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..

Friday, December 30, 2011

RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH BEST COAST AND WANDA JACKSON

Best Coast
Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino performs at Make Music Pasadena.
photo by picksysticks


No plans for New Year's? Join me. I'm heading out to ring in my new year with the Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson and California darlings Best Coast at Club Nokia.

Former Elvis girlfriend, Wanda Jackson was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was an early influence in the evolution of popular music, especially where female artists were concerned. She released her latest album, The Party Ain't Over earlier this year and has non-other than White Stripes' Jack White and Wanda performing a bad-ass rendition of Bob Dylan's "Thunder on the Mountain." Check out the official video below.


Thunder on the Mountain

Best Coast, in a recent interview, revealed their follow-up to their debut album Crazy For You is expected this summer and front-woman Bethany Cosentino is promising a more 'mature' album saying the lyrics will focus on how her life has changed since the band became successful. Here's hoping we'll be hearing some new songs tomorrow night! Happy New Year everyone. Here's to 2012.


"Our Deal" by Best Coast

MY MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUM FOR 2012: MR. DOWNSTAIRS

Mr. Downstairs

Boy! I can't wait for this album to come out from Mr. Downstairs. They just keep teasing me with snippets of songs, tease me with sporadic shows around L.A., tease me with their awesomeness. Puh-leeez just release the record already and end my suffering. Oh well...until then, here are some vids of songs (I hope) will be on the new album. This year, Mr. Downstairs, for me, was the highlight of this year's Van's Warped Tour in San Diego. They've officially released two singles "Legendary" and "Stranger Danger" earlier this year. You can purchase those songs right HERE on iTunes. And check this out. Mr. Downstairs has been nominated for Favorite Vans Girls Musical Performance from 2011. You can vote HERE. Polls end at midnight on Dec. 31st.



GOLDEN

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

MY MORNING CUP OF COFFEE SONG: LET'S BUY HAPPINESS

Let's Buy Happiness
Let's Buy Happiness

A friend of mine had this band's video up on his wall and I took a liking to it. They're called Let's Buy Happiness and they're from Newcastle, UK. Four guys and one gal equals sweetness to my ears. Their bio explains it nicely:

This barely legal 5 piece from Newcastle came together when twenty one year old Sarah Hall was asked to front her little brother’s band. Sarah joined brother James Hall (guitar), Graeme Martin (guitars), Mark Brown (bass) and James King (drums) and together Let’s Buy Happiness began to distil their mutual love of North American alt-indie bands such as Modest Mouse, Tokyo Police Club and Brand New into the polar tinged, aqueous ice blasts of sound that lift their songs into a host of near-celestial formations.



"Dirty Lakes" by Let's Buy Happiness
.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

HOLIDAY SONG OF THE DAY: SOME HEAR EXPLOSIONS

Some Hear Explosions' Ambre Leigh
Some Hear Explosions performs at The Roxy.
photo by picksysticks

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Now, it's time to clean up the wrapping paper and get some rest from all those yummy holiday treats I've been stuffing myself with all day. But just when I thought I finished unwrapping all my gifts...I check my email and find out I have one last gift from one of my favorite bands - Some Hear Explosions!! They just put their own S.H.E. spin on the classic holiday tune, "Little Drummer Boy" and are offering the song for FREEEEEE! Just click the link right HERE to download and listen to the sweet track below. Happy new year everyone!!

"Little Drummer Boy" from Some Hear Explosions
.

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Morning Coffee Break song: MonAnnLisa Wilde

MonAnnLisa Wilde


Hey guys, you gotta listen to this. Her name is MonAnnLisa Wilde and she's from Sydney, Australia but was born in the Ivory Coast. Drawing comparisons to Faith No More, Pink and Avril Lavigne, her debut single, "Last Time I Saw U On Facebook" is catchy as hell. It's an interesting song about what happens to your online social presence when you pass to the next life. Her debut album of the same name was recorded over a 14-month period and she's backed by an energetic band consisting of Marcos Gil (Bass), James Lebios (Lead Guitar), Sandra Lie (Rhythm) and James Mirza (Sticks). Anyways, you can download her single in iTunes right HERE. And while you're checking that out, have a listen at "Shibuya," another one of my favs.


"Last Time I Saw U On Facebook" by MonAnnLisa Wilde
.

HOLIDAY SONG OF THE DAY: DOLLYROTS' "MESSED UP XMAS"

Dollyrots
Dollyrots perform at the Knitting Factory (Hollywood)!!

Here's a little gem from the coolest band EVER!! The Dollyrots recorded this Christmas song last year as a contest where lyrics were suggested by the fans and this video is the result. You can download the track for free right HERE.

Currently, The Dollyrots are working on their fourth full-length album after a successful Kickstarter fundraiser. And we're going to get a whole new look to The Dollyrots in 2012 with the new addition of drummer Alicia Warrington. If you hadn't heard, Chris Black left the band in November to pursue other interests. Anyways, they just posted a snippit of a new song and introduced Alicia on their YouTube page. Check it you, yo!


"Messed Up Xmas" by The Dollyrots
.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NEW VIDEO: UH HUH HER'S "Debris"


Uh Huh Her perform at The House of Blues Hollywood.
photo by picksysticks

Uh Huh Her just premiered their new video for "Debris" on NylonMag.com. The song is from their Nocturnes album which was released in October. You can purchase that album at the links below:

Get 'Nocturnes' here: http://www.uhhuhher.com/site/store
Download 'Nocturnes' on iTunes: http://bit.ly/q09YIP



"Debris" by Uh Huh Her.
.

FREE EP DOWNLOAD FROM RACHEL PLATTEN

Rachel Patten
Rachel Patten
photo by Shervin Lainez


Just in time for the holidays, New York-based singer Rachel Platten is giving out a Noisetrade EP for free. The EP features 3 songs off her newest album Be Here which includes her hit song "1,000 Ships." The song has been getting heavy rotation on Hot AC Radio and SiriusXM.

There's also a special acoustic version of "1,000 Ships" plus her rendition of "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch." You can download the EP for free off her official website right HERE.

Rachel heads out on tour with Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade street performer turned superstar Andy Grammer and Ryan Star next month. SoCal peeps can catch her at The House of Blues (San Diego) on January 13th and then at the House of Blues (Anaheim) on January 14th.


"1,000 Ships" by Rachel Platten
.

HOLIDAY SONG OF THE DAY: PRETENDERS' "2000 MILES"

This has to be one of my favorite Christmas songs of all-time. It was a b-side here in the US but released as a single in the UK where it rose to the top of the charts. It's believed the song is about two lovers spending Christmas apart. Happy Holidays everyone!!!

"2000 Miles" by the Pretenders.
.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HOLIDAY SONG OF THE DAY: BULLET AND SNOWFOX COVERS THE WAITRESSES


Happy Holidays people!! It's been a super busy week, trying to complete my shopping before this weekend. Ugh!! But listening to this has put a smile on my face and reminded me of why I love this time of year. In the spirit of the holiday season Los Angeles based Bullet & Snowfox has put their very own spin my favorite Christmas song and a holiday cult classic tune, "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses. You can download the tune for free here: http://soundcloud.com/bulletandsnowfox/christmas-wrapping-the


Bullet & Snowfox covers "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses
.

Santa Monica's 3rd St. Promenade Breeds Future Stars

Ready Set Go!
Regulars on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, Ready Set Go! just signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records.

It looks as though Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade is the place to be if you're a singer and are looking to catch that big break into showbiz. Just this past year, "buskers" or street performers singing on this famous stretch of pedestrian walk-way has been garnering some national attention with their music.

Just three blocks from the beach and the pier, hundreds if not thousands of people shop on this four-block stretch of shops, restaurants, coffee houses and movie theaters. So it's most likely that a A&R rep or agent will be shopping or having a business lunch or dinner and hear the echoes of the next big thing. Who needs to try out for American Idol or X-Factor when you can sing on the Promenade? And it's not surprising to spot a celebrity shopping. I, personally, have seen the Aerosmith frontman and current 'Idol' judge Steven Tyler having dinner and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger riding his bike or reading at the magazine stand. I've seen Dylan McDermott, Cheryl Hines and JJ Abrams do their holiday shopping there. Not far from where The People's Court tape their stand-ups with Harvey Levin, Hey Monday recently made an appearance at Hot Topic at the end of the mall.

Chelsea Williams

Chelsea Williams' national Chevy Cruz commercial.

Just this past month, singer/songwriter Chelsea Williams, a regular on 3rd Street has been featured on the Chevrolet Cruz's commercial singing the Travie McCoy/Bruno Mars hit song "Billionaire." Try walking a mile in her shoes and it's hard to imagine that she performs on the street for a living. Selling over 50,000 CDs on her own, she's made fans literally one step at a time. Just head over to 3rd Street one weekend and if you happen to catch her playing, then notice the amount of times people basically stop shopping and listen. Performing a blend of covers and original songs, Chelsea's simple and catchy melodies highlights her silky, weathered voice.


