Posts Tagged ‘Cambridge Room’

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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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…)

Concert Review: Ximena Sariñana at House of Blues Dallas

Posted by    |    November 22nd, 2011 at 5:25 pm

People love things that are cute. That’s an obvious statement; yes, which is why YouTube is filled with enough home videos of puppies and kittens to keep the masses entertained for years, or at least until a different ‘cute fad’ takes its place.

Ximena Sariñana  (pronounced: hi-MEN-a sari-nyanah), one of Mexico’s most talented exports, is freakin’ adorable. Like, surprised kitty status adorable. This weekend, in the House of Blues Cambridge Room, Sariñana took the stage to massive applause, consulted her black Macbook, and opened her set with “The Bid,” off her latest album.

A crossover artist, Sariñana has a massive following in her home country. Her 2008 album, Mediocre, was praised by Rolling Stone as “one of the strongest debuts from a female singer-songwriter since Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me.”

Presently, Sariñana is taking on a new challenge for herself: bringing her music to the States with her first (90%) English self-titled album, released this July on Warner Bros Records.

Relentlessly watchable, Sariñana brings the colloquialism “smiling with her eyes” to life. During the song “Shine Down,” co-written by TV On the Radio’s David Sitek, she energetically bounced up and down between verses, politely gleaming at her band.

“Hola, como estan?” Sariñana asked coyly, smiling to the audience, her long, curly brown hair pulled into a side ponytail resting on her shoulder.

“I just released my second record, which is my first record all in English,” Sariñana began, introducing her latest single, “Different,” a cheery, piano-driven alt-pop song with a sunny whistling melody that appears in all the right places. “Gracias por entender,” she said, later thanking the audience in two languages, leading into the notion that the night’s set would be akin to a Spanish (or English) lesson. (more…)

Interview with American Idol Alum and Singer-Songwriter Tim Halperin

Posted by    |    September 8th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Tim Halperin is startling. The YouPlusDallas team is standing in line for our press passes at the House of Blues box office, when Halperin unexpectedly descends a staircase near our position in line; a bold move for any artist, especially skyrocketed-to-fame American Idol alums. He could potentially encounter a teenage screaming mob at any point in the open. When he catches the eyes of a girl with long blonde hair, she immediately runs up to him upon recognition, freaking out on cue, but this doesn’t shake him. Handling the situation in a professional manner, pictures are taken, hugs are given, and finally, it is my turn to approach the blue-eyed singer. “Hey!” he says, energetically shaking my hand, “Is everything going okay?” Fulfilling our last minute video interview request, Halperin charms the box office into granting us an extra photo pass and we head into the venue to set up for our interview.

His wrists are covered in bracelets, beaded, woven and banded multicolors engulfing his forearms: decoration that will color his time at the keyboard in the hours to come. Wearing a white T-shirt under a puffy brown vest, Halperin guides our team the back way through the House of Blues kitchen and up the freight elevator. The doors open to the exclusive Foundation Room and we settle into a colorful side room, the walls adorned with images of kama sutra poses.

“American Idol,” he exhausts a sigh heavy with the weight of life-changing memories, “good times.” Having recently come off a successful stint on the 10th season of the unflinchingly popular reality television show, Halperin ran into a bit of an issue following the season’s end. “I couldn’t release my own music for a little while and that was hard for me because I had been a singer-songwriter for a couple of years, so coming off the show was difficult; but on the flip side, it was incredible.” (more…)

YouPlusDallas Gallery: Tim Halperin

Posted by    |    August 12th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

American Idol contestant Tim Halperin at the House of Blues Dallas, TX 8.11.11

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nelo at House of Blues

Posted by    |    November 8th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

nelo at House of Blues in Dallas, Texas. 11.06.2010 – Read “15 minutes with nelo” by Laura Stillo

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Catching up with Kina Grannis

Posted by    |    September 27th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Kina Grannis is driving from Portland to San Francisco, and I’ve got her on her cell phone – hands free, of course. I caught up with the Southern California singer-songwriter to ask a few questions of her most recent album, Stairwells.

Stairwells is a beautiful album with many songs about relationships you’ve had. Now that you’re busy on tour, are you finding your upcoming songs deal with different situations?

I would say that [the songs] do change, but it’s not too drastic. Throughout life the songs will change slightly because you look at the world differently. I tend to revisit the areas of my life – the issues that you always kind of have for yourself.

Tell me about your songwriting process.
It’s pretty weird like that, if I sit down and try to write a song, it’s impossible. When they’re ready they just kind of come out. They usually come out in an hour or so without me really trying. I find them more than construct them.

Which song of yours means the most to you?
I feel like they’re all my babies; they all have a special place my heart.

You’re a rock start at keeping up with your fans.
I love being able to connect with them and talk with everyone. I spend the majority of my day doing it. I love being able to talk to anyone, and I feel really guilty when I can’t do it. My fans have been everything since day one; it’s only naturally to respond [to them]. (more…)