Listening Party: Bob Burnette, Laura Michaels and Shiloh Corner Boyz

Launching this week’s party is Bob Burnette, a singer/songwriter who mixes equal parts of melancholy and insight with a stiff dose of catchy melody. His new CD, The Stars In June, is set for release in early November. We suggest starting with the emotionally charged track “Azure.”

Next is local country-tinged singer/songwriter Laura “La La” Michaels. She’s a frequent collaborator with a wide range of other performers, ranging from bar-hopping rocker Aaron LaFalce to breakbeat-blasting DJs The Midnight Foundation, but her original music is surprisingly straightforward. We suggest starting with the track “What Are You Afraid Of?”

Finally, we present local hip-hop artists the Shiloh Corner Boyz. The group presents a surprising variety in terms of material, and seem to have no shortage of fans willing to show the love on their MySpace page. We suggest starting with the song “Let Me Do My Thang.”

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts by posting them into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, to praise and pan as you see fit.

— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor


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15 thoughts on “Listening Party: Bob Burnette, Laura Michaels and Shiloh Corner Boyz

  1. The Shiloh Corner Boyz is a pretty good choice, MX! Production quality is top-notch. Although the subject matter is a little boring, its fairly standard fare for most commercial, Southern hip hop these days; Women, Drink, and Black-Market economic exploits.
    The rider-anthem of “Let Me Do My Thang” probably contains some of the better rappers featured here, as well as interesting wordplay. But “Cool” and “Shawty on the Floor” are both fun and interesting in their own rights.
    “Cool” should be a selection for those who don’t quite feel the younger, crunk-influenced tracks here. Nice, sexy, groovey mood music. Good, local color all around, and a great find for the average listener.
    Something to bump in my Cadillac on my way to the C-Store for some L’s and a Grape Soda.

  2. Yawn. The majority of these “Listening Party” posts only strengthen my belief that this area’s music scene is pretty bland for the most part. There are some talented bands/artists here, but I haven’t heard any among these pages since the first week.

  3. Supergenius: Then why not, say, participate in the discussion, rather than posting to tell us you’re bored with it?

    You find these bands lackluster? Why, exactly? What’s lacking? What could be better? Give us details rather than a blanket dismissal.

    After all, that’s the whole point of Listening Party.

  4. me

    Hey supergenius,
    Who’s on Letterman tonight?
    How many local bands just played the Echo festival?
    Your right, the local music scene is bland.

  5. superGenus

    it is sooo much easier to waste time posting some unsubstantiated negative crap, tho. makes me feel superior

  6. I don’t watch Letterman, nor do I know or care what the Echo festival is, so your attempt is futile at trying to sway my observations, and even if I did know/watch your two examples, how are they supposed to make me think differently? Because they’re popular??? Ha! Air Supply was a VERY popular band, but that doesn’t take anything away from their bland sounds/songs. If you think the local music scene is striving and worthwhile, that’s great! You may have missed that I wrote above: “There are some talented bands/artists here” of which I truly believe, but sadly they are in the minority. It’s not all bland, but to me, most of it is. Just one person’s opinion.

    I also notice that I have a message board stalker who creates a screen name very similar to mine and posts as if they were me. How cute!!!

    And Stevie baby, was my initial post NOT participating in the discussion??? You asked for “thoughts” and I gave you mine. If you want in-depth analysis, you may want to re-word your tagline.

  7. Supergenius: I asked you (and the other readers) to give specific thoughts on these bands. You replied that the local music scene is awful. That’s just dripping with thoughtful insight, isn’t it?

    Once again, I’ll directly challenge you to actually say something specific on the three performers we’re profiling. Granted, you’d actually have to make a definitive statement that could then be discussed, rather than just a generic “this sucks.”

    Either bring your critical game and contribute, or stop trying to derail the discussion and go troll elsewhere.

  8. #1. Please point out where I stated that the “local music scene is awful”. You CAN’T as I never stated such a thing. Grand journalism skills there, putting words in other’s mouths.

    #2. Also, please point out where I, or anyone, planted a “generic ‘this sucks'” comment.

    #3. Additionally, Please point out where in your blog post you ask for “specific” thoughts. You DON’T.

    #4. To call me a “troll” because I don’t play by your rules is unfair, especially when the rules are changed after the fact. Maybe you’re just being a little sensitive because your weekly “Listening Party” isn’t garnering the attendance you had hoped for?

  9. b.c.w.

