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Open Letter to Kings of Leon

February 24, 2009

Dear Fella’s:

I would like to preface what I am about to say with the following; everything I write about is all in jest and I have the utmost respect for you as musician. It really is all about the quality and originality of the music you produce and by no means has anything to do with Nathan and his charming sense of humor, blue eyes, black wavy hair, tight jeans, sexy lips, square jaw or hairy chest. I am just trying to share my appreciation for your talent and the man…. I mean “the band.”

In the past several months I have been writing these darling little tales about you and my love for your music and have developed a bit of my own fan base. I thank you for being an inspiration to me and letting me ride on your coattails, but there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Every day I check my blog activity; I write for a few online sites and keeping up with the stats is all a part of a days work as I’m sure you are well aware. One issue I have come across is the huge majority of people who want to know how tall you are. Seriously, 9 out of 10 search engine results that bring me the most traffic is “How tall is Nathan, Caleb, Jared, Matthew…Nathan,” basically after the word “tall” just insert your favorite Followill….hmmm… what?!…oh.

Guys, come on! This is very important stuff the world wants to know. It is seriously the #1 search followed by Caleb Followill + Drugs, Caleb Followill + alcohol, Caleb Followill + Sex, Caleb Followill + STDs, and Caleb Followill + asshole (I’m sorry Caleb, that is really what they search for but I figure its all the HAer’s jealous boyfriends and maybe your brothers). Listen, you don’t have to write me back, just put the info in your wikipedia bio. I’m willing to sacrifice the blog hits for the inquiring minds.

And people just to give a guesstimate, I figure Caleb is probably about 6’2, so the other guys are a probably anywhere between 5’11 to 6’0. I think Nacho is probably the only short one which makes me think he may very well be a Roloff and not a Followill. Anyway, if you could do us all a solid and let us know that would be great…shoe size would be nice too….Nate, 13-14? Am I right??

Thanks,
hugs and kisses with tongue

Christina

This just in: I have it on good authority that Caleb Followill is actually 4’9″ those are some mighty high heels he wears to make up the difference.

very cheeky!

For a city that’s known for its artery clogging cheese steaks, snowball attacks on Santa and one too many movies on aging boxers, we can proudly add excellent indie musicians to that list. Don’t get me wrong, I die for our cheese steaks and our tough guy persona but it’s nice to see we have some bohemian in us as well.

Philly’s own Rachael Yamagata, Andrew Lipke, and Matt Duke put on an excellent show for a great cause. WXPN’s Musicians On Call is a non-profit organization that brings live music to the bedsides of patients through weekly programs at area hospitals. XPN is a member-supported radio from the University of Pennsylvania. The concert was held at the stations own World Café Live facilities located on Penn’s campus.

Due to a photo pass mishap, I am sad to say I missed Matt Duke’s performance. I can only go by the overheard word, but the buzz around the lobby (as I waited for the powers that be figure out who messed up) seemed to be excellent for the up and coming local artist.

Luckily, the mayhem settled and I was able to catch all of Andrew Lipke’s performance. This young fella’s latest album, Motherpearl and Dynamite, has been getting more and more play on my IPod and his performance last night has me setting it on repeat. A mix of Jeff Buckley falsetto moments mixed with a generous portion of hard rock makes an excellent recipe for a great live performance. What more could a girl ask for.

Andrew’s band mates include; Joe DiVita on Bass/Vocals, Krista Nielsen on Cello/Keyboard/Vocals, Dave Perrin on Drums/Keyboard, and Joe Vasile on Guitar.  Krista’s cello performance on Get It Over With, turned this simple melody with catchy lyrics into a unique experience for the audience. She works that thing like a… Stradivarius?

Hearing Mind Games live definitely was the catapult for my new obsession. Although, the World Café live is an excellent venue, this song begs to be played in a stadium setting. I want to hear more songs like that from this man. Sadly, 30 minutes is way too short for an Andrew Lipke experience but I can say without a doubt Andrew and his band did not disappoint.

After a short video about Musicians On Call, Rachael Yamagata took the stage looking adorable with her variation on a Princess Leia hairdo. It’s hard to believe this petite beauty has a voice that delivers the type of sound that could rattle the rafters but I definitely felt the rumble.

