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Interview: Joshua Radin

 
By on Friday, 9th September 2011 at 11:00 am
 

He’s best friends with Scrubs’ Zach Braff, he’s been compared to American songwriting legend Paul Simon on more than one occasion, his songs have been on every TV show going and he has a new album out at the moment. Who are we talking about? Joshua Radin, of course.

Radin’s career has been an interesting one; it’s been half a decade since he released his debut ‘We Were Here’ and regrettably, his stateside success hasn’t really translated in the UK. When asked how he hoped his new offering will fare across the pond he simply said, “I have no idea but I’ll hope they’ll like it! This is a slightly different album to the one I’ve released in the USA. It’s got a song I didn’t release over there, which is actually the single ‘I Missed You’.”

You can tell why his music appeals to so many in the States: singer/songwriters like him are in high demand. Radin, though, has the edge, in the fact that he actually is extremely talented. The album peaked at number 3 in the US folk charts but Joshua said that he didn’t really bother with all of that: “I don’t really pay too much attention to that sort of thing, I just keep my head down and focussed on the creative part and let the business people, well, get on with the business part.”

It’s easy to see then that he values his work above all else and while he isn’t too interested in charts, he did admit, “if you focus at all on the business side of it, like how many records you sell or what chart position you get, then it can go bad. I mean, it’s a great sense of accomplishment if your work does chart high but if not and you focus on it too much, you can end up feeling like a failure. I suppose you have to take one with the other. The thing with reviews and all those kinds of things, if you believe the good ones you have to consider the bad ones, so well I just try and stay out of it.”

His new single ‘I Missed you’ has already been out for a while and has even entered the top 40. When I asked what the song was about, it really could only be one thing. “There was a girl at home before I left for a tour, which is always the case on a tour, and I always end up meeting some girl 2 or 3 days before I leave. So I tried to write a pop song, because I thought maybe if I write a pop song it’ll end up on the radio and she might hear it, so maybe it would be like a cooler love letter?” That’s how down to earth a man he is though, he doesn’t hide behind smokescreens; he is honest and touching in his words. He wanted to send a message out so he wrote a song, it’s as simple as that.

 

MP3(s) of the Day (and more!) #364: Joshua Radin

 
By on Monday, 25th July 2011 at 10:00 am
 

Joshua Radin, being the benevolent bloke he is, is offering up an entirely free acoustic EP. Included on here are ‘I Missed You’, ‘Streetlight’, ‘The Ones with the Light’, ‘We Are Only Getting Better’ and ‘You Got What I Need’. Grab the EP for the mp3 player of your choice below. Also below is a lyric video with a difference, for ‘I Missed You’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNHs5SrCfJg[/youtube]

 

Live Review: The Script with Joshua Radin at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 2nd November 2010

 
By on Friday, 5th November 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

While Ireland and the UK have welcomed the Script into their hearts, it took some doing for them to get noticed stateside: ‘Breakeven’ was released as a single to their self-titled debut here last September. They’re the kind of band that I usually wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, but last year a friend of mine who had similar musical interests suggested I have a listen. Also, thanks to effective placement on VH1 here in America (read: I would see their videos during brekky telly watching before work), I got to know their songs better and it appears so did the rest of the country, because these days it’s not uncommon to hear a Script song on a local lite rock radio station.

I had an idea this show was going to be well attended, but I did not think it would sell out (it did) and I did not expect a massive queue before doors opened (there was – the longest queue I’ve ever seen outside the 9:30 Club, going down the block and around the building). As expected, there were tons of young girls with parents in tow, but there were also a lot of older women and their husbands, the women presumably having heard of the band while driving their kids around in people carriers. Pretty sobering to walk a long time in the cold trying to find the end of the queue.

Once inside, there was a huge mass of people up against the barrier: no shock there. With my ‘professional’ earplugs I was okay at a spot in front of huge speakers, right on the end of the barrier, and didn’t get hassled all night. (Maybe it was because everyone there was a respectful yet mad fan of the Script, but that was probably the only show I’ve ever been to at the 9:30 where I haven’t been shoved or gotten beer poured on me in some fashion.) At 8:15 PM, the opening act Joshua Radin appeared first with one guitarist, and then as his set progressed, the rest of his band filtered onstage. He obviously has a good fanbase in DC, as appreciative punters shouted for their favourite songs as he flashed his smile.

As my companion for the night astutely pointed out, Radin must have worked his way up through the coffee bar / cafe circuit, because he was very much at ease talking to the us in the audience as if we were old friends. Based on what I knew about him, I expected a folky set, but some songs were retooled and made rockier and jammier than their recorded counterparts. Songs like ‘Brand New Day’ (written a year after Radin broke up with his girlfriend and had finally gotten over her) and ‘Today’ (a song he admitted was not written to be a love / wedding song but has become one because American tv personality Ellen Degeneres used it at her own wedding) showed Radin’s deftness with songwriting. When the club turned his microphone off (what?), which led Radin to rally his troops and do an entirely acoustic / a cappella number. Nice set to warm up the crowd for the Script.

Continue reading Live Review: The Script with Joshua Radin at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 2nd November 2010

 

Joshua Radin / October 2010 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd June 2010 at 11:00 am
 

TGTF favourite Joshua Radin is hitting the road around the UK again for a long weekend in the UK in mid October.

