Posts Tagged ‘best

11
May
11

Day 6: Farms and Facepaint in London

Today. Such a conglomeration of happenstance. I don’t even know how or why it came together, but it did.

A simple tweet alerting us of a Marcus Foster performance, a few more tweets later we got confirmation of where and when. Then… Walk the Moon was already on the agenda. Was turning out to be quite the day, lemme tell ya.

First, we lounged around til about 3 and then finally got up and headed to Hoxton. The farm was in the area, so we decided to grab some food nearby. We ran into this small little cafe, which coincidentally is a recording studio. There were pics of artists up on the walls to prove the point. Meghan and I both got the eggs florentine, and for the first time eating that, it was super delicious! Then we sat talking for hours and finally ended our brunch with some slices of chocolate cake, in honor of Meghan’s birthday of course.

Strolling a little bit down the way, we managed the find the farm where Marcus and Chris were to perform. Just one problem…. It was invite only. *cue horror music*

Meghan explained how Chris said we could come down, and they finally let us in, thank goodness. It wasn’t packed at first, but it did quickly fill up eventually. Free booze, and free food nonetheless, lol. We relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere and appetizers until it was time for Marcus to sing.

We made our way into the little barn like area, and lo and behold…. A cozy couch for us to sit on and watch. Odd thing is, the total number of people that actually came into the barn to watch the show was only 12. 12 people! So odd. I guess the wanted their free booze more than a gig… More for us then, because it was like a private party! Woo!

They did only 5 songs, but hey, after 2 years, that was more than enough to make it worth my while.

  1. I Don’t Mind
  2. Shadows of the City
  3. Don’t Need to Lose You To Know
  4. Tumble Down
  5. Kiss is a Knife

I recorded 2 of the 5, but the files are too large to upload now. Will have to do it when I get back home ๐Ÿ™‚

Those guys certainly make a great team, and so happy to see Chris playing a cajon! Thats an instrument that needs way more love.

After the show, Meg and I chatted with them a bit, but we had to be on our merry way to see Walk The Moon!

Finally making it to the venue, there was about and hours wait until the got on. I had to partake in some facepaint. Sadly it was so hot in there, Meg declined… Maybe next time?

Finally the boys got on! The crowd is nowhere near as energetic as the last time I saw WTM in Brooklyn, but still a fun time. My favorites are Quesadilla,I Can Lift A Car and Anna Sun, of course.

Kevin Jones and Ben Lovett even showed up to the gig. I wonder if Ben already knew about them from Communion NY or if they are gaining a following in London… Ah well.

Afterward, Meg talked to Kevin, and mentioned Bushstock, and the exclamation of remorse for it getting rescheduled was instant, lol. Considering everything that has happened in place of it, I am not mad about anything at this point!

So now, sitting here in my facepaint, blogging. With the feeling that I don’t wanna wash it off, lol.

What a day.

Who the hell knows what tomorrow will bring.

Til then,
– L

10
May
11

Day 5: Derp Derp in London

Ok so this morning, we totally overslept. I’m talking after 12pm. Meghan still had leftovers from the Thai we ate the previous night, but I didn’t, so I decided to walk down to the fish and chip shop in town. I got the cod and chips, and by the power of magic he produced this, sprinkled with sea salt and malt vinegar in like 2 seconds. Hot, crispy, delicious. Then I headed over to Tesco to get some water and some more snacks! This time I got different bags of crisps: Wotsits, Doritos, and Thai Sweet Chili. Haven’t tried them yet, but I will let you all know how it goes.

Back at the pad, stuffing the fish and chips in my mouth, or at least as much of it that could fit comfortable, perusing Twitter, we found out that Walk the Moon have two more shows in London, today and tomorrow. Without nothing else on our agenda, we decided to check out today’s show in Kings Cross.but beforehand, we decided to catch a movie at Leicester Square.

We saw Water for Elephants! Ha! No, i kid. Really, we saw Limitless… A movie I’ve wanted to see forever now, but just now getting around to it. First off, what’s all this sweet popcorn business? Who knew that was so popular? Secondly, I ordered salty popcorn. I get the popcorn and I peer around the theater looking for it in earnest….

