A few weeks ago the crew at Damn Ugly Photography took the ‘L’ Train out to Williamsburg for an impromptu cover shoot with Chiara Angelicola…Bird Call to the rest of you. She needed a photo for her jazzy new single and I’ve been dying to shoot her for a while, so was certainly willing to help out. That single…The Ballad Of New York…came out this week and I’m giving you guys an exclusive first listen here. Her smokey & souful vocal, backed up by the cascading piano and the oh-so-sad wail of the saxophone give me goosebumps every time I play this song. She co-produced ‘Ballad’ with Noah Hoffeld, and it will be featured on the new album she’s recording now. Unlike most Songs of the Day, I’m only attaching the mp3 player and not the usual full-download link (you folks on iPads will likely have to fire up the old desktop computer to listen), ‘cuz after all, Chiara is 100% indie and needs to make a few bucks every once and a while…if I go giving everything away for free she’ll be stuck eating pork ‘n beans, so please, head on over to her website (where you can also pick up her two earlier EP’s, “The Animals Know” & “Other Creatures”) or iTunes and show her some love ($) by downloading there!
When you listen to The Hipstones, you get transported back to an era where jazzy horns, buttery guitar licks and smooth vocal harmonies ruled the day. Mark Palmer and Anthea White play off each other backed by a swirl of Steely Dan-like horn arrangements and the result is a loving wet kiss homage to 60’s soul and R&B. And next Monday, October 17th , they’ll be bringing the full 8 piece band…including a 3 piece horn section…for a special show (no door charge!) at the Rockwood Music Hall where they’re giving away an iPad 2 to the person who brings the most friends to the show! That’s right…you bring a bunch of your little pals out for a night of cool jazz and go home with an iPad! How do I get in on this deal, you ask? All you hafta do is pre-register a minimum of five (5) friends names and email addresses by 1:00PM Monday on the Hipstones Website and make sure they plant their asses in chairs at Rockwood for the show. Obviously, you wanna get as many of your friends as possible to turn up, but since the club only has 160 seats, your chances of walking away with a shiny new iPad are pretty good! So what are you waiting for?!! You can either drop them an E-mail or click HERE to enter, then jump over to their Facebook Page and hit the ‘LIKE’ button, and if ‘Spread It All Around’ makes you smile, you can pick up the album Dreamers on iTunes.
CBS Sunday Morning did a wonderfully moving profile this past week on Melody Gardot, a 24 year-old jazz singer from Philadelphia, but far better known in Paris where she is held in such high regard that her recent album, My One and Only Thrill, went double-platinum almost the second it was released! But they weren’t featuring her just because of her singing…no, the real story is how she fought back from a near-fatal accident where she was mowed down while riding her bike by a guy who ran a red light. She suffered serious head and spinal injuries and her pelvis was shattered in two places. As a result she was confined to her hospital bed for a year and had to remain lying on her back. The most noticeable effect of the injuries she suffered is that she was left hyper-sensitive to both light and sound and wears dark sunglasses at all times to shield her eyes. The accident also caused both long and short term memory problems and difficulty with her sense of time. As therapy, she began writing music…at first, she learned to hum but was eventually able to sing into a tape recorder. Making a verbal attempt to sing or hum apparently helped her brain form new neural pathways to take over for the ones damaged in the accident. All things considered, it’s a pretty amazing story. You should check her out on MySpace or on her website!