Monday, December 20, 2010

David Archuleta

Well, this weekend was jam-packed with awesome.  I went up to Salt Lake to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's annual Christmas Concert featuring David Archuleta.  I was one of the lucky 1.5 million people who were vying for tickets.  Friday night my little sister and I went to Deseret Book to stand in line to get David's autograph. (Yes we're that hard core.)  I bought his book Chords of Strength to have him sign. I kind of laughed at the title at first but then realized it's a play on words because he overcame a vocal chord problem.  He was nice, he really is a man of not so many words. The people were rushing us through the line that we didn't really get to say much to him.  Saturday we went to the concert.  I love Christmas, Christmas music, and David Archuleta.  It was the perfect combination.  David just seems like he's so happy when he's singing. I think it's exactly what he wants to be doing.  He was very gracious and really dumbstruck that he was chosen to perform with the MoTab.  They did some really great songs.  My favorite was Angels From the Realms of Glory.  It was the concluding song and the big finish.  I love David's voice and I was literally hanging on every word he was singing.  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was great as always.  The narrator Michael York is a well-known actor, but I only know his as Professor Archer Fleming from Gilmore Girls.  We also were able to attend Music and the Spoken Word the following day.  We had excellent seats and were on section away from the prophet which was awesome.  One of my favorite moments from Sunday was when David waved goodbye to the Choir, half of the women's section waved back.  It was awesome, those middle-aged women love their David. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Rock and the Tide

Joshua Radin is one of my favorite "up and coming" artists.  I have a broad range of musical taste, and he peaked my interest when one of my friends introduced him to me.  Joshua Radin really got his start from being friends with Zach Braff from Scrubs.  Joshua's song Winter was played on an episode of Scrubs. I enjoyed Joshua's first album We Were Here.  For me, it's rare to find an album that I love every track.  We Were Here is one of those albums.  My favorite tracks have to be Star Mile, Closer, and What If You. He also has a song called Paperweight with Schuyler FiskI love her voice and this collaboration led me to buy her album, The Good Stuff.  Joshua then released his next album called Simple Times. He really thinks outside the box with this one.  He uses the banjo on some tracks as well as his signature acoustic guitar.  On this album he does a few more collaborations with other female artists including Ingrid Michaelson, and Patty Griffin. For me, when I like an artist, it's all about the voice.   Joshua's voice is quieter than most people you would hear on the radio, but just enough to really make you stop and listen.  This year Joshua's new album is entitled, The Rock and the Tide.  From the first track, he's got you hooked.   Road To Ride On is the first track and I love it.  If you've never heard of Joshua, check him out.  His songs have been featured on shows like Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, Brothers and Sisters, and American Idol. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

When Did Your Heart Go Missing?

This past weekend I went to go see Rooney in concert.  Fun fact, the band was named after the principal on Ferris Bueller's Day Off.  These guys were awesome.  You may recognize the lead singer (bottom center) from a movie called The Princess Diaries he played the character Michael.  Anyway, Rooney had three bands open for them at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas.  The first one was a band that was loud, but not necessarily in a good way, they had skill but the mix was kind of off.  The second band was called Parade of Lights kind of like Owl City on crack. I enjoyed them, two of the band members had emo haircuts and at first I was thinking that they would be screamo, but they were a pleasant surprise.  They even gave us free CDs and a "shout out" from the stage for dancing to their music.  The next band was called Triggers.  As they put it, they were "Power Pop from Pittsburgh".  I enjoyed these guys.  The keyboardist who doubled as lead singer had almost as much energy as Chris Martin, which is saying a lot and bore a slight resemblance to Justin Timberlake.  They were fun to watch and had a lot of good songs.  After hearing them it made me want to buy their album.  At long last Rooney took the stage.  We were on the first row the whole concert.  I was just in awe of Robert Schwartzman the lead singer.  Not only was he in the Princess Diaries but he was literally one foot away from me.  I had a funny glimpse into my future when I looked behind me and a middle aged woman was singing every word and just feeling the music.  We are very similar even down to the dance moves.  My friends were saying that would be me in twenty years.  She even brought her kids along.  She was awesome.  The best part of the whole thing was when Robert slapped me and my friend Mel high fives.  It was pretty sweet.  They have a new album out called Eureka.  I loved every song they played from it even though I had never heard any tracks off Eureka. Rooney, not just a British football player.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bryan Adams

