Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kate Boy

Today we meet Kate Boy, who are a Swedish group with singer Kate Akhurst who hails from the land down under. Australia that is.

So how can they be a Swedish group? The other three members are Swedes.
Not really a trick question.

Kind of a mystery group, as you can see by the photo's.

The type of music they play is very very catchy electro pop.

Put them on your list of who to look out for in 2013. They are way up on my list.

This is some seriously cool music.

Check out their Debut EP "Northern Lights" out digitally January 22nd (last week) on IAMSOUND

First up the title track from the EP, in all it's splendiferous glory.

Northern Lights

And finally today, because I can't find any more videos the equally amazing "B" side.  Nothing to do with the Peter Gabriel classic, this is one song that stands up in it's own right.

In Your Eyes

5 Bears

Friday, January 25, 2013

Audrey Rose

Today I'm happy to introduce the beautiful and talented Audrey Rose, she grew up in Kentucky but is currently a resident of Nashville, TN.

If your are in music, you have to be in a musical city, and none better than Nashville.
Artist and songwriter Audrey Rose is possessed of a singular vision of what music can be. “I have to create music that I’m proud of as a songwriter and as an artist,” she says with equal parts confidence and good humor. With the release of Smoke, her debut independent EP, Rose has much to be proud of. Her carefully composed, confessional songs evoke trans-continental imagery, from the romance of the West Coast to the darkened corners of Music City. These unflinchingly honest songs are rendered in enchanting shades of modern and classic pop, with whiffs of jazz and blues adding depth and soul and a uniquely arresting vocal style bringing it all home.                more ............
So now we know a little about her, it's time to listen to her music.

BTW: for a limited time you can download a live album featuring Audrey as well as Jessica Campbell and Hannah Miller recorded at the Red Clay Theater, from the wonderful folks at Noisetrade

First up check out this beautiful song.

Part of me Produced by: Paul Redel
Mixed by: Craig Alvin
Mastered by: John Baldwin
Engineered by: Stephen Allbritten and Shawn Daugherty
Musicians: Patrick Lochridge, Paul Redel, Lee Holland, Matt Mangano
BGV's: Tofer Brown

Next up, I was pleased that we both share a favorite Bon Iver song.
Check out her beautiful version of it.

Blood Bank Here's a living room performance of one of her favorite songs.

This is the great title track from her "Smoke" EP, released last year and still available.
No video per se, but the music is what we are here for.


And finally today, another cover.
If you are gonna do a cover then do the best songs I always say, and this is one of the best.
A George Gershwin classic.


5 Bears

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Marla Mase

It's been a while. But I'm really happy to be able to say "and now for something completely different" and mean it.

This is one totally talented young lady, prepare to be blown away.

Marla Mase is a writer/performer/producer/singer/songwriter from New York City. She writes songs, plays, monologues, short stories, erotica, blogs, and poems. Marla is known for her provocative, raw performance style and intelligent lyrics and is regarded by her peers as being a true musical pioneer of our time. She is backed by the Tomás Doncker Band.

Just off her first tour in China where she was invited by the Friends of the UN to perform for UN GLOBAL PEACE DAY in Linzhou City, Marla was given an honorary "Messenger of Peace" award for her visionary work as a songwriter and performing artist. Her fans span the globe.

Marla is about to release the DELUXE Edition of her album SPEAK (on Feb 28, 2013) which will include the 10 songs on the original 2010 album plus 6 new tracks including Piece of Peace, AnnaRexia (a reggae track featuring Garrison Hawk from Bill Laswell's Method of Defiance), and Bill Laswell's dubmix version of AnnaRexia. AnnaRexia is spearheading the StayImperfect Project or Love Your Butt Campaign, which Marla created to empower women to not only accept but love themselves and their bodies.

Proceeds from AnnaRexia as well as emerging artist, Lael Summer's track, The Good Fight (whose EP Marla co-produced with Doncker) will go towards the projectheal a non-profit organization founded by two teenage eating disorder survivors, that raises scholarship money for girls whose families cannot afford to send them to treatment.

Check out this piece of the Musical which was performed at the "Laurie Beechman Theatre" 407 W. 42nd Street (btw 9th/10th Avenue) New York, NY.

