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.


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


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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Lelia Broussard
Lelia Broussard at a recent stop to The Hotel Cafe.
photo by picksysticks

Let’s get this face on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine! Local singer, Lelia Broussard is duking it out with The Sheepdogs as one of the finalist in Rolling Stones cover contest. Over half a million votes were cast for 16 unsigned artists vying for the chance to be on the cover of Rolling Stone and to win a contract with Atlantic Records. You can vote now through July 1st with the winner of the contest being announced on the August 1st episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where the winner will make their live television debut on the show. And the cover will be revealed on the August 18th issue of the mag. So let’s win this for Lelia!!!

Lelia Broussard

Broussard recently stopped by The Hotel Café and performed songs off her latest album, Masquerade which has become one of my new favorite albums. Lelia played an intimate acoustic solo set, showcasing a collection of fun pop/rock songs mixed in with some soulful ballads. In her new album, it feels as though Lelia is singing 'our' story, a familiar universal theme we all share and, like a middle chapter of a book, Masquerade is a journey with no beginning or end.

Official "Masquerade" video by Lelia Broussard.
Video Directed by Molly Green and James Lefler.

Whether it be Lelia singing "Put your tail between your legs, Tell me what you really mean, You never say what you really mean" in her title track "Masquerade," or "Shoot for the Moon" about someone in your life holding you down, these are all familiar themes we can all attest to and Lelia taps those emotions perfectly. Just listen to "Armor on My Heart," a soulful ballad that highlights her vulnerable vocals but yet has the fiery resolve in her voice as she sings, "I don't cry too much these days, I don't have to lie when I say, Honey I don't love you anymore, I still wear my battle scars I've got in my heart." She also throws in some quirky songs like a "Satellite", about a lonely robot falling who falls in love and Hipster Bitch about, well....a hipster bitch!

Lelia Broussard
Lelia Broussard performs at The Hotel Cafe.
photo by picksyticks

Don't be surprised if you catch yourself humming tunes off Lelia's record. I've caught myself doing just that. Her tunes, classic rock pop songs that are infectious and tender to the soul are like the ray of sunshine caressing the skin, the golden radiance that shines before nightfall and the warm sunset signaling the end to day you'd wish can last forever. Lelia is a fresh face and a refreshing sound in a music industry that has recently embraced shock and awe over substance.

And you can check out Lelia live when she returns to The Hotel Cafe on June 25th while this weekend, Lelia along with The Sheepdogs will perform head-to-head at this years Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival where fans can also vote. Voting ends July 1st with the winner announced August 1st on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Vote HERE or right above on our widget!!

"Shoot For The Moon" by Lelia Broussard.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Black Flamingo
Black Flamingo performs at Silver Lake Jubiliee
photos by picksysticks

by JPegg

May 21, 2011. The Rapture did not occur in the normal sense of the meaning. Jesus was walking the street of Hollywood Boulevard, but that was nothing uncommon. The closest event of being taken to heaven in Los Angeles was happening in the Silver Lake district at the second annual music and arts festival, Silver Lake Jubilee. Live music, grilled foods, and a lot of beautiful scenery on an amazingly cool and clear sunny bright sky day. It was close enough to feel like the sounds and sights of heaven, not in the usual sense of white clouds and chiming harps type of way, but rather a bit of heaven on earth for a few days celebration kind of style. Another good feeling about this show is that it felt like it was kicking off the start summer. The starting line was a go for the annual summer of street festivals, like sparking the upcoming memorial weekend full of action packed big budget blockbuster movies. The multiple stages, multiple bands, big entertainment, big all daSexy Iliza Shlesingery season of fun in the sun and sound has begun!

There were a lot more female fronted bands this year, and for the most part, their sets did not overlap one another, which was great. It was a day to night of back and forth walking from the Sunset Stage to the Santa Monica Stage, while grabbing a tasty charred meal and a few minutes of laughter and poetics in between at the microphone stand only Community Stage. A few earlier bands were missed as things got started with Black Flamingo.

The females of Black Flamingo (Los Angeles) were like a band of three vocally enchanting witches clad in black turning daylight into shadows around them as they cast their spell of spooky sounds onto the listening crowd. Yielding instruments instead of flying brooms, they tell tales of ghost, zombies, and other creatures that go bump in the twilight. It is a Monster Mash kind of morbid delight, not found deep in the forest shrouded in fog, but rather like three witches of the west gathered around a bonfire at the beach with waves foaming around their pointed black boots. Midnight Goth surfacing odd creatures in the low tide.

Neverever's Jihae
Neverever at this year's Silver Lake Jubilee
photo by picksysticks

At the bright end of the surf was Neverever (Los Angeles). Jihae twisted and shouted her beach ball sound, somewhat of a 60’s let’s go beach party dancing in cheetah skin bikinis, horn-rimmed sunglasses, and bare feet kicJihae of Nevereverking up glittering sand. It is an uplifting tropical delight, like the feeling of lounging in a cabana hut with a heat wave chilling strawberry daiquiri topped with a puffed pink umbrella. Neverever was a mobile beach, bringing inland their long board surf wave sound with ocean breeze vocals, like a cool and refreshing oasis rising out from the hot cracked concrete and trash stricken streets.

Then it was off to relax with some smoky grilled eats with extra sauce and take in the soothing performance of Mia Doi Todd (Los Angeles). She with her acoustic guitar and side mate on bongo, the stage was oversized for the duo as though it was missing at least a dozen candle lit dinner tables. The spotlight of the sun was too bright. Her soft warm sound would be more fitting for a sunset in the canyons as tRainbow Arabiahe sky soaked with watercolor brush strokes of oranges and reds, relaxing the sun into darkness to reveal a sprinkling of stars. They among nature’s ambient vastness creating romantic intimacy.

The night soon progressed into Rainbow Arabia (Los Angeles). They are a husband and wife duo, Danny and Tiffany Preston, playing a sort of mystic industrial reggae with super reverb. She sounds like she is singing in Arabic, but rather it is a strong accented reggae reminiscent voice. Her guitar gives the industrial sizzling through steel as though it was strung with different gauges of electrical fence set at a different voltage, experimenting and releasing a variable frequency of electrical discharge as a long audible musical note. A steel structure of sound filled in with psychedelic mysticism on keys. Music to add to the smoking bowl play list for sure. It has that herbal smoke cloud flowing into deep relaxation type of vibe with a blend of curry spice incense.

Ximena Sariñana
Ximena Sariñana
photo by picksysticks

The foreign vibe continued with Ximena Sariñana (Mexico). She sang both English and Spanish songs that had a playful whimsy to them. With her on keyboard and computer tracks near at hand, it was as if she was the puppet master charming her instruments to dance and toy along as she sang. The stage lights danced, too, as she seemed to give life to all inanimate objects that wanted to join in on her performance. It would not be a surprise if she could talk to animals as well for she growls and roars between verses, making the audience smile and shout along. However, her lyrics are not as jovial as the sound. They are rather an insight into issues with communication and relationships. Her new song "Different" expresses the barrier between languages as she echoes, "Sorry if I don’t see you/Mind me if my eyes cross you/Keep in mind I’m not here/I’m in a different zone." A happy skipping tune, revealing deep truths about getting along. Inspired for sure by her personal struggles to communicate between languages.

Ximena Sarinana performs "Different."
Ximena SariñanaXimena Sariñana
Ximena Sariñana
photos by picksysticks

Sacramento's Sister Crayon
Sacramento's Sister Crayon performs at this years Silver Lake Jubilee.
photograph by picksysicks

Ending the evening with the last band standing was Sister Crayon (Sacramento). They are a unique sound of hip-hop beats mixed with electronic symphony aberrations and the operatic vocals of Terra Lopez. She begins by easing into a recitative rap, thuggin with the beat in her black hoodie, and then she starts to take flight, lifting into a vocal soaring aria. It is unexpTerra Lopez of Sister Crayonected yet smooth. Lopez is able to transition the two together, like a musical where the dialog suddenly break into a song. It is amazing how her voice lifts like a helium balloon slipping away from its owner, being held grounded in a grasp momentarily before it escapes into the heavens. It feels like she is going to tweak ears and shatter glass, but then she settles back on beat into lyrical rap. An Urban Opera.

So, what was different about Silver Lake Jubilee this second year? There was sadly, no El Cid participation. The El Cid stage last year was a nice inside place and patio to get out of the streets and heat, a nice place to drink, relax, and take in a performance or few with the 21 and over crowd, without the feeling of being corralled on the streets in a fenced in Beer Garden. This year the bar stage was at Eagle. There was no entrance from the festival to this stage. People had to leave the festival and walk around the corner. There was a likely reason for this hard to find stage. It is a leather bar. Very eye-opening. Their website has a list of hanky codes for those seeking this side of sexual gratification. Entering the bar felt like making a wrong turn into a red light alley with the sudden flooding emotion of interrupted mood and alert awkwardness. It is doubtful that Eagle will be participating in next year’s Silver Lake Jubilee. The all ages and female fronted garage crunk band, Peter Pants (Los Angeles) tried to play on their compact, crowd heckling stage, performing a set that quickly got their power cut, causing it all to end poorly unexpected and abruptly.

Sister Crayon
Sister Crayon performs at Silver Lake Jubilee
photo by picksysticks


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

NEW "CHINATOWN" video by KITTEN, Tour News

KITTEN'S Chloe Chiadez and Max Kuehn

KITTEN has just released their new video for "Chinatown" off their recent EP release Sunday School. Kitten begins their European tour this week and return to the east coast for a handful of dates. Click HERE for tour dates!


Also see:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Kristeen Young performs at Hotel Cafe
Kristeen Young performs at Hotel Cafe
photographs by picksysticks

The night didn't start out exactly as planned. Falling onstage, audio drops and static bleeding through the mic. For any artist, this would've been disastrous, but for Kristeen Young? Merely a fallen mirror-tile from the disco ball that IS Kristeen Young. One glass chip may have fallen but the ball continues to shine just as Kristeen did Monday night during her May residency at The Hotel Cafe. More of a blessing in disguise, what started out feeling empty ended up being a memorable performance that only reaffirmed that, for this one woman show, this stage cannot keep this sonic butterfly confined.

Hotel Cafe is known for its toned-down to near-silent performances but Young was having none of that. More Slash than Tori Amos, Young uses her keyboard as the guitar equivalent for her songs, pounding and shredding away in songs like "Depression Contest" and "V The Volcanic" while landscaping dramatic abstract melodies to showcase her four-octave vocal range in songs "I'll Get You Back" and "Why Can't It Be Me."

Like a sharp, smooth boulder, cut fine over time by water, Kristeen's grace through ordered chaos is one to be witnessed. Even for this tiny stage, like a balancing act on a highwire, what it takes four band members to accomplish, Kristeen does it with just one - herself. Aggressive at times, but controlled, V The Volcanic, released earlier this month, is a collage of beautiful imaginative songs recorded with legendary producer Toy Visconti (David Bowie, Morrissey). The last day to catch Kristeen Young in Los Angeles is next Tuesday (5/24) when she completes her month-long residency at The Hotel Cafe.

Kristeen Young
Kristeen Young at The Hotel Cafe.
photo by picksysticks

"Fantastic Failure" off her new album V The Volcanic by Kristeen Young.

BREANNE DUREN @ The Hotel Cafe

Breanne Duren
Breanne Duren performs at The Hotel Cafe.
Breanne Duren performs at The Hotel Cafe.
photo by picksysticks

Sparks, the first solo EP from Breanne Duren is bursting with a symphony of flavors, as if her songs were slow cooking for hours, and when finally finished, surprises with emotional melodies and heartfelt lyrics that paints a picture of love. But there’s something surprising about Breanne Duren’s EP “Sparks.” Surprising in that it’s really darn good. Seriously? Seriously!

Capturing that pure emotion we all felt when we first fell in love, Sparks is more fitting for a movie soundtrack as Duren taps into our hearts to when we first took that leap of faith. From the feeling of flying high on pixie-dust in “No One Else” to the soaring harmonies of “Catapult” where she sings “Let’s do this right, let’s go explore/Try something we’ve never tried before,” Duren’s angelic voice feels like that ray of sunshine piercing through those dark clouds revealing a world of pure ecstasy. And Breanne’s newest single, “Gold Mine,” has everything you would want from a hit song. Catchy melodies and dance-ready beats with a sing-along chorus that's ready-made for that wind-swept drive along the Pacific Coast Highway with the top down.

Currenlty on tour which includes dates with Owl City, Duren has recently gotten noticed by USA Today, Entertainment Weekly and Teen Vogue. Last week she stopped by The Hotel Café in Hollywood to perform songs from her newest EP. While the Sparks EP has more of a fuller and polished sound, it was a much different sound onstage, more intimate and vulnerable, which made her songs even more relatable when you hear them with the fragile sounds of a piano. And while her voice, delicate, in this darkened room of the Hotel Cafe, her performance just radiates. Duren even popped out from behind the keyboard to sing a cover of Jamie Lidell's "Another Day."

You can catch Breanne when she returns to Los Angeles when she plays Club Nokia July 21st and you can purchase Breanne's EP Sparks right HERE.

Hotel Café setlist: Daydreams, Gold Mine, Catapult, Summer Days, Another Day (Jamie Lidell cover), No One Else

New video for "Gold Mine," the first single off of Breanne Duren's debut SPARKS EP.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Red Bull Studio Live Sessions presents: SO & SO

Brandon Rogers and Amie Miriello of So & SoAmie Miriello of So & So
So & So recently stopped by the Red Bull studio for an interview and performance. So & So, comprised of Amie Miriello, Brandon Rogers, Bana Haffar, Raisin Higgins and Adam Hanson are set to release their new EP and you can support the band by going to Pledgemusic. Your pledges will will help them with the marketing and the promotion of their release. It will also get you really cool exclusives from the band such as videos, songs and photos over the course of the campaign. You can check them out May 19th when they perform at The Hotel Cafe and hopefully, that'll convince you to pledge a little something. It's gonna be a great show as we've witness last year when we wrote this:
"So & So, with diverse musical backgrounds, embodies the sound of classic Americana, fusing folk, rhythm & blues and rock. . It's hard not to take your eyes off of Miriello. Her fiery on-stage presence along with her smoky voice makes for one hot performance. And if Miriello is the fire, then Rogers is the ice. Rogers is Mr. Cool on the keys and his refreshing, soulful vocals compliment Amie's. But even though their melodies are simple, their songs will stay with you long afterwards."
Red Bull Studio Live Sessions presents: So & So.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

C-HORSE @ The Roxy

C-Horse performs at The Roxy.
C-horse performs at The Roxy.
photos by picksysticks

Pasadena based indie-pop band C-horse manages to do so much with so little, drawing on their influences of 60s & 70s pop music to create their own distinctive sound of simple arrangements layered with lush harmonies. But unlike the charming shine of The Shirelles or Beach Boys, C-horse is the innocence with bite, the thorns on the flower power.

Cecilia Enriquez of C-HorseC-Horse's Lindsay Mancha

Comprised of Cecilia Enriquez (vocals/guitar), Lindsay Mancha (bass/vocals), Mack Marquard (keys/guitar) and Courtney Olsen (drums), C-horse's songs radiates warmth, a feel of suburban summers and sunset piers. And last week, C-horse brought that warmth inside a sold-out Roxy, playing in front of an unfamiliar crowd, there to see headliner Boxer Rebellion. If they were nervous, they certainly didn't show it. Just recently coming off a month-long residency at Casey's Irish Pub, C-horse looked to convert the masses by launching into the hypnotic and beat-heavy "Tongues" and then captivating them with the celestial melodies of "Stars" and "Beds." "Spoon," their Carpenters-esque ballad on ecstacy throws Marquard's keys in the forefront while guitar-driven songs like "What," "Know Me" and "Squeeze" are catchy throwback-rock classics that will keep you coming back for more.

C-horse's Cecilia Enriquez and Lindsay Mancha
C-Horse's Cecilia Enriquez and Lindsay Mancha.
photo by picksysticks

All in all, their 30-minute set was far too short for my tastes. But what they did give us was a tease of what's to come on their upcoming second album. C-horse heads up north to the bay area next Sunday with a gig at Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco. Then in June, they return with a June residency at 3 Clubs in Hollywood.

Roxy setlist: Tongues/Stars/Know Me/Beds/Spoon/Oh Reconcile/What/Squeeze.

C-horse's Courtney OlsenC-horse at The Roxy

"Keep It Cool" by C-horse

Friday, May 6, 2011


New Honda Civic HF commercial featuring Oh Land's new song "We Turn it Up."

In March, OH LAND released her self-titled debut album. Originally from Denmark, Oh Land's songs are a visual storybook of dreamlike soundscaping with rich imagery of lush melodies. Get hooked on her first single "Sun of a Gun," a multi-layered sonic dance song or the infectiously sweet "White Nights." Most recently, you can hear her song "We Turn It Up" in the new Honda Civic HF commercial. (You know, the one with that cute monster hanging out with those cute girls).

"I want my music to feel like 2050 meets something really classic, like meeting a stranger that feels as familiar as an old friend," says Oh Land.

Hoping to make waves here in the States, Oh Land moved to New York to finish recording with help from Dan Carey (The Kills & Franz Ferdinand) and Dave McCracken (Depeche Mode, AFI and Beyonce). A self-booked tour of the US and performances at 2009's SXSW put her on everyone's radar, especially Epic Records who eventually signed her. In July, it looks as though Oh Land will performing stateside with a handful of dates on the east coast and was just confirmed to be the openening act for Katy Perry for the San Diego (8/19), San Jose (8/12) and Santa Barbara (8/13 & 8/14) dates.

Oh Land performing "We Turn it Up."

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Barb Wire Dolls
Barb Wire Dolls perform at The Viper Room.
photo by Picksysticks

There's a new revolution in town and leading that charge are Barb Wire Dolls. This foursome, originally from Greece are bringing their Street Generation of loyalists and injecting Los Angeles with their fresh and raw punk rock sound. Around town, Barb Wire Dolls have built a name for themselves with their energy-feuled shows, selling out venues like the legendary Roxy. Their story began in Greece when 'THE' Mayor of the Sunset Strip Rodney Bingenheimer discovered them and began playing their song on L.A.'s World Famous KROQ. Soon, Barb Wire Dolls, consisting of Queen Isis, Tas Doll, Voodoo Doll and Greg Doll sold all their belongings and relocated to the City of Angels to fulfill their dreams. And as their buzz surrounding their music grew, their 'Street Generation' also grew, a fan even tattooing Queen Isis' signature on his wrist. That's loyalty folks! In the four months since they've moved here, Barb Wire Dolls are already in the studio recording their full-length debut album. And not one to sit down and relax, the Barb Wire Dolls continues to spread their punk rock gospel to the masses, scheduling shows all over SoCal from now through July.

Barb Wire Dolls
Barb Wire Dolls
photo by picksysticks


Sunday, May 1, 2011

THE SHAKERS @ The Viper Room

April 21, 2011: The Shakers (Chris Lee, Jodie Schell, Nick Woods & Brad Lee) performed a free show at The Viper Room with a free giveaway of Steve Madden Handbags to the first ladies through the doors. The Shakers are keeping busy with shows this week in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Photographs by Picksysticks

The Shakers
The Shakers' Jodie Schell

See also:
The Shakers @ The Sunset Strip Music Festival(8/2010)
The Shakers @ The Viper Room (2/2011)