paul nicholson

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Thoughts from a show

In Entertainment, Me, Music on July 13, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Feeling especially contemplative at the Sixpence None The Richer show at 3rd and Lindsley, so rather than continue to clutter Twitter, just gonna run a bit of a random thoughts blog. Enjoy.

  • Many indie/rock musicians are still following the fashion (hair and clothes) example set by Nirvana (and to a lesser extent some punk bands from the earlier) nearly 18 years ago. i find that remarkable.
  • I know from experience, the stage at 3rd and Lindsley looks and feels small from the audience but is deceptively big. The whole venue feels like a tiny club, but the stage accommodates a 5-6 piece band with ease and the place must have 300-500 people in it right now. Good balance. Very good sound guys too. Unlike some venues in town (*cough*Exit/In*cough*).
  • Of course, the 8 person band (yes – eight people!) that Sixpence has on stage is a little cramped. Sheesh!
  • Apparently Sixpence None The Richer is still drawing pretty much the same people they used to. Not the same crowd – actually the same people. In the last 6-8 years they’ve gone from drawing 20-somethings (and a mixed crowd) to drawing 30-something women – almost exclusively. At least at this show. Not that that’s a bad thing. Though this does feel just a little like the shows that the Hugh Grant character in ‘Music and Lyrics‘ was doing, but less pathetic.
  • Really random thought: Blogger’s examples for the types of words to use for tags have been “scooters, vacation, fall”. One day I’m going to take a vacation in the fall and ride a scooter just so i can write a blog post about it. :-)
  • The electric guitar player for Sixpence (not Matt Slocum or the all acoustic all the time guy or the bass player – the other one) has dreads, a black shirt, s bandanna hanging out of his back pocket, and his guitar is slung low (resting on his knee from a standing position). He’s very good, but looks like they found him behind the punk/metal stage at a festival and decided to keep him. He’s now playing an electric mandolin. Image/sound conflict, but it works.
  • The keyboard player (edit: whoa, that’s Sam Ashworth) on the other hand looks like he should be in a lounge on a cruise ship. A cool lounge, but still there’s a big shift from stage right to stage left.
  • While we’re on the topic of band dress: Christy and i used to comment how Leigh Nash was always really good at dressing very stylish, but very modestly. Tonight…let’s just say i could describe an undergarment to you in detail. Distracting much?
  • The percussionist (not the drummer, the other one)(edit: whoa, that’s Steve Hindalong!) is using two tambourines simultaneously throughout the evening. When one tambourine just isn’t enough…
  • Aside from being an amazing songwriter, Matt Slocum is a deceptively good guitarist. Wow.
  • Seeing live music always makes me want to play more, and get a chance to play out. i got only a very small taste of it, and was never a good enough drummer (or took the time/money to do the gear like a pro) to do it in the past. Sometimes I think about selling my drum kit for the nice cash it would bring, but i still want to play sometime. As long as i have it there is a hope that I’ll either play with Nick and/or Jamie sometime again. Someday it may be like my dad’s old saxophone in the closet.
  • Before the show, the house mix played a pop cover of “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat“. Love the song, but that one i wouldn’t have called as cover-worthy. It worked though. (Looked it up after i got home and apparently Don Henley covered it. Eeww. I don’t think that’s what we were hearing tonight though.
  • Matt Slocum must know his pedal board and the floor of every venue he’s ever played very well. He never looks up through the whole show. Not looking at his guitar or feet board most of the time. Just studying the floor.
  • 3rd and Lindsley’s chicken tenders are surprisingly good. Their bathroom is also too nice for a bar/club like this. They need to take out the nice vinyl floor and stucco walls and replace them all with thinly painted plywood. That would fit much better. Thanks.

Ok, the show is wrapping up, so i guess i will too. Thanks for letting me spew random thoughts at ya for a while.

