As a kid, I used to have a stuffed animal bear with suction cups on its hands. On the buttocks of the teddy, which I stuck on the window in my bedroom, was a button that stated in big bold letters: "Mondays are a bear." For years, I had no idea what that expression meant, and when I did figure it out, thought it was, well, lame. Why do I bring this up? It's a - err, um - clever way of starting off a column by saying Mondays suck, but in a new, fun way. Since Mondays are very much a bear to deal with, I present you with two singer/songwriters who will snap you out of the day's doldrums.
Matt White's career has been rising since he debuted in 2006. His first major label debut album Best Days was a smash in 2007, and the music video of the title track was number #1 on VH1's Top 20 Countdown for 16 weeks. His last single "Love and Affection" has continued his successful track record, and has proven something else: Ladies love "Cool J," but they probably are smitten with White, too. I say this, because his music has deep roots in the The Bachelor and Bachelorette stratosphere. He performed several songs at the wedding of former Bachelorette Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum last year, and earlier this year "Love and Affection" took him to Munich where he performed it for Bachelorette Desiree Hartsock and her now fiance Chris Siegfried on one of their magical dates. While Siegfried got Hartsock's final rose, White's song quickly rose on the iTunes charts. (See what I did there? I used "rose" in two completely different ways!) The song is off White's new album Shirley, and I promise you the talented musician doesn't need rose ceremonies or Chris Harrison to make it big. His music stands on its own. Take "Give Me What You Got" for example. White's new song and the whole album for that matter is a bit darker and lyrically deeper.
White performed both "Love & Affection" and "Give Me What You Got" at an A-Sides taping at the Music Conservatory of Westchester earlier this month, and sat down for a chat. Watch one song performed live and an interview below, and visit the official A-Sides YouTube channel for another performance and an additional Q&A.
"Give Me What You Got"
Jodi Good is "definitely different" than your typical 22 year old. For starters, she's grounded, focused, and has no problem sitting on a ratty carpet. (Watch the video below for an explanation on the latter comment.) Like Matt White, the New York City-based singer-songwriter comes up with meaningful songs that are both smart and catchy. Good dropped her first EP Definitely Different this summer, and has already gained acclaim for her brutally-honest lyrics and pop strong vocals. Earlier this month, performed a song for A-Sides, and took part in a brutally-informal interview. Filmed at the Music Conservatory as well, Good felt right at home. After all, she attended a performing arts high school, and earned a scholarship from Berklee College Of Music. Watch her perform "Stranger to Me" below, and chat up the EP and, um, GPS below.
A-Sides "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve"based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and listened to and liked (phew), posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and - most importantly - the songs my 1 1/2+ year-old son gravitates toward. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank):
12. "Thunder Clatter" - Wild Cub
11. "Methuselah" (LW-10)- San Fermin (Watch them perform it here on A-Sides!)
10. "Purple Yellow Red and Blue" - Portugal. The Man
9. "Little Games" - The Colourist (*Coming soon to A-Sides by the way!)
8. "Sirens" (LW-10) - Pearl Jam
7. "Pompeii" (LW-5) - Bastille
6. "Best Day Of My Life" (LW-4) - American Authors (* Watch the band perform this track on A-Sides this month!)
5. "Comrade" (LW-3)- Volcano Choir
4. "Bad Blood" - Bastille
3. "Bitter Rivals" (LW-2) - Sleigh Bells
2. "Reflektor"(LW-1) - Arcade Fire
1. "Chain My Name" - Polica
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.
Follow Jon Chattman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asidesmusic