Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seryn: We Can Shape But Can't Control

Apparently, I need to move to Texas.  Between the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, and the bands coming out of Denton, there is some incredible music coming out of this state.  In addition to Sarah Jaffe (previously featured), Denton is also home to Seryn, a five-piece band made of incredible musicians.  All five members can play multiple instruments and contribute to the chorus, similar to bands like Freelance Whales, and The Low Anthem.

This past March, Seryn played one of the most prestigious and comprehensive music festivals around, in the South By Southwest festival.  Out of hundreds of bands and artists at the festival Paste Magazine included Seryn's performance as their #1 favorite SXSW performance of 2011.  Pretty impressive. Seryn's debut album This Is Where We Are was released this past January.

Here's Seryn performing "We Will All Be Changed" off This Is Where We Are.  Enjoy!

Hopefully there will be more to come from this promising band.  Check out their website to keep up with any new and exciting information.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Belle Brigade: Removing Myself From The Queue

The Belle Brigade is led by a sibling duo from Los Angeles.  Ethan and Barbara Gruska come from a musical family in which their grandfather and father both wrote and produced music.  Barbara Gruska was a popular touring drummer before starting The Belle Brigade, performing for the likes of Jenny Lewis on the road.  For me, it's easy to draw comparisons in the way of style to Simon and Garfunkel.

The Belle Brigade's self-titled debut album was released just this past April.  Here's the duo performing the centerpiece of the album "Losers" live from a bathtub!

Visit their website to learn more about The Belle Brigade, including summer tour dates!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Morning Benders: The Southern Tip Of Your Body

The Morning Benders are a band originally out of Berkeley, California.  Their debut album Talking Through Tin Cans was released in 2008.  In 2010, their follow up Big Echo was released.  The standout single "Excuses" has been featured on a number of commercials and TV shows.

Check out The Morning Benders performing "Excuses" with the support of some fellow musicians and friends.  The collective harmony carries the song, and it reminds me of a song from the 1950's.  Hope you enjoy!

Hear more music by The Morning Benders by checking out their website!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cover Thursdays- For My Country I Would Die

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend here in the States.  Memorial Day means many things.  It means BBQ's, the start of summer, beaches, and for me as a teacher, the home stretch of the school year.  But the real reason for Memorial Day, is to remember those soldiers who fought and died for our country and to preserve our rights to have BBQ's, listen to great music, and write blogs... amongst other perhaps more important freedoms.  So go ahead and grill this weekend, break out the swim suits, cross another day off from the school calendar, and have fun doing it!  Just remember those who fought for us to have the freedom to enjoy this weekend!

In honor of Memorial Day, check out Iron & Wine covering "Love Vigilantes" by New Order.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

William Fitzsimmons: Heart's In Throat And Broken To Pieces

William Fitzsimmons is a pretty interesting character.  He grew up in house with two blind parents, who were very musically inclined.  Over the course of his childhood Fitzsimmons learned piano, trombone, guitar, banjo, and ukulele to name a few.  However, Fitzsimmons path to becoming a performing musician, was anything but ordinary.  Fitzsimmons has his degree in counseling, and has worked as a mental health therapist, before starting his venture into music.  His first two albums Until We Are Ghosts and Goodnight were both self recorded and produced.

The theme through most of Fitzsimmons' music is usually darker, and rooted in personal hardships.  His 2008 release The Sparrow and the Crow is largely inspired by his divorce.  Despite the sad lyrics, the come across as heartfelt and beautiful.  Here's William Fitzsimmons performing "Just Not Each Other" off The Sparrow and the Crow.

Sweet beard right?  Check out William Fitzsimmons' latest releases and find more information about the man and his music by going here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Concert Review: Matt Nathanson @ Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA- 5.23.2011

Last night, I was a VIP.  Well, not exactly, but it was fun to think like that.  In support of his upcoming cd, Modern Love, Matt Nathanson has been announcing "Super Secret Mailing List Only" in small venues just days before the concert.  Last week, one such show was announced for Jammin' Java and thanks to some awesome friends, we were able to get tickets!

