Archive for November, 2009

Music Review: Annie Lennox

November 24, 2009

The Legendary Annie Lennox

I was truly looking forward to writing this review. There are so many things that need to be said in regards to this woman. Its beyond her voice, beyond her presence, beyond her deeds, its all of it rolled up into one. The Great Annie Lennox.

As most people, my first experience with Annie Lennox was with the band, The Eurythmics. The 80s brought about sooo many amazing bands into my life and The Eurythmics were one of them. The moment I saw her I saw fire. LOL. That short red hair, the stunning eyes, the androgynous look made me think “Who IS that???” Then I heard that voice!

Annie has this voice that you see her and think, “wow that just came out of her mouth… really…awesome!”. Its deep,sultry, powerful, shocking, beautiful, enchanting, I could go on forever. You heard her voice and you forgot about everything around you. All that mattered was her voice. The great thing was my mom fell in love with her too and when you are 8 years old, with not many friends, and raised by a single mom, your bond is stronger and having our love for The Eurythmics and Annie Lennox made it just that much more fun!

So eventually Scottish-born Annie took a much needed break from the Eurythmics to work on solo work and whoa did THAT take off!!

Her first “solo” work was mainly a duet with Al Green covering the song “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” for the movie Scrooged. it was produced by her Eurythmics cohort Dave Stewart and it was just uphill from there.

Her first solo album Diva is probably one of THE most amazing albums ever. The songs “Why” and “Walking On Broken Glass” were epic! I can listen to Why and cry my eyes out. Its basically everything I feel in my head when I feel supressed or patronized. Its someone yelling for you “THIS IS HOW I FEEL YOU DONT KNOW HOW I FEEL!!” Its such a release you want to laugh, scream, cry, shake your fist, breathe a sigh of relief. Walking on Broken Glass the range of octaves for her in the bridge are just so amazing. Its a standard of mine in karaoke. Little Bird is also a favorite from that album. The video for it is just as great. A bunch of lookalikes from all her personas in her many different videos from the past. Its a fun romp!

She also did a song for the movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The movie kinda sucked but the song “Song for a Vampire” is one of the most beautiful songs in the world. I wish I had sang it. I wish I had that talent. I do have talent but wow, to be Annie Lennox!

Anyways after Diva came Medusa which was an album of cover songs however I gotta tell ya, I forgot No More I Love You’s wasnt her own song. In fact almost all the songs on that cd you forget they are from other people because she makes them her own.

Bare was exactly that but in a good way. A bit more simplistic yet just as beautiful. Annie found her niche and its as a phenomenal solo diva!

As for soundtrack work, she release yet another gem with her song for Return of the King, “Into the West”. It won a well deserved Oscar for best original song.

More recently in 2007 she had put out yet another album entitled, Songs of Mass Destruction. I highly suggest checking out all of her work. Annie Lennox is sheer majesty! I bow down in reverence.

The video I have is Song for a Vampire from Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It was hard finding a video since most were disabled for embedding yet I lucked out with this one!

Music Review: Anna Ternheim

November 22, 2009

The Adorable Anna Ternheim

Not many people (at least here in the states) know who Anna Ternheim is however if you are a fan of folk sounding tunes from an extremely adorable pixie of a woman then I highly suggest checking her out.

Anna Ternheim is a Swedish musician who primarily sings in English. Heavily influenced by 70s folk musicians, Anna has made quite a name for herself in Europe. Her sound is of course very acoustic rock and folk oriented but there is a darkish quality to them that makes the songs quite ambient. There are effects on her song but they are to emphasize emotion than rather change the sound of the song. It keeps it real and not technical.

If you see her your instinctual reflex would say “aww”… well, at least it was mine. Its funny too because I heard her sing before I actually saw what she looked like and I thought she was adorable even then. She has this child-like innocence to her voice.

Her singles like Follow You Tonight, To Be Gone, My Secret, just to name a few always make me feel something. I know it sounds weird but there are days when you just feel like a zombie, where you feel nothing. You are zoned out. You just feel like you are living to live and not doing anything on earth. Like you are floating. It happens, its a normal reaction. I hear Anna and I remember that there are emotions in my head. Crazy? Yeah maybe. Whatever Im explaining what it does to me, so there!

