Saturday, July 31, 2010

Logout - redux

I couldn't resist this, short and sweet as it is.
A brilliant use of a cam. Logout in his own way.

im just an hour ahead of the rest. im just an hour ahead i cant do much i guess. how many could i warn in an hours time. for the dangers crawling from just an hour ahead of the rest. im just an hour ahead and it hurts. everytime i think sth i like. it is common knowledge in an hours time.... being ahead of your age is not great. it is painfull and sad to see what future ate. it is painfull to see all your friends just like skulls. that the future will swallow them for me thankfully im just an hour ahead. i have no duties and no special rights. i just shut up and smile and pretend its worthwhile. just to live like a pig this nice life

Friday, July 30, 2010

Laurel Halo

Laurel Halo’s music floats like flying gardens up the information superhighway. She is an electronic musician from Ann Arbor, Michigan and lives in Brooklyn. [Last.FM]

Laura Halo's music is immediately familiar, yet distant. It will hook you in while you are not looking.
Check it out and become enamored. Keep an ear open for her King Felix EP.


A couple of tracks live in New York

Recorded on May 23, 2010 @ The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg. Pendu presents the 3rd annual NY Eye & Ear Fest.

From the same appearance.

Movie History of Rock n Roll - 3

OK, up today we have Mr. Rock and Roll from 1957. Yet another teensploytation movie. But it did have some good rockers in it, so we had to see it. One thing to remember in the UK we never had the Ed Sullivan show, so our access to the American rock 'n' rollers was strictly radio (not too much of that the BBC didn't like it) or the movies. So we would have to sit through stuff like this just to get a glimpse. He kept cropping up in all sorts of movies, but me personally never liked Alan Freed. He seemed smarmy to me, if I had a younger sister at the time I would have kept her away from him.

So we start of as always with the trailer. How camp is this opening?

Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers - Love Put Me Out Of My Head

Chuck Berry - You Can't Catch Me

03.21.2012 Video disappeared. Can no longer find this song from this movie, so this version is from Rock Rock Rock, but since the movies were basically the same I don't think there is too mcuh difference.

The Moonglows - Barcelona Rock


Mr. Rock and Roll (1957)
Alan Freed, Little Richard, Clyde McPhatter, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Teddy Randazzo, Chuck Berry, Rocky Graziano, Lois O'Brien, Lionel Hampton, Ferlin Husky, the Moonglows, Brook Benton, LaVern Baker, Shaye Cogan. The story of DJ Alan Freed and the start of rock and roll is disappointing but worth seeing because it makes for a good period piece. "The big story of the musical sensation that's swept the world told by the king of rock 'n' roll himself!"

Added Bear rating for the music

                                               5 Bears

Happy Birthday Buddy

Happy Birthday to Buddy Guy who is 74 today, and long may his grin reign over us.
 So what better to celebrate his birthday than to have some of his hot licks on screen.

First up see how he jams with another maestro of the guitar. When they both play the blues, Buddy Guy and Carlos Santana at the 2004 Montreax Jazz Festival.

Here Buddy gives a blues history lesson, I just wish history has been so interesting back in my school days. Hear him play Cream, Hendrix and Hooker. Wow! just Wow!

This has to be one of the greatest clips by a true bluesman.

For this next clip we have to take the wayback machine to 1965. Here Buddy introduces and backs up Big Mama Thornton who does one definitive version of Hound Dog.

And of course no birthday for Buddy would be complete without his signature tune Sweet Home Chicago.
This version with a bunch of his friends and fans was at the Crossroads 2004 Festival.

With Buddy are Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray, and the Howlin´ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin. What a line up.

Then I could not resist another version I found of Buddy and his good friend Eric Clapton playing the signature tune at Ronnie Scott's Club in Soho, London in 1987.

As always Buddy is on the road, check out this link to see if he is coming to anywhere near you. If so, do yourself a favor and go see him, you will not be disappointed.
And of course if you find yourself in Chicago you must go to his club.

George "Buddy" Guy (born July 30, 1936) is an American blues and rock guitarist and singer. Known as an inspiration to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and other 1960s blues and rock legends, Guy is considered an important exponent of Chicago blues. He is the father of female rapper Shawnna.
Guy is known for his showmanship; for example, he plays his guitar with drumsticks, or strolls into the audience while jamming and trailing a long guitar cord.
Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy grew up in Louisiana where he learned to play guitar at a womens trucker convention. In the early '50s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. Soon after moving to Chicago in 1957, Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters. In 1958, a competition with West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush gave Guy a record contract. Soon afterwards he recorded for the Cobra label. He recorded sessions with Junior Wells for Delmark Records under the pseudonym Friendly Chap in 1965 and 1966.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No One Knows About Persian Cats

No One Knows About Persian Cats won awards in Cannes, Miami, São Paulo, Tallinn and Tokyo.
This movie is released on DVD in the UK but has not yet made it to the USA.

Recently released from prison, two young musicians decide to form a band. Together they search the underworld of contemporary Tehran for other players. Forbidden by the authorities to play in Iran, they plan to escape from their clandestine existence, and dream of performing in Europe. But with no money and no passports, it won't be easy...

Release Date: 2010
Genre: Drama
Cast: Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Writer: Bahman Ghobadi, Hossein Mortezaeiyan
Studio: IFC Films

So I went looking for some of the bands from the movie.

Take It Easy Hospital - Scenarios and Starlights

The Yellow Dogs

The Yellow Dogs, an underground rock band from Tehran, Iran recently moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They've made it here, but where do they go now?

How about Santos party house in Manhattan, NY

This next one really kicks butt.
Ash Koosha - Lucky Horses

In Iran if you drink or have alcohol you will be arrested by komite and you will get whipped.
Lucky Horses is made by Rogine Babaei and a friend in Iran which I can't say the name for safety resons.
As you see in the video Iran's problem is not only the recent events Iranian people has been facing too many problems in their day by day life and this is just one small example.
thanks to all my friends in Tehran and London , specially Imogen for her great makeup...

Hamed Seyed Javadi - Fekr

Natasha Bedingfield

Natasha Bedingfield has a new single out called Touch. This is from her upcoming album, Strip Me.

British pop star Natasha Bedingfield has premiered the official music video for her new single “Touch”. The clip was directed by Rich Lee (Eminem “Not Afraid”, Fergie “Clumsy”, Black Eyed Peas “Imma Be/Rock That Body”), although “Touch” isn’t very similar to his other pieces of work.
Although Natasha is huge in the U.K. she is one of the few British artists to actually have done well in the American market, racking up huge hits stateside like “Unwritten”, “Pocketful of Sunshine” and “Love Like This.”
The song still hasn’t charted despite being out since May, and has already received some heavy promotion with performances on Ellen and So You Think You Can Dance. Her new album Strip Me will be released towards the end of the year. [iMusicDaily]


Let's finish of with one of her greats. Just to keep you in the mood.

The Temper Trap

The Temper Trap is an Indie band from down-under, they will be touring the USA this year. In fact they are at the Outside Lands Festival here in San Francisco on August 15. They have a melodic soulful sound, backed by a great beat.
These two songs are featured on their new "The MySpace Transmissions [EP]", thanks Impactus.

OMG this could be the sadistic ex-Sergeant Major who made our life misery with cross country runs when the ground was too hard to play rugby. This video brings back so many memories, except we didn't sing as we went around the course (usually we hopped on a bus). And there was definitely no Love Lost for the sarge.

Love Lost


The Temper Trap is an indie rock band which formed in 2005 in Melbourne, Australia. The band consists of Dougy Mandagi (vocals, guitar), Lorenzo Sillitto (guitar, keyboards), Jonathon Aherne (bass) and Toby Dundas (drums).

The Temper Trap’s story begins with Dougy. Born in Indonesia and immersed in an artistic and musical family, with some rich influences from singing in church choirs with his aunt and uncle and listening to his dad, a country music fan, play guitar. These influences evolved around Dougy, as he moved consistently from different islands in Indonesia to Hawaii and then eventually to Australia. After moving to Australia, Dougy started working as a portrait drawer at $25 a pop; he also sang for loose change in downtown Melbourne.

Dougy eventually ended up working at the same retail store as Toby. Dougy had thought of starting a band for years and after a few months of boring work hours and finding out Toby was a drummer and a walking musical dictionary, the first band practice began, minus a bass player. In one of the coincidences that the band have come to rely on, Jonny worked a couple of stores down and was called in. He had known Dougy for years, back in the busking days when Dougy first arrived in Melbourne. Jonny, the 13 year old dreamer and son of a missionary, wanted to learn some guitar and Dougy helped him out. A brotherly friendship was formed with some sense of common ground, both drawing life from music and their spiritual upbringings, and unaware of the musical union which would be formed 6 years later. [Last.FM]

Tango With Lions

Tango With Lions, now that's an interesting name for a band. Where would you guess they would be from?
UK, USA, Brazil, Argentina, Africa, Greece? If you guessed Greece you would be right and you are either lucky or you have already seen them, in which case you are also lucky.

The band consists of:
Kat- voice, piano, guitar, harp, percussion, bass
Stavros- cello, mandolin, vocals
Yannos - guitars, vocals
Stefanos- percussion, drums

Tango with Lions were originally conceived by song-writer Kat in 2006, after the musical dressing of diaries, photos and book-reading influences and were officially formed during a summer-time jam in 2007, in a beach house.
Johnniethin's blues-folk guitar playing and harmonica style, met cellist Stavros' confident melodies and Ntana's delicate clarinet sound to complete what the upcoming album represents.
Since the recording sessions during 2009-2010 with Ottomo at Fab Liquid Studios, the band's line up has changed, with Yannos now playing guitars and Stefanos on the drums.
Tango with Lions are day-dreamers, hard-workers and music-lovers. Debut album out, may 2010, Inner Ear Records.

Melodic dreamy melodies with interesting lyrics. Their album is Verba Time. And you can hear more at Last.FM.

Right From the Start

"Right From the Start" video clip from Tango With Lions debut album "Verba Time" (Inner Ear 2010)
Directed shot edited by Andreas Lampropoulos
Co-directed by Andreas Mitrelis

In a Bar

Video by Kostas K, from the live performance of Tango with Lions @ the Small Music Theatre, Athens, Greece, in 2008.

Not sure of the track name here, but this is from a recent concert appearance thanks to kazandbtv for uploading them and he has more of this concert there.

TANGO WITH LIONS από την εμφάνιση στο ΜΥΛΟ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗΣ 13/5/2010

Sara Bareilles

In some other alternate universe I had already featured Sara Bareilles, but in reality I screwed up. So here we go better late than never. Sara has a new album out, Kaleidoscope Heart.
I watched a recent concert by Sara on the Palladia channel and was solidly impressed, this young lady has the pipes and the songwriting skills to go far.

Sara Beth Bareilles (born December 7, 1979) is a Grammy-nominated American singer-songwriter and pianist. Bareilles was born and raised in Eureka, California, United States.

After graduating from UCLA in 2002, Bareilles performed at local bars and clubs. She issued two demos of mostly live tracks in 2003: The First One in April and The Summer Sessions in October.

In January 2004, Bareilles released her first studio album, Careful Confessions. She signed a contract with Epic Records’ A&R executive Pete Giberga on April 15, 2005. The remainder of the year and early 2006 was spent writing and reworking songs for her upcoming album.

Her debut major-label album Little Voice came out on July 17, 2007. [Last.FM]

This is the first single of the new album.

King Of Anything

Of course every one knows her big hit.

Love Song

And of course their is this beautiful song.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Movie History of Rock n Roll - 2

Rock Around The Clock started as a song, was featured in the movie "Blackboard Jungle" which was rated "A" for adult supervision in the UK. I was eleven or twelve at the time so needed an adult to accompany me into the picture house. Well I knew my parents wouldn't go, and I couldn't con my way in with "squeaker" because he only looked about eight. So we got "squeaker"s mother to get us in, which she did and promptly left. Oh the vagaries of a rock n roll youth.
Anyhow I guess they made so much money from it they decided to release a movie with the same name. Note the sub-headline at the top, "It's the whole story of Rock and Roll!". Being only 1956 I'm thinking that's a bit presumptuous. And it truly was presumptuous.
As I have previously mentioned it was one or more of the same scripts, no expense spared.
It was acceptable enough, and it did have a few good artists.

So let's start with the trailer.

Theatrical trailer for the screen's first rock 'n roll classic. ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK, starring Johnny Johnston, Lisa Gaye, Alan Freed, Bill Haley and the Comets, The Platters, Freddie Bell and the Bell Boys. Producer Sam Katzman -- notoriously for his low budget "B" movies, horror films and serials -- was quick to jump on the rock 'n roll craze with quickie that featured a cast of twenty and thirty-somethings playing teens in a paper-thin plot wrapped around music by Bill Haley and the Comets and other acts. It was a huge success and led to the sequel, DON'T KNOCK THE ROCK later the same year.

Katzman remade both films -- nearly word for word -- when the Twist craze swept the nation as TWIST AROUND THE CLOCK (1961) and DON'T KNOCK THE TWIST (1962), both starring Chubby Checker.
And they both sucked.

Freddy Bell and The Bell Boys - We're gonna teach you to rock

The Platters - Only You

Bill Haley and the Comets - Rock Around The Clock

And of course you know we all used to dance just like that.

Great Rock n Roll movie mini reviews at Rockabilly in the Netherlands.

Synopsis borrowed from Rockabilly
Rock Around the Clock (1956)
Alan Dale, Lisa Gaye, Alex Tilton, Johnny Johnston, John Archer, Alan Freed. Performers include Bill Haley and His Comets, the Platters, Tony Martinez and His Band, Freddie Bell and His Bellboys, Little Richard. Rock band comes to New York City and rises to fame. Haley ("the hillbilly with a beat") sings the title tune and two others to steal the show. Produced by cut-rate movie man Sam Katzman who was also responsible for Don't Knock the Rock, Teenage Crime Wave and some of Elvis' later junky stuff among others. [Freed is the legendary Cleveland DJ who coined the phrase "rock and roll" in 1952. He was indicted on payola charges in 1960 and died of a heart attack in 1965 Title track was the first rock song featured in a movie when Blackboard Jungle premiered a year earlier. Another of his hits, Razzle Dazzle, was featured later that same year in Universal International's low budget teen flick, Running Wild.]

Four I never saw for obvious reasons. Only two stars, Fats Domino and the Platters, between four movies.
Shake, Rattle and Rock (1956)
Mike Connors, Lisa Gaye, Sterling Holloway, Fats Domino, Joe Turner, Tommy Charles, Margaret Dumont, Douglas Dumbrille, Raymond Hatton. Typical story of adults trying to stamp out rock music was an early AIP quickie. [AIP was the exploitation company famous for low budget teen, horror and science fiction films. They did most of the top-grossing beach pictures in the 60's too.]

Rock Pretty Baby (1956)
Sal Mineo, John Saxson, Luanna Patten, Edward C. Platt, Fay Wray, Rod McKuen, Shelly Fabares, George Winslow. Forgettable movie about a high school rock group that enters a music contest. Follwed by the sequel, Summer Love. [McKuen, who plays the singer/bass player, became a successful poet/songwriter in the mid-60's.]

Rock Baby, Rock It (1957)
Johnny Carroll and His Hot Rocks, Don Coats and the Bon-Aires, Kay Wheeler, Rosco Gordon and the Red Tops, the Five Stars, the Belew Twins, Preacher Smith and the Deacons, the Cell Block Seven. Low budgeter shot in Dallas featuring several regional rock acts. Better than average for the genre.

Rock all Night (1957)
Dick Miller, Russell Johnson, Abby Dalton, Jonathon Haze, the Platters, Robin Morse, the Blockbusters. Another AIP/Roger Corman quickie about a pair of hoodlums holding some bar patrons hostage. [The script (written in one day!) was originally intended for obscure hipster songwriter Lord Buckley but he was not available at the time. Buckley was said to have influenced Bob Dylan and Tom Waits among others.]

Dean & Britta

Dean and Britta have a new album coming out.
 It is called 13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.
Check out the revue below.
Meanwhile here is some of their earlier stuff to whet your whistle.

Knives from Bavaria

Moonshot (L'avventura)

Song: Moonshot - Dean & Britta (original by Buffy Sainte-Marie).
Scenes: Michelangelo Antonioni's L'avventura (1960). Dean & Britta named their debut album after this movie.

Night Nurse

In case they are new to you:
Dean & Britta is a musical duo consisting of Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips, both former members of Luna. Wareham had formed Luna in 1992 after leaving his first band, Galaxie 500. Phillips joined Luna in 2000, replacing bassist Justin Harwood.
Their first album started out as a Wareham solo project, but when he heard Phillips' demos, he asked her to join him. "L'Avventura" was produced by Tony Visconti (T. Rex, David Bowie) and was released on Jetset Records in 2003 under the name "Britta Phillips & Dean Wareham." After hearing the album, Peter Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, & E.A.R.) fell in love with it and did a remix mini LP entitled "Sonic Souvenirs" (also on Jetset Records).
After Luna broke up in 2005, Dean & Britta spent the next year working on film scores (most notably Noah Baumbach's movie, The Squid and the Whale), and promoting the documentary film of Luna's farewell tour Tell Me Do You Miss Me. They were married during the recording of their album Back Numbers (also produced by Tony Visconti), and simplified their name to "Dean & Britta". Back Numbers was released on Rounder Records in February 2007 followed by a limited edition EP, "Words You Used To Say". In 2006 Dean and Britta did a Take-Away Show video session shot by Vincent Moon.
In 2008, Dean & Britta covered The Cure's "Friday I'm In Love" for American Laundromat Records tribute compilation "Just Like Heaven - a tribute to The Cure". [Wikipedia]

Dean & Britta
13 Most Beautiful ... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
Double Feature

Andy Warhol will always be best known for his Campbell's soup can pop art and quartered-and-drawn Technicolor silk screen images, but he also ventured across media and made numerous live-action films.

Among that catalog were nearly 500 "Screen Tests," films all lasting 4 minutes and 15 seconds and mostly featuring the regular visitors to Warhol's famous New York studio, the Factory, during the mid-'60s.

For "13 Most Beautiful," the Andy Warhol Museum and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust commissioned the post-Luna duo of Dean (Wareham) & Britta (Phillips) to select 13 of the Screen Test shorts and provide a de facto soundtrack for each.

Dean & Britta were up to the task, swinging loose and boozy guitars behind a film of the late Dennis Hopper ("Herringbone Tweed"), reinventing a Bob Dylan classic ("I'll Keep It With Mine") and submersing their trademark dream-rock in electronics ("It Don't Rain in Beverly Hills").

These tracks are probably mesmerizing in their indigenous state - played live onstage with Warhol's images flickering behind them - but they also captivate when accompanied by nothing but headphones and closed eyes.

- Sam Seiler, Special to the Journal Sentinel

Inspiration Imapactus, thanks 

Molly Lewis

This morning I have to say thank you to a friend on Last.FM who introduced me to Molly Lewis (the artist formerly known as sweetafton23) . This young lady with her ukulele has song writing chops way beyond her years.
I've always had a soft spot for the ukulele and have previously featured Amanda Palmer and her Radiohead covers on ukulele, the ukulele maestro Jake Shimabukuro and of course the inimitable Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

This first song just cracks me up, so cool, she has the social networking thing all wrapped up in a three minute song.

My Hope

Molly Lewis performs her original song My Hope at Dipiazza's in Long Beach, CA on January 14th 2010.

A Mr T Reading & I Pity the Fool

Molly Lewis reads from Mr. T by Mr. T and performs her original song I Pity the Fool at Dipiazza's in Long Beach, CA on January 14th 2010.

Wikipedia Song

at W00tstock at Largo in Los Angeles on 10/21/09. Apparently this is a break-up song... with Wikipedia.

And finally today an awesome cover of a Lady Gaga song, without the costumes but with ukulele.
Bad Romance

If you want to check out more video by Molly check out her YouTube page or listen to more at Last.FM.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Movie History of Rock n Roll - 1

In the 50's the world was not quite ready for Rock n Roll, so they produced a bunch of cheesey movies promoting Rock n Roll.
They nearly all featured Alan Freed (the alleged inventor of the term "Rock 'n' Roll") and generally they featured a couple of top tier artists and a bunch of second or third tier ones. Frequently singers or bands from the forties who were trying to jump into the new hep music scene. At the time we were really not thrilled with these movies because they all had basically one of the three same plots. But since it was the only way for English fans to see their American Idols we suffered the plots.
1) Unknown singer on his way up, tries hard, becomes a star, becomes a heel, gets enlightnement.
2) Bunch of rock 'n' roll singers try to stop fuddy duddies who want to stop rock 'n' roll
3) Rock 'n' roll singers getting ripped of by their managers/promoters/girl friends
And one other thing that generally stood out.  The posters were always in color, but the movies black and white.  What's up with that?

These clips are from the 1956 film "Don't knock the rock" which manages to incorporate all three plots I think.

Lets' start with the trailer, which was always shown the week before to get us slavering to be there next week.

Now the two highlight of the movie, first up one of the greatest piano pounders in rock.
Little Richard - Tutti Frutti

And finally the one and only Bill Haley.
Bill Haley and his Comets - Rip it up

Synopsis: Rock-and-roller Arnie Haynes returns to his hometown as a hero to the teenagers. However, the mayor and other concerned adults have banned him from performing in his hometown because they consider him and his music a negative influence on the youth. But with the help of disc jockey/publicist Alan Freed and fellow artists (including Bill Haley and the Comets and Little Richard), they hope to convince everyone that rock and roll is not as dangerous as the adults think. [IMDb]

There is nothing scholarly or official about this history. It's just a personal history based on the movies I saw and my take on them.                      Bear

