Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Nicole Atkins and the Sea

I don't normally talk a lot about music (as evidenced by the fact that I had to create a new category just to write this), mostly because although I like music I often just don't know what to say about it. I'm going to do my best to tell you about a new artist that Meaghan and I saw a couple weekends ago at the 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis.

The band we actually went to see is The Raveonettes, a Danish noise surf duo with 60s sensibilities. They're one of my favorite groups, and did not disappoint. If you want to hear what they sound like, check out their old Columbia Records site or their MySpace page. I'm not here to tell you about them, though.

One of the groups that opened for them was Nicole Atkins and the Sea. Nicole Atkins is a singer/songwriter from just outside Asbury Park, NJ (home of Bruce Springsteen), and the Sea is her Brooklyn, NY based backing band. From the very first note to the end of their rocking set closer, we were completely blown away by her voice. In reading I've done since the show, I've seen it compared to greats like Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Roy Orbison, and they're not lying. It was completely refreshing to hear someone who can actually sing, unlike most of the weak-voiced waifs that litter today's pop landscape.

We bought her EP "Bleeding Diamonds" at the show, and it's almost as good as the live performance was. Unfortunately, the vocals and arrangements are a little more subdued on the studio recording than they were in person. Rather than have me ramble on poorly, here are a few places you can go to check out their sound.

Official Site - click the Launch Jukebox record in the upper right
YouTube - music videos & videos of live performances (unfortunately the YouTube quality obscures the depth of her voice)

To hopefully get the full live sound, check them out on Letterman tonight (Tuesday - 10/30). If you like what you hear, think about getting their major label debut "Neptune City" through whatever means you normally acquire music. It's out in stores today.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Birthday That Keeps On Giving

I mentioned earlier the birthday get together I had back in September at Dos Amigos. Well here's proof for you non-Minnesotans that it really happened. I was ambushed by a sombrero and whipped cream.

Little did I know at the time that I had already missed getting one of my birthday presents. Apparently, my parents had shipped a package to me so that it would arrive on Thursday, the day before my birthday. Despite the fact that we were home at the time, the UPS guy inexplicably opted to leave it out on the back steps of our house instead of delivering it to us. As a result, my birthday present walked off with some not so friendly neighborhood person instead of going inside with me.

After wrangling with UPS for awhile, my mom tried again last week. This time she told them to hold it at their delivery center so I could come pick it up. I finally got it last Thursday, making me the proud new owner of Guitar Hero II for the PS2 (Yes, I do have some game systems that were released in this decade). Don't you just love late gifts? It's like you get a whole month of birthday goodness.

We were out of town over the weekend, so I just got the chance to try it out last night. I'm starting out on Medium difficulty (4 buttons only) which I'm decently good at, but instead of just blasting through the game I'm trying to work up my technique for the Hard (and Expert?) times ahead. I've played 7 songs so far and have 5-starred 4 or 5 of them. For those who don't know what it looks like, here's me playing at the baby shower we went to in Dallas back in August that I never wrote about.

Here's hoping I don't end up too addicted.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Rush to Judgement

In the event that work keeps me from making detailed posts in time, here's some quick opinions about other shows that I've watched but not talked about yet.

Reaper - Tuesday 8:00 on the CW
Funny dramedy about a slacker whose parents sold his soul to the devil. Not as flashy as Chuck, but probably funnier. Ray Wise (Leland Palmer) as the devil is a fantastic bit of casting. I'll keep watching this.

Cane - Tuesday 9:00 on CBS
Take Dallas and replace Texans with Cubans and oil with sugar and you have Cane. Whether that's a good thing or bad thing is up to you.

Dirty Sexy Money - Wednesday 9:00 on ABC
Despite the horrible title, this show is a fun drama. Stars Peter Krause (Six Feet Under, Sportsnight) as lawyer for a rich family full of hilarious miscreants. Has a slight Desperate Housewives vibe to it, if you're into that sort of thing.

Moonlight - Friday 8:00 on CBS
A vampire PI solves crimes in LA and tries to keep vampire society a secret. I thought the pilot was really bland, despite liking the premise. Hopefully it'll receive an acting infusion between the first two episodes.

I still need to watch Bionic Woman, Life, Big Shots, and Private Practice (the Grey's Anatomy spin-off) from last week. I'm beginning to agree with Urrv. This is a lot of TV.