Sundance Channel Presents: Live From Abbey Road
Thursdays at 10:00pm EST
Episode 9 Premieres Thursday, August 14 – The Kills, The Fratellis, Sara Bareilles
It’s times like this when I miss cable, something I got rid of a few years ago. I figured I would put that money away to travel myself instead of sitting at home watching someone else have all the adventures. But yes, I do miss that damn Travel Channel, the Food Network, Comedy Central, IFC, and one of my “favorites” from those 200+ channel days, the Sundance Channel.
This summer Sundance has an adventurous series of a musical kind called “Live From Abbey Road,” which takes place in the most famous of all recording studios, bar none. Within this intimate setting, artists perform and open up about themselves and their music. Some very noteworthy artists that have appeared include Elbow, MGMT, Stereophonics, The Black Keys, Manu Chao, Hard-Fi, Suzanne Vega…and some you may not be sorry you missed (Rascal Flats, Matchbox Twenty, James Blunt).
For those like me who don’t have cable, or if you missed any of the previous episodes, check out a montage of each one from the Sundance website, www.sundancechannel.com.
In Episode 5, the guys in Hard-Fi admit that they were more Stones fans than Beatles fans. But one can tell that they’re also slowly absorbing the fact that they’ll be playing in a place where history has been made and continues to be made. Looking and pointing to a corner where a piano sits and where Lennon once sat to record “Lady Madonna,” one member says nonchalantly, “I’ll have a go on that.”
Sheryl Crow discussed the basis of her new album, Detours, and how the viewpoint of being a new mother led her to an increase concern over what kind of world will be left for her daughter. Within the footage where she expresses her concern over the environment, both in the series and in her songs, I couldn’t help but noticed she drank out of a plastic bottle. Maybe SIGG should send her a gift basket.
In last week’s Episode 8, Elbow’s lead singer and songwriter, Guy Garvey, explains the predicament so many other bands have experienced before them: being dropped by a major label. They put up a stiff upper lip that day as they headed into the studio to record Seldom Seen Kid, telling people that they were thankful they finally got out of their contract, while inside their stomachs twisted. After a while, they began “to believe our propaganda,” which proved to be spot on with the success of the 2008 release. You also get to experience the performance of their glorious track, “One Day Like This,” which was amazing live when Elbow played the Bluebird earlier this year.
In that same episode, Alanis Morrisette explains with a level of epiphany, the affect stardom has on artists, “At this point I’d say that it’s a planetary value. Wealth, fame, power at the cost of everything else. So I think that value being shared around the planet creates in people this thought that ‘if I’m famous I will be happy.’ I’ve come to see that fame only amplified that which was there already. So if I was depressed or if I was insecure if I was angry or whatever it was, it just amplified it. It made it bigger…so there was this great disillusionment. At this point in my life I’m clear that I share music because it’s part of my life purpose. The act of writing it is for me. The act of sharing it is so people can make it there own. If I were doing it for gratuitous reasons to be in the public eye, I would probably last about an hour.”
This Thursday, “Live From Abbey Road” continues with the U.K. rock duo, The Kills, which will perform songs from their latest album, Midnight Boom. Starting with “Getting Down,” vocalist, Alison Mosshart and guitarist, Jamie Hince, explain how they joined the U.S. to the U.K., more to just please themselves versus starting a flame for a musical career, then flow with their smoky, raw groove of “Last Day of Magic.”
Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles follows with piano and tracks from her latest released, Little Voice. And then come The Fratellis perform tracks from their two albums, Costello Music and Here We Stand, and is expected to delve in their trek from a Scotland bar to the award for the “Best British Breakthrough Act.”
(*All videos are embeddable. See player for embed code.)
Episode 10 – August 21
The Subways, Gnarls Barkley, Herbie Hancock w/Sonya Kitchell
Episode 11 – August 28
Bryan Adams, Ben Harper, Justin Currie
Episode 12 – September 4
Teddy Thompson, Martha Wainwright, Brian Wilson