AreYouListening.com has a simple message. We are passionate about music and dedicated to bringing attention to music by independent artists and independent thinkers. At a time of complacency about music and rampant corporate mergers, the future of music is in the hands of the ones that value it most: artists and their fans. Our ultimate goal for AreYouListening.com is to offer a place where artists and fans can come together to discover new music and build a stronger collective community by featuring artists' content and puttingforth an arena for fans and artists to communicate. This inspires music lovers and enables independent artists to stand on their own two feet with or without record company affiliation, organically exposing their music to a larger group of active music fans.
Thanks For Listening! [taken directly from AYL.com]
"I kind of looked at it as you really only get one chance, anyway, so the time allowed me to grow creatively. But I was always optimistic, even though there were bumps in the road, because I knew I was really improving as a songwriter."
Official Bio: What's Mine Is Yours - if nothing else - affirms that notion from beginning to end. The new disc bristles with a rare vitality for a (mostly) acoustic guitar player. Morris also displays a keen ability to distill only the nectar of his ripening talent for wordplay, selectively mining regional influences as he deftly captures the bigger picture - or, as he so elegantly defines it - 'where life happens,' - no matter where you're from. Whether it's the cockeyed optimism of "This Colorful World," the weary fragility of "Fault line," or the playfully bittersweet slap of "Balancing The World," the album is laden with multiple gems, all tempting introductions for fans of varied musical tastes to get to know Eliot Morris in a hurry. It's evident from the new album that Morris has indeed 'soaked it all up'. Fertile collaborations with the album's producer, Tony Berg, and Eliot's longtime writing partner Ilya Toshinsky, (who lives in Nashville) round out What's Mine Is Yours, making it a surprisingly seasoned offering for what the Amazon.coms of the world will no doubt bill as a stunning rookie effort. "When I look back on how I got here I'm grateful for every turn," he says. "In a way, I think everyone's personal journey is really the path they choose to confront or avoid their fears. An artist definitely has to struggle to arrive where he's supposed to be and the challenges can be overwhelming. But what I realized, and I think what my songs are really about, is that you have to be aware that life is happening all around us, all the time- in everyday things." Eliot smiles at the revelation. "And songs flow from that." (bio taken from eliotmorris.net)
Eliot Morris made a startling entrance into my life at a Stephen Kellogg concert last Fall. There were hundreds tealights burning around the room as the first notes of "Fault Line" began softly flowing into the audience. Each song he played that night struck a different chord in me and I found myself waiting in an insane line to buy his cd afterwards. The instrumentation alone on What's Mine is Yours is enough to blow away his new listener but Eliot takes it one step further with the life that he gives each song. Your eyes light up and you find yourself smiling wide as "This Colorful World" sweeps into the chorus. What's Mine is Yours was a much-needed breath of fresh air in my music collection. If you're ever in the Birmingham area, be sure to check him out at WorkPlay, or check out his tour page for upcoming dates: www.eliotmorris.net
************ You can buy Eliot's cd What's Mine Is Yours here at Amazon or pick it up after one of his shows.
************* Eliot's Myspace: www.myspace.com/eliotmorris Eliot's Official Site: www.eliotmorris.net
I'm not sure how many of you gave the artist spotlight shorts a read-over or what, but regardless of if you did or not I mentioned a band called 8MM. Well, I'm here to tell you about this incredibly fab idea they did to make their latest music video...they recorded it all on a cell phone!! A Samsung A900, to be exact. The video is remarkable given this, and it could easily rank right up there with professional videos. The song itself is quite fantastic to boot, so give it a look-see! Wouldn't it be cool if more indie bands could take advantage of creative (and cheap) ways of making more videos? ;)
First of all, since we implemented the artist spotlights there have only been about half a handful of people volunteering to write one. This is really sad, as they're not hard, don't take very long to write, and it's a chance to expose your fellow peers to some independent music you love! If you're still interested, or would like to do it again, please check out the sign-up post here.
Moving on though, I've also not had a lot of time on my hands to write an artist spotlight if someone else didn't take the spot. Therefore, in place of our missing artist spotlights of the month, I bring to you this first edition of "Artist Spotlight Shorts". If I can't get anyone to participate in the monthly spotlights, perhaps we may switch to these shorts for the longterm. If that does happen, there will be opportunities for y'all to write your own or even contribute to someone else's.