A Brief Night Out - Rockin' Hot Mase A Brief Night Out, written and performed by Marla Mase, is a one-woman rock-n-roll musical which tells the story of a middle-aged woman, a mom, who is having an affair, falling apart at the seams and busting with a sexy brand of anxiety. She is obsessed with war, surrounded by addiction, and does not trust her therapist. She is a victim of a mid-life rock-n-roll crisis.
Tune: " Rockin' Hot Mase "
Authors: Marla Mase & Tomas Doncker.
Copyright © 2010
"Rockin' Hot Mase" by Marla Mase and Tomas Doncker.
All Rights Reserved.
With Martin Vidnovic.
The Band: Tomas Doncker, Alan Grubner, Booker King, Heather Powell, Tobias Ralph, Nick Rolfe.
Directed by Phyllis Roome.

Now coming back to the current day, check out Marla's truly powerful official video for another of her great songs.

Piece of Peace written by Marla Mase/Tomás Doncker for UN GLOBAL PEACE DAY EVENT in LInzhou China Sept 21, 2012 -- Marla was invited by Friends of the UN to perform in China
Marla Mase-lead
Tomás Doncker- guitars, back-up vocals
James Dellatacoma - guitar/engineer
Tobias Ralph - drums
Josh David-bass/back-up vocals
Heather Powell-back-up vocals
Directed by: Brandon Kieffer

Jumping back in time again for a live performance of this classic.

DFWME DFWME written and performed by Marla Mase at the Barrow Street Theatre

And finally today, another song from the musical "A Brief Night Out" performed at Nightingale Lounge, NYC.

Things That Scare Me

Marla is currently developing THE SPEAK SHOW, a multi-media concert/performance piece using music (from SPEAK DELUXE), spoken word, dance and visual imagery to explore the themes of confinement, sexuality, body image, trauma, oppression (internal/external) and freedom as a means of celebrating the raw reality of our human condition as expressed through the eyes, bodies, voices of women. It was recently booked for NYC Summerstage 2013.

She is also collaborating with The Climate Institute to create a concept album around the subject of Climate Change and The Melting Arctic; a Global Soul fusion of the mythologies, poems and music of indigenous peoples as they relate to the subject.

Her debut album, the rock opera, A Brief Night Out (BNO), tells the story of a woman, having an affair, breaking-down, obsessing on war and re-assessing her life. It is also the soundtrack to a theatrical version of the same story that has been performed in New York City with Broadway Veteran Martin Vidnovic playing all the male roles and also as a one-woman show directed by Sara Berg.

OK, so you knew there was more right?
So check out the amazing album, and make sure to get your own copy.

Speak [Deluxe]


5 Bears

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jive Aces

The Jive Aces, winners of BBC TV's Opportunity Knocks,were formed in 1989. They were also Britain's Got Talent semi finalists in 2012. They would have appeared to have got the talent shows covered from both ends.

They are a six-piece UK based, high energy, jive and swing band, who have many albums and singles to their name,and have performed at many music festivals. They received an award from the Variety Club of Great Britain for their charity work, and the City of Derry International Music Award in 2006.

The band performs both cover versions and original material. With their amazing talent and unbounding enthusiasm I don't think they really need talent shows, but on the other hand the TV networks are not exactly the first to welcome talent. Unless you are a "bona fide" pop star with a number one hit on your hands, or a gazillion Beeber style fans then the only way you can make it on TV is via the talent shows.

Enough of the anti-corporate rant, let's get back to the talent.

The Jive Aces certainly have talent in spades.

In 2012 a Doctor in Seattle in the US prescribed the Jive Aces' Bring Me Sunshine music video as a cure for the blues and this was covered in the UK media in December.  By this time the music video had 2.1 million views.                       [Wikipedia]

The Jive Aces are: Ian Clarkson, "Big" John Fordham, Ken Smith, Peter Howell, Alex Douglas, Vince Hurley

Check out that video here, for a quick dose of cheer up.

Bring Me Sunshine

This is the music of my youth, is there anybody who could listen to this and still keep their feet still?
I think not.

Check out this video from a couple of years back.

London Rhythm Music video for The Jive Aces "London Rhythm" from the album "Recipe For Rhythm featuring a cameo from Lionel Blair.

Let's go back a few more years and check out this gem.

GI Jive (Janitor Caretaker) Some pretty cool jiving going on there, just like my parents, NOT.

Let's check out their take on another classic.

