Backstage with Bean at House of Blues

Posted by    |    June 22nd, 2012 at 3:32 pm

“I am so excited. I don’t know why I get to play here,” said Bean in the Green Room of House of Blues. Her hair is being styled into Shirley Temple-like curls while she listens and hums along to some of her favorite songs. “My show isn’t until 8,” said Bean. “That’s why they’re curling my hair like this. It has to last.”

20-year-old Noelle Bean has undergone a lot of changes since YouPlus last saw her sixth months ago. For one thing, she’s dropped the ‘Noelle’, wishing only to be known as Bean. As with most artists who wish to be known by one name only, there needs to be a lot of personality and character behind that name to make it work. This is no problem for Bean, who has enough joy and personality to fill the entire green room. The change of name is representative of her switch from singer/songwriter to pop star.

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Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (Behind the Scenes)

Posted by    |    June 20th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Yesterday, a one of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders woke up with blonde hair and a side part. Today, she has dark brown hair, parted down the middle. It’s all just part of the job.

We caught up with the girls at one of their training camps at Gilley’s yesterday to shoot a behind the scenes look at season 7 of CMT’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. The new season debuting this September will go beyond the training camps, showing more in-depth storylines, drama, and dance.

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Tomorrow Night, Deer Tick at The Loft: An Email Interview with Rob Crowell

Posted by    |    April 27th, 2012 at 9:40 am

In a recent email interview with keyboardist/saxophonist Rob Crowell of super band Deer Tick, hilarity ensues. I laughed, I cried, I learned that tequila by itself is more powerful than tequila in a fancy drink, and I defended the amount of fingers that I possess.

Deer Tick will perform at The Loft on Saturday, April 28th along with Turbo Fruits and Telegraph Canyon. The author would like to stress that she does, in fact, have the normal amount of fingers.

On your most recent album, Divine Providence, which song was the most rewarding to record?

I liked recording “The Bump” the best. It was written immediately before we recorded it, and was spontaneous and pretty raw. Good times.

Which song of yours is the most fun to perform onstage?

“Funny Word” is always a good time, between the fact that it’s really high energy and the stage antics that usually accompany it.

You had an amazing 2011, making it on to Paste’s ‘Best Albums of 2011′ list and performing on Letterman. What has been the highlight of your career as a band thus far?

DudeSmash will be the highlight for sure. If you don’t know what it is, you’ll be able to Google it soon.

How often does guitarist Ian O’Neil get compared to Andy Samberg?

More often than he gets compared to Cher, less often than he gets compared to Bob Dylan. (more…)

Getting to Know Starlet Kina Grannis

Posted by    |    April 14th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Kina Grannis performs at the Kessler Theater Sunday, April 15, Doors at 7, Show at 8pm. The below interview was conducted in October 2010, when Grannis appeared in the Cambridge Room at House of Blues.

Kina Grannis is freezing. The green room at the House of Blues, which is adorned with funky wallpaper instead of living up to its namesake, is entirely too cold for the month of October in Texas, and Grannis’s thin black sweater isn’t helping very much.

It’s the Fall of 2010 and Kina is getting ready for her performance in the Cambridge Room, a cozy environment perfect for her fans that take her lyrics to heart. The audience will be able to get close enough to the stage to shout out their requests and see her fingers fly across the frets.

We begin the interview, and within moments, she and I are talking like old friends. Put two California girls in a room in Texas and they’re bound to bond over the lack of palm trees in the Lone Star state. After a stint in Austin, Kina can relate.

Photographer Emili Carmichael is taking pictures of Grannis during our conversation. “I feel like that light is probably doing scary things to my face!” she laughs as Carmichael’s flash emits a blinding light and the camera shutter clicks open and closed. It is pretty much impossible to make this girl look anything but gorgeous.

The first time I heard Grannis’s voice, I was casually listening to The Sixty One, browsing for new artists to add to my self-professed awesome collection of underground singers when I stumbled across her cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence“. My ears have forever submitted to her sweet voice and talent powerhouse. Her music is a comforting blend of honesty and hope. Grannis, the eternal optimist, has a way of writing the most dismal affairs into positive, uplifting melodies. (more…)

Tonight at the Loft: Bowerbirds

Posted by    |    April 12th, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Indie duo Bowerbirds, comprised of lovebirds Phil Moore and Beth Tacular, have had an interesting couple of years. Beth almost died due to an unsolvable illness and the two broke up before realizing that they needed each other. These hardships brought the art rock band closer together and brought us a beautiful third album, The Clearing. Tonight the band is playing in Dallas at the Loft. We caught up with Moore to learn about the toughest thing about dating a bandmate, and what you wouldn’t expect the pair to do in their free time.

Your most recent album The Clearing came out a month ago. I’ve been reading about the hardships that you and Beth went through before making this album; is the title in response to these events?

That was a time right when we started writing this record and things settled down. During that time we worked out a lot of our issues with each other.

What is the most difficult thing about being in a band with someone who you are also so close with on a personal level?

I think it’s mostly just being able to switch from work mode to relaxation mode. It’s hard to not continue to talk about our band and the work to be done. It’s hard to know when to stop and talk about the weather, or something like that.  (more…)

Tonight: Jonquil at Prophet Bar

Posted by    |    April 9th, 2012 at 11:40 am

Oxford, UK quartet Jonquil, notable for their  afro-indie pop beats, is embarking on their first US national tour supporting their recently released album Point Of Go. We caught up with frontman Hugo Manuel to chat about the band’s time at SXSW, how they use accents to their advantage, and that time sheep flocked to their recording studio.

