taylor swift

FREE MUSIC IS AWESOME, SHORTCHANGING ARTISTS IS STILL INCREDIBLY LAME
June 24, 2016 2:24 pm

For many of us that have grown up with the internet, it’s hard to imagine a world where music and film and games and literature aren’t readily available–for free–somewhere on the internet.

The internet has enabled us to access to whatever music we want, whenever we want, wherever we want–but, contrary to popular belief, this unlimited accessibility doesn’t come without a cost.

Instead, we’re shortchanging the artists, and that’s incredibly lame.

A rockstar-studded force of industry top-brass has assembled in an effort to urge Congress to reform the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to provide new standards of transparency in calculating royalties. Their primary culprit?  YouTube.

The petition, which has amassed 186 signatures and counting, is comprised of top-performing artists from across a wide span of contemporary genres, such as heavyweights like Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Jack White, and U2. The DMCA is a comprehensive set of policies designed to revamp our copyright protections for the digital age–or in theory at least. The petition asserts:

The law was written and passed in an era that is technologically out-of-date… compared to the era in which we live.  It has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history their pocket via smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish.

youtubeYouTube in particular shields itself through the ‘safe harbor’ provision–which prevents the company from being punished for copyright infringement so long as they respond to takedown notices. However, DMCA lacks the teeth to allow individual artists–or even large groups of artists in the case of Universal Music Group–to fight larger stakeholders such as Apple or YouTube’s parent company, Google.

In the end, the DMCA appears to be most effective at punishing individual content publishers for posting videos of the their cats dancing to Beyonce’s newest single without first obtaining a license. Big time criminals.

YouTube meanwhile brings in revenue streams from all of its videos–and because it’s impossible to submit takedown notices for every unlicensed video–the artists end up with nothing in their pockets, while YouTube continues to bring in large profits, without being held to a higher standard of transparency.

On The other hand, Do we really need to vilify every tech firm that offers a music sharing service simply because they figured out the rules of the game faster than the rest of the music industry could catch up?

YouTube needs to change it’s model–but it’s a complex issue. Even if there was a more transparent model, one that allocated youtube-petitionroyalties based on a clearly known quantity of videos being watched or music being streamed at any given time, the process of dispersing royalties would still have to go through several layers–including major record label companies–before trickling back down to the artists.

Some have argued that if these streaming services can get it right, the music industry might be able to to convince our generation that its time to pay up.

On top of there being a strict standard of transparency, artists also need to arm themselves with more information regarding the royalties–a process that many artists are oblivious to so they can better judge their own recording contracts.

We’re really spoiled. Back in the day in order to listen to a new album, you didn’t get to just click a button and instantly listen to the new song. You had to get up, put clothes on, and go to the nearest record store, hand over money, buy a giant plastic disk in a cardboard sleeve, take it all the way back home, and place that giant wobbly disc on a spinning rubber wheel, dangle a fragile metal pin over it just so, as to cause the pin to scratch the plastic disc at 78 rotations per minute, so the new song you desired to hear 4 hours earlier would play. Heavens forbid that fragile metal pin snapped, or your power went out, or someone walked across the room during a good part of a song.

So at the very least, we can do our part to appreciate the convenience technology has provided us–that doesn’t mean never stream free music again, or never burn your friends a playlist of your favorite songs–that’s a ridiculous standard to try and achieve. It just means being aware of the obstacles facing new artists. It also means supporting new artists by, when you can afford it, purchasing some music (YASSOU ; TOW3RS ; IDGY) and giving yourself a giant pat on the back.

At ATYPICALSOUNDS, we’re dedicated to emerging artists–but more than ever, it’s really tough to make a living playing music. Too many stakeholders are taking too big of a cut–and unless we can established new standards of transparency, the grave reality is that artists might no longer be able to call their passion, their profession.

Let’s not let it get to that point.

ANDREW COMBS: SONGS FROM THE SOUTHERN SOUL
May 25, 2016 12:16 pm

I was anti-country and folk for most of my life, but after a year of working at Longhorn Steakhouse, those country tunes start to grow on you. My heart still leans towards rock and electronic musicians, as it has for most of my life’s music intake, but country music (when it is good) has a place in my heart.

Andrew Combs is one of these amazingly talented country boys that makes me want to dive deeper into the sounds of the southern soul. His song “Long Gone Lately” was actually one of the songs that was on a constant repeat over those Longhorn speakers, a crafty tactic that accomplished its probable goal of making me enjoy country music. 

Combs was born in Dallas, TX but spent many years in Nashville, TN (and still resides there), so to say he has a musical background in country music is a real understatement. He has been breathing the country life since he was born. He loves songs that speak from the soul and you can hear that through his own music. He has this uncanny ability to make music that speaks to the heart. 

With his newest album All These Dreams, he explores his own music career, what it means to him and where it could take him. The album has a wonderful amount of diversity in sound and style. With darker and deeper spiritual tones in “Month of Bad Habits” and more chipper and thoughtful pieces like “Strange Bird,” Andrew is taking a lot of good risks in his style and it’s paying off. But it is more than just his sound that is unique. His lyrics and messages are quite deep and meaningful which both add a wonderful amount of flavor to his music.

If you aren’t into country, his music will reel you in with a lot of power, establishing the relationship between his experience and that of his listeners while staying true to his country roots. Taylor Swift will no longer suffice as the only country musician you enjoy. You need to try the real stuff. Give his stuff a serious listen through, let your inner cowboy or cowgirl be immersed in his fantastic sound.

MUSIC’S MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMEN OF 2015
December 26, 2015 12:14 am

2015 was kind of a hectic, yet exciting time in the music industry. It’s time to remember those female artists who have made a huge impact on their fans (and haters). No, I’m not talking about how Taylor Swift brought her whole girl squad at every performance and music award, and trended the word ‘squad’. I’m not even talking about how Adele’s latest album 25 made this whole generation cry. Sure, they could be great role models but there are quite a few other female artists who deserve to have some light shed on their talent and grit.

Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine)

Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine  The V Festival 2010 held at Weston Park - Performances - Day Two Staffordshire, England - 22.08.10 Mandatory Credit: Nick Pickles/ WENN.com

Did you know she’s bff’s with Taylor Swift, and is officially part of her girl gang? Thanks to T.Swift, she even inspired Florence to write “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” that debuted number 1 in the top US Billboard 200. That album even received five Grammy Nominations! Even the extraordinary Taylor has some things to learn from Flo’s powerful presence. “What sets Florence apart? Everything. Every time I’ve been around her, she is the most magnetic person in the room…There are very few people I’ve met in my life who are truly electric, and Florence is one of them.” (Billboard) Suffering from dyslexia, anxiety, and dyspraxia (a neurological disorder that impairs motor, memory, judgment and other cognitive skills) (Fuse), Flo still manages to write kick-ass songs and excite the crowd until she drops. Literally. She’s had a few tumbles on stage this year but she gets up and goes on with the show. She can’t stop, and won’t stop. The band had many festival appearances this year including Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Way Out West, Glastonbury Festival, and more. I’d have to say that she won me over at Governor’s Ball when she told a girl with a “HUG?” sign to crowd surf her way to the stage and made that girl’s life.

Melanie Martinez
Since her debut on The Voice, she’s pretty much had a core fan base that supported her music and believed in her talent. Although she wasn’t the ‘official’ winner of the show, she has won over many teen hearts with her relatable, grim music. They’ve even named themselves ‘cry babies’ (you know, like the Beliebers), which come from her recent debut album Cry Baby. Along her album release, she’s been putting out music videos for every single song on her album, which she has been directing. She’s also been working with notable music connoisseurs like Babydaddy, Phoebe Ryan, and Emily Warren and she’s only 20 years young! Be sure to check out her North American tour in early 2016 and join the madness.

Sky Ferrira

skythisone
You might recognize her as Zachary Cole Smith’s (DIIV) side chick. Or as that chick who signed a record deal after she was discovered singing her own songs on Myspace. Either way, she’s a cool gal who’s not afraid to put herself out there, both physically and emotionally. But sometimes, haters hate when you express yourself through social media. She recently confronted her frustration over online bullies on Instagram, claiming that calling her a ‘slut’ or ‘bitch’ on a daily basis is NOT okay (but really, don’t you have anything else to do?) Not only did she voice her opinion on verbally abusing public female figures, but she also roasted her label Polydor for ripping off her ideas and not giving her any financial or creative support. “Maybe I would have ‘sold more records’ if I had the resources to do so. It’s completely unfair that can even get used against me…I’m talking about labels & how they all need new structure…& need to be more creative & supportive of the people that they sign.” Ouch. Sadly, this isn’t the first time her label’s fucked her over- She wasn’t so happy when Capitol didn’t have vinyl copies in time for the My Time Night Time release date, and how EMI delayed her album for years. Nonetheless, we’re hoping that she’ll have somewhat of a more peaceful and positive year in 2016, especially because her new album Masochism is being released soon!

