Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hannah Cohen: Sunrise + The Crying Game + Don't Say

A huge amount of music and videos is released every day of the week; it can be hard to catch up, and invariably things slip beneath the radar of even the most attuned bloggers (and music fans in general.)  Until today, such was the case with Hannah Cohen whom I might never have heard about were it not for a write-up in the latest issue (October) of Vogue, the only monthly I buy off the newsstand apart from Vanity Fair, another superb magazine that makes it a point to spotlight up-and-coming music artists.

The 26-year-old San Francisco born singer-songwriter, daughter of jazz drummer Myron Cohen and from a highly creative family over all, left for NYC as a teenager to work as a professional fashion model after being spotted following soccer practice. Immersing herself in the local music and art scene, she began writing songs and doing photography/videos, eventually performing at The Village Vanguard and seeing her visual work published.

Last year her full-length debut 'Child Bride' was released on UK label Bella Union, founded by Cocteau Twins members Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie in 1997.  The stellar collection of ten songs was produced by renowned American pianist/singer Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman.  (The album is now up on Spotify.)

Cohen performed in NYC and in Europe last year, but currently there are no dates scheduled for the U.S. or abroad.  Check her Facebook page for news on upcoming shows.

American photographer Matthu Placek directed the three beautiful, ultra minimalist b/w videos that accompany Cohen's songs "Sunrise", "The Crying Game" and "Don't Say".  He has shot equally striking videos for Trixie Whitley and Kate Earl. The 'Cohen & Kittens' tableau above is also by him. (director)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bon Homme (Featuring Lydmor): Daybreaker + The Optimist

Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Tomas Høffding splits his time between Danish band WhoMadeWho and his solo project Bon Homme.  His second full-length album 'A Life Less Fancy' was released this week; the single 'Daybreaker' features his fellow Dane and frequent musical partner Jenny Rossander aka Lydmor [translation: Soundmother].

"Daybreaker" was directed by Anders Graver.
"The Optimist" was recorded at Viktoria Recording Studio in central Copenhagen in March.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sara Savery: Angel


Following the Danish release of her acclaimed 2011 debut full-length album 'The Diver', multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriter Sara Savery (Ghost Society, People Press Play, Blue Foundation)  relocated from Copenhagen to Brooklyn where she still resides.

The album gets a U.S. release on October 29 and a striking video has been published to accompany the track "Angel."  The clip was directed by Janus Metz, known for his award winning documentary 'Armadillo', and features Louise Midjord and Morten Eggert of The Royal Danish Ballet.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quasi: You Can Stay But You Gotta Go

Longtime musical partners/former marital partners Janet Weiss and Sam Coomes formed Portland, Oregon band Quasi twenty years ago. In between playing with various bands/artists - Weiss was the primary drummer in Sleater-Kinney and Coomes played with Eliott Smith to name a few of their projects - they somehow found time to record and tour as Quasi.

A 24-track double album entitled 'Mole City' drops on October 1; it's their ninth full-length. An extensive fall tour kicks off on October 3 in the U.S. and wraps on December 14 in the UK.

The eccentric clip for "You Can Stay But You Gotta Go" is a prime example of an ultra low-budget, but very effective video: the footage perfectly compliments the music, lyrics and the clever title.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Jack Johnson: I Got You

Mr. Triple G (Good Green Guy) Jack Johnson drops his sixth studio album 'From Here To Now To You' on September 17 on his own label Brushfire Records. (Ben Harper is featured on the track "Change".)

The European and U.S. dates for his fall tour with regular band mates Merlo Podlewski, Adam Topol and Zach Gill have already sold out, but news on last minute ticket releases will be posted on Facebook and Twitter as well as on his official site. Tickets for the December shows in New Zealand and Australia go on sale Tuesday.

Longtime pal Emmett Malloy directed the video for the single "I Got You', released in June.  Obviously, the footage was shot around Johnson's beautiful home state of Hawaii, most likely around Oahu where he grew up and still resides.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Janelle Monae: Prime Time (Featuring Miguel)

Janelle Monae dropped her second full-length album 'The Electric Lady' today. The official audio for "Prime Time" featuring vocals by Miguel was published last month.  Judging by the arrangement, style and lyrics, Prince likely contributed the guitar work and may even have written or co-written the track. (He is officially featured on "Givin 'Em What They Love", track 2 on the 19-track album.)

Why a video for "Prime Time" has not been produced to coincide with the album release is beyond mystifying.  Luckily, an excellent video was made earlier this year to accompany "Q.U.E.E.N. (featuring Erykah Badu) which I posted back in May. In addition, a clip for "Dance Apocalyptic" was published in July.

Finally, there's a video!

Monae's big U.S. fall tour kicks off October 13 in Philadelphia and includes a show on October 18 gig at the legendary Apollo Theater in NYC. Last gig will be in Atlanta on November 26.

NOTE:  The concert site Songkick lists half a dozen European shows this month; however, those dates are not listed on Monae's official site or on her Facebook tour page. (One exception: the iTunes Festival gig this Saturday September 14 in London with Chic and Nile Rodgers.)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Chris Dave: Actual Proof (With The Drumhedz) + Medley Part 1 & Part 2

45-year-old drummer genius Chris Dave graduated from Houston's renowned High School For The Performing And Visual Arts and has been playing professionally in various genres with a wide range of artists/bands since the late 1980s, but is increasingly focusing on leading his two very personal projects Chris Dave And The Drumhedz and Chris Dave & Friends.

You can download a free Drumhedz mixtape by going to his official website. (The full mixtape is also on his SoundCloud page.)

Chris 'Daddy' Dave has three shows coming up in Tokyo with The Drumhedz on September 27, 28 and 30.

NOTE on video 1: Covering Herbie Hancock's "Actual Proof" with The Drumhedz for German musician's magazine/portal Bonedo. The current members are Isaiah Sharkey on guitar, Kebbi Williams on sax & flute, and Jermaine Williams on bass.