Matt Nathanson is one of my favorite musicians to see live.  I used to be able to see him nearly annually, however, tour dates have been few and far between the last couple of years.  In my opinion, Matt Nathanson is at his best performing solo.  I just really love his songs when everything is stripped away besides the acoustic guitar.  Additionally, the story telling really ramps up at these types of shows.  For those who don't know, the pre-song banter at a Matt Nathanson concert is worth the price of admission alone.  It's like seeing a comedy show wrapped inside a concert.

Let's get to the highlights!  First, the older songs.  I don't think it's uncommon, that when you're a fan of an artist for a long period of time, to have a special place in your heart for the songs that first hooked you as a fan.  Some musicians leave these songs behind as they evolve.  However, last night Matt Nathanson pulled out some gems from earlier reconds.  One of my favorites "More Than This" made an appearance.  "Bent", with an "Anna Begins" ending was stunning.  Later in the set, Matt Nathanson and his guitarist Aaron played "Amazing Again".  This was my favorite part of the show.  Matt forgot the lyrics and the entire crowd helped him out and sang just about the entire song.  You could tell he was touched that so many people new the lyrics. 

The reason why I love Matt Nathanson, is that I connect to his lyrics on a personal level more than any one else.  I wasn't sure if this would carry over to his new songs.  I'm happy to say, that at least for me, it has.  Matt and Aaron played a total of five new songs.  My favorites were "Room At The End of the World" and "Kept".  He introduced "Kept" by saying, "This song is about, seeing a house on fire and having the urge to run into it... It's a happy little jam."

The highlights didn't stop with the songs.  Like I said, the banter was hilarious.  Topics discussed included Matt's turn on's and turn off's, the 12 year-old girl in the audience, Pittsburgh & Hockey (thanks to Teresa), and the difference between a misogynist and a masocist.  Obviously, a hilarious and entertaining night.

You'll probably love Matt Nathanson's music if you get the chance to make it to one of his concerts, but even if you don't you'll have a great time laughing!  The new songs sounded great live, so I can only imagine that they are just as good on the new album.  Visit Matt Nathanson's website where you can pre-order the album.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Matt Nathanson: I Still Wake Up Burning Through Everything

Matt Nathanson's new album, Modern Love, debuts on June 21st.  In support of the upcoming cd, and in addition to opening a series of shows for Sugarland, Matt Nathanson is conducting a number of "Super Secret Mailing List Only" shows.  Tonight, he's playing one of these very shows at Jammin' Java in Vienna!  I've seen Matt Nathanson a bunch of times, but haven't seen him live in almost three years.  I can't wait for tonight!

Check out Matt Nathanson playing "Angel" and "I Saw" at Vassar College!  Review of tonight's "Secret" show to follow!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Concert Review: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave @ Brown's Island, Richmond, VA- 5.20.2011

A few months ago, my friend Molly invited me to come to Richmond to watch her and some of our friends run a triathlon.  I was already excited to watch them race when I found out that Trombone Shorty was playing that very weekend.  I had been looking forward to seeing this band ever since being introduced to them at Virgin Mobile Free Fest in September.  It would be a shame to be in Richmond and not make it to this concert.  Fortunately, Megan agreed to join me, and what a concert it was.

I had been to Richmond three years ago to see a concert, and what I remember most about the city was how beautiful it was.  This particular concert was on Brown's Island for an event called Friday Cheers, which occurs every Friday throughout May and June.  Brown's Island is situated between the James River and Haxall Canal.  The outdoor venue spot is gorgeous.  If I lived nearby, I'd be attending every concert no matter which band was playing.  At $5 a ticket, I don't how you couldn't.  The walkways and river make it a great spot to bring a picnic.  The crowd was also eclectic.  There were families, young adults, seniors, people familiar with the band, and those who didn't know the band and came just for some music.  I have a feeling, that those in attendance that didn't know of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave before, are fans now.

Sometimes I get nervous taking someone to a concert when they don't know the band.  I really don't want them to have a bad time or get bored.  But I also love it, when it turns out that they really enjoy the band.  I think Trombone Shorty has a fan in Meg though.  We had a blast.  The band started with some songs off their debut release Backatown.  The entire band is phenomenally talented.  Trombone Shorty himself would be world famous if it was the Jazz age.  His trombone and trumpet skills are something to behold.  During "Sunny Side of the Street" a song that Louis Armstrong made famous, he held a note for what I can only guess was at least two minutes.  I enjoy the instrumental songs in Trombone Shorty's catalog the most, but the songs with lyrics were much improved since seeing them last.  This was particularly true on "Show Me Something Beautiful".

There were many highlights of the set, but for me it was when the band played "Shout".  If you know anything about me, you know I love "Shout."  It's the song of the Buffalo Bills, and the only song that gets me to dance with any consistency.  To hear a band play it live, will always make me happy.  The band went crazy on this song, and the crowd seemed to have tremendous fun with it.  During the encore, all seven members of the band switched instruments.  Not easy switches either.  The saxophonist didn't switch to trombone, I believe he was on bass.  The bass player was playing trumpet.  Trombone shorty was on drums.  These weren't easy switches.  And you know what?  They were just as good!  It was a tremendous display of talent.  I can't recommend going to see Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave live enough.  You won't regret it.  At the very least you'll have a good time dancing.  Go check them out.  I'm glad I had a second opportunity and I wouldn't turn down going to see them again in the future.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave: Backatown

In September I went to Virgin Mobile Free-Fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion.  Out of all the bands I had the pleasure of seeing, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave made the biggest impression.  They were absolutely amazing.  Trombone Shorty, otherwise known as Troy Andrews is the frontman for the group.  He's amazingly talented, and has been playing Trombone almost from the minute he was born.  He was a band leader and the age of six.  The only thing I led at six years old was the line from my 1st grade classroom to the gym.  His band is very unique.  It's not hard to identify the New Orleans influence on Trombone Shorty's music, but there's also funk, rock, and hip-hop.  I've been waiting to see them in concert ever since, and today I get my chance!  Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave will be playing in Richmond tonight, and it's sure to be a fun time.

Check out Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave. playing "Backatown" from their 2010 album by the same name.  Make sure to listen the whole way through.  The horns are phenomenal!

Learn more about Trombone Shorty's music by going here.  Also, if you get a chance to see them live this summer, go for it.  You won't be sorry.  Concert review coming on Sunday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cover Thursdays- Her Beauty And The Moonlight Overthrew You

Leonard Cohen is one of the most covered artists in all of music.  According to leonardcohenfiles.com there have been over 2000 Leonard Cohen covers (that doesn't count amateur youtube posts).  I'd imagine he knows a thing or two about writing music.  Probably the song most often covered from Cohen's library, is "Hallelujah".  In my opinion, and I likely have a bit of company, it's one of the most beautiful songs ever written. 

So many artists have covered "Hallelujah" that picking one version doesn't seem right.  That being said, one artist's performance of the song is far and away the best.  It's so good, many people think he actually wrote the song.  Here's Jeff Buckley, with a blow you away type of performance, of Leonard Cohen's masterpiece "Hallelujah."

Told you picking just one can't do justice to the song.  Here's Damien Rice's version, performed to pay tribute to Cohen at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Low Anthem: I Wouldn't Be Ready To Die

Over the course of the last three years, I may have seen The Low Anthem perform more than nearly any other band.  Funny thing is, most of the time it's been inadvertant.  They just happened to be opening for the band I bought tickets to see.  A good portion of the bands I enjoy, I end up discovering as openers for bands I love.  It's a great way to find music, because if you like a particular band, they probably enjoy the same type of music you do.  This was the case with the The Low Anthem.  I've seen them open for Lisa Hannigan, and Josh Ritter twice.  Both times they were fantastic.  So much so, that I came back to see them headline a show last year.  My favorite thing about The Low Anthem is that they play unique instruments, and that each band member plays different instrumentst throughout the show.  They're like a more acoustic Freelance Whales.

