listening for awhile, and I really suggest you do so too.

He's got a couple shows coming up at The Soapbox in NC (05/23) and The Living Room in NY (06/21). So if you are in the area, check him out. See one of the links below for more info and details.


SPECIAL: Save Paste Magazine!

I've made my donation. Hope you will too if you can!

They have a lot to offer and are a great resource for discovering new music or following up on your old favorites. Downloadable MP3s, great articles, etc.

I've been a fan of the magazine for awhile and love it! If you haven't discovered PASTE yet, do so before it's too late! If you already enjoy this magazine, please help to keep it around!

Please support this great magazine!


LIST: Shuffle Mix - 05.07.09

Just updated the playlist on my iPod shuffle.

Selection of songs from each artist listed below:

Adele - 19
Antje Duvekot - Snapshots, Big Dream Boulevard, Near Demise...
Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold*
Brody Bond - Lovers Try*
Carter Burwell - Twilight (The Score)*
Death Cab For Cutie - Daytrotter Sessions
The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love*, The Crane Wife
Dido - Safe Trip Home*
Duffy - Rockferry*
The Fray - How to Save A Life*, The Fray*
Hey Rosetta! - Into Your Lungs
Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog*
Jeannine Hebb - Too Late to Change Me
Jenny & Tyler A Prelude*
Jon Hopkins - Insides
Lucky Diaz - Rainy Day Dimes EP*
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone*
The Rescues - Crazy Ever After
Silversun Pickups - Swoon*
Various Artists - Twilight (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)*

*indicates FULL ALBUMS


GOODIES: Free Coldplay Album on May 15th

Just got the latest Coldplay newsletter... and YAY for free music! What a cool way to thank the fans for continued support, especially during these hard economic times. Looking forward to May 15th, guys.
Hello again. We begin with the news that Coldplay will be giving away a live CD, LeftRightLeftRightLeft, at every remaining live show in 2009 (apart from festival shows).

Starting with the band's first North American tour date, at West Palm Beach in Florida on May 15th, every fan attending a show will be given a free copy of the nine-track CD. Also on May 15th, LeftRightLeftRightLeft will be made available as a free download from Coldplay.com, for fans everywhere.

According to the band, the give-away is meant as a recession-busting mark of gratitude to everyone who's supported them: "Playing live is what we love. This album is a thank you to our fans - the people who give us a reason to do it and make it happen."

The album was recorded over the past year in various cities around the world on the Viva La Vida tour. To see LRLRL's tracklisting and artwork, click here


SPECIAL: Billy Corgan w/ Nancy Pelosi

Okay, just came across this via Smashing Pumpkins on twitter. Had to post it. For those of you who don't know who that is with my handsome, Billy... that's Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi during his visit to Congress earlier this year.

By the way, he's officially on twitter now! Follow SP and Billy at the following links:


LISTEN: Tatiana Kochkareva - Dreamers (EP)

That voice. OMG. That voice. So distinct and extoardinary. Keep an ear out for this one, peeps. Tatiana Kochkareva is her name. Delivering incredible music is her game.

Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, she currently resides in NYC.

Dreamers (2009) is Tatiana's recent EP release. Here, you can experience the range of Tatiana's talent in only 6 songs.

Best tracks

  • Dreamers
  • Social Standing
  • What Is It?
First, the title track starts you off on a melodic laid back journey.

Then into songs that are reminiscent of dramatic theatrical performances. Her meaninful lyrics are enhanced by the bluesy melodies of the piano, and the deal sealed by that voice! My God! That voice!

By the time you get half way through the album, to the song, What Is It? you are lost in a world of mad crazy talent. That one is my favorite track, by the way. Her voice, backed by the piano and a bit of distortion, makes for an eerily haunting yet captivating performance.

Two songs left and  Tatiana Kochkareva has got you under your spell.

This album is not yet available on iTunes, but her previous album, Moments, can be purchased there. Click HERE to get it.

In the meantime, check out her website for more about this talented artist. Sign up on her email list and get one of the MP3s from the Dreamers EP before it's released!

GOODIES: Free MP3s of Antje Duvekot, NIN, on THE BIGGEST LABEL EVER.

INVISIBLE CHILDREN is a cause to rescue the 3,000 child soldiers in Uganda. Yes. You read that correctly. CHILD soldiers. Doesn't sound right, does it? That's because it isn't.

