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..

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Official " City Lights " Video by Nikki & Rich

Nikki & Rich
Nikki & Rich performs at The Roxy.
picksysticks file photo

Here's the new video for Nikki & Rich's "City Lights" featuring Fabolous which was directed by Matt Alonzo and Kai Henry.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DOLLYROTS' NEW VIDEO FOR "ROLLERCOASTER"

The Dollyrots
The Dollyrots perform at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood.
photo by picksysticks


Here's The Dollyrots' new video for "Rollercoaster" off their latest album A Little Messed Up which was released last year. They're currently touring with Bowling For Soup and Patent Pending and return to SoCal when they play San Diego in July. Check right HERE for tour dates!


"Rollercoaster" by Dollyrots
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Monday, April 25, 2011

AMERICAN BLOOMERS @ The Hotel Cafe

Jane Sheldon, Jaime Wyatt & Jonathan Sheldon of American Bloomers
Jane Sheldon, Jaime Wyatt & Jonathan Sheldon of American Bloomers perform at The Hotel Cafe.
photo by picksysticks


Some California dreams never die. Sometimes they start strong, bring together other individuals with similar desires that together form a group with similar chemistry. They create an entirely new entity that is Jaime Wyatt of American Bloomersboth refreshing and unique, moving swiftly along, taking synchronized strides in rhythm with the stars on the boulevard. Then something happens. Life confronts them with obstacles of the unexpectant. The evil villain of worldly society enters into the equation to throw a detour in the intended path. Shit happens. Other callings arise. However, the unifying dreams and hopes keep them together, even though their journey soon falls to sitting on the back burner for a while.

American Bloomers happens to be one of these types California dreams. Now the band is back on the scene once again, long since simmering like a stew, now served hot with a brighter flavoring of extra spices to form a more robust taste that only time was able to create.

It was like their sound went from bar room brawl to show room shine, from stereo to surround sound, from a log cabin to a house on the hills. The main players are the same names, some of the songs are the same, but there has been dramatic growth and an obvious evolution to their sound. If you are unfamiliar with American Bloomers, past or present, their music is a vibrant California wildflower blend of rock without the thrash, country without the twang, with singer/songwriter soloists lifted to the power of three.


New music video for "Shamrock" by American Bloomers

Jaime Wyatt is still the front woman on guitar with her rough diamond vocals that now has an added polished sparkle. She not only strikes the emotions of tough struggles, but now a feeling of breaking through, reflects in her voice. The sandy grit of her voice is still evident, but with an added uplifting roundness of radiant hope. Like the sounds of a struggling artist with aAmerican Bloomers' Jane Sheldton history of bad times finally turned good, but still not truly able to release or escape her emotions from the past. A duality and depth as though she is sunshine still casting dark shadows.

Her spiced up guitar solos has turned into a burning hotness in itself. When it is her guitar’s time to shine, it flared up like gasoline thrown on an acoustic singer/songwriter steady candle flame. It is as if it suddenly screams, “Hell no! I’m not going to follow in steps with these acoustic guitars no longer! Set me free!” Wyatt lets it go, leaning and kneeling into it as though the instrument was attempting to pull her into the aching screams of the steel strings. Then she’d pull herself back up to the microphone, before the guitar solo could take over the song. She allows the instrument just enough spotlight time not to let it get an ego that would try to overwhelm the song. Guitar solos that explode with striking beauty that soon dissipates, keeping the solo in control and not letting it turn the song into a structure fire.

Jane Sheldon has a crisp choir vocal along with her acoustic guitar strumming and piano playing. She sounds of golden vibrancy. Wyatt delivers the dirt and gravel, tough road of trials voice, while Sheldon delivers the high hopes, butterflies fluttering between the blooming flowers and blue skies. It is an uplifting voice. She deliJonathan Sheldon of American Bloomersvers with a country vibe without the twang and heartache. There is an angelic, sunny side of California feel that she delivers and radiates.

Jonathan Sheldon delivers the sturdiness to the trio. He jams on the acoustic guitar as if he was Elvis rocking the stage, swinging and swaying it as though he was dancing and romancing the instrument with his hands and arms. His vocals deliver like a gunslinger, a quick draw of emotion and energy. It has a continuous bursting charm, much like his movement on guitar. There is no calm steadiness for a stool solo for him. There is a carefree energy about him, like he is rocking out beyond the others, in his own zone, like those people wearing headphones, dancing in their own, oblivious to the world. He has the voice of up-tempo pop.