    Might I suggest a way to submit local bands FOR review, rather than relying on a potentially random selection. There ARE a lot of local bands/artists that do have unique sounds and ARE exciting, and are doing amazing things musicially, yet it seems that they are continually passed over for review, in spite of being out and gigging quite actively. ‘Supergenius’ may come across as a bit charged and pointed in his/her commentary, but I agree fully that there are local bands deserving of more attention, yet they are always overlooked, for no real reason other than lack of effort in seeking them out.

    Finally, I must say that Laura Michaels is the real deal, and I’m glad to see someone has “discovered” her. I have known her for a while and she is a fantastic singer and songwriter, and she needs to be out on the scene more than she is. She is one of the few truly great voices in our local singer/songwriter mix.

  10. PRB

    I think we are very blessed to have such a variety of wonderful local music.

    Laura Michaels’ voice is exceptional and her songs are honest and refreshing. I want to hear more!

    Shiloh Corner Boyz surprized me! I actually enjoyed them. Good vocals.

    Keep it up Bob Burnette. I like where your headed.

    Keep it up Asheville! The talent in this city is exceptional, and we should continue to support our local music scene. All we need are more venues.

    Oh by the the way make this article easier to find by providing an actual link that lasts the entire week of the paper rather than having to search for it.

  11. Rebekah

    I haven’t heard the other artists, but I spent hours in highschool a long time ago dancing and singing in the halls of school trying to avoid class while Laura worked on perfecting her many talents and art. You’ve come a long way La-la, and it’s nice to see the local support. La-la has an amazing voice and I think given the right tools, could go very far with her talents

  12. supergenius: Here we go.

    1 & 2: “… only strengthen my belief that this area’s music scene is pretty bland for the most part.”

    3: “This is your chance to be the music reviewer, to praise and pan as you see fit” … “Supergenius: Then why not, say, participate in the discussion, rather than posting to tell us you’re bored with it?” … “Once again, I’ll directly challenge you to actually say something specific on the three performers we’re profiling.”

    4: You are acting like a troll because, in spite of repeatedly being asked to actually comment specifically on the blog, you instead are commenting on yourself, and trying to get others to do the same.

    (And yes, I’m deeply, personally wounded that random readers on the internet aren’t commenting on the completely unknown bands we’re profiling, and treating Listening Party were the greatest thing to hit blogs since LOL cats. Oh, how it stings.)

    One last time, my personal challenge to you is that you comment ON THE PERFORMERS WE ARE PROFILING. Seriously, a sentence on each — even a telling adjective — would be a good example of you contributing.

    PRB & b.c.w: Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

    All: It’s not a bad idea for folks to be able to suggest bands for coverage in Listening Party. Keep in mind that, if at all possible, I prefer to use this blog to profile lesser-known bands, rather than the bigger names. If you’d like to suggest a band, feel free to drop an email to sshanafelt (at)

  13. How are “pretty bland for the most part” and “the local scene is awful” the same thing? They’re not.

    “Praise and pan as you see fit” is exactly what I did.

    Nonetheless, I’ll move on. Hope your wounds heal quickly, or at least avoid infection.

  14. supergenius: It’s called hyperbole, and I was using it to illustrate a point.

    But, maybe I’m being too harsh. I’ll open it up to the rest of the readers, should they feel like chiming in.

    Does anyone feel that the instructions for Listening Party are confusing or unclear? Is it not obvious that we are asking for input on the profiled bands, rather than general comments on the local music scene?

    If so, please let me know and I’ll be a bit more explicit in future posts.

  15. chuck

    It seems fairly self-explanatory to me that if you cant say something nice, then saying nothing may be the best contribution.

    Of course, saying something constructively critical would probably be more appreciated than just randomly posting how lame an entire scene is.

    People who do that must need the internet, though, because nobody in real life will listen to someone for very long who complains about how much their scene sucks.

    Generally, If I’m not inspired to say something about the band (“they are good”, “the music sounds like early husker-du”. “I really like their first album before they got popular and sold out”), then i avoid posting because i am aware of other people not really needing to read something along the lines of “this guy is terrible, he sings like a dead fish underwater”. But I still think that would be more helpful than SG’s very vague post that didnt even reference the specific topic of the article.

    Try just a little harder next time, or dont show up at all. And stop with the whining. Your first post wouldn’t have been so bad if you didnt come back and repeatedly defend it.

    I am glad Steve is trying this format, and I have only come across 3 or four bands that I was already familiar with. So Thank You for keeping it eclectic, and for giving some exposure to bands I might never hear of otherwise. (Like the SCB!) I dont need to be exposed to the bands who play every weekend downtown, or who I’m already personal friends with. I appreciate how varied and sometimes kookie the selections are. I hope this feature continues.

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