Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lion of Ido - The Sad Cafe, Plaistow NH 12.11.2010

I was pretty thrilled when this show was announced as I was very surprised in the best way when I saw Lion of Ido open for Ryan Star in Boston back in June. They'd been doing some shows in NYC, but never when I could get down there to see them, so when they booked a show about 45 minutes from me, I jumped at the chance to go. It was also the day of my mom's holiday party, but I was able to do both things. I met up with Brooke at the venue around 7, in which we walked in and saw the band hanging out in the lobby. We said hi and then decided since they weren't going on for about an hour or so since a bunch of local bands were also playing, that we'd go get coffee and come back - she also had no cash so that was a stop that we needed to make.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Better Than Ezra - Paradise Rock Club 12.9.10

I won tickets to see Better Than Ezra play at Paradise when they were in town a couple of weeks ago, and while I was hesitant to go since it was a last minute thing - I couldn't find anyone who would go with me, and I didn't know anyone there - I'm glad I did. I was also interested to see the renovated Paradise. I had been there earlier in the year to see a different show and hadn't been back since they'd reopened. I like Paradise a lot - even though its 850 capacity, it still feels really intimate - plus its in a great location in Boston and very easy to get to. Its easily one of my favorite music venues. Doors for the show were at 8, as the show was at 9, so I arrived about 20 minutes after doors opened, picked up my tickets and headed in. There was a good crowd of people already in front of the stage and I started out third 'row' for the opener.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Josh Groban - Christmas in Rockefeller Center VIDEO

Josh performed at the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center last night and it was so good to see him back on my tv. He performed a beautiful rendition of Bells of New York, off of Illuminations, and it really could be released as a holiday song - I hope it is. I think I love this song more after I've heard him perform it live. Check out the video after the jump.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Josh Groban Illuminations - First Listen

Josh Groban's first album in 4 years, Illuminations released this week. I downloaded it Monday night from Amazon and listened on the plane ride home from Atlanta. I have to say, I'm really impressed. I'd say the time that was taken to make this album was absolutely worth it. Wandering Kind, an instrumental prelude sets the tone of the album - its just a very pretty piece, with piano and strings and it gets you ready to hear the story that Groban has to share. I can actually see this used by a figure skater for a short program piece.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ryan Star w/Hope & Days Difference - Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge 11.8.2010

Last Monday night I headed into Boston to see Ryan Star play a headlining show at the Middle East, which for me started off a busy week. When I saw a show in NJ appear the following night, I was hoping there'd be a Boston show, and was hoping that it'd be before I left for Atlanta that Wednesday night. Sure enough, a few days later, the Boston show was announced and I was psyched to see that it would be indeed that Monday, and not that Wednesday.  Doors opened at 8, and once I got into the venue I was surprised at how tiny it was, but it's a great space. The acoustics were great all night, and I'm really not sure how Ryan and his whole band fit onto the tiny stage!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Josh Groban - Hidden Away Video

The video for Hidden Away, Josh Groban's first single off of his upcoming album Illuminations and his first video in 4 years premiered on Popeater.com yesterday. Groban talks about the song and the video, saying the song is "about people needing the kind of life shaken out of them," Groban explains. "It's about people who are waiting for that release. It could be somebody coming home from work, a friend -- but the song itself is about people who need to be woken up inside."

Fans should expect more videos for tracks off Illuminations. "I think these songs really lend themselves to music videos," Groban says. "They're very personal stories for me and so my quest in making videos in the future is try and make videos that visually more and more match the mood of the song." 

Josh will be performing some small shows leading up to the release of the album on November 15. I'll be doing a full recap of the album when I get it, so be on the lookout for that. From everything I've heard, I'm really excited to hear it.

Check out the video here!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco w/Plain Jane Automobile - Don Hills, NYC 10.2.10

I was pretty stoked when this show was announced, as I try to get down to NYC/NJ for Jimmy's shows when I can swing it, and being on a Saturday night, there was really no excuse not to make plans to go. I talked Lisa into coming with me (it didn't take much convincing, honestly) and that Saturday once she got out of class, we headed to NYC. I called Bill when we arrived so he could come down and show us where to park as he let us park in his neighborhood- and let me tell you, trying to find a parking space in New York is an entertaining experience. After driving around for about a half hour, we finally found one and parked and hightailed it to the subway to get where we were staying.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MWK - The Sanctuary Live Sessions - First Reaction

As promised Thursday night, The Sanctuary Live Sessions, an acoustic EP was made available for download tonight on MWK's web site - and they're letting you choose what you think it's worth. This is the first time that I've heard of an artist doing this, but I think its nice that even if you can't afford much, you can still get the music. The EP is a compilation of 9 songs, all of which but 1 were released on previous albums. The new arrangements are in a word - gorgeous. I love the piano throughout the album and it's really nice to hear Neal doing backing vocals. He and Andy harmonizing is just incredible. Make Me, which to me is a song with a challenge weaved through it (Make me fall for you, as if I had nothing else to do) is now a piano ballad, which closes the album perfectly.

Till I'm Blue opens the EP with an arrangement similar to the original but with some amazing guitar playing by Neal. Add in backing vocals and Andy's voice which has matured over the years, and you have a song that captures the attention of the listener from the get go. And if that's not enough, having A Circle's Anthem right after Till I'm Blue will just make you stop what you're doing and just listen. This is my favorite track on the EP because I love how strong Neal's vocal is in the song. We don't get much backing vocal from Neal at all when he plays with David's band, so its really nice to hear it. I love his voice - its a great compliment to Andy's.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MWK - Under the Milky Way (Acoustic Cover)

This was a fun surprise!

On Friday 29th October 2010, @andyskib said:

Go to http://www.myspace.com/mwkmusic or http://www.nealtiemann.com to hear our cover of "Under The Milky Way" by The Church. The rest of MWK's "The Sanctuary Live Sessions" will be available for download at http://www.mwkmusic.com by 3pm PSD on Halloween!

It is AMAZING. You all need to go listen to it. Because I've never heard Andy's voice sound this rich and full in his lower register. Between that and the piano, its beautiful, sensual and intimate. I'll have my thoughts on the rest of the live sessions on the blog once I've had a chance to listen to and process it all.

Jim Cantiello's Glee Recap - Rocky Horror Style

Check it out! Jim Cantiello recapped this week's Glee (Rocky Horror style) with some help from Kris Allen. Too much fun.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ryan Star - Start a Fire VIDEO

The video for the new single Start a Fire, off of Ryan Star's album 11:59,  is here finally! This song is so incredible live and while there was conversation on twitter about what the video would be, sometimes less is more. The song is so kick ass, and the video gives a taste of what it is like performed live (amazing). So check it out! Also, Ryan is touring with Days Difference and Hope into November, so check out his web site for the tour dates. The tour wraps up November 26 at Webster Hall in NYC, and you know you want to be there. You can get tickets here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Plain Jane Automobile - Bowery Electric, NYC 10.3.10

Plain Jane Automobile played a special 'secret' show in October 3 at the Bowery Electric in NYC - that I was lucky enough to be at. It wasn't really that secret - if you RSVP'd to the invite that they'd been circulating for weeks prior, you were in. The Bowery Electric is a tiny venue on the Lower East Side - and the room we were in holds maybe 100 people - and that's being generous. As Lisa and I were in NYC already that weekend to see Jimmy, we decided to stay for PJA's show and make the 3 hour drive home at midnight. We actually finished up dinner early and ended up heading over to the venue a bit early before doors opened, where the guys had just arrived and were loading in. Tiffanie was with them, and announced she wanted coffee or something, so we went with her to keep her company and it was great to just hang out with her and talk about everything and nothing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ryan Star & Alex Band - WMMX Concert For a Cure, Dayton OH 10.20.10

Last night Ryan Star and Alex Band teamed up and sang a gorgeous rendition of U2's One at the WMMX Concert for a Cure in Dayton Ohio. Concert for a Cure raises money for Breast Cancer Awareness, and all proceeds from this show went to the Noble Circle Project.

Check out their performance!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Special Upcoming Josh Groban Shows

Josh is asking YOU to help him plan the tour for his new album, Illuminations, dropping on November 15. He's booked a handful of small theater shows and wants to 'bring his living room to you'. The dates are mainly southern California, but there is one east coast date - in New Haven CT! Here's his official statement and dates. Tickets go on sale Friday morning, October 22 and included in the price of the ticket is a copy of Illuminations! This is something to not be missed.

Hey Everyone,

If you’re here reading this, then you know I’m getting ready to play a few “special shows”. Here’s what’s happening. As you may know, my new album, “Illuminations” is out on November 15th, and for me, the best part of putting out an album is that I then get to go on tour.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kris Allen & Lifehouse - Orpheum Theater Boston 10.16.10

Saturday night I headed into Boston to see Kris Allen and Lifehouse play the second show of the Smoke and Mirrors tour. I was at the kickoff show Friday night at Foxwoods as well (Blog to come on that soon), but Saturday night was definitely the better of the two shows, mainly because the crowd was way more into it. Anyway, after hitting traffic and missing the entrance to the Boston Common parking garage, I met up with Sandy and Reenie and we walked over the venue together. Doors were open already, so we headed in to find our seats. The Orpheum Theater is pretty tiny - I believe it only seats about 1500, and even though we had 3rd row mezzanine, we were much closer then I thought we'd be. Actually even though I was farther away in Boston, I felt that those seats were better then my 9th row that I had at Foxwoods (off to the left side).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco w/Plain Jane Automobile - Hard Rock Cafe, Boston 9.28.10

I was excited about this show when it was first announced as it's been about 2 years since Jimmy's played in Boston and headlined. He was here opening for Greg Laswell in May, but the last time Jimmy was in Boston with his band was September 24, 2008. Fun fact about that date - it was the first time I'd ever seen Jimmy play live - and as you can see, it certainly hasn't been the last. The fact that this show was almost 2 years to the date of my first show made it a bit more special. Michelle came up from Philadelphia to go to the show with me, and it was fun to see her - I really can't believe she did the trek from Philly for a day - but I'm glad she did!

I met up with her around 5:30 and we went, had dinner and caught up before heading over to the Hard Rock. We arrived a bit early and doors weren't open just yet, so we poked around in the store and wandered outside to see if we'd run into anyone we knew. Instead, we found that we could see Plain Jane soundchecking and watched them for a few minutes before Duke turned around, saw us standing there and waved. We hung for a little while longer before heading back into the Hard Rock where doors had just opened, so we made our way into the venue and grabbed a couple of seats on the floor close to the stage. There were plenty of tables which started to fill up, but we wanted to be close enough to stand up close to the stage later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Josh Groban - New Song "Voce Existe Em Mim" Available Today on iTunes

Another song off of Josh's upcoming album Illuminations is available on itunes today! Voce Existe Em Mim is the first song Josh has sung in Portuguese. One song off the album per week is being released in anticipation of the full album release, and buying the songs off itunes as they are released will count towards the purchase of the full album download, available November 15. Higher Window will be available on October 26 and L'Ora Dell'Addio will be available November 9.

Download Voce Existe Em Mim here, and the album is available for preorder on Amazon. A special Limited Fan Edition is available through WB as well. This album is Josh's first in 4 years (Awake was released in 2006) and is being produced by  Rick Rubin.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco - Videos from Amsterdam 10.10.10

For the next week, until October 17, Jimmy Gnecco and his band are in Europe touring with Ah-ha on their farewell tour. It must be a total trip for them to be playing arenas, and to just be a part of this tour at all. Anyway, I came across some videos from the show last night in Amsterdam, and if you follow me on twitter, you've already seen them because I tweeted them earlier today - but I thought it'd be nice to have them all in one place. Check out the videos, under the cut!

Trent Hancock - Harper's Ferry, Boston 9.27.10

An upcoming singer-songwriter, I first met Trent earlier this year in NYC at a Jimmy Gnecco show. A friend of mine heard him singing along behind her and introduced me to him, and he in turn introduced me to his music. Unable to catch some of his shows in New York over the course of the last 6 or so months, I was excited when I found out he was playing at Harper's Ferry in Allston, opening for Jason Reeves and Brandon James. I'd been listening to his CD that he had given me back in February and I'd also been listening to his solo EP that released over the summer - but I was absolutely impressed with him live.

He opened with Me and You, a catchy track off the new EP, which is one of my favorites, and also played Caroline (from the old EP and which was a bit of a surprise), Sunflower (a song he wrote for his brother's wedding that is beautiful), Strong Hands (a song that's about being in a bad relationship and when you actually listen to the words is really touching), Forgiveness (a Patty Griffin cover), and one other song that is escaping me at the moment.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, John Lennon

Today is John Lennon's 70th birthday - had he not been killed in NYC on December 8, 1980. Even though I'm not old enough to even remotely remember him when he was alive, his music and legacy has carried on through the years. I learned about it in my music classes in school, and my parents introduced me to it as well. Its no secret he had a profound effect on so many people - musicians and music lovers alike. I figured it appropriate, on this day, to share a video of my favorite artist at the moment - Jimmy Gnecco - singing Mother, in tribute to Lennon. I know that Lennon's music and legacy will live on through so many - and that's all that any musician can ask for.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco - A Light on the Grave and John Lennon Tribute videos

Here are a couple of videos that I thought I'd share. The first is Jimmy singing a hauntingly beautiful version of Light on the Grave, from Brett Manning's Singing Success site.

The second is Jimmy talking about John Lennon's Mother - in tribute of John's 70th birthday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kris Allen - I Need to Know Featured on The Vampire Diaries 10.7.10

This was a fun surprise tonight! I was watching The Vampire Diaries on the CW and heard a very familiar tune. It took me a minute, but very quickly realized that Kris Allen's I Need to Know was being used prominently on the show. It was the perfect companion to the scene and I'm honestly surprised it took so long for this song to be used on a tv show. This is the second time in as many days that we've been surprised with unexpected Kris news. In other Kris news, American Idol is in Conway shooting a promo for their 10th season, and there will supposedly be a surprise announcement while they're there. So keep an eye on twitter!