WHERE IS THE BUTTER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

Do you all not believe in buttered popcorn? Wait, that’s blasphemy… But seriously,how can you Londoners eat dry ass popcorn? I was so baffled by this.

So toting my dry ass popcorn and slushie, we made our way into the theater. You could easily tell we were the only Americans in the place for the simple fact that Meghan and I totally laughed at the American humor on the previews. Mind you her laugh can alert the masses anyway (read: loud).

The movie in itself was good! Very good actually. I wish something like that existed in real life… Even though it might kill me, it’s worth it, lol.

After the movie, we headed to Kings Cross, but we were both famished, so decided to stop at the little pub before heading to the venue.

Here’s what happened. We get there at 7:30, there are supposed to be 2 opening bands, so we took our time and ate slowly. At 9pm we walk (ACROSS THE STREET) to the venue, and guess what… We see them packing up the van. WE MISSED THE ENTIRE GIG! I could have spat fire I was so disgruntled,lol. We chatted up some folks outside just to make sure we really botched this terribly, and yes, indeed we did miss the show because we were eating across the street.

DERP DERP.

So instead of new pics of Walk the Moon, I’ll just insert these pics from the last time I saw them, so you guys can just squint really hard and pretend they were taken in a London pub.

Thankfully there is another gig tomorrow, and we will not miss it. I will not leave London without a painted face.

Plus, tomorrow is Meghan’s birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ Victory shall be ours!

Til tomorrow,
-L

10
May
11

Day 4: Boot Stomping in London

So this morning we decided to head over to Knightsbridge to check out Harrods. It really is like a huge huge Macy’s. Neither of us purchased anything and we had hours to kill before the Mumford & Sons gig, so we went across the street to this restaurant where we sat outside and had tea, scones, clotted cream and jelly. Absolutely delicious. Must find a way to get this again when I’m back home.

And here’s Meg, drinking her coke and eating scones, while I had the tea ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, after some hours of sitting and talking we got on the tube to Wimbeldon, to the New Wimbeldon Theatre to see Mumford & Sons. Matthew & the Atlas opened for them. I would have loved to see more banter from Matthew & the Atlas, but I did enjoy his voice, very unique. I will be sure to listen to more of their stuff. The venue was gorgeous too…

Meg and I tried to stand on the side near the railing but the usher sent us back to our seats immediately when the show began.
Anyway…. After some preliminary announcements and hoopla, it was time…. 1st person to come out:

Then….

Then….

And finally…

The crowd was energetic and eager to participate. Everyone stood up. Everyone clapped. Everyone danced. Everyone cheered. Old and young alike.., it was pretty spectacular. But when a moment of silence was asked for, this happened, and it was lovely:

Meg and I looked at each other like “OMG.” It was so silent you could hear a pin drop, I was very impressed that the silence lasted the entire song.

They also played another one of my favorites:

I love a multi talented man! Seeing Marcus on drums is invigorating, I was again… Impressed.

Overall I thought it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to in recent history. Winnie humped his banjo as usual, Ben smiled the entire time and whipped his hair back and forth, Ted was Ted, and Marcus left his heart and soul out onstage. It was inspiring and possibly one of the best nights of my life. Can’t wait to see them again.

Tomorrow would have been Paris, but since someone at the Eurostar website is smoking crack and trying to charge ยฃ400 roundtrip, Paris will have to wait. At least until I make my millions or the sugar daddy comes along, whichever is 1st.

So, more days in London, which I’m not sad about. Maybe some art… Maybe some sightseeing, maybe some more beer? Ok definitely more beer. Lol.

Til then,
-L

26
Dec
09

My Top Albums of 2009

Of course, this is in my opinion.. ๐Ÿ™‚ And by top albums of 2009, I mean the top albums I’ve listened to and have dominated my itunes/ipod. They don’t necessarily need to have come out in 2009. So let’s get started!! I really tried to narrow it down to 10, but it was virtually impossible. So, in no particular order…