Tickets go on sale on Friday (4th June) at 9am. Catch the New Yorker at:

Friday 15th October 2010 – Glasgow ABC
Saturday 16th October 2010 – Dublin Academy
Sunday 17th October 2010 – Manchester Academy
Monday 18th October 2010 – Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
Tuesday 19th October 2010 – London Roundhouse

 

Live Review: Joshua Radin and Lissie at Bristol Thekla – 15th April 2010

 
By on Friday, 16th April 2010 at 12:16 am
 

I’ve seen Joshua Radin twice before (in London and Oxford), so it was only right that I saw him at the other end of the M4, in Bristol tonight at the fantastic Thekla boat.

As ever, he was amusing, chatty and able to make everyone feel like he’s playing for just them, that rare sort of artist that has girls swooning and guys not minding too much when their girlfriends drag them along. Treating us to a whole raft of old songs, new songs (“I always hate it when I see a band and they play just new songs… but as an artist I just wanna play the new songs… so as you’ve all been so nice, I’m gonna play some new songs, and then have some old ones you all know” he commented), which sound much fuller (and, dare I say it, more upbeat) and full-band like rather than just him and his guitar.

However, the real surprise for us was the fantastic support from both The Staves and Lissie.

The Staves look like they’re barely out of school yet had some brilliant three-part vocal harmonies that are both sugary sweet and sound as if they’re so fragile that they’d break if anyone dared talk through their songs. Music that’s perfect for a summer’s day, the three sisters were the perfect warm-up act that eased us all into the evening and fitted in perfectly with Radin’s songs when they played the role of backing-singers.

Lissie on the other hand was quite certain of herself, blasting through her short 25 minute set with force and a display of skill that many artists can only dream of. The Guardian called her “more freeway rock than floaty folk“, and at first we were a bit confused by this, however as she blasted her way through five songs sounding stunningly pitch perfect. Having gone with two friends to catch Radin, they were suitably impressed, going as far to say “I thought she was miming it was that perfect, but realised she wasn’t…”. Coming from California she had that way of sounding like a more laid back Neko Case (from the New Pornographers, and numerous other Canadian bands), or a (much less crazy) Courtney Love.

Lissie had that feeling of an artist that’s about to take a step up to the big time, so make sure you catch her soon if you can. In the mean time if you can’t catch her on tour supporting Joshua Radin, watch and enjoy this cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance in a whole new style, or the current iTunes single of the week, In Sleep

Continue reading Live Review: Joshua Radin and Lissie at Bristol Thekla – 15th April 2010

 

Live Review: Joshua Radin at Oxford Academy – 22nd July 2009

 
By on Thursday, 23rd July 2009 at 12:27 am
 

Meiko (side)When choosing what gigs to go to, two things come into mind for me: do I like their music (i.e. Does it make me feel something / make me want to dance), and live would they offer something more than a CD would? Joshua Radin firmly ticks both these boxes, with a great range of (mostly sad) story telling songs, and live he is funny, witty and engaging – just what I like in a live show.

I’ve only see Josh twice, and both times his support act has given him a good run for his money in terms of talent and entertainment. Last time it was Maria Taylor, tonight it was the rather lovely Meiko (pictured right).

Clearly nervous, she got the applause worthy of a headliner, and had tunes to boot – we’re talking the heart-rending stuff that producers of One Tree Hill, Greys Anatomy and the OC so love. Indeed, her second song, “” was featured on Grey’s Anatomy. Quick witted (her beer fizzed over – “oh well, 3 minutes and it’ll go down. Ohhhh! That’s what she said!!” to much laughter). She had the crowd on side immediately, and seemed genuinely touched at the reaction she got – think a one woman Tegan and Sara, mixed with a hint of Tom McRae and you’re halfway there

Joshua Radin (london live)Then the stage was set for Ohio’s Josh Radin, who, needless to say, did not disappoint, feeding off the audience from the start to give a blistering show. Giving us exactly what we’d come to see, he was both amusing, entertaining and on top musical form. Treating us to some new tracks he’s been writing on the road these past few weeks, they sounded fuller, almost happier than the majority of his two albums. Taking full advantage of the backing of a full band, Josh and the band wasn’t afraid to stretch their legs musically, offering a welcome break from the sometimes morose subject matter.

A quick cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” was a personal highlight – completely acoustic, unplugged (a la Tom McRae’s 2007 rendition of Bloodless in London), along with welcoming Meiko back for “Today”. There’s so much I could talk about, but if I’m not careful I’ll descend into crazy fanboy mode, so just take my word when I say that it was absolutely fantastic.

Finally, it was time for Josh to leave, but not before delivering the great news that he’ll be back in October, playing another UK tour, including a show at London’s Koko and somewhere in Manchester, which will be great to catch him again.

Please note: in a moment of stupidity, I forgot my camera at last night’s gig, so there are unfortunately no pictures (other than some very dodgy phone pics which I won’t be inflicting on you). Apologies. After the jump is the setlist.
Continue reading Live Review: Joshua Radin at Oxford Academy – 22nd July 2009

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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