My first thoughts were are there any instruments she can’t play? She effortlessly glided from piano, to electric guitar and acoustic guitar. At one point I could have sworn I saw her heading for the drum kit, but I was mistaken.

Rachael played a healthy portion of songs from her latest album Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart, and her previous album Happenstance. The first song out of the gate was Elephant, a lyrically beautiful song and a perfect start to a progressively superb set. I was happy to hear some of my choice favorites including Faster and Worn Me Down.

Her performance was interspersed with stories of her new found love for the Eagles (a requirement to live in this city), her emotional reaction to our newly appointed President and her regrets for wearing pants that were too tight. The crowd was clearly there for her and graciously laughed at her tales and swayed to her music.

Although, the evening did not look promising to start, it was well worth the effort. Each musician gave a stellar performance and all for a worthy cause. I look forward to seeing what these hometown rockers bring to the table in the future. No doubt something that will make their Philly family proud.

Top 10 Favorite Grrl Rockers

February 14, 2009

grlrockers

  1. 1. Chrissie Hynde – The Pretenders – Guitarist – Lead Singer
  2. Chrissie can do no wrong in my eyes. Regardless of the Sid Vicious years, she is the quintessential female Rock Star. Not too Joan Jett and not to Joni Mitchell; somewhere in the middle. I saw an interview where she said KOL made her interested in music again. I hope they know how huge that is.
  3. 2. Lucinda Williams – Singer – Guitar
  4. If I were to explain her in one word it would be ICON…. She has kind of been under the radar but has a steady stream of good work in her music catalog. This I am finding out now and I wish I caught on sooner; it would have been a fun ride to see her evolve. The minute I heard “Honey Bee” I was sold. Seriously, that song makes me want to dance around and pour honey all over myself (but then the reality of it snaps me out of it…STICKY).
  5. 3. Beth Gibbons – Portishead – Lead Singer
  6. A unique talent with a voice that sounds tortured and beautiful at the same time. One of my all time favorite albums is “Live at Roseland NYC.” I haven’t gotten there new album yet but I definitely will.
  7. 4. Elizabeth Fraser – Cocteau Twins – Lead Singer
  8. I’m convinced this is the music you hear on your way up to heaven; all cottony clouds and rainbows. The names of the songs are cavity causing. I love the idea of using a string of random words that sound pretty together yet have no meaning behind them. Basically they are using the words as an instrument; what a lovely concept. Fraser has the perfect voice to pull this off.
  9. 5. Debbie Harry – Blondie – Lead Singer
  10. Please!…cool, sexy, beautiful, what more do you need. I met her at Irving Plaza and she was so unassuming and pleasant; it always makes me happy when they are NOT Diva’s. If you think about it that kind of attitude will only leave you disconnected from your audience and the real world. How can you remain a good artist if you’re not in touch?
  11. 6. Siouxsie Sioux – Siouxsie and the Banshees – Lead Singer
  12. The ultimate 80’s Punk Rock artist. Along with The Cult, Siouxsie and the Banshees were a big part of my summer soundtrack a few years back. My exploration of everything Punk and everything 80’s and it had to be hard Punk Rock. That same summer I realized The Sex Pistols were a crock of shit and fell in love with The New York Dolls (RIP Arthur), The Ramones, and The Replacements.
  13. 7. Kim Gordon – Sonic Youth – Free Kitten – Bass and Guitar
  14. I just love girl guitarists. I saw Sonic Youth at a small venue in NYC and met her at an after party Again, very humble and soft spoken which always impresses me. She is just an all around inspiring woman. Musician, Mom, Fashion Designer and, oh yeah…Rock Star!
  15. 8. Margo Timmons Cowboy Junkies – Vocals
  16. I love the Cowboy Junkies. Their music is so beautiful. If you’re into covers they have an awesome selection: Blue Moon, Sweet Jane, Rake, and my all time favorite Powderfinger. I also love it when women sing men parts and men sing women parts. I don’t know why, I guess it’s sexy to me. Having said that, check out James by Huffamoose.
  17. 9. Kristin HershThrowing Muses – 50 Foot Wave – Guitar – Vocals
  18. Throwing Muses had me at many a concert venue in the 90’s. Well more like bars with a stage. She is an excellent guitarist and Mom extraordinaire. I haven’t heard anything from her new band but I am a die-hard Throwing Muses fan.
  19. 10. Rachael Yamagata – Guitar – Piano – Vocals
  20. I first heard her when she did a duet with Rhett Miller called “Fireflies.” I just love her raspy voice and wanted to hear more from her. “Elephants-Teeth Sinking Into Heart,” is her new album and I wouldn’t hesitate getting it even if you’ve never heard a single song it is that good. I am a sucker for a good metaphor and the song “Elephants” is lyrically phenomenal. She is also now a Philly girl which adds to her fabulousity!
  21. Suggested Tracks

