Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Music in the Family (Elixer, Rose Rossi)


I have a bit to live up to...

Jeff is a musician; a great guitarist with his band Article of Faith. I actually really recommend the "Joy Noel" Christmas medley. On his personal myspace, you can hear the song "US and Russia", which in 1982 was entered into the American Songwriting Contest and won in the hard-rock category. And actually, John Elefante (singer of Kansas) said he listened to this song a lot!

(Elixer; my dad is on the mic on the far right)

Jeff's been in a lot of bands in the Bay Area over the years--The Clean, Dress for Success, etc-- but my personal favorite would have to have been Elixer, because my dad was the bassist. They played a LOT; parties and dances as well. They were sorta jazzy, sorta proggy, but to play live a lot they were a live band doing Top 40 hits, which I think is pretty cool. And when bands were on their way out and disco was on its way up, well, Elixer had invested in great sound and lights and they would simply rent out their services that way (they never physically played disco, thank God).

You can check out 4 of their tunes here, and by clicking on the "music page" link you can read a tiny bit more about the songs.

Check 'em out:

I think they're all pretty cool. I'm hoping it's because they're actually decent tunes and not solely because of the novelty of it coming from my family.

Talking about Elixer was just convenient because the focus of this post is really a cousin, Rose Rossi, and her new album.

Hello to You album cover

You can listen to six of the songs over at her MySpace page.
"Hello to You" shares the same general opening chord progressions as Coldplay's "Trouble" and Elton John's "I Want Love", although played on guitars which evoke the sound atmosphere various Beatles' post-Beatles careers more than it evokes the Coldplay song, actually (and it's sort of got that "Free as a Bird" tempo to it). It's a chord progression I'd always wanted to fit in somewhere myself, so I'm jealous!
And there the song's similarities with these other artists ends, but it leaves me extremely happy that someone modern can remind me so vaguely of that music era now past. (Secretly, despite my prog and VK leanings, I've always wanted to play that sort of 70's male soft rock.)

Rose's voice is sweet and highly nuanced, and her personality is so much warmer to me than those to whom she will inevitably invite comparisons: Tori, Alanis, Fiona.

is 80's-licious and reminds me of the styles of so many mashed into one. I want to stress that it is not some overwraught pastiche of how we as a pop-culture ironically view the 80's, but rather a lovingly-crafted (and video) that don't feel like a mockery but like they could have actually been produced during the time, and I think it's subtle and ultimately tasteful. My grandmother says she really likes the lyrics "I don't care for your heart / but I'll take a piece of your mind".
And the other four tunes are nice and worth a listen.

This isn't the type of music I usually deal with so my lexicon in the review might seem off, but in the end I want to show that I really like this material. (And no, she did not put me up to this!)

There are some other interesting video clips here, too.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My 2nd TV appearance: Honda CM


The shot itself lasts maybe 2 seconds. I got paid too much for that. :-P


But y'know, it was kind of a long shoot, and there were other factors that made the time tough, but they gave me a bonus for my troubles. And, this isn't really "work", so no complaints here!

My housemates all emailed me in force to let me know they saw me.

Watch it!