ALESSIA CARA MAKES HER LOS ANGELES DEBUT @ THE TROUBADOUR

Canadian Alessia Cara made her highly anticipated Los Angeles debut at The Troubadour. Signed to Def Jam records based on her Soundcloud page that included covers of Lorde, The Neighbourhood, Sam Smith and Justin Bieber, this show marked Alessia's first headlining gig.

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..

Monday, April 28, 2008

AUDRA MAE @ The Hotel Cafe

Ms. Audra Mae. Boy, do I love watching her perform! After seeing her for the first time at Genghis Cohen earlier this month, I just had to watch her again!! Last Tuesday, she played at The Hotel Cafe and all I have to say is, "Wow!" 'Nuf said. Currently, she's working on her debut album but until then, head over to her myspace page HERE and check out the songs for yourself!!

Check out our last review of Audra Mae's Genghis Cohen show by clicking HERE! And there are more pics in our pics page at www.myspace.com/picksysticks.

Also, check out more rockin' photos at LAist and read what they had to say about this show by clicking HERE.

Audra Mae

Audra Mae

Audra Mae

Audra Mae
Audra Mae performs at The Hotel Cafe April 22nd.
photos by picksYsticks

Saturday, April 26, 2008

CALAMITY MAGNET @ The Viper Room

CALAMITY MAGNET
Sara Radle – lead vocals, guitar, keys
Joe Bourdet – lead guitar
Valerie Ngai – bass (upright, electric), vocals
Genevieve Kwong – keys, flute, vocals
Joe Zabielski – drums


Calamity Magnet
photo by picksYsticks


With the name Calamity Magnet, it’s only fitting that this group has attracted a quintet of gifted musicians. What could’ve been a distressful and clashing of creative musical talents has proven to be a perfect union.

Founding member Sara Radle’s musical origins began in San Antonio where she fronted the pop/punk band, Lucy Loves Schroeder at the age of seventeen. Releasing a few critically acclaimed solo projects, Radle is also a current member of The Rentals led by Matt Sharp (formerly of Weezer) which are all worth checking out on iTunes.


Sara Radle of Calamity Magnet/photo by picksYsticks


Raised in Northern California, lead guitarist Joe Bourdet carved his musical resume playing from Santa Cruz to Glasgow Scotland. Moving to L.A. he played with folk-rock group Jonathan Wilson and the Whispering Pines, The Shore and in his latest project with Bolero.

Bass player, Valerie Ngai currently plays bass and drums with Burbank’s own indie pop band Loverlee. Growing up in Honolulu Ngai has been trained in classical bass and performed in symphonies and musical theaters around the west coast. Also in Loverlee is keyboardist Genevieve Kwong who is originally from Los Angeles. Kwong also lends her talent on flute and vocals to Calamity Magnet.

Along with Calamity Magnet, Drummer Joe Zabielski currently plays with Moving To France. A veteran of the Western Massachusetts indie scene during the 80’s and 90’s with psych-rockers The Eyes.

On April14th at the Viper Room, Calamity Magnet performed at Indie 103.1’s Check One Two night for their EP release party. Those who came out to this packed performance were rewarded with Calamity Magnet’s indie girl-pop inspired songs along with early Sara Radle favorites.

Their self-titled EP is a sugar-sweet diary, which when opened reveals a storybook of love and lost. Like a fairy tale utopia of blue skies and lush fields of colorful poppies, Calamity Magnet is the white picket fence that is surrounded by overgrown grass and weeds.

Just like a good book, it’s hard to put this CD down (or turn it off). It opens with its first track, “Baby You Forgot,” dealing with the realization of an ending relationship and the difficulties of trying to move on.

I've got a feeling it's over
I've been hearing you told her
That you love her, I bet you never loved me back
I've got a feeling it's gonna'
Be a long year ahead of me
I've got to find a way to get back on track

Calamity Magnet and Radle’s ability to blend sugar sweet melodies with heartfelt lyrics are felt throughout. In a sad folk ballad, “Convenient” is like a game of slow dancing of love around guarded emotions. Radle sings that, in every blossoming relationship, emotional walls and insecurities are built up.

Gotta keep my mind in check
Gotta keep my heart protected
Sometimes I feel like I am falling for you
But it seems like you’re just borrowing my time
Sometimes I fear if I didn’t make this so convenient for you
You wouldn’t want me
Please want me…like I want you to

“Figure It Out Now,” has our heroine caught in the middle of staying or leaving the guy she loves. And deciding not to get hurt again, she finally decides to make the difficult decision to leave as the song ends in an uplifting sense of freedom.

And I know exactly what it is I need to do
Step one, got to make myself stop coming back to you
Steps two and three
I'll kiss you goodbye and then I'll let you be

At this point of the story, it could very well be that this is the same guy in the story that keeps popping up in her life and whether the girl in the story is just so blinded with love that she keeps running back to this guy. Or it could just be a new guy each time. I must know!

The final two tracks may have given me my answers. “My Ex-Lover” and “Moving On” deals with heartbreak and taking control and moving on from a poison relationship. Ending with “Moving On,” it’s hard not to feel happy for our heroine who erasing all memories of the past. Like a brand new day, Radle sings, “ I don’t have time to waste on you. So I’m moving on. I took the photos of us off of my refrigerator. I don’t want the world to know how happy we once were together. Moving on. I’m moving on.”

Calamity Magnet's debut EP is like a delicate stream of emotions that softly cascade into a serene clear pond. Radle has brought together a talented group of musicians who bring an arsenal of song-writing experience to the group. Earlier this month, Calamity Magnet just announced that they're heading out on their first U.S. tour which starts in June. But you can check them out before they head off when they perform May 7th at the Hotel Cafe. Check out www.myspace.com/calamitymagnet for more infor and to purchase their new EP. And go to our pics page HERE for more pictures from that night!

Here's a video from Calamity Magnet's EP release party at The Viper Room performing "Sleep it Off" from Sara Radle's solo EP People You've Been Before and "Figure it Out" fom their new EP.


Calamity Magnet performing "Sleep it Off"
video by 405east






Calamity Magnet performs "Figure it Out" from the new EP.
vid by 405east

Friday, April 25, 2008

MATHER LOUTH @ O'Briens


MATHER LOUTH
photo by picksYsticks


Last Thursday, MATHER LOUTH played a solo gig at O'briens Irish Pub in Venice. Mather still put on a great performance considering she played with a blown speaker and the room the stage was in was only separated by a curtain, enabling crowd noise from the bar to bleed in. With or without a band, Mather can still put on a hypnotizing show.

Mather Louth lists her influences as, “…memories of the desert…” and “…New York City…” And that’s how best to describe her - vast emptiness of the desert mixed in with complexities of a dark, nocturnal city. In such songs as “Marisel” and “ Parched” her sound and lyrics seeps a dark desire that hypnotizes you. Her voice? Sexy and mesmeric – like a narcotic of some sort.

Check out our last review of Ms. Mather Louth HERE! More pics of Mather Louth are in our pics page HERE.

UPCOMING SHOWS
May 7th -The Indoor Cafe in Burbank
May 17th - Canters' Kibitz Room

Sunday, April 20, 2008

PICKSY-NEWS

  • NOUSH SKAUGEN has her first ever music video out for “Adeline” and is quickly gaining momentum on youtube. Check out the video HERE. I’m really liking it! Click HERE to grab her cd which is dubbed the INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT EP OF THE YEAR.
  • Vote for GREAT NORTHERN who are nominated for The Deli Magazine's Artist of the Month. They're also up against THE RENTALS (Calamity Magnet's Sara Radle). Vote for both if you can at The Deli Magazine.
  • The 20th Season of MTV's The Real World: Hollywood premiered last week and had non-other than the wickedly cool music of the AUTOMATIC MUSIC EXPLOSION and THE MULHOLLANDS. Catch the entire premiere episode HERE and be sure to listen for A.M.E's "Generation" and The Mulhollands' "Malibu."
  • Speaking of the A.M.E., check out Venice the Menace, Southern California's coolest new rock scene. It features three cool vids of A.M.E. performing at Venice Rocks Night @ The Air Conditioned Supper Club. AAAAAND check out A.M.E.'s very own Jodie starring in her first commercial for O2 HERE. She's the rockin' girl towards the end.
  • Guitar Player Magazine recently posted a Web Preview of their 2008 Readers' Choice Awards and The Donnas' Allison Robertson won in the category of Best Female Guitarist. Congrats Allison!
  • Revolver Magazine has revealed their "Hottest Chicks in Metal" and Maria from IN THIS MOMENT was one of the chosen few! The June issue goes on sale this Tuesday! For a sneak peak, click HERE. Maria is the sexy blond in the last pic.
  • And my new favorite band FUJI MINX has won the IAC Golden Kayak Award for Best Alternative Pop Song for "But No No No." In addition to winning in that category, FM was honored by being inducted into the Legends of IAC which also holds Death Cab for Cutie, Pete Townsend and Juliette & the Licks as past honorees. Go to www.iacmusic.com for more info and listen to the winning song, "But No No No," by clicking HERE!
  • Learn to play drums from a real rock star! Drummer Chris Black of THE DOLLYROTS has announced that while home from tour, he will be giving drum lessons for the 'kiddies.' How freakin' cool is that, huh?!! First lesson? Hauling equipment to and from a van and then testing your endurance in an eight hour van ride to a gig with no bathroom breaks! Email Chris at chris@dollyrots.com for more info.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

MIDWAY @ Mr. T's Bowl


MIDWAY'S Kevin, Jonna and Emily
photo by PICKSYSTICKS


Ahhh--what a night!! Last Tuesday, the usual MIDWAY faithfuls came out to watch an electrifying set from the original 2002 line-up of Josh, Jason, Emily and Kevin for a one-night only reunion at Mr. T's Bowl, the very same place they first played six years ago. And performing in her very first gig on the mic was Jonna Mae who made her very first appearance with the band last December at El Cid.


