Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later - 9/11

I can't believe its been 10 years since the day America changed forever. Ten years ago, I was a junior in college. I had not been feeling well and skipped my first class. I got up and turned on the computer before I turned on the TV and a good friend of mine had posted as his away message on AIM - There's some scary shit going on in NYC today and we still have to go to class This intrigued me, so I turned on the tv. and I saw the first tower fall. I can't even tell you what was going through my head at that moment. I decided that I wasn't going to go to the rest of my classes that day, so I stayed home and just watched the coverage. I didn't know anyone personally, but I knew that this was the moment in my life that I would always remember where I was in that moment. At some point, I had called my mom just for the assurance that she was ok - I remember that I didn't want to be alone anymore, so I went over to the newspaper office on campus and found all the other editors there too. There was a vigil on campus that night. I cried and wondered what would happen next. The creepiest thing though was the sound of silence - there was a small airport near campus, and we were so used to hearing the planes fly overhead. The silence in those first few days while all air traffic was grounded was just deafening. I remember I flew to New Orleans 6 weeks later. Everyone said to my mother How could you let her go? But we all knew that it was probably the safest time to be on a plane.

Now, 10 years later, we remember. Earlier this year I went to NYC and went to the memorial museum at ground zero for the first time. It was one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had. From seeing the images again, to hearing the stories of the people who had to help, to seeing the way that the memorial would look when it was done. I was in tears the entire time I was in there. I would like to go to the memorial the next time I'm in New York, now that it's finished, to remember and reflect. I will also say that last October, I went to New York and walked the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a hugely emotional and powerful moment, knowing so many people took to the bridge to just get the hell out of Lower Manhattan. Even though I'm not in New York today, I remember. The weather is strangely reminiscent of the way it was 10 years ago - sunny and warm with a hint of fall in the air. It seems fitting.

Thank you to all the first responders and may those who lost their lives and their families feel peace today. The anniversary will never be easy and it should never be a day that's just passed by. It will forever be a day of reflection and a day of remembrance.
Never forget. 9/11/11

Monday, August 8, 2011

Middle Class Rut - Busy Bein' Born Video

A few weeks ago, Middle Class Rut's newest video for Busy Bein' Born hit the airwaves (well, the internet). Following on the heels of the their first single New Low, the video is dark, following a young boy who is kidnapped and forced to participate in violent combat. I'm putting a warning on this for any triggers that anyone may have and this video contains adult themes/subject matter. While the concept and subject matter for the video was a huge risk, it works well for the song. Busy Bein' Born is featured on the Transformers 3 soundtrack and has helped Middle Class Rut break into the rock scene. After touring with Linkin Park, the California-based alternative rock duo was named the "2011 Artist to Watch" by MTV and is currently part of the Vans Warped Tour lineup.

I would usually embed the video on here, but since its pretty dark and really not suitable for anyone under I'd say, 18, I'm just going to link to it. Please use your own judgment watching it.

Busy Bein' Born Video

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco (of Ours) - Studio at Webster Hall, NYC, 7.17.2011

So I'm doing things a little out of order here, but that's what keeps life interesting, right? I originally wasn't planning on going to this show, since it was a Sunday night and weeknight shows can be hard for me with travel and work. But I was already going to be in NYC that weekend for the Culture Fix show the previous Friday so with a little bit of convincing, I decided to stay the full weekend and wrap my 4-show run at the Studio at Webster Hall. I'm so glad I did - it was one of the most awesome shows I've been to. But let me back up and start at the beginning.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Plain Jane Automobile - Fontana's, NYC 6.25.11

Photo Credit: Lisa Gansky Photography
I was really glad I was able to catch this show since Plain Jane isn't coming to Boston on this tour, and I love seeing them live. When it turned out they were playing in NYC the same weekend that I was already in the area, I decided to stay an extra night for the show. Fontana's is an interesting venue - its tiny, first of all, and second of all, the music room is downstairs, so its almost like being in someone's basement. PJA wasn't playing until 11, so Lisa and I got there around 10:30, right in the middle of the opener's set. Liat was really interesting - very folksy and bluesy, and sang a great medley of the Cranberries' Zombie and Dreams, along with her own original music. From what I heard, I liked a lot. She finished and Plain Jane got ready to take the stage.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco - Northstar Bar, Philadelphia 6.24.11

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Gansky Photography
This was the show that we almost didn't make it to thanks to the traffic from hell. But we made it, just as Lukas Rossi was finishing his set, so we didn't miss any of Jimmy.  Northstar is a cool venue with a high stage, so even if you're standing in the back of the room, you can still see the performer. When we first walked in, Lukas Rossi was just finishing up and was sitting on a chair on the stage. Even though I was at the bar, I could still see him and the acoustic were great. In addition, there is an upstairs balcony that pretty much hangs right over the top of the stage. Its a nice alternative that gives you a different perspective. Its also nice when its super crowded. The show that night wasn't, but there was still a good crowd.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco - Mystery Video + Summer Tour Dates

The video for Jimmy Gnecco's  Mystery, off of The Heart was released yesterday and its simply gorgeous. This song became a quick favorite from the minute I heard it - the video makes me love it more. I'd love to know who the song is about but I get the vibe that it's so insanely personal I know that I'd never ask Jimmy about it. He has mentioned that he wrote it in about 30 seconds though!

Also, Jimmy is touring this summer. Check out the dates!  More details on

June 24 - Northstar Bar, Philadelphia, PA
June 25 - Blind Tiger, Greensboro, NC
June 29 - Rodriguez Room @ The Goat Farm, Atlanta, GA
June 30 - Pale Eddies, Birmingham, AL
July 2 - Allways Lounge, New Orleans, LA
July 5 - The Plaza Live, Orlando, FL
July 7 - 12th and Porter, Nashville, TN
July 8 - Rumba Cafe, Columbus, OH
July 10 - TT the Bear's, Cambridge, MA
July 14 - Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA
July 15 - Culture Fix, New York, NY
July 17 - The Studio at Webster Hall, New York, NY
July 28 - The Walnut Room, Denver, CO
July 31 - Martini Ranch, Scottsdale, AZ
August 3 - Stubbs BBQ (Inside), Austin, TX
August 5 - The Prophet Bar, Dallas, TX

More dates TBA.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ryan Star - Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun 6.10.11

I'd never been to the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun before last weekend - but its a place I will definitely be back to. Its such a unique venue - literally right in the middle of the casino, and open, so anyone can see in but it's intimate and only holds about 300 people. Perfect for a night rocking out with Ryan Star and his band. I arrived around 530, as I wasn't sure what time doors were going to be opening and met up with Melissa, Emily and Christy. There wasn't a real long line when we arrived but as time went on (and we listened to soundcheck), the line got longer. Finally, around 645 we were allowed in, and seated. I was off to the left side of the stage, but at one of the front tables. We all got up once Ryan came out and stood at the stage anyway, so seating really didn't matter. The show was free, but not sold out - there were some empty booths along the back of the room.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

David Cook - WXLO Music Loft - Green Hills Golf Club 6.7.2011

David's been doing quite a bit of radio promo for his upcoming album, This Loud Morning, set to drop on June 28, and one of the stops along his way was in Worcester MA, at WXLO's Music Loft. I was stoked to win tickets, as I've been to a few other loft shows before, and they're always super intimate and super fun. I was surprised to find out that it was off site at Green Hills Golf Club in Worcester instead of at the radio station but it was a gorgeous summer night (a bit on the warm side) and we were in a gorgeous location.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30 Seconds to Mars - A Cinematic Call to Arms (Cross Linked from The Screen Door)

I don't usually cross link to other blogger's posts but this is one really worth reading. This was posted on 30 Seconds to Mars' homepage today, as well as published on as part of the 13th anniversary of the site. This blog puts into words exactly what This is War, 30STM's latest album makes me feel when I listen to it. It's honest. And raw. And brilliant writing.

There's certain artists who's music I love because its good. I enjoy listening to it. I'd go see them in concert if they came locally, but wouldn't travel for it. Then there's artists that make music that make me feel. The songwriting is raw and honest and the vocals are incredible. 30 Seconds to Mars now goes onto that very short list of artists. (I'm sure from the bands I write about on my blog, you can guess who the others are).

Even if you're not a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars, I encourage you to read this. Because it holds true not just for that one band, but for any album or song that has ever made you feel alive, made you shed tears and be hopeful all at the same time. The one band that you will jump through hoops to see live, travel for, spend hours trying to explain to those who just don't get it - and then finding out that you're in good company when you find those who do.