Artist Spotlight Shorts, 1st Edition
CALLUPSIE; Callupsie formed in July of 2005 when Aaron and Elizabeth started playing music together in an apartment on Riverside Drive. This apartment could not second as a practice space for too long, so they decided to rent out a basement space in Midtown. Callupsie took shape in that very basement. Many bottles of cheap champagne later, the two took their music to a local house party. The show was a success and the band was happy for the moment. Being a guitar and drum duo had its ups and downs, so the only logical way to better fill sound and make the songs more interesting was to add one more member. In January, Liz and Aaron asked T. Clay Welch, a friend and local jazz guitarist, to join up. He agreed to join in on a practice. During that practice, the duo became a trio and they couldn't have anticipated the sound they had just created. Taking from various influences such as Harry Nillsson, My Bloody Valentine, Django Reinhardt, Big Bill Broonzy, Blonde Redhead, and Elliott Smith, the band created an ecclectic blend of thoughtful composition/hard hitting pop sensibilities. Callupsie finished recording their debut EP, entitled "Sugar and Liquor", in July of 2006. The album was recorded by Stephen Egerton of the Descendents at Armstrong Recording (Tulsa). In a single day, five solid tracks were laid down. Callupsie is planning on re-releasing the EP along with a few old favorites and a new track on Little Mafia Records. At the end of July, Clay decided to persue his jazz career full time and left the band. Many tears were shed and he will be greatly missed. Meanwhile, Aaron and Liz asked Sam to join the group on bass. Sam is a sweetheart and one hell of a bassist with a creative mind to boot. Adding the bass will help usher in a whole new sound and structure for Callupsie. The sonic sound scapes will change, but the style and inspiration will never leave. Keep a look out for Callupsie records at Under the Mooch here in Tulsa. Also, make sure to check out www.callupsie.com around late August. We will offer our albums and merch online. Thanks to you, we will continue to grow and learn. *news!! Clay has rejoined the band. Callupsie is Liz Sam Clay and Aaron. We are all very excited.
VERMILLION LIES; Vermillion Lies was born in the bygone era of 2004 after sisters Kim and Zoe Boekbinder were reunited after many years. Zoe traveled north from the wild jungle of central america to teach her sister Kim guitar. After putting themselves on stage with an amplified typewriter and an assortment of other musical objects the sisters were off and running into the brick wall of life as musicians. Their eclectic music ranges from lyrical folk melodies to raucous circus ballads with toy piano and accordion. The sisters have earned a reputation for a great live performance and beautiful arrangements. They craft their songs with guitars, pianos, typewriters, toy pianos, washboards, pots and pans, broken pipes, old steamer trunks and lobsters.
MORGAN AND THE HIDDEN HANDS; Morgan and the Hidden Hands began as a solo project of the singer. When looking to join forces with other players, Morgan decided to stay true to her classical training and work solely with classical musicians. The music is ultimately a fusion of each player's background (piano, cello, violin and opera) and the alternative music they all love. Each musician holds their own, all having won national competitions, played concerts with leading artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell, recorded for films such as Harry Potter, and soloed with numerous orchestras from across the country and abroad. They recorded their first LP with the production team known as the Wizardz of Oz (Liz Phair) with the intention of writing cinematic orchestrated songs set to industrial beats. The resulting album is "...and the moon was hungry...". They recently toured with Veruca Salt and are currently writing a stage show for their live performances.
AEON GREY; Aeon Grey dwells in a city infatuated with trendy urban development that contrasts the already overbearing suburban sprawl. Refusing to simply follow the course of his city's stagnant development, Aeon Grey works to define himself in the media molded environment. Using his mixture of originality and never wavering integrity to spread a sense of pride. Chiseled on the desk of society's classroom, Primate Curriculum is Aeon Grey's devolution. Drums punching through atmospheric samples define the music that sets the stage for Aeon's words that are blistering with the imagery of social angst. Like ancient paintings lining the walls of a cave, Primate Curriculum is a poetic collage of urban growth mixed with midwest fears: terrorism, inadequacy, and the general identity crisis. Aeon leaves behind highly overused subject matter represented by most rappers and upgrades to a plead for growth, not limited by media representation and corporate branding, but with an emphasis on personal identity, originality, and pride. Aeon Grey brings a new voice, a new viewpoint, and a new spin on hip-hop that keeps listeners interested in his new Curriculum for the continuously evolving Primates.
8MM; 8mm is a Neo Lounge band from Los Angeles, California. 8mm was started by Sean Beavan, (who formerly worked with bands such as Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails), and his wife Juliette Beavan. 8mm consists of Sean Beavan, Juliette Beavan, and Jon Nicholson, Juliette being the frontwoman. 8mm has toured internationally in places such as the United Kingdom and Chile, as well as across the US and in parts of Canada. They have released two albums. Their debut, appropriately titled Opener, was released independently. Their second, Songs To Love and Die By, was released on Curb Appeal records.
*This biography is not official, it is from the Wikipedia article on the band.
Hey y'all! I hope all y'all had a great Halloween and are enjoying the weather around this time of year. :) Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone wants to snag up November's Artist Spotlight? I must say thank you to thatyouloveme for doing October's. Fabulous!! If you want to sign up for November, please reply to the post here with your details. It really is a great way to showcase your favorite independent artist, so I encourage all of you to try your hand at it! Thanks, y'all.
I also want to remind everyone that you are free to post whatever you'd like in this community, as long as it pertains to independent artists in some shape or form. I'd be doing it myself, but I do also have a real life and everything that comes with that, so I can't all the time. Help out, y'all! If you find out about a new independent band that you're crazy about and can't wait to write a Spotlight about them, just make a short post with a picture and a few links, you can always write one later (if you want to that is). We also have a last.fm account and you're more than welcome to tear apart the stats they give us from that and analyse it or whatever else you feel like. Just trying to get some more life into this place, haha. ;)
Chad Perrone's songbook reads and sounds like a journal set to music. Unabashedly candid, poignant and, above all, laced with optimism, the Boston-based singer-songwriter's music hits emotions that resonate with the audiences that flock to venues to soak in the words.
And that's precisely what Perrone's music is. It's his life. For Chad, songwriting is a way of sorting through the thoughts in his mind, capturing a moment or an emotion, and setting that to melody. The result is the sound of a singer-songwriter completely opening himself to whatever may come.
I personally see Chad Perrone as one of the most talented people I've ever met. From the second I saw Chad (at the time, with his former band), I was hooked. He has an incredible stage prescence without seeming overly full of himself (like many lead singers can tend to be). He writes some of the most gorgeous songs I've ever heard...his lyrics are incredibly personal yet his melodies are catchy and will get stuck in your head for days. I feel like anything I say about this guy won't be nearly enough to express how amazing he actually is, which is why I will encourage you to hear it for yourself, and definetely if you live in/around New England or NYC, head out to one of his shows and see for yourself, because I feel like Chad's biggest strength is in his live performance. And if you head to a show, definetely say hello to him afterwards. He's very charming and probably one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
Chad Perrone's debut solo CD can be purchased from awarestore.com or you can pick it up for a few bucks less if you head out to a show.
Some similiar artists would be: Averi (his former band), Stephen Kellogg, Matt Wertz, Josh Kelley, Syd, Patrick Thomas, and many other talented singer/songwriters.
Someone was set to write October's Artist Spotlight of the Month, but hasn't yet. So, if anyone would like to do that before the end of the month I'd love you forever and make you icons or whatever. I'll be out of town until the first week in November come tomorrow, so I won't have time, even though there's this new band I'd just love to cover. Anyway, first come first serve and I really hope someone takes the ball and writes one! They're easy, I swear it!! :D Have a happy Halloween y'all!
Seems with the end of summer and the start of school, I've been slacking off in updating this community. I do sincerely apologise for that. Moving on though, I've given the community a brand new layout, revamped the userinfo, posted a new artist spotlight, and added a post for anyone else to sign up to write one as well. I encourage all of you to go and try your hand at it, even if it's just once. If you need any help I'm sure I could find the time, so don't be afraid to sign-up if that's what has been holding you back!
