I could not be more proud of my good friend, Arjan, scribe of the popular music blog ArjanWrites.com. Tonight was the second installment of SuperFraiche, his showcase of the next-new-now pop music artists who have caught his ear. Downtown and downstairs at Santos Party House, Arjan brought us Dangerous Muse (Mike Furey above), Reni Lane, Brad Walsh, Menya, and DJ Josh Madden, all from the New York area, and up-and-coming crooner Sam Taylor from London.
Before we go behind the music, a word about Arjan. I met Arjan a few years ago in Atlanta and our mutual love of music made us fast friends, and he has since introduced me to a universe of brilliant artists I would have never known otherwise, and has inspired me to write this blog. The 2010 Out 100 honoree is on the cusp of taking his Super Fraiche concept to the next level, and he continues to gain the respect of and accolades from the industry and the artists that inspire him. For me, he’s been an inspiration to pursue my passion, and for that I thank him.
So, on with the show…
Let me tell it Sophia style… Picture it, New York, the ACE 50th Street subway station sometime in early 2007, two friends are waiting for the next downtown train on a multi-level platform (C upstairs, E downstairs). One friend jumps the gun and mistakes an uptown train as the E rolling into the station on the lower platform. He triggers a flood of New Yorkers to descend to the lower platform only to be disappointed. One of the disappointed was a young man, a recent Fordham graduate, named Tom Napack. A few nice words are exchanged, and he gives me a CD single of “The Rejection.” And that’s how I was introduced to Dangerous Muse.
Now it’s 2009 and the sexy, smoldering hot electro-duo of Napack and singer Mike Furey have released a couple more singles independently including “Give Me Danger” and “Everyday is Halloween.” While their full-length debut CD is in the can, the boys are jumping a few final hurdles to get it released. First, I love guys who aren’t afraid of little eye liner, but I love them more when they’re really talented musicians. Enter Dangerous Muse. These are showmen, augmenting their strong material with dramatic sneers and laser drums (love it, Tom). They close their set with their next single, “I Want It All.” And I certainly do!
I love this picture of me in my plaid John Varvatos shirt juxtiposed to Tom’s glam look.
Next up is an artist Arjan has been really high on lately, Reni Lane. Physically, she sort of reminds me of a young Chrissie Hynde with her red hair, but the Linda Perry protege is her own amazing woman and she has earned a BIG fan in me.
I LOVE THIS GIRL.
Honestly, I didn’t know her music that well prior to this show, but her songs “Place for Us” and “Runaway Train” stole the night. From the stage she commands the room with her soft yet powerful voice, but then she takes it to the crowd, rolling around on the dancefloor, dancing with her fans (including me!!!) and climbing up on speaker boxes — she was wildly all over the place and I found her to be a breath of fresh air. Having toured with the Arctic Monkeys in 2009, she’s now preparing to release her next LP titled “Reni” early next year. I cannot wait.
And then there’s Sam, ladies and gentlemen. Sam Taylor. In the words of the great Shirley Bassey, “where do I begin?” I was fortunate to meet him the night before his New York debut at SuperFraiche, and I have to admit, I was immediately the smitten kitten. The 22-year-old U.K. crooner is first and foremost a super nice guy. He’s strikingly handsome and mad-talented — he’s got the whole package. It’s exciting to see a young artist like Sam at the beginning of what I hope will be a long, successful career in the music biz.
Inspired by the likes of George Michael, Sam’s rich velvetty voice is perfectly suited for the standards. He could very well follow in the footsteps of the Harry Connick Jr.s and Michael Bubles of the world. My favorite song he performed was the soaring ballad “Run Away.” Sam is one to watch! And Sam, it was a pleasure meeting you and your crew.
Come back to New York soon! I’ll be there, CenterOrch.