Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yael Naim Concert Review

Karen and I went to see Yael Naim perform at the Hotel Cafe last night. I love the Hotel Cafe because it is such an intimate and warm setting. But despite it's quaint size, we did more listening than 'seeing' because there was a healthy size crowd there. Most people would recognize Yael Naim from her recently famed song "New Soul" which was used in a Macbook commercial. But I'd do yourself a favor and watch the fantastical music video, for I think it will surely bring a smile to your face.



I can't praise her performance enough. She has such an exquisite voice. Based on her range, it sounds as though she's been classically trained. At times her voice sounds sweet and melodic, at times haunting and vigorous, but always sensual and consuming. She was accompanied by a three man band: a drummer, a bass player, and a synth player who really impressed during the sole song he played on the piano. Yael jumped back and forth between guitar and piano. They kept their sound simple; the only loud, abrupt notes that the piano and drums hit were very strategically placed. All in all, it felt like I was at an intimate French jazz performance in an underground club, in what city around the world I'm not sure.

The highlight of her set, for me, was a cover song that I didn't even recognize until Karen enlightened me. She introduced the song by saying, "because we like to make music and surround ourselves with friends, I am going to play a song that isn't my own, but I am borrowing it from a friend." (in that sort of broken english) It wasn't until she started playing the song that I realized this sweet, unassuming chanteuse has a bit of a sarcastic side. She began playing the song "Toxic" by Britney Spears, and it was just amazing. I had no clue what a great song it is musically, since the original version is masked with such poppy cheesiness. Her myspace page houses her cover, but doesn't do it justice; the live performance of it had so much more gusto than the recorded version.

The concert was fantastic and I highly recommend seeing her live if you have the opportunity.

On anoother note, I "discovered" a new artist that I really like: Alice Smith. She is playing at Hotel Cafe on Staurday night, but I can't go because I will be out of town for work, so I'm a little disappointed. She'll be back here in LA in a couple weeks, playing The Wiltern, but I would have enjoyed this upcoming location more. I came across her music in a rerun of Entourage this past Friday night. Her song "Dream" came on towards the end of the show and I was so taken by it that I immediately googled the lyrics I was hearing. She's got a soulful, jazzy - and dare I say - even a little poppy sound to her music.

So there are a couple new (to me) music crushes I have. Hopefully you check them out and enjoy what you hear!

8 comments:

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Stepiphany said...

Jon, that's not the kind of comment I was talking about yesterday. God, you just don't understand life in the real world, do you?

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Anonymous said...

It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)

Anonymous said...

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