Saturday, April 17, 2010

Top 5 of the Moment - 4/17/10

I was not expecting to do a second installment in this new series so soon after the first, but hey, the times call for it!

1. Jake Snider heading towards the big time?

I told you in January that our buddy Jake Snider is in college in NYC but still comes back home to the Philly area when he gets a chance. That's all still true, but what's also true is that out of thousands of submissions, Jake Snider will be one of a mere three acts representing the New York area in the College Battle of the Bands -- sponsored by AT&T and Gibson! The NY battle happens on the 29th; the winner goes on to the North Semi-Finals in May, whose winner plays the Grand Finale in Las Vegas in June! BUT if you know anything about Battles of the Bands, you know that you need to help the artist advance. In this case, you can go vote for Jake and rate his ONA-favored track "All You Need" here:

More info is available on that page as well.

2. Thom McCarthy

Quickly becoming a celebrity on the Philly music scene, this guy is not your average singer/songwriter. Proof? His brand-new EP is called I Lost Half My Album & My Favorite Hat in the '92 Flood. It's like someone mixed folk, soul, and showtunes that are not at all ready for Broadway but will be appreciated someday by future generations. Except these tunes are being appreciated NOW by a growing number of Philly music fans, as demonstrated by the crowd's raucous singing along at Thom's EP release earlier this month. Yeah, I was there, wailing right along with everyone else, and you might be doing the same thing if you ever make it to one of his shows. Just don't talk loudly while he's playing....he doesn't like that.

3. Dani Mari

If you read One Note Ahead enough, you know how I feel about Jersey Girls. Especially Jersey Girls who can sing. For about three years, I've watched and listened as this Jersey Girl shared her fascinating songcraft and developed into a hell of a singer, bringing an endearing quirky jazz slant to her pop-sensible folk-rock. And she always seems to be organizing events or hosting Open Mic's, so if you're trying to avoid her....good luck. She's got a big music video and an album in the pipeline, but meanwhile, enjoy the catchy and haunting single "Vampire," which you can find on iTunes.

4. So you wanna make money in the music business?

World Cafe sent this out through Facebook yesterday. Some artists say they make more money from selling CDs at shows than they do from online record sales, but I never realized just how true that could be:

5. The mysterious Mr. Gibson revealed!

I started with a Battle of the Bands sponsored by Gibson, so I'll end with a musician named Gibson. Years ago, I picked up an oldies CD of questionable legitimacy which contained a mysterious instrumental entitled "Midnight," the artist identified as "Johnny Gibson." I had no idea who he was, but the instrumental, fast-paced beat and dramatic orchestration aside, was simple, basic rhythm & blues. Or so I thought until I tried to play it by ear and realized it was a lot more complex than it seemed. But who was Johnny Gibson? All I could find was that he was an R&B pianist and that "Midnight" was a minor hit in 1962. And I couldn't find a clean copy of that track to save my life.

Well, there is a clean copy available on iTunes now, on Twirl Records Story Volume 3. (There is also an entire Johnny Gibson comp on iTunes, but "Midnight" is a scratchy vinyl dub on that one.) And there is now a bio of Johnny Gibson which has me intrigued enough to want to check out his other recordings.

Here's "Midnight" for the uninitiated:

And here is the informative bio:

And that's my Top 5 of the Moment!

Text copyright © 2010 S.J. Dibai. All rights reserved.


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