Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to write my best of 2006 entry last night. My internet was down and I really had to pack. I leave today…Oklahoma here I come!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and I wish you and yours a fabulous and rockin’ time!

"That Was The Worst Christmas Ever" by Sufjan Stevens


Sunday, December 10, 2006

“I got somethin' on my mind, Y'all gotta know…”

I am signed up for my fair share of listservs of artists I love, labels I like and random other music sites. I haven’t yet written about the most wonderful radio station in the world yet, but I don’t doubt its coming. To fill you in, that station is KEXP in Seattle. I listen to this station online when I am at work. The two shows I listen to faithfully are hosted by John (morning show) and Cheryl (afternoon show). These two DJs play a fantastic array of music and are one of the main sources of my music discovery. So now you know one of my secrets. But to be honest with you, KEXP should not be a secret. If you are interested in learning more about KEXP, I have a linked them to the right of this page.

But back to the topic at hand...so on Monday, Nov. 27th I get the daily e-mail blog/letter thing from John about the show he just did that morning. And in his address he mentions that for his NYC listeners there are tickets he is giving away for the Citizen Cope shows on Tuesday and Wednesday, and if anyone is interested to please shoot “Morning Show Mel” an e-mail. So I thought, “Why not?” I sent and e-mail and ta-da! I got my choice of nights to see Citizen Cope. I requested Wednesday. Plus the show was at the Nokia Theater, and it was a new venue to explore.

So I had two free tickets for a show, and needed to find someone to go with. Unfortunately no one was able to make it. But lucky for me one of the new student workers (Naeha) in my office was planning to go to the show with her roomie (Nicole). And they graciously allowed me to tag a long. Plus they only had to buy one ticket instead of two, due to my free one.

We got there a little bit too early, but early enough to secure our spot standing in the second row. Naeha had seen both Citizen Cope and the opening act, Alice Smith before. I am not the biggest Citizen Cope fan, but I do enjoy the songs I have heard. I was looking forward to really seeing what he is about. The crowd in attendance was a random mix of people (like most NYC crowds): heady dready kids, average indie young adults, and a gaggle of girls in their late teens/early twenties. Of course the latter were right behind us. Oh joy!

The show started out with Alice Smith, who is NYC-based artist who has roots in DC and Augusta, GA. She is absolutely stunning. When she took the stage she looked as gentle and harmless as a lamb. But when she opened her mouth, her powerful voice sang of love, heartbreak, and escaping the city for the country. Her songs were soulful, honest, and just grabbed you. My favorite song was one called, “Dream.” Absolutely fantastic. I was really impressed, and look forward to seeing how far she will go. She has been getting lots of great press and is one of Rolling Stone’s 10 Artists to Watch for 2006.
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After Alice left the stage some time passed before Citizen Cope or simply “Cope” took the stage. There are many things that annoy me when I am at a show, but one of the most annoying things is when people try to push their way forward in front of you. In many cases I have been in that spot for a few hours, and don’t really appreciate it when some drunk girls try to block my view of the stage. Fortunately we had mad friends with our neighbors, and we were all looking out for each other and were able to move the drunk girls. This is another annoying thing for me at shows. When people get too drunk and then become obnoxious and disrespectful to their fellow concert-goers. Why do that?

Cope finally took the stage. Originally from DC, Clarence Greenwood a.k.a. Citizen Cope, came out with some brown cargo pants and a blue button down shirt. With his dreads put up in a bun and his facial hair covering up his lip, he started to play his guitar and sing. The crowd went crazy. He played songs from all three of his albums. The crowd of course going extra nuts for the songs that have made him famous: “Son’s Gonna Rise,” “Bullet and a Target,” and “Hurricane Waters.” He also played my favorite song, “Sideways.” In addition he covered some great songs from his latest album: “Brother Lee,” “Friendly Fire,” and “John Lennon.” For the encore he came back and sang a few more songs, and was then joined by Alice. Together they sang “Back Together” and “107 Degrees.” It was great.
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This was the last show of the tour. I really enjoyed it, and glad that I went. I really recommend seeing both Alice Smith and Citizen Cope. If you like music like Ben Harper or Jack Johnson, then Citizen Cope isn’t that much of a stretch. I’m sure he gets lumped into that group a lot, but his music is definitely part of that relaxed, 420 friendly, chill music. But even if that isn’t your lifestyle, you can still enjoy it. His music has that universal appeal.

This will more than likely be the last music show I go to in 2006. But be ready to read my next blog where I will give you all a list of my favorite albums of the year, and possibly my favorite songs of the year. 2006 was a good year for music. So it’s gonna be tough…


Citizen Cope’s site:

Alice Smith’s site:

Video for “Back Together”

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