FIVE KNIVES @ THE TROUBADOUR

It was Five Knives Los Angeles debut. The electro-pop four piece were in town to celebrate the release of their upcoming debut album Savages which drops June 2nd via Red Bull Records.

PINS ANNOUNCE U.S. SUMMER TOUR

Ahead of their June 9th release of their upcoming album Wild Nights, UK's PINS have released their new single "Young Girls." Also, they just announced their U.S. summer toiur which kicks off June 13rh in New York.

ZELLA DAY @ THE TROUBADOUR

Zella Day has released her debut album Kicker and she celebrated with a sold out show at LA's famed Troubadour last week.

MAKE MUSIC PASADENA SHINES IN ITS 8TH YEAR

Last Saturday, over 150 bands made their journey to downtown Pasadena to take part in Make Music Pasadena (MMP), billed as the largest free, all-day music festival on the West Coast.

WINTER @ THE ECHO

Winter's new album Supreme Blue Dream is the ideal soundtrack to your summer..

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

JULE VERA RELEASES NEW EP ‘FRIENDLY ENEMIES’

JULE VERA

With a blend of pop and alternative rock, Alabama's Jule Vera released their new EP Friendly Enemies this week via Pure Noise Records.  Currently performing on Vans Warped Tour, Jule Vera, fronted by Ansley Newman, are one of the breakout bands of this year's tour blending an infectious blend of pop and rock. They just dropped their newest EP Friendly Enemies yesterday via Pure Noise Records.  

The EP is available for purchase at iTunes, Amazon and julevera.merchnow.com, and can be streamed at http://bit.ly/1C0idnA.

Be sure to check out "One Little String," one of my favs!


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Monday, June 29, 2015

TAT DROPS NEW SONG "ANXIETY"

TAT

TAT, the London-based band, has just released their new single "Anxiety."  After years away from the spotlight, this punk-inspired trio are returing in a big way. First off, they're currently touring on select shows on the Vans Warped Tour and are also prepping the release of their second album which is expected to drop early next year.  

"Anxiety" will be available for download on July 15th.  Check it out below.

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

KITTEN @ THE TROUBADOUR


In April, in what was supposed to be two straight nights of shows at the famed Troubadour, Kitten's Chloe Chaidez struggled through night one, barely able to to sing with what was later diagnosed as having nodules on her vocal cords.  She postponed night two to get some much needed rest.  Flash forward earlier this month, when Kitten returned with a vengeance for their sold-out, make-up show that lasted two hours and saw Chloe doing her usual Kitten-esque thing; climbing rafters, serenading and pulling fans onstage to dance with and topping it off the night with a crowd-walk inside the sold-out Troubadour.  Definitely one of her best shows and cemented her electrifying stage presence that got her to tour and share the stage with almost every cool and influential band out there - Paramore, Charli XCX, Garbage, No Doubt and Courtney Love. 

KITTEN performs to a sold-out crowd at The Troubadour.
photos by picksysticks
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

KISS ME DEADLY DROPS DEBUT ALBUM AND TOUR DATES

Kiss Me Deadly
Kiss Me Deady
photo by Andrew Thames
With David Lynch-esque noirish melodies, Kiss Me Deadly makes you feel like you've walked into some mysterious and dark world filled with seductive harmonies, raspy guitars, raw beats and a whole lot of attitude.  With the fun sounds of swamp rock and the vintage colorful sounds of what you would expect from pulp fiction novels, their music plays like the soundtrack to classic gangster films.  

The Cleveland trio, consisting of Jen Poland, Madelyn Hayes and Evan Lieberman just dropped their highly anticipated debut album What You Do In The Dark (via Kingswood Records) and it recalls a time when music was best heard in clubs, before the internet, television and above all - no auto-tune.  It's a welcomed flashback. 



And to celebrate their release, Kiss Me Deadly has announced a 2-week, 15-city North American tour beginning this Saturday (6/27) in their hometown of Cleveland and then hit major cities like New York, Boston, Toronto, Montreal and Philadelphia before finishing off back in Cleveland on July 11th.  


