Zion I, a hip hop duo from Oakland, California, flimed a session with One Night Music on August 28th. Zumbi and AmpLive, joined by Codany Holiday on backup vocals, performed a 30 minute set in front of a small audience. Zumbi put on a energetic performance, making his way through well known Zion I tracks such as Coastin', The Bay, and Bird's Eye View.
The preview video above is a 'rough' cut featuring the track Coastin', but still looks super hot thanks to the amazing film crew that we had on hand. We're excited to bring this session to One Night Music and Zion I fans as quickly as possible, with a launch date some time in early October.
The session, performance, and overall experience was no doubt one for the books. This session takes the concept of a One Night Music session to an entirely new level. Not to mention it showcases Zion I in their element, performing to a small, completely stoked audience.
Note: I found a FREE 15 song sampler that includes songs from the Jazz Mafia bands as well as two songs from Brass, Bows, and Beats. You can't beat this. Download it here.
When I first heard Felonious (who we recently filmed), my reaction was something like, "What the hell? Why haven't I heard about this group before?" I read something on their website along the lines of "Felonious is a live hip hop group and kills every live show it performs." I was instantly hooked since that's not something most hip hop groups can lay claim to these days. I immediately knew that I'd be filming them for a One Night Music session some day. There's no way that a group like Felonious with so much passion and creativity wouldn't vibe well with One Night Music where we're also passionate about good music, good art, and good people.
Fast forward about 6 months. Producing the Felonious session was an awesome experience that has connected me with quite a few new folks and introduced me to some incredible new music along the way. One path I got led down brought me to the group Jazz Mafia, whose new project called Brass, Bows, & Beats, is an experience to watch and absorb. It's an eclectic, smooth, sometimes over-the-top mix of jazz, hip hop and spoken word all backed by a 40 piece orchestra. After learning about Jazz Mafia I was left with the same question as when I first heard Felonious: "Why didn't I already know about this group?"
Last year I meant to sit down with Bill Lewis -- the owner of Santa Barbara's Muddy Waters Café and music venue -- and talk about music. Bill and I never had the conversation I'd hoped for before I moved north to San Francisco (Bill called me a sell-out when I told him I was leaving), but luckily, Dave Mount of Awesome Stuff That Rules was fortunate enough talk candidly with Bill as I would have liked to. Dave moved to Santa Barbara from Boston in September 2008, and he started his blog Awesome Stuff That Rules to familiarize himself with the Santa Barbara music scene. It's not quite as accessible as Boston's, he learned, but he's been excited to find some great music in unexpected places.
Scroll down for 6 free MP3s of Ellie Fortune's live performance at Li Po Lounge.
Maybe the thing I love best about Ellie Fortune is how his musical conduct precisely embodies One Night Music ideals. He's always freely and generously giving things away. At his shows, his CDs are available by donation. He has free promotional, hand-stamped matchbooks and will offer you as many as you like. And before his new release Matriarch was available on iTunes, LaLa, Rhapsody and Amazon, he passed out flyers linking to a free download of the entire album. You can still download "The Echo" -- a haunting standout of floating vocals and perfectly punctuating drums -- from Ellie Fortune's page on Bandcamp.
11 Videos and a Conventiently Zipped Package of MP3s For Your Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers out there. We've compiled an excellent collection of love related songs from One Night Music sessions as our gift to you on this most intimate of holidays. Here are some suggested uses of this playlist:
1. After you have a romantic dinner with your lover, make a bowl of popcorn (not the microwaved kind, but real popcorn, and try sprinkling nutritional yeast on it, it's really delicious), sit down on a comfy couch or a bed, and watch these videos in place of a movie. If you chose this method, make sure to watch "Love Seat" and "The Laundry Is Dirty" last, otherwise you may not get through all the songs (if you know what I mean...wink...wink).
2. Download all the songs via the conveniently created ZIP file link right below here, burn them onto a CD, and then use them as the soundtrack to your romantic evening.
3. Follow step two, but use the CD as a gift in place of flowers and explain to your lover, "Our love is supporting independent music."
4. Learn one of these songs and play it for your lover. You can pretend you wrote it, we wont tell. (Just remember the best thing for any relationship is honesty, so don't hold us accountable if this backfires.)
5. If you're single there are still uses for this playlist. Listen to "Maggie" and "The Funeral," songs about heartbreak and loss. Just kidding! You should listen to all of them, there's joy to be found in all love songs for anybody.
Happy Valentine's Day! As one final tip, check out this slippery use for flax seed that you never imagined.
"Kiss Me Like It's The 50's" by Rey Villalobos
Rey Villalobos brought his ambient folk music to us through a session filmed in the storage closet of Muddy Waters Cafe in Santa Barbara. Of this song, One Night Music Producer Megan Sullivan writes: Rey sits on his girlfriend's couch. She always wants to make out, passionate and messy. Rey jokes, "Just kiss me like it's the 50's." He picks up his guitar and sings it to her. They laugh -- it's funny -- but fuck, it's good. Rey turns this into a serious song, something raw and honest and melancholy and hopeful.
Check out Rey's full session »
"Love Seat" by Forest Sun
Forest Sun joined One Night Music on a beautiful fall day in San Francisco. He is a veteran songwriter who packs this upbeat jazzy tune with promiscuous innuendos that fall just short of explicitly describing a very steamy evening. If you thought you knew what a loveseat was, think again. One listen will be sure to get you in the mood for some Valentine's Day fun.
Check out Forest's full session »
"I'm Your Man" by Alex and Janel
The truth is that we could have selected any song from Alex and Janel's session for this playlist. They are really good at writing gorgeous and heart wrenching love songs. Definitely check out the rest of their session if this playlist doesn't afford you enough time
"As Long As I Can" by Erik Schau
The first time I saw Erik Schau he performed this song at an open mic in Santa Barbara. It's a gut wrenching ballad of love and pain and one of my favorite songs we've ever recorded. He ended up being one of the first artists that we filmed for One Night Music.
Check out Erik Schau's full session »
One Night Music turns the big one this week and we celebrate this awesome community.
If I were granted a single wish on this special occasion, I would wish that in the second year of One Night Music I have the honor to continue working with such amazing people to build the community that is One Night Music. Nothing emerges as more of a pleasant surprise to One Night Music's magical unfolding in its freshman year than the way folks have jumped on board to help steer this ship with such enthusiasm and passion into an unforeseen sea of creativity and collaboration.
I had the initial idea of One Night Music in the fall of 2008 and since then it has grown to be cultivated by over 30 contributors who have volunteered their time to bring their own unique perspective to the project. What started out as a fun idea to record some local songwriters in Santa Barbara has grown into a thriving musical community engaging illustrators, photographers, videographers, audio engineers, authors, songwriters, bands, and community organizers from across California, and even as far away as the East Coast, to collaborate and create a new online musical venue of independent music.
What follows are some thoughts and reflections that I would like to share in honor of the one-year celebration of One Night Music. If you desire to leave us a birthday wish or to share your thoughts on the first year of One Night Music, write a comment to this article at the very end.
In the Fall of 2008, my twin brother Ian Andersen and I began engaging in discussions about creating a website. Ian had been designing websites since high school and we knew that we would work well together in collaboration. We became a bit downtrodden after our first few ideas quickly dissipated. Then one night it hit me. I'd just purchased two very high quality microphones and some recording equipment and I'd always had a passion for audio engineering. I would invite local singer-songwriters to come to my home studio to record a live set of their music and Ian would share it with the world through a website. I was so certain that this was the right project for our collaboration, that I immediately went online to buy the domain. My initial idea was to call it One Night Stand Music. Luckily, that domain was taken and my search for variations resulted in One Night Music. It had a ring to it and I purchased the domain. So began One Night Music.
Lauren Byrne chronicles her introduction to and experience with One Night Music in a new piece published in the San Francisco Examiner on February 7. She met with founding member and producer Elia Vargas at a coffee shop in San Francisco and ended up following our production crew to the filming of Michael Musika and The Devotionals, which took place on Saturday, December 30 in San Francisco. Check out this great article that gives a sneak peak into what a session looks like for One Night Music. Below is a short video that Lauren captured on her iPhone of The Devotionals performing part of their session.
Read the full article One Night Music: Because of the Internet
All My Pretty Ones brings luscious harmonies and practiced instrumentals to indie folk music.
I hadn't heard of All My Pretty Ones when Elia asked me to come by Pirate Cat Radio Café to film them performing live for his radio show Tiny Antenna Have Large Receptors back in October, 2009. Now, after editing their videos for this blog post, I am a huge fan. Dare I even prophesize that the band is going places? A cliché phrase indeed, and one that I allocate sparingly, but it seems to be a succinct way to explain the greatness that I'll call AMPO. The best part is that should this prophecy be fulfilled it will be a result of their meticulous music making, not necessarily a desire to go places - a noble attribute indeed.
Ingrid Serban says she began her music career at the age of two. That can only mean that Ingrid was born to sing, and this video leaves no doubt. At age six she started studying piano and by fourteen she was formally studying voice. Today, among her many other musical endeavors, Ingrid lends harmonies to the music of Forest Sun, who recorded a session with One Night Music back on November 25th, 2009. As Forest and I communicated prior to his session, he mentioned he would be bringing Ingrid along. To the delight of the small audience gathered that afternoon, she performed an aria after Forest's session and left us captivated and speechless.
We felt lucky to hear Ingrid perform O Mio Babbino Caro (Oh my dear papa) -- an aria from the opera Gianni Schicchi (1918) by Giacomo Puccini -- in the green, overgrown backyard as the sun was setting in San Francisco. Something about the lighting and the mood, and the way her voice carried through the towering trees and apartments around us made the performance seem almost surreal. To say the least, it was a fitting way to cap off what was a fantastic afternoon of music.
As you'll see and hear in the video, Ingrid has a voice made for solos. It's grand, lovely, and gentle at the same time -- no surprise given her study and training in music. More information about Ingrid can be found on the biography section of Forest Sun's website.
Nearly a year ago, on February 1st 2009, we launched our very first session at One Night Music, showcasing the lovely Meghan Lehman, an incredibly talented singer-songwriter based out of our original home base of Santa Barbara, CA. The low lighting, small space, and uncertainty of what we were doing created a fun, intimate session and set the stage for what One Night Music would become in 2009.
I decided to catch up with Meghan Lehman to see where her music has taken her since recording with One Night Music. Turns out she released her first album, A Stranger Here (available on iTunes, CD Baby, and Rhapsody), in August 2009. On the album you will find four of the six songs that Meghan recorded for her One Night Music session and a number of new standouts that make this album one that shouldn't be passed up. The album is unforgiving in its intimacy and rawness. It's an unrelenting, sometimes painful journey through Meghan's own life and travels, full of gorgeous vocals and storytelling. The standouts on this album are "A Stranger Here", "Pearl", "More Than Me", and "Mary".