MIDWAY'S Jonna and Emily
photo by PICKSYSTICKS


Hopefully these reunions won't be a yearly event. These guys are just too good not to play! Check out the rest of the photos from that night in our pics page HERE! And for more info, drop by MIDWAY'S myspace page at www.myspace.com/midway.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

MISS DERRINGER @ The Troubadour


Liz McGrath of Miss Derringer
photo by Picksysticks


Great show as usual from Miss Derringer. No matter how many times I go to their shows, I never get tired of seeing them. Just coming off their own tour ( a few opening up for BAD RELIGION at the House of Blues), Miss D played The Troubadour last Wednesday to a packed house.

Always a treat to hear their late-50's, country-outlaw inspired songs, Miss Derringer is made up of front-woman, Liz McGrath, Morgan Slade (rhythm guitar), Sylvain de Muizon (bass), Cody Cox (drums) and Lightin' Bill Woodcock (lead guitar). Rounding up the group are the sexy "Ghost Army Girls," Ricci and Aileene.

This night brought out Clem Burke of BLONDIE as a special guest on drums for the song, "Death Car Ride" who is also featured on Miss Derringer's newest album Lullabies which you can get right HERE!


Miss Derringer
photo by Picksysticks



Liz McGrath of Miss Derringer and The Ghost Army Girls
photo by Picksysticks



Miss Derringer's Liz McGrath and The Ghost Army Girls
photo by Picksysticks


There's more pics in our Myspace Pics Page HERE. Here's a cool video of Miss Derringer performing "Death Car Ride" featuring special guest, Clem Burke of BLONDIE. You can see more videos from that night at VanillaGrrl's YouTube Channel!


Miss Derringer performing "Death Car Ride."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

OMFG!!!!! THEY'RE BACK!!!



Click your way to their Myspace page for more info: www.myspace.com/midway

Read our last review and see pics of MIDWAY when they played the very last KISS OR KILL show right HERE!

Below are vids from 405east of their last appearance. Check 'em out to get a taste of MIDWAY. (At least we now know where KITT has been these past few years since leaving Michael Knight!)


Sienna of 'The Randies' performing 'Karate Chop' with MIDWAY


Cooper Gillespie of BANG SUGAR BANG singing 'Electricity' with MIDWAY

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

AUDRA MAE @ Genghis Cohen

Audra Mae
Audra Mae
photograph by PICKSYSTICKS

Usually, I’ll catch up listening to new music on Myspace, playing songs from new artists as I cook, do laundry or clean. And while doing my daily chores, I’ll hear a song that makes me stop and immediately go to my computer and replay the song and read up on the particular singer or band. Every so often, I’ll hear an artist that cuts to my very soul. Last week, this happened when a singer named Audra Mae came streaming through my speakers.

Described by most as a cross between Patsy Cline and Janis Joplin, its Mae’s weathered voice that distinctively stands out. Not since listening to a Nina Simone album for the first time have I reacted so deeply with an emotion so deep.

Audra Mae
Audra Mae
photo by PICKSYSTICKS

Growing up in Oklahoma, Audra Mae listened to the likes of Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Self-taught in guitar and piano Mae moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music career and was noticed one night by a Warner/Chappell rep who signed her to an artist development deal. Belonging to a fine lineage of great performers, Mae reportedly is the great-grandniece of Judy Garland, first cousin (twice removed) of Liza Minnelli and the great-granddaughter of Garland's big band leader, Bobby Sherwood.

It’s hard to believe, but for 24, Audra Mae’s voice bleeds with restrained heartbreak – something only those who have gone through a lifetime’s worth of heartache can only experience. Her songs are simple and bittersweet yet complex like a fine intricate web. You see, before watching her live, all I had heard were Mae’s songs from her myspace page. Most were sad ballads that were usually accompanied by a single instrument – either by the sounds of a delicate piano like in “Be Still” or by the whispers of a shy guitar as evidenced in “Turn Around.” And in a subtle tribute to her great aunt, Mae’s hypnotic voice in “Ruby Shoes” just captivates. Mae’s strengths rely on weaving inspiring melodies that express a tragic melancholy, proving that simplicity, to the point of near silence, can hold the purest of emotions.

So imagine my surprise Saturday night when I had the pleasure of watching Ms. Mae at her normal stomping ground, Genghis Cohen. Expecting a sad set of emotional music, what I got was a more upbeat acoustic-country-rock set. I was pleasantly surprised and even though I was looking forward to hearing the songs I became familiar with, I enjoyed these songs equally as much. If her songs are a sneak peek as to what is to come from Audra Mae then I am truly looking forward to her upcoming album.

AUDRA MAE
Next show: April 22 @ Hotel Cafe

Check out the rest of the pics of Ms. Mae at Genghis Cohen in our pics page HERE.