TOUR DATES
6/27 – Cleveland, OH @ Waterloo Arts Fest
6/27 – Akron, OH @ Highland Tavern (10pm)
6/28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
6/29 – Washington D.C. @ Treehouse Lounge
7/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Grape Room
7/02 – New York, NY @ Pianos
7/03 – Providence, RI @ Firehouse 13
7/04 – Boston, MA @ The Midway
7/05 – Burlington, VT @ Monkey House
7/06 – Montreal, CAN @ Bar Pub-St Denis
7/07 – Ottawa, CAN @ Pressed Cafe
7/08 – Toronto, CAN @ The Smiling Buddah
7/09 – Detroit, MI @ Smalls
7/10 – Toledo, OH @ House Concert
7/11 – Cleveland, OH @ Becky’s Bar


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

RYN WEAVER RELEASES NEW VIDEO FOR "TRAVELING SONG"

RYN WEAVER

Ryn Weaver's highly anticapted debut album "The Fool" was officially released on Tuesday. Her highly anticipated album includes her hit songs "Octohate" and "Promises."  But today, she premiered a video for "Traveling Song" in honor of her grandfather Max which incorporates much of his family home videos.  

Named on many 'Top Artists to Watch' lists in 2015 by such outlets like MTV, Huffington Post and Time, Ryn Weaver continues to amaze audiences and critics; most recently at this years' SXSW, Coachella and Bonnaroo music festivals.  Currently, she's on her summer tour and hits Los Angeles' famed El Rey nexts month.  Check out her new video below as well as her upcoming tour dates.


RYN WEAVER TOUR DATES:
June 18 Dover, Del. Firefly
July 11 Costa Mesa, Calif. Constellation Room
July 13 Los Angeles, Calif. El Rey
July 17 Seattle, Wash. Neumos
July 19 Denver, Colo. Bluebird
July 21 Minneapolis, Minn. Triple Rock
July 23 Philadelphia, Pa. TLA
July 24 Washington, D.C. U Street Music Hall
July 25 Brooklyn, N.Y. Music Hall of Williamsburg
July 28 Boston, Mass. Sinclair
July 29 New York, N.Y. Bowery Ballroom

August 4 Toronto, ON The Garrison

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

NEW SONG: DRAGONETTE'S "LET THE NIGHT FALL"


Canadians Dragonette owned the world in 2010 as their hit single with Martin Solveig  "Hello" basically played everywhere you turned.

Today, they offer up another contagious dance hit.  After a seemingly long hiatus, they released their first original track called "Let the Night Fall."  They also drop news that they have a few shows next month.  Check out the track below. 

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ZZ WARD GOES CRAZY IN NEW VIDEO "LOVE 3X"

ZZ WARD

ZZ Ward just dropped her newest video for Love 3X.  It's off her upcoming album This Means War which will be released on Sept. 18t.  

She launches her Love and War tour this August in Dallas, Texas.  The tour will take her to 28 cities in three months and will end in San Diego on October 18th.  

Usually bluesy with a touch of funk, ZZ Ward turns adds a touch of pop in her latest song.  In Love 3X, ZZ Ward sings "We're either fucking or we're fightng...You make me ill, but it's such a thrill" giving new meaning to the term "toxic love affair" where everything so wrong in a relationship seems so right.  "There's only one thing that would make me do al lthe crazy shit I do when I'm next to you" she finally sings in the chorus.


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Saturday, June 13, 2015

ZELLA DAY @ THE TROUBADOUR


I first saw Zella Day at SXSW in 2014.  Earlier that night, I had tried getting into another show (I think it was Angel Oslen) but the line was too long and they had stopped letting people in.  I decided to walk down towards 6th Street and stopped in front of the historic Driskill hotel. Inside, in a room a short distance from the lobby, people started walking in. I followed not knowing who was performing.  It was Zella Day. Here's what I wrote about her last year:  



"Enter Zella Day, the LA-transplant with her whimsical folk/pop melodies that conjures images of  fruitful rains on barren landscapes that, in one minute can be cracked dry, and the next, sprouting with bright, lush poppies. Her songs are simple yet complex but it's her voice that, like someone taking you by the hand and leading the way, draws you into her world." 



  The Los Angeles native has since been featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Teen Vogue and other magazines like Nylon, Paste and Interview.  Just this past week, she performed on Conan.

Now, a year later, Zella Day has released her debut album Kicker and she celebrated with a sold out show at LA's famed Troubadour last week.  Kicker is named after an Indian friend she knew while growing up in Arizona.  Check Zella Day's performance on Conan below. 




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Thursday, June 11, 2015

NEW VIDEO: STAVES' "WHITE TEETH"

STAVES

Only the Staves can make an electric set sound fragile and acoustic.  Sisters from across the pond, the Staves use of vocal harmonizing showcases their talents of marrying the intimate while injecting a modern rock feel to their music. 

Here's their latest video for "Teeth White" which shows them performing inside a bar while patrons sit aloof to their presence. the song reflects the difficulties of trying to achieve something but no matter how hard you try, it's still not good enough. Check it out below.


