MP3 Wednesday: New Tracks From Jody Porter, Misty Boyce and Sia

Jody Porter’s debut album isn’t out until May 11th, but Engine Room Recordings is offering a download of his single, “Aurora.” Guitarist of Fountains of Wayne, Porter has collaborated with everyone from Albert Hammond Jr. and Jesse Malin to Ivy and Juliana Hatfield. To listen to the energetic “Aurora” click here.

Compared to Regina Spektor, Misty Boyce is a singer who will touch your heart. Her beautifully light vocals are accompanied by soaring string arrangements and light percussion on “All You Need Is Here.” Featuring Ari Hest, the track captivates the listener. Catch Misty currently on tour promoting her recent, self titled release. To listen to “All You Need Is Here,” click here.

You all know by now that Sia is one of my favorites. I featured the video for latest single, “Clap Your Hands” a few weeks ago but she just released a brand new Diplo remix of the track that you HAVE to hear. If it doesn’t get you dancing, I don’t know what will. Listen to “Clap Your Hands” here and stay tuned for her new album due out June 22.

What have you been listening to? Are there any new releases I  need to check out? Let me know in the comments!


New Video Wednesday: Nikki & Rich, Sia and the xx

This week’s edition of new videos are bands you should know. London based trio the xx have exploded onto the music scene over the past year and are sure to be 2010 festival favorites. Nikki & Rich haven’t even released their debut album and they already have music critics and fans abuzz with their pop/doo-wop sound. And, Sia is like no artist out there. Just check out her latest music video and you’ll see what I mean.

Nikki & Rich’s “Next Best Thing”

Sia “Clap Your Hands”

The xx “Islands”

Related Links:
Q&A; with Sia
Sia Interview Featured on Rolling Stone
Band of the Week: Nikki and Rich
Sia Interview on mp3


Stream Six Songs Off Sia’s Upcoming Release

Australian songstress Sia manages to captivate music fans, critics, and fellow musicians in the industry, most notably Christina Aguilera who recently asked Sia to work on her upcoming release. While Sia’s fourth album, We Are Born, isn’t due out until June 8, lucky fans can hear six songs from the LP on her site,

First single, “Clap Your Hands” is an energetic track that is sure to bring even the most timid wallflower to the dance floor. While many of the tracks on her site are upbeat, danceable numbers, ballads like “I’m In Here” showcase her emotional vocals, having the listener beg for more. To preview Sia’s six tracks, click here.

I named Sia one of my Top 10 interviews of 2008 after chatting with her about her last release, Some People Have Real Problems. She filled me in on the touring lifestyle, her songwriting process and stalking Amy Winehouse. To listen to my interview with her, click here and be sure to catch her on the road later this spring!

Related Links:
Q&A; with Sia
Sia Interview Featured on Rolling Stone
Sia Plays Sold-Out NYC Show
Sia Interview on mp3

Features News

Poll of the Week: What Spring Album Release Are You Looking Forward To?

It’s officially spring and lucky for all you music lovers out there, that means plenty of album releases. From classic acts like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Willie Nelson to powerful female singers including Christina Aguilera, Sia and Katy Perry, there are numerous gems to choose from. And lets not forget my favorite Jersey boys, Gaslight Anthem.

While I’ve included four of the artists I’ve previously covered on You Sing, I Write in this week’s poll, I realize these artists are just a sampling of the many albums being released. So, be sure to leave additional suggestions in the comments as I’d love to know what you’re most excited about hearing this spring!

What Spring Album Release Are You Looking Forward To?

Gaslight Anthem
Jakob Dylan
The National 
Song of the Week

Saturday Song Addiction: Dance Edition

Weekends are the time to break free of the everyday 9-5. This week’s Saturday Song Addiction provides some energetic music you can dance to while getting ready for a night on the town and unwinding from that repetitive routine.

The Ting Tings broke into the music scene this summer with their hit, “That’s Not My Name.” The English duo is back with latest single, “Great DJ,” bound to reach similar success. Watch below as The Ting Tings invite fans in LA to their indie-rock paint party.

By far one of the most intriguing artists I’ve interviewed, Sia is known for her energetic stage show and free spirit. In fact, she recently leaked “You’ve Changed,” a new track from her upcoming album due out spring of 2010, on her Twitter. Listen to the catchy single, “You’ve Changed” here.

The press release for Lights’ video, “Ice” explains the music video best. “Check out the brand new video from our favorite keytar-weilding, comic book-writing, video gaming, graduate from the Warped Tour school of badass: LIGHTS. Like the heroine she plays in Audio Quest: Captain LIGHTS Adventure, it’s once again a battle between good versus evil, but there’s a twist — she’s both! Does good prevail? See for yourself below.”

LIGHTS – “Ice” Official Music Video,t=1,mt=video
LIGHTS | MySpace Music Videos

Related Links:
Saturday Song Addiction
Saturday Song Addiction: Halloween Edition
Saturday Song Addiction
Sunday Song Addiction

Features Q&A

Top 10 Interviews

While I’ve been taking suggestions on revamping my blog, some advised cleaning up the sidebar and deleting older interviews to make it easier on the eyes. After much thought, I really can’t just weed out certain interviews because each has a life of its own. Maybe its the frank musician that discussed exactly what’s wrong with the label executives, or the bass player that told me just how “gross” groupies are, regardless, each artist I’ve talked to needs to be showcased. So, when you’re bored at work or just surfing the Web, you have plenty of reading material on your hands.

While going through each interview I came up with my “Top 10” list of interviews that have surprised me or left an impact. Here’s my Top 10 list, in no particular order.

1. Jon Foreman of Switchfoot (photo above)
I’ve been listening to Switchfoot since high school. I’d buy tickets with friends and we’d travel to NYC together at least once a year to see them live. One year, when covering the show for MTV’s concert blog, I was able to meet the guys, and interview frontman Jon Foreman. To meet one of your favorite musicians and talk to him about life, his fears of being a songwriter and pretty much anything else you’d want to know was truly one of the best moments in my music writing career. Read the in-depth interview here.

2. Colbie Caillat
I remember my cousin from California mentioning Colbie Caillat on his visit to New Jersey right after her debut album was released. A few weeks later “Bubbly” exploded on the radio and I just had to buy myself a copy of her album. The next summer she was going on tour with one of her biggest influences (and mine) — John Mayer. I was able to set up an interview for the blog and was surprised at how humble and down to earth she was. Talking about her stage fright before performing and thoughts on just why “Bubbly” took off, Colbie shared insight into her life before and after her music invaded the airwaves. Read all about it here.

3. Marko DeSantis of Sugarcult
This was my first impromptu band interview. Before catching Sugarcult’s set at Starland Ballroom, I noticed a group of fans by the stage door talking to someone. My friend found out it was Sugarcult guitarist Marko, so I asked to interview him. Why not? He wrote down his email address in my notebook with the casual, “Just don’t show this around” and I emailed him questions a few days later. My first nationally published interview, it was featured on Jane Magazine‘s Web site. I still can’t believe I did that, but it paid off. Read the full email interview here.

4. Kris Roe of The Ataris (photo above)
I lucked out being able to interview Kris twice — first for Rutgers University’s entertainment section, Inside Beat, and last year for my blog. Having listened to The Ataris growing up, I attended a performance of theirs at Rutgers and was able to obtain an interview after talking to his manager. After interviewing him with my friend Monica, I remember leaving the room with the realization and determination that, “This IS what I’m going to do the rest of my life.” Haven’t looked back since. Read the full two-part interview with Kris from his performance at Maxwell’s last year here.

5. Joshua Radin
Incredibly honest about the music industry, Radin bought himself out of his five record deal with Columbia and put out his most recent release independently. Not to mention, it hit No.1 on the iTunes folk charts. Not too shabby. A class act to follow, Radin even performed at Ellen DeGeneres’ wedding. Read on for more of his take on the music business here.

6. Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind
I was extremely nervous for this interview. 3eb was one of the most recognized bands of the 90s and having read up on past interviews with the band I was a little worried how mine would pan out. Luckily, it went extremely well — good enough to be used as my first interview feature on! You can read it on Marie Claire here.

7. Vince Scheuerman of Army of Me (photo above)
Possibly the most open singer-songwriter I’ve interviewed, my chat with Vince revealed many of the stories behind his songs, the struggle of making it in the music business and a typical day in the life of a musician. Read on for more here.

8. Tyson Ritter of the All-American Rejects
Oh, Tyson. Brutally honest and never afraid to hold anything back. Though it was a quick 3-question on-the-spot interview outside his tour bus at a concert, it’s one that will always stand out in my memory. Laugh about it here.

9. Jeph Howard of The Used
Okay, I must admit interviewing Jeph on their tour bus was definitely a highlight of the interview. Possibly the longest interview I’ve had, he chatted with me for nearly an hour about life on the road, groupies, and struggles the band has faced. Read all about it here.

10. Sia
Australian singer-songwriter Sia was definitely the most captivating and lively phone interview I have ever had. With her infectious laugh and refreshing take on the music industry, it’s interviews like these that make me continue pursuing this crazy career. You can read the interview featured on here.

That’s my Top 10. What’s your favorite? Did I miss one that should be added?

CD Reviews

What Are Your Favorite Albums and Songs of 2008?

I know all the music bloggers and magazines have been writing about their favorite albums, songs and moments of 2008, but instead of reading another journalist’s massive “best of” list for 2008, I’m more curious to know YOUR favorites. Was there an album you continually had on repeat in your car or your iTunes play list? What song could you absolutely not get out of your head no matter how hard you tried? What about your least favorite song you seemingly couldn’t escape from wherever you went — be it your drive to work, shopping at the mall or at your favorite bar? I’d love to read your “best of” lists! Plus, it’ll give me some new music to listen to as I ring in 2009!

Below, I’ll post some of the music I’ve featured on my blog this year — hinting at 10 of my favorites to give you some possibilities of new music to check out for yourself. Take a listen. I think you’ll enjoy them as well.

Brent Shuttleworth‘s video for “When I Reach California” below.


Joshua Radin – “I’d Rather Be With You” listen here.

Jason Reeves – “You In A Song.” For Windows click here, for Quicktime click here.

Brett Dennen‘s music video for “Make You Crazy” featuring Mandy Moore below.


Passenger – “Night Vision Binoculars” check out here.

Pete Murray performing “Opportunity” live below with John Mayer or check out the music video here.


Serena Ryder – “Brand New Love” here. For Windows users you can listen here.

Sia performing on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. For Windows. For Quicktime.

Theresa Andersson‘s video for “Birds Fly Away” recorded live in her kitchen.


Lastly, Ray LaMontagne‘s “You Are the Best Thing.” You can listen to it here for Windows Media or here for Quicktime if you haven’t yet.

What do you think? Can’t wait to read your lists! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Sia Interview on mp3

I know I have been slacking lately on my blog posts. So hopefully I’ll make it up to you with the second part of my interview with Sia live on mp3 for you to listen to! Special thanks to my tech-savvy friends, Tom, Joel and Dan for making this possible! Listen to my phone interview with Sia here.

Lots of exciting things are coming up and I promise to update my blog more! Look back later this week for a concert review of Ingrid Michaelson and The Hotel Cafe Tour as well as some album reviews and interviews in the upcoming weeks! Thanks again for reading and for all your comments! 🙂


SXSW Recap

No, unfortunately I wasn’t one of the lucky ones to attend the festivities in Austin, Texas, this past week, but hopefully one of these years I’ll cover South by Southwest! Anyway, below is a list of some bands that a bunch of music mags/websites have been covering as well as some of my picks. I’ve been lucky enough to have covered quite a few of the bands that attended this year’s festival for my blog, and at least one band on this list is bound to impress you. Be sure to check out where hundreds of songs are available to listen to from many of the bands that performed at the festival.

Who the music mags and websites are telling you to check out:

I was covering a show at the Knitting Factory a month or so ago and met some guys from her record label, raving about her, telling me that “my homework” was to go home and MySpace Duffy. Well, I slacked a bit on my homework assignment and a few weeks passed, but her name kept coming up all over the summer festival lists so I finally checked out Duffy’s website and was quite impressed with her vocals. She’s been compared to Amy Winehouse, but to me sounds a bit more sophisticated with an old school ’60’s vibe. Check out her catchy song, “Mercy.”

My Morning Jacket
I’ve read that they play incredibly live. A blend of rock and folk music, one of their songs, “Gideon,” featured on their MySpace vaguely reminds me of U2.

Be Your Own Pet
South by Southwest seems to be the preview of their international tour promoting latest album, Get Awkward, available in the U.S. March 18th. The female-fronted punk rock band definitely has lots of energy and plenty guitar riffs to satisfy any guitar-fiend.

Vampire Weekend
Their MySpace groups their music as punk/new wave/classical, an eclectic combination of genres for sure. Interestingly enough, by listening to them, you can see a bit of each genre resembled in their music. Could there be a flute in their song, “APunk”? Take a listen for yourself.

Liam Finn
This New Zealander was named a Rolling Stone “Artist to Watch” in 2007 and I can see why. His mix of folk rock is intriguing to listen to. Check out “Second Chance” on his MySpace, the song starts off with a soft drum beat that blends well with his voice, later slowing down for an instrumental feature mid-song before picking back up again.

My picks:

Sparky’s Flaw
From the beginning chord in their song, “Under Control” I was hooked. I also love the back story on the band – four friends from high school + 1 college roommate = Sparky’s Flaw. Not to mention, three of the guys are in their last semester of college and are recording their debut full-length album (due out this summer) during winter and spring breaks. It’s a pop/rock mix comparable to Maroon 5 and The Fray with a soulful blend of saxophone, keyboard and guitars.

Hello Tokyo
This Brooklyn-based female-fronted band has been building up a strong fan base over the years, playing gigs throughout NYC and D.C. while their debut full-length album is due out this April. While some songs are a bit down-tempo, “Radio” is one of their most upbeat, energetic songs and definitely showcases the strength of the band.

