Maybe it’s the jangly guitars in one song, the Beatlesque-ness of another, or simply the hand claps somewhere in this mix, but here is my latest list of ear candy. I’ll probably tire of some of them or add more songs over the next few weeks but for now, this new music makes up my summer jam. Artists include Fitz and the Tantrums, the Mowglis, Surfer Blood, the 1975, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Temples.
I do enjoy me some mash-ups. And I’m not talking about the kind Mr. Shue assigns on ‘Glee.’ Instead, I like when two genres come together. So you can imagine my excitement about the first ever Wavelength Festival this summer – it is a concert series that will blend contemporary and Pacific Symphony musicians. Collaboration, that’s what it’s all about.
Performances Include Bonnie Raitt, The Airborne Toxic Event with Pacific Symphony, KCRW’s Jason Bentley and The Music of Pink Floyd – “The Dark Side of the Moon” played in its entirety with Pacific Symphony.
Wavelength Festival of Music is part of the Pacific Symphony’s 35th Anniversary Season initiatives, and will be held this summer at the OC Fair & Event Center at Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on Aug. 22, 23, 24 and 25.
According to Music Director Carl St.Clair: “Pop music has a long history of linking up with classical musicians. From The Beatles to Motown to contemporary indie bands, artists have recognized the sonic power unique to an orchestra. Our goal with Wavelength is to present diverse genres of high-quality music, often in direct collaboration with musicians from the orchestra. I hope audiences will spend the entire weekend with us to open their ears to worlds previously unknown to them. I like the diversity of the offerings, which I hope will be the ongoing appeal of Wavelength over the years.”
I am most excited for “indie night,” Friday, Aug. 23 when my favorite band, ‘The Airborne Toxic Event’ performs with Pacific Symphony. It isn’t the first time they’ve performed with a symphony. Here’s a look at a recent performance of The Airborne Toxic Event (TATE) with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
The Delta Spirit will open for TATE. And on Saturday, Aug. 24 KCRW’s Jason Bentley will feature a special DJ set. The final concert of the weekend on Aug. 25 presents The Music of Pink Floyd – “The Dark Side of the Moon” played in its entirety with Pacific Symphony in celebration of the album’s 40th anniversary.
“The idea for Wavelength sprang from a desire to serve Orange County and the region with a new and distinct popular music experience which demonstrates the versatility of the musicians to collaborate with a wide range of artists,” said John Forsyte, president of Pacific Symphony. “Through a long-standing relationship with Steve Beazley, former CEO of the Fair, I have come to learn about the exciting developments at the OC Fair and Pacific Amphitheatre. It’s a great venue for live music. Over a million people attend the OC Fair every summer and many attend popular music concerts at the Amphitheatre. Steve and I saw a great opportunity for Pacific Symphony’s name to get in front of a wider audience base.”
Another cool feature of the festival is that it will have two stages: the all-new Mercedes Benz CLA Mainstage in the Amphitheatre and Concourse stage. The Concourse stage will showcase various 2013 OC Music Awards-affiliated bands, local up-and-coming indie artists as well as individual Pacific Symphony musicians starting at 5:30 p.m. each evening. Main stage performances begin at 7:00pm
But wait, there’s more! Interested Wavelength attendees should buy tickets early and use their Wavelength ticket to “Bounce Forward” into the 2013 OC Fair, July 12-August 11. Wavelength ticket holders can attend one of the 23 days of the OC Fair for FREE by showing their Wavelength ticket.
Tickets for Aug. 22, 23 and 25 range in price from $25 to $95 and are on sale at 10 a.m. May 15 through Ticketmaster.com. VIP Packages are also available through Ticketmaster.com. Aug. 24 ticket prices and on-sale details will be announced in the coming days. For more information, visit wavelengthfestival.org.
I was between event at LA Live on Saturday when I decided to check out the Grammy Museum in Downtown LA. And let me tell you, the $12.95 admission price was well-worth it, especially if you are a music lover, or if you are a tourist looking for things to do in Los Angeles. I am not a tourist but I might as well be, coming from Orange County. Navigating freeway traffic from our close counties makes me sometimes wish I could hop on plane, after all! But I definitely am a music lover.
Photo below taken from http://instagram.com/thegrammymuseum/
The Grammy Museum explores and celebrates all forms of American music. Start at the fourth floor and work your way down the engaging and educational exhibits. I really enjoyed the large interactive Crossroads table. Put on the headphones and experience the history of a musical genre, literally with the touch of a finger. I liked how it showed how connected one genre was to another. Punk to rock to emo. Folk to alternative folk etc.
I also enjoyed the audio-visual clips of memorable performances through history. My favorites? Billie Holiday and Miles Davis, and a cool clip of Bob Dylan in a duet with Johnny Cash!
Note: This song was featured in the movie ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’
But the real fun began on the third floor with the immersive Roland Live experience, which featured a full electronic band setup with keyboards, guitars, and drums, which you could touch and pretend to play. It’s one thing to play a video game like RockBand or Guitar Hero and quite another feeling to actually touch a real instrument!
The second floor of the Grammy Museum houses the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater and the special exhibits. This month it was all about Whitney Houston. I felt that I already knew way too much about Whitney, so I skipped this one but the exhibits on this floor change regularly so perhaps another exhibit will be more my cup of tea. I would’ve loved to have seen the John Lennon exhibit they had in 2011.
Another thing that I hope to experience at the Grammy Museum in the future is a musical program. They have an eclectic mix ranging from “An Evening With” featuring legendary contemporary musicians to “The Drop,” which features artists with a new release. I would also have loved to watch my favorite band during the “Homegrown” program.
For information, visit grammymuseum.org
The GRAMMY Museum
800 W. Olympic Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90015
When Nic Adler of the Roxy Theater in Hollywood asked me what new music I listened to, I went blank and took a while to even mention Ra Ra Riot. It was a bit embarrassing but this was during the Getty Social after spoke to the social media people gathered there.
During his talk, he shared how The Roxy Theater (@theroxy on Twitter) used social media. Some of his more important points were:
- How @theroxy listened on Twitter in order to grow its following instead of just broadcasting and posting messages, “The more we listened, the more our Twitter following grew.” (The Roxy currently has 127, 940 followers)
- How they used social media to connect with their audience and bands
- In response to a question about dealing with negative comments online, he stressed the importance of “Accepting you are not perfect,” and “being honest and engaging.” On Twitter, he reminded us to “at (@) reply” and when someone posts a negative comment on Facebook, he said they usually respond once and take the conversation offline.
As for me… I came up with this SoundCloud to let you all know what music I’m currently listening to – this list includes buzz bands “Ra Ra Riot” and “Cayucas,” as well as local bands, who I’ve heard about from friends like “Francisco the Man” and a band I actually watched at The Observatory, “Tapioca and The Flea.”
Like a nut, I stayed up to watch The Grammy Awards. I didn’t care too much for the nominees or the winners, this year or years before. Like Kelly Clarkson, I didn’t know who the heck Miguel was. And I had only a vague idea who Ed Sheeran was either. But I’ve long accepted that though the Grammy World may not be to my musical taste, I love a good show. Like that Marley Medley and Jack White’s number!
The social media strategist in me was a wee bit excited every time LL Cool J asked people to get social and mentioned hashtags and what not. But since I was watching the West Coast telecast, it got annoying pretty soon because it wasn’t social “in real time.” In fact, some of my friends like @mayhemstudios and the crew tweeting with @omginsider; and members of the SoCal Lady Bloggers had already live-tweeted the event earlier.
I had to resist the urge to check my Twitter Feed and Facebook wall for spoilers. I failed, of course, because even before the west coast show on CBS, I already knew to look out for Taylor Swift in the audience singing along to every song, and Solange’s awesome ‘fro.
Some quick thoughts on how The Grammy’s could’ve done social better.
1. More pre-event engagement. They could’ve used their Twitter Feed and Instagram to create conversations and excitement leading up to the awards show.
2. Hashtag on the side of the screen, like FOX does or even #TheVoice. Hashtag should simply have been #grammys2013 (by just using #grammys it’ll be harder to track and analyze in the future). The other hashtags they were trying to get to trend were too long #grammymoment #theworldislistening
3. Instead of the host, announcing his answers to tweets, they could’ve had a Twitter wall or crawl on the screen with The Grammy’s newsfeed or people tagging #grammys.
Ah so much more, but hey, there’s always next year, right?
And since today is Music Monday and I’d like to leave you with some music. Unfortunately, I can’t get any official Grammy footage so I leave you with a taste of His Royal Awesomeness – Jack White.
Just a quick SoundCloud of new tunes on this Music Monday. You wonder, what do these three songs have to do with each other… first of all, I like them. Second, they share this quality of sounding like multiple songs in just one track. They start slow, then fast, then rock hard and then sound totally different somewhere in the middle. It’s almost like ADHD songs – (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Is this a new trend? Take a listen to British band Alt J, and American indie bands Cloud Nothings and Foxygen.
We were on a bus somewhere between Italy and Spain, when Andi started singing, then Michelle joined in. So really I had no choice and before I knew it, we had everyone on the bus singing “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men in 4-part harmony. Yeah, just like that scene in Pitch Perfect. It was the ‘90s, after all, we were young and on the road. Life was good plus it’s a catchy tune. Can you blame us? “It’s so natural, you belong to me…” well, you know the rest.
When news of “The Package Tour” also known as the summer tour featuring New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) BoyZ II Men, NKOTB and 98 Degrees spread on my social feeds, I didn’t go crazy like some people did. First of all, I find it annoying that they are calling this tour the “return of the boy bands” because truly, the boy bands never left (hello, One Direction?) and second of all, apart from being all-male groups with cheesy pop music, there really isn’t anything exciting or new about this musical collaboration. Just another bunch of bands trying to make a comeback, capitalizing on nostalgia to fill some seats.
But hey, it’s a free country right? So if this is your kind of music, go, grab a ticket and relive the past.
Here’s a version of that Boyz II Men ditty that’s more my style. “End of the Road” by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
Happy Music Monday, everyone!
Thanks to Colorado blogger Greeblemonkey, I discovered Rdio in time to come up with my own list of tunes that make 2012 a memorable year in music for me. Some might be familiar to you as they’ve been played in commercials on TV, like for cars or computers. But if you want to know how I discovered this alternative sonic landscape, check out Sirius XMU, KCRW, NPR Music and various other online channels that feature new music.
Don’t think me a music snob though.I listen to commercial radio too like KROQ but it is my sincerest hope that more people support independent artists in 2013. I mean, really, I get that Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were good and they’ve written good songs but we’ve been hearing them over and over for decades now. One might argue that bands like Gotye and Fun. have crossed over to mainstream consciousness but for what? To be played ad nauseam till Glee decides to cover it?
I mean REALLY. So for my year-end music round up, check out three bands from the UK, six from the US, and 1 from Australia.
Welcome to my 2012 jams.
It seems many people cannot listen to the music via Rdio, so I am adding some YouTube videos here and other links for your listening pleasure.
“Jump Into the Fog” by The Wombats
Most memorable line: I’m only here because…I want to twist the structure of my average day.
“Trojans” by Atlas Genius
Memorable lyric: Take it off, take it in, take off all the thoughts of what we’ve been.
“Headlights” by Morning Parade
Memorable lyric: Like a rabbit in your headlights, I am the beckon to your call.
The rest of my list – 7 songs more are in this soundcloud set. Enjoy!
Surely you’ve heard that catchy song that accompanies that new Windows 8 ad. It’s the kind of song that you like more and more, the more you hear it, and it is by the awesome singer, violinist, composer K Ishi Bashi or Kishi Bashi, who has collaborated and toured with Of Montreal, Regina Spektor, and Sondre Lerche.
The video that accompanies the song is strangely beautiful, just like the song. But get this– according to the YouTube description, the song includes “common idioms” throughout the video. For example at 2:51 into the video is “Break a Leg”. You can search the rest of the 49 idioms. As for me, I’ll just be humming along with the bird people.
And if you want to see more of Kishi Bashi, check out his Tiny Desk Concert on NPR.org where he rocks the violin and even beatboxes. You can also follow him on Facebook and check out more of his music at www.kishibashi.com
Like most awards shows, the American Music Awards is more about the show rather than the awards. And though we may not be big fans of the nominees or artists involved, watching an awards show means being part of a collective experience. You could, of course, follow the hashtags on Twitter and be part of the conversation going on around an event, then watch some segments on YouTube and pretend you stayed up all night watching when it comes time to do a recap over the proverbial water cooler, or in most cases these days, the Keurig coffee maker.
On the night of the AMAs, I sat on the couch ready for some family viewing time. Alas, my kids found other things to do as they were disappointed “Once Upon A Time” wasn’t on. “But it’s the American Music Awards!” I said. They ignored me and moved on to other things– one of my kids was watching YouTube videos on his laptop, the other was playing a game on an iPhone and my husband was watching a movie on HBO in the other room. So much for a shared experience, eh?
So I tried, really I did, and I sat through every Bieber performance, Taylor Swift, No Doubt, Pink, and painfully Nicki Minaj, Pitbull was fun…by this time, my younger son came in and started dancing. I swear Pitbull he can make you get up and dance. When Pink was on and I was saying WOW about her dance moves, my older son looked briefly my way and said “Oh Pink, yeah, she was on Spongebob once.”
To be honest, I was looking forward to Psy’s performance but I was too tired and annoyed by the whole show and the presentors flashing the massive Samsung Galaxy Note to show the faux drumroll (Yawn) winners name on the screen, that I gave up as soon as Luke Bryan gave a shout out to his son Bobo!
Okay then… here are some of my random thoughts.
- Was this the Justin Bieber variety show? It would seem so as not only did he perform multiple times, he won all the categories he was nominated for.
- The inter webs were atwitter with the irony of a Canadian opening and practically taking over the American Music Awards, and a Korean closing out the show. I find no irony in it because in my mind, being an American means being open-minded. The American Music Awards is about embracing all artists regardless of country of origin, and in this case, regardless of musical talent it would seem.
- You know a band is getting old when its lead singer is known more for her fashion line than for her music. Yeah, nostalgia be damned but No Doubt were there to satisfy the parents watching the AMAs with their kids. Good thing, they rocked it.
- I’m sorry but I really don’t get (insert strange wanna be overly-made up or costumed pop/rap diva something). Yeah, I’m talking about you Kesha, Nicki Minaj!
- I could go on with random musings, but I don’t think I’m totally snarky or even that clever and so if you like that kind of stuff, read this: http://www.eonline.com/news/364242/2012-american-music-awards-best-worst-from-the-show-plus-full-winner-s-list
In the end, the highlight of the AMAs was the awesome performance of Psy with the surprise mashup guest appearance of MC Hammer, which I leave with you here for your viewing pleasure. Onward, GANGNAM STYLE!