That Girl With A Blog











So, you may not know her name yet, but chances are you know someone she’s related to. From the press release:

“Her musical heritage includes great uncle Peter Bocage, one of the great trumpeters of New Orleans history,  and piano giant Eddie Bo. TJ’s grandmother was an opening act for Ray Charles, and her mother spent years touring as a vocalist with George Clinton’s Brides of Funkenstein.

With the release of her latest singles on May 31, Evans continues in that long family tradition. Recording “Paradiso” with her uncle Cordell “Boogie” Mosson of Parliament Funkadelic, TJ showcases her unique, soulful sound. She also recruited legendary MC Grandmaster Jay to collaborate for “Shakey Ground.” These two tracks hint at great things to come from an artist coming into her own.”

The granddaughter of funk has sprinted out of the gate with a ferocity unparalleled. One of her first two singles, “On Shakey Ground” is already making waves, in addition to “Paradiso”.

Evans began playing at the tender age of 14, but took some time away to pursue music journalism and photography, snapping pictures of bands like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Amuse, Remember Paris, and Every Avenue.

Influenced by everyone from Patty Labelle to Pantera, the girl’s got soul. While quietly reserved on a regular basis, her gritty vocals, raw guitar and deep grooves tell you everything that you need to know.

Check out the video below of Evans with with “Uncle Boogie” and George Clinton at BB King’s Blues Club in NYC and definitely keep an eye out for this one. She’s a firecracker! You can keep tabs on all the latest news on her Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter.

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So, to be quite honest, when I first listened to this album, I wasn’t a fan. It’s out there. Like way out there. Maybe not on par with Gaga out there, but definitely on par with Modest Mouse out there. I listened to it once and I must have heard something in there, because I kept on trying it again and again. And another time after that.

The Australian garage-rock trio will be releasing their second, full-length album, In Loving Memory, on June 17, 2011. From their site:

“In the age of 3:30 digital singles, The Paper Scissors are cutting against the grain with their new album In Loving Memory. A creation for lovers of long-form albums, the record brings together a range of influences and topics to create a truly international rock soundscape.

The songs were written during the band’s travels; from home in Sydney to as far away as Queens, New York, in various studios and via email through numerous long sessions. Jai Pyne has written lyrics about a range of topics from family, love, drunkenness, alcoholism, death, sex, the ocean, weather, isolation and more, bringing a disparate collection of musings into one of the most coherent and focused collections of songs from an Australian band this year.

“We’ve shed any insecurities and have pieced together an album that embodies us as a band,” explains Jai. “The way our sound has evolved and the fact that it reflects our learning and growth explains why it’s taken so long to realise this album.”

Discovered by underground radio including FBI and Triple J, the band’s first single “We Don’t Walk” captured the playfulness and self-assured outlook of youth developing a loyal fan base which was cemented with national touring .

The first taste of the new album showed a remarkable growth in the band with the single “Lung Sum” released in late 2010. With a deeper outlook, but a solid basis in pop melody, the track took the listener on a journey, preparing for what was to come on “In Loving Memory”.

Mixed by UK producer Tom McFall (REM, Weezer, Snow Patrol), the album is a clear artistic statement. Part UK, part US and totally Australian, “In Loving Memory” is a reflection of urban Sydney and the influences, contradictions, loves and pressures inherent in a complex life.”

It certainly is. It’s certainly a unique album and unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of people will give it the second (and third and fourth) chances that it really deserves. There’s a depth to it that’s not readily available in today’s music meat market. I think someone chose the term “soundscape” quite correctly when writing that blurb there, because that’s exactly what this is, and until you immerse yourself into it, I don’t think that it can really be appreciated. The songs kind of just slide on past, until you take that moment to stop and actually listen to them.

This time around, they’ve lost a little of that playful attitude of yore (just a little, mind you) in favor of an emotive and laid-back sound. From chanting hits like the first single “Lung Sum” or airy, floaty numbers like “On Your Hand”, or the almost Gorillaz-esque “Wrong”, its really a pretty good album. It’s got a spacey, indie vibe, perfect for a chilly, autumn evening. They really are like Modest Mouse meets Gorillaz…in Australia.

From what I hear, they’re stellar live, and touring! So if you hear of The Paper Scissors in your neck of the woods, definitely check them out. In the meantime, though, you also check out all the latest other news on their site, Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Lung Sum”



Well, it’s the very first Metal Monday here on That Girl With A Blog and boy do we have a treat for you! Pittsburgh’s very own Dethlehem has released their second full length album, The Ghorusalem Codex, Volume 2: Of Magick & Tyranny, the long awaited sequel to their 2009 debut, The Ghorusalem Codex, Volume I: Enthroned Upon A Spire.

“But, what makes this a two-fer!?”, you ask. And the answer to that question is the fact that I saw them spouting this stuff live on Friday. Kickass.

As for Dethlehem, self-described as “epic, medieval, fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons metal”, they’re a riot. What sets them apart from other bands in this vein is their tongue-in-cheek approach. Imagine Gwar, but funny. To catch you up on the story so far, from the band’s Myspace:

Dethlehem formed in the greatest respect to the centuries old story of the Three-Wise-Demons. The story takes place long ago before the first cataclysm, in the well known village of Dethlehem, in the land of Ghorusalem. History says that a baby with great, evil powers was born to a virgin goblin whore. After the birth, the infant first brought plague to the village of Dethlehem. Not soon after, ancient flying serpents were awakened from their hibernation deep in the earth’s crust. They soon ruled the land, only to abide by the unholy one’s word. Soon, the Three-Wise-Demons: Galatan, Kullinia, and Brigalathis visited the baby boy and revealed to him just how much evil he could control. They named him, Yagolith.

Yagolith, king of all that is evil, harnessed his powers for the most evil purposes. With his ability to shape shift into a dragon, he became quite knowledgable, and his hunger for treasure grew and grew.

For hundreds of years, Yagolith went unchallenged. Until a Legion of Warriors traveled the lands to battle him under a cursed sky…

Long story short, and not to give too many spoilers (you can download this album for free here to get the full story), the formidable band of archaic men kick some goblin-dragon shapeshifter and demon ass. Hey, if they hadn’t, there wouldn’t have been a Volume 2, right? You could’ve figured that one out on your own.

And that leaves us where The Ghorusalem Codex, Volume 2: Of Magick & Tyranny begins. After vanquishing the malevolent Yagolith, the gang, comprised of Lord Bonecrush, Overlord Brom, Bovice, Davidcus the Black, and Hildor, return to find their beloved Dethlehem in ruins. They embark on a quest amidst sand, dirt, and sky to seek their revenge.

I must admit that it’s actually a pretty damn good story! I find myself getting what is probably far more into this album than I should be. All except for the pee-soaked goblin. I could do without the scent of urine. I guess it’s adds to the charm, though, eh? I do also find myself missing the epic guitar solos of Volume 1 (but they brought it back a little in their live show!), but it leaves more room for this yarn to be spun and more adventures to be had. Also, in comparison of their first effort, they’ve gone for a slightly more melodic approach versus their prior thrash metal status, which I particularly prefer. Oh, there’s still growling and such, but the new sound paints a much more vivid story. This is certainly a band of very talented men doing what they do best and having a little fun while they’re at it. That much fun is bound to be infectious, and it sure is.

Alright, now I do know how this ends, but you’re just going to have to listen to the album for yourself to find out. I can tell you that it involves a kick ass fight scene and some portals. Can’t go wrong with portals, right?

To be honest here, I always find it a little harder to do a review for a local band. The Pittsburgh music scene is alive and well and who am I to knock someone down a peg? Thankfully, Dethlehem has made this one very easy for me. I like this album, a lot, and want to know what’s fucked up?

It’s even better live.

Myself and The Husband went to go see them at their CD release show at The Smiling Moose Friday night. I should add that I haven’t been to The Moose since July of 2009, for what I think is a pretty good reason, but this was a pretty kickass way to break that streak. It actually wasn’t the first time that we’d seen them, but it was indeed the first time that we’d seen them in a proper venue. For starters, the place was beyond packed (sold-out, actually, if I’m thinking correctly) and you simply couldn’t beat the energy, despite the fact that it was “late as tits” (Lord Bonecrush).

There were pirates, wenches, medieval knights, and inflatable 20-sided die. I don’t think you can really beat that. They opened with the beginning of the new album, talk-y bits and all, went into a few old tracks and did their classic, rousing rendition of Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose”, which was shockingly good. Overlord Brom is a beast on the drums, managing to play them impeccably well, IN A HELMET. Seriously, just check these guys out already. This was definitely a well spent Friday night in Pittsburgh. These guys totally get an A for effort. When it comes to Dethlehem, you can be assured that nothing you ever hear will be half-assed. Check out more on their site, Facebook, or Twitter.

And Happy Metal Monday! Stay tuned for the next installment with another Pittsburgh band, River Runs Scarlet!

“Kiss From A Rose”



What’s crazier than Dr. Gregory House making an album? The fact that it’s not half bad. Actually, it’s really very good. Hugh Laurie is beginning to prove himself the exception to every rule. Celebrity/musician crossovers have a tendency to be…well…terrible to say the least. William Shatner, anyone? Also, an English guy doing the blues. There must be an embarrassingly short list of nominees in that category, because the only other two that come to mind are Eric Clapton and John Mayall.

We’ve caught a glimpse of his musical history in a handful of House episodes, but it’s taken him this long to actually release his first full-length album, Let Them Talk, released earlier this month. Granted, he does have a pretty impressive cast of characters including Tom Jones, Irma Thomas, Dr. John, Kevin Breit, Vincent Henry, and Allen Toussaint, but Laurie is the man with the plan on piano and main vocals.

Laurie’s homage to New Orleans is a serious foray into music, despite the atypical environs. Most celebrities take their fame status to the bank, expecting their name to sell albums, but with Let Them Talk, it’s easy to forget that this is House we’re talking about. Knight status having, boat rowing, classic comedian House. His renditions of classic blues songs like “St. James Infirmary”, “After You’ve Gone” and “They’re Red Hot” never feel forced. It’s almost shameful how well a white, English guy sings the blues. In fact, Laurie himself muses in the liner notes, “I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s. I’ve never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. No gypsy woman said anything to my mother when I was born and there’s no hellhound on my trail, as far as I can judge. Let this record show that I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American south.” At least he admits it.

This is an better blues album than I could even hope to find in 2011, proving that recollective and universal themes in myth and music will never be out of style. I also love how this album seems to be purely for Laurie’s sake. I’m sure he’s not hurting in the financial department, reportedly making $400,000 PER EPISODE for the hit series on Fox. It’s simply Hugh Laurie doing what he likes to do and possibly bringing a few old names back into the spotlight.

As for the album itself…quite frankly, I love it. The piano is simply phenomenal and you really can’t beat Allen Toussaint for a string arrangement. Laurie’s voice ranges from a raspy, sombre timbre to him just plain old having fun (you can almost SEE the House-like smirk on his face in a few of them).

This is an earnest, genuine, honest-to-god blues album from an Englishman. And an actor. What could have been a laughable mishap ended up being what I’m finding the be my favorite album of the year so far. It even gets an A.

You can check out all the latest news of Laurie’s blues ventures on his site, the Twitter, the Facebook, or his Myspace. You can also check out this video (hooray for Jools Holland!). Happy hump day, everyone!