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett: 'In interviews I feel like a bit of a doofus.'
You’re basically screwed if you don’t know who she is. Everybody note her name down because this girl from Melbourne, Australia has been nominated as the Best New Artist for the Grammy Awards 2016! And surprisingly, she doesn’t know her fellow nominees Megan Trainor, James Bay, Sam Hunt, or Tori Kelly- But that’s okay. “I don’t know who they are. I probably won’t [check them out]” (NME). Since her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, she’s gained attention from the media and indie music lovers. It was even nominated at the ARIA Music Awards this year….In eight whopping categories! Now that’s pretty insane. Unlike any other artist, her sound is honest and grungy with witty rambling lyrics. You can check her out on this in-depth article we wrote on her.

Laura Jane Grace (of Against Me!)

LauraJaneGrace2
I don’t know what this petition for getting Laura Jane Grace in Star Wars Episode VIII is…But I do know that she’s a likable figure in the music industry. When her band signed to Universal, she was known as Tom Gabel. Now, she’s performing as Laura since 2012 when she opened up about being transgender. She got so sick and tired of being judged by her choices, she wore a black statement jersey on stage that read “GENDER IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT” for 60 nights. Now that’s dedication! She signed her jersey and “donated it to the group that created it for a charity giveaway.” (RollingStone) She even set up a contest where fans can win her jersey by donating $10-$15, and the proceeds would go to NPO’s. Let’s all learn from her and pay it forward. The band is currently working on their next album which will be released sometime in 2016.

Grimes

Grimes1
She never fails to surprise us with her psychedelic, pop-influenced, irresistible dream world. The Spectrum sum her up very well when they say “Grimes makes the kind of music you might expect from someone who was formerly both a dancer and a neuroscience major.” The creepy giggling, whispering, talking jibberish basically tell us that she’s nuts- but in a good way. She had an opportunity to open up for Lana Del Rey, exposing herself to (mostly) teenage girls who’ve never heard of her. In her interview with Fuse, she mentions how touring is “bad for the environment” and shows her concerns for the environment. “I think it’s real important to have real cups because we’re trying to reduce garbage…Shipping stuff around and flying 11 people around the world is quite the carbon footprint…So we’re just trying to reduce as much as possible.” She’s also a healthy eater who drinks kombucha and does not allow a single candy in her dressing room “because otherwise, I’ll only eat candy.” We’re hoping that her views on the environment and healthy will rub on to her fans, converting everyone into a bubbly and intelligent woman like her.

HOW ADELE SHATTERED MODERN MUSIC INDUSTRY RECORDS
December 4, 2015 3:12 pm

ICYMI: Adele’s newest album 25 dropped two weeks ago. Blowing away projections across the music industry, the album sold an unprecedented record-breaking 3.38 million copies in its first week.

To put things simply: These kinds of numbers are unheard of in the modern day recorded music industry.

To go into a bit more detail: Adele’s 25 sold the highest number of albums in its first week since Nielsen Soundscan began tracking point-of-sale information in 1991. The previous number one slot in 1st week album sales was held by *NYSYNC’s album No Strings Attached in 2000. Adele’s 25 shattered *NSYNC’s record by nearly a million copies. Adele’s 25 sold more albums in one week than any other album has over the past 24 years, and potentially even longer.

So what is it? How was Adele able to sell a record breaking number of albums in 2015?

Theories floating: Industry executives around the world have been arguing back and forth about how she did it. Notorious music industry contrarian extraordinaire Bob Lefsetz offered up his theory that her success is due at its core to the quality of the music. Many agree and I’ve heard the “she’s in a league of her own” argument thrown around. Others have referenced her digital marketing and social media campaigns which relied on a mysteriously brooding aesthetic to get people talking about Adele everywhere you looked for weeks leading up to the release. Some go so far as to say point blank it’s because she kept her music off streaming and video-sharing services like Spotify and YouTube.