"White Teeth" by Staves
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WOLF ALICE RELEASES NEW SONG "YOU'RE A GERM" AND TOUR DATES

Wolf Alice

It's been a meteoric rise of Wolf Alice since they broke into the music scene with their critically acclaimed hits "Bros" and "Moaning Lisa Smile."  Their live shows have sold out across the pond and here in the States including LA's Roxy and Bardot's School Night. Now, finally, their highly anticipated debut full-length album My Love Is Cool will finally get released June 23rd via Dirty Hit/RCA Records.  

Today, the London rockers dropped their new single - the fan favorite - "You're a Germ." 

“You’re A Germ has always been a live fave. It was the spark to some of our first mosh pits and holds a solid place in our hearts as one of our older songs," says bassist Theo Ellis. "Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we do playing it.”



But before the release of their debut album, Wolf Alice has been going full-throttle with their constant touring and PR blitz.  They're currenlty featured on the cover of NME and they're scheduled to have their US late-night debut on TBS's Conan on June 16th.  On top of that, they just added a second leg to the U.S. tour hitting which includes a stop at Austic City Limits Festival in October.  Just last week, Wolf Alice  released a new, updated video for "Bros," a vintage song echoing the early 90s alternative scene.  

"Bros" by Wolf Alice

WOLF ALICE U.S. TOUR
8/1/15                         Montauk, NY @ Surf Lodge
8/2/15                        Philadelphia, PA @ Radio 104.5 Summer Block Series
8/5/15                         Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
8/6/15                         Albany, NY @ The Hollow
8/8/15                         Los Angeles, CA @ Alt 98.7 Summer Camp
8/11/15                       Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
8/12/15                       Seattle, WA @ Neumos, WA
9/29/15                       Pawtucket, RI @ The Met
10/1/15                       Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
10/3/15                       Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall
10/5/15                       Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/6/15                       Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
10/9-15 – 10/11/15    Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival
10/11/15                     Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
10/12/15                     San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
10/15/15                     San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
10/18/15                     Dallas, TX @ Trees
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

MAKE MUSIC PASADENA SHINES IN IT'S 8TH YEAR

Hidden Charms
Vincent Davies gets cozy with the Pasadena crowd at the 8th Annual Make Music Pasadena.
photos by picksysticks.
Last Saturday, over 150 bands made their journey to downtown Pasadena to take part  in Make Music Pasadena (MMP), billed as the largest free, all-day music festival on the West Coast.  

Curated by music lovers for music lovers, Make Music Pasadena showcases international and national bands and caters to the music fan who loves to discover new music while also taking in music's most buzz-worthy artists.  Just as in previous years, MMP showcases artists from many musical genres - rock, folk, country, electronic, R&B - the list goes on.  

From alleyways, coffee shops, parking lots and store plazas,  stages in a six-block radius pepper the streets of downtown Pasadena. 


Hidden Charms
Hidden Charms are on pace to have a breakout year.
photos by picksysticks
The Old Pasadena Main Stage, located on the historic Colorado Blvd., hosted the music scene's best rising acts.  London's Hidden Charms certainly charmed the crowd with their classic rock  sound reminiscent of Van Morrison and AC/DC while also keeping it fresh and new with echoes of White Stripes and Arctic Monkeys.  Sharing vocal duties are Vinny Davies (bass, guitar) and Ranald Macdonald (keys, guitar, bass) while Josh Lewis also plays guitar and bass and Oscar Robertson is the beast on drums.  

Earlier in the week, they wowed at The Troubadour and The Lyric Theater with their hit singles "Dreaming of Another Girl" and "It's Time" recently released to major fanfare.  Hidden Charms, barely out of their teens have already been praised by the likes of BBC, NME, Sirius XM radio and many in the UK Press.  It won't be long until the press, this side of the Atlantic, will follow suit.  2015 is gearing up to be their breakout year especially with their upcoming busy tour schedule including major festivals. Look for Hidden Charms' debut EP in the coming months with a full-length album dropping early next year.  

One of the most electric performances of the day came from LA's own Sir Sly. Admitted huge Drake fans, you can hear the hip-hop influence in their debut album You Haunt Me, released last September, spawning the hits "Gold" and "You Haunt Me" which got them noticed and enabled them to tour and share the stage with the likes of St. Lucia and 1975. 


Sir Sly
Sir Sly
Sir Sly rockin' it on the Main Stage at Make Music Pasadena.
photos by picksysticks
As the afternoon sun blazed in their faces, Sir Sly's frontman Landon Jacobs refused to be confined by the Old Pasadena Main Stage, pacing back and forth like a caged lion, bursting out into the audience while serving their brand of bruising yet sugary, indie-pop songs.  

