Features News

Musicians Take Over Television

It’s been quite the week for avid music fans and television lovers. U2 has been a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman all week and they have managed to get every person in the room on their feet throughout their performances (watch below). I’ve been to a TV show taping before and it’s definitely not conducive to live musical performances, but Bono’s energy is so captivating.

Their latest album, No Line On the Horizon was released yesterday and has been receiving mixed reviews. However, like every U2 album, it’s the lyrics and fitting musical accompaniment that make the greatest impact. Currently, Amazon is having a special MP3 deal for the album where you can purchase it for $3.99. For fans trying to pinch their pennies, check it out here. And to reminisce about how far they have come, listen to snippets of all their albums over the years on their Web site here. Watch the performance from Monday night on Letterman below.


Meanwhile, country pop songstress Taylor Swift will have a major role on this Thursday’s episode of CSI. I keep seeing the previews and it looks very intriguing. The recent Rolling Stone cover girl has certainly had an impressive past year and by the looks of it, her popularity has only just begun. With her first headlining tour coming up this summer, you can bet this girl is here to stay.

Watch the preview of Thursday night’s CSI episode below.


Artist to Watch: Taylor Swift

I never considered myself a die-hard country music fan, but this past week I’ve been continually listening to country artists on Pandora and it definitely helps the work day fly by. My latest favorite is Taylor Swift. She not only has cross-genre appeal (country, pop, rock — even punk bands are covering her songs) but she seems so incredibly down to earth (see her homemade touring videos on her MySpace page) not to mention she’s just 19-years-old. Extremely talented, she writes her own music about her life (boyfriend’s names included) as well as plays guitar. It also helps that her most recent album, Fearless has been No.1 on the Billboard charts for five weeks. She’ll be performing on “SNL” this weekend so be sure to check her out! In the meantime, watch four of my favorite songs of Taylor’s below!

“Love Story”


“Should’ve Said No”


“Our Song”


“Tim McGraw”


CD Reviews Features

You Sing, I Write’s Fall Album Preview

It’s that time of the year again — the leaves are changing colors, you can find candy corn in all your local grocery stores and now it’s the appropriate time to carve some pumpkins. Fall just may be my favorite time of the year, except for the fact that I have to put all my summer flip-flops away. Wearing sneakers and boots instead of sandals is a huge adjustment, but I digress. This fall there are many albums hitting the shelves or more aptly, iTunes — many from bands I’ve covered for the blog, as well as some others you should definitely check out. Below is brief list of some albums I’m especially looking forward to.

Antony and the Johnsons – out this week 10/7
Another World
I recently received a copy of Antony and the Johnsons‘ EP — a five-song piano-filled disc of deep, emotional ballads. At first listen, the EP gives off an incredibly relaxing and soothing feel. But, when listening more closely to the lyrics the perception is quite different. Called an EP of “political- and eco-minded songs” by Rolling Stone, I couldn’t agree more.

Ray LaMontagne – 10/14
Gossip in the Grain
You heard him and song, “You Are the Best Thing” from my previous “Song of the Week” post two weeks ago and from what I’ve heard on his MySpace and other reviews, Gossip in the Grain is an album to definitely give a listen. LaMontagne has that classic singer-songwriter feel, but offers the listener something unique as well. I haven’t been able to stop playing “You Are the Best Thing” over the past few weeks and if this is any indication as to how his album sounds, LaMontagne will be the talk of the town pretty soon.

Brett Dennen – 10/21
Hope for the Hopeless
I was lucky enough to catch Brett Dennen‘s performance this summer on John Mayer’s tour and he blew me away. Brett has such a skill for songwriting and aptly gets the message in his lyrics across to the listener, not always an easy task for a musician. Check out a live performance of his first single, “Make You Go Crazy” — which features Fela Kuti on the album — below. Stay tuned for his music video for the song with Mandy Moore within the upcoming weeks.


Fall Out Boy – 11/4
Folie a Deux
The kings of long song titles are back with their fifth studio album on Election Day. Avid advocates for Obama, while the disc apparently has no politically charged songs, if it’s anything like their last album, Infinity on High, Fall Out Boy are sure to surprise and make every die-hard FOB fan content.

Switchfoot – 11/4
The Best Yet
It’s surprising that Switchfoot doesn’t have a “best of” album yet, being that they’ve released six albums and have been touring for the better part of the last 10 years. However, this November ‘Foot cans can look forward to The Best Yet, which features 18 hit singles including “This Is Home” from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie soundtrack as well as radio hits “Meant To Live” and “Dare You to Move.” In addition to the songs, the deluxe edition will feature 14 videos which includes MTV hits as well as rare, never before released videos.

To listen to a stream of “This Is Home” for Windows, click here.
For QuickTime, click here.

Taylor Swift – 11/11
Taylor Swift has become a personal favorite of mine as of late. Maybe it’s my desire to move to Nashville and cover more country artists and emerging musicians. Whether you like country or not, you can’t deny her crossover power between genres. Not only is she a respected country artist, but pop fans love her as well. Her first single off the album, “Love Story” is that perfect story-book tale of a Romeo and Juliet romance. Down to the appropriately catchy banjo accompaniment, the song is full of that hopeless romantic vibe that draws many music fans to her. Check it out on YouTube.

All-American Rejects – 11/18
When the World Comes Down
I featured their first single, “Gives You Hell” last week on the blog and it’s undeniably catchy. A bit more of a mature sound than their previous two albums, AAR have grown up and their musicianship and solid guitar riffs can be heard throughout. This album is one I’m personally looking forward to and planning on picking up for myself. Check out “Gives You Hell” below.

David Cook – 11/18
I recently read an article which reported that Cook will be working with frontman Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace for his release expected in late November. I caught Maida’s performance a few months ago at the Mercury Lounge and I can only imagine the creativity he will bring to Cook’s debut since winning American Idol.