Sunday, November 23, 2008

ONA Live: Ingrid Michaelson

The grand finale is upon us, and what better way to end this year's roundup of live videos than with a few good laughs?

To which some music critics would retort, "Laughs? Because Ingrid Michaelson's music is a joke?"

But not me! If you read my XPN festival blog, you know how and when I became a card-carrying Ingrid fan. Well, actually there's no card, but maybe there should be. One thing I love about Ingrid is her sense of humor. Another is her down-to-earth charm. In these performances of her hit "The Way I Am," both qualities just pour out of her like water out of a.....thing that you carry water around in and that thing got a hole in it and the water started pouring out.


Here is the "Rap Remix" (yes, "Rap Remix") from "The Bob & Tom Show" earlier this year:

But THIS is pure gold, although whoever filmed it does seem to be fixated on singer/guitarist Allie any rate, this bit of goofing around took place at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston on May 15th, 2008:

I last covered Ingrid Michaelson in Day Four of my XPN festival blog:

And that does it for this year's edition of One Note Ahead Live. Like what you saw? Dislike what you saw? Wonder why your favorite wasn't included? Please send me some feedback. After all, the feedback I got last year inspired me to do this again.

Thanks for watching! We now return to your regularly scheduled One Note Ahead.

ONA Live: Matt Duke

So I gave Matt Duke's latest album Kingdom Underground the most negative review I've ever given an album on One Note Ahead. But I still had nice things to say about at least six out of the ten songs! I was a big Matt Duke fan when I wrote that review and I still am. You can imagine my dismay in not being able to find any great live videos of songs from KU. But this amateur video of Matt laying down an acoustic "I've Got Atrophy On The Brain" does have its own quirky charm. Besides, I witnessed this performance in person at MilkBoy Coffee in Ardmore, PA on July 21, 2007, so it holds special significance to me.

My infamous Kingdom Underground review:

The grand finale is next!

ONA Live: April Smith

So far, we've seen that a lot of Philly-based artists like to play in New York City. Well, it's time to get even.....

Seriously, Jersey girl April Smith is currently based in New York City, but she is a favorite in certain circles here in Philadelphia. They just can't get enough of her on "The 10! Show," a local morning variety series from which this February 12, 2008 performance and interview was taken. I remember watching this on TV, lamenting the fact that the lousy weather was keeping me from seeing her in person at the Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival that night. (Proving that it is a small world after all, Andrew Lipke was also on the bill for that night of the festival.)

They love her in Asbury Park, NJ as well. Here's a cool stripped-down version of "Wow And Flutter" from The Saint, August 15, 2008:

"Stripped-down" was perhaps too appropriate a term for that song.....

April Smith on One Note Ahead:

The party continues!

ONA Live: The Redwalls

I've already written plenty about these guys this year, so let's get on with the rock 'n' roll!

Here are The Redwalls playing "Modern Diet" on "The Late Show with David Letterman," January 23, 2008. The guitarist who opens up the number is Andrew Langer, who recently left the band. The remaining members are Logan & Justin Baren and Rob Jensen. Since I've previously remarked about the Barens' personalities, I'll point out that Logan is singing lead here and Justin is singing harmony.

I first covered The Redwalls in my MAD Dragon Records blog:

I last covered The Redwalls in Day Two of my XPN festival blog:

ONA Live ain't over yet!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

ONA Live: Nicole Atkins

A major label artist who's toured internationally and appeared on top-rated TV programs would normally not be considered a candidate for inclusion on One Note Ahead, but my blog about this year's XPN festival broke all the rules. And Nicole Atkins actually thanked me for what I wrote about her, which is more than I can say for some artists who need the publicity a lot more than she does. So if she appreciates being featured on One Note Ahead, why not keep featuring her?

Well, if she suddenly started sucking, that would be a good reason. But let's hope that doesn't happen.

On my 27th birthday (that would be September 16, 2008) Nicole Atkins and The Sea performed the splendid "Maybe Tonight" on the British series "Later with Jools Holland." As Jools himself would say, "Nicole Atkins! Marvelous!"

I'll make a shocking confession: "The Way It Is" is not one of my favorite Nicole Atkins songs to listen to. But it IS one of my favorites in a live setting! This October 30, 2007 clip from "The Late Show with David Letterman" should demonstrate why:

Yeah, Dave was so obviously smitten!

I last covered Nicole Atkins in Day Three of my XPN festival blog:

Stick around for more One Note Ahead Live.

ONA Live: Andrew Lipke

I don't know what's up with Andrew Lipke. I had to exclude him from last year's One Note Ahead Live because I couldn't find any high-quality live videos of him. Now there are a few, but nowhere near as many as there should be. So I present to you these two solo acoustic performances captured at The Bitter End in NYC on June 4, 2008. These clips lack the awesomeness of Andrew's band The Prospects (formerly known as Bandrew), and they don't necessarily show that Andrew is precisely 20 feet tall, but they're good for what they are.

"On My Way":

"The Barker Song," which I like to call "The Bob Barker Song" (apparently I'm not the only one):

Both of these songs are on Andrew's new album Motherpearl and Dynamite, which I reviewed here:

Stay tuned! We'll be right back after these messages.....

ONA Live: Gillian Grassie

On stage, the beautiful Gillian Grassie radiates such warmth as she gently infuses every word with emotion while lovingly caressing her harp.....and patiently tolerating an intransigent mic stand.

Can a mic stand be considered intransigent?

You can decide for yourself as you enjoy this performance of "Silken String," one of my favorite GG songs. This was filmed at The Bitter End in New York City during the November 6th finale of the New York Songwriters Circle's 2008 Songwriting Contest. You might like to know that Gillian won 2nd place!

Gillian Grassie on One Note Ahead:

The very same piece was also published on Crunkbox:

More One Note Ahead Live coming up!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ONA Live: The Brakes

I wasn't sure who should go next in this year's compilation of live video clips. Seeing The Brakes last night made my decision easy. No band has a right to be as tight and accomplished as they are in a live setting. It's fitting that their current album, Tale Of Two Cities (Hyena Records), is a collection of live performances from their spring 2007 residencies at New York's Knitting Factory and MilkBoy Coffee in the Philadelphia suburb of Ardmore, PA. The album's strong musicianship includes the drumming of Josh Sack, who unfortunately passed away in May of this year after putting up what sounds like a hell of a fight against leukemia. His legacy looms large in the consciousness of The Brakes and their fans, but the band plays on with Spence Cohen aptly filling Josh's shoes for the time being. Here's Spence with Zach Djanikian, Matt Kass, Adam Flicker, and Derek Feinberg playing "Danger Blues" at NYC's Mercury Lounge on June 2, 2008:

I last covered The Brakes in Day Two of my XPN festival blog:

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ONA Live: The Swimmers

Last year's One Note Ahead Live! was a simple concept: post some live video clips of ONA artists so my readers can see what these folks are like in concert. It was so well-received that I'm doing it again this year, only bigger and better. Instead of posting all the videos in one blog entry, I will devote a separate blog entry to each artist. Some artists will get more than one video, if there are enough good videos available and if the mood strikes me. The selection of artists will draw from across the One Note Ahead spectrum: longtime ONA favorites who've been featured here within the past year, artists who were formally reviewed here since the last ONA live roundup, and some of the acts I included in my XPN festival blog.

Let's begin with The Swimmers. Now, any band can play a song live. But it takes a special type of band to play a song live.........while marching and rolling a piano through the streets of Philadelphia:

Heaven [live]

The Swimmers on One Note Ahead:

Stay tuned for more One Note Ahead Live in these last weeks of November.