Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wishes for 2010

The year 2009 has almost come to an end. In the last months of the year I haven’t been blogging. I have had a back operation and have simply lacked the energy to write. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t listened to music in Second Life (well it sometimes feels like my first life, but I am not an SL addict. Absolutely not!!).
I have listened to most of the musicians I have reviewed in my blog again and again – watched them get better and better. SL is a place for musicians to try out new things – to get a response from their audience. I think it’s great, The fact that the number of people attending music shows are dropping makes me sad. I hope those numbers will grow bigger again in 2010. My new year’s wish is to have lots of original musicians playing live music all over the grid. I will be among the audience as often as I can and hopefully blog about it too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bara Jonson at Miles Island

Last night I went to the venue Miles Island owned by Balder Miles to listen to Bara Jonson. He is from Malmö, Sweden. Since they built the Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden it takes just half an hour to come from Copenhagen to Malmö. But at the moment Bara lives in San Louis Missisippi, so I can’t go and listen to him in first life. That doesn’t matter, because I can listen to him in second life. In fact he has a song about that called ”Far and away”, and he sang it yesterday. I was delighted when he sang two danish songs by the danish group Gasolin. The band doesn't exist any more, but they made an enormous amount of hits in Denmark in the 70s. Bara’s danish is good, although it sounds a little funny to a danish person – very charming. He really is multilingually talented. He can even sing in german, which he proved by singing the german song from the Eurovision Song Contest of 1979: Dschingis Khan. ”Behind blue eyes” – a giant hit for Limp Bizkit, but orginally sung by The Who he sang brilliantly. He sang Mmmmmmm – one of the best Crash Test Dummies songs ever in my opinion, and he did a pretty good job at it. The song suits Bara’s voice I think. I can see that I am writing a lot about the covers, but that is really not because I don’t like his original material. Apart from ”Far and away” he sang his latest ”With or without wings”. He sang ”I know you” about his newborn son, and he sang ”Happy when I leave you”. He has a very good voice, and his skilful strumming accompanies it with a steady beat. Go check him out if you haven’t already done so.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

FunkyFreddy Republic

If I can stay up late I go to Haven’s Paradise at 2 pm (11 pm in Denmark) on Tuesdays and listen to FunkyFreddy. He is so cool. His voice reminds me of Neil Young. He has the coolest arrangements with his loop station and maybe some more machinery? - I am not sure. Among other things he can play the music backwards, so it sounds psychedelic, but that is the least of his qualities. He must be one of the best singers and entertainers in Second Life. He sang two covers. Dylan’s: ”Knocking on heavens door” and Buffalo Springfield’s: ”Somethings happening here”, and he totally owned them. My friend Fyrm Fouroux does the same with covers. Makes them his own, and that is really the only way you should use covers I think.
As far as I could tell the rest of his songs were his own material. He is a very wide ranging artist with some really original songs. Some of the songs were accompanied by a slide guitar. He called it his black guitar I think. From his very entertaining talk between songs it is obvious that he has at least two dogs. He sang: ” I think that dog would be better off dead”. Hmm- hard stuff for a dog lover to listen to. Even harder it must be for christian people to listen to his naughty religious jokes about nuns. I don’t mind though, and I loved his ”Christian cowboy” song and the one about the plastic Jesus on the dashboard of his car.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Norris Shepherd and EvaMoonEmber on a friday evening

It is always good to listen to Norris. Whatever mood you were in when you started listening I promise you it will improve. Norris is the kind of performer who relates to his audience all the time. He laughs a lot, and he will make you laugh. Both his guitar and voice are very gentle. I so much like his interpretations of especially Radiohead and Prince. This evening he also played the Beatles song: ” My guitar gently weeps”. I loved that. He was playing at Club CasaBlanco, and the theme was some kind of back to school, so Norris was standing behind a teacher’s desk. Of course the audience, or at least some of them, were dressed as pupils. People were having a really good time.
After having had our moods lifted by Norris we continued to Rastafairy Beach, a beautiful venue run by hexx Triskaidekaphobia and jsmn Jao. We wanted to listen to EvaMoon Ember. It is not the first time we have done that and certainly not the last.
What a woman! What a performer! She is a wonderful piano player with a fantastic voice. In first life she plays with her band The Lunatics, and in a lot of the songs she does in Second Life they have recorded the backing tracks. Her songs are about… Well I’ll quote from Eva Moon & the Lunatics’ homepage. I hope she doesn’t mind: "Her songs hit your ears like a double shot of espresso. Far from your typical singer-songwriter fare, they’re ironic, energetic commentaries on modern life - sexy comic jazz journey in the company of terrorist cats, Nigerian bank managers, sexy UPS guys, psychotic baristas and more. If you've ever lost your heart to a chocolate bar, frightened an innocent child, or traded a man for a vibrator, she has a song for you."
We were lucky to hear the premiere of her new song. I didn’t catch the title, but it was about falling in love with a woman, and it was beautiful. Fyrm was quite excited about it and kept telling Eva how great it was.
I can never get tired of saying, that it’s so great that you can listen to amazing music like that in Second Life, and you can do it for free. Of course you will tip the artist and the venue generously if you can, but basically…. It’s free.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kris Electricteeth at the Pond

It is a while since I wrote anything here. I have been busy. Among other things I went to Amsterdam for 3 days. I so love that city. Anyway – there is a lot of musicians I would like to write about. I noticed that I so far have only been writing about male musicians. It must be a coincidence. There are great female musicians in Second Life, and several that I want to write about.
Last evening my friend and I kind of stumbled into a gig with Kris Electricteeth at the Pond. I haven’t heard him before. I wonder if he is new in Second Life? Apparently he had stepped in at the last moment because of a cancellation.
He played a variety of covers. From Steppenwolf to Beatles. And he was good. Good solid guitar playing and an interesting voice, that suited the guitar. He also did a Johnny Cash song, and that was pretty awesome. I wasn’t really prepared to do a review, so this is not a very thorough description of his music, but I wanted to draw SL music listeners attention to him. Go check him out! Oh and all this about paying for listening to music in Second Life. It seems that some are already doing that. I really hope it will not be the deafult situation, but only an exception to the rule, that listening to music in Second Life is free.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ray Weyland at Star Stage on a Saturday afternoon

I wrote the following some time ago. Sometimes my first life takes way too much of my time I think. I heard from Ray that he has now changed the access to the Star Stage, so it should be much easier to find it.
Anyway - this saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, in SL it was morning, I set out to find Ray’s venue. I had not managed to catch him before. He lives in Minnesota, so he usually plays when I am asleep.
It was something of a challenge to get there. There are two elevators going up into the sky – to the Star Stage, Ray’s own place. After fumbling for a while I managed to press the right button, get the elevator moving - only to walk into a swimmingpool when I arrived. I got a little wet, but I am glad I finally got to hear him. Ray plays a 12-string guitar and has a very nice voice to go with it. He plays his own original songs. As he says himeself: “A little bit Folk, a little bit Country, and a whole lot of gentle music.” And finally I found out why the little matchstick man, who walks around on the dance floor at Cascadia Harmonics is saying: “ I don’t wanna go to Pittsburgh”. It is the title of one of Ray’s songs:)
Ray has been composing and playing music for many years and is an experienced performer. He sings about life, love, friendship in a thoughtful, sometimes even melancholy way. You will not regret spending an hour with Ray and his music.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jon Enímo at Rhythm Park and thoughts about music in Second Life

Last night I went to listen to a guy called Jon Enimo at Rhythm Park. He was playing from Canada. I had not heard him before.
He was brilliant – I mean really good. He was a highly skilled rhythm guitarist, and I liked his voice a lot. He sang his own originals, covering several styles - folk, pop and rock. I will have to listen to him again to write a proper review. I am looking forward to doing that.
This evening he played for 7-8 not very talkative people. As far as I could see his tips amounted to 200 Lindens. I tipped him half of that and my friend the other half. I am sure this can’t be the default, when he plays in Second Life. Nevertheless I sometimes wonder what is wrong with people.
Firstly: For me being able to listen to live music is one of the greatest things about Second Life. And you can do it for free. It doesn’t cost you one single linden dollar, unless you choose to tip the artist. Honestly –if you can at all, I think you should. And while you are at it – remember to tip the venue too. You will certainly not become a millionaire by running a Second Life venue. It cost a lot of lindens to keep a venue running.
Tipping will also show the artist that his or her music is appreciated, and if you are not able to donate, tell in chat that you like the music! That is the least you can do.
Secondly: It is beyond me that a highly skilled musician like Jon Enimo gets such a small audience ( still sure though that it must be an exception). Sometimes I stumble into gigs with large audiences, and the artist is singing nothing but karaoke. Maybe a nice voice –no more than that, and then backing tracks. No - I am not mentioning any names!
Anyway – I wish people would support the artists in Second Life who plays LIVE music.