  • The Foreign Exchange – Leave It All Behind
    When this album came out, I can’t even remember what else I was listening to, but I know I loved this one as soon as it came out. Guest appearances from Darien Brockington and Phonte made it all the more worth while. Favorites: “Daykeeper”, “House of Cards”
    Foreign Exchange - Leave it All Behind
  • Radiohead – In Rainbows
    I remember when this one came out, I didn’t pay it much attention as I wasn’t a huge Radiohead fan. I know, blasphemy. But I listened to this one and it instantly drew me in with Thom Yorke’s sometimes mumbling incoherent lyrics and the haunting melodies. Always one of my favorites to listen to on a crowded subway ride. Favorites:ย  “All I Need”, “House of Cards” “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi”
    Radiohead - In Rainbows
  • The Fray – The Fray
    I’m not even sure how I stumbled onto this band. I think it must have been someone on Twitter who blipped a song or something, but nevertheless I became obsessed with them after a short while. Favorites: “Vienna”, “How To Save A Life” “Hundred”
  • Ray Lamontagne – Gossip in the Grain
    1st time I came across was in a romantic comedy with Katherine Heigl called “27 Dresses”. A song called “Be Here Now” was included in the film, and I set out to find out who the hell was that man singing with a voice like raspy silk?? I had to find out, and that’s when I fell under his spell. Favorites: “Sarah”, “A Falling Through”, “I Still Care For You” “Winter Birds”
  • MUTEMATH – Armistice
    This band has been my favorite for a while and I was anticipating this album for so very long. Of course they did not disappoint. While the frantic drumming and complex rhythms remained, there were new sounds such as violin and trumpets included. Adding another layer of genius onto an already genius band. Favorites: “Lost Year”, “Burden”, “Odds”, “No Response”, “Pins and Needles”
  • Mayer Hawthorne – A Strange Arrangement
    Perhaps the most soulful and refreshing album released in 2009, Mayer Hawthorne came out of nowhere for me. I was thoroughly surprised to hear what I heard after seeing major musicians like Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and John Mayer all say how impressed they were by this. Curiosity got the best of me, and I bought the album on iTunes. So glad I did. Favorites: “The Ills”, “Green Eyed Love”, “I Wish That It Would Rain”
  • Kings of Leon – Only By The Night
    Once again, I stumbled upon a song called “Cold Desert” online that I fell in love with immediately. Before then I had no idea who KOL was or heard any of their music. Then I heard “Sex on Fire” and I knew this band was worthy of me giving it a deeper listen. The whole album was great, IMO, so then I listened to all their old stuff and I’ve been hooked ever since. Favorites: “Cold Desert”, “Sex on Fire”, “Use Somebody”, “Notion”
  • John Mayer – Battle Studies
    Ok, I admit when I heard the 1st single “Who Says” I had very low hopes for this album. It was lackluster, boring and so unlike John. I thought it was an all out lazy song, and I was so pissed because I knew he was better than that. Then I heard the snippets of the album, and one song called out to me right away called “Edge of Desire.” That song alone compelled me to purchase the whole thing and I was so glad I did because it’s become one of my favorite albums this year. Such an easy listen all around. Time can only tell if he will ever surpass the genius of “Continuum”, but this album is brilliant in its own right. Favorites: “Edge of Desire”, “Assassin”, “Heartbreak Warfare”, “War of My Life”
  • Black Milk – Tronic
    Yet another talented artist from Detroit, Michigan. I remember when I first heard this, I had to put all my other albums on the back burner,lol. It’s just hip hop done extremely fucking well. That’s all I can say about this. If you haven’t listened to this and you call yourself a hip hop fan, you’re a damn liar. Favorites: “Give The Drummer Sum”, “Losing Out”, “The Matrix”, “Long Story Short”, “Bounce”
  • Marcus Foster – Marcus Foster
    So, I’m not sure if he classifies this as an extremely long EP, or an unofficial album.. but it says EP on the cover… hmm. I dunno. There are 11 songs total on this, but it was only sold at his shows while he toured. A shorter, 6 song version was sold on iTunes. Lucky for me, I got the long one and I find myself coming back to this over and over again. Beautiful melodies, excellent songwriting. Just pure music. Pure as it can possibly get and that’s why this is a brilliant album. Sometimes something so simple can be so perfect, and there’s nothing about this I would change. Congratulations Marcus. The only artist to make me shed a tear this year,lol. Favorites: “Tumble Down”, “In Your Head”, “Movement”, “Circle In The Square”, “Make It Easy”
  • Coldplay – Prospekt’s March
    Being the complete Coldplay fan I am, I was always searching for unreleased music of theirs online, because they are the type of band to have all that kind of stuff floating out there, you just have to dig around a bit to find it. I found out about this one in my internet travels, and was so excited about it. While there were a few reworked versions of a few of my faves on “Viva La Vida” , there were a few new tunes added into the mix. A lovely little compliment for the full length album. Favorites: “Glass of Water”, “Prospekt’s March”, “Rainy Day”
  • Maxwell – BLACKsummers’night
    Last time I fell for Maxwell and his damn crooning ass voice, I was shelling out $180 dollars for tickets to see him at Jones Beach and I didn’t think twice about it. Maxwell is one of those artists that I would blindly buy anything they put out because I know it’s gonna be damn good. And this album was good! If I had a boyfriend at the time, no one would ever see me because I’d be having tons of sex to this album. It’s one of those albums. Unluckily for me I’m single, so all I could do was save up ideas of what I will be doing to whomever takes that boyfriend spot next. He’ll be back next year with the second installment, and I can’t wait. Favorites: “Cold”, “Pretty Wings” “Bad Habits” “Fisful of Tears” “Stop The World”
  • D’Angelo – Voodoo
    I’m not sure what possessed me to pull out a nearly 10 year old album and have it become one of my 2009 faves, but I suppose it’s just a testament to how talented he is and how timeless this album is. I still have faith that one day D’Angelo will be back out again, giving us another album that will go over everyone’s head who isn’t ready for his type of genius yet. I can only hope… Favorites: “The Root”, “Untitled”, “Spanish Joint”, “One Mo’ Gin”
  • As Tall As Lions – As Tall As Lions
    I admit I had no idea who this band was until I looked them up. I saw they were opening for MUTEMATH, and I wanted to at least listen to them and decide if I liked them before I had to endure their opening set. So glad I did, because this band gave me one of the most touching songs of 2009. A tiny acoustic song called “Kicking Myself” found its way into my heart and buried itself there. How convenient that song came along at the exact time I could relate to it so perfectly. And oh no, they aren’t all about heartfelt ballads. These guys can rock out like nobody’s business. The lead singer has one of the best voices I’ve heard all year. Damn near perfection, really. Favorites: “Kicking Myself”, “Ghosts of York”, “Stab City”
  • MUTEMATH – MUTEMATH
    I think I can honestly say this album has been in my favorites for almost 2 years straight now. It never gets old to me. I really can’t say a bad word about this album at all to be honest, it’s pretty muct spot on perfect, LOL. Favorites: “Noticed”, “Stall Out”, “Picture”, “Typical”, “You Are Mine”