Happy Anarchy
When I caught up with them at a recent show of theirs and asked how they would describe their music, they couldn’t. Which I think is a good thing. They compared it to many different genre’s, not wanting to put it into one certain category. “Its classic American rock music,” guitarist Yuhei explained. “It has a little bit of everything. We take influence from the Chili Peppers to Radiohead to older bands like The Who. I think the cool part is just whatever anyone thinks it is. I’ve learned to like the fact that you can’t be like, ‘Yeah, they’re like this.’ There’s potential for a lot of people to like our band.”

Jon Foreman
The Switchfoot frontman has been getting much praise for his recent solo EP’s from both critics and fans alike. Two of the four EP’s released, titled “Fall” and “Winter,” have that stripped down acoustic feel of being in his living room while watching him play.

Sia’s live performance showcases her incredible vocals and her stage presence is impeccable. Constantly interacting with the audience, taking song requests and nailing high-powered crescendos in many of her songs had the audience erupt in applause and screams at a recent NYC show. This Australian singer definitely is making her name known in America.

There were well over 1,000 bands featured at this year’s SXSW so there’s no possible way any music magazine or blogger could have it all covered. Check out to listen to some of the featured artists and for more SXSW coverage from people who were actually there, check out as well as MTV’s concert blog.

Concert Reviews

Sia Plays Sold-Out NYC Show

Webster Hall was packed with a sold-out crowd Saturday night, those in attendance anxiously awaiting for Australian singer/songwriter Sia to take the stage. And she did, shortly after 9 p.m., with the “Rocky” theme song blaring through the speakers. Sia and her band came out in bright, neon cartoon-character-type outfits for her first song of the evening, “Buttons.” She had the crowd singing and dancing along to the fun, up-tempo song, a hidden track on her latest album, Some People Have Real Problems.

(Check out her performance of “Buttons” on Jimmy Kimmel Live here for more of an idea.)

Sia is by far the most energetic singer I’ve ever seen in concert. In between songs she’d be dancing with so much energy, always with a bright smile on her face. Her concert was very interactive, whether she was asking the crowd if it needed anything, taking notes from fans with song requests or reading messages from fans on her message board while dedicating a song to them. She even traded her own scarf — one she bought in Chinatown, she told the audience — for a fan’s scarf.

Sia played a 90-minute set of 15 songs, mostly tracks off of her new album, as well as a few old fan favorites, such as “Broken Biscuit” and the infamous “Breathe Me” — her hit from the final episode of “Six Feet Under” that “totally resuscitated my dying career,” she told the audience.

I was blown away by Sia’s voice on many songs. “Lentil,” one of her more emotional songs, was powerful, with her voice building up into a crescendo in the middle of the song and then falling to a whisper by the end. On many numbers, audience members would break into screams after one of her more powerful chords.

What was interesting to me is that Sia’s songs are a bit more down-tempo than you would think a performer with her amount of energy would perform, possibly even falling into the category of easy listening. She told the crowd that her next album will be more poppy and performed a song from her “future album” titled “The Codependent,” which was definitely more upbeat and seemed more of Sia’s style.

Possibly one of her strongest songs of the night, Sia dedicated “You Have Been Loved,” to “all the losers in love.” She preceded the song by telling the audience of how she and a friend were calculating the statistics of all the single people in the world. “I’d like to assure you that there are 1.2 million people you can find a soul mate in and not to worry,” she told the crowd.

Although she couldn’t perform every song shouted out to her, she encouraged fans to write requests on her message board a week and a half before the show so the band can practice them. “I try to make dreams come true,” she joked.

Sia had many in attendance singing along to her choir-y song “Death by Chocolate” while the crowd favorite of the night seemed to be her vocally powerful song “Breathe Me,” as screams and claps from the audience could be heard well after she finished the song.

The night ended with an encore performance of “Somersault,” definitely a crowd pleaser. Sia preceded the song by telling the audience that she hated the idea of an encore. “I used to have a non-encore rule, but management told me I have to do it,” she joked.

Har Mar Superstar opened the night and definitely put on an interesting performance, as the singer stripped down to his underwear. Screams could be heard throughout Webster Hall, either of pure shock or excitement I’m not too sure. Lead singer, Har Mar, jumped into the crowd, dancing with some concertgoers throughout part of his set, definitely getting the crowd energized while a few concert-goers seemed a bit disturbed, screaming, “Put your clothes back on!”

Either way, the mix of Har Mar’s pop/club music livened up the audience, and as the house lights rose throughout the venue at the end of the night and concert-goers were ushered out the doors, they definitely could not forget Har Mar Superstar’s intriguing performance or the sheer energy and amazing vocals of Sia.