There were a lot more parties, shows, and showcases this weekend in LA around the Grammy theme that I didn’t even get to tell you about.
On Thursday, The Grammy Foundation– the sister group to MusiCares–showcased a dozen acts at the Saban Theater at something called Play it Forward: A Celebration of Music’s Evolution and Influencers. Seagate, the company that makes hard drives, was the sponsor–they just launched a new line of attractively packaged 1T drives. NARAS VP Kristen Madsen gave a great speech about the importance of music through the ages including recent events in Timbuktu.
But who played: Lee Ann Rimes, who’s more in the tabloids recently, performed a remarkable blues number that blew the doors off the house. Good for her. Yolanda Adams led a gospel choir and was simply sublime–she went to church big time. She should be a bigger deal. Ed Sheeran, the new “it” guy, was lovely. George Thorogood rocke the house with “Bad to the Bone.” And Dionne Warwick, who opened the show, remains the class act of all time. She’s a pleasure.
On Saturday afternoon I ran into producer Don Was at the Universal-Interscope-DefJam lunch showcase at Lure in Hollywood. This was a first time event, and I hope they do it again. This is what all the record companies should do–offer a two song look at their cool artists to press. OneRepublic, Emili Sande, Florence and the Machine–were all the well known artists. Chrisette Michele was a revelation–she plays the guitar! I really liked Churchill and Imagine Dragons and Mayer Hawthorne too. Trinidad James, however, is a trip. Ellie Goulding has a beautiful, fragile sound.
Motown and Stax were built on their traveling revues, and in late 70s we killed for tickets to see Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Lene Lovich and Rachel Sweet on the Stiff tours. We need more more more of this type of thing, especially with so many new artists hitting the scene.
PS One newer artist you must download, buy or stream: K’Naan. He’s in the UMG family. I wish they’d included him.