And that’s all folks. Why don’t you tell me a few of your favorites. I’m always interested in adding more to the bunch ๐Ÿ™‚





25
Dec
09

The Top 10 Live Performances of 2009

So, it’s finally Christmas, and what better gift that my picks for the top shows I’ve seen this year. I’ve been to quite a lot of shows considering I’ve been out of work and I figured what better what to stay stress-free than to go to live shows. Music is a passion of mine, and even though I can’t play or sing, I thoroughly enjoy a great show. BTW, I’m working on the playing thing – just got an acoustic guitar thanks to my lovely brother. THANKS DEV!! Without further ado….

Performances: Any artist/band single song performance during 1 song. Artist/band can be listed several times.

10. Joshua Radin – “No Envy No Fear” at Webster Hall, NYC
When I went to see Joshua Radin, I wasn’t expecting him to really belt out a tune like this since he’s known for his “whisper-rock”, but he really impressed. Such an impressive set of pipes on this guy.

9. Sam Bradley – “Fucking Lights” at Webster Hall, NYC
I had previously seen Sam live at Joe’s Pub, but it was without a band. This time he had his band with him and put on the most energetic, rambunctious and lively performances I’ve ever seen him do. So much fun! *NOTE*- Video clip is not from NYC, sorry! But the song is always awesome wherever he performs it, so enjoy!