Located in the center of all this madness was the Paseo Colorado stage, one of six main stages , located in this urban shopping village between a coffee shop and an antiques store.  And with the historic Civic Auditorium serving as a backdrop across the street, this stage had some of the best acts of this fest including one of the few, if not only, indie-pop artists hailing from South Central L.A.


Autumn in June
Autumn in June mesmerizes the crowd at Make Music Pasadena.
photos by picksysticks
One of the highlights this day was Autumn in June, who layers hypnotic dance beats and spatial, imaginative melodies to create a celestial experience that envelopes you to the soul.  With knee-high, glowing, pulsating pyramids around  him and  blue-tinged, fog surrounding him, Autumn in June is not far removed from playing large venues and festivals packed with people ready to party and have fun.  


Autumn in June
Autumn in June
pic by picksysticks
Indie-pop artist Autumn in June got his name because of his interest with experimenting with music which, at the time, was unique and different while growing up on the streets of  South Central Los Angeles where rap was the genre of choice.  Autumn in June they would call him insinuating he was in the wrong place in the wrong time.  But yet, he continued with his passion and released his critically acclaim debut EP last year that got major pick up from music tastemakers like NME, college radio  and influential music blogs. 

A master of sonic landscaping, Autumn in June's yearning coos and free floating synths in songs like "Hours" was part of a long list of  hypnotic singles that got the crowd dancing while  "Hey Arnold," a disco inspired tune with R&B harmonies,  got the weekend shoppers curious enough to stay for his entire set and converted them into instant fans.


Forebear
Crowds enjoying LA indie-pop band Forebear.
photo by picksysticks
Earlier, a large and loyal following filled the plaza for another local band.  Forebear has a dark and brooding sound brewing underneath; like some dark soul biding its time to break free but its kept in check, as though frightened by a spark of lightness.  That's the feel I got while listening to Forebear, the four piece band from Los Angeles who also performed on the Paseo Colorado Stage.    


Forebear
Forebear at the Paseo Colorado Stage - one of six main stages throughout Pasadena.
photographs by picksysticks
This day, it was the cascading strings and soaring vocals by both Scott and Molly that filled the air, often broken up by aggressive guitars and bruising drums. Consisting of Scott Goldbaum, Mike Musselman, Molly Rogers and Nick Chamian, Forebear balances the line between light and dark, hard and soft...rock and classical.  You'd think, for a band, that would sound disastrous but Forebear seemlessly marries all these elements together and somehow makes it work.  And it's mesmerizing.   

Last year's estimated 50,000 attendees braved the upper 80s degree heat while exploring the hundreds of area restaurants and boutiques surrounding the city. This year, the weather was much cooler and crowds came out early to catch Kera and the Lesbians at the Playhouse District Stage presented by SESAC.


Kera & the Lesbians
Kera & the Lesbians
Kera and the Lesbians
photos by picksysticks 
This SoCal band (Los Angeles by way of San Diego)  thrills with their eclectic, rock-folk that welcomes dancing while making you pay attention to lead singer Kera Armendariz's lyrics on heartbreak and love.  Their stage presence is infectious as Kera, reminiscent of a person fighting the possession of the music spirits, jerking, hopping and swaying to every note and drum beat.  Often times vulnerable and other times brash, Kera and the Lesbians inventive melodies was one not easy to forget - perfect for those long picturesque drives with the top down on the Pacific Coast Highway.  

Next up was Dark Waves who had just completed his tour, performed at MMP on the SESAC stage.  Usually accompanied by his backing band, this early afternoon, he performed solo.  


Dark Waves
Dark Waves playing the Playhouse District Stage during Make Music Pasadena
photo by picksysticks
Romantic angst delivered over omniscient guitars and soaring vocals Dark Waves feels like the calm before the storm when you know something bad is about to happen OR the bleak aftermath where you start picking up the pieces of a broken heart.  During his set, he mentioned that he just moved into his new apartment and joked  that his trailer backstage looked much better and even had a lot more food.  Dark Waves will next perform at  Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee this Thursday.  

Make Music Pasadena is just the beginning of the city’s musical series of  free summer outdoor concerts that are free to the public which reflects the spirit of the community and the overall music scene.   Starting this Sunday, June 14th,  Levitt Pavilion Pasadena is presenting 50 free shows which will run through September 20th and will feature artists from around the globe encompassing all musical genres.   Head over to LevittPavilionPasadena.org for more information and dates.