Emily Haines

Emily Haines (born c. 1974) is a Canadian indie rock singer. In addition to having a solo career, Haines records and performs as a member of the bands Metric, Broken Social Scene, and Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. She is a contralto.
She has contributed backing vocals to albums by other Broken Social Scene members, such as Jason Collett and Kevin Drew.
Emily Haines and Amy Millan briefly formed their first band around 1990 while at ESA, and with songs later written and recorded while at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 1992–1993, at Toronto in 1995, and at Concordia University in Montreal in 1995–1996. The result was Cut in Half and Also Double distributed in 1996 with a limited number of copies.
Haines met James Shaw in Toronto, and the two of them began dating and making music. Their first collaboration was not called Metric, although it contained all the elements that would mark their later music. The two moved to New York, where they recruited their rhythm section and began recording.
Haines also has a solo career, and has released two albums, Knives Don't Have Your Back, and What Is Free to a Good Home?, under the band name Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton. Her solo work is typically more mellow and piano-based than her work with Metric — in interviews, Haines has stated that "most Metric songs I write would start out sounding the same way that Knives sounds. The only difference is that with Knives, I'm exposing my music in a more vulnerable state." [Wikipedia]

What more is there to say? Nothing just listen to the beautiful tone of Emily's voice.
Kick back and relax.

Dr. Blind

Music video by Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton performing Dr. Blind. (C) 2006 Last Gang Records Inc.

Our Hell

Music video by Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton performing Our Hell. (C) 2007 Last Gang Records Inc.

Also in case that was all too laid back for you check this out.

Tiësto - Knock You Out feat. Emily Haines

The Magic Numbers

Can it really be four years since the last release, Those The Brokes, of The Magic Numbers?
Was it worth the wait? Absolutely.
Check out The Pulse, absolutely beautiful and so is the video. All strangely moving.
This is the first track from the new album, The Runaway.

The Pulse

And here is another track from the same album, live.
Restless River

Part one of the Magic Numbers' set at Songs from a Room this March. Their new album, the Runaway was released June 7th.
Songs From a Room is an innovative concept, dedicated to bringing the best of new music to an unusual space or venue. Mix in a crowd of dedicated music lovers, other artists, and industry professionals and you have an evening which promises electric performances and new networks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

April Smith and The Great Picture Show

April Smith and The Great Picture Show are a band from Brooklyn, New York.
The band consists of:
April Smith - vocals, rhythm guitar
Stevens - bass
Nick - drums
Marty - lead guitar
Brandon - keys, melodica
Elliot - drums (album)
Their sassy sound will set your feet a tapping.  
Among all the good things happening to them was one of my favorites, a promo for Weeds.
Of course I never knew it was April Smith until I started preparing this.
But this is a great track for the tease shot.

Terrible Things

Weeds Season 6. The plot deepens August 16 on Showtime.

Wow And Flutter

April Smith and The Great Picture show perform Wow and Flutter live on Fearless Music.

A little taster to give a flavor of what they are doing on the road.
Tour Video

A fun little tour just to show you what we've been up to on the road including footage from our tour with Fanfarlo featuring Movie Loves A Screen from the album Songs For A Sinking Ship by April Smith and the Great Picture Show.


She's unsigned! She played Lollapalooza! Here, she and her band the Great Picture Show swung by to perform "Colors."

Last.FM says:
What do you call a female Brooklyn songwriter with a smarmy, witty lyrical edge, a band that plays as if they’d just stepped out of the Brill Building, and a voice that’s got the squeaky charm of Gwen Stefani’s? Howabout: the next Lily Allen.

“I was the surprise,” says April Smith, the bonus baby her parents won late and whose moxie and dash astounded everyone she met. Today, she remains a welcome bolt: a loose-lipped, cocked-hip gal whose music and mien could buoy the Titanic.

The girl from Toms River, New Jersey, swears she cultivated her magnetic personality in order to impress her much older and “insanely talented” siblings. Watching her brother play with his band, and her sister paint murals on her closet doors, young April wondered, “How do I sneak into their world?”

Actually, “sneak” isn’t quite the word. April crashed her older siblings’ practice sessions, living room talent shows and parties. “I’d put on a show anywhere,” she recalls. At the “big, bad” shindigs her sister threw when their parents were away, our plucky heroine hopped on the dining room table to sing selections from her Cabbage Patch Kids tape. When her siblings held extemporaneous living room talent shows, she begged entry. Absent any raid-able events, she would belt out at the DMV or the supermarket.

As she took her place in the family, April developed a muscular, mellifluous voice and high-flying showmanship. Her mom adored Queen (”If you didn’t know a Brian May solo in the first few notes, you weren’t her child”) and her dad gave her his old 8-track tape player, letting her buy Elvis and Led Zeppelin tapes at yard sales.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Place Within

The hills are alive with the sound of Greek musicians. I haven't featured too many Greek artists in the past and suddenly in the space of a few days I have stumbled, or been lead across (thanks Alex), two great Greek bands.