8. Bobby Long – “Two Tone Lover” at Mercury Lounge, NYC [On Tour Soon Overseas]
I admit, this song was ok for me, not my favorite and not terrible by any means, but when he sang this the other night, he really breathed new life into it. I’ve heard a lot of versions of this song, and this was hands down, the best one he’s ever done.

7. Marcus Foster – “Bus Song” at Mercury Lounge, NYC [On Tour Soon Overseas]
I think I briefly watched Marcus sing this song via YouTube videos a few times, but it hadn’t really clicked with me until I heard him sing it live. The video really doesn’t do it justice. Such a gorgeous song!

6. Mayer Hawthorne – “Green Eyed Love” at Brooklyn Bowl, BK,NY [Performing with John Mayer Trio in Las Vegas, NV- New Years Eve]
Now, when I first met Mayer Hawthorne, bka DJ Haircut, he was a DJ and Producer. I had no idea the man could sing and play a plethora of instruments that would put people to shame. He made an incredible album in 2009, full of the most soulful tracks I’ve heard this year, and embarked on a full blown tour in support. I caught him perform in Brooklyn, and I was awed that this was the same guy I met so long ago in Los Angeles. He became a superstar overnight. Such stage presence and charisma. Truly great performer. You should see him when you have the chance. And this song in particular had the ladies eating out of his hand. Believe me, it’s a lot more sexy in person. LOL *NOTE* Video clip is not from NYC, but please enjoy!

5. Marcus Foster – “Kiss is a Knife” atย  Arlene’s Grocery, NYC [On Tour Soon Overseas]
Now, this was the 1st time Marcus was in NYC touring, and when he whipped out this song, I knew I’d be in for a treat. Everyone enjoys when he performs this song! Always a good time, and he throws his whole self into it. You’ll see what I mean.

4. Kings of Leon – “Trani” at Nassau Coliseum, NY
So I trekked all the way to Long Island just so I could see these guys play and I was not disappointed. I remembered this song in particular being the one that blew me away that night. Caleb has an incredible voice on him, I was just awed. Not much else to say about it.. Just watch!

3. John Mayer – “Edge of Desire” at Music Hall of Williamsburg, BK,NY [Currently On Tour]
When I first heard John’s newest album “Battle Studies” I knew that this would end up being my favorite on the album. Never did I expect him to play it live, and at a random free show brought to you by Myspace either! I don’t think he even planned it to be honest, the mood just hit him and he decided to bring it out of hiding.. When he released this as an acoustic solo weeks later at a thank you to fans, he did it on an acoustic guitar. I’m not sure if we will ever get this version again, so enjoy. (Sorry about the sound, and whoever was singing… everyone was singing at that point, and it was impossible not to record it.. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Bobby Long – “Penance Fire Blues/ In My Time of Dyin’/Hoochie Coochie Man” at The Bitter End, NYC [On Tour Soon in Overseas]
I had heard tales of Bobby singing these songs in a medley like this in other cities across the country, but when he did it live, it was a sight to see. Grown women were yelping and hooting for him like they didn’t have boyfriends and husbands at home! Bobby could have told every woman in that place to strip naked and give him $20 and they gladly would. That’s the kind of controlย  he had over the audience when he sang these songs. Bobby does the blues exceptionally well, and this particular performance cemented that fact into my brain forever.

1. MUTEMATH – “Burden” at Nokia Theater, NYC
Before this I had only seen MUTEMATH one time and just from that one show alone, it cemented them as my favorite band of all time. Their music is phenomenal, but their live show…. completely otherworldly. I’ve never seen a live show quite like this and I highly doubt anyone would be able to top it. Point blank period. You see Darren on drums in the back.. Favorite drummer ever. And FML, Paul is playing a goddamned keytar! When’s the last time you’ve seen one of those onstage?? If I could relive one show, it would be this show. EPIC! I urge everyone to go see them on tour when they go back out again, I really cannot stress this enough. Once again, the video/sound here does not do it justice, but please believe by the time this song was playing, I was a hot sweaty mess and completely spent from jumping around so much.

So folks, that’s all… It’s been an great year for live shows for me, and these people have cranked out some of the best performances this year. Of course, I’m just one opinion out of many, but before you form your own opinion, you should check them out live.




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What I’m Listening To: