Sunday, July 28, 2013

Laura Mvula: She

Classically trained at the Birmingham Conservatoire where she majored in composition, 27-year-old British singer-songwriter-pianist Laura Mvula (born Douglas) released her debut album 'Sing to the Moon' in March.

Two stunning videos were created for the outstanding lead single "She".  The most recent clip is by London based director Alex Southam; the original video is by photographer Damian Weilers, also London based, and was shot in and around the town of Montagu in South Africa’s Western Cape province.

Mvula (her husband is Zambian-born baritone Themba Mvula, also a Birmingham Conservatoire graduate)  is currently touring:  her next show is August 4 in Stockholm.  A string of dates are scheduled for continental Europe, the UK, the U.S., as well as Canada.  She wraps up the tour in Dublin October 12.  (director Alex Southam)  (director Damian Weilers)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Vinnie Who: 39 + How Can I Be Sure

Tired of playing guitar in various Copenhagen indie bands, Niels Bagge reinvented himself as vocalist Vinnie Who.  Following several singles and the EP 'A Step' in 2010, he released the debut album 'Then I Met You' in 2011.  His second album 'Midnight Special' dropped in February of this year.

Two tracks from 'Midnight Special' are accompanied by gorgeous videos:  "39" was directed by Mai and Mikkel Aabenhuus and features their son Asbjørn Aabenhuus; the mini-movie "How Can I Be Sure" was directed by Jeppe Kolstrop.

Vinnie Who performed earlier this month at the Roskilde Festival and has several other music festival gigs coming up within the next month as well as two non-festival shows in September/October. All of the dates are in Denmark; however he has previously played various European venues and plans to do more shows outside Denmark in the near future.  (director Mikkel Aabenhuus)   (director Jeppe Kolstrup)

Monday, July 22, 2013

John Grant: GMF + Pale Green Ghosts

Following a decade in The Czars, the Denver, Colorado band he co-founded, touring on his own and also taking a break from music, John Grant released his highly acclaimed debut solo album 'Queen of Denmark' in 2010; it was recorded in collaboration with Texas band Midlake in 2008 and 2009.

Relocating to Reykjavik, Iceland in 2011, he began working with Biggi Veira of Gus Gus on his second album 'Pale Green Ghosts' which dropped in March of this year.

His current European tour includes three shows in Iceland this week, three in Germany, Switzerland and Ireland in August, five in Norway and Spain in September, and four in the UK in October.

NOTES on the video directors, both of whom are based in London:
"GMF" by Lucy Luscombe.
"Pale Green Ghosts" by Alex Southam.  (director Lucy Luscombe)  (director Alex Southam)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Quadron: Favorite Star

I'm posting two versions of Danish (currently Los Angeles based) duo Quadron's song "Favorite Star" from their second album 'Avalanche' released May 31. Both are excellent, but I prefer the performance recorded by Danish Radio P3: Vocalist Coco seems more relaxed, more herself, more 'in the zone'. Ultimately however, as with everything, it's a matter of personal taste. Both versions by the way feature outstanding work on the bass, electric and stand up, respectively, by Thomas Drayton.

On Saturday July 27 Coco will be performing as part of the annual SummerStage event series at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, NYC (enter at 69th Street/5th Avenue). Also in the line up: Lianne La Havas, LP, and DJ Center. The rain-or-shine 7-10 pm concert is FREE.

NOTE: As usual, Coco will be on stage with her regular band of merry men which does not include musical partner Robin who prefers studio settings to live shows. 

Rumsey Playfield, enter Central Park on 69th and 5th Ave - See more at:
Rumsey Playfield, enter Central Park on 69th and 5th Ave - See more at:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

David Bowie: Valentine's Day

Is there anyone cooler than David Bowie?  Doubtful.

"Valentine's Day" is the fourth single and video from his 'The Next Day' album which dropped in March.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Justin Timberlake: Take Back The Night

Yesterday Justin Timberlake released the first single "Take Back the Night" from his upcoming 'The 20/20 Expericence: 2 of 2' album which will drop September 30.  Sounding like a never-released track from Michael Jackson's 1979 'Off the Wall' album, you may ask: is Timberlake paying homage to M.J. or ripping off M.J.? Or you could ask: does it really matter when a song is this good?

His current tour continues off and on through February and includes two shows at Yankee Stadium in NYC with Jay-Z July 19 and 20.

I've deleted the teaser audio-only clip presented last month and replaced it with the music video released this week; unfortunately, it doesn't get even close to matching the energy of the music/vocals.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Live From Daryl's House: Sara Smile + I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) + Cab Driver + Bend

One of the finest singers, musicians and songwriters for close to fifty years, many of them with musical partner John Oates, Daryl Hall, now 66, is still going strong. Ample proof is on display during his performances on the popular show 'Live From Daryl's House' which is currently taking a production break, but will thankfully soon return with new episodes. Hall's outstanding musical direction and piano/guitar playing & vocals, a stellar house band, plus a string of hand picked guest artists make for a flawless and intimate show.

Check for updates:

Video info:

Guest artist: Rumer
Song: "Sara Smile"
From Hall & Oates' 1975 album 'Daryl Hall & John Oates'.  (also covered by Rumer on her 2012 album 'Boys Don't Cry')

Guest artists: Mayer Hawthorne, Booker T. Jones
Song: "I Can't Go For That" (No Can Do)
From Hall & Oates' 1981 album 'Private Eyes'

Guest artist: Keb Mo
Song: "Cab Driver"
From Daryl Hall's 1996 solo album 'Can't Stop Dreaming'

Guest artist: Shelby Lynne
Song: "Bend"
From Shelby Lynne's 2001 album 'Love, Shelby'

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fat Freddy's Drop: Clean The House

The latest video from Fat Freddy's Drop comes across as a weirdly creepy marionette show as directed by Quentin Tarantino. (the real director is Mark Williams.)

The swampy, funky single "Clean The House" is taken from their third studio album 'Blackbird', released last month although it doesn't drop in the U.S. until July 9.

The band has a few more European summer festival gigs coming up this month. Between late August and late September they will be playing Australia as well as their native New Zealand.  Four concerts are scheduled in the UK for the first week of October, and they wrap up the tour with fourteen dates in continental Europe during the rest of October.