Darren Criss performs on Third Street Promenade.
vid by TkmasJoanna

Earlier this year, Glee star Darren Criss surprised fans by performing on Third Street. To my surprise, he released his EP Human in 2010 and was singing songs off that album. And remember Q'orianka Kilcher? She was discovered singing on the Promenade and was signed not by a record label but a Hollywood agent. She starred alongside Taylor Momsen and Jim Carrey in "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and was Pocahontas in "The New World" starring Colin Farrell and Christian Bale.


"The New World" starring Colin Farrell and Q'Orianka Kilcher


Q'Orianka Kilcher performs on Third Street Promenade.
vid by chpnlzt

Last year, another regular busker, Andy Grammer signed a recording contract with S-Curve Records (distributed by Universal Music Group) and just released his self-titled debut album, working with the likes of Matt Wallace (Maroon 5) and Dave Katz and Sam Hollander (Gym Class Heroes). His first single "Keep Your Head Up" has been watched by over 3 million people on YouTube and he recently announced he'll be heading out on his first headlining tour in 2012.


Andy Grammer returns to Santa Monica to perform on the Promenade.

Now, 3rd Street Promenade seems to have worked its magic again. One of my favorite bands playing on the Third Street, Ready Set Go! has just announced (via Facebook) that they just signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records.

Ready Set Go, a foursome, made up of siblings Sydney, Jamie, Noah and Graham wrap their playful, bouncy arrangements of indie-pop tunes with catchy melodies, evoking the soaring sounds of Hey Monday. But unlike the pre-packaged pre-teen bands who sound over-rocked or look over-punked, Ready Set Go aren't pretending to be something they're not. They may be young, but there is no denying their musical talents. They write their own songs that showcase Sydney's confident and seasoned vocals that sound wise beyond her years. She leads this wholesome-pop band that shines without the flashiness. The infectious "IPOD," or the ballad-y "3000 miles" and the synth-popper "Stop Messing With My Heart" are catchy stand-outs which are sure to appeal to all ages.


photo via Ready Set Go! Facebook

Their father, who usually watches from a distance explains that since normal 'gigs' in venues hardly pay or pay very little, playing on Third Street allows the kids to make a little extra cash to pursue their dreams. So every so often, they'll make the drive to Santa Monica to perform a handful of sets in front of shoppers on this famous strip.

Check out their YouTube channel, consisting of original songs and covers of pop hits such as Jessie J's "Price Tag" and Eminem and Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie" which has amassed over 2 million views. Along with playing venues all over Los Angeles, Ready Set Go has already toured the country performing on major stages such as FishFest 2010 and playing high schools across the country for the Milk Rocks tour.


Ready Set Go! cover Jessie J's "Price Tag"

.

Monday, December 19, 2011

TIC TIC BOOM @ The Viper Room

Tic Tic Boom
Tic Tic Boom performs at The Viper Room
photo by picksysicks


Mix the early punk sounds of the Go-Go's and then add the moody infectious melodies of O.M.D. The result? You get the girl-powered, indie pop sounds of Tic Tic Boom.
Leilani Francisco of Tic Tic Boom
Tic Tic Boom has been having a big year so far and they ended their year on a high note by playing their last show of 2011 at The Viper Room sponsored by SUPERGOODMUSIC with an Ugly Sweater themed show. But nothing about this past year was ugly for this Los Angeles-based quartet. With the release of their EP Reasons and Rhymes at the start of the year, Tic Tic Boom has been the buzz of the town with their electro-pop ambience loaded with a vintage 80s vibe.

Comprised of Leilani Francisco (vocals, keys), Mike Delay (guitar), Matt Gurgol (bass) and new drummer Trevor Hunnicutt, Tic Tic Boom's 5-track EP overflows with saturated textures that free-floats over inventive harmonies. "180 Degrees" is a glittery, slow turning disco ball ballad, "Floodgate" evokes Belinda Carlisle-esque's vocals delivered over aerial guitars while "Pattern" and "Just Friends" sets sparkling synths over soaring choruses.

Tic Tic Boom
Tic Tic Boom performs at The Viper Room
photo by picksysicks

Watching them perform at The Viper Room, Tic Tic Boom proves they can write infectious songs that will hold on to you long after you've listened to them, taking you back when the world felt like one big John Hughes movie. Their EP, which I purchased on iTunes right HEEEERE is on a constant loop on my iPod. And with 2011 coming to an end, 2012 looks to be bright for this young energetic band. Currently, they're already working on their new EP which drops early next year. You can help them out by donating to their Pledge Music page and receive some great and cool exclusives.


"Just Friends" by Tic Tic Boom
vid by CaliforniaKerry
.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

AUDRA MAE AND THE ALMIGHTY SOUND ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM

Audra Mae
Audra Mae performs at The Hotel Cafe
photo by picksysticks


I remember how blown away I was listening to Audra Mae for the first time four years ago. Self-taught on the guitar and piano, Audra Mae grew in Oklahoma and moved west seven years ago to pursue her dreams. Since then, she had secured a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell, sang the theme song "Forever Young: on the FX's Sons of Anarchy and even wrote Susan Boyle's "Who I Was Born to Be" off Susan Boyle's best-selling album I Dreamed a Dream which sold over 9 million units. Last month, she released her debut album with her new band The Almighty Sound that includes Joe Ginsberg (stand-up bassist), Jarrad Kritzstein (guitar), Frank Pedano (pianist), Kiel Fehercame (drums), Brent Kyle (back-up vocalist) and Chelsea Butts (Audra's sister).

Here's what we said back then:
"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... Audra 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."
Now, Audra Mae and her band The Almighty Sound is gearing up for their February 14th release of their self-titled full-length album which was produced by country super-star Deana Carter. You can listen to the first single, "The Real Thing" right below. And here's a fun fact - it was co-written by Jackie Tohn of Bravo's Platinum Hit. If you can't wait until the February 14th for the album to come out, you can get it digitally a week earlier by pre-ordering the album her site HERE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

NEW EP: THE SHOELACES by THE SUBMARINES

Blake Hazard of The Submarines
The Submarines' Blake Hazard
photo by picksysticks


Just in time for the holidays. Our favorite L.A. duo, The Submarines, are digitally releasing The Shoelaces EP on December 20th on Nettwerk Records. New songs as well as new renditions of older favorites will be included in this six-track EP. You can pre-order The Shoelaces EP at The Submarines’ online store right HERE. Until then, you can stream two songs from the album below!

Their next Los Angeles show will take place at The El Rey this upcoming February 22nd supporting Ra Ra Riot!

Monday, December 12, 2011

NEW VIDEO: YOU SAY FRANCE & I WHISTLE'S "WHEN LOVERS DIE"

You Say France and I Whistle
You Say France and I Whistle
photo by CALEB EIKE SMITH

I can't get enough of this band from Sweden. You Say France & I Whistle just released their new video for "When Lovers Die" off their soon-to-be-released album Angry Men. The video which exclusively premiered on myvideo.de reminds me of how fun this band is. Trading vocal duties are Ida, Patrik and Claes and looks like they shot their video during their first U.S. tour at Los Angeles' Culture Collide and New York's CMJ Music Marathon last October. Check out the video below and get ready to dance.


You Say France & I Whistle -- When Lovers Die - MyVideo

Here's a beautiful acoustic version of "When Lovers Die" performed by YSF&IW at a Hamburg radio station.




Friday, December 9, 2011

MY MORNING COFFEE BREAK SONG: MADELINE'S "Hurry Up Pronto"


Madeline

What better way to start my morning cup of coffee than to listen to new Riot Act! artist Madeline. And since it's Friday, what better way to count down the hours until the weekend than to listen to "Hurry Up Pronto" by Madeline. It's off her latest album Black Velvet which she released earlier this year.

Now, Madeline is set to release B-Sides on January 3rd which is a collection of favorites, rarities and previously unreleased songs left off of her earlier albums. You can pre-order B-Sides here on This Will Be Our Summer Records.




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

KATE CRASH @ ECHOPLEX

Kate Crash
Kate Crash performs at Echoplex
photo by picksysticks


Friday night, the spark-plug of a singer, Kate Crash, assaulted the Echoplex using every bit of the stage during her electrifying performance.

Compared as Iggy meets Bowie with sick dance moves, Kate Crash is better described as 'controlled chaos.' Onstage, she colorfully paces the stage like a caged animal wanting to break free, grabbing your attention with dramatic flourish while injecting you with laced doses of glam-rock and clobbering dance beats.

Kate Crash
Kate CrashKate Crash
Kate Crash opens up for Girl in a Coma at the Echoplex.
photos by picksysticks


Recently signed to Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records, the LA-based singer just released her debut EP My Zombie Nation. In it, she bursts open her blinged-out music box and injects torching guitars on “Generation of the Bored” and "Ain't Got Much" then lavishes with razzle-dazzle melodic landscaping on songs like “SAWAGO” and "Yummi and the Sound." But it’s her stadium-ready, rock-anthem “Walk My Own Way ,” which was released as a single earlier this year, that makes you want to rebel and pump your fists in the air singing, "I don't care what they say, I'll do it my way. I don't care what they think. 'Cause I'm the real thing!" And with that, you begin to realize there's a reason behind all this madness that is Kate Crash.

Kate Crash performs again tomorrow night (Dec. 8) during the LA Downtown ARTWALK at The Hive Gallery and then at The Factory on December 21st. Both are FREEEEE.


Official video for "Walk My Own Way" by Kate Crash.
.

LISA D'AMATO WINS AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL ALL-STARS

Lisa D'Amato wins America's Next Top Model All-Stars
Lisa D'Amato performs at Facelift LA in 2008.
photo by picksysticks


Controversial fifth-season contestant, model-singer-actress, Lisa D'Amato took home the prize as she won the very first America's Next Top Model: All-Star edition. With the new crown, D'Amato wins a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl, a spread in Vogue Italia, an Express fashion campaign, becoming the face of America's Next Top Model perfume and the opportunity to be a correspondent on Extra. Watch the announcement below.




Meet your new winner - Lisa D'Amato

.

Friday, December 2, 2011

NEW ALBUM: The Dø's "Both Ways Open Jaws"

Olivia Merilahti of The Dø
Olivia Merilahti of The Dø performs at The Bootleg Theater last year.
photo by picksysticks


The Dø is everything in between, balancing between pop, rock and sometimes bordering rap and folk-rock. Mix all these ingredients together and you get The Dø. Their first English album, aptly titled, "A Mouthful" released last year pulled from all genres of music and included the hypnotic, trance-inducing "On My Shoulders." They were the first French act to score a #1 record in France with an album sung in English. Often compared to artists like Feist, Lykki Li, MIA and Robyn, they just released their second album, Both Ways Open Jaws that has critics singing it praises as ..."A late contender for album of they year" by The London Times and a critic from the Daily Telegraph wrote "Dø are the first French band I've ever heard who are actually brilliant." Check out their vidoe for the their single "Too Insistent" below.


"Too Insistent" by The Do
.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CHRIS BLACK LEAVES THE DOLLYROTS


The Dollyrots perform at Knitting Factory Hollywood.
photo by picksysticks

News from The Dollyrots world. Today, it was announced that drummer Chris Black has decided to leave the band and move on to his next adventure. Here's his statement:

“My time with The Dollyrots has been the most amazing opportunity to follow my passion for music, but I have decided to move on to the next great adventure that life has in store for me. I am going to miss this band and its fans greatly and want to thank everyone for the support over these past five years.”

You can read the entire statement from Kelly, Luis and Chris on their website right HERE.

Of course, The Dollyrots are currenlty in the studio recording their new album. Stay tuned for more details.


Here's the video for "Rollercoaster" by the Dollyrots.
.

KIMBRA "SETTLES DOWN" TO iTUNES' VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Kimbra
Kimbra's hit single "Settle Down" is iTunes' video of the week.

New international newcomer Kimbra’s new hit video for the single “Settle Down” has been selected as iTunes’ video of the week. The 21-year-old from New Zealand just released her debut album Vows in September and quickly became certified gold. “Settle Down” was released as the title track of her US EP which was released digitally last month. And she recently took home five ARIA Awards (the Australian version of the Grammys) last weekend including "Best Female," "Song of the Year" and "Best Video." Currently Kimbra is recording songs for her Warner Bros. Records debut album scheduled to drop in the Spring/Summer of 2012.


"Settle Down" by Kimbra
.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

HOLIDAY SONG OF THE DAY: VERSAEMERGE COVERS "SANTA BABY"

VersaEmerge
VersaEmerge's Sierra Kusterbeck performs during Vans Warped Tour
photo by picksysticks


Release the Kraken! As Christmas fast approaches, get ready for the wave holiday tunes to fill your Facebook wall and twitter feeds. Today's tune comes from VersaEmerge as they put their awesome spin on "Santa Baby" which becomes available on iTunes December 20th.


VersaEmerge sings "Santa Baby."
.

Monday, November 28, 2011

HEY MONDAY STREAMING NEW HOLIDAY EP

Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday
Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday.
photo by picksysicks


Check out the Cassadee Pope AND Hey Monday Band Page! This past week, they've been posting snippets of new songs off their new holiday EP which drops December 6th. Click HERE to listen to clips of "Holy Night" and "Without You."

And just because, here's their video for "How You Love Me Now."


.

NEW ALBUM from SLOW CLUB is "PARADISE"

Slow Club
Slow Club are Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson.

