Today marks my final "A-Sides" of the year, and I have to just thank you all for reading the columns and watching the sessions. This series has been so inspiring for me, and so very rewarding. I'm just an honest guy just trying to provide a forum for artists to shine as themselves rather than caricatures of themselves. Thanks to all the amazing people who shared their craft with me, fielding offbeat questions and performing their tunes for an audience of me and my HD camera, which I unconsciously always set to Blair Witchmode. Thanks also to the music publicists I've worked with who give their all to get their artists traction. In any event, have a very happy holiday season and new year everybody, and A-Sides will raise the bar in 2013 - I promise you. Stay safe. Peace and love, Jon
Over the past five year-plus years, the New York Mets have given their fans very little to "believe" in. Sure, they've taken steps in the right direction - trading R.A. Dickey for killer prospects earlier this week will help - but it's going to be years before the not-so-Amazins' reach their potential and become a real postseason threat. While the team can't give you something to believe in, one band from Brooklyn can.
American Authors are a foursome whose new single "Believer" is starting to get some serious play on alt-rock radio - as it should. The band and their infectious debut single have nothing to do with the Mets but my intro got you to this point anyway so here it goes. Earlier this month the group (Zac Barnett on vocals, James Adams on guitar, Dave Rublin on bass, and Matt Sanchez on drums), filmed an A-Sides session at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, and performed that buzzworthy track and another tune. The band have several songs available on iTunes but don't have a full album out yet. They will. Trust me. You know when you watch a band perform in a classroom, and they just all are in their element and firing on so many different cylinders that you realize that at any given moment they could hit the big time? No? Well, I do. Watch below, and you'll get what I'm throwing down. Watch. Listen. Love.
"Keep Me Dreaming"
Clementine & The Galaxy really know how to make a splash - not literally because I haven't seen them enter a pool. Anyway, months before their debut EP comes out, the synth pop duo of Julie Hardy and Mike MacAllister released a gritty cover (and accompanying rugged music video) of Nirvana's classic "Heart-Shaped Box." That remake of the classic ode to Courtney Love's vagina gave us just a taste of what they're capable of. Earlier this month, they performed a pair of tracks off their April 2013 EP "Robots," and knocked it out of the proverbial park. Before we get to their stripped down renditions of "Taken," which I promise you has nothing to do with Liam Neeson, and "Bottom Line," which I also promise you has nothing to with Liam Neeson (whatever that means), let me break down the two. Clementine and the Galaxy formed when Hardy worked on some commercial jingles with producer MacAllister. Yep, Hardy's vocals have already been heard in ad campaigns for everything from Hershey's to McDonalds. She also appeared with Ellie Goulding during her Saturday Night Live appearance a year-and-a-half ago as well as with St. Vincent when she did "Late Show With David Letterman." Anywho, let's get to it...
Rounding out the final A-Sides trifecta of 2012 are Hunter Valentine, a metal-inspired all-female rock act that can wail with the best of them. The foursome, who have been killing it for years, just dropped their third album entitled "Collide & Conquer," and are hitting the road with Sum 41. Keep your eye out for them, because they're poised to break out in 2013. I hope so. We need good old fashioned badass rock and roll on the airwaves stat. Two weeks ago, 2/4 of the band - vocalist Kiyomi McCloskey and drummer Laura Petracca - filmed an A-Sides session, performing "This Bull Rides Tonight" acoustically and taking a few questions afterward. The performance is magnetic. Click the link already.
Song + Interview
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.