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.


Welcome to my world. This is mostly going to be a blog for me to post concert reviews, album reviews, and really anything else that strikes my fancy. I love to share my experiences with the world, and I figure this is a good as place as any to do so. I hope you drop by and say hello.