Fever Music video for the track "Fever" from the album, "Recipe for Rhythm" featuring dancers Darren Bailey and Lana Williams (from Strictly Dance Fever) and choreography by Ryan Francois. The Jive Aces' version of the classic Elvis and Peggy Lee track

And finally today a complete gig from downtown LA at the world renowned Cicada Club. I'll let the locals introduce it.

The Cicada Club proudly presents The Jive Aces, Great Britain's top Jive and Swing band. These dashing lads have performed at thousands of festivals, theatres and dance halls throughout the UK, Europe and USA as well as Japan, Israel and the Caribbean. Renowned for high energy music and spectacular stage show, their repertoire stretches from the timeless tunes of the swing era, to the glitz and glitter of the Rat Pack along with a mixture of fresh arrangements of swing, jive and rhythm 'n' blues classics - songs made famous by such greats as Louis Prima, Cab Calloway, Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, Big Joe Turner and Sammy Davis Jr. -- along with a selection of superb swinging originals. Special guest vocalist Toni Elizabeth Prima (the daughter of Louis Prima and Keely Smith). 

5 Bears

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Was A King

Today we meet a group from Norway.

They hail from Egersund in the county of Rogaland (where they used to make the best jam in the world at Rogaland Konservefabrikk AS) and some also from Oslo.

Don't know if it is the sweetness of the jam, but I Was A King make wonderful music.
In all the many splendored forms that human relationship can take, husband to wife, parent to child, sibling to sibling, and so on, there is something singularly mysterious about friendship. It is neither biological, nor natural, nor instinctive, and as such, the existence of friendship is almost an oddity, but it is also sublime. Old Friends, the previous release  from Norway’s I Was A King, was released January 25, 2011 on Sounds Familyre, touches on this phenomenon.

A bizarre cross-section of musical backgrounds is represented by indie-music luminaries (Daniel Smith, John Ringhofer, Emil Nikolaisen), an avant-classical composer (Joshua Stamper), a free-jazz drummer (Kevin Shea), an electronic music diva (Anne Lise Frøkedal). Indeed, their work together would seem strange were it not for the compellingly simple songs and clarion melodies of Frode Strømstad that provide a sure anchor for such wildly disparate musical proclivities.
Let's check out some of their great tunes.

This is one of their most recently posted songs, looks like it was filmed up in Rogaland.

The song is from their recent album, You Love It Here.  

Frozen Disease

And this next one is of course the title track from aforesaid album.  

You Love It Here

Now we can jump into the wayback machine and catch a track from their first album.  In an intimate live performance.

So Shy

And from about the same time period, here is another live performance, this one not so intimate.  

Step Aside I Was A King @ John Dee, Oslo.
Sound engineer: OIe Reidar Gudmestad.
Camera: Vibeke Heide, Silje Andersen.
Editing: Silje Andersen.

And finally today, we'll close with a another great live track. This time from a festival last year.  

Winter Sleep Grand Scene, Egersund, Norway
Visefestivalen 2011
July 1st 2011
Filmed by Reidar A. Eik

5 Bears

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Anna Haas

Fiery redhead Anna Haas excites the senses instantly with a powerhouse voice and arrestingly honest lyrics, enhancing each line with wildly dramatic stage antics and thunderous, intricate piano playing.

Anna Haas describes her musical genre as Soul-Pop-Cabaret, it should really be Talent-Talent-Talent.
This young lady has talent to go round. Just one song and you will be hooked.

She is a real fireball, her hometown is Nashville,TN but she is currently residing in New York bringing some mid-west moxie to the big apple.

When listening to "Crazy Is" her newly released album, one can expect to hear the lyrical wit and quirky piano technique of Regina Spektor, the angst of Fiona Apple, the emotionally compelling and climactic songwriting of Jeff Buckley, and the soulful vocal reflections of Janis Joplin. But Haas's voice is all her own: the crux that a legion of instrumentation swarms around. The rawness in her voice and in the heavy, soulful piano, ripping guitar solos, bluesy pedal steel, horns, and symphony of strings gives the record life, integrity, and strength.

Anna Haas's Crazy Is is a timeless yet modern tapestry of stories and musings blending sarcasm, metaphor, and absolute vulnerability. Haas writes from an honest and sometimes controversial place as her lyrics shift in subject matter from a loving homage to a secret relationship, to emotional dependence on love and drugs, and the imagined loneliness of Marilyn Monroe. The collection of eleven songs was recorded in multiple studios throughout her hometown of Nashville and New York, and took nearly two years to complete.