Thanks to the socially-conscious music website, THE BIGGEST LABEL EVER (BLE), visitors can learn about INVISIBLE CHILDREN and several other various causes.

In addition, registered users get free exclusive content from hundreds of artists who are showing their support by giving away free downloads. Some have single songs available, while others, such as NIN, have full albums up for download.


I encourage you to please visit the site and learn more about what is happening in the world we are living in. Take a moment to register, and get great music while contributing support to important causes. It's FREE! Can't pass that up, can you? Especially in this economy!

Socially networking, savvy? You can also check out their pages profile pages

I'd like to give special thanks to one of my favorite artists, Antje Duvekot, for sharing this site in her newsletter. She has a beautiful song "Merry Go Round" you simply must take a listen to.


LISTEN: Chrissy Coughlin - Look Ahead (2008) / You Never Know (2002)

"I love what you do to me...and I love how you make me feel"
(from the song "Back To You")

I woke up this morning and that song was in my head. One of my favorites from her album Look Ahead, it's hard to get out once it's in there. And I love what her music does for me. Yeah... I love how it makes me feel. :)

I've been listening to her albums for a few weeks now, and this is an artist that's definitely going places. I usually don't like to compare artists with other artists, but her music does call to mind a little bit of Sheryl Crow, Beth Orton, and Lisa Loeb. And those aren't bad comparisons!

You can find both of her albums on iTunes. (Click on titles to listen.)

Look Ahead (2008) is a wonderful mix of the upbeat and the soothing. A blend that's great for long drives or finding a quiet spot to get self-reflective.

Best tracks
You Never Know (2002) is a little more on the mellow side. But nevertheless, just as stellar as her newer album, and definitely full of her soul.

Best tracks
Chrissy's melodic guitar playing, illustrative lyrics and sweet voice are a perfect combination. Her music can't really be defined by one genre alone. She's rock, soul, jazz, folk... all in one. Yet, she's not so all over the place that you're left befuddled. Rather, she makes all of her talents come together, creating one standout artist!

Listen for yourself... I promise, you won't be disappointed.


SPECIAL: How Music Sustains Me

I know... it's been awhile hasn't it?

I promise I haven't forgotten. Just been overwhelmed. I've been running on autopilot for the most part, trying to make sense of all the chaos that has flooded my days lately. I had to take a break from the pieces I was working on, but hope to get them up soon. So, apologies for not having anything new in awhile.

In the past couple of weeks, there have been 3 losses in my life. One relative in TX and two people I know here in GA.

Among all the other chaos, these recent losses have made it particularly rough and emotionally draining.

So, yeah... I could really use a good punk or rock show to go to tonight. *sigh* God, how I love to jump around and scream with a bunch of sweaty people without a care in the world. Seriously. There's nothing better for some major stress relieving, I tell ya.

Well, I thought it would be therapeutic to write a bit about how music has helped me during these difficult times. Especially since the chances of me jumping around a mosh pit anytime soon are pretty unlikely.

Anyways... Music is life. I know, that totally sounds like some bumper sticker on the back of a band's van. But seriously... it is. It can evoke emotion and get your blood pumping. The feel of it coursing through my veins is so much that I sometimes take the experience for granted. Lately, my loaded ipod, with it's diverse playlist, have helped to sustain and give me much needed strength.

Sometimes the music comforts me, reminds me I'm not alone. Sometimes, it's my sidekick screaming with me out loud, the tension that needs to cut loose. And then there's the music that takes me places where I can escape from the daunting challenges of some harsh realities, and go to worlds of magic and inspiration. Whatever I'm feeling, there's music there to keep me company.

My current playlist is incredibly long. So, I'll just list the artists who have been in heavy rotation for the past 2 weeks. Their music, their voices, in their own way keeping me going. Thank you. All of you for the breath of life you give. Now, and always...

(Listed in no particular order, click on name to visit their websites.)
Remember to LIVE your life. You can stop on occasion to enjoy your surroundings, but don't stand still too long and let it pass you by. When I forget this, my music is there reminding me... inspiring me... and nudging me to get back on track. So here I am, coming out of autopilot and taking control again.


A CONVERSATION WITH: Val Emmich Before the Show

Took a 45 min. drive, headed east to Athens, on an overcast, grey, mucky kind of day. Rain pouring, patches of fog on Highway 129. Front window defroster acting up... it was not a drive I would usually want to make under those conditions.

