Monday, January 30, 2006

Hotels ROCK!!!!

Happy Year of the Dog everyone!

Sherman is back from a weekend getaway! Planned on trying to visit the mountains, but a storm blew through and tons of snow hit. Headed down to Portland instead. Sherman spent a wonderful weekend doing what he does best, playing music and loving the hotel! You can see his favorite place in the hotel is...the mini-bar. You really have to watch him. The bar bill can be quite a surprise at checkout when Sherman's around. By the way, when did Portland gets so freakin' cool? People actually seem cosmopolitan there. Like they care how they look and like nice things. Each trip down there ends up with Sherman wondering how their urban growth plan is blowing away his hometown. No harm Seattle, but what up?

Spent some serious time listening to the new Beth Orton in the last several days. I had heard bits and pieces, but not the album in it's entirety. Comfort of Strangers will be available on February 7th and is her first work in four years. This is a very welcome release from Orton. Many of us have missed that sound from her Trailer Park release. The intimate songwriting, the bare bones sound, the music we all fell in love with is back. This is Orton doing what she does best. This is about her greatest strengths, her voice and her writing. On several songs, we simply have the pleasure of hearing she and two other musicians, Jim O'Rourke on guitar, bass and piano (who produced the record) and Tim Barnes on percussion. Songs like "Countenance", "Hearthlandtruckstop" and "A Place Aside" all have those traces of the first time you ever heard that voice. It is sweet, sultry, rich, and without comparison. Orton is a treasure. This is an album to embrace and be grateful for. This could be the album of her career. A familiar sound, but a fresh body of work enhanced by the understated influence of O'Rourke. The production makes you feel as if you were in the room while this was recorded. Raw percussion, warm guitar and sparse arrangement create a stripped down sound that aids in the delivery of the lyrics. It provides the perfect frame for Orton's artwork. Speaking of artwork, Orton's illustrations grace the liner notes with pencil drawings and crayons. Look for her live dates starting in the UK and Ireland this month and coming stateside in March. Welcome back Beth! Her performance on Letterman last week was simply a tease for what we can expect on her tour!

I'm sure by now, you have all heard about the big secret show of the weekend. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins and The Elected treated a select few to a secret double bill on Sunday night. LA fans were given the opportunity to see these two at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. Reviews are in and it sounds like it was a night that won't soon be forgotten. The Elected joined Nic Harcourt on Morning Becomes Eclectic this morning for an outstanding live performance. They also announced that they will be opening for some of the Stars shows in February (including the Seattle show) and headlining their own tour in March. Oh to be in LA last night....

Heard the new Richard Ashcroft, yes that Richard Ashcroft today. Can someone please tell me when he became the odd combination of Jon Bon Jovi, Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan. "Bittersweet Symphony" is still one of the greatest songs ever written, I think that's how I would like to remember him. This new release just doesn't cut it.

Now it's time to take out that old friend you haven't heard in awhile. It's time to pull out something from Nightmares on Wax. Preferably something like Carboot Soul or Smoker's Delight! These albums never grow tired. They are the perfect companion to a night of chilling out no matter where you are (a hotel is ideal!). There is something about these perpetually cool laid back beats that melt away all your troubles and put a soulful grin on your face. Looking forward to the next release from NOW, In A Space Outta Sound will drop on March 6th! To quote George Evelyn “Today’s music is inspired by what’s gone on before and that is what fascinates me. Following on in that tradition I am inspired by the old and want to evolve it into something new. I see it as a never ending cycle and that is where I want to be.” Check out Bleep for a preview or download of the single "Passion". Anyone out there catch him at APT in NY last week with DJ Language? Bet that was a treat!

Sherman would like to share the magic that is the clothespin person! Can you believe how cute they are???

The UK rumor mill is abuzz with reports that Pink Floyd will be doing a two week stint at Royal Albert Hall!!?? Sherman is ready for a trip over the pond!

Over and out for Monday! One down and 4 to go until the weekend! Looks like rain all week around here. Getting really old. Believe it or not, but rain prevented Sherman from seeing Imogen Heap last night. He's still crying over that one. Oh, and here's one more reason Sherman loves a posh hotel!!


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