The last song on the album is the first song you will hear right here. This first video has a great story behind it. After her grandmother died, the family discovered boxes of turn of the century 8mm and 16mm film reels. They converted the reels to digital and were astounded by what they saw. Having the rare opportunity to see footage of her grandmother from the 20's, 30's and 40's in Brooklyn and Manhattan, she was inspired to write 'Find Your Home' and to pursue the process of making this music video.

The rest of us, even if we never knew her grandmother, will also enjoy this terrific song and the beautiful video that she has made.

Find Your Home   

"Find Your Home" written by Anna Haas
Produced and mixed by Mark Galup at Reel Recording, Nashville
Engineered by Erik Thompson
Mastered by Mark Galup and Erik Thompson
Piano and Vocals- Anna Haas
Viola- Renae Truex
Pedal Steel- Adam Ollendorff
Guitar- Mark Galup

Of course when a song is that good, it is also great to find a live performance, so here we have Anna live @ 3rd & Lindsley.

Find Your Home

Here's something a little bit more upbeat also performed live @ 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville

The Real New York Featuring: 
Anna Haas- Vocals 
Will Medders- Drums 
Cheyenne Medders- Bass 
Doug Gross- Guitar 
Renae Truex- Fiddle 
Leif Shires- Trumpet 
Justin Carpenter- Trombone 
Craig Swift- Sax 
Cristina Taddonio and Matt Lovell - Background Vocals 

OK, so you have a few beers on the beach at night and write a song with some guy she just met. Who hasn't done that? Most of us.

Eyes Open Fresh Traveler's Anna Haas decided to scope out the musical talent at Geneva on the Lake. She met the amazing local Geneva on the Laker, Rob Covert, and co-wrote the song "Eyes Open," a sandy shanty song.

About a year ago Anna made this beautiful cover of a classic. It was so good it required an official video, and this is it. 

Take Me To The River The official music video for "Take Me to the River", a cover by Anna Haas.
Shot in New York by Mungo Bros Productions.
Directed by Quintin Xavier Roper, and filmed and edited by Michael Crain and Matt Hayes.
Original song by Al Green, also covered by David Byrne.

From earlier this year a beautifully stylized video of a great song, track four on the album. Way way too good for MTV, which is why you won't see it there.

Maypole Conceptualized and Choreographed by Anna Haas
Directed by Jon Tee and Anna Haas
Produced by Matt Sullivan

Finally today we get a beautiful Patsy Cline cover. Featuring Matt Lovell live @ Mercury Lounge NYC

She's Got You

Well not quite finally, you know I wouldn't leave you without the chance to hear "Crazy Is".

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Today we get to meet eighteen year-old London native Flo Morrissey, a.k.a. 9mary.

Last September she captivated us with her gorgeous voice and powerful, very well-written songs.

The pure, raw emotion of “If You Can’t Love This All Goes Away" just has to be heard.

And the fact that at that time she was only seventeen is all the more amazing.

More recently she has released a brilliant new EP, 4 Songs in French.

And you can get a free copy, just wait until the end.

In the meantime check out some of 9mary's beautiful sounds.

This is a recent gig where 9mary played for the first time in France, she played at Café De La Danse for the first HibOO Event (called HibOO Live Sessions) one of my favorite songs.

If you can't love this all goes away

This has to be one of the most beautiful Marvin Gaye covers it has been my privilege to hear.

Lets get it on

Another beautiful cover, this time by a singer few this side of the Atlantic have experienced. The amazing Demis Roussos.

Forever and Ever

Let's get back to some more original music. Check out this beautiful song written by 9mary, Max Pope and Luke Bower. A pretty amazing video to boot, by Flo Morrissey.  

Petit Garçon

Lets grab one more cover. This time a live performance @ Sofar Sounds London. 9mary performing a cover of Antony and the Johnsons' "Hope There's Someone" at a secret Sofar performance in London, UK on November 13th, 2012.  

Hope There's Someone

Finally today, there are some songs where 9mary's voice will just destroy you with the emotion, this is one of them.

Blow out

As promised the new EP - 4 Songs in French