Friday, 4 January 2013

Let's face the music and dance - Irving Berlin.

Eeco. A boogie woogie piano player.

Boogie Woogie: A style of blues piano playing characterized by an up-tempo rhythm, a repeated melodic pattern in the bass, and a series of improvised variations in the treble.

So it's January and the post Christmas blues are setting in. There is a pervading gloom to the beginning of the year with a sense of a winter hangover causing hibernation instincts. What better way to indulge a cosy night in than by finding someone in SL to lift the blues with some outstanding piano music. 

I went to Wiseguys, a long standing venue which has supported live-music, to their Back Alley Blues club. The  club is decorated in a jazz/blues style with wooden flooring and a simple American look. The focus is all on the music and the welcome is friendly, hosted by Lovemesweetly Lane.A good selection of dances in the intan which was good as the pace of the music called out for some matching moves.

Eeco is Dutch and is a professional piano player in rl. He has studied the boogie woogie style and tours across Europe in festivals and solo shows and is soon to tour the US. It was a pleasure to be transported by an outstanding musician and have our moods lifted by some great songs. Eeco sometimes adds harmonica and vocals but the centre piece is his dexterity on the keys. Plenty of different musical choices often played boogie woogie style with some smooth Jazz thrown in the form of 'Georgia on my mind.' A true professional, he responded to local chat and had some good banter making the show feel special and intimate. The crowd was relatively small for Wiseguys so I would suggest looking up Eeco's showtimes before his reputation grows and the lag sets in!

To check out Eeco's style look at his youtube page

Monday, 13 February 2012

Fun is good - Dr Seuss

Choo Choo Chicks 

Most Sundays, at 2pm slt, if I am in world, I can be found at Hamilton County Virtual School at a vintage train station by the luggage trollies. However I am not taking  a class, nor am I going on a journey. I am grooving to the Choo Choo Chicks. 

Unusually in SL the Choo Choo Chicks are a group. The three "chicks" perform live from Red Lotus Records in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They each have great individual voices but when they harmonize it is even more wonderful. They essentially sing jazz and blues but their song list includes music from The Andrews Sisters to Aretha Franklin and all sorts in between. Can't beat some Diana Krall followed by Etta James and Nat King Cole, all sung in The Choo Chicks own style. The guitar and bass backing provides the rhythm and the songs vary from sublime to upbeat and back again. 

There is no dress code but I am always transported to a time long before I was born. It has a dance hall feel no matter what decade the music is from. 

The setting cannot be praised enough. It is stunning and unusual and not too laggy. Add in the fun atmosphere, the chatter (in southern accents!) and the delightful welcome from Ima the hostess and I can always guarantee I will finish my Sunday evening with a smile. 

A special mention to the mesh dress I am wearing from ColdLogic. It is a valentine freebie from the subscriber and it comes with a fade to black layer to disguise  invisible thighs when you sit down or move. It passed the Sandy boogie test and even a dip from Robby my dance partner. Honestly, I am a little bit in love with this beautifully designed dress.

For more info:

Choo Choo Chicks Video

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe - Lao Tzu

Skye Galaxy

Skye has achieved quite a following in SL since he began performing in 2009 and there is alot of talk of him achieving success in his first life too. In real life he is , 22 years old from Dallas and he has already collaborated with  Rory Gallagher and ATB (see the links below) as he continues to develop as an artist. Will he be the first singer/musician to have a successful career which started in SL? There are alot of SL fans who hope so.

Of course the big problem with going to see a succesful and popular artist is the LAG. Expect soup, fog and grey avs. Most people don't bother to dance (although I did manage a slow one) and it is an achievement not to crash the sim. Patience is rewarded by Skye's performance. He never gives less than 100% and you will not care that you can't move as it is all about the sound, not the visuals. 

I saw Skye perform at Elsewhere Cafe which was a lovely venue with lots of comfy seating as well as a large dance floor. Skye sat at his piano, his avatar a fawn but if I am honest I was closing my eyes and listening.   His style was  intense with a throaty, melodic voice raising above his dynamic and consuming piano backing. He mixed his own compositions with covers performed in his own original style.  

His covers included Paradise by Coldplay and  Creep by Radiohead. He often mixed one song straight into another seamlessly taking you on a journey, filled with emotion. The performance moved from uplifting and inspiring to desolate and tormented. The crowd responds to every song and he will often dedicate songs to friends. There is little chatter as most people seem absorbed and commented only on the performance.

It is hard to believe that a young man can be so accomplished and dedicated and I would urge people to go and see what the hype is all about to make up their own minds. If you can't face the lag you can find out more and hear some of his music on:

Saturday, 31 December 2011

I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. - Billy Joel

Music oxygen (Mark Catron)

For my last post of 2011 I decided to choose a random performer from Search. It is easy to get stuck in a rut and go and see the people you are familiar with but going random can reveal some hidden gems. Music was performing at Cloud Nine, a beautiful setting I would normally associate more with romantic dancing but this was a great concert to attend alone. I stood in the corner surrounded by a huge crowd and tuned in. There were some couples dancing but most of the crowd were sitting or standing as it really was the type of music to lose yourself in. The crowds made it laggy which is a downside of a popular artist or venue but it does create a buzz. This crowd wasn't too full of gestures either, just applause and compliments  ( Top tip: I turn my gesture sound off so I don't miss what the singer says between songs) 

Music had written all his own songs and he has an extensive list. He sings from the heart with a soft, American accent and plays guitar. My favourite song was Why should we believe which was inspiring. I also liked Sticks and stones which contained the line "made me taste so many tears" and was  about being hurt and being in pain but surviving.

I was going to describe Music  as an acoustic folk type singer but actually he said something between songs which describes his style much better. He said he had just figured out his genre...dark country! I can't say I am a huge country fan being a true Brit but country has a huge following in SL from the US contingent. However Mark's style was not what I think of as country. It was modern and thoughtful and maybe a little melancholic or wistful  rather than dark. I read in his bio at the end of his concert that he has autism and has battled for many years with misdiagnoses. It is easy to see that his music has been very healing and I am glad he is sharing it with SL audiences.

If you fancy some time out to reflect and be introspective then Music is your man.

Happy New Year!! 

You can find out more on:

Thursday, 29 December 2011

I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to - Elvis Presley

Have you ever been to a live music event in SL? Pretty weird huh? Listening to someone in their living room singing karaoke. Well, there is a bit more to the live music scene than that.

So, everyone likes music right? I can still remember the first concert I ever went to when I was just 13 years old at Hammersmith Odeon in London. It was Nik Kershaw, an 80's  pop idol, with spiky hair. I sang along with the thousands of other teeny boppers and my love for live music was born. I know. This does not make me an icon of coolness and I don't pretend to have any style when it comes to my music taste. In fact my taste is so eclectic I love everything from David Bowie to Michael Buble and a great deal in between. Don't judge me for not being cool!!!

What I miss most about getting older is going to gigs or concerts and being part of a live event. Nothing beats the atmosphere, the ad libs and the screaming.....which is why I discovered that I love going to live events in SL. I know lots of people don't like them, probably don't see the point and you aren't going to find many undiscovered indie bands to be fair. But scratch the surface and there is some real talent in SL. Real life performers who use their av to croon out the oldies, sing the blues, jazz it up with a big band backing track or play guitar or piano and even some songwriters performing their own stuff. The thing I found I liked is that you can bust out the moves on the dance floor (unless the lag is dreadful!) either by yourself or as a couple or chill out in the corner of some pretty spectacular venues. Also if you find a performer you like then you get to know a crowd of people too. My fave performers are the ones who put on a show, make me laugh and engage the crowd. If you look up live performances in search you can pick one that appeals, dress appropriately or not (come on, you know that's half the fun) and head on over. One of the good things is that most live performers have something of a following so its worth a visit just to see some people if you fancy some company. In my experience the crowds are friendly although this does vary. Just one thing: Most performers these days do not get paid and they rely on tips so be generous when you can to them and to the venues. 

In 2012 I will try and feature some of my faves and maybe some new faces too.  More pics, less waffle. Get in touch if you have a suggestion or want to be featured yourself. So, if you haven't tried live music, give it a go. The beauty of SL is that if you don't like someone you can just tp away and go shopping.........