Then again... this wasn't just another rainy day in Georgia. Nope.

I was on my way to see Val Emmich, whose performance that night was the midpoint of his East Coast tour. Athens was show #2 for GA, playing Atlanta a couple nights before. From his twitterz and his manager, I learned he wasn't feeling too good. But as they say... the show must go on. And Val most certainly did.

We ran into each other, just after I arrived at the Melting Point. Expecting me, we kindly made introductions. I then waited inside to do the interview, while he went to get something for sound check.

Mind you, I was already excited to do the interview and see the show. Getting to experience sound check for almost an hour was like a little bonus. I'm a big fan of 'behind-the-scenes' type of stuff. This article, hopefully will give you a 'behind-the-scenes' look into this incredibly talented artist.

Now, without further delay...

On being a creative multi-talent.

Val, if you didn't already know, also writes and acts. He explained that when he was younger, everything was all about the music and only the music. As he got older, he didn't want to limit himself to just one creative area.

I'm attracted to new challenges. I feel alive when I can test myself and any limitations.
Going with what he feels at the moment, Val explores his talents in creative ways. Right now, he's touring and promoting his latest album, Little Daggers. He's been seen in such shows as "30 Rock" and "Ugly Betty" (which also featured his song "Snowy Day"). To top it off, he's also completed his first novel!

According to Val, sometimes it can be hard to juggle many areas at once, each one demanding it's own focus from him. Fortunately, his album was already complete by the time he was filming "Ugly Betty" so in the end, it worked itself out.

Working on other things allows me to appreciate the music more, every time I come back to it. It creates balance. As with any area of life, balance is important to have.
On staying connected and keeping grounded.

I got the original go ahead to do this interview from Val himself. After exchanging a few emails via mysapce, I decided to ask him and he agreed. YAY! And yes, it's really him responding back to your messages and comments. :)

I was delighted to learn that he's just as easy to talk with in person. It was very comfortable... like good friends sharing a conversation on common interests. I mention this because it is a huge part of why I enjoy his music. I love when there is a connection made between the artist and the listener. It's key and Val agrees.

I have this sense of responsibility to be in touch with the people who are helping and supporting me.
If you only look at the glitz and glamour, there is plenty of excitement in the fame and recognition that comes with this career path. That's not always the case, and it can be unhealthy to only have that perception. Whether entertaining the masses, or just one individual, it's essential to not let it go to one's head.

It's important for me to say 'normal'. Work life can be weird sometimes. It helps to remember where you come from.

On inspiration and the nature of his music.

Val Emmich has stories to tell. His music and lyrics bring keen understanding of those stories. They can be drawn from his personal experience, or from others. Regardless of their origin, when he shares these stories he makes them his own.
I always write in first person. Even if the song is telling someone else's story, I need to own the emotions involved.
Empathy, by definition, denotes a deep emotional understanding of another's feelings or problems. Val has this trait and utilizes it well in his music.
I'm very sensitive. I'm the guy that if someone feels weird or awkward, I want to go help them out.

There's a freedom that comes with getting through struggles and things that are broken. It helps create a good connection with the audience.

On how music affects him.

I love the music that just 'hits you'. I look at the music that I fell in love with, and what it did to me. I want to do that for others as well.
And that he does. One of his songs hits a very personal note with me. The first time I heard it, I cried. The song moved me so much and helped bring a clearer understanding of someone close to my heart. It felt good to be able to share that with him. Appreciative that his music makes a difference, Val shared a few final thoughts with me.

No matter how much I'm told people are connecting with my music, I still feel as if inside me, there is a neverending hole to fill. I still feel the need to connect even more. Is it just drive? A flaw? I'm not sure what you'd call it. But as long as I keep feeling it, I will keep doing what I do.

On being sick.

That last show, in Atlanta, I really wasn't feeling well. I felt bad that I couldn't give the show I wanted to give. Hopefully tonight's is better.
Well, Val. It was great. For someone feeling under the weather, you impressively held it together.

Sound check.
All awesome. And you still took the time after the show to meet & greet the fans.

If that is how you are on a sick day, can one imagine a show at your full best?!

Tour ends tonight, at the M Room in Philadelphia. I suggest you go if you can make it. Bad weather didn't stop me, and I'm thankful for that. And if you can't go, well... check out the following links for more about Val Emmich and the many talents he shares with the world.