Wednesday, August 25, 2010

TVD First Date | Jenny Wilson

It's our very first Q & A 'First Date' and it's also the debut of a new contributor to TVD, Leah Henry. —Ed.

She is huge in Sweden. Now, Jenny Wilson is ready for the US.

Jenny Wilson, founder of
First Floor Power, who began her solo career in 2004, took the New York City stage twice last month. During our introduction Jenny acknowledged that her New York shows went well, the first at Union on Tuesday July 13th and the second at Pianos on Wednesday July 14th. When asked specifically about the performances Jenny says, “It was something completely new, solo, without my band, fun, very different.”

Jenny Wilson’s self-released second solo album Hardships! had its debut in the United States yesterday, August 24th.

What songs do you think they liked best?
The audience…well, I think the most popular is ‘Like a Fading Rainbow’ it’s getting some play here, and a lot through YouTube. And the next one would be ‘Only Here for the Fight’, since they can go online and download it for free.

How important is it to make it in America, is that your goal?
Very important – if you make it in America, you’re big. It is just one part of my goal, I want to spread my music, there are so many amazing bands in America - I would like to be a part of that scene.

I thoroughly enjoyed Hardships!. It felt like pop-R&B-spiritual, how would you describe this album?
Well, I would describe it like that; a mixture between new and old R&B, soul, and electronic stuff too. I wanted it to be as organic and rhythmic as possible.

I know you have a song entitled Hardships but why did you choose to name the album ‘Hardships!’ as well?
The theme is struggle, motherhood, fighting, and I am describing motherhood from a battlefield perspective. It sounds powerful to me. I am not sure what it means to you [being American] but, that was my aim. I had a lot of different working titles and this was one of the later entries.

Fun seems important in your music, how important is that in this album?
When I make them, I try to grab the feeling. I want to surprise myself, how can I describe this... I want to challenge myself, with lyrics as well. I don’t want to feel secure; I want to go out where I haven’t been before. In this album I touch on some dark topics and I add fun.

You mentioned producing earlier, and you currently run Gold Medal Recordings, how has that changed you as a musician?
To run a label… it was more… I started it to have sole control over the product. I am not ‘the business’, I am not an enthusiastic label manager, I hate all of that shit. I am a true artist. I try to do it myself as much as I can. I don’t want be a part of some major label and get lost. It’s not important to have a lot of people around, if I have to describe my idea to five different people, it doesn’t work. I try it. I decide. And I get the results. I want my music to be brave, personal.

Who/what are you listening to right now?
I am listening to a lot of Wu Tang Clan, mostly the 90's records with ODB and RZA – the dark landscape of hip hop, gospel. Also - African music from Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Mali. I love the rhythms.

Which Swedish artists are you listening to at the moment?
Oh! Have you heard of El Perro Del Mar?

No, I haven’t...
Well she is amazing, just amazing

Pop, it’s just great.

I must admit I am a big Jens Lekman fan. As Jenny corrected my terrible pronunciation of his last name (Lek-Mon) she goes on to tell me about how she toured with Jens in 2005 and how she believes him to be a brilliant artist

This is an odd curiosity question but, do you prefer one side of your face?

Good question! I noticed that I do that, which side do I turn to again?

You have your left side to the camera.
And I don’t know why, I have this really beautiful scar on the right side of my face. After Hardships!... I will show it.

Find Jenny Wilson at her Official Website and Myspace

Jenny Wilson - Only Here for the Fight (Mp3)
Jenny Wilson - Hardships Gospel (Mp3)
Approved for download!

TVD | Spiritual Malaise

To be fair, I had a whole different theme in the works for this week and tried to grind it out through last Sunday's bout with the blues. It was gonna be killer too...I think. But the graphic wasn't coming together and the music seemed repetitive.

So I chucked it. Something like 4 hours of planning - trashed.

But if you look, you'll often find it, I think, when you can get outside of the moment and reflect.

Thus, ever so late Sunday evening, it came together - divine providence in up-ended inspiration - in mere minutes: spiritual malaise.

That's got to make you feel good, right?

Thin Lizzy - Saga of the Ageing Orphan (Mp3)
Boy Omega - Suffocation Street (Mp3)
David Bowie - Stay (Mp3)
Modern English - Blue Waves (Mp3)
Manic Street Preachers - S.Y.M.M. (Mp3)

TVD First Date | America Hearts

Taking a cue from our 'Lil Triggers' series, America Hearts' Jess Matthews finds a marriage this morning between music...and eye wear.

America Hearts play the Rock and Roll Hotel this Friday night (8/27) and the Sockets Records Showcase on Saturday (8/28) at Hexagon in Baltimore. —Ed.

"I got these goggles when I was about 17. I was a snowboard instructor during high school and most winter days I rode down a small Pennsylvania Mountain listening to Appetite for Destruction on my Walkman. I was not supposed to have that Guns n Roses tape, so it was recorded over a Ducktails Cassette.

My friend Susan gave me these sweet yellow shades when we went on a company-sponsored vacation to Mexico. Aside from people on free corporate trips, the all expenses paid resort was filled with honeymooners and older couples who seek out warm locations with free alcohol the way reptiles look for sunny rocks.

The lobby and surrounding pools played musak, including a surprising amount of Guns n Roses songs. A live reggae band played by the pool one day, while someone came around with a monkey you could have your picture taken with. In this picture, I am getting a drink at the pool bar during water aerobics.

When I was touring Europe with Edie Sedgwick, we had a very sweet driver from the Czech Republic named Ales. After the first few days, I asked Ales not to play metal, particularly the Czech blast-beat kind, before noon in the van. He was ok with that and played Czech Hip Hop, Monty Python, Tenacious D, and Hank Williams.

The music was accented by a woman’s voice from the GPS that gave him directions in Czech. By the time we arrived in Prague, we could all tell people to make a left at the next intersection. At the end of tour, Ales said he wanted me to have the sunglasses. When I said I couldn’t take them, he said, ‘C’mon! I’ll get another pair at the gas station in Brno!”

I bought these sunglasses in San Francisco and lost them somewhere in South Africa, which is where I’m driving in this photo. You can't go more than a few hours without hearing a Michael Jackson song on the radio there. You are just as likely to hear 'Heal the World' or 'Scream' as anything on Off the Wall or Thriller. Although I was prepared by seeing an African documentary on Michael Jackson on the flight over, I was still surprised to meet dogs named Michael and Jackson in sea-side lodges."
—Jess Matthews

Find America Hearts on their Official Website and Myspace

America Hearts - Heart (Live at the Black Cat) (Mp3)
America Hearts - Lost Now (Live at the Black Cat) (Mp3)
America Hearts - I Got a Job (Live at the Black Cat) (Mp3)
America Hearts - Sudden Husband (Live at the Black Cat) (Mp3)
Approved for download!