In the event that you missed I Need to Know being featured, here's the video, thanks to yendiders.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kris Allen Announces 3rd Single - Alright With Me

It's true folks! Jive has listened and the third single to be released this fall is Alright With Me, which is an excellent choice. Its upbeat, catchy, and is going to explode on radio. Kris announced the news on his twitter this afternoon:

The next single will be "Alright With Me". Thanks to everyone that has already believed in this song. This fall is gonna be a lot of fun.

Here's a great live performance of Alright With Me from the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT in September. Be sure to catch Kris on tour with Lifehouse this fall starting October 15 at Foxwoods in CT. Tour dates and tickets are here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Seventh Room - Guru Room, Plymouth 9.18.10

It's been a little bit since I've done a post on these guys - I actually saw them earlier in the summer too, but between vacation and real life getting in the way - that post never got written. But here I am with the show that kicked off the fall of concerts. I headed to Plymouth that Saturday alone - a friend was originally supposed to come with me, but plans changed and she was unable to come. I arrived and had dinner at a nearby restaurant and headed over to the venue close to 9 - ran into Ian on my way in and when I got into the room, it was completely packed! Seventh Room was playing with the Kristian Montgomery Band who had quite a local following themselves.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Josh Groban - Illuminations Cover, Release Date & Tracklisting!

Its here, finally! Josh Groban's long awaited new album, Illuminations will drop on November 15! Its been 4 years since Awake and the album is produced by the legendary Rick Rubin. The first single, Hidden Away is available on itunes so make sure you go pick it up if you haven't already.


Wandering Kind (Prelude)
Bells of New York City
L'Ora Dell'Addio
Hidden Away
Au Jardin Des Sans Pourquoi
Higher Window
If I Walk Away
Love Only Knows
Voce Existe Em Mim
War At Home
London Hymn
Straight To You

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ryan Star - Head Like a Hole - Billboard.com Mashup Mondays

Check out Ryan Star's acoustic cover of Nine Inch Nails hit Head Like a Hole. It was featured on Billboard.com's Mashup Mondays. I've heard this live before - it was fantastic. I'm kind of hoping it might eventually get recorded!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco & Lukas Rossi - I'm a Monster, Nashville 9.22.10

Last night in Nashville, Lukas Rossi, who won Rockstar Supernova in 2006 joined Jimmy on stage at Mercy Lounge to sing I'm a Monster. To be honest, that's not a song of Jimmy's that I loved immediately -  it took some time to grow on me. But hearing Lukas join him and for them to sing it together was fabulous. It gave it an entirely new dimension, which is one thing I love about Jimmy's music - the more I listen to it, the more layers are uncovered. I'll be seeing Jimmy next Tuesday the 28th in Boston at the Hard Rock and next Saturday, October 2 at Don Hill's in New York City, so expect recaps with pictures and more than likely video from both of those. In the meantime, here's the video of I'm a Monster!

Thanks to John, who was in Nashville last night, for this!

Friday, September 17, 2010

MWK News!

For those of you who don't know who MWK are, they're the band that Neal Tiemann and Andy Skib played in with David in Tulsa. Anyway, Neal told us on twitter a few days ago that there would be an announcement regarding MWK coming by Friday, 5pm pacific time. This is what we got.

Just announced on Twitter:

@nealfingtiemann: Live, uncut, instudio, acoustic session release from MWK coming soon! More info to come. #MWK
6 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone

From nealtiemann.com:

17 September 2010
Neal and Andy to Record a Collection of Live, Acoustic MWK Songs

In some extra time Andy and I have from our main gig, we are going to be hitting the studio for a live session. We’ll be playing a batch of songs acoustically that span our MWK career. You may already know the titles of the songs, but we’re going to throw in some twists and turns that I know no one (not even me yet) has heard. And, for those still not satisfied, we will do early versions of some new material we’ve been working on for future, full-band releases. This session will be available soon in some form – we’re still discussing that part. There will also be music from this that will be streaming exclusively on nealtiemann.com and myspace.com/mwkmusic. I hope everyone will get as excited for this as we are to release it!


Thanks to @honestys_easy on twitter for the picture. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

David Cook - America The Beautiful, US Open Men's Final, 9.13.10

David Cook sang America the Beautiful at the US Open Men's Final in NY today. The match was postponed from yesterday due to weather, but it didn't seem to matter if he sang yesterday or today. I thought he did a great job - it was beautiful stripped down and acoustic.

Check out the video!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Josh Groban - New Single - Hidden Away

Josh Groban's new album, Illuminations is dropping in November and Hidden Away is the first single off of it. Upon first listen, I'd forgotten how much I love his voice and why I fell in love in the first place. I really love how it's just him and the piano - a little bit of falsetto, a lot of soaring baritone. Its the simplest things that I love in a song. This song live will be amazing - whether he adds strings and full band into it, or just keeps it simple with the piano - its going to be gorgeous.

Check it out and let me know what you think! Once the album drops, I'll definitely do a first reaction blog, so keep an eye out!

Download Hidden Away

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kris Allen & Keith Urban 9.5.10 Oakdale Theater, Wallingford CT

Sometimes the best things and times in life are the unplanned, spontaneous ones. Yesterday was one of those days. It was the last show that Kris was doing with Keith, and the end of his summer tour, so on a whim, a friend of mine and I decided to go to Wallingford. I'm not a huge Keith fan at all, but I wanted to see Kris since the last time I had seen him was in December. Needless to say, it's one of the best concerts I've been to - ever.

Reenie and I arrived early and I texted Mer and Kathy, as they were coming to the show as well and we'd discussed dinner. We ended up meeting up with everyone at a great little place in town - out of everyone, I'd only met Mer before, and it was awesome to see her again and to meet Kathy, Barry, Emjay, Laura and Erin. After dinner, we headed back to the venue, and after a few wrong turns and sitting in traffic, we managed to get into our seats at 7:20, and at 7:30, the lights in the theater went down and the show started on time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Songs of the Summer

With September starting tomorrow (where the HELL has summer gone, really?), I thought I'd share a quick list as to what I've been listening to this summer. It's been a good one, music wise, with new albums by Ryan Star and Jimmy Gnecco with releases upcoming this fall by SafetySuit, Josh Groban, and David Cook among others. Here's my quick list of drive with the music down songs to check out.

Ryan Star - Start A Fire
As if there was any doubt I'd start with a Ryan Star song. Or at least include one on here. But this song is amazing. Its sexy, fun, catchy, and is going to be the next single releasing to radio on September 13. There's no way you can stay still while listening to it. And its incredible live.

Ryan Star - 11:59
This song starts out slow but picks up in the middle with the band kicking in - and once it does, its rocking. "Don't let the moment pass us by, put the windows down and drive.." It's really for me, a mantra to live by, a reminder to live in the moment, always.

B.O.B Featuring Hayley Williams - Airplanes
I hadn't really heard this song before mid-June. Then Ryan sang it mashed up with Back of Your Car, so I had to check out the original. However, it really is a great song. Its catchy and it quickly became a favorite to turn up and jam to. Plus I kind of love the video.

Kris Allen - Alright With Me
This is a song that's grown on me. It was never a favorite of mine when I first heard it on the album, but the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. The 'yeah yeah yeah' intro and the crashing guitar chord make the song what it is. I hit repeat on this song more often then anything else on the album.

Katy Perry - California Girls
As is typical with first listen on many of her songs, I hated this at first. Hated it. Changed the station every time it came on in the car. But it kind of worked its way into my head and won't leave me alone. Then I saw the video and I thought it was a great concept. Now this song really is just fun and catchy and everything a great pop song should be. Her new song, Teenage Dream is also immediately catchy, poppy, and fun. Surprisingly, I didn't want to stab my eyes out with a spork when I heard it.

Jimmy Gnecco - Gravity
This is one of my favorite's off of Gnecco's album, The Heart if not for the fact that it's just so happy. It makes me grin like an idiot when I hear it, and I just want to sing along and forget about anything in my life that's not happy for those 4 minutes. 

Seventh Room - Good or Bad
This song by a local Boston band isn't happy go lucky per say, but its intriguing. The droning guitar chords that open the song draw me in immediately and make me stop and listen. There's not many songs like this out there. It's a bit of a throw back to the early 90's grunge rock, but with some modern tweaks to it, which is what makes it so good. It's not out on an album yet, but I've heard it live a few times and its the one song I constantly want to listen to.

So there you have it. What are some of your songs that grabbed you this summer?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Class of 2014 Beloit College Mindset List

Came across this on a friend's journal and had to share.  It's interesting, kind of frightning, and made me feel old. What do you all think?

Beloit College in Wisconsin comes out every year with their annual Mindset List. The list was developed by an English professor and the college's public affaris director, and its purpose is to help professors "craft lesson plans that are more meaningful" and "to remind teachers that cultural references familiar to them might draw blank stares" from this fall's incoming freshman, most of whom were born in 1992.

Direct from the Beloit website  I present:

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2014

Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992. For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks and Tony Perkins have always been dead.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ryan Star - 11:59 - First Reaction

The day that we've all been waiting for is here - the much anticipated 11:59 from Ryan Star. I have to preface this by saying that I have heard about 90% of what is on the album already, thanks to the EP and also to seeing Ryan live a bunch over the last year. So I've been familiar with it. But what I wasn't familiar with was the new mixes that we got on a few songs. And I was so excited to see that We Might Fall and Losing Your Memory from Songs from the Eye of an Elephant made it on. And I really love the new arrangements on them.

Hands down, the most powerful track on the album is We Might Fall. I love the simplicity of it with just the piano, and then the drums kicking in later. I love the backing vocal. The title track, 11:59, I  knew was going to make me cry last night. And it absolutely did. It rips my heart out and its really truly a reminder to live in the moment and to make the most of it all.  Brand New Day, Right Now, and This Could Be the Year have been my mantra songs for a long time, so its nice to hear Brand New Day and Right Now start this album off in the best possible way. And what to say about Last Train Home - that song struck a chord with me the first time I heard it - and I can't ever let it go. It's passionate. And beautiful. That song right into Breathe is a seamless transition, and as a whole, this album is laid out perfectly.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Heart Album Release Party - NYC, 7/20/10

Last Tuesday, I got the opportunity to be a part of an incredible event – I was invited to Jimmy Gnecco’s album release party for The Heart at the Cooper Square Hotel in NYC, thrown by Bright Antenna. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect this – but it was an absolute privilege to have been invited. I found out about this about 2 weeks ago, and my first thought was what the hell do I wear?! I ended up wearing jeans and heels with a cute top and it was fine. I could have worn black pants or a dress because people were that dressed up, but I was comfortable and confident and that's all that mattered. The party was a blast. Erin and I arrived at the hotel a little after 7, and were cleared upstairs to the penthouse. As soon as the doors to the elevator opened, it was a little overwhelming – people everywhere and floor to ceiling glass windows providing stunning views of the New York skyline.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco - The Heart -- First Reaction

Thanks to spinner.com, I was able to stream and listen to this album online yesterday, prior to my download starting at midnight. And in one word - its absolutely incredible. (Ok, that's two words). It's deeply personal, raw, emotional, and touches my soul in places that I never knew anyone could except for Jimmy. I have heard a number of these songs live before, but to hear studio versions is a totally different experience. And through my headphones is the best way to experience The Heart, hands down.

On first listen, my stand out favorite track is Patiently Waiting. The piano in the beginning is just raw. And haunting. The words are emotional and dark - and the transition at the end into Its Only Love is perfect and beautiful. For some reason, I tend to gravitate towards the more emo, angry, and darker songs on albums first, and this will be absolutely incredible live.

The Heart is the Murder track on this album for me. Its great on the album, but live its totally intense and seriously just kick ass. Full band with the instruments, just jamming and letting go - I can't wait. I think I will like These Are My Hands more when I hear it live - I like it a lot, its beautiful, but it's definitely going to grow on me. Days gives me chills from the first notes, and does not let up throughout. Its another raw, hauntingly emotional song, much like Mystery is. I'd kind of like to know who or what he wrote it about, but I feel like its so personal, I'll never ever ask. It's going to be the track that will sneak its way into my brain and not leave, much like Ran Away does on Mercy since it is lodged between two very upbeat songs - These Are My Hands and Gravity.

The first half of the album is very stripped down (the first two tracks especially), but I feel like as this album progresses, it takes you on a journey. The tracks get faster in tempo, the emotion builds, and at the end, you feel like you've run a race but you want to go back and do it all over again. It leaves you breathless, with all the hair on the back of your neck standing up on end. I'm sure I'll have more to say over time, but I wanted to get all my first thoughts and impressions out before I lost them.

The Heart is on itunes, Amazon, at local indie music stores, Best Buy, and also available through Bright Antenna. Definitely pick it up, listen to it, and be prepared to be taken on a musical journey like no other.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ryan Star & Matt Hires - Aloft Hotel, Lexington 7.12.10

Monday night I had the opportunity to see Ryan Star play an impromptu show at Aloft Hotel in Lexington, MA. It was very last minute, as I had only found out about it at about 3pm that afternoon, but needless to say that when I saw it pop up on twitter, I knew I wanted to go. And I'm glad I did. I arrived around 6:45, met up with some friends at the bar, ordered drinks, and wandered outside to the courtyard where the show was going to be. Ryan had finished sound checking at that point so he came over to say hello to Brooke and myself while Matt Hires sound checked. They eventually both left to get ready for the show, and we went back inside to the bar (Where it was air conditioned!) and killed time before everything got underway. And I'm going to say now that for once, I didn't take a ton of pictures because my camera battery had very little in the way of juice in it since I hadn't charged it for a few weeks. I made do. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco - Bring You Home Video

It's HERE! The video for Bring You Home, the debut single off of Jimmy Gnecco's solo album, The Heart is on AOL Music. I didn't think we'd see it until Monday, but I got it in my Google alert tonight. Check it out here! We're in the home stretch for the album - 9 days to go and counting!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lifehouse - "All In" Video

So, the video for Lifehouse's new single All In was unleashed today and I have to say - I absolutely LOVE it. It was an absolutely brilliant idea to use video of them from the last tour and mixing in some of the backstage/behind the scenes stuff was too fun. It really brings back memories from the tour and gives one a sense of what they are like live - (which in one word is amazing). Definitely felt the energy through the video screen, which is a tough sell sometimes!

Check it out!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ryan Star 11:59 PRE ORDER on Amazon & Cover Art

It's REALLY happening!!

The cover art for 11:59 has been revealed and this is what Ryan has to say about it:

Lastly, I'm so proud to show you here first - the cover art for the album 11:59. I grew up on the beach and am very connected to a place called Montauk. Its all over my music and has been a part of every big moment of my life so it is fitting and beautiful that this Art includes my oldest friend. Enjoy.

11:59 is about knowing who you are in your moment of greatness. Everyone has one.

What is your 11:59?

Finally, as of today, you can pre-order 11:59 on Amazon HERE. I'm hoping its going to show up on itunes soon as well. Also, there are still tickets available for the release party at the Fillmore Irving Plaza on August 3. You can get them HERE.

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am - and how much I can't wait to hear this album. Its going to make me burst into tears in the best possible way. August 3 can't get here soon enough.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

ITS HERE - Jimmy Gnecco's The Heart Preorder!!!

The pre-orders for Jimmy Gnecco's The Heart, releasing July 20 went live yesterday! There are 5 different packages and you can check out all the details here.

Pre-Order The Heart HERE

I am going to be getting a banner to put up on my page for preorders, which should be going up soon.

But in the meantime, have an exclusive 30-second snippet video of Bring You Home, the first single from The Heart.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beach Days and More

I'm not sure how I post an entry and then somehow, its become two weeks or so later. But maybe I just feel like I don't have anything exciting to talk about? I also really am not quite sure how it's the middle of June. Seriously - where has this time gone? have to say, it is significantly nicer this summer then it was last summer. Today is a total beach day. And I'm working, which is a bummer. But tomorrow's going to be just as nice, which I'm pretty excited about. So, lets see if I can't sum up what's been going on.

I've been totally slacking on the 30 day shred and my eating is starting to get a bit out of control, but I've been maintaining my 10 pound weight loss. Since the weather's been nice and the bike path is open near my house, I've been going for bike rides a couple of nights a week after work. It doesn't totally do things for me that Jillian does for me - but it's still better then nothing. I've decided that my next goal is to lose 5 more pounds before July 20 - which is a month away and also the date of Jimmy Gnecco's album release. If I can lose more than that, that's great too! actually bought a bikini the other day at Old Navy because a) I needed a new bathing suit and b) it was surprisingly a lot more flattering on me then the tankini that I tried on. I was pleasantly surprised that I looked as good in it as I do and I'm comfortable and confident in it. So, go me.

Last weekend was my cousin's high school graduation party. It rained (ugh) but I still had fun. I went up with my dad and we spent longer then either of us planned on. But it was fine, and it was a good thing I was not driving because I had enough wine that I definitely should not have. I got home late afternoon, watched the NCIS marathon on USA, had chicken fingers and french fries (which is my total, I'm drunk and want food, food) and went to bed early, only to be awoken the next morning around 7 by my roommate calling me. He had been in CA for the weekend, and took the red eye home, arriving Monday morning. He said he was going to to work Monday, so I assumed (stupid of me) that he was going straight from the airport to work, so I had locked the screen door (I do at night) - so he was locked out. Oops. At that point I wasn't going back to bed so I vegged on the couch before I had to get ready for work - and proceeded to get stuck in the WORST traffic jam, thanks to someone getting killed early that morning so the highway was pretty much shut down. It took me almost 2 hours to get to work - not the way I wanted to start my Monday morning. But I digress.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Working at Bright Antenna has its perks....

Especially when they involve a surprise visit and impromptu serenade from one Jimmy Gnecco. Seriously, I don't know about y'all, but having him walk into my office, playing Gravity off his upcoming album, The Heart, would totally make my day.

Let me show you what I mean.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kris Allen - I Need To Know & Paranoid Android

And the surprises keep coming from Kris this week! At his concert in Grand Rapids, MI last night, Kris for the first time, sang I Need to Know live. And it was amazing. Check out the video, you won't be disappointed.

He also did a cover of Radiohead's Paranoid Android

Can't wait to see what else he has up his sleeve!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco - Bring You Home (Full Band), Bowery Ballroom NYC

At Jimmy's Bowery Ballroom show in NYC last Tuesday, the 25th, we got a glimpse as to how Bring You Home will be full band. Brian Wright, Static and Race joined Jimmy on stage, and now, even more, I'm itching for a full band show. I really love this song, and I love it more now, I think. And besides, its nice seeing Jimmy as the front man again, without the guitar. Don't get me wrong, I love acoustic Jimmy and I love watching him play guitar. But there's just SOMETHING about him as the front man to the band. Many thanks to Hayley and Jeri for taping and sharing this. :)

Here's the link to it, since for some reason, the video won't embed.

Bring You Home

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kris Allen - Bring It Back Live!

Tonight, concert goers in Benton, AR at the Saline Summer Days Festival got quite a treat from Kris Allen. He sang Bring it Back for the first time live and it's beautiful. Other setlist highlights included a cover of Alison Krauss's Maybe, Is It Over, and Red Guitar.

Here's the video of Bring it Back - Enjoy!

And the full setlist: Can't Stay Away, Lifetime, Man In the Mirror, The Truth, Bring It Back, Alright With Me, Maybe (Alison Krauss cover), Before We Come Undone, Is It Over, Red Guitar, Heartless/Gangstas Paradise, Live Like We're Dying, Falling Slowly, Come Together

If this is any indication of the summer tour - its going to be a good summer!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco - Paradise Rock Club, Boston 5.27.10

Last night was my second Jimmy concert - and it was a hometown show for me. Out of the 9 times I've seen him, I have only seen him in Boston-ish 3 times. I've traveled for the rest. Not that it matters, because I don't mind traveling, and he's always worth it. Anyway. I digress. I left my house early last night - knowing I would hit traffic, and hit traffic I did. I arrived at the venue around 7:30 (doors at 8), met up with Lisa for a drink at the bar, and killed time before the doors opened. Funny enough, I had ordered a drink and then gone to the ladies room, and promptly almost ran into Jimmy as he was coming out of the hallway where the bathrooms were. He didn't see me, and was kind of engrossed in something he was doing, so I didn't want to interrupt.

Anyway - we got right up front (I was pretty much sitting ON the stage) and Brian Wright opened the show. The sound was much better in Boston then in Philadelphia, and while I am not a huge country-folkish fan, Brian was really quite good. I enjoyed his music a lot, and he was funny too, interacting with the crowd. He played for a good 40 minutes or so, and the last song he totally jammed out with Marco and Eric from Greg Laswell's band. It also bears mentioning that Brian is Greg's band as well, but he's done some solo stuff on his own. I don't think I'd ever buy his album, but I definitely enjoyed it for what it was. He wrapped up around 9:40 or so, and we had about a 15 minute break while Brian broke down, and they set up for Jimmy.

Jimmy took the stage about 10, and opened with Here is the Light. That song has so much energy and I really love when he plays it acoustic - he just wails on the guitar and its awesome to watch. The entire set list was as follows: Here Is the Light •
Light On the Grave • Mystery • The Bells • Bring You Home • Gravity •  Darling • Ran Away To Tell The World • The Heart

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ryan Star 11:59 Album Release Party 8.3.10

I know I already did a little blog about this, but I just wanted to share the information that there's going to be a release party in NYC on August 3! The tickets are already are sale - lets see if we can sell this out! I'm going - are you?

Tuesday 08/03/10 at 7:30 PM
The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
New York, NY

Jimmy Gnecco - The Heart - 7.20.10

Jimmy Gnecco's self-produced solo album, The Heart, is dropping on July 20! It'll be available on vinyl as well as on CD, and I'm beyond excited for it. I've been an OURS for the last two years, and to hear Jimmy's voice so clear like this, will be incredible. I will be doing a first reaction blog when I finally get the album, so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, here's the tracklist.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jimmy Gnecco - Tin Angel, Philadelphia 5.22.10

Last weekend I traveled to Philadelphia to go see Jimmy Gnecco perform with Greg Laswell at Tin Angel. When the dates got announced I thought it was a headlining tour and Philly was a Saturday night, so of course I was going to go. Then when I realized it was an opening spot and not a headlining one, I rethought it. Then I decided it was a Saturday night and since I'd never been to Philly, why not.

I had made dinner reservations at Serrano (the restaurant that Tin Angel is above) because we would be guaranteed reserved seating for the show. The food was very overpriced and just OK - Lisa's burger was very overcooked and the waiter looked at us weird when we tried to tell him that. So we got into line and headed upstairs and when we were shown to our table, we were about 8 tables back against the wall. We asked the waitress if we could move and she told us that it was assigned seating. We decided to just sit on the stools in the non-reserved seating and be done with it. Bottom line - if you get there early, you can get better seating then the 'reserved' seating. Not to mention, the room setup is very strange - its long and narrow, with a stage in front and a bar in back. They should move the stage to where the sound board is (in the middle of the room) and the setup would be much better. However, the acoustics in that room are amazing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's Time....11:59....Ryan Star ALBUM RELEASE

Yes, you all read that correctly. After about a year or so of delays, the album 11:59 is finally being released August 3. I really can't wait. I discovered Ryan's music when he opened for David Cook and have been hooked ever since. Its honest. And it makes me think. I love it. Not to mention, he's a great performer and a total sweetheart. He takes the time after shows to talk to everyone who wants to talk to him. There's going to be an album release party on August 3 in NYC of which I am going to try to figure out how to get there. I'm more than likely going to be in NYC 2 weeks prior for a different show - but Ryan's worth no sleep over. I haven't decided if this is happening yet or not.

Anyway, here's the press release from Atlantic.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

SafetySuit - Manchester, NH 5.8.10

To round out my busy weekend last weekend, was the SafetySuit concert at Manchester Community College Saturday night. I had kind of seen them perform once before, last summer at the Collective Soul show - they were the second opener after Ryan Star performed. And since I had really only gone to the show to see Ryan, I didn't pay attention to their set much, if at all. I had heard their single, Stay, and my friend Heather told me to get their album because it was good. And she was right. I picked it up and loved it immediately. From then on, I was adamant to get to a show and see these guys live.

I had missed out twice earlier in the year - I just couldn't make the January show at the Paradise work for me logistically, and then didn't get to the Mohegan Sun show because it was a Friday night and a bit of a drive (It was dumb of me to not suck it up and go, I admit it now), so when I heard they were playing Manchester Community College's Spring Bash, I got tickets, and with Lisa and Christy in tow, we headed north.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Seventh Room - Plymouth 5.7.2010

Anyone who knows me knows how into music I am, and I think it's always important to support local bands. Because sometimes their music is the best. In the last few years, I've discovered a lot of my favorite music that way and they're generally the nicest people too. But I digress and am going to back up here because a bit of backstory is important.

About a month ago, Lisa asked me if I'd be interested in going to see a local band called Seventh Room with her at Copperfields in Boston. I came up from the Cape that day where I had been at my grandparents, and off we went. Unfortunately, the sound was so horrible at Copperfields, all I could hear was music. And noise. I couldn't hear any of the vocals, and since I was not familiar with their music at all, I really didn't enjoy myself. I felt bad mentioning it after to them, when Ian asked me what I thought, but it was the truth. But I did get a CD that night and when I finally had a chance to listen to it - I loved it. So when Lisa asked me if I wanted to go to the Guru Room with her last weekend, I said absolutely - even though it's a long ride - it was totally worth it.

The Guru Room is an interesting venue. It's a small Indian restaurant with a music room in the back. Its a unique space, with a stage in front, a bar on one side and some seating on the other side - leaving a good size space in front of the stage. If I had to guess - it maybe holds 300 people total. And I very well could be overshooting that. Lisa and I walked into the room as the first band was playing (who's name I don't remember). They looked 12 (probably couldn't have been more than...16-17 at most), and while their music wasn't bad, I had a hard time watching them. They finished up and the second band (who's name I also don't remember - I wasn't taking notes!) took the stage - as Seventh Room was playing last. This band was definitely better - they had a great sound and had a group of people up front dancing during the end of their set. They finished up and Seventh Room took the stage around 11:30.

USMC Silent Drill Platoon - Boston

Last week was Marine Week, and Boston was the host city this year. There were a number of activities going on around the city all week - and Marines from all over the country were here. Since my brother is in the service, his battalion was hosting so he was in town all week working, and I thought it would be nice for my mom and I to go in on the last day (Mother's Day) to see what was going on, attend the dedication of the Marine Barracks at the Navy Yard, and watch the Silent Drill Team perform.

If you've never seen the Silent Drill Team perform - its absolutely amazing. They drill without cadence (spoken commands) and the whole audience just falls silent when they walk in. It was windy as hell that day but not one of them wavered - and the Saturday prior, they were performing and it started to hail. They just stood there because none of them had been dismissed. When they were finished performing, we were able to go and talk to the Marines - we asked them how they get onto the team. It's basically invitation only. Its a huge honor to get asked to be in the silent drill platoon.

Anyway, I have some pictures of the drill team, plus a video.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Review: How to Kill A Rockstar

Have you ever read something that's so powerful that you almost don't know where to begin when you read the last pages? Its been a long time since a book has given me that reaction. I think the last time was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, actually. But I digress. On a friend's recommendation, I picked up How to Kill a Rockstar by Tiffanie DeBartolo a couple of weeks ago, being that the lead male's voice in the book was how Tiffanie hears Jimmy Gnecco's. (See, a Jimmy reference). It's such an engaging story, I could not put it down from the time that I opened it. It took me a bit longer then normal to read it (usually when I read something that's really good, I read fast and am done in 2 days) between being sick and Erin being here on vacation (and holy hell, there is a insect running across my living room floor as I'm typing this), but I finished it tonight. Some people said the ending was really out there and unrealistic. I didn't think so at all. I had tears in my eyes as I read the last pages, and I didn't want it to end.

It's touched a nerve with me. We've all been in Eliza's shoes at one point in our life - its very relateable. You love someone enough to let them go and hope that if the stars align, they'll come back to you, safe and sound. But the reality of it is that if you mess with fate, who knows what will happen. I am so emotionally involved with Eliza right now, I can't even begin to tell you. I felt every single thing that she was feeling, I cried with her and laughed with her. Other characters I wanted to smack upside the head and say "What the hell is WRONG with you?" There were parts where I felt that my heart had been ripped in two. I am trying so valiantly to put into words what I'm feeling right now because there's no way I'm going to sleep at the moment, even though it's 1 in the morning. I feel like I need a day or 2 to digest this and process everything that I'm feeling, but I just...can't. The book is an emotional roller coaster, and I'm so so so glad that I didn't peek ahead to the last pages - it would have totally ruined the effect for me. I think what made it so powerful was the writing and the way that the story was told. It could have very quickly gotten out of hand with the changing POV's, but it didn't. It flowed wonderfully and I was engrossed from the very first page. I felt like it combines a love story with music, and that's what makes it what it is.

I will admit that I read it because the author is affiliated with Bright Antenna, which is the Indie label that Jimmy Gnecco is signed to. Instead of Paul throughout the story, I heard Jimmy's voice. And most of you know how his music has touched me over the last year since I discovered Ours. I felt like this story, like the music, has touched me deep in my soul and left me wanting more. I feel alive and emotional, almost like I've just left a live Ours show. I read the acknowledgments at the end of the book and saw Jimmy's name on there. Knowing that he was an inspiration just....I don't even know. I can't describe what's going through my head and my heart right now. It gives me hope that one day I will love like that.

Bottom line? Read this book. Have tissues handy. And prepare to go on the roller coaster ride of your life.

20 Important Songs

Another bit of a post from the past. I was participating in November Journaling Month on another site I blog on. It asked List 20 songs that are extremely important to you (or nostalgic) and explain why. This is the list I came up with. Music is such a huge part of my life and I'm really not sure how I managed to do this and pick 20 songs off of my ipod of 1500+, but I did. And here we go.

1. Don't Stop Believing - Journey
I've been listening to this song for a long time and it basically reminds me to keep believing in myself and never give up. There's a lot of things out there and I never know what the future will bring for me. As long as I keep believing in myself and what I want to accomplish, it will get done
2. Piano Man - Billy Joel
This song was one that at the end of choir practice in high school, we would always sing if there was time. I don't remember if we ever sang it in a concert or not, but it was always something fun to do to wind down practice. I took my mom to see Billy Joel when he came to Boston in February 2006 and of course that was the closing song. The crowd sang along and the last chorus the band just stopped, and the audience kept going. And everyone knew ever single word. That was such a special and a very cool moment to hear an arena full of people sing the words back to him.

3. The Scientist - Coldplay

The angst in this song just kills me. It really does. But its got a hopeful message - that things will be ok in the end. This song played a huge role in a story that I read awhile ago that Laura wrote, and now I can't listen to it anymore without thinking about the scene where Josh and Lexi are eating dinner on the floor of her living room, in front of the fire and Brett plays this song. Its been years since Ive read that story and I can still see it so clearly in my mind. Ever since then, its had such a profound effect on me.

4. The World I Know - Collective Soul

This song took on a whole new meaning for me when David Cook sang it on the American Idol finale in 2008. His version gave me chills. This song is so sad, looking at the world that is just crumbling down. I think its about suicide, actually. Collective Soul got me through a lot of high school and this song in particular did. It will always be on my list of top songs, just because. I had the pleasure of seeing Collective Soul for the first time this past summer, and when Ed sang this song, it was just, so beautiful. A moment not soon to be forgotten.

5. Mr. Jones - Counting Crows

Another throw back to high school. Actually, freshman year of high school. It's just a fun, upbeat song that you can't help but toblast in the car and drive along to. Also, to rock out to. My high school does this thing for Freshman every year called "Jump Start" for 4 days before school starts and at the end they put together a video of the week to show at the parents dinner. Mr. Jones was included on ours that I was so sure was going to be full of rap and hip hop. So it makes me look back and smile at the good times.

6. Permanent - David Cook

This song - when it first came out, I cried. David wrote it about his brother who was battling brain cancer and passed away earlier this year. He was a trooper to sing it on this year's finale, about 2 weeks after. The strength he shows in that song, whenever he performs it - is just unbelievable. Its so simple and pretty - just piano and strings on the recording, and when he performs it live, its just piano and then the band kicks in at the end. Its so emotionally charged and the angst and hurt and fear that comes through in his voice is just, gah. Sheer emotion.

7. Worst Things Beautiful - Ours

This song is so so important to me, I can't even begin to tell you how much. It is actually a letter that Jimmy wrote to his son telling him that hey, when life gets tough, don't give up, the best things come out of the ugliest.I immediately connected with the song when I heard it, and then when I heard the story behind it, I was fully prepared for tears when I heard it live. Instead, the opposite happened. I absolutely rock out to this song. Its just, full of hope. And it has a great beat and its the one song that I run to first when I'm scared or nervous about anything. It instantly calms me down.

8. Mystery - Jimmy Gnecco

This song had to be included for the sheer fact that it is one of the most emotionally honest, raw, and beautifully haunting songs I've heard, ever. The first time I heard it I got chills, and I get chills every single time I hear it. Its another one that I was fully prepared for tears when I heard it live (as I did about 3 weeks ago) and I didn't cry. I just stood there and took it in. I almost want to ask Jimmy who hurt him so deeply that he wrote a song like this, but its insanely personal and I know I'll never ask that. I do feel like my heart is getting ripped out of my chest when I hear it though. Its just that kind of song.

9. Last Train Home - Ryan Star

There are so many Ryan Star songs I could have picked, especially with his new album coming out the top of the year and everything is about living in the moment. But Last Train Home, is just a beautiful love song. I believe he wrote it about his wife, as there is quite the distance age-wise between them and her father didn't approve of him, but finally he came around and they got married. It gives me hope that there will be someone out there for me who will love me unconditionally no matter what and who approves or disapproves.I can listen to this song for hours.

10. Time of Your Life - Green Day

Another throw back to high school! This song is kind of an anthem - no matter what you do or have done, I hope you have the time of your life. It reminds me to live life to the fullest all the time, and just enjoy it and have fun. I also used this song as the last song on the video I did for our graduating class, so it holds a special place in my heart.

11. Alla Luce Del Sole - Josh Groban

This is the first song on Josh's first album and I love it. Loosely translated, it means "The light of the sun" but things get lost in translation, so I prefer to just enjoy the Italian version and not try to wonder what it means. I love the sheer power behind this song in his voice. Seeing it in concert is just amazing as well, when he hits the chorus and then the sun rises on the screens behind him. It's definitely one of my favorites and one that I can listen to forever.

12. Awake - Josh Groban

This was a bonus track on his last album, but also conicidentally the title track of it. It's really just about making the most of special moments that are over too soon, and savoring what is there. It's one of my favorite moments of concerts because it's just him and the piano, no band. Its so simple and its a pretty song, with a strong message.

13. Lightning Crashes - Live

Live is one band that I pretty much listened to all through high school and it got me through a lot of high school. This song in particular is so important to me because it starts out with death, but then transitions into a new birth and a new moment. Its the cycle of life to me, I suppose. Yes, we die but babies are born, and new lives and moments are celebrated. I also love how this song starts out quietly and suddenly turns into something anthemic at the end.

14. Anodyne - Midwest Kings

MWK is a relatively new artist on my ipod (Ok, not that new, I've probably had this stuff for about 9 or 10 months, but still), and when you combine the writing talent of Andy Skib, David Cook and Neal Tiemann, you get epicness. And this song is epicness. This is a love song in disguise. It basically is saying to me, "You're everything I've ever been looking for". Andy's voice is just rough and gravelly and combine it with Neal's lyrics and it just kills me. I really hope these three write together again for David's new album because if this one amazing gorgeous song comes out of it, I can only imagine what we'll get on a full album.

15. Make Me - Midwest Kings

Another MWK song. This song to me is about someone you meet who you might like, and it's almost a challenge to get them to "make me fall for you, as if I had nothing else to do". As one of my friends stated, when Andy sings it, it is a challenge. You can hear it in his voice. I was lucky enough to hear Andy sing lead on this in Providence on David's tour, and it was such an amazing moment. The sheer joy on Andy's voice while he was singing and themoment the audience realized what was happening and lost their collective shit. It was pretty cool. I would link to the video from Providence but the audio on it is not good.

16. Bad - U2

I could have picked any number of U2 songs here, because U2's music has always been a part of my life just because its so timeless and classic and GOOD. But I picked Bad because its one song that I could have on repeat, and not get tired of it. I also love Bono's voice on the Rotterdamn recording (from 1990) and the way the Edge plays, the crowd clapping along - I just cannot get enough of it. Also, thanks to another friend and a certain story, I hear David singing it in my head on occasion.

17. What I Got - Sublime

This song reminds me of what I have and what to not take for granted. Its about friendship and family and you never know what you have until it's gone. Its totally what I loved about 90's music - a bit of a swagger, a good beat and a good message. With the occasional swear word thrown in. I like to listen to this song when I'm getting ready to go out somewhere because its upbeat and fits nicely into that playlist. I also have a tendency to blast it in the car when it comes on the radio.

18. Somewhere Out There - Our Lady Peace

I listened to Our Lady Peace a lot through high school and then when I went away to college, my tastes changed and they got dropped from my playlist. They've quickly gotten back on after David sang Innocent on Idol (See, things relate back to David, a lot) , and Somewhere Out There to me is the song that makes me think that there is someone out there for me. That no matter where I go, that person will always be with me, even if I don't know who it is quite yet. It gives me faith and hope that I will one day find that person.

19. You and I - Michael Buble

This is just a pretty love song. One that I would dance to at my wedding. It brings together two people who are meant for each other forever and will never be apart, no matter what happens. Together these two people, no matter who they are or what they are doing, can conquer the world and no one can stop them. I want this kind of unconditional love and one day I will have it, I hope. Not to mention that this song is just piano and strings, and Buble's voice. Simple and pretty. Ok, I can't find the video for this so I uploaded it.

20. Nothing Else Matters - Metallica

I know, its quite a leap from Michael Buble to Metallica, but such is the way it is. This is one song that has never wavered off my list from high school. I'm not a huge Metallica fan, but since this song is a tad tamer then their harder stuff, I love it. It reminds me to live my life my way - nothing else matters. If I'm not happy in what I'm doing, I have to make myself be happy because life is too short.It also reminds me to trust myself and my instincts - and that as long as I know in my heart what I'm doing is ok and what I want - then screw what other people think.

How I Became a Jimmy Gnecco/OURS Fan

I was asked recently, Jimmy Gnecco and Ours - you seem to be a huge fan, based on your postings - what's the best thing about him/them, and what made you become such a fan?"

Cross posted from my LiveJournal - because I think that this is important to a lot of the things I will be talking about. I will be writing about other shows and artists of course, but I talk about Jimmy a lot.

I was first introduced to Ours' music through my friend Erin, who I had met on a David Cook board. She had either posted about it or shared something - one of the two. I was immediately intrigued so I asked her to send me more, which she did. After that - I got their latest CD (Mercy) and decided I had to see them live after Erin had come back from a show in Atlanta in July 2008 and posted a couple of videos. I joined up on a fanboard (KTB) and saw a show announced for the Bowery Ballroom in NYC in September 2008. I was going to be on vacation that week so I figured I could swing it - then a Cambridge show was announced and I scrapped my plans to go to NYC and planned to go to the show in Cambridge. It was a Wednesday night and it posed a problem - none of my friends wanted to go with me, so I had resigned myself to going alone.

Erin had just started a new job and had said there was no way that she could get it off to come up - until she took a chance and asked her boss. Her boss said yes so Erin not only flew up to Boston on her birthday to share it with Jimmy and I - but to also be there for my first Jimmy/Ours experience. It was an unbelievable experience. The band live is so intense - and I felt that the music touched me in a spot in my soul that I didn't know music could. Erin and I also completely bonded over Jimmy. I can't thank him enough for introducing me to my best friend - the sister I never had growing up. I saw them two more times in 2008 - both with Erin - in Nashville and Atlanta, respectively - and then went through a bit of a drought until August of 2009 when they opened for Blue October.

Jimmy has since been working on a solo album, so he's been doing a bit of touring himself before the album drops (This spring!) and I've seen him three times since October - all in NJ/NYC. Its something that I never thought I would do, especially drive alone to NY - but I've met an entire new group of friends that are based in that area.

Probably the best thing about his music/Ours music - is that its honest. It's a tad emo, its raw. But its hopeful and no matter what, pulls me out of a funk. Its what I first run to if I need to calm down, or am scared or nervous. And the best thing about Jimmy - he's so genuine. He is so giving with his time and talks to everyone who wants to talk to him after shows. He truly listens to what you have to say and looks you in the eye. His eyes are so blue and boar into your soul - which makes me feel a little intimidated - but he's the nicest guy. Not to mention he has a kick-ass memory. I was able to talk to him after the Maxwells show in December and thank him for his music, and bringing me together with Erin, and he was just completely blown away. I've gotten smiles from him on stage when he saw me in the crowd - and at the last show (Mercury Lounge), when I talked to him after and couldn't remember if I'd introduced myself to him - he said I had and gave me not only a hug, but a kiss on the cheek. Because the fandom is so small and loyal - its the same people who go to the shows - Jimmy gets to know everyone - at least recognize people - which I think is pretty awesome. Jimmy's bandmates are also amazingly nice too.

And the fandom itself is pretty awesome. Everyone there is so nice and welcoming. And giving. I have yet to run across a horrible person who's a Jimmy/Ours fan. Its very small and very loyal. People go to a lot of the shows so we all know each other. Its like a secret society. To be quite honest, Jimmy and the band deserve major label success, playing larger venues then he is that hold thousands - not hundreds. But for purely selfish reasons - I like the way it is now. Its intimate. Its small. The shows are inexpensive (I have not paid more than $30 for a show, and that was only because Blue October was headlining) and we have full access to Jimmy and the guys before/after the show. But after talking to some other friends - I don't see Jimmy playing anything bigger than theaters - as he's all about the intimacy when it comes to the shows.

I would be completely lost in my life without Ours' music in my life. I can't wait to see what Jimmy's solo album is like - although I've heard a lot of it - he's played a lot of new stuff at the shows - and I just can't wait to hear the album itself. I can't wait for the next Ours album. The music will continue to be a huge part of my life - and its brought me together with some of the best people I've ever know.