If you haven’t believed me about how amazing Kimbra is, I present a video of Kimbra singing “Settle Down” live at Webster Hall in New York on October 20, 2012. Occasionally someone’s head gets in the way, but have patience and settle down!
2012 is officially the year of Kimbra! In addition to singing on one of the biggest songs of the year (Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”), the New Zealand born singer sold out two nights at New York’s Webster Hall. I attended the second night on October 20, 2012. The show began with a great opening set by Connecticut’s psychedelic pop/rock band The Stepkids. I’ve seen The Stepkids several times before and they get better and better with each performance. They dress all in white and have really amazing visuals projected onto them as they play.
Both myself and the crowd loved the set and their 2011 debut album “Stones Throw” was ranked in the best albums of the year list by many critics. Vocal duties are shared by Jeff Geitleman (left) and Dan Edinberg (right) and at times, Jeff’s soulful vocals would make D’Angelo proud. You should definitely check out their music as they have a nice mix of rock, soul and psychedelia.
Around 9 pm, the main attraction, Kimbra, took the stage. Dressed in a Gaga-esque outfit (but much more classy), the 22 year old singer belted out tracks from her debut album “Vows.” What a voice! Kimbra doesn’t just sing the tracks, she sings the hell out of them! Her live band turns her studio tracks into full on church anthems and the crows went wild after each song.
Though she didn’t play her duet with Gotye, she sang the majority of her album “Vows” including her off the charts cover of Nina Simone’s “Plain Gold Ring” and “Warrior,” which she collaborated with A-Trak and Foster The People’s Mark Foster for the studio version. She had the crowd singing along to songs such as “Settle Down,” “Cameo Lover” and “Two Way Street.”
If you missed the show, make sure you see Kimbra live. She’s only 22 years old and I can only imagine that she’s going to get better and better as her career skyrockets and I’ve certainly made it a point not to ever skip a Kimbra show. Thanks for a great night!
The setlist was:
Limbo / Posse / Good Intent / Plain Gold Ring (Nina Simone cover) / Two Way Street / Marigold / Old Flame / Warrior / Something in the Way You Are / Settle Down / Cameo Lover / Come Into My Head
October 20, 2011 was a night I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time. It was the night Nile Rodgers stopped by Barnes and Noble in Union Square in Manhattan to discuss and sign copies of his autobiography “Le Freak – An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny.” It’s pretty safe to say that anyone who has ever heard pop music likes at least one song he’s written or produced. His list of accomplishments is astounding and he’s worked with the likes of everyone from Madonna to David Bowie to Diana Ross and of course, in his own band Chic. He’s responsible for some of the hottest disco tracks (like “Good Times” and “Le Freak”) that will be club favorites for as long as clubs exist on this planet. Nile Rodgers discussed his autobiography “Le Freak” with cultural critic Toure’ and I can already tell it’s going to be impossible to put it down. Nile told the stories behind songs such as “Good Times” which was written about not getting in at Studio 54 despite a personal invitation from Grace Jones, “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross and he talked about being heavily influenced musically and stylistically by Roxy Music and Kiss! He also mentioned meeting his Chic partner in groove, Bernard Edwards, how they became musical soul-mates and how the band came to be called Chic. These stories are all in the book and it’s really great to get the back stories on these historical moments in music.
Nile Rodgers was diagnosed with cancer last year and he’s had some ups and downs with his health. He told the packed house that he’s currently waiting for the results of some tests he’s taken recently, so please send Nile your positive thoughts. One thing is for sure, Nile is not slowing down at all and his enthusiasm and gratitude is as infectious as the grooves he’s created – past, present and future. There was a lot of love in the room tonight and it was clear that we did not want the hour long discussion to end. After the discussion, Nile signed copies of “Le Freak,” and he was really taking the time to make sure everyone at the signing/discussion/party was having a great time. Not only is he a musical genius and a legend, he’s also a really nice guy! I am so thankful for all the great music you’ve given myself and the world and all of our lives are better because of it. Thanks Nile. You are truly an inspiration!
Toure' and Nile Rodgers
“Le Freak” by Nile Rodgers is out now. Don’t even think about not getting it!
Surfer Blood were one of the biggest buzz bands at the CMJ music festival in New York, and it’s perfectly understandable. When praise in pictures and words is not enough, how about some video?! Here’s “Take it Easy” by Surfer Blood live at Webster Hall in New York on October 20, 2010.
There’s no doubt that The Rassle were one of the highlights of the CMJ music festival that was in New York last week. I have every confidence that The Rassle are going to be a great success. They performed a triumphant show at Bowery Electric on October 20, 2010 and at that show, they performed their song “Wild Ones,” which was recently featured in an ad campaign by J. Crew! Expect big things from this band! Kudos lads!