Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Talented Ms. (Sara) Bareilles

On Monday, March 2, 2009 I lucked out with a ticket to the 2009 Grammy Nominated Sara Bareilles' sold out show at Schubas in Chicago. I got there just as the doors opened and asked the first few people in line if "anyone had an extra ticket?". Low and behold, a group of friends right in front of me had one extra ticket.  So, not only did I get a ticket, I got in the front of the line with them (since the extra ticket was under their name).  Naturally, being at the front of the line gives us choice pick at our viewing location.  We all stood front and center of the stage.  I generally prefer to be in the middle or first third of the audience so as to experience ideal acoustic sound.  However, I couldn't seem to give up the idea of being so close to such a talented singer/songwriter.

Sara's quirky personality and soulful voice filled the completely full intimate music venue at the back of Schubas the minute she walked out on the stage with her boutique makeover and perfectly coifed wavy hair. Unfortunately, throughout the show, two of the women beside me were taking photographs of Sara practically the entire show (with flash I might add). Despite the distraction, I enjoyed every song Sara and her band performed. I especially loved the songs Love Song, Vegas, Bottle it Up, One Sweet Love, Many the Miles, Rhianna's Umbrella and her new song Gonna Get over You/Someday. She even did a U2 cover after she told us about her Grammy experience this year when Bono was looking directly at her. Gravity, the name of the current tour, was my favorite song and of course the encore performance. Sara kept us entertained with emotional and graceful pop melodies and her silly banter in between each song.

Tony Lucca, an incredible vocalist, opened for Sara. I know we'll be seeing more of him in the future. Man does that guy have chops! He can hit notes so effortlessly. I can listen to him sing for hours. He's not too bad to look at either! I especially liked the song he sang about dating Keri Russell (from Felicty and Mission: Impossible III, Waitress, and August Rush). It was a cute story about his experience dating a celebrity. Of course he admitted that it was Keri when someone in the audience asked him who it was. I actually had the pleasure of seeing Keri Russell in person on the Jay Leno show in Los Angeles in May of 1999. 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chris Cain Blues Band in Los Angeles

I've never seen such an entertaining and insanely talented blues band ever.  Chris Cain and his band are not  your average Blues Band.  On January 16, 2009, I saw this band at Harvelle's in Santa Monica, CA.  I was in awe not only of their musical talent but their showmanship and performance.  I found myself getting lost in Chris Cain's guitar jams yet pleasantly distracted by his intense facial expressions while he peformed.  I find Chris' passion and intensity so inspiring.   Additionally, his pianist, (who's name I don't know), was insanely talented.  I swear my eyes were peeled on him at least 50% of the time (when not mesmerized by Chris).  Have you ever seen a pianist play the piano with his feet or head?  That's what this guy did.  Not only were his blues and jazz jams hypnotizing but his untraditional foot and head jams were laugh out loud fun and entertaining.  This band makes you want to get out of your seat and dance.  I hope Chris Cain makes his way to Chicago someday.

On a side note, Harvelle's was a wonderful place to experience this trance-inducing musical adventure.  I for sure will go back to Harvelle's when I'm back in Los Angeles, California.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Interesting perspective on the economy from
Jay Leno is going to Prime Time NBC (he's not leaving his network).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Martin Sexton Fills Park West

Martin Sexton, one of my favorite soulful entertainers came back to Park West on Friday, November 7, 2008 to perform to a full room of devoted fans. Even though he admitted to feeling a bit unmotivated to perform that night, he delivered one heck of a performance! Martin Sexton is not just a singer-songwriter, he engages his audience with his amazing vocal instrument and his creative guitar styles. He tells wonderful stories that you just wish would keep on going. It's like you are listening to a beautiful rendition of your favorite book that you just can not put down.

Hotel Cafe Tour - They're Back at Park West Again

My friend and I went to our third consecutive Hotel Cafe Tour at Park West on November 5, 2008 to see the talented line up of singer-songwriters that consisted of: Rachael Yamagata, Alice Russell, Jaymay, Meiko and Thao.

Rachael Yamagata is a talented singer who delivers her deep and emotional lyrics with passion and soul. She's got a Fiona Apple like sound with songs that simply draw you in from beginning to end. I first came across Rachael Yamagata in her local Chicago funk band Bumpus when I first moved to Chicago about seven years ago.

Meiko is another amazing singer-songwriter that performs her captivating melodic tunes while connecting the audience to her personal stories. Her voice is unlike anyone's I've heard. I look forward to her next song and story in her setlist each time I see her.

Another former Hotel Cafe Tour artist that came to Park West later that month on November 19, 2008 is Ingrid Michaelson. Ingrid sings her catchy descriptive tunes so gracefully. Her voice is so beautiful! I love her stories before each song. She makes me laugh too! She's got this adorable charm to her too! Ya gotta love her!

Monday, November 3, 2008

She's back!

According to the LiveDaily Blog, Lily Allen is releasing a brand new album in February 2008. I hope this isn't a tease and she's here to stay.

I love her sound and her music. I especially like the beginning of her "LDN" video when she asks the guy at the record store for electronica, punk, downbeat, dub, drum and bass music. You think she's gonna run down every freakin' genre of music that exists. It's pretty funny.

When I first heard Lily Allen's voice, I did a doubletake. I swear she sounded like an artist a coworker of mine turned me on to back in 1999, named Imani Coppola. Allen sounds almost identical to Coppola -- both in their tone of voice and their melodies.

Lily Allen has a groovy, new age jazzy, modern ska, pop sound to her music (I sound much like Lily Allen in her LDN video -- if the artist herself can't pinpoint her sound, how can I?). Some folks might compare Lily Allen to a blend of Amy Winehouse and Corinne Bailey Rae. Allen's music is very catchy and makes you want to groove to the eclectic beat.