You recently wrapped up a stint at SXSW 2012. How was the SXSW experience?

Very tiring and slightly stressful, but completely rewarding and excellent. I think this year what defined it for us was the abundance of swimming. We had a nice pool and a bit of time off…so we managed to get some good swimming in every day. Lots of Marco Polo and underwater handstands. That’s what we’re all about.

Have you been to Dallas? What comes to mind when you think of Dallas? 

Never been before. I wasn’t sure it was a real place. I thought it was a TV show. (more…)

O’Brother to Perform at Bryan Street Tavern This Saturday, Interview with Lead Singer Tanner Merritt

Posted by    |    March 9th, 2012 at 6:13 pm

It’s FINALLY March, and March brings the winds of musical change to the Dallas area, as our venues begin to flood with the sweet sounds of talented and buzzworthy artists. Atlanta, Georgia band O’Brother is bringing their ambient sound to Dallas tomorrow, Saturday March 10th, as they tour in in support of their debut album, Beneath Your Garden Window. I caught up with lead singer and guitarist Tanner Merritt discuss relevant music topics, such as ice cream.

For your debut record, Beneath Your Garden Window, which song was the most challenging to record?

The last song, it’s called “Last Breath.” We recorded it, and we rearranged it; scrapped a pretty good part of it several times…just the labor of love, I guess. We just wanted to make it work and finally we got it to the point where we were happy with it.

If you were describing your sound to an unfamiliar ear, what would you say about O’Brother?

It’s loud and aggressive at times, but pretty and ambient and at other times. It’s kind of diverse.

The Wall Street Journal said, “Garden Window is an album that works, not only as a recording, but as an enticement to see the band in concert.” How did that make you feel? Is the publication correct?

I think we always aspire to be a better live band and we work really hard on making the songs translate well. We put a lot into the performance. I think we always want to remain predominately a live band because that’s really important to us

I agree – especially since, as a musician – most of your revenue is generated from people coming to see the live music experience.

Yes – almost all of it! (more…)

Nas and Steve Stoute added to SXSW Music and Media Conference

Posted by    |    March 2nd, 2012 at 9:52 am

Last year, YouPlusDallas attended SXSW for two long, glorious weeks of Interactive, Film and Music festivalage, thus engaging in a month-long recovery process after the fact. This process included a few vacation days, multiple bottles of wine, and sitting in silence, trying to regain our hearing.

While we will not be attending the festival this year (cue sad emoticon) we are still privy to insider information. Stick with us, kid, and get to know what’s going on three hours south.

The SXSW Music and Media conference has just added Nas and Steve Stoute to its schedule. According to the press release:

In this special SXSW Interview, Nas will be joined in conversation with Steve Stoute, his former manager and longtime friend. As the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Translation, author of The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy, and former music executive, Stoute has been an instrumental figure in utilizing the power of hip-hop culture to revolutionize the way brands connect with audiences. This meeting of visionaries will be a highlight of the SXSW Music Conference you won’t want to miss!

The SXSW Interview with Nas and Steve Stoute will take place Friday, March 16 at 3:30pm

A Conversation with Steve Stoute and Dan Charnas will take place Saturday, March 17 at 11am.

SXSW takes place March 9-18. Keep checking back with us for more updates, and a recap from our time spent in Austin.

YouPlusDallas Photo Gallery: Kelly Clarkson

Posted by    |    February 16th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

 Kelly Clarkson at Verizon Theater 2.10.12

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Story Time with Breathe Owl Breathe: Interview with Trevor Hobbs

Posted by    |    February 9th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

For those of you looking for the anti-Valentine’s Day Valentine’s Day, I know a good place to sulk in a corner, think about your non-existent relationship, and blame your sadness on the holiday that Hallmark invented. Dan’s Silverleaf invites you to hang out with our neighbors to the North in Denton, Texas. Here, you’ll find a lovely (though not too lovely, this is anti-V-Day, right?) band by the name of Breathe Owl Breathe, currently touring with Laura Gibson, supporting their half-and-half children’s book-slash-vinyl 7″ entitled The Listeners/These Train Tracks. Sounding on the pangs of indie day-dreamers A.B., Elliott Smith and Alexi Murdoch, the Michigan trio has taken artistry in a new direction, combining literature, lyrics and music, with art. We caught up with percussionist Trevor Hobbs to get the story behind the story.

Tell me about how the idea of a writing a children’s book in tandem with your music came to be.

A lot of the effort was really Micah [Middaugh, guitar/vocals]’s creation through and through. He grew up always having songs and stories nearby. One of those stories is one day he was mowing the lawn up at the cabin where he lived, and he was keeping this pocketbook next to him all the time. He’s mowing the lawn, and he is just doing one row and then the next, and then the next. He had this vision of these train tracks, and these train tracks turn into a ladder, and this ladder into a caterpillar, as the story goes. The book started out in pocketbook form and existed that way for quite a while. I think the pocketbook idea was something that he grew up doing – like making small flipbooks with his brothers when they were young.

Right around the same time, we were creating little songs without really much of an intention of having them exist together. Once this idea of making a children’s book came about into a more realistic sense, it was kind of a natural fit that these songs would go with these stories and write them around each other. It was a long journey – I think it took a couple of years to settle on the lyrics and how their arrangements were finally made. We’re really happy to have it out, to have it done. (more…)