Last year, Madi Diaz packed up all of her stuff, left Nashville , and drove to Los Angeles. The singer/songwriter arrived five days later but seemed to become a new person along the way to "la la land." With The Beatles' Abbey Road serving as the soundtrack to her trip, she stopped off at the Grand Canyon to watch the sun set and rise, sang out over cliffs, and essentially became one with nature. When she arrived west, she jumped from apartment to apartment before settling down. Throw in a break up during that span, and it'll completely paint you a picture of her new Phantom album, which grew out of this literal and figurative trip. The album, which comes off the heels of the indie-popster's The Other Side EP, finds the singer/songwriter delivering her best album yet - a raw, emotional journey that hits you in the proverbial gut.
Diaz, who recently opened for Wolf Gang and Fitz and The Tantrums, returned to A-Sides to discuss the new album (follow-ups to Plastic Moon and Skin and Bone, and how she got from there to here. The term "amazeballs" was created for moments like these.
"The Other Side"
* To see an exclusive performance of "Pictures," click here.
Growing up along the Sound in Westchester County, Charlie Scopoletti romanticized about playing The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY one day. The venue was a literal hop, skip and jump away from the musician, and he relished the thought of playing a stage that everyone from Jerry Garcia to Perry Farrell played on. Sometimes dreams come true. Sometimes, well, sometimes they even happen twice. Last year, the singer/songwriter headlined the iconic venue, and performed his uplifting blend of pop and rock to hometown fans and countless other Scopo-heads. OK, that term doesn't exist but I simply mean fans of the musician. In any event, on June 27, Scopoletti will perform with Duncan Sheik and Todd Carey at another performance at the venue, but like his music, there's more substance to that.
Let's begin at the start, and then jump back to present day.
Scopoletti was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease at ten, and found escape by learning how to play drums. His love for music never went away from there. By 16, he learned guitar and set off to make music for a living. Actually, that's not true. Scopoletti was a jock for all of his life, and had an injury not forever changed his world, we may very well be talking about Scopoletti - the NBA star right now. But, things happen for a reason and here we are. After performing at random spots and dive bars for years, Scopoletti cut his first album in 2004 under the band name CSB. With Circles, the band received considerable airplay, and performed all over the world. In 2006, however, the tour was cut short when he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Not surprisingly, he overcame the disease and was back on the road just three years later. By 2010, the singer/songwriter decided to pursue a solo career and released Truth a few years later. OK, now we're back to where we need to be.
On Match 7, 2013, Scopoletti played the Capitol Theatre, and will be back again June 27 in support of his new Today Is The Day EP. One of the songs off the album, "This Wish," was written for Make-A-Wish® Connecticut, and it's a tribute to the foundation and all the Wish Kids around the world. Music and meaning are inseprable for Scopoletti. Watch him talk about it on A-Sides below, and play a pair of songs including "The Wish." Speaking of which, the gig at The Cap next week will see some proceeds going toward the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Watch the performances and interview below. Speaking of which, A-Sides , is proud to announce a new partnership with Threadless! Watch for yours truly to be sporting some of the finest tees the company has to offer from here on out! Threadless is a wonderful company whose values are in sync with A-Sides. Looking forward to working with this amazing brand!
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 dug a bunch, posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls, and - most importantly - the songs my two-year-old son gravitates toward by stomping his feet in approval. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week's rank).
12. "Elevate" (reentry) - St. Lucia
11. "Lighthouse" (LW-11) - Ziggy Marley
10. "Alienation" (LW-9) - Morning Parade
9. "The Blower's Daughter" (retro cut) - Damien Rice
8. "Who Needs You" (LW-8) - The Orwells
7. "Peaches" (LW-5) - In the Valley Below
6. "Scare Away the Dark" (LW-7) - Passenger
5. "Now Hear In" (LW-6) - Cloud Nothings
4. "Habits" (LW-4) - Tove Lo
3. "Stolen Dance" (LW-2) - Milky Chance
2. "Glory" (LW-3) - Wye Oak
1. "Chandelier" (LW-1) - Sia
About A-Sides Music
Jon Hartman'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. Artists have included: fun, Rob Zombie, Pharrell Williams, Courtney Love, American Authors, Imagine Dragons, Gary Clark Jr., and more! A-Sides theme written and performed by Blondfire.