Since my last post, freelancing has taken over a larger portion of my time. During the winter, concerts seem depleted, but it has given me more time to focus on new endeavors.
I’m now also a contributor for AXS (the ticketing company) and Dallas Observer. I’ve only written one article for Dallas Observer so far, but you can click here if you want to read my write-up about local metal bands on the oddly named record label Tofu Carnage. For those of you that live in the Dallas area, I’ll be writing a few blurbs in the print edition as well.
For AXS, I have written (a.k.a. fangirled) about Queens of the Stone Age, taken photos for a Slayer concert, and I’ve interviewed Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, all of which you can read here.
I’ve chatted with several interesting musicians lately, so I’ll be back in a few days to share.
I was lucky enough to take photos for the Imagine Dragons’ show in Dallas on February 21 at American Airlines Center, and I just thought I would share photos from the concert.
I felt a little out of place since I’m not a 14 year old girl (one of the girls in front row asked me if I had taken photos for the One Direction concert.. umm, no). However, Imagine Dragons definitely puts on an impressively entertaining show, or at least the first three songs were.
Openers Nico Vega and The Naked and Famous fit in nicely, and I had already seen The Naked and Famous play a few years back when they opened for Cut Copy, but the live show has improved.
Below are some photos from the gig. Clicking on an image will bring up the slideshow. In order to check out the full slideshow from the evening, click here.
Normally I wouldn’t be eager to watch the Grammy Awards ceremony, but this year’s roster of performers is surprising for anyone used to just sparkly divas and the latest pop sensation predominantly on TV. The 56th annual music celebration will have more alternative selections this time around.
The heavily nominated Daft Punk will be joined onstage by a groovy, funky bunch consisting of none other than Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, and Chic’s Nile Rodgers. Both Rodgers and Williams made contributions to Daft Punk’s record Random Access Memories, which has been nominated for Album of the Year.
Of course, Pharrell sang on the huge summertime hit “Get Lucky,” but also provided vocals for the second single “Lose Yourself to Dance.” In addition to putting his disco mark on the previously mentioned tracks, guitarist Nile Rodgers also contributed to album opener “Give Life Back to Music.” This group of musicians makes perfect sense, considering they all have such nods to funk and soul (and if you’ve never heard of Pharrell’s previous group The Neptunes, definitely take a listen).
In a very different style lies Metallica’s performance of “One” alongside Chinese pianist Lang Lang, which will obviously bring a clash of styles, but at least it won’t be a worse collaboration than Lulu. Maybe picking a pianist that has played his share of Liszt to coincide with a thrash metal band isn’t such a bad idea.
Just a few days ago blues maestro Gary Clark Jr. and country star Keith Urban were additionally announced as a performers. Though I’m not too fond of Keith Urban, it’s a relief to see a veteran indie musician like Gary Clark Jr. able to attain more national visibility. His latest album Blak And Blu from 2012 is a good starting point for anyone interested in a modern take on soul and blues.
However, the performance I’m looking forward to the most is the finale consisting of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails, and Queens of the Stone Age. Considering Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails alone took up approximately half of my listening pleasure last year, this superband is going to be one fantastically heavy way to end the awards show.
All I’m worried about is that there’s going to be an excessive amount of guitarists on stage. Just because one is able to put five guitarists on stage together doesn’t mean one should. Whatever the case may be, bring on the noise.
For more information on all of the performers, click here. Which performance are you looking forward to the most?
It was 80 degrees outside today, so I’m not sure that this playlist actually compliments the climate I’m in, but for those who are already experiencing snow or want to pretend you are, here is a playlist for you.
Some of these songs don’t include any references to snow or wintertime (and I promise- very few references to Christmas), but it’s a nice collection of melancholy and delicate. A few of the music videos for the tunes also align with the theme.
That infamous “Ahhaahhhhh…ah!” gives this such a primal feel, it belongs to scenes of hunting in the fierce winter winds of… England?
Also, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Karen O did a fantastic cover version for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack.
2. “In the Cold, Cold, Night”- White Stripes
Megan White was never the focus of the band, so it’s nice to see her take the spotlight and sing this simple, slightly bluesy track.
3. “Let Me Sleep”- Pearl Jam
Eddie Vedder has a great voice and all, but he must be one boring Christmas buddy. Anyways, here’s a rarity from their Lost Dogs two-disc collection.
4. “Glósóli”- Sigur Rós
It is just such a beautiful, breathtaking song. Sigur Rós are one of those bands that make mesmerizing music videos that compliment the music- “Glósóli” included.
5. “Untitled”- Interpol
I always imagine a visual of New York City on a chilly evening when “Untitled” is playing, or maybe just a crowded subway and people pushing each other during rush hour.
6. “White Winter Hymnal”- Fleet Foxes
The whole debut album by Fleet Foxes could be applied as sounds for winter. However, this one doesn’t just mention the season in the title, it also perfectly fits the mood of wintertime forests and cabins.
7. “A Hazy Shade of Winter”- Simon & Garfunkel
Leave to Simon & Garfunkel to create an upbeat tune about dreary winter weather. However, it is a beautiful song, and shows off their famed songwriting prowess.
8. “Violet Hill”- Coldplay
Go ahead haters, hate away. I like this album and I shall listen to it anyway.
Whew! Just let me breathe for a moment. I’m currently in the process of reviewing three albums by today, and planning several things. When I say “several things,” I mean 35 Denton and SXSW, and that’s just in the duration of two weeks. Last Monday I was at a Radiohead show in Dallas (click here for my videos), which prepared me for concert mode, and seizure-dancing with maracas if SXSW bands feel inclined to do so. However, one arena concert will not fully prepare me for the onslaught of music about to occur.
Every March bands parade through Texas (and usually most of the U.S) while they make their way to SXSW. 35 Denton is the weekend before SXSW’s music portion really kicks in. This year’s lineup boasts bands such as The Jesus & Mary Chain, Atlas Sound, Best Coast, The Raincoats, Mountain Goats, and more. SXSW includes more than 2,000 bands.
As thrilled as I am to satisfy my shoegaze heart’s desire for The Jesus & Mary Chain, it is also one of the most stressful times of the year for me. Luckily I am not currently in college, so I have time to plan everything, but the level of press I am providing this year is far above anything I have ever done. On one hand, I feel a sense of accomplishment, and promise that my worries of not having a successful future is merely temporary self doubt. On the other hand, am I going to survive?! The amount of walking/awkward running will surpass the previous festival workouts.
It may seem like I’m just complaining (well, I kind of am, aren’t I?), but I certainly enjoy the craziness. 35 Denton is much more relaxed and laid back. It is a way to see bands without the mayhem and large crowds, and SXSW offers an atmosphere and musical experience unlike any other in the world.
This year, I will be taking photos and reviewing shows at 35 Denton (which goes along with the Air Review interview already completed), and then it is off to SXSW on March 14-20. So far, I know there will be an interview with Brooklyn’s Ava Luna, photo-taking at Spin‘s Austin Throwdown and Rachael Ray’s Feedback parties, and reviewing/taking photos at many day parties.
There are some other possible developments that are really exciting. I will be interviewing other bands, and may be attending a few other events that will for sure get me giddy if they end up being confirmed. Here’s to musical bliss and sneaking in saltine crackers for the next few weeks!