Slow Club, hailing from Sheffield, England, has just released their new official video for "If We're Still Alive," which is off their new album, Paradise, which is out now. For you "Chuck" fans out there, you might have recognized their song, "Christmas TV" which was used on the season 2 finale in 2009.


Slow Club - If We're Still Alive on MUZU.
"If We're Still Alive" by Slow Club
.

My Morning Coffee Break song: bÉLA

Bela
Bela
photo by Mark Maryanovich

Here's a new artist I've been listening to this morning. Her name is bÉLA, currently residing in Los Angeles. Classically trained on the piano, Bela began singing as a way to boost her confidence. She recorded her first album in 2007 and began touring all over the world, reaching the top of the charts and receiving accolades throughout Portugal and Spain - even getting invited to represent Portugal at last year's MTV Europe Awards in Madrid, Spain. While winning the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, Bela was getting airplay on Los Angeles' World Famous KROQ by non other that the Mayor of Sunset Strip himself - Rodney Bingenheimer. Currently, she's working on her sophomore album set to be released soon.

Below is the video for "Do You Care" off her debut album ...The Death of GypsyX.


"Do You Care" by Bela
.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NEW EP: GOLD PARTS by CRISTINA BAUTISTA

Cristina Bautista
Cristina Bautista

Cristina Bautista is 24. She's from Seattle. She writes her own songs and recently released an EP. Unlike other singers of her age singing lush pop songs, Bautista's songs evoke world-weary emotions delivered with confident, mature vocals. Listen to "Utopia," "Heartless" and "The Cyrkle (Champion.)" Soul-finding and overcoming hardships are central themes to Gold Parts, a six-track EP released last September from Local 638 Records. The EP gives us deceptively addictive songs that's more rock than pop and features Bautista going from suffering to power-rock vocals in a single breath. Gold Parts has been described as "...proudly confessional, Cristina's voice is sweet and openly hopeful before a backdrop of driving beats, gritty guitars and the occasional flood of ornate strings. At once familiar and refreshing, the songs are an invitation to find the glowing voltage beneath your own feet and grow old enough to be young."

You can purchase her EP Gold Parts right HERE!


The Cyrcle (Champion) by Cristina Bautista

.

KERMIT AND DEBBIE HARRY'S "RAINBOW CONNECTION"



I just had to post this. With The Muppets movie hitting theaters tomorrow (November 23rd), just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, a lot of sites are posting their top musical moments from the show. Here's one of my favorites - a duet with Kermit and Debbie Harry singing the Oscar-nominated song "Rainbow Connection."

If you remember, earlier this year, a compilation album, Muppets: The Green Album, was released which included new versions of Muppet classics performed by contemporary rock and alternative artists which included a new rendition of the tune sung by Weezer and Paramore's Hayley Williams.


"Rainbow Connection"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

WILD FLAG on "Sound Opinions" @ WBEZ.ORG



Here's a very cool show. Dubbed the only rock and roll talk show, "Sound Opinions," based in Chicago is hosted by rock critics and features exclusive interviews and live performances. Wild Flag was recently a guest and this is what they had to say about the Pacific Northwest group:

Excerpt rom "Sound Opinions" -
"...Wild Flag break through this malaise with an infectious style and swagger that's hard to deny. Our resident music critic Jim DeRogatis gave their debut album four out of four stars calling it "not only one of the year’s strongest albums, but one of the strongest and most promising debuts in recent memory." The band builds up from '70s guitar rock like Television and adds elements of Motown girl groups, math rock and garage punk to build memorable pop songs..."


Click HERE or go to WBEZ.org to read the rest of the article and watch more of their live set including "Romance,"Black Tiles" and the unreleased song "Nothing."
.

AMY MAY'S NEW TREEHOUSE SERIES

Amy May
Amy May

Today, Amy May, who regularly performs on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade began a YouTube video series called "Songs From The Treehouse." In the series, Amy will be singing original songs as well as covers. Check out her first offering - "Open," an original song.


Amy May performs "Open."
.

Monday, November 14, 2011

NOTHING TO DO TONIGHT? Watch So & So @ The Viper Room

Amie Miriello of So and So Amie Miriello of So and So
Amie Miriello of So & So plays The Viper Room tonight.
photos by picksysticks


From The Viper Room:
SO & SO can do just about anything. Whether they’re conjuring dreamy pop harmonies or sliding through soulful beats, the Los Angeles sextet stirs up a sound that’s both heartfelt and hypnotic. On their forthcoming debut album ASAP, SO & SO don’t worry about the status quo. They don’t pander to prototypical pop conventions. They don’t write with the radio in mind, but they do create songs that might just make you listen a little closer.

