You Sing, I Write: 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Visit You Sing I Write's New Website!

Hey everyone! I haven't updated Blogger in a while because I now have a brand spankin' new site at http://yousingiwrite.com/. Once you visit it, add your email address to my mailing list and I'll send you updates on the blog, my music life and any exciting contests and freebies going on.

Please update me to your RSS feed as well at http://yousingiwrite.com/feed. Tons of new articles and interviews have been posted since the redesign Friday (including my day with Keith Urban!).

I'd love to hear your feedback on the new design, so definitely contact me and let me know what you think! Thanks again for all your support over the past three years. Can't wait to see what the future will bring for You Sing I Write!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Celebrate 3 Years of You Sing I Write Friday!


Over the past three years, what started as a crazy dream to interview and cover bands has fully come alive — for some of you, right before your very eyes. Fresh out of college in a non-writing related job I launched You Sing I Write as my creative outlet. It was a simple concept: I loved music, so naturally that's what I'd write about.

Never in a million years did I think I'd be published on RollingStone.com, AOL, MTV or Marie Claire, but my adventures traveling to music festivals, interviewing Grammy Award winning artists and covering local talent allowed me to get this far. I couldn't be more grateful.

Last year, my friend Monica and I put together a benefit concert for TWLOHA, an organization we've admired since college and this year I decided to do the same. What started as the desire to raise money for the American Cancer Society in hopes to cure my cousin who was diagnosed over two months ago, now has a more personal significance as she recently passed away.

The night will include performances by four amazing bands as well as provide information on how you can help out your local American Cancer Society chapter so we can beat this horrible disease. Oh, and my website will be relaunching too thanks to Wendy Hu and Joel Brower!

For the official invite, visit Facebook. Complete details below.

Friday, November 12th at Southpaw, Brooklyn (125 5th Ave)
18+ w/ ID
admission: $10
door time: 8PM
.

Hope to see you Friday!

Friday, October 29, 2010

YSIW Three Year Anniversary Show 2 Weeks Away!


Flier design by Wendy Hu


Just wanted to post a friendly reminder of my three year blog anniversary/site relaunch concert on November 12th at Southpaw in Brooklyn! Wendy sent me an amazing flier that I plan to start posting around Brooklyn, so feel free to grab it and do the same.


Since it's just two weeks away, I'm taking a hiatus updating the blog in order to make sure all the content is ready. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for my up-to-the-minute adventures.

With a solid mix of hip-hop, folk, rock and pop artists, November 12th proves to be a fun night of music. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook. Complete details are below.

Friday, November 12th at Southpaw, Brooklyn (125 5th Ave)
18+ w/ ID
admission: $10
door time: 8PM
A portion of the ticket sales will go to the American Cancer Society in memory of Silvia DeAngelis.

Hope to see you there!


Related Links:
I'm Not A Groupie: A Music Lover's Tale of Getting That Interview
YSIW Celebrates Two Years!
I'm With the Band
Top 10 Interviews

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lady Antebellum Talk Dating, Drunk Dialing and Dylan



To say 2010 is Lady Antebellum's year would be an understatement. The trio kicked things off in January with the release of their sophomore album, Need You Now, and a Grammy win for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group under their belt. The nominations continued, as the band has five nods at both the CMA Awards and American Music Awards next month -- tying them with the number of nods Eminem received for the latter awards show.

I chatted with Lady A's Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley at their recent benefit performance in New York about success, songwriting (they've already begun penning a follow up to Need You Now) and why you should put that phone down at "a quarter after one."

What is your songwriting process like?


Dave: If anything, it's really musical. We start a lot with melodies and instrumentation and trying to figure out good melodies for verses and choruses. We get to lyrics sometimes second, so we'll start humming a melody, finding something, and see where the music takes you as far as lyrics are and what you want to say and go from there. We love great melodies and great songs that have great hooks and melodies, so we start a little bit more on that side as opposed to other people that start more lyric-based. Sometimes we'll do it the other way.

For my complete interview with Lady Antebellum, visit The Boot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

YSIW Celebrates Three Years --Thank You!

Interview with Martina McBride, CMA Festival 2009

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

It's hard to believe that three years ago today I wrote my very first blog post! Fresh out of college in a non-writing related job, I yearned for a creative outlet and my former MTV colleagues suggested I start a music blog. I'm so glad I did.

Interview with Vince Scheuerman of Army of Me, Union Hall 2007

Hundreds of shows and interviews later, I can't imagine a day without posting a review, feature, or Q&A. Along the way I've interviewed some of my favorite musicians, had my share of exclusive content and a few starstruck moments. Whether it was chatting with Pat Benatar on the phone, stumping Lady Antebellum on a few questions or struggling with a lost voice and fever while interviewing Better Than Ezra, I'm still in disbelief that this is my life.


Interview with Fergie, Zootopia 2009

Thank you so much for keeping up with You Sing I Write over the past three years! There's nothing I love more than reading your comments, questions for artists, and show recommendations. You're the reason I continually update the site. I have many exciting things lined up in the next few weeks with my site redesign and video interviews — can't wait for you to see! I'd love to meet you all at my big bash at Southpaw November 12. Make sure you come and say hi!

Related Links:
I'm Not A Groupie: A Music Lover's Tale of Getting That Interview
YSIW Celebrates Two Years!
I'm With the Band
Top 10 Interviews

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life Analysis: Through Music


Photo Credit: Wendy Hu


It has happened to all of us. You hear a song that takes you back to a specific time and place. Whether it be your childhood, college or an experience that has drastically changed your life, for the good or the bad, you’re transformed back into that moment in time.

Last weekend Monica and I worked from home and she played music from her Gaslight Anthem Pandora station (we’re obsessed with this Jersey band so much so that I think we’ve convinced Farrah to come out to their next show). While some obscure bands came up that we never heard of, I was ecstatic when Jimmy Eat World’s “A Praise Chorus” came on.

“Are you gonna live your life wonderin’ standing in the back lookin’ around?
Are you gonna waste your time thinkin’ how you’ve grown up or how you missed out?
Things are never gonna be the way you want.
Where’s it gonna get you acting serious?
Things are never gonna be quite what you want.
Even at 25, you gotta start sometime.

Someone’s gonna ask you what it’s all about
Stick around nostalgia won’t let you down
Someone’s gonna ask you what it’s all about
Whatcha gonna have to say for yourself?”



For my complete article, visit Busted Halo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Ataris Bring Music, Nostalgia to Hoboken


"Come up close," frontman Kris Roe said before he kicked off his set at Maxwell's Sunday night. "We're a band from Indiana called The Ataris."

Not that concertgoers weren't aware. For most, The Ataris were a part of their childhood. Song requests were screamed out all night spanning their album catalogue. While Roe often joked with the crowd, most requests were played.

While the band has seen numerous lineup changes over the years, die-hard fans found comfort in that Roe continues to sing the songs they grew up on with the same passion he did over a decade ago.

For the complete review, visit Hoboken Patch.

Related Links:
Q&A with Kris Roe of the Ataris: Part 1
Q&A with Kris Roe of the Ataris: Part 2
The Ataris' "Blue Skies, Broken Hearts" Acoustic Tour Hits New Jersey
Song of the Week: "Boys of Summer"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sara Evans, 'A Little Bit Stronger' -- Story Behind the Lyrics


Photo Credit: Wendy Hu


Last week, I interviewed Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum before their benefit concert for Musicians On Call at City Winery. Hillary filled me in on the story behind one of the songs she wrote, Sara Evans' latest single, "A Little Bit Stronger." A very personal song, she said it's a track that means more to her now then when first written.

For the complete article, visit The Boot. Stay tuned for my exclusive interview with Lady Antebellum in the upcoming weeks!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Join YSIW for CMJ Thursday Night in Williamsburg!


I'm psyched to be hosting my first CMJ party next Thursday night in Williamsburg! The show will feature performances by two of my favorite New York bands including The Ramblers, The Canon Logic and Los Angeles based Nightmare and The Cat.

Free shirts from CPHARRIK, and all kinds of delicious food from YIEatN will also be provided. The show starts at 10pm and all are welcome, but space is limited so make sure you RSVP. Come say hi if you do stop by!

Complete details below:

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Food: 7:30pm, Show: 10pm
132 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY
RSVP: mission2cmj@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lady Antebellum, Amos Lee Dazzle for Musicians On Call


Lady Antebellum Fan Club Party
2009 CMA Music Festival
Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

Lady Antebellum filled fans in on the meaning behind their hits Wednesday night during the sixth annual benefit concert for Musicians On Call at New York's City Winery. Having volunteered at St. Jude's in Nashville, Lady A's Hillary Scott explained how much the non-profit, which brings live music to the bedsides of patients at hospitals, means to the band.

"We're very excited about helping the cause and raising money," Hillary tells The Boot. "Music is so healing. Whether you're in a hospital bed or you're driving down the road just broken up with your boyfriend, it has such a healing power. What better way than to go into hospitals and equip musicians to sing for these patients who are just looking for a smile?"

Though Lady A have yet to perform at hospitals for Musicians On Call, with a chapter in Nashville, band members Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood say it's a cause they plan to get involved with. "We're not curing diseases or anything, but to be able to put a smile on somebody's face during a tough time can always be a cure as well," Dave says.

For my complete review of last night's show, visit The Boot. Stay tuned for my exclusive interviews with Lady Antebellum and Amos Lee in the coming weeks!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Save the Date: YSIW's 3-Year Anniversary Bash November 12

I am beyond excited to announce that my site redesign will be complete next month! Wendy Hu (photographer and designer extraordinaire), Joel Brower (programmer guru) and I are working hard to migrate all the content and have the site fully functioning for my 3-year celebration November 12th at Southpaw in Brooklyn.

Since it's just under a month away, I'll be posting less frequently in order to make sure all the content is ready so follow me on Twitter for my up-to-the-minute adventures. With that said, feel free to read through past interviews (on the right sidebar) and I'll be back from time to time because I can't stop writing altogether!

I can't wait for my big bash November 12th. I've been putting together shows for the past two years, but this year is by far the most diverse lineup and showcases bands you NEED to know! We have a solid mix of hip-hop, folk, rock and pop artists that I really think you'll dig. Stay tuned for the official flier and for more info, check out the bands who will be playing below!

Friday, November 12th at Southpaw, Brooklyn (125 5th Ave)
18+ w/ ID
admission: $10
door time: 8PM
A portion of the ticket sales will go to the American Cancer Society

Watch Tor Miller Band perform a cover of Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing" at last year's bash below. Maybe I can make another request for it this year. What do you think? Hope to see you November 12th!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Song of the Week: "Our Kind of Love"

Their third No. 1 single off sophomore release, Need You Now, Lady Antebellum have been making waves in the music scene. Being that I'll be interviewing them next week and spent the past few days researching and watching old videos, I thought it'd be fitting to make "Our Kind of Love" my song of the week.

If you have any questions you've been dying to ask Lady A, let me know in the comments!

Watch "Our Kind of Love" below.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Music As Religion?


For as long as I can remember, I’ve turned to music when questioning life and making major decisions. While some find solace in prayer, going to church or synagogue, I simply go to my iTunes playlist.

Blasphemy?

To some.

For me, not so much. My criteria is simple.

Major life questioning: Switchfoot

Simply unwinding: John Mayer

Nostalgic for my childhood: Backstreet Boys

And my most recent addition:

Sheer disbelief and being thankful: Pat Benatar

For my complete article, visit Busted Halo.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gaslight Anthem at Radio City: A Review

Photo Credit: Tony Cano

New Jersey favorites the Gaslight Anthem packed Radio City Music Hall Thursday night for a marathon set of nearly two hours. While the band showcased songs from their entire catalogue, their gratitude to fans was apparent as frontman Brian Fallon continually thanked fans when he could find the words.

Shortly after 9 p.m. Radio City went dark while “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” played through the speakers. The band took the stage to screaming fans and powered through “High Lonesome,” “Boxer,” “We Came to Dance” and “The Diamond Church Street Choir,” an impressive variety of songs from their three full length albums before Fallon addressed the crowd for the first time.

“Radio City. We started playing in basements. Elvis might even show up. I know we’re in New York, but I imagine New Jersey is represented in the crowd tonight.”

For the complete review, visit BumperShine.

Related Links:
You Sing, I Write's Top 5 Concerts of 2009
Band of the Week: Gaslight Anthem
Five Albums to Prolong Your Summer
All Points West: Music, Mud Wrestling, and Beer Gardens

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Band of the Week: MayOrWest


Together since 2005, MayOrWest got their start practicing at guitarist Pete Cataldo's apartment on Hoboken's Jackson Street. The four-piece alternative punk rock band has since performed throughout Mile Square City at venues including Maxwell's and The Dubliner, the location of their first show.

"Our friend bartended there and said he could get us a gig. We only had three original songs, [so I told him] we could play a bunch of covers," Cataldo said.

The band played nearly 30 songs for three-and-a-half hours. An enjoyable experience, they've been performing and recording ever since.

I sat down with the quartet outside Hotel Victor Bar and Grill over beers as they filled me in on their lives as musicians, the inspiration behind their songs and near death van experiences traveling to gigs. Easy-going personalities coupled with a hard work ethic, MayOrWest is one Hoboken act to pay attention to.

For my complete interview, visit Hoboken Patch.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Video Premiere: Benjamin Wagner's "Forever Young"

Last week, I told you how you could be featured in Benjamin Wagner's latest music video, "Forever Young," the title track off his new album. Today, he was kind enough to allow me to premiere the video for the song. Watch the video below and if you missed the benefit and CD release concert this past Saturday, be sure to download a copy here.

Tracks on Forever Young include "Rainbow Connection" (with Amber Rubarth), "Golden Slumbers" (with Casey Shea), and "You've Got A Friend" (with Mai Bloomfield). Proceeds benefit children's media research and advocacy.



For more information on the project and the inspiration behind each song, visit BenjaminWagner.com.

Related Links:
"Forever Young" For the Young and Young at Heart
Artist to Watch: Amber Rubarth
Jamie Leonhart Keeps Standing Room Only Crowd Singing
A Family Holiday Album to Benefit Young Writers

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Miranda Lambert Kicks Off Revolution Tour

New York City's Terminal 5 was packed to capacity Wednesday night for the start of CMT's ninth annual CMT on Tour, this year featuring Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Josh Kelley. New Yorkers put on their cowboy boots and hats for the three-hour show and proved that the city that never sleeps has some very ardent country fans. Hats, beer cups and even one girl's cowboy boot were raised in the air multiple times throughout the evening.

David Nail and Lady Antebellum were spotted in the crowd, as was Josh's wife, actress Katherine Heigl, who danced along to most of Miranda's set. On the heels of their Beacon Theater performance, Lady A and David opted to spend an extra night in New York to catch the show before flying to St. Louis to continue their current headlining tour.

The first day of the tour, Miranda confessed she missed sound check and instead spent the night in Nashville to celebrate fiancé Blake Shelton's induction into the Grand Ole Opry.

For the complete review, visit The Boot.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Forever Young" For the Young and Young at Heart

On Saturday, Benjamin Wagner will release Forever Young, a 10-track album of cover songs and collaborations with some of New York's finest musicians. The collection of songs, which include two Bob Dylan hits, connect to his childhood and were inspired by the birth of his daughter, Maggie. This weekend, Wagner and friends will debut the tracks at Rockwood Music Hall during two benefit performances Saturday at 3 and 8pm.

Tracks on Forever Young include "Rainbow Connection" (with Amber Rubarth), "Golden Slumbers" (with Casey Shea), and "You've Got A Friend" (with Mai Bloomfield). Saturday's benefit show will include performances by Chris Abad, Jamie Leonhart, Casey Shea, Bryan Dunn, Emily Easterly, Tony Maceli, James Williams and more. Proceeds will be donated to organizations like Fred Rogers Center and Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood in support of their efforts towards advancing early learning and children’s media.

Next week, You Sing I Write will premiere the music video for title track, "Forever Young" and you can be a part of it! Simply upload a big, non-compressed image of yourself as a baby or toddler on Facebook by Saturday for a chance to be featured in the video. For more information on the project and the inspiration behind each song, visit BenjaminWagner.com.



Related Links:
Artist to Watch: Amber Rubarth
Jamie Leonhart Keeps Standing Room Only Crowd Singing
A Holiday Benefit Concert Recap
A Family Holiday Album to Benefit Young Writers

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Band of the Week: The Boxer Rebellion

Currently on their first American headlining tour, The Boxer Rebellion have been impressing audiences with their atmospheric rock. With soaring guitar interludes, foot-thumping percussion and frontman Nathan Nicholson's emotion-fueled vocals, the band captivated all in attendance during their show Saturday at The Bell House.

Performing just over an hour, the UK-based band showcased tracks off their albums, Exits and Union as well as debuted new material from their upcoming 2011 release. The first unsigned band in history to break into the Billboard Top 200 Charts with a digital only release, you can expect to hear much more from The Boxer Rebellion soon.