Last night I went to see Bryan Adams in concert in St. George.  I went with my roommate Savannah who was a great concert buddy.  We were on the fourth row so we were really close to him.  His Bare Bones Tour is just him and a pianist playing his songs acoustically.  If you've ever heard his MTV ungplugged album, you know this is a very good thing. Bryan is an amazing song writer and I've been a huge fan ever since I can remember.  As I was listening to him perform I just was in awe of his ability to write catchy tunes.  He played one of my favorite songs of his called I'm Ready.  Needless to say I was thrilled. At one point he was taking requests from the audience.  I called a few out, but realized that there was too many that I wanted to hear that I couldn't pick just one.  I love the feeling that after you've seen someone live you still can't get enough of their music.  I found myself cranking up the volume to Cuts Like a Knife, and Summer of 69 today at work. One of the best things about seeing artists like Bryan Adams is the people that come out of the woodwork.  There was a lady behind us that was dancing and clapping off beat hoping Bryan would notice her.  It was awesome.  Bryan Adams is a great performer and the crowd went wild when he played Summer of 69. His Bare Bones album comes out soon, give it a listen,  you won't be sorry. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Speak Now

I have read many articles about Taylor Swift's latest album and the speculation about the songs she writes and who they are about.  I take these articles with a grain of salt. One article I read was saying that Taylor Swift puts hidden messages in her lyrics.  To me it seems like they are comparing her to acts like Led Zeppelin who are known for that......Let's get this out of the way.  Taylor Swift is no where near the talent of Led, but she is a talented songwriter. She did Crossroads with Def Leppard which I thoroughly enjoyed.  As for her other live singing, I could do without that. Anyway, back to the real reason I started this post.....her new album.  At first listen I thought it was great.  Some of the tracks seemed like she was trying to think outside the box, which is good for her cookie cutter country image.  There was one thing that I noticed and liked best was the song she wrote called Dear John;  the track has been thought to be about John Mayer.  If it is, Taylor shot him right between the eyes.  Not only does she describe his personality, and how he "wronged" her, but she uses his song writing style on the track.  If the guitar part doesn't sound like what John Mayer would play, I don't know what would.  I think it's hilarious that she "got the last word" with this well-crafted song.  You've got to hand it to Taylor, she knows how to tell a story.  That's what I like most about her songwriting. Like her previous album Fearless, every track is great and  you can listen to one track after another. As for writing songs about all of the men she dates, don't date Taylor Swift unless you want a song written about you. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The other night I was watching a Beatles documentary.(Yes that is how I like to spend my free time).  I was listening to them talk about the making of Revolver.  I realized I loved a bunch of tracks on that album and didn't even realize it.  The recording for the album took place in Abbey Road Studios. George Harrison wrote and sung three songs on the album. John and Paul wrote and performed the other tracks except for Ringo Starr as lead vocalist for Yellow Submarine.  

In front of Abbey Road Studios

The track titled I'm Only Sleeping is about how John Lennon spent most of his free time sleeping.  If you know me, this is a man after my own heart.  The documentary had mentioned that while John was sleeping, Paul was writing new songs.  Paul's songwriting ability is immaculate. I especially like the track Here, There, and Everywhere.  The melodies and harmonies are wonderful.  Paul is great at writing as John Lennon put it "Silly Love Songs".  Eleanor Rigby is probably one of my most favorite songs that the Beatles wrote.  It sounds like nothing they would usually record.  They were experimental, that's what made them great.  The strings, combined with the haunting harmonies and story-telling make this track timeless.  The album cover was illustrated by the Beatles friend in Hamburg Klaus Voormann before the Beatles became famous. So much has been written about the Beatles and my sad attempt is just another, but they are amazing and the short time they spent together changed rock and roll forever.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Concerts in Retrospect

