About four years ago (I forget in my old age), I was contacted by a music publicist to come out and see a young singer/songwriter perform at a small club in New York City and interview her afterwards. I couldn't make it that night for whatever reason, and two years later I'd kick myself... hard. A few years later (what year you ask? I'll go through my gmail inbox after I publish this post), another publicist hit me up (not literally, because that would be wrong) and asked me to spend an afternoon with one of her clients: another singer/songwriter from England who was in her assessment: "the next big thing." I couldn't make it that day either, and my ass has been black and blue ever since (get it? I kicked myself again). The two performers I'm speaking of were respectively Lady Gaga and Adele. How was I supposed to know they'd break out like a pimple at the center of your neighbor's kid's nose?
Anyway, I bring up these stories for a reason. This series I've created has allowed me to more than make up for missing out on those two interviews with those two immensely talented world dominaters. Take our two artists today for example, who are on the cusp of breaking through and arguably already have. The alt-rock quartet Diamond Youth, who come off as a poppier Queens of the Stone Age (I mean that in a good way), may be the best thing to happen to rock and roll in quite some time. The band, who have roots in Baltimore and Chicago (the members iChat and Garage Band their way through creating music), unleashed "Orange," their EP follow-up to Don't Lose Your Cool, and it's among the top two best things to happen to music in 2013 thus far.
Earlier this month, Youth's Justin Gilman and Sam Trapkin performed "Cannonball" off their latest EP in super-cool acoustic fashion and spoke about it. Watch the performance below followed by an extremely casual interview afterwards. Discover them now, and thank me later.
Men at Work. Naomi Watts. Michael Hutchence. For those three names alone - especially the latter, Australia has a lot to be proud of. Well, let's go right ahead and add another: Longreef. OK, you too Nicole Kidman. Anyway, Longreef is a solid Aussie band who played hundreds of shows last year, and are continuing that trend this year. On the road in support of their sophomore EP Dirty Motel, the band recorded an "A-Sides" session from - where else? - the road. Before you watch an interview and the band's performance of "She Likes the Ladies," here's a brief lowdown: the band came to the states in 2010 in support of their self-titled debut EP. Since 2011, the band has played over ten states and 30 cities, opening for the likes of Bush, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Stone Temple Pilots - to name a few. The first single off their self-titled debut - "Lonely" - reached 33 on Billboard's Top 40 R&R Indicator charts. Boo yah! Now let's get to it! Watch. Listen. Love.
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series usually 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.