1. The Pretenders-Brass In Pocket

2. Lucinda Williams-Honey Bee

3. Portishead-Glory Box

4. Cocteau Twins-Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops

5. Blondie-Call Me

6. Siouxsie and the Banshees-Cities in Dust

7. Sonic Youth-Superstar

8. Cowboy Junkies-Powderfinger

9. Throwing Muses-Snakeface

10. Rachael Yamagata-Elephants

Please feel free to add to the comments with your own lists. I’m always up for being exposed to new artists.

Thanks for indulging my need to rant about everything music. Hopefully something here has either sparked your interest or entertained you on a topic you are well versed in already. Again this is just my humble opinion and if you don’t agree then clearly you must have horrible taste in music. ; )

By popular demand I added video’s to my suggested play list. Some are better then others but you get the gist.

Top 10 Fav Rocker Guys,

February 14, 2009

I am not gonna lie looks have a lot to do with some of the choices here. Superficial? Yes but i figure sex appeal makes up about 25% of a good rocker. The other 75% are the chops that make them musicians. My theory is the combination of the two creates a true Rock Star.

rock-stars41. Nathan Followill – Kings of Leon – Drummer

My favorite band at the moment is Kings of Leon and although I am not a percussion afficionado I know what I like and he sounds damn good to me. Of course there’s the guns, the eyes, the hair…I mean damn look at the dude. We don’t get a true sense of what he can do vocally through his back up and harmony contributions, but rumor has it he has some major pipes. I hope we hear more of that in the future. Maybe a little duet with his gal Jessie?

2.Caleb Followill – Kings of Leon – Rhythm Guitar, Lead Singer
All the boxes are filled on the Rock Star check list when it comes to Caleb (she said in her best Casey Kasem impression). For me its all about the voice. It’s so unique and I just love the way he uses it. Caleb’s voice is definitely his best instrument. His lyrics are really great. I love the metaphors and the slang…Guitar Go Get Her…OMG! And of course he’s a sweet piece of eye candy. I’m a sucker for tall skinny dudes (I miss the long hair though).

•••

3. Mick Jagger – Rolling Stones – Lead Singer

Oh Mick, I don’t know what it is? The energy? The hair? The ability to impregnate a woman while passing them by on the street? I don’t know but he’s like David Koresh or Charles Manson to me – I follow willingly.

•••

4. Jonny Greenwood – Radiohead – multi-instrumentalist

Radiohead is my all time favorite band. Jonny, in my opinion is the most talented and just a master at all things instrumental. He is so creative and original and clearly a well educated musician who is not afraid to push the boundaries.

•••

5. Robert Plant – Led Zepplin – Lead Singer

What a great voice this man has and incredibly sexy! I love watching the old videos of Led Zepplin in concert. “Kashmir” is my favorite song of theirs. The ultimate sex song, just put it on repeat and go at it.

•••

6. Keith Richards – Rolling Stones – Guitarist

The bad boy. I love the story of when he got pissing drunk and passed out, and when he woke up the next day he realized he recorded what would later become Sympathy for the Devil. About 3 bars were recorded and the rest of the tape was of him snoring. My other favorite story is how a magazine had voted him the most likely musician to die in the next year, and that was in the 1960’s. It really does amaze me he is still alive. Clearly he’s held together by spit and whiskey.

7. Jim James – My Morning Jacket – Lead Singer – Guitarist

Otherwise known as my boyfriend…in my head…I just love him. He goes against all my usual attractions but there’s something about him I find appealing. Maybe he just hits on that little part of me that’s intrigued by the warm and cuddly safe place guy. He looks like he’d be a good spooner. Oh yes, the music…that’s why we are here right? He rocks ’nuff said.

•••

8. Ian Astbury – The Cult – Lead Singer
Rain and She Sells Sanctuary; those are some awesome songs. Ian is holding up pretty well in his later years. I am kind of afraid to hear any of their new stuff though. I’d be heartbroken if it sucked.

•••

9. Jimmy Page – The Yardbirds – Led Zepplin – Guitarists

Just much respect for a talented musician. And of course, bad boy, sexy, drug addled, skinny…do I need to go any further with this?

•••

10. Justin Vernon – Bon Iver – Lead Singer – Multi-instrumentalist

I am going through a major Bon Iver obsession right now. They/he takes me to a very zen place. When I am feeling anxious he calms me. He’s like Xanax for the ears. I don’t advise taking Xanax and listening to Bon Iver at the same time; you run the risk of becoming a zombie.

Suggested Tracks

1. Kings of Leon – Fans

2. Kings of Leon – Black Thumbnail

3. Rolling Stones – Monkey Man

4. Led Zepplin – Kashmir

5. Radiohead –Talk Show Host

6. Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil

7. My Morning Jacket – I’m Amazed

8. The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary

9. The Yardbirds – Shapes of Things

10. Bon Iver – Re: Stacks

Driving to Work Play List

1. Bon Iver-Stacks

2. Lucinda Williams-Honey Bee

3. Marshall Tucker Band-Can’t You See

4. Gary Jules and Michael Andrew-Mad World

5. Throwing Muses-Snakeface

6. Elbow-Grounds for Divorce

7. Lo-Fidelity All Stars-Battle Flag

8. Rachael Yamagata-Elephants

9. Cowboy Junkies-Powderfinger

10. MGMT-Electric Feel

Philadelphia Musicians to check out.

1. Dr. Dog

2. Rachael Yamagata

3. Andrew Lipke

4. Matt Duke

This ain’t rocket science but I just love all things music and always look for a reason to write about the subject.  Please feel free to add to this list in the comments. I love to hear your opinions and welcome fresh music suggestions at all times. If you are on a groups street team, again feel free to share!

The Video’s have been added to my list of suggested songs. Caleb’s little ass wiggle at the end of Black Thumbnail has me rethinking my love for Nathan…..nah!!!!

Dear Caleb:
Honey, I just have one request and believe me I truly do love them. They are very cool and sexy. I have no doubt you take very good care of them. But darlin’, please. I mean they gotta be walking around the house at night by themselves at this point.
Don’t you think its time to retire the boots.

Seriously, haven’t you had them long enough?

fing-boots1
award

CALEB: “Thank you England! If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have been able to afford these awesome new Prada boots. I bought them over there in the UK, you know…where Italy is?”

NATHAN:”Shit, this says its the Brit Awards, I thought it was the Academy awards.”

CALEB TO JARED: “Do you think they can tell I just used a darker shoe polish?”

JARED: “Who gives a shit, where the fuck is MY mic? Heads are gonna role! Thank God I found that speech in my jacket pocket left over from the Grammy’s.”

NATHAN: “Thanks Mom and Dad! Love You! BYE (click, dialtone)!”

NATHAN: “Thank you God! Love you! BYE! (click, dialtone)!”

MATTHEW:

CALEB: “I think I feel the Spanish Inquisiton coming on again….uh oh”

NATHAN: “Damn, Caleb!!!!”

LILY: “All over your new shoes!”

JARED: “They still smell better then the other ones”

MATTHEW:

NATHAN: “So this isn’t the Oscars and we didn’t win for best Home Movies? When does the next People Magazine Sexiest Man Alive issue come out? I need to get a jump start on that campaign.”
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smanf
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new-boots1

Sweet Jesus they are hot!!!! The boots…and the boys!

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