The first concert I ever attended was Brittany Spears. Don't judge.  I was in the seventh grade.  My best friend Karly got tickets so we went.  From the eyes of a seventh grader it was awesome! After that I was hooked.  Here are some of the concerts I've attended:
Bryan Adams
Right Before Keane
  • Brittany Spears
  • Huey Lewis and the News
  • Foreigner
  • Journey and Def Leppard
  • Nyco
  • The Goo Goo Dolls
  • The Killers -front row
  • The Fray
  • The Police
  • Smashmouth
  • Allred
  • The Eagles and Michelle Branch
  • Keane and Mat Kearney
  • .38 Special/Styx/REO Speedwagon
  • Marc Cohn-Front Row
  • Coldplay
  • The Killers
  • Bryan Adams
  • David Archuleta
  • Colbie Caillat
  • Paul McCartney
  • Ben Folds
  • Keane w/ Ingrid Michaelson and Fran Healy
  • Train
    Coldplay: That's how close we were
    The Killers
 I don't really want to know how much money I've spent in total going to all of these but it's been worth every penny.  My top five concerts would have to be Paul McCartney, the Police, Coldplay, Keane, and Bryan Adams.  Every single one I've attended has been an awesome experience.  They all have been different and very enjoyable.  When we saw the Police, Elvis Costello opened for them.  He was great, but my heart stopped when Sting came out to perform Alison with Elvis in a white suit.  He was utterly breathtaking. The Police rocked the whole night and Sting's voice was still as impeccable as it had been when they had originally recorded their albums.  Paul McCartney was just amazing. I think of him on SNL on the Chris Farley show.  "Remember that one time when you were with the Beatles, and you wrote that album Abbey Road? That was awesome."  Paul as Chris Farley put it, is a living legend.  He is a wonderful musician and performer. He rocked Rio Tinto stadium for two hours without taking a break.  I was amazed that a guy that was 69 years old could still rock that hard.

I went to see Coldplay in Los Angeles with some of my family.  They were incredible showmen.  At one point in the show they came up into the nosebleeds (where we were) and performed three songs.  I was roughly 15 feet away from Chris Martin and the rest of the band.  It was an awesome experience.  Bryan Adams is in a league all his own.  The guy writes hit after hit and is still writing and touring successfully.  We had really great seats and I was just in awe of this man.  Most of the songs he played I knew every word to, but there were some that I hadn't heard but loved.  I love it when you hear a song and you have to immediately download it.  That's how it was when we went to see Bryan.  I love going to see my favorite artists in concert and I really can't get enough of it.  My dream concert would be to go see Eric Clapton or Phil Collins.  I've had dreams that I saw Eric Clapton, but in reality it hasn't happened yet. Well for now, for those about to rock I salute you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This Is It

Today I was home sick from school and work.  I had to do something other than sleeping to occupy my time so I went onto my netflix and selected This Is It from my instant queue.  I had been putting off watching this for a long time.  Now that I have watched it, I don't know why I had put it off.  When MJ originally passed away I was really puzzled why everyone was making as big of a deal about it as they did.  This documentary is brilliantly done.  I was amazed at the energy of Michael and the fact that his voice was still as amazing as it was when he originally recorded the albums.  The thing about Michael Jackson was that from the time that he was with the Jackson 5 he knew exactly what he wanted and how to get it. He was hands on in the production of the upcoming tour and talked with the musicians and dancers and instructed them to do exactly what he wanted.  Whenever I would see Michael Jackson on the news or tv he came across as a diva.  He couldn't be further from a diva in This Is It. The only thing that he cared about was the music, and he needed everyone to do their part to make that happen.  Along with the music, his dancing was still articulate. I'm really glad someone had the great idea to film the rehearsals of his upcoming tour. Check it out.  You'll be happy you did. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kaleidoscope Heart

Sara Bareilles, one word to describe her new album-----groovy.  I started liking Sara when I first heard Love Song on the radio.  My hate for this song grew when one of my friends used it as a ringtone.  I overcame my hate when the ringtone was changed.  Her songwriting is brilliant and she tells a story will all of her songs.  The album starts out with the album title Kaleidoscope Heart which is just an a cappella song with awesome harmonies.  One of the songs that changes my mood would have to be Uncharted.  The music is upbeat and just gets you movin.  One of the main things I like about Sara is that she writes all of her own songs.  If you know me, you know that most of the artists I listen to are singer/songwriters.  These people deserve to be on the radio because they put their heart and soul into their music.  If you want to go see Sara in Concert she is coming to Las Vegas on the 23rd of this month and Salt Lake in November.  Give her album a listen, I absolutely love every single track.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All about the tunes

Hey, I'm Jessica and I have an obsession with music.  Some would argue, it's beyond obsession, and they would be right.  I attend concerts religiously and enjoy finding out different factoids about the lives of artists and how they came to be. This blog will be mainly about the music I love and the concerts I attend.  The next concert on my calendar is Bryan Adams.  He's coming to St. George and performing his songs acoustically.  I saw him in Salt Lake when my little sister took me for my birthday last year.  The guy is a freakin stud and my awesome roommate Savannah is coming with me, and I'm super psyched to go.  My little sister Jana is the one person who has very similar musical taste and enjoys seeing these people perform as much as I do. It's difficult to attend many concerts when you are living in Cedar City, so I travel to Salt Lake and Vegas a lot to get my musical fix.  Hope you enjoy this blog and there will be many blogs to come of new albums that I will review.