Interview: Soulful Singer/Songwriter Jen Miller

This month, brilliant indie vocalist, ukulele master and all-around musical badass Jen Miller – representing Columbus, Ohio – tolerates my line of questioning for the second time around.

She covers the recording process, Kickstarter, her favorite bands, The Red Wedding, her quirky but beloved fans, how she’s grown as an artist and more. Read on, dinosaurs…

It’s been two years since you released your first EP on iTunes, what do you think the major difference between your new album, Overgrown, and Forget the Dirty Hearts is?

I think the major difference between the EP and the album is that I really got my hands dirty here. For the first EP, it was my first time in the studio. We did it all in one weekend and the songs didn’t really have a chance to ripen in the studio…we just recorded them as quickly and as well as we could in one 48 hour weekend.

This time around, I worked with a producer, Derek Snowden, who really helped me push my sound. Some days I would come in the studio and be like “Derek, I wrote a song last night! Let’s see what we can make of it!”, and that’s what we would do for the night. It would come in as vocals and a ukulele and get transposed to electric and banjo by the end of the night. That’s just how it goes. So the sound is definitely more developed and the songwriting more solid.

Kickstarter and YouTube seem to have been your friends over the years… What projects have you backed on Kickstarter? 

Kickstarter burnt an imaginary hole in my pocket for a second there. I actually found it thanks to Julia Nunes…I am a massive fan of hers and she and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole are the combined reason I started teaching myself uke. She crowdfunded her first 2 albums which I (of course) backed obsessively.

Who are you into of these days musically? Anyone you fangirl over who readers might not have heard of?

I AM FANGIRL CENTRAL. A little less crazy than the One Direction fans though. I riot less.

Huge fan of Ohio natives Twenty One Pilots…Allen Stone, Kate Nash (swoon), Ed Sheeran’s new album, Nina Nesbitt, Passenger and Stu Larsen.  Continue reading “Interview: Soulful Singer/Songwriter Jen Miller”

Country Star Mindy McCready, 37, Commits Suicide (Nov. 30, 1975 – Feb. 17, 2013)

Mindy McCready livePlatinum-certified “Guys Do It All the Time” singer Mindy McCready shot and killed herself on the porch of her home in Heber Springs, Arkansas at around 3:30 pm Sunday afternoon.

McCready had an arrest record stretching from 2004 to 2008 and struggled to meet the guidelines of her probation due to alcohol and prescription drug addictions.

In 2010 she appeared in season three of VH1’s Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.  

The mother of two was involved in relationships with high-profile MLB pitcher Roger Clemens, actor Dean Cain, musician Billy McKnight (who was arrested for viciously attacking her eight years ago), and producer David Wilson.  Continue reading “Country Star Mindy McCready, 37, Commits Suicide (Nov. 30, 1975 – Feb. 17, 2013)”

Move Over Courtney Stodden, 12 Year-old Model Dates 24 Year-old Pop Star

Since walking brain hemorrhage Courtney Stodden has turned 18, her TMZ days are numbered to porn offers. It’s time for some fresh lean cut media meat. Canadian model and singer, 12-year-old Akama Miki born to a Japanese mother and Chinese-German father made her relationship public with 24-year old singer Zhang Muyi.

Their “love” was posted on her Chinese Weibo account ( China’s version of Weibo). Her posts say stuff like, “Wait until I’m old enough to marry you, then I’m going to say ‘ I do'”. For the record, I’ve lived in China and that shit is not normal.

The message was responded with Muyi’s response, ” I’m going to be with you as you grow, I’ll always wait for you.”  Continue reading “Move Over Courtney Stodden, 12 Year-old Model Dates 24 Year-old Pop Star”

No Use For A Name Frontman Tony Sly (November 4, 1970 – July 31, 2012)

A statement from Fat Wreck Chords revealed that 41-year-old Tony Sly, lead singer and songwriter of the San Jose-based rock band No Use For A Name, passed away.

No time of death or exact location was listed but an investigator with the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s office said that “It appears to be a natural death,” though further examinations would be needed to determine an exact cause. 

“Fat” Mike Burkett, the label’s founder and lead singer for NOFX said:

“We have lost an incredible talent, friend, and father – one of the true greats. One of my dearest friends and favorite song writers has gone way too soon. Tony, you will be greatly missed.”  Continue reading “No Use For A Name Frontman Tony Sly (November 4, 1970 – July 31, 2012)”

Carly Rae Jepsen Is 26 Years Old?!

I really have nothing to say beyond the headline. Carly Rae Jepsen is my age exactly and is either a genius marketer who took songwriting notes from Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift’s people, or a woman with a regressing mental age.

She’s Canadian (a bonus, in my mind) with an EP, Tug of War, from 2008 in her vault. It was of course the recent hit “Call Me Maybe,” which she co-wrote, that propelled her into insane levels of success.

I was really surprised to find that she wasn’t around 19 years old, is anyone else? Or am I just being a stiff nitpicking codger for the millionth time? The song seems a little immature but that doesn’t stop it from never ever leaving your head. It’s like that black goo in Prometheus.  Continue reading “Carly Rae Jepsen Is 26 Years Old?!”

Interview: Brooklyn Singer/Songwriter Vieem

Vieem (pronounced vie-em) is an East Coast songstress on the rise. Oddly, I had just been telling myself that I need to interview someone again, since my correspondence with Spektor-soundalike Jen Miller was completely painless and massively beneficial to myself and anyone reading.

Of course I couldn’t think of exactly who to contact about an interview. Then, like a slap of fate, I get a message in my inbox from an indie artist with a link to her SoundCloud.

Now, this barely ever happens, musicians contacting me, but when they I do I feel the looming presence of shame, like I’m going to let them down somehow. After the mild anxiety, I realized that this was actually perfect timing!

So I wrote to her about her album, Be It Hated, the industry, and much more and she did a great job of answering my sometimes amateur questions with depth.  Continue reading “Interview: Brooklyn Singer/Songwriter Vieem”

Adam Lambert Is The New Frontman For Queen

Adam Lambert is filling the heavy and impossible-to-fill shoes of Freddie Mercury and the not-so-impossible shoes of Paul Rodgers (formerly of Bad Company) who toured with the band from 2005 to 2009.

American Idol runner-up Lambert aka “Glambert,” who has drawn comparisons to Mercury for his flamboyant stage presence, told the Daily Star that he has plans to tour with Brian May and Roger Taylor this summer.

He says that the intention is “to pay tribute to Freddie and the band by singing some fucking great songs” and “give it an energy that Freddie would have been proud of.” 

Continue reading “Adam Lambert Is The New Frontman For Queen”