In 1988, dance-pop group Will to Power hit the clubs and the charts with their catchy tracks. One song in particular, “Say It’s Gonna Rain,” had me dancing in my sweet Z Cavariccis. Why do I bring this up? As a terrible segue into another precipitation-metaphor song of course. Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” has been played so many times it’s hard to believe hearing a cover song would make you forget about the original, but that’s exactly what Damien “Dame” Escobar did when he played the hit song on his violin during an A-Sides session earlier this month. Filmed at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY, Escobar along with two band members slayed the famous Adele track. Afterwords, Escobar opened up about his solo career, and the album – I Am Me – he’s currently working on.
Like, say I don’t know Will to Power perhaps (tsk tsk), Escobar is no stranger to killing it musically.”Dame” was accepted into Julliard at just nine years old, and recently collaborated with his brother Tourie as part of the violin duo Nuttin’ But Stringz. The pair picked up a pair (see what I did there?) of Emmy’s, sold a million albums, and placed third on America’s Got Talent, but Escobar is focusing on his solo work as of late. Watch the Jamaica, Queens native perform and chat below, and keep your eyes and ears pealed for his new album and tour. Oh, and before we begin, I should mention Escobar has a foundation called Violins Against Violence, serves on the board of the Jamaica Queens YMCA, and is involved in numerous charities. In other words, he’s not just a talented musician, he’s a good dude. Watch. Listen. Love.
“Set Fire to the Rain”
A-Sides “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its Top 12 tracks of the week AKA the “Delve Into Twelve”based on the following contributing factors: songs I’m playing out that particular week NO MATTER WHEN THEY WERE RELEASED (think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks, and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and listened to and liked (phew), posts and trends I’ve noticed on my friends’ Facebook walls, and – most importantly – the songs my 1 1/2+ year-old son gravitates toward. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week’s rank):
12. “Evil Friends” – Portugal. The Man.
11. “Sirens” – Pearl Jam
10. “Methuselah” – San Fermin (Watch them perform it here on A-Sides!)
9. “Polaroid Picture” (LW-7) Frank Turner (Watch him perform it here on A-Sides!)
8.”Mercy” (LW-6) – TV on the Radio
7. “Arabella” (LW-5) – Arctic Monkeys
6. “L.L.L.” – Mona
5. “Pompeii” (LW-3) – Bastille
4. “Best Day Of My Life” (LW-2) – American Authors (* Watch the band perform this track on A-Sides this month!)
3. “Comrade” (LW-4)- Volcano Choir
2. “Bitter Rivals” – Sleigh Bells
1. “Reflektor”(LW-4) – Arcade Fire
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman’s “A-Sides Music” series was established in August 2011 and usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing.