Category Archives: Blogs

“Life could be” on MTV’s The Real World

Real World 22 Cancun | Songs From Ep. 2206 | Flirting With Disaster

Aired July 29, 2009

On the changing nature of the music industry… 1,000 FREE Downloads

I’m a Featured Artist this week (July 29-August 4) in the Microsoft Windows Sponsored Songs program, a campaign Microsoft is doing to advertise their newest Windows Media Player. What does it mean? 1,000 free mp3 or mp4 downloads by indie artists. My song “here on earth/The Opening” is one of ten songs omnipresent here: and available for free download. 


The Sponsored Songs program was launched by, a social networking site created to help musicians turn emerging online technology into marketing tools, fanbase monitors and, ultimately, money makers. In more sugar coated terms, it’s a place where genuine music enthusiasts can easily browse, sample, and discover music from established and emerging artists, and where artists can distribute their music across the web regardless of where people want to go get it.

Sponsored Songs is an opt-in program for select artists that use as their online marketing platform. 1,000 out of the site’s 400,000 indie artists were selected to join the pilot program (by pilot, they mean it is a trial run). Artists are paid for each qualified download, and are shown the exact advertisement for their approval prior to the campaign launch.

Who is the sponsor paying these starving artists for their music and giving it away for free? Microsoft Windows. The program is the latest in the trend— large companies using independent music to reach new audiences. The music can lead the brand into new markets, and simultaneously offers bands a new avenue of access to potential fans while earning the band a pittance.

ReverbNation is probably the most artist-friendly social networking site that I have come across and that says a lot as my music is pretty much on every significant music site there is (I’ve done the research!). “We treat Artists like we would want to be treated,” says Lou Plaia, vice president of artist relations at  

The three month campaign will provide reach metrics to the participating brand (in this case, Microsoft Windows) by tracking the songs with a digital watermark as they move through peer-to-peer networks.

According to Jed Carlson, chief operating officer of ReverbNation, “Sponsored Songs aligns the interests of artists, fans, and major brands, creating a win-win-win situation where free music is a shared goal that benefits all parties.” I (want to) believe this statement is true and I’m honored to be included in the program.

The Dan Band does Beyoncé right…

Brilliant and hilarious, you must watch!!

And for the sake of comparison, I tried to post Beyoncé’s video but she apparently does not like her videos embedded.  Check it out on YouTube

Elvis Perkins in Dearland

Listen to: Chains Chains Chains 

Elvis Perkins released his debut studio album, Ash Wednesday  in 2007. His band, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, includes multi-instrumentalists Brigham Brough (bass,vocals, saxophone), Wyndham Boylan-Garnett (organ, harmonium, trombone, guitar, vocals) and Nick Kinsey (drums, clarinet, vocals).

I saw them in Austin, TX during SXSW and bought a CD after the show not anticipating the extent to which the music would grow on me. In order to fully appreciate it, I suggest listening to the nuances in his voice, the eclectic instrumentation and the unusual melodies. This album sounds like it’s right out of the early 1970s, accompanying The Band, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan in the record stacks at your local music store.

Upon further research I learned that Elvis Perkins is the son of actor Anthony Perkins who died in 1992 of complications related to AIDS and photographer Berry Berenson who was a passenger on one of the September 11th flights that attacked New York City’s twin towers. Knowing that, the music seems to take on new meaning. I pondered whether to include that personal information in this post as I’m writing about his music and not his personal history but is it fair to say that the two are inextricably linked?

Leerone on TheStream.TV

Raw Rhythms – Leerone

Watch This Episode on

I performed on a live streaming web show called Raw Rhythms last night with the lovely string quartet that accompanied me at the Troubadour this last Saturday night. The show is or was hosted by Katie Scanlon and Megan Marlow, who usually interview the guest artist or band and mediate between comments and questions that come in online on a live chat feed. However, they were not present last night so I had to wing it on my own!! Speaking to a camera is definitely something I need to practice, I realized this when attempting to create video web blogs (I’m still trying). 

The show is meant to showcase the artist but more so, provide a place for “fans” or as I prefer to say, band members (me + you = the band) to interact with the guest artist/band through questions and comments that are fielded through a live chat room feed and instant messages. In other words, viewers can send instant messages to us during the show and THANK YOU to those that actually did!! I didn’t get to see all of the comments but I responded to those that I did see. It’s not quite as gratifying as meeting face to face but for those of my friends who are on the other side of the globe or even in Athens, GA (Jon Lester!)- it’s a special treat and now we are one step closer to making real contact 😉

Link is above if you would like to watch the performance and awkward banter. Stay tuned for my video blogs, coming soon… Thanks to Brian Gramo, owner of The Stream. 

Photo by Michael Modecki

SXSW 2009 – Cold War Kids – Part III.

St. John LIVE – I apologize for the poor quality. Guest appearances by Brigham Brough (saxophone), Wyndham Boylan-Garnett (trombone) and Nick Kinsey  (clarinet) of Elvis Perkins in Dearland.

SXSW 2009 – Cold War Kids – Part II.

Brigham Brough on saxophone and Wyndham Boylan-Garnett on trombone of Elvis Perkins in Dearland join the Cold War Kids for their last song, St. John. 


Leerone Stories: Me and my Cricket doll.

It’s the late 80’s. I’m exploding with excitement about my new buddy, a Cricket doll. This is no ordinary child’s toy; Cricket is a very large 25″ battery-operated doll that talks and sings when a cassette tape is inserted in her back!  As the tape plays her high-pitched voice, her eyes and mouth move accordingly. She arrives clad in a pink sweater, yellow undies, a pleated mint green skirt, yellow socks and pink hi-top sneakers with monogrammed laces. Blue-eyed and blonde, Cricket embodied the chipper American girl prominent in TV and cartoons. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was smitten with my new friend. It’s only now, two decades later that I understand why, as an Israeli-born, brown-eyed brunette, I felt like the epitome of a foreigner (I’ll save my notions of Americanism and childhood trauma for another time).


Cricket came equipped with pre-recorded tapes and a full-sized cassette tape player lodged in her back! However, her tapes (which boasted corny songs paired with idioms such as “Are we having fun or what?” and “I’ll be talkin’ to ya!”) did not meet my musical standards and I quickly discovered that I could record my own tapes and control what she said and sang. This realization led to grand performances and operas featuring the dynamic duo: Leerone and Cricket, of course. I still can’t believe what my parents and grandparents were willing to endure! You can imagine, I’ve searched endlessly for these cassette tapes to see if maybe I was a child prodigy but, sadly they are nowhere to be found. And it’s probably for the best anyway because learning to sing in key required a few years of practice 😉

For the record, Cricket was supposedly available in an African-American version as well with short curly hair and no ribbons, but I have yet to see her.

Here are some pics of one of my grand performances, including two additional stars- my grandma Suzanne and grandpa Jacques: