September 2, 2011
The Del Monte Townhouse
Feist Secret Show
“Welcome people of the Internet! This is what the inside of the Internet looks like. . . ” Feist said pointing at the stage and band surrounding her. Feist knows the truth: there are no secrets on the Internet. As tweets about last night’s “secret show” at The Del Monte Townhouse in Venice began to circulate in the late afternoon, Feist initiated her own tweet: “Anyone in Los Angeles will probably have a good time tonight if they can find this place by 10pm…”, along with a picture of the venue.
Feist debuted songs from her new album, Metals (available October 4, 2011) at the small venue which served as an illegal speakeasy during the Prohibition. It doesn’t take long for word to get out on Twitter and by 9:45pm the room was packed, the venue and upstairs bar were at capacity, and a line of fans hoping to get in extended beyond sight.
When you see Feist, you know she’s doing exactly what she’s meant to be doing. Everyone who was at this show (celebrities included) was a huge fan of Feist. Many people inside the venue and even more people outside the venue were alerted about the show merely hours beforehand. They cancelled plans, they drove across town, they sat in traffic on a holiday weekend, waited for hours in line or at the bar. Moreover, they’d waited years to see Feist play again. Inside the venue it was hot. Not just temperature hot, stuffy hot. If you were standing beyond 10 rows deep or were under 5’10”, chances are you couldn’t see. The sound of the DJ upstairs interfered at times with the sound of Feist. There were a lot of elements to overcome. What impressed me the most, in addition to the music of course, was Feist’s ability to unify the audience.
Feist literally took the hot, uncomfortable audience on a journey to a place where they forgot about everything but the music. It was done with intention. You could feel it. She kicked off the set with “A Commotion.” It made a statement that imbibed: “Yes, it’s true. I’m here. You’re here. This is music. Let’s go.” Upon bringing the audience to a place of complete presence, she moved into some more “mellow” songs, joking, “It’s this new punk rock concept called a ballad.” People settled in, the talking in the back of the room began to fade away, we were on our way to another destination. By the time Feist brought us to “Woe Be,” which offers words of wisdom and caution, with an edge of humor, about people who fall in love with songwriters, we arrived somewhere else.
“We’ve gone through the vortex and entered another dimension. You can feel it,” Feist exclaimed joyously. The crowd cheered in unison and agreement. “Sea Lion Woman” set off a dance party that carried us through the remainder of the set.
“We’re only going to play a couple more songs for you,” Feist said, managing the crowd’s expectations. “You know what they say about staying in another dimension too long. Your face may begin to fade from the pictures, like in Back To The Future,” she continued. “I don’t want to be responsible for forever changing you,” she added, leading into “Comfort Me.”
Female folk trio, Mountain Man, harmonized and played a variety of instruments that added greater depth of atmosphere and playfulness to the set. They, along with Feist and the entire band, provided the fuel that carried us through the vortex and back.
By the time the show ended, “Feist” was a trending topic on Twitter in LA. Fitting, given her intro, and the fans’ entrance, to the show.
Video cannot replace the live show. It doesn’t replicate it. It simply serves as foreplay so you’re ready for Feist when she tours this fall:
If you’re a “regular” here at Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend, or if you follow me on Twitter, then you know I prefer to do things unconventionally. Terra Naomi‘s new album, To Know I’m OK, came about unconventionally as well.
When I met Terra more than a year ago, she had a very clear vision of how she wanted this album to sound, even before all the songs were written. She knew she wanted John Alagia (Rachel Yamagata, Brett Dennen, Ben Folds Five, David Gray, Liz Phair, Jason Mraz) to produce the album. She was free from a major-label deal so she could do things differently, not beholden to anyone but herself. At the same time, she was also keenly aware that she no longer had the major-label resources to record and release her second album, and if she forgot about that for a moment, somebody was there telling her it couldn’t be done.
Photo by Ben Watts
Determined to make her vision a reality, Terra ignored the naysayers and set forth on a path to record and release To Know I’m OK, without compromise. Terra raised the recording budget via a direct to fan engagement campaign with PledgeMusic and then approached John Alagia to produce the album. Upon hearing the music and Terra’s plans for releasing the album, Alagia agreed. The result? “This is the album I’ve always wanted to make,” Terra says.
Terra is also going about releasing the album independently, partnering with technology companies and passionate audience communities. As she did with PledgeMusic, Terra continues to go directly to fans, reaching them in unique ways, and including them in the process. Terra partnered with Hipstamatic, engaging their passionate community and incorporating user-submitted Hipstamatic photos as the centerpiece of her video for “You For Me”. She’s working with Klout, providing unique offerings to their influencers, as well as partnering with music and lifestyle bloggers.
Photo by Ben Watts
To Know I’m OK will be available tomorrow, Tuesday June 21st, and I wanted to do something special in honor of its release. I considered interviewing Terra about the songs and the recording process. I thought it might be fun to drink with Terra. Actually, I knew that was fun, having done it previously. Other ideas that crossed my mind were: going behind the scenes with Terra and producer John Alagia during the recording process, posting random outtakes from the studio, sharing footage nobody knew I was recording, and posting full streams of some of the songs on the album. I even considered showing the recording process through the eyes of Terra’s dog, Elliott Osito. I’m of the belief that we can have it all, so below, you will find everything mentioned above.
I hope you enjoy this track-by-track video exploration of Terra Naomi: To Know I’m OK.
It’s time for a listening party
1. You For Me
Michael Chaves, Sean Hurley, Brad Conrad, John Alagia, Victor Indrizzo lend a hand to Terra Naomi during the recording of “You For Me”
Terra’s dog, Elliott, lends his tail during the making of “You For Me”
Listen to “You For Me” (Full Stream)
2. If I Could Stay
Terra performs “If I Could Stay” at a private house party
3. Not Sorry
Terra discusses the re-recording of “Not Sorry”
Listen to the new version of “Not Sorry” from To Know I’m OK
4. Everybody Knows
Terra, John Alagia, Brad Conrad, Zac Rae, Victor Indrizzo, Sean Hurley, and Michael Chaves working out “Everybody Knows” in the studio
Recording “Everybody Knows”
Listen to “Everybody Knows” Album Version (Full Stream)
5. Someday Soon
Terra, producer John Alagia, Brad Conrad, Zac Rae, Michael Chaves, Victor Indrizzo, and Sean Hurley listening to their initial recordings of “Someday Soon”
6. I’ll Be Waiting
Terra discusses the meaning of “I’ll Be Waiting” during our “interview” at Malibu Wines
Recording “I’ll Be Waiting”
Listen to “I’ll Be Waiting” (Full Stream)
I’ll Be Waiting:
7. Take Time
Terra does a special performance of “Take Time” for Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend:
Inspired by a man who dumped her:
Listen to “Take Time” (Full Stream)
8. To Know I’m OK
Listen to the title track from Terra’s new album, “To Know I’m OK” (full stream)
To Know I’m Ok:
Terra’s dog, Elliott Osito, gives his notes on the album
Finally, after a long day in the studio, John Alagia and Michael Chaves had these parting words for Terra:
I remember the first meeting I had at one of the major labels, when I initially started working in music. We gathered to meet about one of their “priority artists,” but they had just signed another “priority artist,” so they were no longer focused on who we were there to originally discuss. Furthermore, the first 7 minutes of the meeting was spent listening to the record label executives talk about how much none of them wanted to go to one of their artist showcases later that night. I remember walking out of that meeting, more than a decade ago, thinking (and knowing me, probably saying out loud), “musicians are fucked if the people in charge of the music business don’t even like music.”
Welcome to 2011. Musicians aren’t “fucked” as it turns out. Musicians have more opportunity than ever before to get their music heard, reach more people, and do things differently and more creatively. It’s up to us, the fans, to seek out the music we love and to take time with Artists we enjoy.
Terra Naomi at Malibu Wines
I recently spent an afternoon with Terra Naomi, drinking wine at Malibu Wines and talking about her forthcoming album, To Know I’m OK. Terra, who is no longer on a major label, has spent the past year creatively working to release her latest album, To Know I’m OK, independently.
She launched a campaign at PledgeMusic, bringing the fans who contributed to making the album behind the scenes, throughout the process. She ignored everyone who said getting a top producer like John Alagia would not be possible, asked John Alagia to produce To Know I’m Ok, and he agreed. She partnered with the creators of Hipstamatic (Apple’s “App of The Year”), and will be using photos submitted by the Hipstamatic community in the upcoming music video for her song, “You For Me.” She’s working with TuneCore, YouTube, Klout, music and lifestyle bloggers, and other fun partners, on the release of this album.
On Monday, June 20, I will post an exclusive track-by-track video exploration of Terra’s new album, To Know I’m OK, so that you can get to know Terra and her music before the album comes out on June 21st. In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to Terra Naomi and one of my favorite songs from To Know I’m OK, “Take Time”. Enjoy!
Terra Naomi talks to Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend about “Take Time”:
FREE DOWNLOAD of “Take Time” (Live at Yoshi’s):
Live performance of “Take Time” at LA Music Blog (thank you LA Music Blog!):
Studio version of “Take Time” (full stream):
What really happens when you do an interview at a winery:
Track by track video exploration of To Know I’m OK to be posted on Rock Is A Girl’s Best Friend Monday, June 20th. For more info about Terra Naomi: