Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011 Concert List


This is a compilation of all the bands that I have hopes of catching at a live show. Most of the bands listed below I have never seen live before so its sort of my "Wish List". I hope to mark off some of these groups in 2011. Read a quick overview below of why I would love to catch each groups show and check the links to see if these bands are touring near you. I know I'll be keeping a close eye on these links as the summer tour's get announced. Do you agree with some of my band choices? Who would you like to see live? Leave comments below!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dashboard Confessional - I've been wanting to catch Chris Carrabba live since 2002. That is when his MTV Unplugged session was released and I've been digging his music ever since. The Unplugged album was a great live album that must have been recorded in front of some hardcore Dashboard fans because they sang along loudly with every song during the set. It sounded like a great live experience with a very talented artist and I hope I catch him live somewhere soon.
Tour Schedule:

Third Eye Blind - This band blew up big in the 90's and I am really glad they are still making music. I have really enjoyed their sound and song writing over the years. Semi-Charmed Life is one of the few songs that I can never get sick of and its just one of many hits they have had during their time.
Tour Schedule:

Gin Blossoms - Speaking of 90's bands that are still making music, the Gin Blossoms just happen to be my favorite 90's band. They are just coming off a recent album release called "Chocolate Cake" and I hope a tour of some sort comes close by.
Tour Schedule:

Yellowcard - I was lucky enough to catch a Yellowcard show from about 10 feet in front of the stage. This is the only band on my list that I've seen live before but I have an urge to catch another show since they are now back from hiatus!!! I really love this band and their "Ocean Avenue" release was practically the soundtrack to my high school years. They put on a great show. Don't hesitate to catch them on tour somewhere. Bogarts in Cincinnati Ohio is recommended. I plan on being there.
Tour Schedule:

Jason Mraz - I knew of Jason Mraz way before I was into his music. But not too long ago I heard some of his live recordings and it blew me away. This guys voice can practically be the whole band as he hums and skidlle-E-bee-bops his way through each song he plays. The background bongos and vocals provided by a man named Toca Rivera completes the package. Its a sweet soulful sound, and this is a top priority for me to catch him live.
Tour Schedule:

The Rocket Summer - I have never heard any live music from this band, but I have to believe that it has to be phenomenal. The singing and song writing of Bryce Avary on his studio album releases practically sounds like live tracks without the fans. From yelling highs to whispering lows mixed into all the instruments this guys plays, this group has to be stellar live.
Tour Schedule:

The Counting Crows - This group just makes great music. A modern day jam band. I love this groups ability to take a great album single and transform and perfect that song over the years to make it into something that offers so much more. Their live music can sometimes go unrecognized if you are not really familiar with each song. I thoroughly enjoy their live album "Across a Wire" and I would really love to see a live show.
Tour Schedule:

Sara Bareilles - This list wouldn't be complete without showing a little love to the ladies. And there is one in particular that I would like to see live in concert. If I were being completely honest, I can say that I was never attracted to Sara Bareilles's radio releases. They are certainly catchy, pop'y songs that stick in your head but that's not what I am a fan of with her. I am however a sucker for piano. There is a certain emotion that a piano brings to a song. A piano can get you rocking or just leave you in a quiet silence. Sara Bareilles dominated my iPod at the end of 2010 because that is when I first heard her live album recorded at the Filmore. It was not only the emotion of the piano that I was attracted to, but the emotion of her live performance. I am looking forward to Sara making it back to the States and start touring.
Tour Schedule:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tony Lucca - Free "Solo" Release

I feel like I won the jackpot today when I found out that Tony Lucca released a FREE album on Amazon! I just started listening to Tony Lucca a couple of weeks ago and now I have a free album that I can load onto my IPod for anytime access! His free download release is simply titled "Solo" and it offers up 11 tracks. I assume it is titled "Solo" because it is probably just him singing and playing the songs.

My first listen to Tony Lucca was on a Springsteen cover track where he performed "I'm on Fire". He was singing alongside Sara Bareilles during the song while on her Gravity Tour. I loved his sound and my first thought was "Wow", she is lucky to have this guy in her band for guitar and backup vocals. At the end of the song though she announced his name and shortly thereafter I was streaming Tony Lucca tracks on Grooveshark.

So let me fill you in on what I like about Tony Lucca. For the most part he has an acoustic sound. That's a plus because you can hone in on his lyrics and vocal performance. I also found out that he not only plays the guitar, but he can play the piano rather well also. His piano play and acoustic guitar are both featured heavily on his free album release. But highest of all things that I love about Lucca, is that he can really sing the blues. I think his voice was made for it. As far as I'm concerned, Lucca and Bareilles could team up and form a super group because they have a definitive acoustic chemistry that creates a powerful live performance on stage.

So click below on the link below to get some Lucca in your lives. I personally think everyone could use it. Stamped for approval.

Free Download: Solo

Monday, January 17, 2011

Free Dose of Lovedrug

Tab_widthHot off the heels from my Pledge Music post comes a Lovedrug review. I mentioned in my last post that Lovedrug was the other band I had pledged towards the making of their next album. I had the opportunity to review all of the free extras they have provided for pledgers and my day has been sidetracked by their sound. I have their songs loaded on my iPhone and while listening to it today I've lost myself in movement several times. I realize its only day one and theres still plenty of time for it to wear on me, but it's my kind of rock.

I'm thinking that the lead vocals is what is drawing me the most at this early stage. At the very least you can state that frontman Michael Shepard has a unique voice. This was most evident by listening to the many cover songs that are available to pledgers for download on Pledge Music after donating. During the first song I listened to, I heard the baseline for "My Girl" and I was getting ready to sing along with the soulful sounding temptations, but I couldn't sing along with the voice I was met with. I knew all the words, but I just sat and listened. Honestly at first it hit me the wrong way and I was thinking no no no, that's all wrong. But halfway through the song I was feeling it.

I guess thats what I get for thinking that I was about to listen to just another rock band. After listening to a few of their own tracks, I have settled on the fact that Lovedrug carries a unique tune. I am looking forward to listening to the full album release.

But for the time being, I have some awesome news for all of the readers. Lovedrug has been kind enough to release 5 free songs to any willing mailing list subscriber. By doing this, you will receive 4 original songs by the band and one funky cover of Elvis's "Blue Christmas". And if you enjoy the free music, take a look into pledging for their next album to receive 11 additional songs and 11 video releases as well as a free download of their next album! The group has reached their goal to produce their album, but 10% of all pledges over their goal goes to charity. See the links below for Pledge Music and free downloads!

Pledge Music: I Am Lovedrug (the making of an album)

Free Lovedrug Songs: 5 Song Download
(or just select the boxes below)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pledge Music - Support What You Love

So far this blog has been dedicated to posting reviews and links to free music that has been released by artists for the enjoyment of their fans. But we all know there are several way to obtain music from your favorite artists. Currently the music industry is undergoing a shift from the long running success of hard copy album sales to digital downloads and instant streaming access. That million album mark has been increasingly harder to obtain for all artists of all genres and some great bands are taking the hit. Artists that are trying to find their following have had to get their music out there in new ways with the use of the web (Myspace, Twitter, Amazon, Fan Sites, ect.).

Lets face it, most of us probably know of ways to obtain your favorite songs for free. But for bands and artists to survive they not only need your fan support, they also have to have some sort of financial support as well to be able release music to their fans. Without this financial support, the music goes silent and some great bands and artists stop making music. So the question for me is, what is the best way to support your favorite bands? Well one great option I have discovered is Pledge Music.

So what is Pledge Music? Well I will let the creators describe it with the excerpt below taken from their site:

"Pledge Music offers you the opportunity to fund your favourite band or solo artist’s new album. In effect, you as the fan become the record label the band or solo artist is recording for. You help fund their record and if they don’t reach their pledge target you won’t get charged a cent."

That is just a quick description, but there is so much more that Pledge Music has to offer. Basically artists can turn to Pledge Music to help them get connected with their fans to raise financial support to create a new album. Bands start out with a goal of how much money they need to raise to cover recording fees and the amount of money they want to donate to a charity. After that, its up to the fans to support the band so that they can reach their goal. An initial  pledge towards a band is usually $10 - $15. But you can choose to pledge more money to the band in return for some awesome extras. If you truly are a fan of the band there are some really cool things you can receive from the band for bigger donations. From signed items and t-shirts, meet and greets and even have them play a show at your house! How ridiculous would it be to have your favorite band play at your house! But the benefits of the organization don't stop there. During the entire fund raising period, the artists have the option to release extra downloads to the supporting fans. It gives you access to exclusive band updates with pictures, videos, and extra music recordings. Once the album has been fully funded, the pledgers receive the full album in appreciation for their support.

I discovered Pledge Music for the first time when I was trying to obtain more information about the next Damnwells album release. I have done anything possible to obtain everything The Damnwells create (if you are a first time reader, I'm a big fan). So I found out that The Damnwells used Pledge Music to achieve full support for their next album. I made a pledge to the bands album and in return I have received over 25 never released songs and raw recordings from one of my all-time favorite bands. On top of that, there has been a lot of updates released about the making of the album including pictures and videos from the studio! I am so glad I pledged because otherwise I would have never had access to all of this extra music and have such an inside look at them recording their album.

The Damnwells have reached nearly 200% of their initial goal, so that's double what they needed to record their next album. The group will use the extra funding to promote their new album and also donate to their selected charity United Against Malaria. So it really is a win win win. Win for the band, Win for the fans, and a Win for charity. I think Pledge Music has got a great thing going on here for all fans of music. Check out their offerings at the Pledge Music site and see if any of your favorite bands are there. I have also pledged towards a group called "I Am Lovedrug" as well. I had never heard of this band until I visited the site but I definitely think their music deserves supporting. They are at the 95% mark for full funding for their next album. Check out their album project as well as all the other bands and support the music you love.

The Damnwells

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

11411 - Another Free Sister Hazel Sampler!

Just days after my last post regarding Sister Hazel’s free “20 in 10” album sampler release, they have released another free song sampler album! I don’t know about you, but I could really get used to this. I would also love it if more bands took Sister Hazel’s approach to getting their music to general music fans. Fans who are ready and willing to listen to good music by a band that they may or may not have heard of. I think this approach works on several levels. I feel there is no better way to get your music heard by music enthusiasts than to just give some of it away for free. Especially for a band that is not used to widespread radio play. Specifically for me, it allowed me to listen to a few of their songs off of their newest album release “Heartland Highway” that I hadn’t heard yet. Heartland Highway is the only Sister Hazel album I do not currently have in my music collection and now I definitely feel like I need to buy it.

As far as the music goes, it is another wonderful blend of music from many of their most recent albums. This album is very upbeat and it has me bobbing my head and tapping my feet even as I type! My personal favorite track release on this album is the live acoustic version of “Mandolin Moon” with the crowd clapping along with the song. Once again as stated in my last post, if you haven’t listened to Sister Hazel you should definitely get yourself familiar by downloading both of their free albums below!

I hope we start to see more music artists release tracks for free. I applaud Sister Hazel for for what they’ve done here. This is just a one of many great examples of this group being great to their fans and followers. On top of this, they have offered up personal phone calls and podcasts to their fans as well as getting involved with some great charities. This has helped them sustain for over 15 years with 8 full-length albums while doing over 100 shows a year. It’s no surprise they are rocketing upwards towards nearly a MILLION (that’s 1,000,000) Twitter followers!

Love the concept, love their contribution, and love their music. Kudos

Free Download Link: Sister Hazel - 11411
Also: Sister Hazel - 20 in 10

Track List:
1. Great Escape (Album)
2. At Your Worst (Acoustic)
3. My Heart (Single)
4. Mandolin Moon (Acoustic)
5. Sail Away (Album)
6. Shame (Album)
7. Feel It (Album)
8. Vacation Rain (Album)
9. Firefly (Album)
10. Work In Progress (Album)
11. This Kind Of Love (Full Band)

Heartland HighwayReleaseBefore The Amplifiers...Live Acoustic

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sister Hazel - 20 Great Reasons to Love 2010

Happy New Year one and all! I wanted to get the year started off right by sharing another full album download! This time the free music is coming from another one of my favorite bands; Sister Hazel. In early 2010 they released an album “mixer” of sorts offering 20 free songs that were included on some of  their most recent album releases. The album is called “20 in 10” and it has been released for exclusive download on Amazon. The album doesn’t include any of my favorite songs by the group but that doesn’t matter much because I have never met a Sister Hazel song I haven’t liked. To view the track list, see the list shown below.

To give you a little history on the band, they have been making music for 15+ years. One of the groups latest albums titled “Release” achieved their highest spot on the Billboard charts at #37. Historically however they haven’t received much radio play except for the groups most recognized song “All for You” which is one of my favorite songs of the 90’s. This band was actually the first band I got the pleasure of seeing live in concert exactly 10 years ago to the day at Disney World on New Years Eve. I followed the band ever since because they write great music and have such a unique southern country rock sound. My favorite album of theirs was released in 2004 and is called “Chasing Daylight” featuring some of my favorites “Effortlessly”, “Your Mistake”, “Everybody”, and “Best I’ll Ever Be”.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to much of Sister Hazel’s music, take the opportunity to download this free album. Heck, you can’t go wrong with free. I have to give Sister Hazel a lot of credit for making this release as well. This is a great way to reach out to new fans by letting them access some of their music from the past six years. Once you introduce yourself to their music, it would also be worth your while to catch them live. They play a lot of smaller shows where you can get up close to the music. They have played a few times at the Bluebird in Bloomington Indiana, but I have not yet been able to catch their show there. Hopefully they will make it back again.

Here are the tracks from the “20 in 10” album. Be sure to check out the link below to download the free music!


 "Lift" (2004)
-- "Firefly"
-- "All About the Love"
-- "I Will Come Through"
-- "Hold On"


"Absolutely" (2006)
-- "Mandolin Moon"
-- "Hello, It's Me"
-- "Where Do You Go"
-- "Truth Is"
-- "One Time"
-- "Everything Else Disappears"
Bam! Volume 1

"Bam! Volume 1" (2007)
-- "Wrong the Right Way"
-- "Sail Away"
-- "Save Myself"
-- "Mona Lisa"
-- "What Kind of Living"
-- "Grand Canyon"
-- "Work in Progress"


"Release" (2009)
-- "Ghost in the Crowd"
-- "Vacation Rain"
-- "Walls and Cannonballs"

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