Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Who's That..." Artists of the Day

Time again to find out about some new and old artists!

1) Michael Penn: One of the best indie artists out there! Do you want to know how I found out about him? Well, he is the older brother of one of my favorite actors, Sean Penn! Coming from such a talented acting family, it is kind of weird that he became a musician, but he is a really great singer-songwriter. He is often considered a one-hit wonder with the song "No Myth" from his debut album March from 1989 (won MTV Best New Artist award in 1990). Since then he has released four albums Free-for-All (1992), Resigned (1997) and MP4: Days Since a Lost Time Accident (2000), Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 (2005, on his own Mimeograph Records label), which received critical-acclaim, but were not as successful commercially. So far, he has been creating songs and scores for films and TV shows, such as Boogie Nights, Scrubs, I Am Sam, etc. His free-form style of lyric writing mixed with his indie rock pop sound (influences are Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and David Bowie- all of them I love!) makes him creatively and musically appealing. In fact, he is often compared to Elvis Costello!


No Myth

This and That

Innocent One

Walter Reed

2) Nikka Costa: Do you remember a song named "Like A Feather?" Ever wonder what happened to the singer? Well, the singer, Nikka Costa is still around. The Tokyo-born Spanish singer was surrounded by music since she was little because her father, Don Costa, was a producer, arranger and musician with many artists connections. At five, she worked with Hawaiian singer, Don Ho and at age nine sang with Frank Sinatra at the White House. She started her recording career in 1981 in Italy with "(Out Here) On My Own" (from the musical Fame). It rose to #1 on European charts in September of that year and stayed on the top spots for several weeks. Releasing several albums, such as Nikka Costa, Fairy Tales, and Here I Am, she became big in Europe and South America. However, Nikka did not develop her funk/soul/rock style till later on in her career while listening to a lot of Motown music. Since then, she released Butterfly Rocket (1996; featured "Like a Feather"), Everybody Got Their Something (hit single from title track) and can'tneverdidnothin' in the U.S. Currently, she signed with Stax Records (my favorite Soul label) and released her latest album, Pebble to Pearl in October. Let's get down and funky with Nikka!

Like A Feather

Everybody Got Their Something (played during many

Push and Pull

Get Off My Sunshine

Hope It Feels Good


Till I Get to You

3) Mando Diao: The punk/garage band from Sweden has had a following in Sweden, Germany, and Japan and recently spread to Western Europe, most noticeably the UK. Hurricane Bar is the band's breakthrough album. Dating back to 1995 in the group Butler and a different line-up, it was not until 2003 with their first album Bring 'Em In that they were starting to get noticed. Since then the group released four albums, which are Ode to Ochrasy, Never Seen The Light Of Day, Hurricane Bar and their latest in Feburary, Give Me Fire. The latest album debuted in Germany at #1. Their sound mixes Artic Monkeys with the Sex Pistols. It rocks, literally!

Dance With Somebody

Long Before Rock 'N" Roll

God Knows

You Can't Steal My Love

4) Lisa Hannigan: Her voice is eerie, but in a beautiful way! The Irish singer, musician and actress has already worked with two singers I like, Jason Mraz and Damien Rice. She has begun her career with her debut album Sea Sew with the hit, "Lillie."Her influences include a wide rnge from Joni Mitchell to Nina Simone to Janis Joplin to Michael Jackson.



Get This Party Started w/ Damien Rice (Great Cover of Pink's song)

Lucky w/ Jason Mraz

9 Crimes w/ Damien Rice

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

damien rice and kate nash are my two favorite brits hehe