30 Seconds to Mars - A Cinematic Call to Arms - The Screen Door, with Anthony Kuzminski

Friday, May 20, 2011

Plain Jane Automobile - Bowery Electric, NYC 5.14.11

Saturday night was Plain Jane Automobile's last CD release show at the Bowery Electric to celebrate the release of Your Tomorrow, and I was glad I got to be there. The turnout was really fantastic - I had arrived a bit early (doors were at 730) and there was really no one there by the time the first opening band, Two Lights, played to an almost empty room (too bad, they were quite good) and then the second opening band Sons of George continued to warm the crowd. By the time Plain Jane was ready to come on, it was pretty full. They never fail to put on a great show, and Saturday night was no exception. The set started off with the single, You Were Only a Song and it did the exact thing that it does on the album - really set the tone for the rest of the night. I loved hearing these songs live - they are so fabulous on the album, and live the songs just came to life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mike Robins - Rockwood Music Hall, NYC - 5.14.2011

While I was in NYC last weekend, I found out my good friend Mike Robins was playing a show at Rockwood after the Plain Jane show - so once that wrapped up, I headed over, as it was pretty close and he wasn't playing until 1am. I'd never been to Rockwood before. Its a fantastic intimate venue, with kickass acoustics and no cover. It's probably one of the best kept secrets in New York, and no matter who's playing, its a great time. When I arrived, I met up with Serena and we hung out with Mike for a little bit before it was time for his set. A couple of the other bands had run a little over, so by the time he took the stage, it was after 1, but it didn't matter. There was still a good crowd there and since it was so intimate, you could be anywhere in the room and still see, but like to be right up front because its all about the connection. And connect Mike did. Even though it was him and his acoustic guitar, he had me captured from the first note he sang to the last. His stage presence is just incredible. I'd actually love to see him fronting his band as well - because I think that'd be amazing.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One Year Later + Music that Inspires Me

I realized the other day that I've had this blog for a full year. I can't believe it's been that long - and its been quite a year. Looking back - the amount of shows I've been to, the amount of things I've done - I just can't wrap my head around it. I feel like I've done a lot and shared so many experiences - and just the fact that I've kept up with it for so long. When I started, I was just doing this for me, and while I still am - I also love sharing it with all of you - thank you to everyone who's read this, supported it, and shared it. I am excited to see what the future brings!

That all being said, I've been thinking about doing a post about this the last few days, and I figured this was a good tie in with the sentimental post. I'm inspired by music daily and it sometimes hits like a ton of bricks and sometimes it worms its way into my head over a period of time. Here are a few songs that have inspired me over the last year.

Ours - Ran Away to Tell The World
This song was one of the sneaky ones. It wormed its way into my head over a period of time and just didn't leave. It's now one of my favorite songs and one that I listen to to feed my brain daily and to remind me that I can't wait around for things to happen - I need to make them happen.

Ryan Star - 11:59
The whole album actually ties in with the theme of live in the moment and don't let life pass you by because the best times are the ones right now, but I just love the simplicity of it. I first heard it the first time I heard him play live and went nuts trying to find it because I needed it in my life, and I'm glad to say, it was absolutely worth the wait.

30 Seconds to Mars - Closer to the Edge
This came about kind of randomly - I saw 30STM 2 weeks ago in Boston, as I'd won tickets. I've liked them for awhile and really really loved their latest album, but this song hit me like a ton of bricks when I ended up really listening to the lyrics. And now I've fallen down the rabbit hole. Which is really not a bad place to be!

I'm headed to NYC this weekend to catch Plain Jane Automobile's release show and also Mike Robins is playing an acoustic set, so look for posts on both of those next week. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Plain Jane Automobile Your Tomorrow Available TODAY

Today's the day folks! Plain Jane Automobile's highly anticipated new album, Your Tomorrow is now available at their web site. Definitely go and check it out, it has a distinct sound that carries from a small club to an arena setting (someday) without losing the PJA twist. My full recap of is here and you can go here and order it.

Also don't forget about the upcoming release shows!

May 11 - Center Stage/Vinyl, Atlanta GA • Tickets/Info
May 12 - 12th and Porter, Nashville TN • Tickets/Info
May 14 - Bowery Electric, New York,  NY • Tickets/Info

Thursday, May 5, 2011

30 Seconds to Mars - Agganis Arena, Boston 5.1.11

I was not only lucky enough to win tickets for this show, but I also won meet and greet passes to meet the band beforehand. I had never seen them live before, but have loved This is War since I heard it and I'd heard nothing but good things about them in concert, so I was excited. I had no idea if my tickets would be GA floor or if they would be assigned seating, so I arrived at the Agganis Arena early. Apparently, arriving early paid off - I got street parking - score! I picked up my tickets and stressed a little as no one seemed to know anything about the meet and greet for the radio station.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Plain Jane Automobile - Your Tomorrow - First Reaction

Plain Jane Automobile’s new album, Your Tomorrow, is set to be released on May 9, and it’s probably one of my most anticipated for this year. I’ve loved PJA since I saw them on tour with Ours 3 years ago, and not only are they fantastic musicians, they are fantastic guys. I had heard some of the new stuff last September/October, but this is the first time I’ve heard the cohesive album. And it’s really fantastic. Overall, it tells a complete story from beginning to end, and brings it full circle with the radio edit of the lead single You Were Only a Song. The album has a very U2-esque sound without losing the distinctive Plain Jane sound that fans have come to know and love.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

David Cook - The Last Goodbye VIDEO

David Cook premiered his lead single, The Last Goodbye off his sophomore album, This Loud Morning, slated to drop on June 28. And man, was it good to see him and the band back on the Idol stage again, and just on my tv singing new music in general. It'd been too long. The single, which is a Cook/Ryan Tedder co-write, is amazing, and I really think it is going to blow up the radio this summer. It's a perfect song for driving with the windows down and the radio cranked up.

You can preorder the album on David Cook Official or Amazon, and you can buy the single on Amazon or itunes. And check out the video from tonight's performance, right here!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco - Railroad Playhouse, Newburgh NY 4.9.11

Last Saturday night, I had the innate pleasure of seeing Jimmy in an intimate setting, performing The Heart straight through, from start to finish. And to top it off, it was my birthday. It was one of the most amazing and incredible things, to sit and hear Jimmy give us a taste of the way this album was recorded. But I'll back up and start at the beginning.

Friday, April 15, 2011

David Cook's Album "This Loud Morning" Drops June 28!

News that all the Cook fans have been waiting for since the single name and release date was announced was released this morning! David Cook's sophomore album, This Loud Morning will be released on June 28, with a presale on David Cook Official beginning April 19. David is set to perform on Idol on Thursday, April 21 to sing The Last Goodbye, the lead single off the album. Check out the full press release after the cut:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco - SXSW 2011 - Videos from Ginger Man Added

For the second year in a row, Jimmy Gnecco has played at Austin's week long music festival South by Southwest (better known as SXSW) - and wouldn't you know, some videos are turning up! The first video is of Devil, a brand new song first previewed at the Maxwell's show back in December - it was fantastic to hear it again!

I can't wait to get a clean recording of this, but the sound's pretty good on this one:

Jimmy Gnecco - Devil (live) from Momito! on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

David Cook - Runway Magazine Photo Shoot & Video

And the Cookie crumbs keep rolling in! David did a photo shoot for an upcoming issue of Runway Magazine (Rumor is it comes out March 22) and here's a sneak preview of it! Also, Don't You (Forget about Me), this year's boot song for American Idol is available on itunes today, so go get it!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mike Robins - No Mercy Available on iTunes!

Mike Robins's first single, No Mercy, is now available on itunes! After a couple of delays, it was finally made available, just in time for his show in Toronto tomorrow night. I did an artist profile on Mike a couple of months ago, so if you're not familiar with him, now's the time to check him out! The song is amazing - its catchy with a great story of love and longing, and some great hooks. Overall, a great radio song! (I actually still have the chorus in my head and I've only listened to it once so far) Mike had made an acoustic version available as a preview, and the full version was totally worth the wait. I can't wait to hear the full EP, and am hoping that he comes back to Boston again soon - I'd love to see him live.

Mike's going to be playing a show in Toronto tomorrow night at the Rivoli, so if you're in the area, check it out. He's also going to be on VH1's Best Cruise Ever this year, playing with Hope. So if you're going on the cruise, be sure to catch a show!

I'm sure we'll be hearing great things from him in the future. You can get the single here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

David Cook News - American Idol Boot Song & Album Preorder!

After months of silence from the Cook camp, the Season 7 Idol winner announced today that he recorded a cover of Simple Minds Don't You (Forget About Me) (well known from The Breakfast Club) as the exit song for Season 10 of American Idol. Not only that, but you can preorder the album (Release date still TBD, but late spring/summer is the rumor) from David Cook Official and get a free download of the boot song! David is also scheduled to be on ET tonight, so check your listings. But here's the video from ET!

It's unknown if David's going to be performing the song on Idol's results show tonight, but if that's the case, I'll have the video up on the blog as soon as I can. :)

I'm sure there'll be lots more to come in the weeks leading up to the album release - build up to any album release is always so much fun!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Josh Groban - Straight to You World Tour 2011 Dates!

FINALLY! After 3 teaser dates were announced about 3 weeks ago, today we were blessed with the full list of tour dates and a teaser video. Watching the video made me realize how fantastic Josh is live, all the experiences that I've had seeing him live, and how much I truly have missed him over the last 4 years. Say what you will, but Josh's music is what got me to jump feet first into fandom as an adult (well, I was in college, but still) and no matter who else has attracted me musically, I always come back to Josh.

The tour dates are on his web site here: Straight To You World Tour Dates. The tour starts May 12 in New Orleans, and wraps up at Madison Square Garden on November 14. Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 4!