“You Don’t Know My Mind”



{May 27, 2011}   Lady Gaga – Born This Way

I’ve spent the last five days pretty much listening to Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way, non-stop (with just a little bit of Fitz and the Tantrums thrown in…I know, weird mix, shut up). Anyway, The mere fact that it’s gone through so many listenings is a good sign, but I must admit that there are a few songs that I skip over. I did this with The Fame Monster, too, in the beginning, but that didn’t make me any less than a fan. I’m sure those few tracks will grow on me eventually, because they always do. It’s simply the power of Gaga.

I was beginning to wonder how many songs she was actually going to release before this album came out, because it was getting a little bit ridiculous. If you take the plain edition of the album, there’s only 14 tracks and she released at least four (five if you count “You and I”, also what’s up with the umlaut on that one? There’s supposed to be one). Granted, the deluxe edition has 17 plus five remixes, but still.

Only once I listened to the album did I really get it, and it was a great marketing scheme. People always buy that album for that song that they heard on the radio. Well, you’ve already heard (and most likely enjoyed) about a third of the album, so why not just buy it? Also, that whole Amazon/$1.00 thing really helped out, too. That dollar goes a hell of a long way when you consider the fact that this album is projected to sell 800,000 copies.

We expect Gaga to be (and this has become my new favorite word) “a weirdy”, but she’s really gone all out on this one. I mean, have you seen the video for “Born This Way”? If not, check it out. There is not enough LSD in the world to make that video “normal”. David Bowie would be proud. While previous albums were all about disco sticks, gettin’ drunk, and generally being fabulous, she’s gone off on an entirely different tangent. This time it’s religion and I still can’t tell if she’s genuinely into this whole religious thing or if she’s just being facetious. In one way, you have the uplifting, eponymous, anthem, but then you have songs like “Black Jesus/Amen Fashion”. She’s been going in this direction for a while, with the whole “Mother Monster”/”Little Monsters” situation and even with the Haus of Gaga, in a sense. Lady Gaga is no longer just a musician, she’s a brand, an entity. It’s easy to forget that this album entailed the assistance of 60+ people.

Even when speaking about the album in an interview with the BBC’s Newsbeat Gaga stated, “It’s finished and all, it’s just fine-tuning everything. It’s kind of like the post-operative stage of the album. I’ve already done the full heart surgery. I’m just sewing myself back up again. I think that lyrically this album is more poetic. It’s really written by the fans, they really wrote it for me because every night they’re funneling so much into me. So I wrote it for them. Born This Way is all about my little monsters and me, mother monster.”

Perhaps I’ve thought far too deeply about a pop album. That’s also quite possible. Apparently other people get this, too, though. From the EW review:

“The gospel of Gaga, as told in Born This Way, goes something like this: Humanity will be damned by its own self-doubt until Gaga the Savior delivers us with the might of her music. On the album’s first two singles, the messianic “Born This Way” and “Judas,” our muffin-bluffin’ Lady of yore is reborn as an earnest dance-party evangelist, retaining the beats but trading in her disco stick for a splinter of the Cross.”

Hilaaaaaaaaaaaarious.

In addition to that reoccurring theme, though, Born This Way is just as much about equality…in religion, freedom, sexuality, race, and pretty much anything else. Kind of an All American ideal over a euro-dance beat. Oh, and don’t forget the slutty parts like “Put your hands on me, John F. Kennedy” in “Government Hooker” or “I want your whiskey mouth all over my blond south” in “Heavy Metal Lover”. In a world of standard, radio-friendly pop hits, Gaga’s imagination is a welcome change.

The vast majority of the album is very good. “Marry the Night”, reportedly an homage to her love of New York opens the door to a fantastic pop album. Perhaps not the “album of the decade” like Lady Gaga promised, but pretty damn fun none the less. Minus the weird, diva-like aria at the beginning, I’m also really digging “Government Hooker”. Something about this song makes me think of a female Tim Armstrong. Maybe it’s her weird ass, almost drunk sounding “chorus”. That is a distinct possibility. For as weird as this song is, I can’t stop loving it. The perils of going Gaga, I suppose. It’s got a pretty fun, late 80’s inspired goth hook though, which also has elements present in “Highway Unicorn (Road 2 Love)”. Alright, I just want to stop to mention that that’s a ridiculous fucking song title. Gaga has managed to make everyone love her, from pre-teens, to teens, to twenty and thirty something party chicks to frat boys, to soccer moms to everyman. No everyman is going to be caught dead listening to a song called “Highway Unicorn”, okay? Other than that, it’s actually a pretty badass song.

The song that has really just fucked the shit out of my ears, though, is “Scheiße”. Gaga goes straight up German Hardcore. Well actually, she doesn’t speak German, but she will if you want her to, and in her own brand of quasi-fantasy German. That doesn’t make it any less hot, though.

Songs that I’ve been skipping are “Americano”, an in your face knock-off of “Alejandro”, except in female form, “Hair”, disappointingly self-explanatory, and “The Queen”…just can’t get into that one. This does not mean they won’t grown on me. Chances are they will in just the same way that “Dancing in the Dark” and “Monster” did.

All in all, I can admit that I expected more from Gaga, but I hold her to pretty high standards. At this point, I feel like this album is already over. With all the pre-releases, it’s like we’ve all been listening to this album for a year. Now, it has me eagerly awaiting her next, strange adventure. It still gets an A, but in the lower percentages. You can check it out for yourself, streaming for free on her Myspace.

Have some videos and a great holiday weekend, everybody!

“Scheiße”

“Government Hooker”

“Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)”



You guys! The new Lady Gaga album is available for digital download on Amazon today for NINETY NINE CENTS!

Go get that shit! And while you’re at it, go thank BNac for letting me know about it!

Click below for the link. Happy Monday!



{May 19, 2011}   Rapture? Bring it.

Buh-bye, Earth.

So, in case you haven’t heard, the end of the world starts on Saturday, May 21, 2011. I hate to break it to you, but I already RSVP-ed “Yes, I’m Attending” for 2013 on Facebook. I have prior obligations, Harold Camping! From Yahoo! News:

“Harold Camping, a Christian broadcaster from California, has ascertained the exact date of Doomsday. It is this Saturday, May 21. Five months of torment for the unbelievers will be ushered in, with the universe ending Oct. 21.

Apparently the Elect will be caught up in the Rapture on Saturday, leaving the rest of us sinners to face the music. Camping apparently did not draw the date out of his, er, hat, but rather has developed actual math to support it. According to MSNBC:

“He believes Christ was crucified on April 1, 33 A.D., exactly 722,500 days before May 21, 2011. That number, 722,500, is the square of 5 x 10 x 17. In Camping’s numerological system, 5 represents atonement, 10 means completeness, and seventeen means heaven.”

Camping’s system is not perfect. He had previously predicted the date of Doomsday as being Sept. 6, 1994. The date came and went without the Rapture happening and without the Tribulation descending upon the Earth.

End of the world fads have been around at least since the birth of Christianity and are not necessarily confined to the religious. The religious, of course, believe that at some point that Book of Revelations will come to pass or that the 12 Imam will arrive. The effects are much the same thing, with the chosen Elect being spared the apocalypse and the rest being condemned to pain and torment. Of course there is also the Mayan inspired idea that the world is going to end in 2012, which further inspired a special effects packed movie.

Secular people get into the fun of predicting the end of the world by darkly pointing to nuclear war, over population, environmental holocaust, world-wide plague, the super volcano, an asteroid strike, or the potential presidency of Sarah Palin.

Camping is one of those rare, bold folks to affix a day and date to the end of the world. There have been people like that in history. They have all wound up confused and wondering what happened (or didn’t happen.) Camping has already experienced this in the wake of his failed 1994 prediction. One suspects that he will be disappointed again.

But, just in case, I think I will have some much needed fun Friday night. One never knows.”

In honor of this spectacular occasion, I’m gonna have myself a little shindig. What better reason to make home made pizza, throw back some beers, and kick some ass in Soul Calibur on my new PS3?

And like any good party, it needs a playlist….
Here’s the start of the official Rapture Party Playlist, so far (pretty upbeat, no?):

    1. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
    2. Until the End of the World – Apoptygma Berserk
    3. Farewell Ride – Beck
    4. Imagine – John Lennon
    5. I Will Survive – Cake
    6. Say Goodbye – Reel Big Fish
    7. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
    8. Sons and Daughters – The Decemberists
    9. The End – The Doors
    10. Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
    11. Get Happy – Erin McKeown
    12. If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly
    13. As Heaven Is Wide – Garbage
    14. Last Living Souls – Gorillaz
    15. Like A Prayer – Phil Turkas
    16. In The End – Green Day
    17. La Petite Mort – Erin McKeown
    18. Devil’s Haircut – Beck
    19. Meteor – The Bird and the Bee
    20. Rapture – Blondie
    21. Sing You Sinners – Erin McKeown
    22. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
    23. Motor – Cake
    24. Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding – Less Than Jake
    25. True Believers – The Bouncing Souls
    26. Lights Go Out – Jupiter One
    27. Will The Revolution Come? – Reel Big Fish
    28. They Can’t Save Us Now – Kill Hannah
    29. Disco Heaven – Lady Gaga
    30. Personal Jesus – Marilyn Manson
    31. Lose It (In the End) – Mark Ronson
    32. Dead Souls – Nine Inch Nails
    33. Dinosaurs Will Die – NOFX
    34. God – Tori Amos
    35. No Sign of Life – OK Go
    36. It’s A Sin – Pet Shop Boys
    37. Holdin’ on Together – Phoenix
    38. First Day – Placebo
    39. It’s the End of the World As We Know It – REM
    40. Heaven in A Place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle (Happy Hardcore Mix)
    41. So Long, Farewell – The Vandals
    42. Closing Time – Semisonic
    43. The Rapture – Siouxie and the Banshees
    44. Last One Out of Liberty City – Less Than Jake
    45. Last Girl on Earth – Supreme Beings of Leisure
    46. Women and Men – They Might Be Giants
    47. Whatever Gets You Through the Night – John Lennon
    48. Stairway to Heaven – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
    49. The End of the World – The Cure
    50. Thank You, Lord, For Sending Me the F Train – Mike Doughty
    51. Thank God – Mindless Self Indulgence
    52. Judas – Lady Gaga
    53. In The Hands of Gods – Morcheeba
    54. We Will Become Silhouettes – The Postal Service
    55. The Wars End – Rancid
    56. The Likes of You Again – Flogging Molly
    57. Happy Phantom – Tori Amos
    58. Talkin’ ‘Bout A Revolution – Reel Big Fish
    59. Leaving On A Jet Plane – Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
    60. People That Are Going to Hell – The Vandals
    61. The Devil is Bad – The W’s
    62. Comfort Eagle – Cake
    63. Living Hell – Morcheeba
    64. We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel
    65. From the End of the World – Electric Light Orchestra
    66. Party at the End of the World – Jimmy Buffett
    67. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
    68. How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox 20
    69. Sprit In the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
    70. The End of the World – Zombina and the Skeletones
    71. Long Hard Road Out of Hell – Marilyn Manson
    72. Heresy – Nine Inch Nails
    73. Calamity Song – The Decemberists
    74. Happy Death Day – Alien Ant Farm
    75. The Sign – Ace of Base
    76. Instant Karma – John Lennon
    77. Volcano – Jupiter One
    78. Best Wishes to Your Black Lung – Less Than Jake
    79. Earthquake Weather – Beck
    80. For Tomorrow – Blur
    81. The End – The Beatles
    82. Sudden Death in Carolina – Brand New

So, what is everyone doing for the rapture? Inquiring minds want to know! Leave it in the comments.



Two things that I love include pop music and Canadians. Amy Heffernan has ’em both. The Canadian radio darling has just released her second album, Friggin’ Little Know It All and it’s a mix of everything I love and hate about pop music and female vocalists in general. Some of the songs are right at that “mediocre” level, but there’s this cluster of pure pop gold in the middle of the album that completely makes you forget about that sub-par song that you just heard two tracks ago.

From the press release:

“Amy Heffernan has never doubted music is what she was born to do. From the moment she saw the video for the No Doubt’s “Just A Girl,” she declared “That’s it – that’s what I want to do!” Years later, she is living out her childhood dream.

After receiving a 10K20 Grant from Rawlco Radio, Amy began work on her second full-length album, Friggin’ Little Know It All in late 2010 along with her brother Doug Heffernan and writing partners Steve Giles and Cal Curtis. [Released on] May 3, 2011, the album features everything from party anthems like “Friggin’ Little Know It All” and “Crap” to upbeat love confessions in songs like “Perfect” and the Boney M cover “Rasputin”. The spunky first single “Dance Ourselves Sober” is already making waves at radio.

Starting out as a drummer and touring North America with Juno-nominated artist Janelle, Amy then packed her gear, left her oil city home, Fort McMurray, AB, and headed south to Los Angeles to team up with her older brother, Doug.

“My debut EP is my baby, but it’s way too serious,” Amy explains. “I can be serious, but not ALL the time”. Amy immersed herself in the music scene of L.A. going to as many clubs to watch as many different acts as she could. Steering away from the typical singer/songwriter artists, she and went to watch such acts as Lady Gaga, Robyn and Juliet and The Romantiques.

The music industry got their real first taste of this emerging pop artist in spring 2010 when Amy was invited to perform at Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Ontario, catching the attention of several label, music and radio tastemaskers. Canadian radio responded immediately to the infectious single “Being Awesome” and its follow-up “Dance Ourselves Sober,” building momentum on playlists from coast-to-coast.”

As for the album itself, you have tracks like “Friggin’ Little Know It All”, a No doubt flavored tune with the anger of Liz Phair and the syncopation of Fiona Apple along side songs like “Perfect”, an infectiously catchy tune (seriously found myself singing along after two listenings) easily from the end credits of a teenage rom-com, next to songs like karaoke anthem, “Being Awesome”. All three of those are definitely “singing in the shower” worthy.

But, then you have some tracks that, while not entirely falling flat, have just been done to death already like “Dance Ourselves Sober”, a slightly cleaner version of Lady Gaga‘s “Just Dance” and “Creepin’ Me Out”, a younger man’s version of Ke$ha‘s “D.I.N.O.S.A.U.R.”.

I’ve been hearing a lot of “Pink” thrown around while referencing this album, and I’m just not hearing it. I think more “Shakira” (though I do not know the status of Amy Heffernan’s hips). She’s got a unique inflection that is certainly not for everyone’s tastes, but happens to be for mine.

Heffernan seriously has so much potential and I’ve been trying to keep in mind the fact that this is only her second album. It’s right around that high C, low B range, but because the she has the potential to be super ultra awesome, she gets a B. She’s definitely one to watch out for, though. Check out some of the tracks below and you can find out for yourself. You can also find out more about Amy on her Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter.

“Perfect” (Oh yeah, did I forgot to mention how adorable she is, too!? I guess I did.)

“Being Awesome”

“Friggin’ Little Know It All”



Sometimes it amazes me how much I genuinely enjoy Dave Grohl considering the amount of hatred I have for Nirvana. In fact, I think you should see this, right now.

Alright, now that that’s done, Foo Fighters have yet another album, Wasting Light, making a grand total of seven full length albums in sixteen years. It’s almost impossible to keep tabs on these guys anymore, they’ve got so much going on. You have Dave Grohl with the whole Them Crooked Vultures thing in addition to helping out Slash on his self-titled album, making cameos on tour with Tenacious D, and hanging out with Paul McCartney. Then there’s the rest of the band reportedly getting back with Sunny Day Real Estate (Nate Mendel), making their own home-style side projects (Chris Shiflett), and doing MORE stuff with Slash (Taylor Hawkins), you wonder how these guys have time to sleep, much less make new albums and tour.

Well, however they do it, the seasoned veterans of rock have managed to crank out another solid album. By far the heaviest that I’ve heard from the guys, it’s a full 180 from Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace. While ESPG was made of the stuff that sells out Wembley, it seems that the Fighters have made an album that they wanted to make.

A throw back to the early days, Wasting Light could have just as easily come out in 1994. Produced by Butch Vig (Nirvana’s Nevermind) with a surprise appearance by Krist Novoselic and the full-fledged return of Pat Smear, I feel like I should be looking for my old flannels and Docs somewhere. Also incredible, is the fact that after all of these years and all of that hard work, this is the FIRST Foo Fighters album to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200. Crazy, right? It’s about time, though, the boys deserve it.

As for the album itself, this isn’t the Foo Fighters that you hear on the radio. Opening with the guttural growl of Grohl on “Bridge Burning”, you don’t get a break until track ten, “I Should Have Known”, with it’s Kings of Leon-esque vibe. You also get tracks like the beautiful “Arlandia”, a haunting and melodic nursery rhyme side by side (literally) with tracks like “White Limo”, another heavy track with a little help from Motorhead’s Lemmy. Perhaps a gift to the fans of the old Probot days? It certainly sounds like it. While I hate to admit it, the first single “Rope”, is my favorite song so far. What can I say? I love Dave Grohl’s voice and this is the highlight of it on this album. It also has just the right amount of pop-song catchiness, without being overdone.

While most rock bands would have at least plateaued (if not dive bombed) by this point, Foo Fighters are still out there making consistently good records, which gives me hope for music in general. This album is downright satisfying. It’s everything a quintessential rock album should be, so it gets a resounding A from me. Check it out for yourself…it’s streaming for free on their Myspace now. You can also check out their site, Facebook, or Twitter for more news.

“Rope (Deadmau5 Remix)”



Man, I got this album a little after it came out last year, and totally forgot about it until a well-timed reminder from Mikey Shanley.

Fitz and the Tantrum’s debut album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces came out most likely when I was hardcore hooked on something else (Decemberists? Two Door Cinema Club?) and unfortunately, fell by the wayside. Lucky for them, the new releases right now are substantially lacking and I need some new tunes.

For this album, founder Michael Fitzpatrick enlisted friend James King and The Rebirth’s Noelle Scaggs (you might also know her from Dilated Peoples or the Black Eyed Peas) as well as Joseph Karnes, Jeremy Ruzumna, and John Wicks. Recorded in Fitzpatrick’s living room on a second (or third or fourth) hand organ, Pickin’ Up the Pieces is on the right side of the fine line that is neo-soul (see: Honeycut). They don’t sound like their trying too hard (see: Maroon Five) and it really works out for them. Don’t get me wrong, I kind of have a shameful love for Maroon Five, but there’s a good chance that’s because they’re soooo hokey. It’s fun, but I’d never be able to take them seriously.

Also awesome, is their selection of instrumentation. Mostly, the absolute absence of a guitar. Anywhere. There’s organ, saxophone, flute, Scagg’s voice  (which I’m going to include as an instrument, because it’s that utterly awesome) but not a single strum of a guitar. Despite that, there’s certainly no lack of full sound anywhere to be had on this album.  It comes off like actual 60’s B-sides, not cheap knock offs. Seriously, check out the video for “Breakin’ the Chains of Love” below. Crazy!

And what can I say? The likelyhood of this album putting you in a good mood on a dreary, Monday, Pittsburgh morning? Pretty good. A.

You can check out more of their stuff on their site, Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Money Grabber”

“Breakin’ the Chains of Love”



et cetera
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