So check out The Place Within, and see if you agree. As always you can check out some more tracks at Last.FM.

‘The Place Within’ is a five piece band from Athens, currently studying at Patras.

Winners of best music for a film at 48H File Festival.(Run away short film)

One of the twenty winners of the Coca Cola Soundwave 2 Contest.

Give them a listen.


Run Away

The Place Within performing "Run Away" live in Athens - After Dark - 02/12/2008
Filmed by Kostas Antonopoulos


Live at Mad Day Live


Alex Logout is a singer songwriter from Greece, he is a member of a band called "The Place Within" and even an occasional backup singer for B-Sides.

Here is Alex in his own words.
"im just an hour ahead of the rest. im just an hour ahead i cant do much i guess. how many could i warn in an hours time. for the dangers crawling from just an hour ahead of the rest. im just an hour ahead and it hurts. everytime i think sth i like. it is common knowledge in an hours time.... being ahead of your age is not great. it is painfull and sad to see what future ate. it is painfull to see all your friends just like skulls. that the future will swallow them for me thankfully im just an hour ahead. i have no duties and no special rights. i just shut up and smile and pretend its worthwhile. just to live like a pig this nice life"

Check out a couple of his songs, this first video is really well done, great work by Stavros Tsitsopoulos.

Everyone can See (Unplugged in Valencia)

Shot in Valencia, by Stavros Tsitsopoulos.
Words and Music by Alex LogOut. All instruments played by Alex Logout.

A song to listen when you are afraid of death

Words and Music by Alex LogOut. All instruments played by Alex Logout. You can also visit:,,

Official Bio (By Alex Logout)

LogOut is a one-man-band, comprised only by singer/songwriter Alex Logout, living and studying in Greece. Alex Logout has written music for theatrical plays (in some of which he has also performed live in), and is mostly known at the time, as a member of the band The Place Within.

With The Place Within he has made numerous live performances all over Greece, a television performance and has won competitions including “best music for film” award at the 48 hour film festival in Athens for the short film "RunAway".

He is interested in the spontaneity of solo live performances, willing to make every live performance a dynamic event that can be influenced by the special mood of every gig. He likes to write songs to give music solutions to problems that cannot be solved otherwise and plays music because he cannot do otherwise.

Yay! Sprinkles

Check out this video from Yay! Sprinkles. It is all for a good cause, nay great cause.
These people really do a great job here in the bay area. If you need somewhere to be on August 15
give a thought to going to the InterContinental San Francisco.

Sugar Sugar

World premiere video of Yay! Sprinkles as they perform Sugar, Sugar! Come see Yay! Sprinkles LIVE at Project Open Hand's Dessert First event on Sunday, August 15, 2010 at the InterContinental San Francisco. Tix and info at Video created and produced by Scott Saraceno. Visit and become one of their fans on Facebook.

London Markets 50's style

The irrepressible Sid James narrates a nice slice of late 50's life in London.
I remember that geezer with the plates, always expected him to drop 'em.
And of course you have to feature Tubby Isaacs. Yumm, cockles, whelks and jellied eels.
As a kid I remember getting some Sasparilla down the Lane and feeling closer to my childhood fantasies that were about John Wayne and all the other cowboys of the time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

B-Sides Redux

A couple of days ago I was talking about B-Sides and that I couldn't find out too much about them.
Turns out that not only are they good musicians, but they are genuine nice guys.
Yannis the bass player contacted me and pointed out a little mistake in my post, now corrected.
I had found a link but it was another older, now defunct, garage band.
As you can tell by listening to them B-Sides ar not a garage band. Way, way to melodic for that.
Anyway Yannis was kind enough to give me some back ground.

A story without end or rather a story that starts just now.

It’s the story of "B-sides" from Patras/Greece, a band that has already earned the heart of those following the indie music scene of Greece. After the release of two vinyl 7” singles, "Queen" (2008) and "Kill" (2010) and the heavy airplay of the song "Forest" (included in the top 5 of Rock FM for 4 weeks), came the time for their first complete debut "Story without end". An album to come after many months of hard work, rehearsals, demanding recordings, edits, patience but always with devotion to the wanted end result.

"B-sides" started playing together around the end of 1999 having another name and playing a different genre. After endless rehearsals and experimentations in music and lyrics, as well as changes in band members, they finally found the sound and genre that expressed them most. Since 2007 they share their melodies influenced from post punk to indie pop. Through live gigs, participations in music contests, festivals, supports and the addition of their songs in successful compilations like “The turning point” from Dimitris Papaspyropoulos they kept expectations high.

In "Story without end", "B-sides" offer a complete album that can be listened to from start to end, resisting the logic of an album container of isolated “hits”. Ten songs with unified music and lyrics are integrated together to create the experience of the music album of almost like it was done in the past.

"B-sides" are the well hidden secret of the Greek indie music scene that is now being revealed and "Story without end" is nothing less than the first chapter of their story now starting to get written.

"B-sides" are: Vassilis / Singing, George / Guitar – Vocals, Chris / Guitar, Yannis / Bass, Christos / Drums.

Thanks Yannis.
I have to agree, having listened to it a few times now their album is really that. An album, not a bunch of disparate songs thrown together.  You can probably find out more about the albums at B-Otherside Records or Klik Records.

Having read this I had to go find some of their earlier stuff.  Check it out.  But really check out the new album.


Forest is released as side B of "Queen" 7inch vinyl single that was produced as a limited (500 copies only) audiophile edition. It is also part of "Morning After" demo CD single.

And a real gem, a live version of Queen.

B-sides playing live the song "Queen" at the SchoolWave Festival (19 June 2008 at Politeia Patras, Greece).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Plan B

After the B-Sides how about Plan B? Nice segue.
A dramatic song, a dramatic video. Another example of why British pop/hip hop music can be so good.
Plan B is Ben Drew, who had a role in the extremely brilliant but gritty movie about the state of the Estates in England. That movie, in case you haven't seen it, was Harry Brown starring the great actor Michael Caine.
This is a single from the new album The Defamation of Strickland Banks.


This is the extended version.

An earlier single was this one.
Stay Too Long (Explicit Director's Cut)

Four years ago, a young man of 22 emerged from the estates of east London with an album in 'Who Needs Actions When You Got Words,' that was as genre-crossing as it was foul-mouthed. Plan B, aka Ben Drew, had made what was predominantly a rap album in debt to his hero, Eminem, yet he also included curious passages of finger-picked acoustic guitar that if not quite John Fahey, was at least a subtle acknowledgment of a world beyond the London hip-hop and grime he found himself immersed in. The title of his debut album was taken from a song by the Meat Puppets, further proving an awareness of ostensibly remote musical styles.

It should come as no surprise then, that Plan B's new album, 'The Defamation of Strickland Banks,' is an excursion into yet another realm. 'Strickland Banks' is essentially a soul album, with Drew's newly-discovered singing voice placed centre-stage. The quickfire rapping is still there in parts, but overall this is a profoundly softer effort, and a comparison can be made between Drew's transformation from abrasive enfant terrible to crooner and the similar path trodden by one of 2009's breakout heroes, Mayer Hawthorne, another to make the effortless change between hip-hop and soul.

But for Plan B, the transition was far from a step into the unknown. It was this music that was his first love, even before hip-hop took hold of him.

"I've been a songwriter from day one and used to be a soul singer," says Drew. "I called myself Plan B because I completely flipped the script and changed my style to do hip-hop. So this is going back my roots, really."

The sound on 'Strickland Banks' has therefore been lurking behind the scenes with Drew for some time. Only a reluctance to release it under the Plan B name, one that had become synonymous with his other self, stood in the way of its full potential. more ........

Happy Birthday Alison

Today is the birthday of Alison Krauss. Happy Birthday Alison, we won't mention your age that is not done for young ladies. So as a celebration we will feature some of her songs.

First up some fine fine bluegrass fiddling.
Choctaw Hayride

Alison and Union Station at Live at the Louisville Palace Kentucky

A beautiful version of a Gordon Lightfoot song, accompanied by Tony Rice.

And finally on her special day, this very special song from a special collaboration with Robert Plant. These albums and tours were just totally awesome.


I don't know much about the B-Sides, other than they are a group from Greece and I like their sound.
With a name like the B-Sides it's tough Googling them, you get all sorts of stuff.

Duhh! You just have to look at what you are seeing, they are from Patras.

This track Snail, is the last track on their new album "Story Without End", and based on this album their career could be a story without end. They make great music.


This is an unofficial video of the closing track from their debut album "Story Without End" (B-Other Side 2010)
Music Chris & B-Sides
Lyrics Tilemachos Tsardakas

Track four from the album.

And finally today, track two. But this time live.

Angel performed live during the support of "Frank and Walters" in Myga, Athens. Angel will be part of the upcoming debut album of B-sides "Story without end".