Also playing tonight at The Viper Room? Harsh White Light, Hell City Rockers and The Vintage Tuesday. Doors open at 7:30 and So & So hits the stage at 8:00.


"Broke" by So & So.
.



THE SHAKERS' CD RELEASE PARTY @ The Viper Room

Jodie Schell of The Shakers
Jodie Schell of The Shakers
photo by picksysticks


I LOVE THE SHAKERS! So goes the catch phrase from devoted fans of The Shakers. So when the four-piece band with roots in Los Angeles and Philadelphia released their highly anticipated full-length debut album, Oh So Loud!, devoted fans showed up in full force at sold-out Viper Room.

Jodie Schell of The Shakers Chris Lee of The Shakers
The Shakers (Jodie Schell & Chris Lee).
photo by picksysticks


The Shakers, consisting of lead-singer Jodie Schell, Chris Lee (guitar), Nick Woods (drums), and newly acquired Blane Barker (bass) are quickly building a reputation for their high energy shows, proving they can go from face-pounding, in-your-face rock to a slow-burning, jazzy flavor and back again, holding your attention while unleashing their volcanic rock.

Oh So Loud, their follow up to their 2010 EP, nods to the soulful sounds of Motown, evoking sultry coos from Schell on "Right Now" and "Real Fast Plane," to the booming, high-octane rawness of pure rock'n'roll in "It's Me" and "Gimme Honey." Oh So Loud is a rousing debut that flourishes with each track. There's no mistaking the talent in the group's rich performance.

The Shakers just wrapped up their East Coast tour and return to play back in Los Angeles on December 9th when they play the Irish Times Pub in Culver City. You can purchase Oh So Loud! on iTunes right HERE.

Below is an awesome video taken earlier this year of The Shakers performing "It's Me" and "Right Now."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

ELIZA DOOLITTLE'S SONG "ROLLERBLADES" IN NEW PRIUS V COMMERCIAL

Eliza Doolittle
Eliza Doolittle


From BBC Music:
Eliza Sophie Caird (born 15 April 1988), better known by her stage name Eliza Doolittle, is an English singer–songwriter from London, who signed to the Parlophone record label in October 2008. Her debut self-titled album, Eliza Doolittle was released on 12 July 2010, where it debuted at number 3 in the UK. Since the album's release, Doolittle has spawned two top 25 hits, including "Skinny Genes" and "Pack Up", which debuted within the top 5 on the UK Singles Chart.

Recently, her song "Rollerblades" off her self-titled album, Eliza Doolittle, released last April in the States has been featured in the new Toyotal Prius V commercial. Check it out below!


Introducing a Prius with more cargo space. And more ways to connect to your world. Meet the all-new Toyota Prius v at http://www.toyota.com/priusv


"Rollerblades" by Eliza Doolittle.
.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Pop Tarts Commercial feat. "Different" from Ximena Sariñana

Ximena Sariñana
Ximena Sariñana performs during Culture Collide last month.
photo by picksysticks


Wow. Watching TV, I just saw another commercial with a familiar song. It's the new Pop Up Pop Tarts Joylicious commercial with that catchy tune and the cute pink critters. Although the sample was pretty short, I recognized the song as the intro to "Different" by Ximena Sariñana off her new second album - her first with English lyrics.

She just announced her first headlining US tour which began this month. A recent full page feature in The New York Times praised her new album. A Grammy nominee, Ximena is well known in Mexico as an actress. Musically, her playful synths and catchy tunes inject flavors of her homeland like in her first single "Different" which she co-wrote with Rancid's Tim Armstrong.


Pop Tarts Joylicious Commercial featuring "Different" by Ximena Sarinana.


Ximena Sarinana performs "Different."

.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NEW VIDEO: "LEGENDARY" BY MR. DOWNSTAIRS

Mr. Downstairs
Mr. Downstairs during a recent performance at Club Moscow at Boardner's.
photo by picksysicks


Today, Mr. Downstairs released their first official music video for "Legendary." So far, the Los Angeles indie-pop band has released two singles - "Stranger, Danger" and "Legendary," but it's the latter that gets the first video treatment. Currently working on the first EP, Mr. Downstairs, consisting of Asia Whiteacre, Dani Artaud, Jake Johnson, Dre Smith and Chase Meyer premiered the video on Buzznet and to celebrate the premiere, Buzznet teamed up with Vans Girls to give away a signed Mr. Downstairs poster, Vans Sunglasses, Vans Endeavor Booties and a Buzznet t-shirt. Head over to Buzznet right HERE for details and to check out the behind-the-scenes making of "Legendary."

"Legendary" by Mr. Downstairs.
.

Also check out:
Mr. Downstairs @ Vans Warped Tour (San Diego)
Mr. Downstairs @ Club Moscow at Boardner's
.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NEW CHEVY COMMERCIAL FEATURES CHELSEA WILLIAMS SINGING "Billionaire"

Chelsea Williams
Chelsea Williams performs on Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade
photo by picksysticks


How cool is this? LA local Chelsea Williams is featured in the new Shine 2012 Chevrolet Cruze commercial singing the Travie McCoy/Bruno Mars hit song "Billionaire." Most likely, you've already heard of Chelsea or even seen her perform on the streets of Los Angeles. Chelsea makes her living busking or performing in such places as Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade and Universal's City Walk.

Chelsea's voice is hypnotic and her rock lullaby songs? Infectious. Try walking a mile in her shoes and it's hard to imagine that she performs on the street for a living. For over three years, four days a week, Chelsea has been carrying her own P.A. system, pushing it through parking garages, setting up and dismantling her gear, three or four times a day. Selling over 50,000 CDs on her own, she's made fans literally one step at a time. Just head over to 3rd Street one weekend and if you happen to catch her playing, then notice the amount of times people basically stop shopping and listen. Performing a blend of covers and original songs, Chelsea's simple and catchy melodies highlights her silky, weathered voice.

This new commercial, which began airing earlier this month, shows Chelsea performing in different cities and locations such as a coffee shop, down in the subway and in a laundromat. Check out the new commercial below.


From reaching from the stars to becoming one, Chevy runs deep and will be with you throughout your journey

Chelsea Williams singing "Huckleberry Sky" on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

And here's a behind the scenes interview with Ms. Chelsea Williams herself.

.

LISTEN: JOY FORMIDABLE'S "ENDTAPES" FROM BREAKING DAWN SOUNDTRACK

Joy Formidable
Joy Formidable performs at The El Rey last September.
photo by picksysticks


Today, the soundtrack for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1" drops and we finally got to hear Joy Formidable's new track "Endtapes" and it pretty much rocks. You can purchase the cd on iTunes HERE or on Amazon right HERE! The movie hits theaters on November 18th.

"Endtapes" by Joy Formidable
.

NEW 'SMART' VIDEO FROM GIRL IN A COMA

Girl in a Coma
Phanie Diaz (drums), Nina Diaz (vocals/guitar), Jenn Alva (bass)
Photo by Josh Huskin


Currently on a 33-city tour, Girl in a Coma just released their fourth studio album, Exits and All the Rest on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records and is already getting rave reviews. NPR says the album sounded like "Desert landscapes, punk rock and a little bit of desperation," while Spinner cites their first single, "Smart" as "taking Morrissey-like inflections and inserting them into a girl-group setting. The result is a fantastic pop performance with a super-catchy hook, new-wave change-ups and chillingly calculated vocals..."

Check out the new video for the single "Smart" off their new album Exits and All the Rest below. And you can catch the Austin, Texas natives when they stop by the Echoplex on December 2nd.


"Smart" by Girl in a Coma
.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

THE MULHOLLANDS @ Betsey Johnson Boutique (Santa Monica)

The Mulhollands and Betsey Johnson
The Mulhollands and Betsey Johnson
photo by picksysticks


With the American Film Market (AFM) in town, the 3rd Street Promenade was full of people shopping, eating and enjoying the Southern California weather. It was also a beautful day to enjoy some great music especially at The Betsey Johnson boutique store in Santa Monica Place where the designer herself made a special appearace - her first visit to Los Angeles in five years. And to kick it all off, local favorites The Mulhollands performed outside for the day's events that included treats from Lil Rae Cakes, a DJ set by DJ Sis and gift bags to the first 150 fans.

The Mulhollands


The Mulhollands, who released their debut album OH MY! earlier this year are one of the hardest working bands in Los Angeles, playing gigs nightly all over town and even getting the stamp of approval from The Mayor of Sunset Strip himelf, Rodney Bingenheimer. Influenced by the pop/punk sounds of Bondie and the attitude of Joan Jett, The Mulhollands debut album conjures up a dreamy, romanticized Los Angeles that gives you that soaring feeling as if you're high above the hills of Mulholland Drive. If you're not familiar with the group, check out the making of Oh My! below from bass player Jeff Mizushima.


The Making of Oh My! from The Mulhollands


"We Are Children" by The Mulhollands

Also check out:


.