The band has three albums out.  Their latest Smart Flesh was released this past February.  The Low Anthem gained notorioty on the strength of their second album Oh My God, Charlie Darwin.  My good friend Teresa helped me pick today's song, a bonus track off of that second album, entitled "Don't Let Nobody Turn You Around."  It's actually based off an old gospel tune.  Teresa made a great choice, because there is a sweet bass solo to start!  Also the bassist looks like he'd be cool to hang out with.  Check out that mustache!

The Low Anthem will be tourning with Mumford & Sons for a portion of their upcoming US tour.  Find out more about The Low Anthem by visiting their website!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

M. Ward: The Song Is Always The Same

M. Ward is all over the place in the music industry.  You may know him as half of She & Him, the duo he and Zoey Deschanel started.  Or you may be familiar with his work as part of Indie super group Monsters of Folk. Or perhaps you know him as just M. Ward, singer-songwriter extraordinaire.  Just in case you don't fall into any of those categories, I'd like to introduce you to Matthew Stephen Ward, better known as M. Ward, singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon.  There!  Now you know.

As you might have guessed, it's been a winding road for M. Ward's venture into music.  His first full length release, Duet For Guitars #2 was released in 1999.  However, M. Ward didn't become a fixture on Indie playlists till the mid 2000's.  He's written, performed, and produced with a long list of powerhouses in music.

This solo performance crushed me.  The way the words take their time making their way to the microphone, makes it seem as though the song moves in slow motion.  It's a song that hits the feeling of lonely squarely on the head.  Just take a listen.  Here's M. Ward performing "Fuel For Fire" from the album Transistor Radio.

M. Ward always seems to be up to something new.  If you'd like to keep up with him, visit his website.  You might just be hearing him in some capacity again on this blog.  Think, beautiful actress!  There's your hint.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Civil Wars: Your Hands Can Heal, Your Hands Can Bruise

Last fall, my friend and concert companion Teresa told me I should check out a band at Jammin' Java called The Civil Wars.  I wasn't able to make it that night, and for some reason they completely slipped my mind and I never sought out their music online either.  Unfortunately, I really missed out.  Over the last month or so, I have been able to delve into their music a bit more, and it turns out they produce some beautiful music.

The duo's debut full length album, Barton Hallow, was released this past February.  So far, the band has been featured in Paste Magazines' "Best of What's Next", opened for Adele on her current tour, had a song featured on "Grey's Anatomy", and was mentioned numerous times by Taylor Swift on her twitter account which has 5 million followers.  Frankly, if you haven't listened to The Civil Wars, it probably wouldn't have taken you long to come across them.

Here's the duo performing their hit "Poison & Wine."  Check 'em out!

The band's website has a great bio write up.  Definitely worth checking out.  Hope you enjoyed!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Andrew Bird: My Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride

Chicago-based songwriter Andrew Bird, is supremely talented.  Classically trained since he was four years old, he plays violin as if it's an extension of his body.  At concerts, he's a virtual one man band, playing a number of instruments and utilizing loop pedals to amaze audiences.  Did I mention that he's an outstanding whistler as well?  If I could whistle like that, I would probably never talk.  Just whistle... whistle all day long!

I had heard of Andrew Bird, but I didn't really start listening until my brother gave me his album Nobel Beast as a gift.  His discography dates back to 1996, however, the sound and style of his recordings have changed dramatically over the years as much of his early work focused on traditional folk.  Andrew Bird's more recent recordings are more along the lines of indie rock.

It was really difficult to pick just one video to showcase Andrew Bird's talents.  So, like I usually do when faced with a difficult decision, I did my best to avoid making one.  My favorite Andrew Bird song is "Anonanimal", but I couldn't quite find a live video that did the song justice.  Instead, I chose a video of the song "Why?", which is an amazing solo performance that reminds me of some kind of Jazz poet.  Then, there's the full band performance of "Fake Palindromes", that just blew me away.  My indecision probably worked out for the best!  Enjoy two videos from Andrew Bird today!


"Fake Palindromes"--

Check out Andrew Bird's website!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cover Thursdays- Everybody Sees You're Blown Apart

Cover Thursday on a Friday!  All apologies for the delay.  Blogger had a few technical difficulties with posting last night.