Currently featured in the film, "Going the Distance" with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, Nicholson and guitarist Todd Howe confessed in an interview before their set that a lot more women have been showing up to their gigs, not that they mind.

"It's good to be back in New York...in Brooklyn I should say. I don't want any people to get pissed off," Nicholson told the crowd after playing "Evacuate."

With vocals that bring to mind U2's Bono and arena friendly musical accompaniment, it's easy to picture The Boxer Rebellion in a stadium setting. Hard to believe they remain unsigned, their American tour promises to be a success. Both lead guitarist Howe and Nicholson command the stage while bassist Adam Harrison and drummer Piers Hewitt flush out the sound. Throughout their set, the band transitioned from slower ballads to more rock centric numbers effortlessly. In fact, on some tracks each member could be found pounding away on some form of percussion.

Tracks like "Semi-Automatic" slowed down their set with solid instrumental interludes while others, like "Soviets" were a welcomed surprise. Switching gears from electric to acoustic guitar, Nicholson told the crowd that the song is "a kind of country song if there were such a song in our repertoire."

While the girls were most excited to hear tracks from "Going the Distance" performed, the band managed to please all in attendance. Whether it was the females nearing close to the stage or the men back towards the soundboard nodding along, The Boxer Rebellion satisfied during their gig in Brooklyn. Lucky fans who stayed until the very end of their set enjoyed dancing and singing along with Nicholson when he jumped off the stage for last song of the night, "Watermelon."

For more on The Boxer Rebellion, be sure to visit them on MySpace and watch a video of Saturday's show here. Stay tuned for my exclusive interview and concert footage.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Song of the Week: "Until You"

Gearing up for Miranda Lambert's concert next week at Terminal 5, I've been listening to country music all day. (Not that I don't normally listen to country music to begin with...) I came across Billy Currington's song, "Until You" off his latest release and decided to make it my song of the week until I found out it was a cover of Dave Barnes' original. Having featured Barnes on the blog several times, I couldn't believe that I had never heard it before. Watch the video below, I'd love to know your thoughts!




Thursday, September 23, 2010

Album Review: Matt White’s “It’s the Good Crazy”

With 11 tracks of infectious falsetto and defined soul, Matt White impresses on sophomore release, It’s the Good Crazy. From the very first track, “And the Beat Goes On” White manages to capture the listener's undivided attention with his powerful singing, piano playing and whistling. The versatility between each song on the LP electrifies as it's nearly impossible to predict what will come next.

Catchy songs like first single, "Falling In Love (With My Best Friend)" are instantly likable and easy to picture heard on Top 40 radio while the sexy "She's On Fire" offers surprising diversity with a seductive beat matched well with White's deep vocals.

The slower "Taking On Water" follows "She's On Fire" and embodies lyrics that are bound to make every girl's heart swoon. "It's your eyes that keep me hanging around/Make me drive all night to get to your house," he sings over light percussion and acoustic guitar accompaniment. 

While White demonstrates his ability to be more serious on a number of ballads throughout his LP, it's on more playful tracks like the 70s influenced "Teacher Teacher" that showcase his talent best. Alternating between slower singing and belting the chorus, his transformation is impeccable. "Off My Wall" follows suit with higher vocals and slow groove building that is sure to bring even the shyest wallflower to the dance floor. 


Overall, a remarkably solid release, White makes a name for himself on It's the Good Crazy. In an industry of predictability, White remains to stand out from the crowd.

For more on Matt White, be sure to visit MySpace and to learn about the stories behind his songs, read a recent interview with him on The Huffington Post. Watch him perform latest single, "Falling In Love" below.


Matt White performs "Falling in Love" at Joe's Tavern, Sept 2010 from Julia Allison on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Music Wednesday: 2AM Club, Hope, Kellee Maize

Always on the hunt for the latest tracks from up-and-coming artists, this week brings three new artists in completely different genres. I think you'll enjoy each one. Love to know your thoughts!

I caught 2AM Club live a few months ago and was blown away by their catchy harmonies and infectious rap interludes. Watch the video for their latest single, "Worry About You" below.



With airy vocals that bring to mind Colbie Caillat and Kina Grannis, singer-songwriter Hope teams up with Jason Mraz for this breathlessly delicate ballad.



Female rappers don't get enough credit. I've received a few emails from Kellee Maize and was impressed by her words and style. Watch the video for "Third Eye" below.



What new songs are you listening to? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You Sing I Write Wins Music Award!


I received an email last week informing me that You Sing I Write won a Web Excellency Award from Theater Seat Store!

When checking out the site for myself, they write:

"Sometimes it seems that everyone has an opinion about music. This award goes to those blogs who's opinions matter."

The site went on to explain their process of choosing the blogs that stand out for music coverage.

"The team has once again composed a list of the best blogs in music, this time focussing on the heavily-stamped ground of music reviews. We provide the unique sites below in one simple location for your review and enjoyment, while at the same time using the opportunity to award each for their fine writing skills and services to the sprawling world of music and, of course, the dear reader.

The amount of music review blogs out there is staggering to say the least – from professional publications to personal journals, we focussed not on the size of the operation (or indeed the subsequent output) when choosing our award winners but on the sheer quality of content on offer. This will be manifestly apparent to anyone who takes the time to read them."

Thanks for all your support over the years! Mark your calendars for a special 3-year anniversary blog bash November 12th in Brooklyn. More details to come! To check out the other blog winners, visit Theater Seat Store.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Artist of the Week: Joy Ike

Pennsylvania based singer-songwriter Joy Ike has been making a name for herself. After releasing her second album independently, she won an opening slot performing at this summer's reinstated Lilith Fair through a fan voted contest on OurStage. Since then, she has continued her grassroots approach to music to stay true to her values.

With vocals that recall popular singer-songwriters Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, Ike's soulful singing style and breathtaking piano accompaniment impress. What is most striking of Ike is that she embodies a timeless and familiar quality. Songs like opening track, "Sweeter" draw the listener in with her upbeat singing style while the nearly one minute piano intro on "Give Me Truth" relaxes.

Beautiful title track, "Rumors" leaves an impact on the listener with Ike's slow and powerful vocals accompanied by the light strokes of the piano and fitting string features. Despite the impressive music, it is Ike's hopeful and introspective lyrics that allow her to stand out from popular singer-songwriters.

In fact, in an interview with OurStage.com, she touched upon the importance of creating memorable music.

"What a person says reflects who they are. I want to make music that's purposeful and I want to create music that people can hold onto for a long time."

With a release as strong as Rumors, Ike is well on her way.

For more on Joy Ike, be sure to visit her on MySpace and watch the interview below. You can download her track, "Sweeter" here.




Friday, September 17, 2010

Join YSIW and The Ramblers Next Sunday in Brooklyn!


I can hardly believe it's been a month since I moved to Brooklyn. While I've been exploring all the venues in the area and attending numerous shows in cool locations like rooftops and friends' backyards, I thought, "Why not host my own backyard concert with my roommates?" So, instead of the typical housewarming party, my roommates and I are planning a show at our friend's backyard in Park Slope next Sunday.

Won't you join us?

Brooklyn-based band The Ramblers will bring their soulful Americana for a set you won't want to miss. They'll be performing the night before at Mercury Lounge, so if you're in the area definitely check them out there and come to our soiree the next day for a scaled down, acoustic set. The Ramblers have been compared to The Band and like to refer to themselves as a mix of Jim Croce backed with Booker T. & the M.G.'s. With rave reviews by numerous music publications, they will surely impress.

Be sure to listen to The Ramblers on MySpace and to RSVP for the location of our backyard concert E-mail me. Hope to see you Sunday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lights Resolve Host Van Listening Party After Maxwell’s Show


One of the hardest working indie bands I've come across, Lights Resolve has spent the past four years incessantly touring and building their fan base. Whether on the road or online, they continue to form relationships with fans and Sunday night was their way of thanking fans for that support.

For nearly 40 minutes, Lights Resolve diehards piled into their van and listened to their soon to be released debut full length. Parked outside of Maxwell's, it was the first time they heard the record in its entirety.

"Whenever you guys want to leave, you can. We're not holding you," Reich joked.

By the tenth and final track most were still there, often singing along to the songs they heard earlier that night.

For the complete review, visit Hoboken Patch.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Asbury Fever Showcase Jersey Pride in Hoboken

New Jersey's Asbury Fever entertained an energetic crowd at the 84th annual Hoboken Italian Festival Friday. On a stage set up in Frank Sinatra Park, the 10-piece band performed over 20 hits, including Jersey staples made famous by acts like Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, among others.

Complete with saxophone, trombone, trumpet, guitar, bass, keyboards, and percussion, the group was reminiscent to Springsteen's powerful E Street Band. With strong vocals by lead singer Brad Hobicorn, Asbury Fever had Hobokenites singing and clapping along.

For the complete review, visit Hoboken Patch.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Song of the Week: "Magic"

While it's been in constant rotation on many radio stations recently, I cannot get enough of this track. "Magic" features B.o.B. rapping with guest vocals from Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. With a catchy beat and a music video that makes crowd surfing look so tempting, it's the perfect song to distract you from the realization that summer is over.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bob DiPiero, Jamey Johnson Tell Tales Behind Hits in New York

"How y'all doin? Welcome to Nashville," Bob DiPiero joked before introducing fellow celebrated songwriters Jamey Johnson, Buddy Cannon and Kendell Marvel at the CMA Songwriter Series at Joe's Pub in New York City Wednesday night.

Now in its sixth year, the CMA series brings country to the city every few months, recruiting some of Nashville's finest songwriters to the Big Apple to tell the stories behind their biggest hits. "This is our country hillbilly outpost up here in Manhattan," continued Bob, whose laundry list of country hits include Tim McGraw's 'Southern Voice,' George Strait's 'Blue Clear Sky' and Vince Gill's 'Worlds Apart.'

"They make fun of rednecks. What about 'Jersey Shore'? You've gotta be kidding me. No wonder Bruce Springsteen wants to get the hell out of there in every song he sings. Makes me embarrassed for being Italian, and I'm Italian! Good God in heaven. This is as far from New Jersey as you can get. This is down in Apalachicola," Bob said before he introduced 'Southern Voice.'

For the complete review, visit The Boot and be sure to catch Jamey Johnson tonight on the "Late Show with David Letterman."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Swingadelic Offers Big Band Classics in Frank Sinatra Park


Swingadelic, Hoboken’s legendary swing band, has become a staple in town.

Formed in 1998, the band frequently performs at Maxwell’s and venues throughout the tri-state area. The 12-piece entertained Hobokenites during a recent two-hour set at Frank Sinatra Park. Complete with classic jazz standards by Ray Charles, Count Basie and Duke Pearson as well as many originals, Swingadelic had the crowd dancing and tapping their feet along during the entire performance.

For the complete review, visit Hoboken Patch.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Artist of the Week: Amy Regan

Two years ago, I introduced you to Amy Regan as an artist to watch. Since then, the New York singer-songwriter has continued to record new material, tour and have her music featured in a national Hertz commercial. (Watch video below).

In fact, it was at a gig playing Rockwood Music Hall in New York that art director Haley Fulop witnessed Regan live and later brought her on with the idea for the Hertz campaign. While she's been compared to Norah Jones and Joni Mitchell, Regan continues to make a name for herself with latest EP, Gonna Get Better.

The four-track EP kicks off with energetic title track, "Gonna Get Better." Complete with edgy guitar and percussion accentuated by her soulful vocals, Regan quickly grabs the listener's attention. Next song,
"Keep You Warm" is a ballad with fitting piano accompaniment. With her deep and powerful singing style, the song strikes a chord.

Though only four tracks, Gonna Get Better demonstrates Regan's versatility as a singer. Effortlessly jumping from a sultry ballad to a more energetic number, she manages to keep the listener intrigued.  "Crazy" is just one example. The track showcases Regan's more playful side and is a surprising transition from "Keep You Warm." With piano and vocals that bring to mind Sara Bareilles, one can only expect to hear more from Regan in the near future.

For more on Amy Regan, be sure to visit her MySpace or Web site. Stay tuned for a full album release later this year.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Song of the Week: "Helium Hearts"

A few weeks ago I recommended Jason Reeves as an artist to watch. I've interviewed him and covered his live show a few times and can't get enough of him! Check out his latest music video for "Helium Hearts," the first single off his upcoming album.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Backyard Brunch Concert Satisfies Listeners Appetites


Photo Credit: Raki Lavon

Last Saturday, My My My and Kelli Scarr performed in Williamsburg for a special edition of Backyard Brunch Sessions. Founded and hosted by David Chaitt, every few weekends in the summer he invites friends and music industry enthusiasts to his apartment in Brooklyn for homemade breakfast and an unplugged set of music.


Since the beginning of the summer, Chaitt has been running a contest through Sonicbids for bands all over the country to submit their music for a chance to perform in his backyard. Indie rock outfit My My My were one of two bands selected and traveled from Chicago to play August 21. Their unplugged set featured two guitars and Casio accompaniment that won the hearts of the audience.

Rotating vocals between Russell Baylin and Sarah Snow, the band impressed with spot-on harmonies and emotion-filled lyrics. While powerful choruses in songs like "Swoon" captured the audience's attention, it was last track, "War Party" that struck a chord. A tale about navigating the world through a mid-life crisis, Baylin's raspy, impassioned vocals brought the song to life.

Singer-songwriter Kelli Scarr performed next and quickly quieted the crowd with her delicate vocals and soft guitar finger picking. While she's known best for touring and singing with Moby, the release of her debut album promises more notoriety. Ballads like "Anything" showcased Scarr's beautiful vocals while light horn accompaniment accentuated the track.

Performing the day after her album release party for Piece, she warned the crowd "I'm hurting a little today. So, let's all hurt together in this bright light. This next song is called "Break Up," speaking of hurting. This is when you gotta hand it to someone because they're fucking stupid."

With edgier guitar and more aggressive vocals, she got her point across. 

"I want to do a quiet one, but I feel like airplanes keep flying," Scarr said. Ironically, during last song, the soft "Baby Boom," two planes flew overhead. Never showcasing any distraction, Scarr continued with light guitar and breathtaking vocals.

To listen to the recording of Scarr's set, complete with airplanes flying overhead, click here. Stay tuned for video footage of My My My and Kelli Scarr's performance in the upcoming weeks.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Watch CMA Music Festival Tonight on ABC!

If you weren't able to make it to Nashville for the CMA Festival in June, you can watch over 20 performances tonight on ABC. Join host Tim McGraw as he introduces sets by Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift and more.



If you haven't seen Taylor Swift's latest music video for "Mine," you can below. Do you think she'll perform it tonight? Tune in at 8/7C to find out!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Sing I Write Adventures: August Recap

Earlier this summer, I wrote a post titled "A Day In the Life with Annie Reuter" after my friend Monica said she wanted to read more about my music adventures. Since then, I received an overwhelming response from readers requesting weekly updates. While my daily life isn't THAT exciting, I've been trying my best to provide monthly recaps. If there is anything specific you'd like to know, be sure to let me know in the comments!

August saw major life changes as I took the leap and moved to Brooklyn with two friends. When it used to take me more than an hour to commute to NYC for a show, I now have five concert venues within walking distance! As luck would have it, since the move my freelance work has picked up. I'll try my best to update the blog on a daily basis, but if I slack off please forgive me!

You can keep up with my apartment life on Busted Halo where my roommates and I blog for "Girls Meet God." Each week we reveal what it's like for three girls with different backgrounds and faiths to live together. Being the token Catholic girl, I've already learned so much about the Jewish faith and what it means to keep Kosher. Read all about it here.

In addition to exploring religion, I've continued writing for Lemondrop where I post articles that explore my dating life (eeek!) and find out love advice from other women. Most recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pat Benatar! A few days later, I attended her concert at Nokia Theater and was truly blown away. The way she interacted with the crowd was incredibly enjoyable and it was easy to see the love between her and guitarist husband of 29 years, Neil Giraldo. Whether it was Giraldo telling the audience the story behind "I Don't Want to Be Your Friend, I Just Want to Be Your Lover" (Benatar had a dream he cheated on her), or Benatar confessing her least favorite song to perform, ("Hit Me With Your Best Shot"), they had everyone's undivided attention.

Witnessing Benatar live was a concert experience like no other. A rock icon and inspiration to women everywhere, I never dreamed I'd interview and watch such a phenomenal artist live. It's moments like these that deepen my passion and determination to continue a career as a music journalist. I can't wait to share with you my future adventures!

Related Links:
You Sing I Write Adventures: A Day In the Life with Annie Reuter
You Sing I Write Adventures: Why I Love Taylor Swift, June Recap
You Sing, I Write's Top 5 Moments of 2009
Q&A with You Sing, I Write

Monday, August 30, 2010

Band of the Week: Titus Andronicus

Earlier today, I came across a Tumblr post by Titus Andronicus' guitarist and violinist Amy Klein. Titled "Tour Diary Day Four: Rock and Roll Is Dead," Klein writes about the way women are perceived in the media and music industry. Being the only female in indie rock band Titus Andronicus, she's had her fair share of experiences and insults thrown her way. On Saturday, she wrote a powerful post after she dissected the latest issue of Rolling Stone, and asked why females are left out of the discussion and coverage of rock & roll.

