January 21, 2008
Review: One of my friends introduced me to this LA band called “Dry September.” You can visit their MySpace page here and download their music for free. You can also buy the entire CD here.
I love their music. Lead singer, David Tokaji, has a killer voice. The video below contains their original song, “Back to Birmingham.” There’s also a “One” cover video, but the audio is not as clear.
If you like the music, visit Dry September’s MySpace page (download the music for free) and email the link to your friends. Thanks!
November 2, 2007
I love this singer. Ingrid Michaelson, who is more of a presence on MySpace, is really fantastic — I can’t believe a major label hasn’t signed her yet! What are they waiting for?
Her music has been included in an Old Navy commercial and on Grey’s Anatomy. Her music sells, pretty well, on iTunes. She keeps 2/3 of the $.99 for each download, much more than she would get if under contract with a music label. You can listen to an NPR interview of Ingrid here.
September 24, 2007
News: I will be making a more concerted effort (no pun intended) to feature talented amateur musicians. I’ve been doing this already (in my posts called uTunes), but I will try to make it a regular Monday feature (maybe every other week, if not weekly). To be honest, it’s been hard to find a steady crop of talented singers on YouTube after Terra Naomi and Esmee. I will keep trying, though.
Today’s featured artist is Bobby Thompson. He just joined YouTube and just posted his original song, “Ireland.”
Analysis: So far, male amateur artists have not hit it as big from YouTube as the women. I like the tone of this guy’s voice. Very clear, and a catchy, lyrical tune.
September 6, 2007
News: The Wall Street Journal has a front page article exposing YouTube singer Marie Digby as a fake of sorts. She is a fake amateur.
The WSJ uncovered the fact that Digby had a recording contract with Disney’s Hollywood Records back in 2005. Digby, however, never revealed her professional status on her YouTube channel or MySpace page, nor did Hollywood Records on its YouTube channel.
Analysis: Being accused of being a “fake amateur” singer–wow, now that’s interesting. I guess it’s better to be an amateur on YouTube than a professional singer.
This is much different from the “lonelygirl” incident where the question was whether the person was real or fictitious. Here, there’s no doubt Marie Digby is a singer and a real person, so I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Why is the Wall Street Journal spending front page coverage to this story? It’s only helping spread publicity for Marie Digby (which seems counter to the thrust of the WSJ article).
UPDATE: I answer in another post whether Marie Digby did anything wrong.
June 21, 2007
Two drama students in Singapore: Rebecca (“Bec,” her real name is Rebecca Louise Burch) and Rossalina (“Ross” for Rossalina Nasir). The best amateur duet I’ve heard so far on YouTube. They haven’t posted on YouTube in a while, but here are their videos. Their most popular song is this fantastic cover of Torn.
UPDATE: The more I listen to this duo, the more amazing I think they are. Great voices, but they are controlled and never over-sing. Some label should sign them! (Where’s Justin Timberlake?) Here’s a moving rendition of Linger, sung with some friends before graduation, and a soft, sweet duet of Leaving on a Jet Plane. If you live in Singapore, you can see The Bec and Ross show weekly on Wednesday at a bar called “Hideout” at 31b Circular Road and other places. If you don’t live in Singapore, they say that they’ll be back posting on YouTube soon.
May 17, 2007
I’ve been grading law school exams, so it’s a good time to grade myself (and take a slight diversion from YouTube). Back in February (see here), I made my predictions for the Top 5 Finalists on American Idol out of 24 contestants. It’s sort of an annual guessing game I play in trying to predict who will win Idol months before the winner is selected and usually after only seeing the contestants once. This year, from the final 24, I correctly predicted 4 of the eventual Top 6. That’s not bad.
But, unfortunately, the two that I didn’t pick were the last two women standing, Melinda Doolittle and Jordin Sparks. I admit I made a big mistake in not selecting Jordin (I selected the one-hit wonder Stephanie Edwards instead). I never quite understood the fascination, though, with Melinda, the media’s and the judges’ absolute favorite this year. Yesterday, Melinda was booted in what the media called a “shocker.” I was only shocked that she lasted this long.
Truthfully, this year of American Idol has been pretty forgettable. Some have called it the worst Idol ever. That’s probably true. The guy who has made it halfway interesting is Blake Lewis, who can “beat box” (for those of you who don’t know, it’s basically making sounds like a record scratching and other hip hop/house music noises) in the middle of his singing. Blake’s beat box version of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” (also here) was the most creative thing ever on Idol.
Blake Lewis also salvaged my predictions this year, since I had him in the Final 2. That keeps my string of predicting at least one of the final 2 contestants going, now for 5 years and running. I goofed up, though, in predicting the winner, since my girl (Lakisha Jones) is already out. I’m definitely slipping. Oh well.