Category Archives: music

The Benjy Davis Project “Still Sweet”

Over the weekend a few friends and I headed to Charlotte, NC for a much needed reprieve from NYC. While there, we checked out a pretty sweet roster of singer-song writers at The Evening Muse in downtown Charlotte. Among the performers was The Benjy Davis Project, led by, Benjy Davis (go figure!).

You can check out the full recap of The Benjy Davis Project set as well as Tony Lucca’s (love this man!) at my music site: The Round Table. But, I wanted to share that I picked up the group’s latest cd, Dust, at the show and I’m obsessed with it, especially this one song called “Still Sweet.” Why you ask? Well, because of this perfect little verse:

Just because we had some good times, doesn’t mean I miss them
I’ve been seeing blue skies every day
But I guess the truth of the matter is that I’ve been madder at you than you’ve been at me
I’m still bitter
And you’re still sweet

Um… can we say perfection? Well, almost perfect, I can’t say that you’re “still sweet,” but I’m most definitely still bitter. Listen to the full track below.

Kelly Clarkson to Perez Hilton: STFU

I don’t condone violence at all — but the Perez Hilton/Will i. am incident is ridiculous. Feel free to read my full take at The Round Table, but for those just interested in seeing what Kelly had to say check the video below. Perez talk starts around 3:40 mark — be sure to keep watching until 4:49 mark when interviewer tells Kelly that Perez was actually crying on their talk show. Kelly’s reaction is classic.

All I have to say is — Perez, if Kelly Clarkson, quite possibly the nicest celeb on the planet is talking smack, you definitely made some enemies in the entertainment world.

Social Media = Two Way Communication…

The bulk of my days consist of brainstorming ideas for clients on how they can use social media to engage their consumers. Those brainstorms then turn into proposals, some of which get passed through, while others fall by the wayside. Though it can be a pretty frustrating job, ideation without promise of creation, there’s a certain level of satisfaction that comes from having pretty candid conversations with clients about how to or in some cases how not to engage with social media. The one piece of advice that I can’t stress enough is – don’t half ass it – of course, put in a more gentler way. 

Consumers aren’t stupid. For years they’ve been bombarded with one size fits all messages that are pushed their way in traditional mediums, but today they know exactly how to tune them out. Better yet, they know how to get the ear of brands, which was unheard of quite a few years back. If you’re going to play in the “social media” world, whether you’re a major consumer brand or an indie musician, there needs to be a level of authenticity. 

Yes, at the end of the day, there are marketing objectives behind using social media tools, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be honest. Don’t just let your customers or fans (in the case of musicians) hear your voice or be privy to “exclusive” content – but be aware of the conversation going on around you or in most cases about you. It’s simply not enough to just read comments or blast out twitter messages to the masses. So what if you have a myspace page, facebook page, or even a YouTube channel. You may gain a few followers here or there, but how are you sustaining that following? 

By using social media but not engaging in two-way conversations with your followers you’re stating two things:

1) their opinions don’t matter

2) you’re jumping on the bandwagon.

Consumer brands, with the help of public relations and marketing professionals, are realizing that they can’t just play in the social media space just to be there. They realize it’s not all fun and games, that the online space can quickly become a very unsociable place. However, if done properly, they can reach consumers in ways never before possible and create unique user experiences that have powerful, long lasting effects. Same goes for musicians, especially indie musicians who are at a distinct advantage over major label artists since they are in complete control of their content and in essence their brand. So, are you using social media the way it was intended?



Losing You…

There are times when someone’s already said everything you’ve been meaning to say. This is one of those times. Listen to Ashley Arrison’s “Losing You.” Watch it…think about it….then read the lyrics if there’s still any confusion.

“Losing You” by Ashley Arrison

I tried right for so long

But you, you had to have me for your own

I can’t lie, I let you in

But you threw me back again

It’s in your eyes

It’s on your lips

I’m losing you, I’m losing you

It’s in the way we don’t exist

I’m losing you

You said “everything would go our way if we just communitcate”

But don’t lie, you never tried

Is she the reason why?

