If it’s the night of our annual holiday party, it’s also time for my Artists To Watch mix, featuring the music I think you should keep an eye out for in 2008 (guests of the Freys receive a complimentary copy).
||Next area appearance
||Steven Wilson’s side project from his regular band, an early choice for best song and remained unsurpassed.
||1/31/08 Electric Factory
||So many choices off his debut to choose from, but this is the catchiest (and shows off his range).
||Love It When You Call
||My fave new Britpop act.
||Former lead singer of Letters To Cleo, currently doing backup on the Hannah Montana tour (is that why it hurts, Kay?).
||Scar That Never Heals
||Maybe I was in a Paul Simon mood this year, first of two to call him to mind.
||Jenny Owen Youngs
||1/9/08 Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
||A potty mouth reminiscent of Liz Phair, she puts on a fun show.
||1/4/08 Black Cat
||Local group with a talent for a melody.
||Kind of a cross between Tori Amos and Norah Jones.
||The former Semisonic frontman releases his first solo album a year after winning a Grammy for cowriting the Dixie Chicks’ “Not Ready to Make Nice”.
||The movie “Once” features Glen Hansard (of The Frames) & Marketa Irglova, and this is the original version of one of the songs.
||The Cornflakes Song
||Catchiest song I found through Paste this year.
||Little Big Town
||2/28/08 Richmond Coliseum
||A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll (can you tell they’re mostly influenced by Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles?).
||Another British group, softer sound like Keane.
||Jill’s fave new artist.
||Poor Michael’s Boat
||Former Jayhawks bandmate Gary Louris co-wrote and sang on this.
||Darlin’ Do Not Fear
||The other one with the Paul Simon vibe.
||Johnny Come Down To Hilo
||Three folk duos form a band.
||1/31/08 Recher Theatre
||Singer/songwriter going for a grandiose moment.
||Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
||Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
||Ok, you’ve heard of them, but never heard them together. It’s not Zep or Union Station, but it’s good.
||Why Are You Talking To Me
||12/31/07 Jammin’ Java
||One of the best live acts around.
Leftovers (in no particular order):
Feist – 1234
The Last Town Chorus – Modern Love
Queen + Paul Rodgers – Say It’s Not True
Georgie James – Cake Parade
Orba Squara – Perfect Timing (This Morning)
The Pietasters – Don’t Wanna Know
Ari Hest – Right Of Way
Ellis – Hurricane
Gin Blossoms – Long Time Gone
Lucy Kaplansky – Manhattan Moon
Luke Brindley – Don’t Want To Lose You
Miranda Lambert – Gunpowder And Lead
Pat McGee Band – Maybe It’s Time
Paula Cole – Comin’ Down
Thea Gilmore – Teacher, Teacher
Vienna Teng – Harbor
Porcupine Tree – Fear Of A Blank Planet
Pepper’s Ghost – How ‘Bout It Now
Sick Puppies – My World
Spoon – The Underdog
Dream Theater – Forsaken
The Frustrations – Nerdy Little Secret
Eric Hutchinson – Rock And Roll
Ingrid Michaelson – Keep Breathing
Priscilla Ahn – Rain
And I made a third Christmas mix CD. I ultimately decided not to use any songs that I’ve had on the other two (even though I’ve got two other great versions of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”) as I had an abundance of choices without them. I also limited myself to one artist per CD (that means years of fun to come from BNL). And there’s still a number of classic tunes that haven’t been represented yet – haven’t found versions that really spoke to me. Maybe next year!
- Snow Song (It’s Coming Down) – Groovelily
- Let It Snow – Dar Williams
- Christmas – Blues Traveler
- Donde Esta Santa Claus – Guster
- Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Marah
- Oi To The World – No Doubt
- Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree – Ronette Spector and Darlene Love
- Mary XMess – Sun 60
- Jingle Bell Rock – Katie Mac
- Merry Christmas Baby – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
- All I Want For Christmas Is You – My Chemical Romance
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings – Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan
- Fairytale Of New York – Stars
- Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton
- Santa Baby – Michelle Malone
- Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
- On Christmas Day – Pete Droge
- Away In A Manger – Mindy Smith with Alison Krauss
- I’ll Be Home For Christmas – Aimee Mann
- Angels We Have Heard On High – Sufjan Stevens
- Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming – Feist
- Christmas Canon – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas – Various artists
My annual giveaway Christmas party mix of Artists To Watch for 2007:
||Some Fine Day
||I was alerted to her by my friend Meg. Catchy folk pop, this tune’s got a nice ska tinge.
||12/17/06 Jammin’ Java
||One of my favorite discoveries of the year, via slashdot.org. Funny songs, ala Weird Al’s songs that aren’t parodies, but good melodies too. This one just speaks to me (guess why).
||Ok, I found out one of the members was a childhood friend, but that doesn’t take anything away from their charming chamber pop.
||See The World
||1/26/07 Patriot Center
||Opened for Dave Matthews Band this past summer, a nice poppy British band.
||I just love, love, love her voice.
||Massachusetts based band I saw at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, gorgeous gloomy harmonies.
||It’s A Wonder
||I found her through a surprise show, but this song is no surprise – catchy folk.
||Shane Hines And The Trance
||1/12/07 Jammin’ Java
||Features Scott and Chuck from Quitter UK on backing vocals.
||2/3/07 Moore Music In The House
||3 member harmonies, good folky tune also done by Crooked Still.
||Fast rising star in the progressive rock scene, a lovely ballad.
||Member of the New Pornographers, she’s reached a new high with her solo work.
||Here It Goes Again
||3/23/07 Constitution Hall
||Sure, their video on YouTube was addicting, but it’s a great pop tune too.
||4/27/07 Rams Head
||Acoustic folk from Jill’s new fave, we found her opening for Ember Swift.
||Members of Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, and Wilco, great song featuring Gary Louris from the Jayhawks.
||Lorraine a Malena
||It’s Just Me And Eve
||Lorraine Garland is Neil Gaiman’s personal assistant, and in each of the bands she’s been in, she’s done songs by Neil. This is the best one off her new album.
||Up All Night
||A Jersey rocker from the local institution and coffeebar/rock club mavens.
||The Veltz Family
||Come On Love
||Formerly known as Cecilia (the band), when their bass player left it was back to the original family. Smooth pop with harmonies.
||My Chemical Romance
||Formerly in the emo/punk scene, they’ve swung for the fences with an epic pop/rock concept album (with Green Day’s producer) and hit a grand slam.
||Ain’t No Grave
||Rocking newgrass with the wickedest cello player ever.
||All Her Pretty Ways
||The man with the falsetto you can’t mistake for anyone else returns.
||Kiss Me ‘Til It Bleeds
||Remember Veruca Salt? Or “Tonight And The Rest Of My Life”? I do, and this is the catchy single off her new one.
||I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers T-Ride. Their industrial funk deserves to survive, and I was glad two of the three members came back to play on this track.
Leftovers (in no particular order):
The Blackjacks – Malina
Paul and Storm – Hip-Shop
Great Big Sea – The River Driver
Leah Morgan – Square Plate Song
Jason Karaban – Perfect Falling Out
Mike Clem – I.S.O.
Gary Cherone – Need I Say More
David Gilmour – Take A Breath
Little Willies – Roly Poly
Robbie Schaefer – Professor Schnoodle
Eric Schwartz – Keep Your Jesus Off My Pen*s
Umphrey’s McGee – Believe The Lie
Lindsey Buckingham – To Try For The Sun
Ollabelle – Fall Back
Rhett Miller – Question
Barenaked Ladies – Bull In A China Shop
Shawn Mullins – Blue As You
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs – She May Call You Up Tonight
The Magic Numbers – Forever Lost
Blue October – Into The Ocean
Gin Blossoms – Long Time Gone
Guster – Manifest Destiny
Railroad Earth – Elko
Blues Traveler – Amber Awaits
Keane – Maybe I Can Change
Live – The River
Pete Yorn – Alive
Chris Whitley – Last Million Miles
Robbie Williams – Spread Your Wings
John Popper Project – Everything
Thea Gilmore – Even Gods Do
Razorlight – In The Morning
Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell – Second Option
Dresden Dolls – Dirty Business
KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
Queensryche – The Hands
Everclear – Hater
Ellis – How Would It Be
Sam Ashworth – Look Back
Lynn Carey Saylor – This Is Your Life
Nellie McKay – Swept Away
Carbon Leaf – Learn To Fly
And if listening to all that didn’t take enough time, I also made a second Christmas mix CD. I had enough songs left over after last year to make another, but ordered a bunch of CDs because there were some songs I didn’t have but needed (“Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You”, “Silent Night”, “Song For a Winter’s Night”, “What Child Is This”, “Wonderful Christmastime”, etc.).
- Silent Night – eddie from ohio
- O’ Come All Ye Faithful/O’ Holy Night – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- Carol Of The Bells – THEdeepEND
- Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You – Billy Squier
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Hem
- Christmastime – Aimee Mann and Michael Penn
- I Believe In Father Chrismas – Emerson, Lake and Palmer
- River – Rachael Yamagata
- It Came Upon A Midnight Clear – Gary Hoey
- Last Christmas – Jimmy Eat World
- Silver Bells – Martina McBride
- Christmastime – Smashing Pumpkins
- Song For A Winter’s Night – Sarah McLachlan
- Father Christmas – Kinks
- What Child Is This – Dar Williams
- Rudolph – Jack Johnson
- Winter Wonderland – Liz Phair
- X-mas Time – Red Henry
- Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
- Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer – Less Than Jake
- Good King Wencelas – Loreena McKennit
- White Christmas – Goldfinger
- American Noel – Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer
- Christmas Time Again – Extreme
- Auld Lang Syne – Barenaked Ladies
This is the third year in a row I’ve made a mix called “Artists To Watch” to give away for our holiday party. It’s a nice way for our friends to find out about our favorite new music.
||1/13/06 9:30 Club
||Members of emmet swimming and Smartbomb, great chorus.
||Queen + Paul Rodgers
||I Want It All
||3/9/06 MCI Center
||Ok, not exactly a new band, but my favorite concert of 2005 and should be another good show in March (from their new live CD/DVD).
||We discovered them at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival last year, but didn’t get the CD until this year’s fest. A spirited update of the Gillian Welch song.
||Name To Me No More
||Haven’t seen these guys yet, but they’ve opened for emmet swimming and I like the falsetto.
||Handle With Care
||My ears perk up for the Traveling Wilburys (who will finally have their CDs go back into print in 2006). Jenny Lewis is the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, who opened for Coldplay in 2005. She’s joined here by the lead singers of Death Cab For Cutie and Bright Eyes to form an indie supergroup to cover this classic.
||The nicest love song I’ve heard in a while.
||The Big One
||She’s got a lot of influences and puts them all into her music.
||Love And Memories
||The guys from Maryland with a more poppier song then their usual rock jams.
||I know you were wondering when we’d get to some banjo.
||12/23/05 Jammin’ Java
||Paul and Storm
||A Better Version Of You
||They’ve got a great new funny CD out, but I had to go with this web only track.
||A new CD from Tracy with the remaining songs the late Dave Carter wrote.
||Good Or Bad
||Like Jim Boggia , another 4 Way Street alumnus.
||We’re About 9
||12/31/05 1st Night Alexandria
||To The Stars
||We saw her open for Ani DiFranco last summer.
||Big Time Lullabye
||12/23/05 Jammin’ Java
||Todd has to be the funniest frontman around, but he still rocks out when he’s not amking you laugh.
||The “No Myth” guy is still around churning out pop gems like this.
||2/12/06 The Old Brogue
||A nice twist.
||Carrot Juice Is Murder
||Funny Canadiens, recorded live at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
||I Summon You
||Stephen King’s pick for best single, and I like it too.
||Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
||From his 2nd Christmas EP, a moving version of a hymn.
Leftovers (best with gravy):
Ben Arthur – Mary Ann
James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
Tracy Bonham – Something Beautiful
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Over and Over Again
Kris Delmhorst – Broken White Line
Greencards – Time
Juniper Lane – Apology
Anna Nalick – Breathe
Okkervil River – Black
Beth Orton – Conceived
Razorlight – Somewhere Else
Adam Richman – Mary-Anne
Waifs – Waitress
I also made a Christmas mix CD for the first time. I’ve already got enough songs left over to make volume 2, but that’ll wait for next year. Jill asked why I ended with two depressing songs, but my logic is keep it happy for as long as you can – just like life. Besides, they’re catchy.
- Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty
- Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Barenaked Ladies
- 2000 Miles – Coldplay
- Blue Christmas – Collective Soul
- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – U2
- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – Bruce Springsteen
- Christmas At Ground Zero – ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic
- Holly Jolly Christmas – Marah
- I Saw Three Ships – Sting
- Christmas Song – Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
- Happy Xmas – John Lennon
- Please Come Home For Christmas – Eagles
- Christmas Song – Biohio
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – John Mellencamp
- Step Into Christmas – Elton John
- Thank God It’s Christmas – Queen
- Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- Little Drummer Boy – GrooveLily
- Joseph Was A Carpenter – eddie from ohio
- O Holy Night – Sufjan Stevens
- Silver Star – emmet swimming
- You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch – Whirling Dervishes
- Christmas – Getaway Car