I would like to ask though, what else would y'all like to see in this community? I've got a few ideas, but they all rely on member participation, so tell me what y'all are thinking and maybe I can tweak my ideas to encorporate yours! Let me know in a comment to this post, all replies are screened so feel free to speak your mind about anything, be it good or bad. :) Thanks!
The genesis of the New York outfit Hem goes back to 1999, when songwriter Dan Messe teamed up with producer/engineer Gary Maurer (who had worked with artists such as Jon Spencer, Luna, Fountains of Wayne, and James Iha). The two wanted to make a record that would explore their interests in traditional American music while draping it in contemporary stylings. They enlisted friend Steve Curtis (guitar, mandolin) and, needing a singer, placed an ad in The Village Voice. After receiving numerous demos, the ad was pulled. Then Sally Ellyson called Messé about the spot, though she claimed that she wasn't really a singer. Not expecting much, Messé asked for a demo. The tape, a cassette of lullabies she'd recorded for a friend's child, was exactly what Messé was looking for. The collaboration had started out low-budget, but as the project grew and as the bandmembers' faith in their work increased, Messé ended up selling off personal possessions in order to afford, for example, an 18-piece orchestra.
The seven-year old quartet- vocalist Sally Ellyson, pianist Dan Messé, guitarists Gary Maurer and Steve Curtis - hail from Brooklyn, New York. However, they conjure up such vivid, often pastoral settings and restless, lonesome characters in their songs, you may suspect that they long ago discovered some fantastic, secret portal in an old borough building that instantly transports them from their urban environs to a wide open prairie far, far away. Although Messé, Maurer and Curtis individually and jointly contribute material to Hem's repertoire, their vision is remarkably unified.
You might've heard their song "Half Acre" on a Liberty Mutual commercial that has been aired recently. You can see the commercial on YouTube, here, if you've not seen it already. While Hem were originally signed by Dreamworks, they've sinced moved on to the illustrious independent label, and management company, of Nettwerk. Nettwerk is well-known for supporting independent artists, as well as for rallying against the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). In regards to their feelings towards record labels suing fans for downloading music, on their site they say this, "Litigation is destructive, it must stop .... as per Nettwerk copyrights, we have never sued anybody and all our music is open source to encourage fans to share it with others and help us promote our Artists." Obviously, Hem has made the right decision in joining forces with Nettwerk.
Hem's sound has been described as "Countrypolitan", or sometimes even country-rock. All of their songs give off an ethereal vibe and draw you in, like the waters of the deep would do. Their music makes you feel warm, safe, and comfortable, like everything will be okay. Quoted by the singer, Sally Ellyson, "Each song is its own world...[we] really show an amazing ability, that I don't think everyone has, to create a world in song after song that you can become so connected to, that brings you such deep feelings -- pain, joy, sorrow."
Similar artists to Hem are Cowboy Junkies, Nick Drake, Beth Orton, Mazzy Star, and Belle & Sebastian. More information on the band can be obtained by their official website and MySpace. Also, you can find all of their albums on CDbaby.com and Nettwerk's website. Sound clips are available on all the above mention sites.
*The first paragraph was taken from the biography of the band on the website allmusic.com. The second paragraph (and subsequent quote by Ellyson) were taken directly from the band's official website biography. The Nettwerk quote was taken directly from their website as well, found under the 'about' section.
Artist Spotlight Format You can arrange this order however you'd like, but please make sure to keep all of these things included in your post.
one image of the band
official biography (or at least a paragraph of it, if it is long)
your own take on the band
what genre the band is
similar artists to the band
official links (be it website or myspace; if myspace, please make 100% sure it is official and not fan-run)
links to find out more information about said band
credit for quotes, bio, etc.
Sign-up Information If you'd like to sign up for a month to write, please be sure that you'll actually be able to do it! It doesn't take very long, and I will send you a reminder before your month is over in case you forget anyway. Below is the information I need you to reply with if you want to write an artist spotlight.
name of the band
record label the band is on (if any, and if you know)
month you'd like to write
other months you'd be willing to take, if your month is not available
the quickest way to get in touch with you (AIM, Y!M, ICQ, etc) if email, please specify