It’s in your eyes 

It’s on your lips

I’m losing you, losing you

It’s in the way we don’t exist

All my fears are coming true

It’s in the way you say my name

I’m losing you, I’m losing you

Was it all a stupid game?

I’m losing you

You let me slip away

Was I your great escape?

I guess I never really had you in the first place

It’s in your eyes

It’s on your lips

I’m losing you, I’m losing you

It’s in the way we don’t exist

I’m losing you

It’s in the way you touch my skin

I’ll never know how you pulled me in

It’s in the way you say my name

I’m losing you.

 

Keri Hilson Covers Kelly Clarkson’s SUBG…

Keri Hilson tends to be a “watercooler” topic for me and my buddy Opaul to discuss at The Round Table. Basically, it boils down to both of us wanting more from Keri and for her not to fall into what we affectionately call the “Christina Milian trap.”

The Christina Milian trap is essentially being pigeon-holed into a songwriter who gives all her hot tracks to other female performers and blow up their status. Keri Hilson is definitely going down this track as of late — which is sad because I had such high hopes for her after catching her during Justin Timberlake’s FSLS tour. During the show’s intermission, Timbaland had Keri cover current hits of the moment, including Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You Been Gone” aka SUBG.

Now, SUBG was covered by everyone from Robyn, The Gossip, Ted Leo, and even The Aquabats, but what set Keri’s rendition apart was the subtle R&B touch. The beat is pretty generic, standard Timbaland fare, but it works. Peep Keri’s version below. In the meantime, I’ll take some solace in that Keri’s starting to release moderately good tunes in “Knock You Down” and “Turnin Me On” (remix), but I’m still waiting on her to full on SING a damn track vs. relying on catchy beats to do the talking.

RT: Jimmy Eat World Gets Social

My buddy Luke Armour has written an amazing guest post at The Round Table about Jimmy Eat World integrating social media with their music to engage music fans. Here’s a taste…

A while ago I “became a fan” of Jimmy Eat World on Facebook, which, for many fan sites means absolutely nothing. But Jimmy Eat World actually uses it. The most recent updates focused on the 10th anniversary celebration of their classic album Clarity. For 10 one-time-only shows beginning February 23 in New York City and concluding March 7 in the band’s native Arizona, they played the album in its entirety. What a great way to point out to new fans that you have older stuff worth paying attention to. And the buzz was great, the shows sold out right quick.

Once I realized they were actually talking to me, the fan, it wasn’t long before I started paying attention to them elsewhere. I started following them on Twitter, which, again, for many Twitter accounts means absolutely nothing – except maybe knowing what Jim had for breakfast [yawn]. But this was entertaining, interesting and – as it turns out -informative. I saw this tweet one day:

catch @jimmyeatworld clarity rehearsal live on @ustream this thursday at 1:30 az time

…. be sure to read the rest of the post at The Round Table.

Mike Bones: Stolen from The Edgitator…

I can’t take credit for this brilliance – it’s all The Edgitator. Though he gave me permission to re-post his write-up, I encourage you to visit/subscribe to his site. Trust, you’ll thank me later. Without further ado….


Mike Bones, a New York native, is taking a tip from the Kings of Leon Rule Book: Break big in the UK and in time you’ll see the benefits spread in the states.  I’m hoping.

His debut single from his sophomore album, “What I Have Left”, has the UK pubs and blogs raging about the track’s orchestral build-up, hopeless and despairing lyrics, and Bones’ natural talent on guitar and vocals – it’s the Doves meets the Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony, but it’s a one-man show.  Still a little too indie-sounding to hit mainstream, but really, those are the gems that are worth a listen.

“I could marry you with what I have left – but I’m certain you’ll do better on your own…”

“I could leave you with what I have left – would you prefer hatred or bitterness?”