Category Archives: Julia

Julia is Producer of Branded Music here at PlayNetwork…

Concert Review: Sondre Lerche @ The Triple Door, Sep. 29th 2009

According to Sondre Lerche last night at his early show at The Triple Door, his hometown of Bergen, Norway just endured (or more likely celebrated as rainy cities love their rain) 100 days straight of rain. Reminding us Seattle is not the rainiest place on earth. And don’t we know it! In Seattle we had our first full day of rain in what felt like awhile after a lovely summer. It made for a perfect night to spend indoors at the elegant Triple Door: eating yummy satay, drinking wine, and watching Sondre Lerche.

After the sad and ruminative opener, New York-based songwriter JBM Sondre Lerche came out solo- just him toggling between his two guitars, electric and acoustic, and a backdrop of lighted “stars”. He was so engaging, captivating the audience with his crooning voice and playful guitar playing (that he makes look so easy!). His banter between songs was like a charming, dear friend- all self-effacing and adorable.

His whole catalogue was represented well for such a compact performance, from “Two-Way Monologue” to energized renditions of his new songs like “Heartbeat Radio” and “Words & Music”. He even did a callout for requests delighting the audience with their pleas for “Sleep on Needles”. Closing with “Modern Nature”- he coaxed the attentive crowd into chorus, making for one of the most melodic sing-a-longs I have ever heard.

This is the end of Sondre Lerche’s tour of the U.S., he will be entertaining Europe now supporting The Fray throughout October. Come back anytime Sondre, and you bring your friends from Kings of Convenience next time too. You are welcome to swap our rainy burg for yours anytime.

Julia
Producer, Branded Music/Voice Talent
PlayNetwork, Inc.

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Little Dragon

Right now I am especially mesmerized by Little Dragon‘s new album Machine Dreams. As the title suggests, this album is full of dreamy, lush electro-pop, made even more enchanting by the seductive voice of Swedish siren Yukimi Nagano (Nagano may be familiar to most for her guest vocals on Koop‘s beautiful Koop Islands.) I think this album is close to ending up on my Top 10 of the year: sultry and soulful but in the most understated and perfect way.

You can purchase the new album on iTunes now or available as import

You can see the new video here

Or you can see the video of my favorite song from their self-titled release here:

Julia
Producer, Branded Music
PlayNetwork, Inc.

Blitzen Trapper: Black River Killer EP

Thankfully, Blitzen Trapper is prolific enough to make a meaty 7-song EP less than a year after last year’s acclaimed Sub Pop release Furr. The title track, the only one also found on Furr, sets the wandering, western mood for this mini-album. The rest of the songs are solid campfire jams- earnest and melodic- showcasing Blitzen Trapper’s developing, polished sound.

The Black River Killer EP comes out next Tuesday. In the meantime, check out the dreamy video for “Black River Killer”:

Buy! Amazon or iTunes

Julia
Producer, Branded Music/Voice Talent
www.playnetwork.com

Modern Day Standards: “Use Somebody”

It seems like Kings of Leon’s still charting hit “Use Somebody” has tapped into the collective consciousness and is gradually becoming a new pop “standard”.

Buy! Amazon or iTunes

With its soulful melody, yearning lyrics, and anthemic echoes this song has become a favorite cover for singers across genres. My favorite cover I’ve stumbled across so far is Bat for Lashes’ characteristically atmospheric and moody version she performed on BBC Radio 1:

I also love British soul singer V.V. Brown’s loose and low-key acoustic version:

I expect to hear more versions of this tune surface before the year is through. You too can expect this to be the new request overheard and overplayed at a local Karaoke bar near you!

Julia

Producer, Branded Music/Voice Talent

www.playnetwork.com

Yim Yames

Under the pseudonym Yim Yames, My Morning Jacket’s singer Jim James has just released an EP of George Harrison covers aptly titled Tribute To. Drenched in reverb and emotionally bare, this little EP is a sweet homage to George’s music and spirit. In keeping with George’s generosity, a portion of the profits from the sale of this album go to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Listening to Tribute To got me digging around YouTube watching George Harrsion performances and remembering his kind demeanor and understated grace. So what if he got sued for copping the melody from The Chiffons’ hit “He’s So Fine”- “My Sweet Lord” is still a classic.

Check out Yim Yames version here.

Julia

Producer, Branded Music/Voice Talent

www.playnetwork.com

Concerts at the Mural

Listener-supported radio station KEXP and Seattle Center have partnered for a series of FREE, all-ages summer shows at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater called Concerts at the Mural.  The first show is tonight from 5p-8p featuring Northwest favorites Throw Me The Statue and Blitzen Trapper.  Outdoor concerts are one of the highlights of summertime in the Northwest and free concerts are even better.  Luckily, the heat wave will have subsided enough to make the 5p start time enjoyable.  The beer garden also helps!

You can find the full summer line-up & FAQs here:

Julia

Producer, Branded Music/Voice Talent

www.playnetwork.com

Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer DVD

Anita O’Day is maybe not quite as well-known as she should be, but amongst jazz musicians and aficionados she is one of the greatest- a singer in the ranks of the queens of jazz. Fortunately a documentary about her life, Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer, was just released on DVD and chronicles not only her life and performances, but also the sass and humor that made her a jazz legend.

This film covers her full career from young “canary” to last-chance comeback and does what I wish more music documentaries would- it lets the performances speak for themselves. It includes lots of cool live performance footage- the highlight of which is her famous appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival (footage originally from the film Jazz on a Summer’s Day). Also remarkable are the interviews with Anita O’Day herself – from vintage 60 Minutes & Dick Cavett footage to the current interviews the filmmakers captured as they made the doc.

Of course, there is the compulsory attention paid to her drug addiction and living “the jazz life”. Her arrest, her lifelong drug-fueled partnership with her drummer John Poole and how, remarkably, she was one of the few that got clean and kicked the habit. But none of that rock-bottom dwelling is as mesmerizing as her musical performances or her describing how and why she sings the way she does. From her absent uvula and lack of vibrato to explain why she sings shorter notes or how she sped thru songs with Oscar Peterson like they were races. These are the gems that this documentary captures.  I am so thankful that the filmmakers had the wherewithal to get such candid interviews with her and document her life before she passed away in 2006. Hearing her laugh and “talk jazz” really leaves an impression of the true spitfire of a woman behind the singer.

If you cannot see the full movie at least watch this clip of her performing at the Newport Jazz Festival- it might change your mind after it blows it away:

Here’s the trailer for the documentary now available on DVD:

Julia

Producer, Branded Music/Voice Talent

www.playnetwork.com