Archives for posts with tag: Music
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People Who Died by Johnathan Postal

 

Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed attending this year’s 5th annual Broad Avenue Art Walk. I began my tour at Odessa and strolled my way up the street weaving in and out of galleries and studios, in a quest for inspiration, wine and something special. I convinced a friend to join me, and I think she enjoyed herself, even though most of the wine was gone by the time we got there. It was totally my fault. Well, not because I drank all of it, but we were 2 hours late. After all, it was my promise of vino that persuaded her to accompany me. Thankfully, by the time we sauntered down to MetalWorks (one of the studios located on Broad Avenue) we were able to satisfy our desire for grape juice as we helped ourselves to the last drops of some unknown Pinot grigio. After our fix, we left MetalWorks and strolled back to the car. Shortly after, the something special happened. As we were leaving my friend noticed the coolest thing at a corner parking lot. A short film “Void” by artist Bela Boyd was projected onto  the side of a brick wall. We decided to stay a bit longer, just long enough to turn onto Merton street, stop the car and shoot this little video clip, so you could see the something special for yourself.

See Project Sketchbook.

Nick Redmond is a musical treasure. In an auto-tune, plastic-beauties obsessed world, it was refreshing to see Nick’s worth as an artist, doesn’t depend on the push of a button or some gimmicky physical attribute. Although his über-cool, Samuel L. Clemens inspired mustache is a conversation piece, its coolness doesn’t come close to Nick’s obvious talent and passion for music.

After a few days of playing phone/text tag, I met Nick last Wednesday for a brief interview, in the Memphis Music Room, at Neil’s Bar & Grill in Midtown and witnessed a rising star.

Once inside Neil’s, I kind of felt out of my element, and there was no one to greet me, except a thin layer of cigarette smoke. While maneuvering between odd couples and loners who peppered the restaurant, I looked for my friends. Shout-out to Sarah, the waitress, who helped me navigate the dimly-lit bar to find them. Minutes after I joined Valerie and Khara, I turned around and saw Nick. He sat with us and we began the interview with polite, breezy conversation about Apple’s new iPad and then I launched some hard-hitting questions.

“27. Geez, you are forward. ‘How old are you?’ How many years young are you, that’s the way I like to think of it,” Nick said, after I abruptly asked how old he was moments after glorifying Apple’s latest gizmo. Smooth. I know. Ok, lesson learned: save the indiscreet questions for the end of the interview or text them. I also learned, in addition to being a solo artist, Nick makes up a third of the group Star & Micey (founding members Joshua Cosby and Geoff Smith complete the trio).  For a year and a half, they’ve been playing together and traveling the country. Out of boredom, Nick would often leave work at the renowned and prolific Ardent Recording Studios, also located in Midtown Memphis, and perform at Neil’s during their Artist Round night, where Nick and Joshua first met. Joshua gave Nick a 24-track CD to listen to and the rest is music history.

“I loved all the songs. I thought they were beautiful. I said you should let me produce some songs some time. [We] basically started on an 8 track quarter-inch tape machine, recording simple songs,” he said. “[We] went to Ardent, they liked what was going on, [they] signed the band, and the next thing we knew, they were saying you can make a record in the studio. Which is weird, because I started out helping them in a completely different light and then I ended up, after a certain point, joining the band. I love them so much.”

The chemistry they share as band mates is appreciated, he said.

“We all kind of met in this room and completely, coincidentally, ended up starting, I’d say, one of the (most fun) projects I’ve ever had a chance to be on. I mean, the guys in that band are great. We may not hit all of the right notes, but we get along,” he said.

Congeniality can go a long way in the music biz; it can make or break a band, according to Nick.

“I’ve been in projects for a long, long time, that, you know, we would get to a point and work so hard and then someone’s pride screws the whole thing up,” he said.

Six minutes after our conversation, it was time for Nick to play.  While on stage he acknowledged “some of the most talented musicians” he knew, Rebecca Almond and Jeremy Stanfill. It was a great set of original music by people, undeniably devoted to the art and craft of singing and songwriting. You can see a bit of his performance here. With genuinely talented and animated artists like Nick, it gives us a glimmer of hope that the music industry isn’t dead yet.

Article: KLG
Photo: Valerie Harris

> Thanks Nick for being the first musician featured on this homespun blog. We couldn’t have interviewed a better subject.
>
Want to hear more music? Check out Nick’s Myspace page here.


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Minimalism at its finest from Massive Attack’s latest album, Heligoland.

vs

This song, written and performed by Ohio bluesman Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, is given a rock redo by Creedance Clearwater Revival. Does John Fogerty’s thick and gravely voice hold up to Hawkins’ oh so creepy, guttural and passionate bellowing? Do you think CCR’s cover compares to the offhanded and disarming brilliance of the original (Hawkins admits to feasting on fried chicken, lots of beer, and obviously some whatchamacallit, during the recording session)? If the last ten seconds of Hawkins’ macabre classic doesn’t make you squirm, nothing will.

Other artists who have recorded this song include: the glorious-can-do-no-wrong-in-my-book Nina Simone, The Animals, Bette Midler, Estelle, The Kills, Queen Latifah, and Ray Charles.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, was quite a complex character. One of the forefathers of shock rock,  Hawkins spawned 75 children (it’s speculated), stole a couple of songs from experimental artist Tom Waits, performed his infamous “Constipation Blues“on a toilet at the Taste of Chicago festival, earned a  middleweight boxing champion title from Alaska, and moved to Paris later in his life where he died at age 70. Where else is there to go after such a vagabond approach to a music career?

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Unifunk

Great music from these guys called Unifunk (I don’t have a spelling, yet). The audio, video is kinda crappy, I wasn’t planning on seeing something I liked last night, and plus the clothing store across the skreet was blasting vintage 2004 Usher. But trust me these boys jam harder than Smuckers (terrible attempt at a joke, I know). Anyway, I can’t wait to book them for a party. 1 of these days. Possibly this summer. Memphis still has good music, good original talent to support. You know, the music is probably the only redeeming quality of this city’s leftovers. Or maybe I’m just saying this ’cause I have a headache. Or maybe I mean it. Or maybe. Just maybe. Maybe Memphis?

bluescitygroupphotomontage72dpipink

This weekend I went to a dance performance at Theater Works, tres cool. Tried a new downtown lounge called The Silly Goose for the first time and ended the night with friends listening to a Nashville band called Hillbilly Casino. Yes, Hillbilly Casino. I’d go anywhere for live music, this proves it. Great weekend. Even the whole Sunset Symphony thingy, thanks for the late fireworks.

So, I just threw a small party at my home. I cooked. I panicked (what’s new?). And I music’ed. I drummed up a playlist. Did you get the play on words? Uh-huh. Sure. Where was I? Ah yes, I drummed up a playlist called Cremedredi. That’s cream and friday smashed together in french. I think it sounds cool. I could be way off base. I usually am when it comes to all things cool. Wait.

Khara?

Yes.

You’re rambling, dear.

Oh, sorry.

Here’s what I played.

Cremedredi

  1. Donny/friend
  2. Jamie Lidell/ another day
  3. Jack Johnson/ banana pancakes
  4. Gina Catalino/ 11:32
  5. Jamie Lidell/ all i want to do
  6. Al Green/ i want to hold your hand
  7. Ingrid Michaelson/ the way i am
  8. Ceelo ft. Nat King Cole/ lushlife
  9. Rahsaan Patterson/ stop breaking my heart
  10. Jack Johnson/ fortunate fool
  11. Santogold/ lights out
  12. Nikka Costa/ pebble to a pearl
  13. Sam Cooke/ having a party
  14. James Morrison/ you make it real
  15. Mark Ronson/ god put a smile on your face
  16. Corrine Bailey Rae/ trouble sleeping
  17. Miles from India/ all blues
  18. Nikka Costa/ without love
  19. Jamie Lidell/ multiply
  20. Adele/ melt my heart to stone

Don’t be freaked out. I talk to myself a lot. A lot.