And here's the video that made me get all teary. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco - Videos from Wembley 11.27.10

Jimmy Gnecco toured with A-Ha on their farewell tour late last year, and the last tour stop was Wembley Arena in London. What a trip it must have been for him to be playing in such an iconic venue. Regardless, I came across some videos from this show that I thought I'd share. Thanks to ahanews for posting these.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Josh Groban - National Anthem, NBA All Star Game 2.20.11

Lately, I've been rolling my eyes at the singing of the National Anthem at major sporting events - the one that sticks out in my mind the most is this year's Super Bowl fiasco. The Star Spangled Banner is not an easy song to sing - especially a capella. I give props to anyone who has to do it - especially at such a high-profile event. I was excited when I found out Josh was singing it at the NBA All Star game. Thankfully, I remembered it was on tonight, and turned it on just in time.  He blew it out of the water - and reminded me all over again why I fell in love in the first place.

Check it out here. And thanks to Water Cooler Convo for alerting me to the video, when I had posted on twitter that I was looking for the video for here - she was coincidentally looking for something else and came across it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Middle Class Rut - The Met Cafe, Pawtucket, RI 2.7.11

"After they're done playing, you're going to feel like you've been punched in the face," said Tiffanie DeBartolo to me right before I headed to find a spot at the front of the stage for Middle Class Rut's set at the Met Cafe in Pawtucket last Monday night. And well, she was right. I felt like I'd been sucker punched in the gut, the wind knocked out of me. But let me back up to the beginning.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ryan Star - This Could Be the Year, Amazing Race Promo

And Ryan just keeps popping up everywhere! I was watching the Grammy's tonight, and there was a promo for the next season of Amazing Race. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised and shocked to hear This Could Be the Year on it! I feel like 2011 will be Ryan's year. The Amazing Race premiers next Sunday, February 20, so between now and then this may just pop up on CBS a few times.

Edited with youtube video! Thanks Jen! :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ryan Star - Losing Your Memory Featured on Vampire Diaries 2.3.11

And The Vampire Diaries strikes again with excellent music choices! Earlier this season, they used Kris Allen's I Need to Know, and also Sleeperstar's I Was Wrong. This past Thursday (2/3), they used Ryan Star's Losing Your Memory. This is one of my favorite songs off of the Elephant album and the new arrangement on 11:59 with the bagpipes is beautiful. You can get Ryan's album, 11:59 here, if you haven't already, and check out the video below!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ryan Star - Sink or Swim/Losing My Religion - Webster Hall, NYC 1.18.11

Just when I don't think Ryan Star can surprise me any more, he goes and does it again. At his NYC concert at Webster Hall earlier this week, he pulled out an old favorite off his first album Songs From the Eye of an Elephant - Sink or Swim for the encore. But he threw in a cover of REM's Losing My Religion, which I believe he hasn't sung live since he was on Rockstar Supernova! I ended up missing this show as I couldn't make the logistics work for me this time around - needless to say that I am eternally grateful to stacyr311 for capturing this for us all to enjoy! Check out her other videos from that night on her channel as well!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jimmy Gnecco - Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ 12/19/10

This was my last show of 2010 and I almost didn't make it! The show had originally been announced back in October, and I had made tentative plans to go, provided the weather cooperated. The week before the show, the weather had been calling for a major snowstorm that Sunday into Monday. I'd been bumming out and praying the storm went out to sea so I could go - and that was what happened. Friday night before the show, it was confirmed the storm was going out to sea, and I made my plans to go. I arrived late afternoon on Sunday and hung out for awhile before I got ready to go and left, thinking I'd arrive in plenty of time. Boy was I wrong! The show was uncharacteristically early, and what should have taken about 15 minutes to get to Maxwells took almost 45, thanks to traffic from the Giants game. But I arrived about 5 minutes before doors opened and met up with some friends before heading into the venue.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Artist Profile: Mike Robins

Growing up in a musical family, Mike Robins's love of music started early. "Music was a huge part of my early life, my dad was a drummer and mom was a pianist. It was always around at home," he explains. Originally calling Thornhill, Ontario home, Robins is now living in LA working on his solo EP, which he plans to release mid-january, and touring with Hope, a singer-songwriter on Atlantic records. I caught up with him after a show in Cambridge, MA.

How long have you been playing music?
Since high school. I played in a few bands until I finally just put together the Mike Robins band. A little while later the guitarist and I started an acoustic duo called Robins and Stokes. That did well for a while and we released an independent EP which sold well in Ontario. However eventually that ended, but once I got to University, I started a band called Two Foot Falls. This was the band I was playing in right up until I went out to Los Angeles