Drink A Case of You Down James Blake…Ramble

What’s cooler than being ice cold? Being James Blake in 2011.

Fall in love again with him one more time watching ‘A Case of You’ which stars the actress Rebecca Hall (Vicki Cristina Barcelona, The Town). Oh, the tale of love and how we’ve all been there, messed it up and how that heart attack is always part of us.

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My Five Favorite Rock Videos of 2011…Ramble

There’s something about rock music that it can transport you to visceral emotions or sway you with it’s unexpected deep lyrics. As the former Head of Music Video Programming Once Upon A Pre-Recession at Yahoo! Music a few years ago, I always pay special attention to videos and their impact. While the art form sometimes suffers under it’s own weight and many ridiculous egos, it’s a place where artists in the indie-alt rock category can often catch our eye and bust our eyes wide open, so here are five that stayed with me this year.

5. SBTRTK “Wildfire” the raw emotion is timed so well with the song, it evokes the tension and resolve of the musicality of the song.



4. Washed Out “Eyes Be Closed” – I’m the first to admit, there’s nothing too complicated going on in this video but some times all you need is a woman, a motorcycle, great lighting, confetti and a really cool song.



3. Snow Patrol “Called Out In The Dark” easily could have made my funniest videos of the year. Endearing, heart warming and a really great song. I love that Gary Lightbody is dressed like, well Gary Lightbody.

2. Florence + The Machine “Shake It Out (Aol Sessions)”- a stunning and captivating performance by Flo. I am addicted to her new album ‘Ceremonials’ with my favorite track chaging with as each new track begins. I was lucky enough to have been at this taping and it was a true highlight of my year, while a co-worker had to gag me in the director’s booth from singing along. Ohhhh wooooooahhhh ohhhh. Don’t the edison lights look amazing? Pure love for the crew at Aol.


1. And finally… you know he had to be number one, James Blake’s “The Wilhelm Scream.” This was one of my first introductions to this clever, talented young man. I had the random luck of stepping up and becoming his U.S. product manager until a few weeks ago. I will say from SXSW to the last time I saw him in October, James is a very special artist and made me less cynical about the music industry. So why don’t you just fall in?

James Blake Shows Are Like Snowflakes…Ramble

I’ve been to see James Blake six times. Each show has been unique like a snowflake. It was exciting to hear and feel the music of his first US show at the Williamsburg Music Hall. I couldn’t see because of the jampacked crowd, but you could hear a pin drop. Bjork was part of the crowd and seeing the two of them chat afterwards was quite an amusing visual.

James had two shows in New York last week at the Bowery Ballroom and Le Poisson Rouge. He’ll be back in July at Webster Hall is y’all were lucky enough to snag tickets. Here are some photos of my time with JB. There’s no limit to how magical his shows can be. I realize in my photos I didn’t take photos of the Williamsburg show and the Pitchfork Church Show.

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SXSW #4….Ramble

Every time I attend SXSW it’s been a different job, a different experience. This year I had the interesting challenge of not only getting myself places, but being responsible for multiple artists going to interviews around town.

For those of you who haven’t attended SXSW (South by Southwest- that’s for you Mags!) or been to Austin, it is a marathon. Every hour is like a night out for those in the industry- film, interactive and music because you run into so many people you know from all over the world and there is constant stimulation. I have to see that….did you hear that…and this year it was a ton of “get me on the list” requests in abundance for shows.

I went down to SX with several co-workers, none of whom had attended before so they were assaulted with the sensory overload, the throngs of people, the brutal heat once the clouds have burned off and the lack of available transportation and thick traffic that makes getting around a challenge. The best laid plans can go astray. Southby “energy” is different because you have to hit the ground running and you won’t make it back to your hotel room very often.

This time I didn’t even bother to look at show schedules. That statement is shock and horror for many of my friends who plan their year around Southby but I knew I had to get my artists around and try to get to their shows.

I didn’t really see any of my friends for more than ten minutes until Friday morning. One has to be a good friend and take the moments to enjoy one another being in the same place. It was so much harder to meet up with folks because I was in the artist bubble, that my UK friends had to hunt me down at The Driskill at 1:30 AM Saturday just to hang out for an hour. Seriously. It is worth it to me to get home at 3 AM during SXSW and get up at 9 to meet friends for brunch before another day of promo in the brutal Texas sun.

Highlights:
An artist I was with was doing an audio interview with NPR at Stubb’s and suddenly I hear a very loud guitar strumming interupt the otherwise empty venue. I turned around with a ‘who the heck is…..oh, it’s you John Taylor of Duran Duran. Oh Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes….I’m 13.” I quickly steered my artist and the interviewer inside of Stubb’s. One must respect the Duranie inside! Another co-worker told me a few days later he found himself in a conversation with Nick, then Simon and finally John Norris chatting about music of course. Mental snapshots for those times we can’t take photos but want to remember!!!

Her name is Rio!

Ironworks “sausage plate” – that’s right. I didn’t eat that much as we were just on the go all the time so it took to my last day on Saturday morning to finally get some Southern Heart Attack on a plate food in my gullet. It was delicious.

Texas Breakfast!

My press coworker calling herself out as a princess. She is hilarious “do these look like dirt shoes? Oh no Honey!”

Me telling one of my bands “no offense but last night I said I like working with solo artists so then I can remember everyone’s name.” I was so dehydrated I was stopped twice by other people (thank you for hydrating me Aol!!!!)

Seeing “every James Blake show in America” until yesterday. Each one was different and unique, just like a snowflake. Thanks James! It’s fitting my eyes are closed in our photo below. Man, I know he is tall but seriously, I barely reach his shoulder.

I also loved finally seeing G. Love live. It was a quick half hour set (that’s a blessing and curse at SXSW!) and then off to see King Charles rock out and literally let his hair down at the 512 Club.

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