Crowds enjoy the 8th Annual Make Music Pasadena.
All photos by Picksysticks
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

THE BULLS ANNOUNCE AUGUST RESIDENCY AT THE SATELLITE



FIVE FREE MONDAY NIGHT SHOWS WILL SUPPORT NEW EP DUE THIS SUMMER

Los Angeles dream-gazers The Bulls will be headlining the renowned Monday Night residency at Los Angeles' The Satellite in August. The FIVE FREE Monday Night shows will support the release of the band’s debut EP, which will be released this summer.


The Bulls came to be when violinist and multi-instrumentalist Anna Bulbrook (The Airborne Toxic Event / Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) and guitarist Marc Sallis (The Duke Spirit) discovered their mutual love for 80's and 90's new wave and shoegaze during a chance meeting in the Mojave Desert. The Bulls premiered their debut single "Come Unwound," featuring Bulbrook’s hazy vocals and soaring strings late last year. The song’s accompanying, Kinbaku-bondage-inspired video, premiered by LA Weekly continued the band's story into 2015 with the band receiving nods via Alt 98.7’s “Artist in Residence” program and KROQ spinning “Small Problems,” which will feature on the band’s new EP set for release later this summer. 
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

NEW VIDEO: MS MR RELEASES "PAINTED"


Ahead of their July 17th album release of How Does It Feel, MS MR has released their new video for "Painted" which explores what happens when two worlds - natural vs. unnatural -  collides while focusing on the lyrics "what did you think would happen / when you put me in unnatural space."
“We were heavily inspired by Kubrick as well as the 1970s documentary ‘The Secret Life of Plants,’ the band says.
In How Does It Feel, the follow-up to their 2013 debut album Secondhand Rapture, MS MR have gone back to their roots, returning to a more intimate, visceral and bare-bones experience that made their debut album skyrocket to #2 on Billboard's Heatseeker's Album chart.  

Watch "Painted" below and be sure to catch them when they launch their string of festival dates next week in Germany.  

"Painted" by MS MR.

MS MR On Tour: 
6/3 – Mendig, Germany – Rock am Ring 2015
6/4 – Berlin, Germany – Kantine am Berghain
6/5 – Nuremberg, Germany – Rock im Park 2015
6/10 – London, UK – Victoria
6/19 – Kansas City, MO – Boulevardia 2015
7/12 – Philadelphia, PA – Festival Pier (Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party)
7/22 – Melbourne, Australia – Russell
7/24 – Byron Bay, Australia – Splendour In The Grass Festival
7/25 – Sydney, Australia – Metro Theatre
7/31 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
8/1-8/2 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga
8/7 – Minneapolis – Target Field (96.3 Go Fest 2015)
9/12-13 – Berlin, Germany – Lollapalooza
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ALESSIA CASS'S ANTI-PARTY SONG IS "HERE"

Alessia Cass

Fader called her 'Alt-pop's New Sweetheart' while Pitchford praises her 'powerhouse voice and lyrical finess.'  All this for Alessia Cass who recently released her single "Here," an unapologetically autobiographical tune dubbed a party song but in actuality is more of an anti-party song giving a shout out to the anti-social wallflowers with lyrics like, "I'm sorry if I seem uninterested / Or I'm not listenin', or I'm indefferent / Truly I ain't got no business here...I'd rather be at home all by myself / Not in this room with people who don't even care about my well being." 

Only 18, Alessia has already racked up over 500,000 streams of "Here" since its release this month. Check out the new video below which premiere on Fader. 

"Here" by Alessia Cass
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Monday, May 25, 2015

HOP ALONG @ THE ECHO

Hop Along

Weezer-esque, slacker-rock merged with Seattle-grunge, Hop Along unique sound echoes thorns on a rose bush; beauty surrounded by sharp thorns.  With their melodic melodies accompanied by the scattered and tortured vocals of Frances Quinlan, Hop Along performed a sold out show at The Echo on Saturday.  


Hop Along

Earlier this month, the Philadelphia foursome released their sophomore full-length album Painted Shut on Saddle Creek to critical acclaim! With accolades ranging from Pitchfork & SPIN to NPR & Urban Outfitters, the album debuted at #7 on Alternative New Artist Albums and #10 on Top New Artist Albums Chart. Described as grounded and less merciful than their debut album Get Disowned, Painted Shut tells the story of many struggling adults (and children) in a severe landscape.  


Painted Shut is available at the Saddle Creek Online Store, iTunes, Amazon and independent record stores everywhere.

Hop Along
Hop Along
Hop Along plays a sold out Echo.
photos by picksysticks.
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