"What we’re doing when we exclude women from rock and roll, and from the sense of rebellion that rock and roll promises, is disallowing women that independent perspective. We’re never giving them the chance to think critically about the world, and about the systems that oppress them. When we take women out of the arts, and take them out of art’s ability to critique the way things are, we’re making sure that women keep swallowing the status quo, day after day, and it’s the status quo that keeps us down," she writes.

An insightful read, her entry got me thinking. Having recently read Pat Benatar's memoir and learned of all the hardships she went through being a female in the industry in the 80s -- 30 years later, why aren't more women being showcased for their talent?

It's musicians like Klein who leave an impact. One fifth of Titus Andronicus, her violin interludes are an intriguing addition to the punk rock outfit. With countless Bruce Springsteen and Jersey mentions in their songs, (see "A More Perfect Union") the New Jersey based band has been garnering praise from music publications everywhere. Their popularity only seems fitting, because their songs embody a certain punk urgency that hasn't been heard in years. And with Klein's passion about women in rock, one can only wonder what her influence on future albums will hold.

While slower songs like "No Future Part One" showcases their more serious side, it's tracks like the fast paced "Titus Andronicus" that brings to mind the beginning of the punk era. Complete with heavy percussion and relentless vocals, Titus Andronicus impress.

For more on Titus Andronicus, be sure to visit them on MySpace and check out the video for "A More Perfect Union" below. Definitely give Amy's Tumblr a read. I'd love to know your thoughts.


A More Perfect Union

Titus Andronicus | MySpace Music Videos

Friday, August 27, 2010

Q&A with Pat Benatar


Earlier this week, I interviewed the infamous Pat Benatar. Thanks for all your questions, I was able to squeeze most of them in! We chatted about life, work and dating -- including whether she still believes love is a battlefield. A true inspiration, Benatar gave me advice about living out your dreams and things she wish she knew in her 20s. You can read an excerpt below and for the complete interview visit Lemondrop.

You talk a lot about trusting your gut. You write, in your memoir, "Rock and roll is really about following your passion with no apologies. Following that sound in your head that only you can hear." What's your advice to 20-somethings trying to find that passion and pursue their dreams?

You have to be smart, of course. You can't just go running off to Kuala Lumpur throwing everything away. You don't want to wreck your life in the pursuit of your dream. I have two girls -- my youngest is 16 and my oldest is 25. I'm right in the thick of this with them. They struggle, they're afraid to take a chance, of what people think. You've got to give it up. You have to stop worrying about this. You have to sit down and really examine what it is in your heart that you really want, what makes you happy. And don't hurt anyone else in the process. Don't trample others to have the dream that you want.

I think everyone should go for what they really, really love. You may only get to do this one time. Don't be worried. Don't think that you can't have most of it. I'm of the belief that you cannot have it all. You can try. I think that you always have to make a sacrifice somewhere. I grew up during the women's movement, and they told us we can have everything. It was a lie. You definitely cannot have everything, not 100 percent. You can have it all, but some part of it at different times in your life will have to take a backseat. If you choose to raise your children, your career will take a backseat for a little while. If you choose to pursue your career at a stronger pace, your kids will take a backseat. It's just the ebb and flow of how life is. Don't make yourself crazy thinking you have to be a superwoman. It's not even possible. Think about what you want personally. Don't let other things, don't let the media, don't let anybody tell you what you're supposed to be, because only you know.

For more on Pat Benatar, visit her MySpace to hear some of her timeless classics.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Album Review: June Shellene's "Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends"

With soulful vocals, June Shellene impresses on latest release, Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends. No newcomer to the music scene, first album The Lost Art of Love, won two achievement awards from Billboard Magazine. Additionally, her songs have been covered by numerous artists, including jazz musicians and Broadway acts. A powerful vocalist, Shellene satisfies the listener as she blends jazz, blues and soul on Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends. 

Self-produced with bassist Jim Cox, the 13-track album combines delicate piano, fitting percussion and soulful saxophone features throughout. Despite the talented musical accompaniment, it is Shellene’s powerful vocals that leave the greatest impact. Her singing style blends well with the music, soaring at the perfect moment and fading to a whisper when she sees fit. Whether she’s singing about things she wishes life would present her on “Not Good Enough Blues” or belting out her emotions in between horn features on “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down,” Shellene’s talent is undeniable.

Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends begins with the six-minute long title track. A glimpse of what’s to come on the remaining 12 songs, Shellene’s voice accentuates the piano, bowed bass and percussion accompaniment. The seductive “Make a Little Time for Love,” brings to mind Rosemary Clooney’s infamous “Mambo Italiano.” With upbeat percussion and a telling European vibe that transports the listener back in time, it is a song easily enjoyed on repeat. The standout track combines accordion, bass and percussion alongside Shellene’s pitch-perfect singing.

Though the piano is the chief instrument heard on most of the album, additional saxophone and horn interludes add diversity. “Lincoln Avenue” showcases Shellene’s sultry singing style combined with soulful saxophone while “We Won’t Let It Bring Us Down” switches gears with a slow story-like introduction with trumpet and clarinet features.

“Tattoo” is a refreshing change from previous songs. Not a complete escape from her roots, the track showcases a rustic country vibe. While previous songs could easily be envisioned in a jazz club, “Tattoo” has a telling southern influence that brings to mind soul music championed in Memphis.

A voice beyond compare, Shellene’s latest release embodies a timeless quality that brings to mind numerous jazz greats before her. An album that no doubt will stand the test of time, Wait ‘Til Midnight Ends, demonstrates her prowess as a singer and pianist. Continuously evoking emotion throughout each track, one can hear her passion for music on each song and only wonder at the power her next album will evoke.

