Referral Friday: Indie music extravaganza, FOC-style

Referral Friday is an ongoing series inspired by John Jantsch’s Make-a-Referral Week. For more about that, and loads more referrals for everything from cobblers to coaches to gee-tar teachers, start here. Pass it on, baby!

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Sure, I dabble in music now and again, but I have friends who really know how to blow it out. So in honor of them, and to coincide with the holiday buying season, this week’s Referral Friday is dedicated to those who are about to rock. And we do salute you!

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If you watch TV, you’ve no doubt seen the comedy stylings of Miss Molly Bryant holding up the work of the sitcom stars or being used to promote this hotel chain or that household cleaning product. She’s like a taller, prettier, more talented of me, and her Funny Friend or Character Mom wound up in a lot more commercials than mine. Molly is nice enough that it never bothered me; I cheered on her every effort and celebrated her every win. But when I finally saw her on stage, singing her crazy-touching comic songs in her beautiful alto voice, she made me want to spread her word far and wide. Buy Take It Easy, slap on some headphones, and sing along. There, now, that’s better, ain’t it?

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People only familiar with Megan Mullally from her kooky (but brilliantly played) Karen on TV’s Will & Grace are always stunned to hear her real voice; people who’ve only heard her speak are not only stunned to discover the colossal set of pipes Ms. Mullally was blessed with (and, let’s be fair, nurtured well and long), but floored to discover the range of her musical tastes. I love all three of her three albums, but as of this writing, Free Again!, her latest, is the only one available for download on iTunes (you can also buy a physical copy via Amazon).

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Matt North is one of those annoying quadruple-threats: great drummer, great dad, great actor (loved his turn on Curb Your Enthusiasm) and great writer (I took over his column on LA Casting a few years ago, lowering it to the status of hackey-McHackerson). He’s also a fantastic music producer: if (no, WHEN) I finally have the money and time to put together an album, I want him at the helm. And your helm, for that matter. Want proof? Check out I Can’t Die In L.A., the album he co-authored, performed on and entirely by his own self produced. Fantastic, original alt-country awesome you’ll be singing along with after one listen like you’ve known them all your life.

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There are not a lot of people writing and producing modern opera anymore. It’s a wildly expensive endeavor and a royal pain-in-the-ass to mount (no, uh, pun intended). Mostly, though, to do it successfully requires a depth of training, breadth of learning and sense of humor that rarely co-exist in one individual. O-Lan Jones is one of those rare few, and boy, does she ever write and produce opera. The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater is a modern-day fable that draws on all kinds of myths to tell a cautionary feminist tale that’s ultimately about the necessity of following your heart’s true calling. Oh, and there are these five kickass lions, too. Grrrowl.

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I have always had a thing for a man who knows his way around a piano. Rob Kendt is such a guy, and he augments his mad skillz at the ivories with a fine sense of humor, a way with words and a melancholy vocal grace. There are all kinds of fun joys to be found on his debut CD, I’m Not Sentimental, from the Elvis Costello-esque title-track rocker to his swingin’, lounge-y mashup of Britney Spears and the Beatles (“Oops I Did Bungalow Bill”). Produced (natch) by our mutual friend, Matt North.

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Or hey, buy whatever media you want at the iTunes Music Store and drop a few holiday pennies into my pocket, too.

Happy listening!

xxx
c

Image by Ana Patrícia Almeida via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

(Full disclosure: all iTunes and Amazon links are affiliate ones that make me money. Not much, but still.)

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