PS: i could see the set list- they planned an encore (“Eyes Wide Open”) but the audience didn’t ask for one, probably because it was broadcast on the radio and the announcer ‘signed off’ the air. Oh well. It was a great show.

The Faux Brummles

In Entertainment, Me, Music, Videos on June 7, 2008 at 10:09 am

A few friends of ours dropped us an email a saying “A friend of Allison‘s (from work) husband is playing as part of a band on Friday night, do you want to go see them. The band is: Phil Keaggy, Dave Perkins, Lynn Nichols, Rick Cua, Mark Williamson, Mike Radovsky, Tom Howard, and several other players. Playing nothing but covers. Small cafe venue. $5 cover. Do you want to go see them?”

My response was essentially: “ARE YOU KIDDING?!”

And apparently i was so excited i completely neglected to invite Jamie, my dad, or anyone else who would appreciate seeing Phil Keaggy play with half of Chagall Guevera (and half the band that played on his amazing “Crimson and Blue” album) with some of the other best musicians in Nashville.

So, i’m a jerk.

Not only that, but i neglected to adequately test my Canon S3IS’s ability to record REALLY LOUD music. It handled it better than my Sansa, but not quite as good as the old tape recorder in my pocket used to when i bootlegged every show i saw. Oh – and i also didn’t think to take two SD cards, just a single 2GB job that could hold about 70min of video tops.

But at any rate, i recorded what i could. But i missed the last 3 tunes (including Rick Cua’s one and only amazing bass solo) and the audio quality is poor.

However, even though the audio is fairly trashy, it unfortunately gives you an accurate feel for the sound that evening. REALLY LOUD and unbalanced. The drums and organ were way too loud, and you could barely hear Phil Keaggy’s or Dave Perkins’ guitars, or Phil Keaggy’s and Mark Williamson’s vocals. But all-in-all it was still pretty amazing.

I recorded video when i felt like i could. I didn’t have a tri-pod and i wasn’t sure they really wanted the whole thing video taped, so i just left it sitting on the table recording the lens cap and sound most of the show, and occasionally would pick it up and pretend to take still photos and shoot video of the band. I realized after the fact that they probably would have been fine with me setting up a tripod in the corner and recording the whole thing… lessons learned.

Anyway – here’s a rough version of them covering the Beatles’ “Get Back”. I’ll try to clean up the audio and post the whole show later.

The Faux Brummles from Paul Nicholson on Vimeo.

Note about the band name: They were the Faux Brummles…named after the Beau Brummels, a ‘fake’ British Invasion band that was really from the ‘States. Since these guys weren’t really a band, they figured they’d be a fake-fake-band. I took the misspelling of “Brummles” from the marquee out front, but who knows if that was a typo or intentional. They said if they ever play again it’ll be under a different name, so don’t look for them too hard in the future.

I fell for it

In Funny, Music, Pictures on November 20, 2007 at 10:55 am

I just paid $0.89 extra for a large combo i very much didn’t need, just to get a free download that normally cost… $0.89. Stupid.

Rock Band: First Impressions

In Entertainment, Games, Music, Reviews on November 1, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Update: this review wasn’t based on the final version of the game, as it has only today (11/5) “gone gold“. So the vocal issues may have been addressed in the retail version. Unfortunately i think it’s a little too late to do anything about the guitar controller. We’ll see.

Just got back from hanging out with my wife and sister, doing some shopping. Once we wrapped up finding what my sister needed, i forced them to follow me to Best Buy to try out Rock Band. I had heard on Engadget that many Best Buys had the demos, so wanted to see if ours did. It did!

So…how was it?
Not so fabulous.

First, the good:
The graphics looked great, and the parts were well written. The game also sounded good (as good as it could sound at an in-store demo). The song selection we rocked in store included “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”, “Say It Ain’t So”, and “Main Offender”. The demo also had “Suffragette City”, “Tom Sawyer”, and a few other tracks we didn’t get to.

As a drummer, i was very skeptical that the drums would “feel” like drums, but i will say, it was remarkable how fast it felt like i was back home drumming. It was actually pretty funny, on the ‘Beginner’ settings, i found the drums very difficult, mostly because it over-simplified the more complicated rhythms (triplets, etc) to songs i knew well. I kept trying to play the “real” rhythm and getting being marked wrong. Once i upped the difficulty though, it was a lot of fun. But since i was already playing on ‘Hard’ on the demo in the store without breaking a sweat, i don’t think drummers should look for a challenge in this game. The drum controller also felt like it could really take a beating (a good thing for a drum simulator). I will note: the in-store demo didn’t have the foot pedal controller (though i was playing the kick part on the floor anyway to keep myself honest, and i really found that easier anyway), so no promises there, it could be flimsy.

Now, the bad:
The new guitar controller, which i was excited to play (with its extra 5-frets keys), was a major disappointment. It felt flimsy, and worst of all, proved to be so. The strumming switch (is that what it’s called) was already toast. It wasn’t registering strums unles you really mashed down on it hard. The whole guitar just felt lighter and flimsier than the Guitar Hero 2 controller i have at home – which is strange since i think it is also a little bigger. It was so bad, we actually couldn’t play with the guitar. We kept failing every song, even though we had it on easy. It would only register about 1 in 3 notes. Bad bad sign, since this in-store demo has only been there for about 48 hours, and the Guitar Hero 2 demo that has been at the same Best Buy for months was still up and rockin’ perfectly.

Equally disappointingly was the vocal gameplay. My sister and wife are both singers – and i don’t just mean they lead Christmas carols with the family. They both majored in music with their vocal chords as their ‘instrument’. We’ve played SingStar (a console karaoke game) too, and did very well (even i did). But over and over again, the vocal track failed out on both of them, even on ‘Easy’. Now, there are a lot of people out there who are going to be horrible singers, but will want to play this game and have fun with their friends. On ‘Easy’, it should require absolute silence to fail out of the vocal track as far as i’m concerned. Maybe it was a problem with the mic, but if so, that again doesn’t bode well. Same problem as the guitar – this Best Buy’s SingStar demo has been running just fine for months. If this mic was dead after just 48 hours, that really doesn’t bode well.

So…do i want this game? Would i recommend it?

I have to honestly say, not so much anymore. I’d love to play some of those songs on Guitar Hero, and playing drums was fun… but for $170+ this game was very, very disappointing over all. Fabulous concept, obviously. I just think there will be a lot of frustrated vocalists and down right furious guitarist in January as their controllers start dying. I’m actually going to remove it from my wish list until i have assurance that the game doesn’t fall apart inside of a few months.

(I am kicking myself right now that i didn’t take any pictures with my phone to make this a really good review. But if you want to see what the game looks like, check here)

rock band hero

In Entertainment, Games, Me, Music on October 29, 2007 at 11:07 am

The “final” list of songs for Rock Band (minus the unlockable songs) just got released. Here are the ones i’m the most hyped about playing (full list is here):

Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”
The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
Boston “Foreplay/Long Time”
David Bowie “Suffragette City”
Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop”
The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Foo Fighters “Learn to Fly”
Metallica “Enter Sandman”
Weezer “Say It Ain’t So”
Garbage “I Think I’m Paranoid”
Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun”
The Hives “Main Offender”
OK Go “Here It Goes Again”

Great stuff.
This got me thinking the other day… If i could make a list for Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) what would it include… Here’s what i got so far (in no particular order):

Booker T and the MG’s “Green Onions”
Ben Folds “Rockin The Suburbs”
Jimi Hendrix “All Along the Watchtower”
Jimi Hendrix “Foxy Lady”
All Star United “Big Rock Show” (or maybe “Theme From Summer”)
U2 “Beautiful Day”
Rolling Stones “Paint It, Black”
Smash Mouth “Road Man”
Earth Wind and Fire “September”
Electric Light Orchestra “Four Little Diamonds”
Electric Light Orchestra “Birmingham Blues”
Dandy Warhols “Bohemian Like You”
Santana “Oye Como Va”
The Clash “Train in Vain”
POD “Boom”
Simon and Garfunkle “Mrs Robinson”
Foo Fighters “My Hero”
Foo Fighters “Everlong”
Robbie Williams “Let Me Entertain You”
Weezer “Buddy Holly”
Weezer “Keep Fishin”
Sum 41 “Fat Lip”
Jamiroquai “Feels Just Like It Should”
Jamiroquai “High Times”
Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues”
ZZ Top “La Grange”
Beach Boys “Good Vibrations”
Felming and John “I’m Not Afraid”
Stevie Wonder “I Wish”
Bob Marley “Jamming”
The Monkees “Last Train to Clarksville”
Switchfoot “Chem 6A”
Switchfoot “The Loser”
Cake “Short Skirt, Long Jacket”
Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”

While we’re at it, whole albums i’d love to see:

Weezer [Blue album]
Switchfoot “New Way To Be Human”
The Clash “Combat Rock”
Nirvana “Nevermind”

Of course, many of these would be better (and this would be much longer) if there was a keyboard/piano/organ controller.

And i’m leaving tons off…i am going to be embarrassed when i come back and look at this later, i know. But hey, i’m just doing this on my lunch break for fun. Sue me.

my wife, the girl singer

In Christy, Music on July 25, 2007 at 9:26 pm

I just have to take a moment to brag on my wife.

She’s been taking a class at the Nashville Jazz Workshop for the past 5-6 weeks. She wanted to do it and really has enjoyed it. Tonight, they had a concert with each of the students performing 2-3 songs. All from the Rogers and Hart songbook.

She was great.

For those that don’t know, my wife was actually a vocal major (classical/soprano) in college, so it isn’t like i didn’t know she could sing. She sings around the house frequently and..well, yeah. She’s good. But she also has a fairly soft, small voice. She worked through much of college to counter that while singing classically (arias, no mics, etc). Worked a lot on technique and how to sing as big and strong and exaggerated as possible. She was good at it…but tonight, she was singing jazz. In my opinion, this is what she was made to sing.

Thanks to the mic, and the fact that she was singing a ballad (one of the songs anyway) really let her shine. She was able to drop all the exaggerated stuff she had been forced to do singing classically and just allow her voice to be natural. It was really beautiful. She did well on the up-tempo tune too, no question. Good energy, but not crazy, etc. But the ballad…this woman was made to sing lullabies and torch songs.

There was video shot, and i’m hoping we get a copy soon. I’ll try to convince her to let me post it. I tried to record it using her Sansa, but it just didn’t turn out too well. The band over balanced her in the recording (it was fine live) and i’m not sure if i am going to post it or not.

Anyway, i thought she was great, and really look forward to making her forget everything she learned in college and sing more pretty, jazzy stuff.

Side note: The Nashville Jazz Workshop was awesome. That place is amazing. The players in her backing band tonight were very good (though for other acts later they seemed to be a little less-tight) and the building and atmosphere is amazing. Driving there looks really sketchy, but once you’re inside the building it is awesome. It has me wanting to take some drum classes just so i can work on my chops some for the Quartet.

Side note 2: This is my 250th blog post. :-)

the nick hilscher quartet

In Friends, Me, Music, Videos on June 19, 2007 at 6:54 pm

We did it. We got the band back together!

One of Nick’s friends was getting married, and asked him to play for the wedding. Nick called us up, we practiced a few times, and played the reception. Much fun! This time we also were able to add a bassist (Allan Douglas) and it really helped our sound. (Getting our piano tuned for practices didn’t hurt either). So the Nick Hilscher Trio, grew into the Nick Hilscher Quartet.

I was really really happy with how this came together. We actually only had one practice with all four of us present, but we were able to establish a really good groove (it helps with the bassist grew up obsessed with Stax Records and Motown). This is a really good group of guys and i’d love to play with them more.

Nick is obviously an amazing talent but also a really good friend. I’m always blown away when we play – he’s a great vocalist but an amazing pianist. I think he’s a lot like Nat King Cole (or maybe Diana Krall): make a career out of singing, but all the musicians and jazz fanatics love his piano work just as much. I really wish him well in getting his band going, though i want to put out the vote again for him to really work on the smaller combo stuff. (For those that don’t know, Nick used to sing and play piano for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and recorded an album with them.) It might be my personal preference, but as much as he’s great in front of 20+ people, his personality and amazing talent are better showcased in a small combo setting. But maybe that’s just me.

Jamie is a great friend and a great musician. We were just talking and realized that he and i have known each other about 10 years now. The longest i’ve known anyone outside of my wife and blood relatives. He has an extremely wide breadth of musical knowledge that overlaps mine quite a bit, and we’ve known each other and played so long together i feel like we can really mesh well together, but we also know what we are capable of and when and how to push each other. We (almost) always have fun playing together too. It only takes one of us playing a few notes to start right in to a song like we’ve practiced it. He’s also a better improviser than he’ll usually admit.

Allan i haven’t known nearly as long, but our first conversation was about obscure early 90’s alternative Christian music bands and their production style. And it went up hill from there. He grew up playing and listening to Booker T and the MG’s (who you will find in my playlist on the right panel of this blog) – which is exactly the background i would want any bass player to have. He also has an album of his own about to be released. Go check out his MySpace page for details and clips.

So anyway, back to the gig.

Christy took some pictures and videos during the wedding. Unfortunately, due to an strange accident with a network attached storage drive that decided to go wonky on us, only one video survived. It’s really a pity because Christy took some great photos and captured some good video too. Fortunately i think the one video that survived is one of the better ones, as it was recorded near the end of the reception when we were more relaxed. For the record: the strange off-beat splash cymbal stuff i randomly start doing at the 1:15 mark was in response to someone who was being goofy and doing the can-can. Gotta work the crowd.

So, here’s that video. Don’t judge too harshly: the piano was horribly out of tune and we were there to be a dance band, not putting on a jazz concert (in other words: having fun, not making art).

We all want to play together more, and we already have one invitation to play for a friend’s parents’ anniversary party coming up in another few months. Hopefully Nick moving to Atlanta won’t prevent us from playing some more. I think (hope) they are planning on coming back to visit occasionally, so hopefully we can jam some and keep our chops up. Who knows, i might actually practice and feel confident enough to use sticks instead of brushes on more than one song this time :-)

(Note: the phrase “Nick Hilscher” is already the most popular search term people hit my site with)

my favorites

In Blog Stuff, Entertainment, Family, Me, Music on January 27, 2007 at 8:23 pm

My sister just made a fun post on her blog listing a lot of her favorite bands.

I am both too lazy and too compulsive to try to really put together a comprehensive list of my own, but i can copy and paste from Rhapsody…

This is a copy/paste from Rhapsody – these are my “top rated” artists. Not everyone i like/love is on Rhapsody, and even those that are, i haven’t rated all of them yet. But anyway…here’s the list, roughly in descending order, but don’t put too much stock in that.


Jamiroquai, Queen, Chagall Guevara, Dave Brubeck, Steve Taylor, Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash, Weezer, Ella Fitzgerald, Relient K, The Sounds, Venus Hum, Imogen Heap, The Postal Service, The 77’s, The Beatles, Radiohead, Stereolab, Santana, Annie, All-Star United , Ladytron, Garbage, Mr. Scruff, Smash Mouth, Tony Bennett, Zero 7, OK Go, Death Cab For Cutie, Fleming & John, Daft Punk, Louis Armstrong, The Beach Boys, Electric Light Orchestra, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, Ben Folds, Kylie Minogue, Nat King Cole, Wax Poetic, Brand New Heavies, Robbie Williams, Sufjan Stevens, Franz Ferdinand, Cool Hand Luke, Joy Electric, Benny Benassi, Goldfrapp, Fischerspooner, Switchfoot, Coldplay, U2, Dido, Frou Frou, Led Zeppelin, Everclear, Glenn Miller, Cake, Sum 41, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, The Ramones, Johnny Cash, Blondie, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bodyrockers, Chuck Berry, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Telepopmusik, Diana Krall, Earth, Wind & Fire, Chumbawamba, Duke Ellington, Michael Jackson, Vince Guaraldi, Frank Sinatra, Starflyer 59, They Might Be Giants

