DJ Toaster Biscuit

If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play On…

Month: December, 2012

Return, Good Son

by Ellie McHale

Sometimes, I really enjoy it when brothers can put aside their squabbles & rivalry and give back to those around them. And, it just so happens that a favorite fraternal team of mine has decided to reunite and give their fans a good time. That’s right. The Black Crowes are touring in 2013. I read the news on Consequence of Sound, a site I just discovered today. (I’m kinda bad at this being hip to the skip for the music scene, I know.) There is something very unfortunate… My boys aren’t coming out to California. And, they would do so well at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre. (I saw them there when they opened for Tom Petty, and enjoyed every single nanosecond of it.)

The tour starts in Manchester with five UK dates, then head over to to the East Coast to do a bunch of shows that go nowhere near any West Coast states. The ultimate plan would be to go to one of their shows in London on March 29th or 30th. But, that’s a long shot. A cheaper, more feasible would be to go to any of the New York, Chicago, Texas, Florida, or New Orleans shows. And, I am really hoping I can do this and take a mini-vacation while I’m at it.

I’ve mentioned The Black Crowes before. They were a crucial band for me at a pivotal time in my life. In about 1993, I started to fall for them just before I moved back to London (’94). During the two years in London, I was coming into my teenage years and starting to form an identity. Of course, I feel in time with the grunge, almost nihilistic way of life. The Black Crowes were these white boys who took rock music and peppered it with soul and blues. What more could a teenage girl want? My body was changing. I had been uprooted from my close knit group of childhood friends and was put into an entirely different way of life and expected to start all over. Yikes. PAINFUL!! So, turning to music was a natural way to help me express myself. And, these white boy rockers with miles of soul and what seemed like basketfuls of sad things to sing about were able to speak to me through their lyrics. I’ve been hooked ever since.

So, when the Robinson brothers have “artistic differences” and say they’ll break up forever, we all safely say to ourselves, it won’t be long before they get back together for the hell of it, play some music, make some fans happy, and get some dollars along the way. In 2005 (2006?), when they agreed to open for Tom Petty, I was stoked when my friend texted me with the news he had an extra ticket if I had some cash. I went to the bank, got some money for the ticket and a few beers, then it was up to Berkeley to spend an amazing night at the Greek! In all the years I’ve loved The Black Crowes, I never took a chance to see them live. Finally, it was my turn. I got to see one of my favorite bands live. And, as an opening act for one of my favorite musicians. Amazing…

I’m sure that you can imagine how excited I am about another possible chance to see these boys again. Total Oh Squeee moment!!!

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Happy Christmas To All

by Ellie McHale

Let’s put aside our need to perpetuate capitalist standards and take a moment to look at the true meaning of Christmas. It is a time of celebrating life and community. It is a day to be thankful for what you have and possibly a reflection on what else you can do to be a citizen of substance.

After eight years of working retail, I have really come to appreciate the deeper, more meaningful side of holidays. I’d rather give, than receive. And, the things I would rather give are a book I enjoyed that I know a certain someone else will enjoy. Perhaps a mix album to introduce people to music they might enjoy. Even treating a loved one to a fun evening of dinner, a concert, a movie, a play, or just a few hours spent together connecting. It’s not how much you spend on the person or the trendiness of the item you are buying them… It’s the fact you took the time to offer your loved one a token of appreciation. Sure, we should appreciate our tribe every day, but we often forget.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I urge you to take a moment during the day to reflect on the positive aspects of your life. Make a mental list of everything you are thankful for. Tell someone you are happy to share your life with them. And, take note of what you would like to accomplish in the next year.

I leave you with a song that reminds me of my childhood in England. It always evokes a sense of peace & happiness, and I hope it can do the same for you.

Thanks A Million (Win iTunes Credit)

by Ellie McHale

The plan was to have 1,000 views by 11.59pm PST on December 31st, 2012 and I was going to do a giveaway. But, that was an unreasonable goal. So, I settled for 500 views by the same time. Today, right now, DJ Toaster Biscuit is at 501 views! YAY!

So, this means I can get started on my first giveaway! Initially, I chose to give one lucky winner a $50 iTunes gift card. But, I’d love to give two people the chance to win. So, I am going to chose (randomly) two people to receive a $25 iTunes gift card each.

Hear are the entry steps & rules:
1. Leave a comment here with either a suggestion for a post or your top five favorite songs;
2. [Optional step] Follow DJ Toaster Biscuit on Twitter;
3. [Optional step] Like DJ Toaster Biscuit on FaceBook;
4. Please do this by 11.59pm PST on December 31st, 2012.

Please make sure that when you leave a comment, you leave your name & email if you don’t have a WordPress account. I need to be able to contact you if you win. Winners will be announced by 11pm PST January 2nd, 2013.

Once again, thank you for all of your views and support! Totally appreciate it!

Kelsey Rottiers, Keepin’ it Real

by Ellie McHale

You can find Kelsey Rottiers on ReverbNation, Tumblr, FaceBook, and YouTube.

Through her  ReverbNation page, Ms. Rottiers has twelve songs available to listen to, which is an amazing offering to potential fans. I appreciate when musicians offer listeners the chance to really get a feel for their art.

As per Ms Rottier’s website, her bio states: “Sometimes uplifting, sometimes heartbreaking, always fresh and real, singer/songwriter Kelsey Rottiers’ all-original music tackles concepts from Forgiveness to Sex Trafficking.  Whether it’s the catchy “Red Wonder Boots,” the furious “Bear Hope,” or any of her dozens of other tracks, Kelsey Rottiers’ songs fuse folk and indie substance with a pop simplicity that will linger in your mind like a brilliant sunset.” I really like the sound of that…

As I listened her music for the first time, this lovely lady reminds me of the possible love child of Missy Higgins, Neko Case, and Jenny Lewis. Total “indie” girl singer-songwriter genre. And, that’s a good thing. We need more fun, smart female artists making waves in the world. Of the songs I listened to, I feel that “Goliath” is my current favorite. While I love upbeat, tenacious songs, I really enjoy a mellow, emotional song. I guess I’m a lil’ emo on the inside. At the end of the song, we hear a “hallelujah” sung out that caught me off guard. I heard a sliver of Brandi Carlile in Kelsey’s voice. If anyone can be unique, but have a rare moment of likeness with another amazing musician, I know I’m likely to enjoy what’s to be heard.

I’ll admit it. I’m very much a Bay Area white girl. Many of us have dreams to be that adorable girl with a guitar jamming out at the beach. We dream of writing our own music and aspiring to be the next Tori Amos. At least, that’s the dream I had. Unfortunately, not everyone has songwriting abilities. And, writing a good lyric was beyond a lot of us… That’s why being the next Tori or Ani or Fiona was out of the question. So, when women like Kelsey Rottiers come along and create songs that are all very unique and are full of well versed lyrics, I get excited. It is refreshing to hear lyrics written by a woman that are tasteful, imaginative, and intelligent.

My biggest takeaway from Ms Rottiers is her passion & desire to fight for what she believes in. Music, photography  and film are the quickest & most effective ways to relay information to large quantities of people. Through her music, she is able to deal with her own feelings towards the worldwide issue of sex trafficking, while getting her fanbase informed & active in awareness and advocacy. Her song, “Bear Hope” is her touchstone song about the issue. Her lyrics are strong, furious, and have an air of mythicism. The image of a bear taking control of their life is amazing. She gives this bear a unique voice that is rather enchanting.

Kelsey Rottiers has music available on iTunes: a full length album & two EPs (Extended Plays, in case you wanted to know what that stands for). After listening to her tracks on ReverbNation and watching some of her videos on YouTube, I know I’ll be purchasing her music. Please, check out her music through ReverbNation. Please check out her YouTube page. And, even if her music isn’t your cup of tea, please join her in the fight to end sex trafficking. Seriously. Follow her lead! Do good in the world!

by Thought Catalog

Couldn’t have said it better…

I’m Not A Hipster

by Ellie McHale

I think I need this movie in my life:

I think I get the gist of the film. People creating & playing music indie-status & coping with adversity (however adverse said adversity is has to be seen, I guess).

But, let me leave you with this for now:


“Whiskey keeps me good…” [Truth.]


“Your face is illegal.”


“I’m not a hipster…” [Seriously. I’m not.]

by Ellie McHale

Thank you for this post. For those of you who don’t know the details of John Lennon’s last day, here ya go.

Backseat Mafia

JohnLennon

Its December 8th today, and exactly 32 years ago to the day Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon in the back  four times, on the steps of his apartment building, The Dakota in New York. Doctors said no-one could have lived for more than a few minutes with the scale of injuries Lennon sustained, and he was pronounced dead at 11.07 in the evening at The St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center.

John Lennon – Losing You from 1980s Double Fantasy, released on 17th November, less than 3 weeks before his death.

The day had started off fairly ordinarily in the life of one of the worlds most iconic artists, with a photo session for Rolling Stone. Photographer that day was Annie Liebovitz. She had wanted just Lennon on the photographs, but after Lennon insisted, his wife Yoko Ono was included. (below)liebovitz portraitLennon then went to do what would be his final interview…

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There’s Nothing to Kill or Die For

by Ellie McHale

Thirty-two years ago today, our beloved John Lennon was assassinated. Let’s take a moment to remember everything he stood for. His legacy is beautiful and just as important now as it was 30-50 years ago. Live the compassion he saw in every single human being. Do good. Act with love, not hate. Kill with kindness, not guns.

With that, I’ll leave you with this:

I’m Not The Only One

by Ellie McHale

Yes, that is the title to a sugary pop song by Maria Mena. And, I admit it, I kinda like it. But, I’m not going to talk about the song or Maria.

Everyone and their dog’s mamas like to talk about “Hallelujah” and how amazing it is. I even mentioned it in my favorite covers post. Because, it really is an amazing song. The lyrics are rich and tender. They evoke a sense of longing, hurt, joy, peace, nostalgia.

While checking out NPR.org, I stumbled upon an article about “Hallelujah” and hoped that the author had come across some new insightful piece of information directly from Leonard Cohen’s mouth. Alas, that’s not the case. But, I was excited to learn that Alan Light has written and released a book called “The Holy or the Broken” that deals with the song at hand. And, I think I need it in my life.

Here is another cover of “Hallelujah” for your entertainment:

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