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Photographic Recap of The Bridge School Benefit

Recently I posted on the blog about having my in-ear headphones on non-stop, getting psyched for the Bridge School Benefit Concert last weekend in Mountain View, CA at Shoreline. It was definitely an amazing night! The sense of community coming together for a good cause -  to benefit The Bridge School -  was definitely in the air. Some of the artists I had seen prior to this show, but for most it was the first time I had ever seen them perform live.

The highlight of the evening was without a doubt, Jack White. His all-female band Saturday night brought the house down.  Guns N’ Roses was a little strange, maybe out of place, as the performance would have been fine but the F-bombs Axl dropped several times in front of the students and their parents were a little jarring. The shocker of the evening was Eddie Vedder who was not on the bill but came on to do a couple of songs before GNR came on. I would have very much welcomed a full set from him!  I enjoyed Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Foster the People, and Ray LaMontagne, all artists whom I have seen before. Steve Martin was really funny and entertaining with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Gary Clark Jr., Lucinda Williams, Sara McLachlan and k.d. lang all put on a great show for everyone.

Every year it’s a different lineup, but always acoustic and always a good time. For the last few days, I have constantly had my headphones in, listening to some favorites but also getting acquainted with Gary Clark Jr., whose set I really liked. Here are some great images from Velodyne friend Jay Blakesberg who was there to document the 2-day concert.

Neil Young plays to the students, warms up the crowd

Neil Young, the Godfather of Grunge

Gary Clark, Jr.

Lucinda Williams

Steve Martin

k.d. lang

Sarah McLachlan

Foster the People

 

Ray LaMontagne

The Flaming Lips

Jack White

 

Eddie Vedder

Guns N’ Roses

Various, Finale Saturday

Various, Finale Sunday

Hope to see you there next year!

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Wordless Wednesday – Music Speaks

Some days its just better to insert your vPulse in-ear headphones and start all over.

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Imagine Dragons

 

I recently discovered an indie rock band called Imagine Dragons. Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Imagine Dragons formed in 2008, and after winning multiple battle of the band competitions, released two EPs, one called Imagine Dragons EP and the other called Hell and Silence EP in 2010. The music video for their song “It’s Time” has been nominated for an MTV Video Music Award in the category for “Best Rock Video.” The single “It’s Time” charted in the top 40 on the Billboard Alternative and Billboard Rock charts. After the music video’s release in April 2012, Imagine Dragons was named MTV PUSH Artist of the Week.

Imagine Dragons released their debut album, entitled Night Visions, on September 4, 2012, and it peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, its first week of sales exceeding 83,000 copies. They have performed on both The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel Live! and on the TV show Glee, Darren Criss covered “It’s Time.” Their song “Lost Cause” is on the soundtrack for Frankenweenie: Unleashed!

An up-and-coming rock band, Imagine Dragons is currently on tour with electronic rock band Awolnation. Upcoming tour dates are as follows:

October 22, 2012: Nashville, TN (The Mercy Lounge)

October 23, 2012: Atlanta, GA (Tabernacle)

October 24, 2012: Tampa, FL (Ritz Ybor)

October 25, 2012: Lake Buena Vista, FL (House of Blues-Orlando)

 

In November, Imagine Dragons will be touring Europe.

 

Here’s a look at their MTV nominated music video for the song “It’s Time:”

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Music Monday – Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Psychedelic Pill, the forcoming release from Neil Young and Crazy Horse

It’s Music Monday – What are you listening to? Sitting at my desk working, I’ve had my vPulse headphones in and buzzing along to Jack White, Foster the People, The Flaming Lips. Usually my musical choices are chosen on a whim but not this time. I’m getting very excited for The Bridge School Benefit concert next weekend!

You may not know that Neil Young, iconic singer-songwriter who has a career spanning over 40 years and – count ‘em – TWO inductions into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame has two sons with cerebral palsy. In 1986, Neil and his wife Pegi helped start The Bridge School, which specializes in educating children with severe speech, communication and physical impairments. Twenty-six years ago, the first Bridge School Benefit Concert was held, with performers including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Nils Lofgren, Don Henley, Tom Petty, Robin Williams, and Bruce Springsteen raising the funds necessary to open the school in 1987. Every year since, with the exception of the year the school opened, a benefit concert has been held with a performance by Neil Young – with the full line-up playing acoustic instruments.

This year, the concert is the weekend of October 20-21, 2012. Here are the artists scheduled to perform:

As always, this line-up is impressive and the night will likely be legendary. I couldn’t be more excited to attend a killer concert while contributing to a great cause. Enjoy this video of “Ramada Inn” by Neil Young with Crazy Horse; it’s got that raw, unmistakeable, rockin’ signature Neil Young sound I have grown up with and respected my entire life. Enjoy the rest of your Music Monday!

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“Pin It To Win It” Pink v-Pulse Giveaway

The new pink vPulse are in stock now. Three lucky people will have a chance to win a pair of these highly coveted in-ear headphones which retail at $99. It’s easy to enter – just go to our website,  and pin the pink vPulse image to one of your pinboards to get started. Complete the rafflecopter below and you will be entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How to get stuff done

  1. Go to a public place, preferably where caffeinated hot beverages are served.
  2. Drink a hot beverage.
  3. Play John Mayer’s album Battle Studies (or music of equivalent mellowness) through noise-reducing headphones, thereby creating for yourself a private world of focused concentration.
  4. Start.

The rest will take care of itself. Take it from someone who knows.

 

-Benevolent Siren

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Velodyne Supports the Community: Music Matters Family Festival

 

The Surf Spot in Pacifica, CA will be holding its first annual Music Matters Family Festival September 23, 2012. 100% of the proceeds will go to Music Matters in Pacifica. MMiP is a new program of the Pacifica Education Foundation that advocates and raises funds to support the instrumental music program for 6th through 8th graders in the Pacifica School District.
 The Surf Spot is hosting performances by The Refugees (Tom Petty Tribute Band), Curt Yagi and The People Standing Behind Me, 5D and Green Room Music. There will be a special guest deejay. Doors open at noon and there is a $5 admission – 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Pacifica’s Music Matters Foundation.We hope you and your families can come out and support children’s music programs, while enjoying the fun  lineup of bands, games, food and drinks! Velodyne has donated a few “swag bags” that Curt Yagi & The People Standing Behind Me will be giving away. You could walk away with a pair of vPulse in-ear headphones that retail at $99!

Good swag for a good cause!

Surf Spot Restaurant. 4627 Coast Highway. http://surfspoteats.com/ For more information on Music Matters in Pacifica visit http://www.musicmattersinpacifica.org/.

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It may be September, but I’m listening to Christmas music anyway.

Why? Because Christmas music is lovely, and it’s finally starting to get cool in Massachusetts (from whence I am now blogging). As I haven’t lived through an East Coast winter in a decade, the cool seasons are a single unit in my sense memory; cool weather simultaneously means Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And since Halloween music is goofy and the soundtrack to Thanksgiving is usually just a chorus of killjoys reminding me that the pilgrims were actually jerks to the native people, Christmas music is my go-to source for cool-weather jams.

 

This kitten in a Santa hat doesn't stop being cute just because it isn't December.

 

Here are 5 beautiful Christmas-y songs that are good enough to listen to all year long.

  1. River, cover by Sarah McLachlan
  2. All That I Want by The Weepies
  3. O Holy Night as performed, a capella, by ‘NSYNC
  4. Better Days by The Goo Goo Dolls
  5. Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill (from Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas)

 

Who else out there is bucking society’s oppressive rules regarding seasonal song selection? Can I get an amen?

 

-Benevolent Siren

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How to work through the pain of a breakup…

…A band breakup, that is. When your favorite musical group parts ways or retires, a very real grieving process starts to take place. And darn it, you should grieve. You know who isn’t sad when their favorite band goes away? Robots, and no one else.

 

Anyway, here are the 5 stages of grief seen through the lens of a band breakup.

  1. Denial.  Do you find yourself saying, “REMluvr67 must be misinformed. What does the moderator of an R.E.M. fan message board know about R.E.M. breaking up??” If so, you’re in denial. Don’t worry, this won’t last; the band frontperson will confirm the rumors soon enough. All you have to do at this stage is go about your day until the official news sources start reporting the band’s demise.
  2. Anger. How dare the artist in question do this to you? Doesn’t he/she/they know that you NEED THEIR MUSIC TO SURVIVE? They clearly must not have considered the consequences to you personally. Jerks. You should boycott the fan message boards and temporarily stop listening to their music in protest.
  3. Bargaining. Incessantly inundate the band’s official Twitter feed with requests for one last show. Inform the Internet ether that you’ll donate your kidney if they’ll just do one last studio album. Yell at the Internet about it all you want. You’re going through something here, and if your friends care about you, they’ll listen. (Or ignore you. You’ll never know–it’s the Internet.) After your 50th tweet or 8th status update (whichever comes first), let yourself fall into step 4:
  4. Depression. Make a playlist of the band’s saddest songs. Title it “END OF THE WORLD” and listen on repeat. Curl up on your bed clutching one of their albums, sobbing “whyyy??” over and over. Feel sorry for yourself. Wallow. Wear sweatpants. Eat ice cream. Don’t shower. Maybe take a mental health day. Make sure to put a cap on how long you allow yourself to do this, though; maybe make it a long weekend.
  5. Acceptance. This one takes some doing, and it’s the hardest, but it’s also the most gratifying. After you’ve handled your depression, set aside a block of time to hold a vigil. Collect all your band memorabilia in one comfortable and private place, invest in a killer pair of headphones, and make sure everyone knows you’re not to be interrupted. (Also, if you’re inclined to wear eye makeup usually, maybe don’t during the vigil. You’ll want to be sob-proof.) Listen to their entire discography in order, taking time to remember all the times in your life that each song/album got you through. Remember the first time you saw them live. Remember the bad breakup that had you crying onto their metaphorical shoulder as you listened to that one song on repeat. Remember the happiest they’ve ever made you. Bring up the memories methodically, allow them to take you back to each moment in succession, and live briefly in the emotion of those moments. Smile. Cry. Breathe deeply. Write, if you’re so inclined. And then remind yourself that you’ll always have those memories, and the music that scored them.

And if that fails, tell yourself they weren’t that great anyway. Sniff.

 

-Benevolent Siren

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