summer festivals

In Blog Stuff, Entertainment, Me, Music on January 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Well, i think this will be the first time since i started blogging, but it was inevitable:

Sorry it’s been so long!

Not that it really matters. I’m only averaging 6-8 a views a day, most of which are random hits or people looking for hockey stuff. Based on the great response from my request for comments, and the best i can tell, the remaining 2 of you are my wife and father-in-law. Thanks guys.

Anyway, just wanted to tell everyone about the two awesome festivals i’m not going to this summer. I am a big music fan, and love live music, but i mostly enjoy massive festival shows from the comfort of my DVD. I prefer my live music in groups of 200 or less. 200,000…not so much. However, these line-ups give me pause. Several of these bands don’t actually exist anymore and a reuniting for these shows – or better yet – are cool, current acts that rarely if ever play live shows, much less play them in the US.

Anyway…you can see the full line-ups other places. Here’s the listing of bands that i would actually want to see at each show:

Rage Against the Machine
The Police

Depeche Mode
Daft Punk
Franz Ferdinand
Sigur Ros
Imogen Heap
Massive Attack
Paul Oakenfold
Los Amigos Invisibles

:::Bonnaroo (from a rumored line-up, not official):::
The Police
Bob Dylan
Willie Nelson
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Modest Mouse
Medeski, Martin and Wood
Four Tet

Now, many of these “bands” are electronic acts that consist of one or two people and whose stage shows consist of them pressing play then running cool light shows. I know this because i used to be the guy that pressed play in another band (whoa, flashback). So in reality i don’t think i’m probably missing amazing shows as much as the chance to say that i saw Ladytron.

Now, i do think some of them will be great live (Medeski, Bela Fleck, Daft Punk, Sigur Ros), and one i have seen live and know they will be great (Imogen Heap). But over all it is definitely not worth the time, money, discomfort, and general hassle of dealing with the trips to cali or even just down the road to ‘roo (man i’m hip…check me throwin’ the slang). But i’ll probably look to buy the DVD if they sell them.

headphones at the opera

In Cool Tech, Entertainment, Music on January 15, 2007 at 7:23 am

Now this is cool!

The Nashville Opera is about to start offering directors commentary tracks to be listened to during the performance! I’m pretty proud that Nashville is pioneering this.

Apparently you are supposed to go to the first show, then go home, download the commentary to your MP3 player, then listen to it during the 2nd or 3rd shows. You just start playing it back at the beginning of the show and it should stay roughly synced (maybe the scenes or acts are broken up into separate files?). They even discount the tickets to your second show.

I would also assume that some that are curious about the technology or are totally newbies to opera may just do this on their first viewing, but personally i don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.


In Christy, Entertainment, Music on January 10, 2007 at 5:02 pm

she’s right.

iTunes failure?

In Cool Tech, Entertainment, Music on December 13, 2006 at 10:31 am

Apparently people are not as dumb as i thought. Not in the long term anyway.

Forrester Research just announced that the number of monthly iTunes transactions has dipped 58% since Jan ’06, and average purchase size has declined by 17% – an overall revenue decline of 65%.

“It is too soon to tell if this decline was seasonal or if buyers were reaching their saturation level for digital music”

…or people are finally realizing that iTunes and iPods are a rip-off. They are upset that more and more of their friends are purchasing MP3 players that will work with subscription services. For just $14.99 their friends can access unlimited amounts of music. While iTunes users can only add 15 songs per month for the same price.

“Only Apple knows just how much profit there is at the end of the day on a $1.98 credit card transaction for two songs, but with transaction costs, hosting costs, and the wholesale price of the songs, there’s not much margin left”

In other words, Apple gets charged a certain amount per transaction, so when the purchase size goes down, it hurts profits. Overall sales going down obviously hurts too. Apple’s cash cow is hurting.

I am not trying to revel in the failure of Apple, i am honestly happy that consumers may finally be realizing that iTunes is not a good deal.

(I have to get back to work, i’ll probably right more on this later.)

soundtrack to the next 2 hours

In Entertainment, Family, Me, Music on November 24, 2006 at 10:26 am

My sister just did this on her blog. Normally i steer away from these things, but this one seemed fun. So here it goes…

Here’s how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Rhapsody, Winamp, Media Player, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, For the first 16 songs, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button Write them down.
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool…

(note: My Rhapsody playlist has 983 songs at the moment and is 2.9 days long)
(note: If you want to see what the “stages of life” were supposed to be you can hit my sisters blog, but i just decided to make this what it really is – 16 random songs from my playlist. The correlations to “stages of life” just turned out boring anyway.)

The Sounds, Much Too Long, Dying To Say This to You
James Horner, Too Many Secrets, Sneakers (Score)
A-Ha, The Sun Always Shines on TV, Hunting High and Low
Ratatat, Cherry, Ratatat
The Golden Sounds, Up and Away, Wings or Horns
Relient K, Let It All Out, Mmhmm
Robbie Williams, Bongo Bong, Rudebox
Stevie Wonder, Higher Ground, Innervisions
The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations, Smiley Smile
The Mosquitos, Juju & Blue, Mosquitos
Telepopmusik, Breathe, Genetic World
Switchfoot, I Turn Everything Over, New Way To Be Human
Donald O’Conner, Make ‘Em Laugh, Singin’ In The Rain (Soundtrack)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten, Unwritten
Death Cab For Cutie, Someday You Will Be Loved, Plans
Wax Poetic, Della, Nublu Sessions
Annie, No Easy Love, Anniemal


In Friends, Me, Music, Pictures on November 17, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Tonight was the first performance of what could be many, by (what is now unofficially known as) the Nick Hilscher Trio.

My friends Nick and Jamie agreed to play with me for a friends birthday party Friday night. We just did a small jazz/swing combo. Lots of fun. We were all out of practice, but really did sound pretty good. We are probably going to keep playing together for fun at least, if not possibly more…

Anyone know a good jazz bass player?

The Trio

Nick Hilscher
vocals, piano
Jamie Tyson

Paul Nicholson

the biggest (quiet) breakup in history

In Entertainment, History/Politics, Music on November 16, 2006 at 12:06 pm

If i am reading this article right, Clear Channel is effectively about to be broken up by a buyout offer. Thomas H Lee Partners (who already own Univision) are buying Clear Channel for $19 billion. As part of the deal, the new parent company is going to sell off 448 of the 1,000+ radio stations that Clear Channel owns, along with all 42 TV stations, and the Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising group (billboards). What i didn’t realize was that Clear Channel had already spun-off its live event company (and SFX entertainment with it) now called Live Nation.

This is big. These guys also owned a controlling stake in Ticketmaster at one point, along with a few venues and concert promoters in major markets. What this lead to was Clear Channel radio stations promoting artists, who then played at Clear Channel owned venues, advertised on Clear Channel billboards, promoted by SFX entertainment, and sold tickets through Ticketmaster. This is the most complete example of vertical integration i know of. Certainly in the entertainment industry. And apparently it has been and is being quietly broken up – voluntarily – thanks to market forces.


This article on says that Google is one of the possible buyers for the radio stations. Now that would be really interesting.