The trio each adds a unique flavor to the band, like a good cup of coffee. Wyatt fills the dark coffee with an edge of bitter taste that is contrasted with the sugar sweet vocals of Jane Sheldon, along with the half-and-half smooth blend of John Sheldon to make the taste complete. American Bloomers is an aroma blend of lounge sounds with a highly caffeinated jolt. That would be the city view of their sound if one were not able to get out into the country to see that open field of California wildflowers in bloom bursting like fireworks over lush green.


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Sunday, April 24, 2011

REINA DEL CID is the "Library Girl"


Reina Del Cid
photo from Reina Del Cid's Facebook page


This just made my day today. Today's cool find comes from a talented singer/songwriter from Minnesota. Her name is Reina Del Cid. I stumbled on her video for her song, "Library Girl" has been getting tons of upvotes on a certain site . She's been around for awhile, making a name for herself in the world of YouTube where her videos have already been viewed nearly 5 million times! And I can see why. Her songs make me feel as though I'm hearing it for the first time before it's sent off to the recording studio and run through a sound mixer. It's stripped down and pure, balancing the line between innocence and vulnerablity. Huh? What the hell does that mean? Just listen and visit her YouTube channel for more amazing songs. On her latest vids released earlier this year, she teases something 'musical' coming up int he near future. Could this be an album by any chance? Cross your fingers!!


"Library Girl" by Reina Del Cid


"The Sound of You" by Reina Del Cid.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

WELL HUNG HEART COVERS EURYTHMICS!

Greta Valenti of Well Hung Heart
photograph by picksysticks
Hey guys. The news just keeps getting better for local favorites Well Hung Heart. They just reached the top of the charts on ReverbNation's local Alternative Charts for their controversial song, "The Music Made Me Do It." And check out this latest video from Well Hung Heart, featuring Greta Valenti and Robin Davey. Performing Eurythmic's "I Need You," the video was recorded live in a moving vehicle. Their recent EP, The Rehearsal Tapes, Vol. 1 is now available. This recent review says it all:
"I like everything about the Rehearsal Tapes EP. By leaving some simple mistakes and do-overs on the final copy, you can't miss the simple fact that these guys could just show the fuck up and melt faces...but the majority of this rock is a fucking limestone phallus inserted into the dainty vag that is most music released in 2011."
- SYFFL
"I NEED YOU"
Well Hung Heart
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

BE IN AMERICAN BLOOMERS' NEW VIDEO!

American Bloomers
American Bloomers
photo by picksysticks

Hey guys! One of our favorite bands are back and stronger than ever. It's been awhile since we last saw American Bloomers and now they're gearing to release their new record. This trio comprised of Jaime Wyatt, Jonathan Sheldon and Jane Sheldon are filming their new music video for their song, "Shamrock" at Tom Bergins in Hollywood this Sunday. Wanna be part of it? Just check out their flyer below. And you can check them out when they perform at The Hotel Cafe on April 15th! Here's what we had to say about them HERE!!

"Never Had The Chance" by American Bloomers

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Monday, April 4, 2011

GIRLS ROCK SXSW 2011

Joy Formidable
Joy Formidable performs SXSW.
photos by Steven Thomson

The Bangles
The Bangles
photo by StevenThomson


by Steven Thomson

South By Southwest is an event that every devout music should experience at least once in their life. In addition to being one of the world's great four-day street parties, SXSW is a chance to see and hear music of all genres from all over the world.

I recently attended my 20th SXSW and managed to catch 36 different shows over five days. It requires planniUMEng, proper logistics and the ability to be on your feet all day and most of the night.

In between catching performers from Mexico, Japan and Australia, I had a few chances to catch up with some of the brilliant musicians from the home of SXSW,Austin. If you have a chance to see Sahara Smith, Megafauna, Ugly Beats or Ume on tour, don't hesitate to catch them.

La SeraIn addition to showcases, SXSW is filled with free events. One of the largest is held in the parking lot of Waterloo Records, the best place in Austin to buy music and music related items. Waterloo hosted six or seven acts on each of the four days of SXSW.

It was at Waterloo that I was able to see Wild Flag, the new project that brings together former Sleater Kinney members Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss with Mary Timony of Helium. Wild Flag rocked out and will certainly satisfy fans of former bands.

Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman brought her solo project, La Sera, to Waterloo for a brief set of the band's engaging poppish sounds. La Sera played on an afternoon bill that also included the fabulous Dum Dum Girls and England's Joy Formidable, which got a great reception from the guitar playing antics of Ritzy Bryan.

Dum Dum Girls
Dum Dum GirlsDum Dum Girls
Dum Dum Girls performs SXSW.
photos by Steven Thomson

Dance pop sensation Oh Land! also played along with Baltimore duo Wye Oak.

Just about any store front, parking lot, club or back yard that could be set up to host music was pressed into service during SXSW. I went to a small parking lot in front of a strip mall clothing Sahara Smithstore to catch Chicago's Secret Colours, an outstanding psychedelic rock band that brought me back to the 60s.

Spider House combined with some other small businesses to put together four different stages. It did not take much effort to see long running Australian rock legends The Chevelles, Japanese indy pop duo Puffy Shoes and several others.

It took a bit more effort to get to a backyard party presented by Manhattan music outlet Other Music, but it was worth it to see Sharon Van Etten present a half-hour set from her oustanding new album.

Many acts who come to SXSW play multiple shows in addition to their scheduled showcase. Leslie Stevens played eight solo shows in addition to her showcase with her usual Los Angeles band, The Badgers. Stevens is immensely talented and is one of my favorite acts in the crowded So Cal scene.

Leslie Stevens
Leslie Stevens
photo by Steven Thomson

For fans of female fronted rock bands, showcases didn't come much better suited that a Thursday event hosted by Austin's Girls Rock Camp. Pop legends The Bangles headlined a five-act bill that included four younger bands. The show began with Shel, four classically trained sister from Fort Collins, Colorado. Sick of Sarah from Minneapolis and Austin's own Schmillion followed. My favorite of the night turned out to be Smoosh, a power pop band from Seattle that obviously learned a lot from bands such as the Bangles and Go-Go's.

Smoosh
Seattle's Smoosh at SXSW 2011
photograph by Steven Thomson


Wednesday took me on a tour of the variety of music that SXSW is best known for. Starting out with Gold Motel, the new pop project of former Hush Sound front person Greta Morgan. I then went to the world famous Antones, where Nicole Atkins turned in a spirited show that earned her praise from numerous sources such as Time Magazine, the New York Times and the LA Times.

One of my favorite shows took place at 1 a.m. at a small venue called Momo's. It was the first Texas show in more than a decade by Tracy Bonham, a Boston based musician best known as the vocalist and violin player for Blue Man Group. At Momo's, Bonham's set included seven songs from her remarkable new album, Masts of Manhatta. Bonham is one of the music industry's most underlooked talents and hopefully her shows at SXSW will give her career a kick start.

Wild FlagWild Flag
Wild Flag
photos by Steven Thomson

I have never watched a single episode of the reality TV show American Idol. I never cared for any of the musicians until I heard the debut album of Crystal Bowersox, whose lively mix of pop, country and humor is well suited for her voice. Bowersox played a great set at SXSW with new and older songs.

Another new songstress I happened to catch was Ximena Sarinana from Mexico. It was a combination of English and Latin pop, sung in both languages.

I also loved the Butts, a duo from Seattle featuring Rachel Ratner on guitar and vocals and Shannon Perry on drums. Their brief show mixed with short punk songs with bits of off color comedy. It was very engaging and proved that music need not be serious.

Suck Piggy
Suck Piggy
photo by Steven Thomson


Butts played at Headhunters, a venue so small it makes the Redwood seem spacious by comparison. Putting a lot of people into a small space turned watching a show into a contact sport for the Japanese quarter Suck Piggy. Billing themselves as "death punk," Suck Piggy's lead singer combined making a racket with attempts at crashing into members of the audience.

Cloud Control proved to be a lot more sedate, with keyboardist and vocalist Heidi Lenffer leading the Sydney, Australia quartet through some very engaging pop song.

River City Tanlines
River City Tanlines
photo by Steven Thomson


I have been a fan of the Memphis rock band River City Tanlines for more that a decade, so it was an easy decision to catch them again. Guitarist Alicja Trout was in great form, shouting out the punkish songs while playing great guitar licks.
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