Sat Dec 20, 2008

Tom Jones comes to Apple

Tom Jones came to Apple yesterday. He was the secret special musical guest at our Beer Bash. He performed some old favorites, "It's Not Unusual" and "What's New Pussycat?", some songs from his new album, and some Christmas songs. A good time was had by all.


Posted by: jav on Dec 20, 08 | 2:23 pm | Profile

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Sun Jun 29, 2008

George Michael

I saw George Michael perform in San Jose last week, and the show was great.

I especially enjoyed the part where George said, "Thanks for sticking by me for the last 25 years. I know it's not easy being a George Michael fan."


Posted by: jav on Jun 29, 08 | 11:35 am | Profile

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Sun Feb 17, 2008

No one else likes the music I like

I don't watch American Idol, but I saw a news headline about an American Idol 'scandal', so I thought I would take a peek. The article was about one of the contestants having a prior record contract, and critics were complaining that that doesn't make her undiscovered talent. The CD the contestant made was a horrific flop, selling only 400 copies according to the article.

I was surprised to read that this was Carly Hennessy's album, since I own it. I own 0.25% of all the CDs she ever sold. And it's a CD that I like more than most other CDs I have.

I found Carly because of my love of New Radicals. New Radicals was a band that put out one CD, but it was a great CD, and one of my favorites. New Radicals was the mastermind of Gregg Alexander. I looked up what other work he had done, and he produced Danielle Brisebois' album, which led me to find out that both Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois did production work on Carly Hennessy's Ultimate High CD.

Even though she only sold 400 copies, you can download her CD from iTunes.

As I said, I don't watch American Idol, but this may make me take a peek now and then.

Posted by: jav on Feb 17, 08 | 5:51 pm | Profile

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Tue Dec 18, 2007

Fara on iTunes

Way back in the early 90's, I went to Quebec City. There I came across a street musician named Fara. I've written about him before in this blog. My mom and I bought some of his CDs, and I kept in contact with him for a while, buying more CDs as he made them. Over the years he moved, and I was unable to get in touch with him.

Earlier this year, I went back to Quebec City to propose to my girlfriend. While there, I found him again, performing in the very same spot. I got some more CDs, and offered to set up a web site for him, and sell his CDs online.

Now I have a website set up for him, and you can buy his CD Envol Heroique from iTunes. This is the first CD of his that I bought and one of my favorites. It's music he wrote himself. It's a mixture of electronic and solo piano. Very soothing yet powerful.

Posted by: jav on Dec 18, 07 | 9:17 pm | Profile

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Sun May 27, 2007

Found Fara in Quebec City

The first time I was in Quebec City was around 1995 when I went there with my mom. While we were poking in and out of the shops on Petit-Champlain, I could hear a musician playing on his keyboard. I paused and listened and really enjoyed his music. My mother and I both bought a CD from him.

I really enjoyed the CDs, and so contacted him at the phone number that was listed in the CD to order more CDs. I bought a complete collection for both myself and my mom.

As years went by, the phone number I had for him no longer worked, and neither did the address. So I thought I would just have to be content with the CDs I had.

I went to Quebec City again last week. I wanted to go to Quebec City to propose to my girlfriend, since I remember it being the most beautiful city I had ever seen. While there, I made a point of looking up Fara.

I inquired at the Theatre Petit-Champlain, as that is where I saw him perform 12 years ago. I fully expected them to give me a confused look and tell me they had never heard of him. Instead, they pointed outside, and said, "There he is. Fara!" He looked much different since he used to have long hair. He was just packing his stuff away and didn't have any CDs with him. So, I told him where I was staying and he said he would bring some CDs by.

Soon after, I realized we did a poor job of planning since I had no idea when he would be coming by the hotel. While we were in the lobby the next morning waiting for our bus tour, my fiance sees him. "There he is", she says. "Huh? Where?" I respond. Anyways, there he was, holding some CDs for me. We met up and had a nice conversation.

I told him how much I liked his CDs and how people often email me trying to find more Fara CDs (I had a lame web page about him on my web site). So, he said we should work together to make him music more accessible. So, I created a web site for him, and I'm going to try to get his CDs available for sale online and through the iTunes Music Store.

Posted by: jav on May 27, 07 | 1:48 pm | Profile

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Tue Nov 22, 2005

JAV becomes music industry executive

I just finished signing a deal with pianist Scott D. Davis to finance his latest album, Rockfluence.
I met Scott while he was performing earlier this year in San Jose. I bought some of his CDs and enjoyed them.
So when I heard he was looking for someone to finance his latest album, I jumped at the chance. His new album will be available December 15th, and it features popular rock songs from modern bands performed on solo piano.
Be sure to buy your copy today from

Posted by: jav on Nov 22, 05 | 11:41 am | Profile

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Wed Aug 03, 2005

Wacky iTunes top seller

Once in a while, you'll see a totally unexpected song become a best seller on the iTunes Music Store. Today, Don't Stop Believin' by Journey is the number 10 song. This is a great song, but it's from the 80's, and I have no idea why it's charting now. When I saw the song's ranking, I looked at some news sites to see if someone from Journey had died. Doesn't look like it. Journey's Greatest Hits album is also hovering at 34 on the album charts. What's the deal?

Around Hallowe'en and Christmas you also see some interesting best-sellers. But it's understandable why Michael Jackson's Thriller makes a comeback in late October. But this Journey thing has me baffled.

Posted by: jav on Aug 03, 05 | 4:18 pm | Profile

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Sat Jul 23, 2005

Tears for Fears were great

I saw Tears for Fears last night performing in Saratoga at the Mountain Winery.

It was a fantastic show, and I recommend it to anyone.

They played about four songs from their new album, along with a large number of old hits. They played a new song that will be appearing on a forthcoming Greatest Hits package. Curt Smith performed a song from his band Mayfield. They played 2 songs from when Tears for Fears was just Roland Orzabal.

Go see them.

Posted by: jav on Jul 23, 05 | 9:44 pm | Profile

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Wed Nov 17, 2004

Duane's Top 100 Song List

In a previous entry, I wrote about the lists of the top 100 songs of all time my friend Duane and I were going to come up with. I posted my list, and so here is his. Clearly, mine is better.

3rd Eye Blind                  Jumper                       
4 Non Blondes                  What's Up                    
Aerosmith                      Dream On                     
Alan Parsons Project           Don't Answer Me              
Alanis Morrisette              You Oughta Know              
Alannah Miles                  Song Instead of a Kiss       
Amanda Marshall                Beautiful Goodbye            
Amanda Marshall                I Believe in You             
Barenaked Ladies               Brian Wilson                 
Big Wreck                      Wide Open                    
Billy Joel                     Piano Man                    
Blue Rodeo                     Bad Timing                   
Bon Jovi                       Living on a prayer           
Brian Adams                    Day Like Today               
Brian Adams                    Run to You                   
Chantal Kreviaziuk             Far Away                     
Chris Isaac                    Wicked Game                  
Cold Play                      Clocks                       
Collective Soul                World That I Know            
Counting Crows                 Mr. Jones                    
Counting Crows                 Long December                
Cyndi Lauper                   I Drove All Night            
Depeche Mode                   World In My Eyes             
Duncan Sheik                   On a High                    
Duncan Sheik                   Barely Breathing             
Duran Duran                    Save a Prayer                
Eagles                         Hotel California             
Eddie Money                    Take Me Home Tonight         
Elton John                     Empty Garden                 
Eurythmics                     Sweet Dreams                 
Everything But The Girl        Missing                      
Foreigner                      Urgent                       
Foreigner                      Say You Will                 
Genesis                        Home By The Sea              
Genesis                        That's All                   
George Michael                 Cowboys and Angels           
George Michael                 Different Corner             
George Michael                 Freeek                       
Goo Goo Dolls                  Iris                         
Hall & Oates                   Adult Education              
House of Pain                  Jump Around                  
Information Society            What's On Your Mind          
Inxs                           Never Tear Us Apart          
Inxs                           New Sensation                
Jefferson Airplane             Somebody to Love             
Joe Jackson                    Stepping Out Tonight         
John Lennon                    Woman                        
John Secada                    Just Another Day             
Jon Bon Jovi                   Always                       
Madonna                        Music                        
Matchbox Twenty                Bright Lights                
Mike Reno and Anne Wilson      Almost Paradise              
Moist                          Underground                  
No Doubt                       Don't Speak                  
Our Lady Peace                 Superman's Dead              
Our Lady Peace                 Is Anybody Home              
Payolas                        Eyes of a Stranger           
Pearl Jam                      Evenflow                     
Pearl Jam                      Jeremy                       
Pearl Jam                      Better Man                   
Pet Shop Boys                  West End Girls               
Phil Collins                   In the Air                   
Phil Collins                   Against All Odds             
Poison                         Every Rose                   
Police                         Synchronicity II             
Queen                          Bohemian Rhapsody            
Queen                          Under Pressure               
Queensryche                    Silent Lucidity              
Roxette                        My World, My Love, My Life   
Roxette                        Spending My Time             
Rush                           Subdivisions                 
Saga                           What Do I Know?              
Sass Jordan                    Stranger Than Paradise       
Seal                           Crazy                        
Seal                           Kiss From a Rose             
See Spot Run                   Terrified                    
Sheryl Crow                    If It Makes You Happy        
Simply Red                     Stars                        
Simply Red                     Holding Back the Years       
Spandau Ballet                 True                         
Spirit of the West             5 Free Minutes               
Stevie Nicks                   Edge of Seventeen            
Sting                          Russians                     
Strange Advance                We Run                       
Sugar Ray                      Someday                      
Tea Party                      Temptation                   
Tears For Fears                Everybody Wants to Rule the World                          
Tears For Fears                Me and My Big Ideas          
The Odds                       Nothing Beautiful            
The Verve                      Bittersweet Symphony         
The Way                        Fastball                     
Thomas Dolby                   Hyperactive                  
Thompson Twins                 Hold Me Now                  
Toto                           Africa                       
Tragically Hip                 Ahead by a Century           
U2                             Discotheque                  
U2                             Mofo                         
U2                             Sunday, Bloody Sunday        
Ultravox                       Dancing With Tears in My Eyes                              
When In Rome                   The Promise

Posted by: jav on Nov 17, 04 | 2:48 pm | Profile

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Thu Nov 11, 2004

My Top 100 Songs of All Time

My friend Duane and I were having a discussion over dinner a couple weeks ago about what our favorite 100 songs of all time were. It was difficult to name them off the top of my head, but it was an interesting question.
So I spent the last 2 weeks compiling my list. I started with all my 5-star rated songs in iTunes, which was about 450 songs, and started removing songs one by one. It became really painful near the end. I cut a lot of songs I didn't want to. It's hard to decide which song out of a list of 101 is "the worst".

But after all the pain, here's the list I came up with, sorted by Artist.

Duane is also compiling his list. When it's done, I'll post it here too, and you can comment on which list you think is "better". I don't think you can say one person's opinion is better than another person's opinion, but that was Duane's idea. Everything is a contest to him.

Tarzan Boy                                        Baltimora
When I Fall                                       Barenaked Ladies
Crazy                                             Barenaked Ladies 
The Flag                                          Barenaked Ladies 
Powerdrive                                        Baron Longfellow
To Be A Lover                                     Billy Idol
Everyone's A Winner                               Bootsauce
I'm On Fire                                       Bruce Springsteen
Love Changes (Everything)                         Climie Fisher
Overkill                                          Colin Hay
Just Like Heaven                                  Cure
I Drove All Night                                 Cyndi Lauper
Dreamtime                                         Daryl Hall
Between The Lines                                 David Wilcox
Groove Is In The Heart                            Deelight
Ooh child                                         Dino
Life In A Northern Town                           Dream Academy
Wild Boys                                         Duran Duran
You Surround Me                                   Erasure
I'll Be There                                     Escape Club
Hole Hearted                                      Extreme
Tuff Enuff                                        Fabulous Thunderbirds
Big Love                                          Fleetwood Mac 
Take Me Out                                       Franz Ferdinand
Another Lover                                     Giant Steps
Wild horses                                       Gino Vannelli
Black Cars                                        Gino Vannelli
Sunset on L.A.                                    Gino Vannelli
If You Could Read My Mind                         Gordon Lightfoot
Lost Brotherhood                                  Gowan
These Eyes                                        Guess Who
I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)                   Hall & Oates
Family Man                                        Hall & Oates
Everytime You Go Away                             Hall & Oates
Love Changes Everything                           Honeymoon Suite
I'm Sorry                                         Hothouse Flowers
I Can See Clearly Now                             Hothouse Flowers
Thing Of Beauty                                   Hothouse Flowers
No One Is To Blame                                Howard Jones
Candy                                             Iggy Pop
I'm Coming Home                                   INXS
I'm Over You                                      INXS
Don't Lose Your Head                              INXS
The Gift                                          INXS
Devil Inside                                      INXS
Tiny Daggers                                      INXS
Laying Down The Law                               INXS
Do Wot You Do                                     INXS
To Look At You                                    INXS
The Stairs                                        INXS
Miami Vice Theme                                  Jan Hammer
Good Mother                                       Jann Arden 
Say You're Wrong                                  Julian Lennon
Eileen                                            Keith Richards
Easy To Tame                                      Kim Mitchell
The Best Was Yet To Come                          Laura Branigan
I'll Be There In A Minute                         Lawrence Gowan 
A Better Love                                     Londonbeat
Good Vibrations                                   Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch
I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)    Meatloaf 
Objects In The Rear View Mirror                   Meatloaf 
Red Hill                                          Michael Hutchence
Who Do You Give Your Love To                      Michael Morales
Blame It On The Rain                              Milli Vanilli
Is It Love                                        Mr. Mister 
One Night In Bankok                               Murray Head
Do Anything                                       Natural Selection
Forget Me Nots                                    Patrice Rushen
Starry Eyed Surprise                              Paul Oakenfold
West End Girls                                    Pet Shop Boys 
Sussudio                                          Phil Collins
Some Like It Hot                                  The Power Station
Feel For Me                                       Roachford
Somewhere Down the Crazy River                    Robbie Robertson
I Didn't Mean to Turn You On                      Robert Palmer
Lost In You                                       Rod Stewart
Walk This Way                                     Run DMC with Aerosmith
Sweetest Taboo                                    Sade
So Hard                                           Sass Jordan
Money's Too Tight To Mention                      Simply Red
Something Got Me Started                          Simply Red
Mandinka                                          Sinéad O'Connor
Let's Go All The Way                              Sly Fox
Hippiechick                                       Soho
I Want You                                        Sophie B. Hawkins
Say You'll Be There                               Spice Girls 
If You Could Read My Mind                         Stars on 54
Too Much Time On My Hands                         Styx
Break It Down Again                               Tears for Fears
Dog's a Best Friend's Dog                         Tears for Fears
Lord Of Karma                                     Tears For Fears
Boy Inside The Man                                Tom Cochrane
Good Times                                        Tom Cochrane
Sinking Like A Sunset                             Tom Cochrane
If I Only Knew                                    Tom Jones
Feels Good                                        Tony! Toni! Toné!
Here I Go Again                                   Whitesnake
Dear God                                          XTC
Oh Yeah                                           Yello
Bust A Move                                       Young MC

Posted by: jav on Nov 11, 04 | 6:05 pm | Profile

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