Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Interesting perspective on the economy from Forbes.com: http://twurl.nl/l55lc7
Jay Leno is going to Prime Time NBC (he's not leaving his network). http://twurl.nl/4wrw2i

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.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Music to My Ears

Last weekend I went to several music concerts of different genres. Beginning the evening of Thursday, October 23, I went to the Yael Naim concert at the Chicago House of Blues. The Paris born Israeli raised singer-songwriter performed her soothing folk and pop songs while connecting with the eclectic audience. Her comfort with the audience was so natural, that she stopped the show due to an impulsive and distracting cough and even went so far as laying on the wooden floor of the stage in her flowing white dress (not sure what she was trying to accomplish here). Nonetheless, I was moved by her performance. My favorite performance was her popular song "New Soul" which was used by Apple in an advertising campaign for its MacBook Air in 2008.

The next evening, I attended the Lucinda Williams concert at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago. Though I was not familiar with Lucinda Willam's music, I am a big fan of the genre of music of which she performs. Her folky and at times twangy voice reminded me of pop musician Stevie Nicks (from Fleetwood Mac). I was immediately drawn to her compelling and moving lyrics, story telling, and music. When listening to her songs I felt as if I was in those stories for the moment.

Lastly, on Saturday night, I experienced the eclectic Ears and Eyes Festival at the Chicago hidden gem music venue The Hideout. My favorite performance that evening hands down was the rock and electronica hybrid DNumbers. I also heard bits and pieces of the Bjork-like Via Tania performance and loved that as well. I can't believe that this was my first time at The Hideout having been living in Chicago for nearly eight years. Shame on me! I can't wait to go back!

There are several Chicago music venues that I could walk into without knowing who was performing and be confident that the talent would be nothing less than amazing. Those venues are: The Hideout, Schubas, Martyrs, Park West, and the Hot House. I also freqent The Chicago Theatre and the Riviera Theatre.