April 11, 2012

Julia Stone visits ABC

Julia Stone
Julia Stone - click image to view artist page.

One of my favorite things about being a part of the music department at ABC is the relationships we develop with the artists we use on our shows.   I met Angus & Julia Stone a few years ago when I brought them in for a showcase.  Since then, we’ve used their music in several of our shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Revenge.  I’m sure all of you Revenge fans  remember their songs “For You” and “Hold On” as they were the quintessential sound for the pilot.  Julia Stone is set to release her first solo album on May 29th and wanted to come over to play a few songs for us while she’s in town.  Right now, we are in pilot season at ABC which means double the work load and no time to have artists in to perform.  Julia is the first artist we’ve brought in since March and I’m completely convinced it was the best decision we’ve made all.  It was so refreshing to take the time  to sit down, catch up, talk about the commitment that comes with having bangs and to listen Julia perform her new tunes (including a cover of one of my favorite songs “Bloodbuzz Ohio” by The National).  I’ve been listening to the new album “By The Horns” all day and thinking how great it is to be a part of this crazy, awesome world of TV music.  Thank you, Julia, for the reminder. 

You can pre-order Julia’s new album “By The Horns” here.

Happy listening


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March 16, 2012

SXSW - Thursday

Greetings from a muggy Austin, TX. I, along with 10,000 other people have made my way to Texas for 2012's SXSW (South by Southwest) music conference. Even though I've only been here a day, I have been quickly reminded of some things I had forgotten since last year. My feet have become acutely aware of all the walking that happens up and down 6th street. When most people take an average of 3,000-5,000 steps a day, my pedometer is clocking almost 50,000! Don't worry though I've been refueling with plenty of BBQ. My favorite thing I've been reminded of, though, is I how much I love listening to live music all day long.

The goal for ABC going to SXSW is to discover new music and to connect with artist we already use on our shows. It's impossible to see all 2000+ bands performing, but I did make a little dent today. My music listening started with Lucero today around 11am. So far, my favorite has been Kimbra, who reminds me of a fierce porcelain doll. I got a chance, during my many steps, to stand still and see a few of our ABC artists, including Keane who just played Jimmy Kimmel Live and Ed Sheeran whose song "Fall" was featured in Cougar Town. My latest show was Gardens & Villa, who came to visit ABC last year and their song "Black Hills" ended up on my top songs for 2011. Up next is Sharon Van Etten, who's song "Give Out" may just be my favorite song of the year. Then I'll be finishing off the evening, or more like early morning, with Maps & Atlases at 2am. Then it's off to bed for me.

Tomorrow I'll be meeting up with Good Old War and Outsight for interviews about their songs being used on ABC, stay tuned.

Melyssa Hardwick - Producer ABC Music Lounge
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March 13, 2012

Allen Stone on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Allen Stone
  Allen Stone - click image to view artist page.

There are some journeys with ABC that are short and then there are others that last for the long run.  I met Allen Stone a while back when our director of music, Tony Von Pervieux, brought him in for a showcase.  We’ve always loved him over her at ABC and he’s really part of our music family (he even came over just to play at our holiday party one year).  It wasn’t until a trip to Seattle last year when I realized how much everyone else loved him too.  I was at a friend’s house and looked down on their coffee table, there was Allen staring right back at me on the cover of a magazine.  I was like “hey, that’s my friend, I know him!”.   I felt so proud in that moment, but today I feel even prouder as Mr. Stone makes his late night debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  You can also see some videos we shot with Allen last year during one of his ABC drive-bys.  Enjoy!  Oh and did I mention today is Allen Stone’s birthday? Happy birthday Allen from your ABC Music Family!

Melyssa Hardwick - Producer ABC Music Lounge

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February 09, 2012

Ingrid Michaelson’s “Palm Of Your Hand” Free Download

Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid Michaelson- click image to view artist page.

If you look on Ingrid Michaelson’s artist page, you’ll see that she’s no stranger to ABC.  In fact, I think she may be the most heard artist on ABC.  I’ve known Ingrid for a few years now and I can honestly say she is one of my favorite people to work with.  When we knew “Palm Of Your Hand” was going to be in Grey’s Anatomy we all brain stormed about what we could give fans.  What came out of it was an acoustic, unreleased version of the song to give to you for free.   You can get the song here. We asked Ingrid about the meaning of “Palm Of Your Hand”, here’s what she had to say:

“Palm Of Your Hand is a song about allowing yourself to be crushed by someone else.  In a good way.  Just  allowing that person to be welcomed into your life in every way.  Including ways that maybe they can hurt you.  That’s the best way I can describe it.” –Ingrid

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February 07, 2012

Sharon Van Etten “Tramp”

Sharon Van Etten- click image to view artist page. Happy Release Day!!  Over here at ABC we are in the midst of pilot season, which means back to back meetings, 13 hour days, sleeping with your phone beside you and the endless reading of scripts.  But even with all the craziness going on, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to say a little something about Sharon Van Etten’s new album “Tramp”, which comes out today.  I asked one of my friend’s a while back what albums she was excited to put out this year.  Her response was “I’m excited about Sharon Van Etten, do you like her?”… Psch, like her, I LOVE her.  She sent me the album the next day and I swear I haven’t stopped listening to it since.  I’m pretty sure even the guy in the office next door to me knows  all the words now.  I remember the first time I put it in to play, the first song up was “Give Out”, immediately I knew it was going to be a song that would make it on my “Best of 2012” list.  I know I’m not the only one, trust me when I say you will be hearing Ms. Van Etten on a few of our shows coming up.  Until then, get your own copy "Tramp" now.  Enjoy! Melyssa Hardwick - Producer ABC Music Lounge
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February 06, 2012

Castle “The Blue Butterfly”


Tonight’s Castle goes to a whole other space in time.  See what Tamala has to say about singing Billie Holiday’s “Comes Love” in tonight’s episode of Castle 10/9c:

“ The day Andrew W. Marlowe walked into the hair and make-up trailer to  ask me if I could sing, I instantly got nervous. I knew that here at Castle there is no time for nervousness so I replied "Yes, but in the shower," he chuckled a little & said," good we are doing a film noir episode & you will be playing a Billie Holiday-esque role." I was so delighted because I love Billie Holiday she is one of my true favorites!!!! When It came time to record, I had them dim the lights first because I didn't feel comfortable with me seeing them watch me, but once we got going, we had it down within an hour & a half, then we were done. I didn't stay to listen to what we put down, but I felt good about it. A week later the song was emailed to me from our composer & I was shocked!!! I don't want to toot my own horn, so I hope that the Castle fans/family will enjoy the song as much as I do." The Blue Butterfly,"  is going to be truly epic so I hope our fans/family are ready. It's brilliantly directed by Chuck Bowman, who was so inspiring to the sound of my voice in the song that I sang.”  - Tamala Jones

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January 18, 2012

Sugar & The Hi-Low’s - ABC Music Lounge Visit

Sugar & The Hi-Low's

So far January has been a fun month so far.  My first show of the year was M83, I’ve been listening to The Shins’ new album non-stop and yesterday two of our favorites stopped by to perform a few tunes for us.  If anybody represents the sound of ABC, it’s Trent Dabbs & Amy Stroup.  Separately, they have been featured numerous times and both have written songs specifically used for ABC shows (Amy wrote a song for Revenge called “Not What You Were Thinking” and Trent wrote “Head On” featured in Body of Proof).  However, yesterday, they came in combining powers with their project Sugar & The Hi-Low’s.    We had a great time listening to them perform “Two Day High”, “I’ve Got You Covered” and “Skip The Line” off their new self-titled set to be released on February 14th (can you say Valentine’s day prez).

You can get the single "See It For Yourself" now, but until then check out Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup’s other tunes. 


Melyssa Hardwick - Producer ABC Music Lounge

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January 09, 2012

Behind the Music with Emily West

Emily West
  Emily West- click image to view artist page.

Recording the song 'Head On' for ABC's Body of Proof was a whirl wind- and I loved every minute of it.

When the phone rang in my Nashville apartment and the caller I.D said it was from California, I knew it had to be the casting director from Body of Proof telling me, 'I'm sorry but we went with somebody else to play the part of Kristen'. I knew it had to be a rejection, after all, it was my first time auditioning for anything under a big time network series.

Little did I know this particular call would be the voice of ABC's own Senior VP of Music Dawn Soler.  Dawn told me I got the part and to pack my suitcase. The next day I was flying first class on my way to make my debut in the heart of Burbank, filming and recording in the city of angels- Hollywood baby!

When I got off the plane, my email was jam packed with songs from ABC music executives. We were all aiming toward finding the best song to suit the character and the story line.

I wanted the song to be believable…not just to me, but more so for the character I was playing. A struggling addict lost on the dead side of town, dying to leave, but trapped…… How was she feeling? What were her fears? I wanted the song to be self explanatory… but not too much. A song that was hopeful, yet unresolved. A song that had a certain melancholiness to it.

We all got to the studio and I was recording with the legendary guitar god himself, Dean Parks. We were all circled around the studio gathered in somewhat of a cubby hole huddle, enjoying the process.

The song was treated very delicately  since the character I was playing was very much a delicate girl. She was fragile and afraid, but still hopeful on what could be her destiny.
The end result was ultimately, a very naked and honest production with a song written by one of my good friend's Trent Dabbs, an amazingly talented artist.  The song is called 'Head On' and I can't wait for the world to hear it.

Emily West - ABC Music Lounge Discovered Artist

Check-out Emily West's latest releases:
Head On 
I Hate You, I Love You Again

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December 27, 2011

Foster The People

Foster The People
Foster The People - click image to view artist page.

If this is any indication of how the tour scene is going to be for 2012, then it's going to be a great year. Foster The People will be touring it up this coming year with not one, not two, but three of ABC's favorites. The Kooks will open up for Foster The People from May 29th through June 10th, Tokyo Police Club will be the opening band from June 12th through June 22nd, and closing out the tour Mayer Hawthorne & The County will be main support from June 25th until July 7th. You can get all the dates on the Foster The People artist page. Happy concert going!!

Melyssa Hardwick - Producer ABC Music Lounge
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December 06, 2011

The Black Keys - El Camino Release

The Black Keys
         The Black Keys - click image to read bio

Happy December to us all!!! There are few bands that I outwardly show my support for (for me, it’s like telling one kid they’re better than the other). So when I tell you I have a Black Keys poster in my office and in my house, wear their shirt to the gym and flew to San Francisco to watch them play live, you kind of get the idea of my love for them.

Their label came in to play songs off of El Camino a few months ago before some of the songs were even named and I was literally falling out of my seat (I’m an aggressive air guitar player). The song I fell in love with instantly was “Little Black Submarines” and instantly I knew then it was going on my best albums of 2011.

So as I’m getting ready to fly to Ohio for the holidays, I’m excited to announce my favorite band from Ohio, The Black Keys, are releasing El Camino today. Go get it for every one you know, I’m 95% sure it will make them love you more.

Click the album cover below to buy it now on iTunes, Happy Listening!!!

The Black Key's "El Camino" Album Cover

Melyssa Hardwick - Producer ABC Music Lounge
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