One of my favorite songs is Lovers Dream. Anna released it as a solo song but she also duetted with Fyfe Dangerfield from the band Guillemots. Very goth yet romantic. Just the way I like it.

Video of the day, of course the video to Lover’s Dream featuring Fyfe Dangerfield. I love this video. I love the imagery and the costumes. Its so beautiful and fits the song perfectly.

Music Review: Anita Baker

November 19, 2009

Anita Baker

So this is one of the few artists on my Itunes that are on there PRIMARILY because I live with my mom and therefore some of her music is on my Itunes. Whatever despite R&B not being a big fave of mine, I have to admit out of the great divas to the genre, she to me is one of the many Queens.

I dunno what it is about this woman, but she is this tiny little thing who has the sultry, deep, sexy voice of a vamp. Anita Baker came out of the woodworks in 1985 for me with Sweet Love, Giving You the Best That I Got, Rapture, and No One In The World. Those songs… oh man.

Its almost like the woman just woke up from a groggy sleep and began to sing but it sounds amazing. Its like breathing. You listen to her sing you feel warm and cuddly. She’s got an insane amount of Grammys under her tiny belt and she should be proud because they are all well deserved.

Ok video time. I had SUCH probs. I must admit, there is hardly anything on her. Shes not super famous anymore. So the only video I have is of a newer song called I Apologize. I PERSONALLY apologize that I know nothing of her after her hey day and this sounds cool but again not my thing however enjoy it for yourselves!

Amanda Palmer Concert In review……

November 16, 2009
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A Good Show Deserves a Bow!

Ok so this is how it started:

The ticket said 8 pm. I got there around 7:45. There, would be The Music Hall of Williamsburg. If ya love Bowery Ballroom, you will looooove this place! They don’t let you go to the stage area until 8pm. I thought that was a cool idea. Since I was one of the last people to get there, I was closest to the doors therefore I got to the stage first. I was right up front and rested my arms on the stage when I looked to the side and notices a few steps and a side barricade. I then figured, “Hey, you are by yourself and non confrontational therefore, you will get pushed off and cut in front of and probably be uncomfortable” plus Jay told me that was the best spot in the house. He was correct. I was above most of the crowd, had a place to lean, no one in front of me and close to the stage.

So 8pm, nothing. 8:30. Still nothing. Finally at 9pm, Amanda comes out and introduces the opening band The Nervous Cabaret. I honestly think that was an extremely wise decision since people were getting restless. If they came out by themselves there was a good chance they would have been booed or something cuz people wanted Amanda at this point. So it was great cuz we saw her, she told us to love them, and omg did we ever!

I dunno how to explain them. They are a New York based band but the lead singer is a Cockney. It was kinda like ska but with funk and swing mixed in. Would I listen to their stuff on a cd? Probably not but omg they are an awesome live band!! I had sooo much fun listening to them. Plus I do have a thing for bands with brass sections.

So they were done before 10 and at 10:15 we hear a marching drum in the back of the room. We then see a trumpet and a band coming through the back of the crowd. Omg The Nervous Cabaret not only were the opening act, they were Amanda’s backing band!!! In the middle of them there was Amanda!

They opened with Missed Me from The Dresden Dolls. It was awesome. Amanda sounds great with this band.

She did a mix of her solo songs with Dresden songs, some old cabaret standards. A really sad song about a woman growing up and missing her mom now that shes gone. It made me cry. She did a funny song about a pirate too.

It wasnt just a regular concert though. Amanda read snippets from her boyfriend Neil Geiman’s book titled Who Killed Amanda Palmer. Its a really cool book that I totally need to get. Its basically a photo book of Amanda dead in different scenarios and stories that go along with the pictures. She read a story about a guy in a hot air balloon with his girlfriend and he was typing a novel with a typewriter and the picture is Amanda in a field with a typwriter on her head and groceries to the side.It was cute.

She also did a question and answer period. I was bummed because I found out there was a fishbowl where people could submit questions and had I known I would have put in a few haha. She answered about 4 which was awesome.

Also during the tour, at every show she has artists doing drawings and painting during the concert. Towards the end of the show, she auctions them off. Well there were two artists and both paintings went for 300 each! Pretty damn nifty.

She had two guest performers with her but dammit I cant remember their names. There was a dude on an accordion and then this guy Seth something who is the Carrot Top of music! He had this suitcase of weird instruments and would play them. He was really cool! He played a song with Nervous Cabaret and came back and did a few with Amanda and the band.

They covered House of the Rising sun, Kid Sic (I THINK thats the name of the lead singer of Nervous Cabaret) duetted with Amanda it was awesome.

They also covered…. That Ting Tings song “Thats Not My Name” .

Ok, I cant stand this song. It annoys the hell out of me. I think its cuz the band I just dont get and it sucks with just her and a drummer or whatever.

When Amanda and the band started doing this song omg, I didnt even realize it was the song at first! It sounds sooooo amazing with a band and brass section! They did such an amazing job that I now love this song! Dammit! I didnt want to now I do!

At the end Amanda said she and Neil Geiman would be signing the book in the back. I wanted to go but omg I was so sick by this point. I felt lousy for the passed few days but I was determined to have fun and did! However as much as I wanted to get a pic with Amanda I couldnt. I am still wishing I did though. However!!! As I was leaving through the side door I passed the main entrance and what do I see?

Amanda on the shoulders of a tall blonde man with a HUGE crowd around her while she plays a ukulele singing a song. It was so awesome see?

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Amanda in front of the venue

I truly wish I could get a better shot. My camera sucks and it just was NOT agreeing with me that night.

Ugh, Amanda, you rule! There is no debate! Rock on!

Be warned

November 15, 2009

I went to see Amanda Palmer play the Music Hall of Williamsburg. This will require a blog. This is your warning. Carry on.

Music Review: Animotion

November 14, 2009

The Original Animotion

They were a one hittish wonder in the 80s. I say “hittish” because technically they charted twice but its complicated and I’ll get to that in a bit.

The original band is the one that came up with their rather shockingly upfront and risque single “Obession”. It was just so amazing to hear a line like “Who do you want me to be, to make you sleep with me?” For a 9 year old kid. That made no sense. As time went on I figured out what that meant and the video pretty much made it all come together. A song about role playing with someone who is freaggin amazing in bed. So much so you are obsessed with the idea of taking on different characters. Yeah… great premise for an 80’s song.

Seriously I loved this song. I still do! I hate that hardly anyone remembers it! I wanna duet with someone at karaoke with this song. Its such a flirty song to sing. The video I thought was cool back in the day cuz I love costumed and I love people in different characters and the band dressed up, it was fun.

This was really their only huge hit. The bands line up pretty much fizzled out and a NEW line up formed. The lead female singer in the band by 1987 was Cynthia Rhodes. If you are a Dirty Dancing fan, you would know the name. Shes the dancer that was Patrick Swayze’s partner that had the abortion. She is also Richard Marx’s wife. Yeah don’t pretend you dont remember who Richard Marx is. Deny it all you want, deep down you remember.

When Cynthia was in the band there was another top 10 hit though. The song Room to Move came out and it was on the soundtrack of My Stepmother is an Alien so somehow THAT made it radio gold.

After that, the band officially stopped. However recently the original members of the band (sans Cynthia logically) has reformed and played reunion shows.

I hate saying it but I really cant picture the concerts. I mean, what do they play? Obsession…. uhh….yeah what else? I always think about that about One Hit Wonders. I mean most people that would go to those shows go for their hit and if they only had one big one, what else is there to listen to. Maybe Im just being a bitch lol.

I loved the synth pop of the 80s and I loved the New Wave sound. The lead male singer of the band had this debonair and sexy voice and it worked well opposite the girl. (yea yea I dont know their names, so sue me). I will always think this song is kewl!

Video: Well duh, what else am I gonna show you? OF COURSE its gonna be the video for Obsession!

Proof that Silence is a problem for me……

November 10, 2009

1. I think too much
2. Overthinking never leads to over thinking about good things.
3. You sit there staring out the window.
4. Sitting in my recliner late at night looking out my window leads me to looking down 99th Street to where my Grandma used to live
5. Looking at where my grandma used to live made me think of going there to visit.
6. It made me think about our talks.
7. I miss blabbing to my heart’s content without anyone criticizing me or judging me for my opinions or how I think.
8. I think she was the only one who understood the things that come out of my head is venting and not how I really think on a rational level.
9. I could say everything that made me sad or angry and I wasnt considered negative, I was applauded for getting it out.
10. I was also congratulated with a big hug and a kiss on the forehead.
11. I miss my grandma’s hugs and kisses
12. I wanna be held more often…
13. I just wanna be held period
14. I fucking love the holidays and it saddens me that I cant express it as much as I would love to.
15. I wish I could afford to buy everyone I know gifts.
16. I have a lot of work to do this holiday season
17. As difficult as the holidays can be and sometimes disappointing, I still look forward to them because I feel like I am good at them.
18. I wanted a cat but I think Im gonna wait til after the holidays instead of before.
19. I hate crying from thinking too much. Its humiliating even front of best friends.
20. Crying makes me wired. Exhausted yet not able to sleep.
21. I am an awesome person and if people cant accept that, too fucking bad.

Love you grandma!

Music Review: The Animals

November 8, 2009

So I know its been a while and Im still only on “A” Ive said it before but I sincerely mean it this time, I will make up for lost time. For right now the next thing in my list is… The Animals!

The Animals

You remember them dont ya? 60’s band? House of the Rising Sun? No?…. Ah, there ya got it now!

Well I really dont have too much to say about them. Originally part of the British Invasion, the one thing for me that set them apart was a HUGE influence of blues in their music. So much so that I really am not a huge fan of them. I mean I like some songs but not enough to be a fan. I respect them though. They would break up get back together in a new variation of the band then split up. There are so many different versions of this band its hard to keep up with which was the best or which came up with which song. At any rate they have been around for a while, the main guy that really is the vision of The Animals is legendary Eric Burdon. Having collaborated with other bands and produced solo work its hard to not remember the guy. he gets my respect for all the work he put into it and House of the Rising Sun is probably the most memorable and amazing song to ever come out of his mouth.

Yes yes I know its a cover but sometimes a cover is so awesomely done, the band that does it makes it their own and that is in fact the case with this song and The Animals.

Ok video time:

Here is The Animals with House of the Rising Sun:

So… yeeeeaahhh….. about that diabetes thing…..

November 6, 2009

You know that note I wrote recently on how I fucked up with my diabetes managing, eating crap, etc?

well I assumed cuz i had been doing so poorly I also gained weight, I felt it. So I went to the doctor and these are the results:

When I first got diagnosed and weighed in, 282
Now………………………………………..267!

Thats right, I actually DID lose weight still!

I took my A1C test 2 weeks ago and got the results in too.

Lets just give you a reference:

7.1 and up —— you need to work on your diabetes, its bad and something is wrong, its risky glucose
6.0 – 7.0 ——- you are a healthy diabetic, you still have it but its maintained just fine
anything under 6.0 —- your diabetes is absolutely undetectable. They tell you it never goes away but…. its not there plain and simple.

Well when I was diagnosed it was 8.7. it was in need of control but I wasnt tooo bad at all. His goal for me was 7.0 He assumed in 3 months I would get down to that. Well I got the result yesterday….

6.5!!!!!!!

I surpassed even HIS expectations! He screamed so loud in the office so happy for me haha.

I dont get it, I really am so shocked at myself. This actually worried him a bit. That I really felt horrible and such before I got the results and I couldnt see it. He says I need to see a therapist (which I had wanted the whole time) because of my self esteem and body issues. So I got one too! I am very happy with the way things worked out and I intend on sticking to what Im doing and making sure I keep on track.

Hey a plug! And more thoughts on music

November 3, 2009

Hey Im in a band check out our site! We will rock you!

jse adventure

So I know some of you are wondering

“Hey Natalia, youve been in this band for quite some time? When is the demo coming out?”

Yeah I know you have all been waiting however the good news is that its coming along beautifully. Check out the myspace page, there are songs galore (I love that word, “galore”)on there and Im sure there will be something you like …hell, LOVE even.

Im very proud to be in this band and I cant wait to be playing gigs again. It will happen and I hope to see you there.