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September 01, 2006

Anna Nalick in Jacksonville

Breathe (2AM)

(August 30th) It was my second day in moving to Jacksonville and as I was flipping the pages of the local rag, I noticed that Anna Nalick was playing in town today. The newness of the city smacks me in the face and hurricane Ernesto was supposed to hit us tonight. My first thought was, I didn't want to go poking downtown in a strange city so soon. It soon dawned on me that Anna wouldn't come around this way again anytime soon so I took the plunge and went searching for the dive. The place was called Jack's Rabbits that lies in a run-down section of town and behind a single red door. (Looking around, no blue door was to be found)

The crowd that waited for the show was pitifully small. There couldn't have been more than 100 people at the show. And like Anna said later on during the show, "it's a smoky little bar". Maybe it was a blessing in disguise because many concert goers were just well within 2 feet of the stage.

Joshua Radin openned up the set. His music was fully acoustic guitars and he played the set in a wonderfully humble manner. He had one backing guitarist and a girl as an accompanying vocalist (she was pretty cute, by the way). Josh sat in a chair right in the middle of the stage and played some material from Zack Braff's TV shows and movies. His music was mellow, sad, and comforting. Unfortunately the Jacksonville crowd was a little too loud and I felt bad as the band noticed the interruptions during the songs. The acoustic set was lovely.

nalick2.jpg Anna Nalicks gives a great live performance as she saunters on stage fully comfortable in the strength of her voice. She banters with the crowd in a cheerful manner. There were a few false starts in some of her songs as the band's electric equipment and her microphone flakes out. However she recovered on-stage quite nicely and spurted out some F words that fit the occasion. I was close enough to the front to notice her prominent cheekbones, skinny nose, and the big ugly ring she wears on her index finger. This is an unfortunate comment but she is just not photogenic. Quite the opposite, she looks better in person than in her pictures and videos. It could be that her personality gives a 3-dimensional wholeness which is different than many people you see on stage. As you can imagine, she played most of her album. Everyone was waiting for Breathe and there wasn't much clamor for Wreck of the Day. Too bad because that was the best heart-wrenching track. I snuck out in the middle of Bleed into what's left of Ernesto in an attempt to avoid the departing crowd.

Anna Nalick - Wreck of the Day on YouTube

July 19, 2006

Album Impressions 3

nFurtado.jpg Nelly Furtado - Loose

Nelly has returned to the type of fast music that made her popular from the beginning. Years ago I had caught one of her shows at The Joint in Vegas before she had her baby. In Loose, most of the tracks are a mix of hip-hop and rap. Some of her singles that are climbing the charts are: Promiscuous and Maneater. The lyrics on the album are very simple but the tracks are catchy. At worst, it is good gym music that you can trounce the treadmill with.

Nellie Furtado - Promiscuous

keane_ironSea.jpg Keane - Under the Iron Sea

This is the long awaited second album for Keane. The music doesn't stray from what made the first album famous. We get more of the melodic piano and entrancing voice of Tom Chaplin, the lead singer. The more prominent tracks are Is It Any Wonder and Atlantic. The lyrics aren't as biting and soul-searching as those found on the first album.

eraser.jpg Thom Yorke - The Eraser

It's RadioHead without the Radio. Thom Yorke is the lead singer for RadioHead and with this album, he has gone solo. The music on the album centers on Yorke's voice which belches out like a lazy banshee. Many reviewers have called the album depressing but if you are a fan of RadioHead, it just grows on you. One notable track is Analyse. Since most or all of the music is computers and synthesizers, I certainly feel a lacking of instruments. Voice alone just can't carry the music, please bring back the instruments.

older album impressions:
Part 1,
Part 2

Posted by Hoang at 10:09 AM | 2 Comments | Music

June 05, 2006

excerpt from "how about you"

    everyone plays the hand they're dealt
    and learns to walk through life themselves
    not everything in life is handed on a plate
    when people think your words are true
    it doesn't matter what you do
    i sold my soul to get here
    how 'bout you? 

by Staind

Staind - How about you on YouTube

Posted by Hoang at 12:31 PM | Add the first comment | Music

April 20, 2006

Revenge

    There is no such thing as revenge
    You will not give as good as you got
    There is no such thing as an eye for an eye
    If you think you're the giver, you're not
  
    There is no such thing as regret
    There is no point in placing the blame
    Hate destroys the one who hates 
    And everyone suffers the same
  
    What you see
    Is not necessarily what you get
    Eyes are the window to the soul
    Take your judgements
    And let them go

by Madonna

Posted by Hoang at 04:12 PM | Add the first comment | Music

February 13, 2006

Album Impressions 2

This is the second part of Album Impressions. It is a follow up of the first part.

sherylCrow.jpgSheryl Crow - Wildflower

I just heard on the radio the duet between Sheryl Crow and Sting redoing her song Always on Your Side. Sheryl is such a strong singer that her voice dwarfs anyone she ever sings along with. Sorry Sting, I am a devoted fan of your old The Police material but Sheryl is just way beyond anyone's league (this includes Kid Rock). Her voice is so strong that she even makes the sophomoric Soak Up the Sun sound very deep. This new album as well as the title track Wildflower creeps up behind you after each listen. The music is simply a single acoustic guitar, electric guitar, or piano accompanying her voice. I just can't get over Letter to God. The goosebumps just arise each time I replay the track.

nin.jpgNine Inch Nails - With Teeth
Nine Inch Nails music is not for everyone. It is heavy, gritty, and Trent Reznor's lyrics smack you first in the face then next right in the gut. The popular song from this album is The hand that feeds. My favorite is Right Where It Belongs . There is a haunting rift in with Teeth that goes:
"I cannot go through this again....". The meaning sinks in.

To follow the lyrics is to be like Faust walking through the rings of purgatory...... abandon all hope all ye who enter . But in a way, that's how real life is: It kicks you in the gut when you are not looking. I've listened to NiN since Head Like a Hole and never thought the group would last this long.

kttunstall.jpgKT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
Imagine a Brit cowboy singing country music, I guess that's the first impression during the first 5 times listening to Telescope. In KT's case, it's "cowgirl". Susana first turned me into the album about 6 months ago. Like any good music, it takes some time to sink under your skin. After getting past the funki-ness of a Brit singing country, the album turns out to be a good listen. Notable tracks are: Black Horse and the Cherry Tree and Another Place to Fall. I have heard that she gives a terrific live performance which really can't be captured by recorded music. Looking at her tour, she was just at Slim's in SF on Jan 31. The rest of the tour in the near future veers toward Paris, Lyon, and Lille.... France.

Posted by Hoang at 02:54 PM | Add the first comment | Music

January 07, 2006

In The End

linkinPark.jpg

    It starts with one thing
    I don't know why
    It doesn't even matter how hard you try keep that in mind
    I designed this rhyme
    To explain in due time
    All I know
    Time is a valuable thing
    Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
    Watch it count down to the end of the day
    The clock ticks life away
    It's so unreal
    Didn't look out below
    Watch the time go right out the window
    Trying to hold on, but didn't even know
    Wasted it all just to watch you go
    I kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
    What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when
   
    I tried so hard
    And got so far
    But in the end
    It doesn't even matter
    I had to fall
    To lose it all
    But in the end
    It doesn't even matter
   
    One thing, I don't know why
    It doesnít even matter how hard you try, keep that in mind
    I designed this rhyme, to explain in due time
    I tried so hard
    In spite of the way you were mocking me
    Acting like I was part of your property
    Remembering all the times you fought with me
    I'm surprised it got so (far)
    Things aren't the way they were before
    You wouldn't even recognize me anymore
    Not that you knew me back then
    But it all comes back to me (in the end)
    You kept everything inside and even though I tried, it all fell apart
    What it meant to me will eventually be a memory of a time when I
   
    Chorus
   
    Iíve put my trust in you
    Pushed as far as I can go
    And for all this
    There's only one thing you should know (2x) Chorus 

by Linkin Park

Linkin Park - In the End at Red Square on YouTube

Posted by Hoang at 08:20 AM | Add the first comment | Music
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