Category Archives: videosongs

My Terrible Friend (Lauren O’Connell & Nataly Dawn)

NOTE: For the first few posts on this blog, I’m going to write about all the YouTube people connected to the first band I blogged about (Pomplamoose)…. because I think these musicians (who all happen to be friends with Pomplamoose or related to them in some way) are all brilliant, talented, uber-catchy songwriters with a strong knack of melody and arrangement, and deserve our attention, ears, and support ($$$). If you aren’t immediately swooning upon the first few seconds of each of these videos, you have a deficiency in your soul.

So finally…. after Julia Nunes, Lauren O’Connell, Ryan Lerman, Louis Cole, Jack Conte, and Nataly Dawn… comes My Terrible Friend, a collaboration between Lauren O’Connell and Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose.

The best part about the sound of My Terrible Friend is the mixture of vocals and lyrics by Nataly and Lauren…. their voices and styles are completely different, but musically, they come together and create rich, textured folk, with a strong 60’s influence… just gorgeous songs with fantastic lyrics, especially the song “When I Decide.” Ultimately, I can describe My Terrible Friend’s music as timeless.

Here are a few of my favorite videos and songs of theirs:

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Jack Conte

NOTE: For the first few posts on this blog, I’m going to write about all the YouTube people connected to the first band I blogged about (Pomplamoose)…. because I think these musicians (who all happen to be friends with Pomplamoose or related to them in some way) are all brilliant, talented, uber-catchy songwriters with a strong knack of melody and arrangement, and deserve our attention, ears, and support ($$$). If you aren’t immediately swooming upon the first few seconds of each of these videos, you have a deficiency in your soul.

After Julia Nunes, Lauren O’Connell, Ryan Lerman, and Louis Cole, comes Jack Conte, the mad scientist behind Pomplamoose:

 

Jack Conte is probably my #1 musical and life influence right now. The guy has a tremendous amount of talent, but he also is a very smart businessman and has great opinions on the music industry and where it’s going…. and where it SHOULD go. Plus, he’s a sweetheart of a guy. I was lucky enough to meet him and Nataly in June 2011, and talk with them briefly… they were (and are)  exceptionally cool, REAL people.

In 2009, Jack/Pomplamoose made six figures from internet downloads. Six figures. Without a major label backing him. That is extremely impressive.

It all came from using YouTube as an exposure source…. Jack had been making his own original music, in the form of “videosongs” (a term he coined, which is basically a music video shot as the recording process is taking place– no lip-synching or phony crap), and was generating quite a buzz for himself, even before he started working with Nataly as Pomplamoose. Jack’s music spans MANY styles and genres…. but to give you an idea of what his solo stuff sounds like… it’s a mishmash of quirky hard rock, ambient, classical, techno, Beatles-esque pop, and everything else you can possibly think of. This guy has no boundaries… no limits. He writes whatever he wants, and whatever he writes always comes out interesting, and listenable.

Here are a few of my favorite videos and songs of his…. DEFINITELY watch these, and realize the amount of talent this guy possesses…. it’s pretty ridiculous.

Louis Cole

NOTE: For the first few posts on this blog, I’m going to write about all the YouTube people connected to the first band I blogged about (Pomplamoose, aka Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn)…. because I think these musicians (who all happen to be friends with Pomplamoose) are all brilliant, talented, uber-catchy songwriters with a strong knack of melody and arrangement, and deserve our attention, ears, and support ($$$). If you aren’t immediately swooning upon the first few seconds of each of these videos, you have a deficiency in your soul.

After Julia Nunes, Lauren O’Connell, and Ryan Lerman, comes Louis Cole. I don’t know much about Louis at all, except the fact that he’s a really damn good drum-n-bass/jungle drummer, and is one half of the weird drum-n-bass/electro duo Louis and Geneveive.

On his own (without Genevieve), Louis is one ridiculously talented songwriter and singer. I first heard his solo music from Jack Conte’s Twitter… where he was basically freaking out about his song “Below The Valleys”… I decided to give it a listen (even though I’m not terribly into the music he does with Genevieve)…. and man, was I blown away.

“Below The Valleys” is a fuckin’ GREAT SONG. It is so perfect, it literally makes me want to quit playing music and writing songs, entirely…. and just talk about all the great songs out there, already.

When I hear Louis’ gorgeous falsetto throughout the chorus (in the background and in the lead vocal… I get so sad, because I have no falsetto anymore, after teaching music for several years, and having a vocal cord surgery in 2008…. and basically losing my falsetto entirely in February of this year after a horrible flu)……. it sucks not being able to sing along with this gorgeous song.

Louis effortlessly channels the sound and vibe of Brian Wilson so well, it brings tears to my eyes. How the fuck Louis channeled the 60s/retro spirit SO PERFECTLY in this song (with every single instrument, his melodies, and the chord sequence), I will never know. Pure, pure songwriting GENIUS. Thank you, Louis, for making this masterpiece. Can’t wait to hear what else you have up your sleeve.

Ryan Lerman

NOTE: For the first few posts on this blog, I’m going to write about all the YouTube people connected to the first band I blogged about (Pomplamoose, aka Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn)…. because I think these musicians (who all happen to be friends with Pomplamoose) are all brilliant, talented, uber-catchy songwriters with a strong knack of melody and arrangement, and deserve our attention, ears, and support ($$$). If you aren’t immediately swooning upon the first few seconds of each of these videos, you have a deficiency in your soul.

After Julia Nunes and Lauren O’Connell, comes Ryan Lerman. I don’t know much about Ryan other than he plays bass for Ben Folds, and he was the touring guitarist for Pomplamoose’s first tour (which I’m so glad I was able to see, a few months ago, in June 2011).

Jack Conte (from Pomplamoose) often tweets about Ryan’s songs, and rightfully so. Ryan Lerman must be one of the luckiest people in the world– not only because he can tour with Ben Folds, and not only because he’s good friends with Pomplamoose (who are still my favorite band right now, as I write this)… but….. he is a great-looking guy, with a fantastic voice, and a KILLER sense of melody and song arrangement, plus I love his lyrics. So heartfelt. This guy is a quadruple threat, musically. Here are a few of my favorite songs of his.

UPDATE! Here’s a new song of his (February 2012)… this may be his best song yet!!!

Lauren O’Connell

NOTE: For the first few posts on this blog, I’m going to write about all the YouTube people connected to the first band I blogged about (Pomplamoose, aka Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn)…. because I think these musicians (who all happen to be friends with Pomplamoose) are all brilliant, talented, uber-catchy songwriters with a strong knack of melody and arrangement, and deserve our attention, ears, and support ($$$). If you aren’t immediately swooning upon the first few seconds of each of these videos, you have a deficiency in your soul.

After Julia Nunes (who was the first blog subject after my initial  Pomplamoose post), is Lauren O’Connell. I first discovered Lauren through a Julia Nunes video, as Julia and Lauren were best friends in upstate New York (where Julia is from). Fast-forward a little bit… I kind of forgot about Lauren O’Connell, as I had gotten into various other great music. I rediscovered Lauren in 2011 when I saw that she had moved to the San Francisco area to live with Pomplamoose (after Pomplamoose came to upstate New York to help Julia Nunes record)… I’m guessing Lauren and Pomplamoose just hit it off, personally, during Nunes’ recording sessions.

I then saw that Lauren and Nataly Dawn (of Pomplamoose, of course) started a side project called My Terrible Friend (which I will blog about in the next few posts). But, all this crazy collaboration and six-degrees-of-separation aside… Lauren is an incredible songwriter (and multi-instrumentalist) in her own right.

And on a personal note, I love those Irish girls… Lauren’s beauty (and sarcastic personality) makes me swoon.

Here are three of my favorite songs of hers (the last one is probably the best Everly Brothers cover, EVER!).

Julia Nunes

NOTE: For the first few posts on this blog, I’m going to write about all the YouTube people connected to the first band I blogged about (Pomplamoose, aka Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn)…. because I think these musicians (who all happen to be friends with Pomplamoose) are all brilliant, talented, uber-catchy songwriters with a strong knack of melody and arrangement, and deserve our attention, ears, and support ($$$). If you aren’t immediately swooning upon the first few seconds of each of these videos, you have a deficiency in your soul.

First up is Julia Nunes. I first discovered her in 2008, after hearing her fantastic original song “Into The Sunshine.” Julia used to primarily be a guitar-based singer-songwriter, but since, she’s relied heavily on her ukulele… no matter what instrument she happens to be playing, her songs just ooze the very essence of perfect pop and folk music… and her facial expressions (and her smile) in all of her videos melt my heart. Not to mention her personality is addictive, charming, and the kind that makes you wish you were hanging out with her, laughing about some random thing, and cherishing her friendship. Listen to these brilliant songs.

Pomplamoose

To the average YouTuber, Pomplamoose is a household name. To most other people, they’re like, “Pompla-wha?” This duo, comprised of multi-instrumentalist, creative mastermind Jack Conte & the gorgeous (and charismatic) Nataly Dawn (also a multi-instrumentalist… not only does she sing AMAZINGLY but she also kicks ass at bass and guitar) create some of the most original, fresh jazz-and-showtunes-influenced indie pop that your ears will ever have the pleasure to hear. Here is a small sampling of their music: