I’m a big fan of buffets – good ones. I’m not talking Atlantic City surf-and-turf nightmares where you wait on line for a year and a day, and feast on lukewarm food and crab legs. I dig the fancy schmancy hotel buffets that have a wide variety of eats that make your mouth water and your pants buttons pop. Why am I talking about food in this music column today? It’s easy… I have a buffet of gifted musicians on “A-Sides” for your ears to feast on. See what I did there? It’s called a “stretch.” Anyway, it’s Tuesday morning as I write this, but it’ll feel like “Ladies’ Night.” Below are three male musicians who are all easy on the eyes and packed with more talent than any Kardashian can handle.
Steven McMorran is first up today, and the front man for the band Satellite is all kinds of awesome. The group, which also consists of Mitch Allan, Josh Dunahoo and Erik Kerte, formed in 2010, and just dropped Calling Birds, an album that can best be described as an indie-inspired slice of Americana. McMorran, who recently collaborated with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo on his English-Japanese self-titled LP called, Scott & Rivers, stopped by the Music Conservatory of Westchester to film an A-Sides session, and spoke about “Birds,” his band, songwriting in general, and everything else in-between. The Nashville talent also performed a killer version of “Say the Words.” Watch it below, and catch his band on tour with Lenka this summer.
Like McMorran, Tommy Cantillon flied solo when he filmed an A-Sides session at the Conservatory earlier this month to chat and perform two tracks. The “Tommy” of the MTV Buzzworthy-featured band Tommy & The High Pilots just dropped a new album called Only Human, and its lead single “Outta My Head” is so much fun you very well might be playing it at one of your summer sloppy barbecues. The Santa Barbara quartet, which also includes Michael Cantillon, Steve Libby, and Matt Palermo, will bring their indie pop flavor to a town near you in the coming months. Check their website for deets, and in the meantime, watch “Outta My Head” live, and the interview below. You can also go over to and catch another tune from Tommy on the A-Sides YouTube channel here!
Caleb Hawley is our last A-Sider today, but by no means should you read anything into that. The blue-eyed soul singer, who drops his fourth album soon, came to his A-Sides session last week and floored this blauthor (blog + author – get it?). The Minneapolis native and current Harlem resident may not be a household name as of yet, but he was seen in 2011 in a lot of households when he auditioned for American Idoland slayed then-judge Steven Tyler with his rendition of “Hallelujah, I Love Her So.” But, there’s more to Hawley than being a former contestant on a TV show. The Berklee grad has won numerous songwriting awards throughout the years, and as you can see below with his performance of “Little Miss Sunshine,” he’s so much more than reality TV fodder. Watch. Listen. Love.
“Little Miss Sunshine”
A-Sides “Delve Into Twelve” Countdown
*** For the week of June 17 ****
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 17-month-old son gravitates toward. Yeah, you read that right. This weeks follows below (LW= last week’s rank):
12. “Recover” – CHVRCHES
11.”Where Will We Go” (LW-7)- IAMDYNAMITE (Check out A-Sides live version here)
10. “Man Like That” (LW- 8)- Gin Wigmore (Check out A-Sides live version here.)
9. “Awkward” (LW – 9) – San Cisco
8. “Instant Crush” (LW-6)- Daft Punk with Julian Casablancas
7. “Doin’ It Right” (LW- 3)- Daft Punk with Panda Bear
6. “Am I Wrong?” – Love Spit Love
5. “New Moon on Monday” – Duran Duran
4. “Came Back Haunted”(LW-4) – Nine Inch Nails
3. “Defriended” – Beck
2. “You & I” (LW-2) – Crystal Fighters
1. “Don’t Swallow the Cap” (LW-1) – The National
About A-Sides Music
Jon Chattman’s “A-Sides Music” series 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. A-Sides celebrates its two-year anniversary with a concert in White Plains, NY on Saturday, July 27 featuring Kopecky Family Band. Get your tickets here.