For more on June, visit her on ReverbNation.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm Interviewing Pat Benatar Tomorrow!


Earlier this summer I filled you in on Pat Benatar's memoir, "Between a Heart and a Rock Place." A compelling read, Benatar is completely honest about what it was like dealing with record label, Chrysalis, and the obstacles she faced as a female artist throughout her career. Having paved the road for numerous female acts today, it is uncertain where women would be without Benatar's contributions.

"Rock and roll is really about following your passion with no apologies. Following that sound in your head that only you can hear," says Benatar.

Tomorrow I'll be interviewing Pat Benatar for Lemondrop. What have you always wanted to know? Be sure to send me your questions and I'll try to get them all in during our interview!

Related Links:
You Sing I Write's Summer Reading Playlist
Pat Benatar Reveals Her Struggles and Successes In Memoir
Song of the Week: "Love Is a Battlefield"
Contest of the Week: Win a Copy of Pat Benatar's Memoir

Friday, August 20, 2010

Song of the Week: "Life Is a Highway"

Summer is winding down (I know, I'm sorry. No one wants to hear this), but that doesn't mean the end of  road trips, BBQs and good music. This week's song of the week is inspired by Sammy, Darla and Julia, three girls about to embark on a 20-city road trip to discover authentic stories of food, fashion and music throughout the nation.

Watch the video below to find out more on the idea behind Road Hug USA as they embark on their road trip next week.


Road Hug USA from Road Hug USA on Vimeo.

Be sure to follow Sammy, Darla and Julia's adventures on Twitter. And for some inspiration to start planning your own road trip, check out Rascal Flatts' video for "Life Is a Highway" below.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Video of the Day: The Canon Logic's "Dead Man"

I've covered The Canon Logic quite a bit over the past few years. A band I first interviewed for CMJ and then managed, I'm psyched to be attending their rooftop concert tonight in Williamsburg. (I haven't become a Brooklyn hipster yet...but this may change soon).

Watch their first music video, "Dead Man" below and to read my review of their debut album and download some free tracks here. Expect live tweeting from the show tonight as well. Follow me!



Related Links:
Q&A with The Canon Logic
Song of the Week: "Delia"
The Canon Logic Video Performance
Canon Logic Lure Fans With Catchy Rock Songs, Sunglasses

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Martin Atkins Unleashes 20 Strategies for Indie Bands


With over 30 years in the music business, Martin Atkins is perhaps best known as a musician. A member of Public Image Ltd, Killing Joke, Pigface, The Damage Manual, and Murder Inc., as well as having made contributions to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, Atkins continues to make a name for himself. The author and owner of Invisible Records and Mattress Factory Recording Studios, he can also add producer, columnist, lecturer at Columbia College Chicago, drummer, documentary film maker, DJ, and father to his resume.

Atkins' discussions during the New Music Seminar last month were candid and entertaining. His panel was complete with profanity and quirky stories intertwined with advice for indie bands trying to make it.

"Nobody gives a fuck about you, your band and your music except you," he told those in attendance. "It's not how you're communicating, but what you're communicating. Change is constant. Be aware of it and stay on top of it."

Cleverly titled, "Welcome to the Music Business — You’re Fucked; Problems You Will Face and Simple, Immediate, and Effective Solutions to Overcome Them. Grow Your Brand and Your Band Incrementally," below are 20 of Atkins tips as told at the conference.

1. Have a fucking strategy
2. Get the fuck out of bed (you'll be hours ahead of everyone by the end of the month)
3. Practice for catastrophe
4. Free is the new black
5. Get a diverse skill set
6. Stop overplaying your local market
7. Small is the new huge (don't play arenas, sell out small bars and work your way up)
8. You must have more than one t-shirt for sale
9. Be as good as you  need to be
10. Have more than one CD for sale
11. Never take your country to war unless you know the outcome (gas prices, hotel costs -- find out where your fans are and go there, don't just tour the entire country)
12. Pay for tools that work for you
13. Stay on top of new technology (learn social media tools)
14. Don't be an asshole
15. Have a tip jar
16. Stay with friends (cut down touring costs)
17. Book yourself
18. Learn how to screen print (t-shirts, merch)
19. Play songs people want to hear
20. Make cool shit (create something amazing people want to buy)

*Bonus
 Never give up!

For more helpful tips, be sure to follow Martin on Twitter.

Related Links:
Personal Connection with Fans Leads New Music Seminar Discussion
Hotspur Win NMS Artist on the Verge Competition
New Music Seminar Introduces the New Music Business
Artist of the Week: Matt White

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Artists You Should Know: Jason Reeves, Matt Hires

I've been listening to phenomenal singer-songwriters lately. Although I've already featured and interviewed both Jason Reeves and Matt Hires previously on You Sing I Write, since both have new music released today I figured I'd reintroduce them to you.

Jason Reeves is one of my favorite artists. His name may sound familiar because he's co-written on both of Colbie Caillats' albums. Reeves described himself as a hopeful romantic when I interviewed him last year at SXSW, and this can easily be seen in the emotional tales in his songs. You can preview the first track off his upcoming album, "Helium Hearts" on his Web site as well as purchase it on iTunes.

Watch a video of Jason performing "Droplets," a track he wrote with Colbie below.



I first witnessed Matt Hires live when he opened for Tyrone Wells last year. Since then, his music has been featured on numerous television dramas including "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice." About to embark on a headlining tour promoting latest EP,  A to B, Hires' wavering vocals and acoustic guitar are sure to impress concertgoers. To stream his EP on AOL click here.

To learn more, watch CNN's video interview with Matt below.



BlogPlay

Share your links easily.