All of these theories are valid and probably contributed in some way or another to her success. But none of these theories asses the key part of my question above: how was she able to do this all specifically in the year 2015? There have been other albums as great as 25. There have been as good if not better marketed albums than 25. Other artists have kept their music off of streaming and haven’t seen these kinds of results (remember last year’s Taylor Swift vs. Spotify drama)…

waespi_SNL1_06

Here’s my theory: It’s not just that Adele was able to sell this many albums in 2015. It’s that only Adele could sell this many albums in 2015.

Here’s why: In 2015, streaming has become a major player and is helping to defeat illegal downloading as a preferred method of digital music consumption (as reported by digital music news). Streaming is more convenient than piracy, as you can do it immediately from your mobile device without taking up storage space. Plus it is free with services like YouTube and Spotify’s “freemium” tier.

Whether streaming is a good or bad thing for artists in terms of both short-term and long-term revenue is up for debate, with good reason. However, it is hard to argue with the fact that as streaming becomes more and more popular, illegal downloading will eventually become obsolete.

1035x1407-R1248_coverSo when it was announced that Adele’s 25 was not going to be on streaming and video-sharing sites, one would think digital music fans would flock to illegal downloading sites. Instead, nearly 1 million fans went to the iTunes store on release day to buy the album. It’s a lot easier to justify spending $9.99 on an album that you really want when the majority of your music consumption is free!

Adele’s fans and music fans alike were willing to spend the money on her album because streaming has made most music accessible for little to no cost. 25 became a one-time splurge, a small purchase you had to make if you wanted to hear the album because it was going to be a pain in the ass to do it the hard (and illegal) way of piracy.

Sure, there are plenty more reasons that Adele’s 25 was able to sell as much as it did: the songwriting, the power of her voice, the quality of the music, the social media impact, the targeted advertising driving to physical retail, the late night performances, the Radio City Music Hall etc. But by many standards, 21 released in 2011 had a much stronger commercial appeal than 25 with mega-hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” “Set Fire to the Rain,” and “Rumour Has It.”

The difference between 2011 and 2015: streaming. 

Adele withholding her album from streaming did not cause people to download it illegally. Instead, they bought it. They kicked it old school. They got in their cars and drove to the nearest Target or Indie record store. Or they went on their phones and pressed the “buy” button on iTunes. They spent the $9.99 because they thought it was worth it. They thought she was worth it.

In conclusion: Adele’s album didn’t sell as much as it did despite the fact that it’s 2015, she did so because it’s 2015.

VICTORIA REED CHARMS BROOKLYN
November 18, 2015 8:00 am

11879282_915512138498784_387818074703786107_oThe weather in New York hasn’t quite made up it’s mind about whether it’s fall or winter yet (Is it even supposed to be this warm?) Luckily for us, Victoria Reed made Baby’s All Right an enchanting evening full of surprises. Detroit-bred Victoria Reed made her NYC debut performance in the heart of Williamsburg, charming the crowd with her calm and soothing voice, very similar to that of Norah Jones. She expresses her heartbroken love stories to the crowd and puts them in a song in the most beautifully sweet and mellow way. She’s basically Brooklyn’s underground Taylor Swift. She emanates the perfect after-work, chill vibe and the crowd seemed more than pleased to encounter this chic musician in fashionable white cowboy boots perform in one of Brooklyn’s most loved venues.
The city is full of surprises when it comes to underground musicians waiting to be discovered. It’s no doubt that Victoria Reed will capture your hearts and reminisce about those past (or current) relationships that you’ve had. Her debut album Chariot being released on February 26th next year will make you want to sit by the fireplace under a blanket with a hot cocoa in hand, which I’m sure will satisfy all of our cravings during that time of year anyway. Go do your ears a favor and give her a listen.

The Young Wild: The Band You Have To Know About
October 8, 2015 11:04 pm

The Young Wild, a fresh new band hailing from San Diego has been slowly making their way known in the music industry, having toured with Barcelona, Switchfoot and currently with ZZ Ward. Their story started 7 years ago when Brian and Gareth formed a classic-rock cover band in school, while Brandon was playing drums a jazz band. Although Brandon told himself multiple times that he’d “never join that band”, they ended up getting together 14 or 15 months ago. I was lucky enough to have a chat with them right after their energetic set at Irving Plaza and get to know them a little more.

The Young Wild

So you’ve only been together a bit more than a year and you’re already signed. How’d that happen?

I think really just putting our heads together and committing to the idea…All the ideas behind the band we want to be put forward was kind of what maybe earned that attention, or at least that opportunity. And as mid-20 somethings it’s right where we want to be. It’s an opportunity to grow the band and sound, and just put everything into practice that we learned up to this point.

What are they hearing besides just one kind of genre?

You get a lot of aspects. It’s indie rock, indie pop, there’s soul and hip-hop undertones to a lot of the stuff. A lot of big beats and brains soulful voice. It allows us to make a really big approachable sound and it also works for everybody’s hopes you know? It has enough rock, it has enough pop, it has enough of the soul influence to really kind of cover everybody. Those are the groups or the individuals that really make an impact across the ages with the ideas that are able to wear multiple hats. It’s like listening to that Bruno Mars song Uptown Funk. Everybody says that it’s a pop song but you know what he’s paying respect to honor wise. So maybe in a given night you hear our band, you hear our little bit of this and that. Groove is paramount and melody is paramount to pop music, but we are big fans of hip hop, soul, rock and roll and good pop songs. I mean we probably like Taylor Swift and One Direction as any one person could.

The Young Wild

So are any of you Taylor Swift fans?

As far as sonic references go her recordings are probably the most well recorded songs currently out. To listen to those songs and go into your own music tells you what you really bring. I mean, if we’re going to speak explicitly about that Taylor Swift record- First of all, let me clear this up. There’s no guilt in me that I like Taylor Swift! It’s all out in the open. There are a lot of writers that Brian and I(Brandon) really look up to and a lot of producers that worked and contributed to that record. And man, I think it would be an absolute honor to kind of be in the same idea and same vein as those talented creative people. Just because it’s really commercially successful. That’s kind of what pop music is right? It’s something that’s going to reach a broader audience and it’s going to be in a sense of desirable, attainable or listenable by most people and a lot of times that where pop kind of has a real negative connotation to it. But going back to that record, sonically it’s a really impressive piece of work. The mixes and the masters and all the technical sides were so impressive. If we can even kind of do the same thing with our music, I think that’s kind of the goal. For me, if I get a call from my grandma and my mom saying that they like the music, then thats awesome. Not to say that we’re a grandma band but there should be something for everyone.

Would you say you’re sound is still evolving?

Yeah, it’s even shifted in the last year. We’re still finding it and we’re trying to find it on this first record we’re working on. At the end of every night the best part of it is that it feels real, it’s gotta feel real to us and I think we’re being really honest with what gets us excited to do this on stage or whoever will listen. If the authenticity isn’t there, you can figure that out in the first song. So if anything, it’s always going to be honest all the way through even if we’re still kind of evolving. Our experience as a band has been exciting so far and the tours have been a great opportunity to try out all the new songs.

DSC_2017

All three of you have very different looks. Has anybody questioned your chemistry? 

We’re kind of an eclectic look of guys mainly because I can’t grow a beard(like Brendan) or a super long flow of hair(like Gareth), but we perform as one. Someone came to the merch table and said something about the image, cause our drum player and bass player look like they’re from a slayer cover band. But hopefully you feel that we’re pretty approachable and our sensibility as far as music goes more in the pop and soulful stuff you know. I’d even hope that that kind of represents our sound as well. Brian is musically way different from where I come from and even where Gareth comes from. And again, I’d hope there there’d be kind of a little sample, a taster of all these incredible works of art that we can categorize into different music genres. Maybe it’s better that we all look different.

Do you think you’ll be pressured into having a certain look in the future?

It’s kind of those things where I think as a consumer in music I can look at a band or an entire package and I’d say wow, it’s really well put together. Sometimes you can manufacture that, but I think other times we just kind of are who we are. I am who I am, Brian is who he is, etc. I guess we’d say we’re still young in our career, we’re still exploring what that looks like and I hope that’s an evolutionary process. You look at a band like Coldplay and man, their entire picture/image has changed for the last 15 years. They’ve never done the same thing twice and I’m really inspired by that. So I don’t think it’s quite as quantifiable.

Name 3 things California does better than New York City.

1.The California Burrito, that’s the one thing that California is known for. There’s french fries, sometimes carne asada or boy asada, some guacamole, salsa, sour cream…Its magical. Put all of your hopes and dreams into a burrito and that’s what you get! Mexican food is our culinary gift to the world.

2.The Weather. I mean it’s pretty easy to live there because we don’t experience nearly what rest of the country goes through as far as the cold weather and even heat.

3.Traffic-wise, for a big city, it’s very tame. There is maybe an hour in the day where you can be frustrated for 5 mins in traffic and then it kind of dissipates.

Little May Keeps it Real
July 28, 2015 10:00 am

As I walk into an artsy Airbnb loft located in East Williamsburg, I was greeted with three friendly hip Australian girls. The place was decorated with all sorts of props from trippy rainbow paintings to slightly terrifying mannequins. Hannah and Annie had just come back from a bikram yoga class while Liz struck some chords on her acoustic guitar and hummed some melodic tunes. It was the first time I’ve had an opportunity to sit down with musicians in such an intimate setting without having to worry about shouting over the loud music at a bar, or having the pressure to finish the interview in time before their set. I was more than thrilled to have a chat with these girls and know more about them beyond their music.

DSC_0466

Seeing Little May play at Rough Trade during Northside Festival for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised with their performance. Their dreamy sounds and great harmony captivated the audience and had their eyes glued on the girls the whole time. “We always struggle putting down a specific genre, but I guess maybe we’re just…honest?” A lot of their songs seem to expose their emotional journey through life with genuine lyrics that recognize sentimentality. It seems as though their lyrics come organically, and they use it as a platform to express their feelings rather than forcefully getting some words out on paper. “When you’re going through something, it’s really hard to figure out what you’re feeling and sometimes thats a good thing because you can vent in that way, but it’s really great to reflect after certain situations have passed and get inspiration from those situations as well.”

During their set Hannah mentioned that one of the songs was about a boy that she liked who ended up kissing somebody else. “Liz and I made that song after we were in a single situation so we wrote a verse each. I guess it’s tongue-in-cheek now but we look back at it and we can joke about it. I think that happens when you’re going through relationships and coming out of them, somebody liking someone else,” Hannah says in a reminiscing tone. Perhaps Hannah also gets inspiration from the popular love guru popstar. “If I’m in a bad mood I like to listen to Taylor Swift, but I’m not embarrassed by it. I just save it for those special occasions.”

DSC_0215

These girls offer some words of wisdom to girls who go through the same relationship struggles – “Just stick it out I guess. Stick it out in life. The thing is, it always get’s better if you just give it a little bit of time. Things always seem worse than they are, so be brave.”

Not only did I pick up on their excellent lyrical content, but I realized that they also have a great sense of fashion. “I think the black pants are any musicians staple and I guess with traveling, being on the road for quite a while, you kind of have to be frugal of what you’re packing so you tend to wear similar things on stage. I think if we had more options that would be great, but we just try to wear something that we’re comfortable in.” Speaking of comfortable, Liz learned that lesson the hard way by experiencing a slight wardrobe malfunction on stage. “There was a show when my top was to the side of my bra. Hannah pointed it out on stage and she was like “Liz..” and I was like oh shit!”

DSC_0208

During their short stay in New York City, they were fortunate enough to have some time off to explore around the city. “Mark, Ken and I went to a Mets game yesterday which was super fun and bought a pretzel and Bud Light. I really wanted to get a hotdog but that’s kind of pushing it” Hannah said excitedly. Liz seemed to enjoy strolling around Brooklyn, doing some shopping. “I was amazed by everything in Williamsburg, on Driggs Avenue. I found some jewelry at a handmade jewelry shop, and also bought some old records.” While Hannah and Liz were focused on certain duties, Annie just wanted to wander around. “I kind of just wandered around and ate vegan food. I’m a vegetarian but out of the past two weeks we’ve been driving around and I’ve been eating a lot of fries and stuff. You know, just wandering around and drinking coffee and just hanging out really.”

little_may_hires
We go off on a tangent and start talking about a food, which is a topic everyone gets excited about. I ask if they’ve had the full New York experience by going out and eating the staple NYC food. “All the typical New York things like bagels and big pizza slices and hotdogs and stuff – You remind yourself, “I gotta eat bagels!” but you can’t eat too many bagels you know?” Annie mentions a Japanese restaurant called Zenkichi in Williamsburg. “I think we’re going there for dinner tonight, but I’m not sure where we’re going.” Hannah is feeling for Mexican food, but pouts because “it’s a group decision.” “There’s this Mexican place when we were staying in Brooklyn not long ago and it had the best quesadilla I’ve ever had, so I’m going to miss that. I wish that we had time to go back.”

DSC_0227

Interviewing Frances Cone
July 2, 2015 10:00 am

Frances Cone sounds like a name of some male singer song-writer, but they’re actually a indie-pop band based in Brooklyn. They played at a cute little venue in the Lower East, the Cake Shop as a part of New Music Seminar last week and awed the crowd with Christina’s mellow voice. Though they were on a tight schedule and arrived only 30 minutes before their set, Christina made time to answer some questions I had while chowing down on some bananas and sipping on white wine.

How did Frances Cone form?

I met Andy at the end of 2012 through a mutual friend. I needed a bass player so he came to my house and auditioned and was ridiculously attractive and definitely talented. I was like “yeah, you’re definitely in the band!” He’s known our drummer Alex since like 3 years old, so we have wonderful band photos of them hanging out at put-put when they were little. Jeff and Andy met earlier on Myspace back in 2006. Andy was in a Boston band and he wanted to play a show in New York, so he would just get on Myspace to find a band that want to share a bill with him. So that’s how they met, they started playing shows together.

What made you want to move to NY?

You’d go to elementary, middle, high school and then go to college in the same place, and then to me NY was next. It was just a natural progression in my 22 year old head. When I got here I didn’t know why I lived here. It took me about 2 years to get settled and we talked about moving recently, but I just can’t! I love it here so much. I love that it makes general anxiety that you just create in your mind that you cannot somehow make it in New York, because everything is hard to do, like going to the grocery store. The day to day difficulties make me calm down in a way. I drank a Red Bull just now and I have a lot of anxiety, so its weird for me to be saying that I’m totally calm and peaceful…Because I’m actually freaking the fuck out.

franceonce

Living in NYC for a while, what do you think about the indie music scene here?

It’s packed with artists. I feel like I know thats true, but I still get to do my thing. I don’t feel competition, is that crazy? I’m very committed when I’m in it. I want to be inspired by everybody here. I think it’s a great place to be in and meet people and make music.

Have you discovered any local bands that you’re into?

I love Lucius, they’re great! And so is Howard. Those are probably my two favorites right now.

Whats the best show you’ve played so far?

We played at Webster Hall last fall and I think it was sold out when we were opening up for Ron Pope and it was amazing. I don’t really get nervous for big shows like that, but I’m nervous now! And I’m pretty sure there’s going to be only 10 people there. I think for the big ones there’s so much weight to it that forces me to focus away from being nervous. And when it’s a small show, I find right beforehand that I’m like “Oh my god!”

What do you do to calm your nerves?

I eat bananas and drink white wine

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Is Rihanna a guilty pleasure? I’m a guilty pleasure person . I like Taylor Swift, she’s doing a really bang up job right now with the whole apple music thing. I really respect her, as a musician and as a person. I think she’s a good human in that she’s made really cool mature decisions.

Do you come from a musical family?

My mom is a classical pianist and organist and my dad is an opera singer. Thats how he met my mom and became a pastor later. My grandmother went to Julliard in the 30’s too. They’re very confused at what I do because they’re all classically trained.

What was their reaction when you told them about Frances Cone?

They’re really supportive.  I guess they always thought I’d go away. My grandmother sent me an article the other day that was in the back of the Charleston South Carolina paper with a tiny picture of a musician- and she was like “see, you can do music in SC too!” And I was like “Nonna- I’ve been in Vanity Fair and you don’t care! What are you talking about that I can do it there too?” (laughs)

francescone

Frances Cone at New Music Seminar