With all the flooding in the South, I thought that now was as good as ever for a bit of a tribute.  Most of Memphis' many music based landmarks have been saved, but Memphis as a whole has been hit pretty hard. 

In honor of Memphis, and all the South here's The Tallest Man On Earth performing "Graceland" by Paul Simon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rich Price: I've Been Scheming To Kiss Your Lips Again

I don't know much about Rich Price, to be completely honest.  His last album All These Roads was released in 2007.  He has a website, but the most useful information is a link to his myspace page... which hasn't been updated in almost a year.  I may need to do some research.  I do know this:  Years ago I somehow found one of his songs on iTunes and on a whim purchased the entire album, Miles From Anywhere.  It's a really well done record.  The songwriting is great, catchy hooks throughout, but I don't know if it's received the love it should have from the listening public.  Rich Price is a great songwriter, and it seems that no one knows it.  I myself, just happened upon a song one day and luckily I clicked the sample.

Here's Rich Price singing "Turn Off My Heart".  This is an outstanding song.  It reminds me of being in love with someone, who you know you shouldn't be, someone who is difficult to walk away from.  Take a listen and see if you can find out more about Rich Price, because the man can write music!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Joshua James: Is It Selfish To Suppose, Love...?

You'd be hard pressed to find a musician that empties out his soul into his songs better than Joshua James does.  I've seen him live as an opener, and it's hard not to respect and value the heartfelt and honest lyrics.  That being said, I find that I have to be in the right mood to listen to his albums all the way through.  Not because he's a sub par musician, in fact he's great, but because the topics he writes about are so deep and emotional, that it can be draining.

Joshua James' 2008 release The Sun Is Always Brighter was named iTunes "Best of 2008" folk album.  In 2009 he released Build Me This which was named iTunes "Best of 2009" Indie Spotlight Singer/Songwriter Album.

This performance is one of my favorites since starting the blog.  Here's Joshua James performing "In The Middle" from Build Me This.

Take a look at his website!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ingrid Michaelson: The Way You Say Good Morning

I first saw Ingrid Michaelson perform in 2007 as an opening act for Matt Nathanson.  I had never heard of her, and just expected her to fill the time before seeing Matt Nathanson take he stage.  She did way more than that.  Her performance was outstanding.  Not only did she have a beautiful voice, but she also sang the themes to "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and "Full House".  Awesome, right!?  Then she came back out to accompany Matt Nathanson on one of my favorite songs, "Loud".

Since then, Ingrid Michaelson has experienced a great deal of success.  Her songs have been featured on way more TV shows than I can name, and she's worked with a plethora of great musicians.  Her 2007 album Boys and Girls features "The Way I Am" and "Breakable" two of her most popular songs.  Two subsequent releases Be O.K. (2008) and Everybody (2009) have been met with positive reviews.

Here's Ingrid Michaelson performing "The Way I Am".  It's a lovely song, and holds a special place in my heart due to the reference to Rogaine.... I'm balding.

Enjoy the song?  Take a gander at Ingrid Michaelson's website.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Concert Review: Freelance Whales @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC- 5.6.11

I only started listening to Freelance Whales in December, but ever since I've been looking forward to an opportunity to see them live.  Last night I got my chance!

Their debut release, Weathervanes, does not have a weak point on it.  It's one of those albums that needs to be listened to from start to finish, as if each song is a chapter to a story.  The outstanding nature of Freelance Whales' debut release led to high expectations.  I was a little nervous though.  One of my favorite things about Freelance Whales is that they play very unique instruments, and many of them are electronic.  I wasn't sure it would all come together live, like it does on the studio album.  It turns out, my fears would unfounded.  In fact, they sounded better than the album!

The band came out to "Vessels" an instrumental track from the album, then opened with "Generator (First Floor)".  This song was meant to open a show-perfect!  Next, the band played "Enzymes" which was released as a single this past November.  If it's an indication of what's the come on the next album, then I'm excited!  Throughout the show, every song off Weathervanes was played.  Seeing them perform live, it's easy to see how talented every member truly is.  They consistently switch instruments, and take turns grabbing the lead.  These aren't your everyday instruments either.  Sure there's a guitar, drums, and keyboard.  There's also a banjo, glockenspiel, mandolin, and synthesizer to name a few.  Highlights included "Starring", "Ghosting", and "Hannah".  I was thoroughly impressed, and will hopefully be seeing them again soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Freelance Whales: If You're Vaguely Attracted To Rooftops

Since I first heard Freelance Whales, I've been looking forward to seeing them live.  Tonight, they're playing the 9:30 Club and I'm very excited!  I'm also pumped because Foals is co-headlining the show tonight, and I don't know too much about them.  Hopefully, I'll have another band to feature on the blog after seeing them! 

To celebrate tonight's show, today's post has not one, but two videos!  Freelance Whales recently visited Public School 22 in Staten Island and the PS 22 Chorus.  These kids and their teacher rock!  Check out their blog and see all the amazing people they have met and the amazing music they've made!  This is the reason why the arts need to remain a part of education!  Freelance Whales and the chorus performed a couple songs, and the band answered a few questions.  I'm completely jealous of these kids.

Check them out performing "Hannah" complete with some bonus footage.

Here's the band and chorus collaborating on "Generator (First Floor)".  Then, via request, Freelance Whales perform "Generator (Second Floor)" for the students.

Concert review of tonight's show to follow!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cover Thursdays- Everything Looks Perfect From Far Away

"Such Great Heights" is most likely one of the defining songs from the last decade of Indie music.  From it's original Postal Service version, to it's immensely popular Iron & Wine cover version, this song maintains it's beauty.  It's difficult to beat Postal Service's or Iron & Wine's take on the song.   However, this version from Ben Folds is a whole lot of fun. It includes dozens of guitars and even cell phones and instruments.  No one in music uses audience participation better than Ben Folds.

Here's Ben Folds' cover of "Such Great Heights", originally by Postal Service!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Manchester Orchestra: When I Need You, I Need It Quickly

If you just looked at the members of Manchester Orchestra, you may not expect them to sound the way they do.  But this band plays with so much emotion, you get over their looks pretty quickly.  They play with an energetic passion that shows up in all their songs.  Formed outside of Atlanta in 2005, Manchester Orchestra has really taken off.  Their next album Simple Math hits stores next Tuesday May 10th.

Here's Manchester Orchestra with an amazing performance of "I've Got Friends" off Mean Everything and Nothing.

Need more right?  Check out the website.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ryan Montbleau Band: A Mighty Dose Of Hey Look At Night Time Me

Ryan Montbleau has been turning out music, either as a solo artist or with a band, since 1999.  Like so many other artists today, he cut his teeth on the streets of Boston, developing a devoted following.  With a soulful voice and generally uplifting lyrics, Ryan Montbleau Band is a refreshing taste of something new.  Last year Martin Sexton produced the band's latest release, Heavy On The Vine.  I'd also recommend 2006's release, One Fine Color.

Here's Ryan Montbleau with a solo acoustic performance of "75 and Sunny" off 2007's Patience On A Friday album.  It's an incredibly positive song/message.  Hope you enjoy!

Ryan Montbleau and his band are currently touring!  They'll be at the Iota in Arlington on May 20th.  Check out their website for more tour dates, as well as information on the band!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meiko: Give Me A Reason To Fall In Love

Oh Meiko, how I love you.  Waaay back in 2008 I was at Jammin' Java to see Joe Purdy in concert.  Then out of nowhere, an angel walked on stage.  That angel was named Meiko.  I'm kidding, I don't know if she's really an angel.  But if angels exist, I'm pretty sure they look and sound like Meiko.

Anyway, I had never heard of Meiko, but she put on a great opening set.  I loved her voice, but perhaps more than her voice she had a great stage presence.  She was hilarious, poking fun at herself, her hometown, and a few polite jokes about the audience.  Her self-titled debut album was released in 2007, and experienced a good deal of success on iTunes.

Here's Meiko performing "Reasons To Love You".  Enjoy.... but not too much... we're seeing each other.

Meiko on myspace!  Go here!