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..

Monday, October 31, 2011

SOME HEAR EXPLOSIONS and Projectile Vomit

Ambre Leigh of Some Hear ExplosionsAmbre Leigh of Some Hear ExplosionsAmbre Leigh of Some Hear Explosions
Some Hear Explosions perform at The Viper Room.
photo by picksysticks

It's Halloween EVERY DAY on the Sunset Strip but last Friday saw a bit more ghosts, witches and zombies lurking around - more so than usual. But if you thought the Viper Room was a safe haven from all the ghouls outside, you were wrong. Some Hear Explosions provided the evening's scariest set with Bay Dariz, Alex Gallner and Joe Herrera dressed as priests and lead singer Ambre Leigh playing the demon-bride in need of a little TLC.

Ambre Leigh of Some Hear ExplosionsAmbre Leigh of Some Hear Explosions
Possessed Ambre Leigh of Some Hear Explosions.
photos by picksysticks

Who would've known that an exorcism could be this fun or this sexy? Some Hear Explosions' Halloween themed show at The Viper Room could've easily been the musical version of The Exorcist - a battle between good and evil, complete with punk-rock priests, projectile vomit and an evil-possessed Ambre Leigh. Top that off with a soaring soundtrack that will exorcise the demons to come out to dance and sing and you've got yourself a nice Exorcist-rock-opera that is sure to make your head spin.

Ambre Leigh of Some Hear ExplosionsAmbre Leigh of Some Hear Explosions
Some Hear Explosions' Ambre LeighSome Hear Explosions' Ambre Leigh
Some Hear Explosions performs at The Viper Room
photos by picksysticks

As usual, Some Hear Explosions put on a great show. It's hard to take your eyes off Ambre Leigh, even with a blood-soiled nightgown and creepy, devilish eyes. But in the end, the power of that holy music, known as their debut album, It's Our Time Now, won out and released Ambre Leigh from the chains of darkness, emerging reborn as the sonic angel we've grown to love.

Meet the band below and see why we're possessed...uh, I mean obsessed with Some Hear Explosions.

Meet the band: Some Hear Explosions.

Also see:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Bullet & Snowfox

Here's a new gem from astro-dance-rock duo Bullet and Snowfox. Their catchy single "Neurotic Nancy" gets spiced up in the form of a Cheap Mustard Remix. But even with this laced-up version of trance-inducing hypnotic beats, one thing is for sure - Bullet and Snowfox's songs are addictive no matter how they sound.

You can catch Bullet & Snowfox live when they next perform at Club Moscow @ Boarder's on November 2nd where they always put on a great show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Woolly Bandits' Christa Collins
Woolly Bandits' Christa Collins performs at The Roxy.
photo by picksysticks

Singer Christa Collins got robbed during last night's "X Factor" when the judges decided the final 16 contestants. Collins who fronts the Los Angeles band The Woolly Bandits was passed over by judge Nicole Scherzinger when she chose story over talent and picked homeless man Dexter Haygood over other talented singers including Collins.

We're sure this isn't the last we'll hear of Christa Collins. She has a bright future. In fact, her band The Woolly Bandits will play at El Cid in Los Angeles this Saturday. We're big fans. Christa's on-stage presence is hypnotic. Their sound? A cross between psychobilly and surf-rock. But don't let labels fool you. These Bandits can play.

Woolly Bandits' Christa Collins


Here's the new video from DJ Martin Solveig and Dragonette featuring Idoling. It's the fourth official video of Martin's infamous SMASH series which included the very catchy dance hall tune "Hello" which was used in Trident's Vitality commercial. The music video was directed by Solveig and Tristan Seguela and guest stars Melanie Laurent from Inglourious Basterds fame. What do you think of the vid?

"Big In Japan" by Martin Solveig & Dragonette feat. Idoling.

Monday, October 17, 2011


You Say France & I Whistle
You Say France & I Whistle (Ida, Patrik, Claes, Christian & Petter)

From Sweden, You Say France & I Whistle was, in my mind, the breakout band of Los Angeles' Culture Collide Festival. I can't get enough of this band. They're the band with the funny name with the songs that will definitely make you smile. Their debut album, "Angry Men" won't be released here in North America until January 2012 but you can pretty much hear how awesome it's gonna be by checking out their YouTube vids. Their next shows are scheduled in New York with stops at the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival October 19th and 20th. If you're in the New York area, don't miss these guys. Be prepared to dance your a** off.

"This is Sunday, right?" by You Say France & I Whistle.

"When Lovers Die" by You Say France & I Whistle.

"OMG" by You Say France & I Whistle

You Say France and & Whistle perform at Culture Collide.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Tegan & Sara photo by Lindsay Byrnes
Tegan and Sara
photo by Lindsay Byrnes

Pre-orders begin today for Tegan and Sara’s new DVD/CD, Get Along, which drops November 15th on Warner Bros. Records. Included in the package are two mini-documentaries and a live 70-minute studio concert, with each offering fans a rare and intimate look into the lives of this celebrated Canadian duo. The first film called “States” follows them on their American tour using live footage and interviews as they recap their early careers as struggling musicians. “India,” the second film, follows the twin sisters during their first ever tour of the country. Also included is a 15-track live cd of the stripped-down concert held before 75 fans, friends and family over two days at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, BC.

Check out the teaser trailer for their release and click HERE for more info or to pre-order your copy today.
You can also listen to streaming tracks from the live album including "I Won't Be Left," "Back in Your Head," and "Not With You."

Tegan and Sara 'Get Along' Official Trailer

Tegan and Sara - "I Won't Be Left (Live)' from Get Along

Thursday, October 13, 2011


CSS headlines Culture Collide at the Echoplex
photo by picksysticks

Culture Collide has brought together over 80 bands from from 24 countries, creating a melting pot of diverse music from some of the best artists in the world. It was all leading up to one powerhouse weekend, where CSS headlined both nights of this second annual event sponsored by Filter Magazine. It started Saturday night at the Echo when lead singer Lovefoxx came out wearing a bedazzled Batman mask, starting the dance party that lasted well past 1 a.m, playing arena rock melodies over their playful atmospherics.

Influenced by reggae, punk, dance, pop and rock, CSS epitomizes the musical diversity of Culture Collide. You can see it in the crowds. Different people, enjoying one band whose popularity transcends borders.

Quickly becoming a hit internationally, CSS formed in 2003 and got a big boost when their song "Music is My Hot Hot Sex" was featured in one of iPod's commercial, boosting the song up the Billboard charts and making them one of highest charting bands from Brazil to chart so high in the United States. And they've been making us dance ever since.

CSS performing at the Toyota Antics Block Party stage.
photo by picksysticks

CSS's electricity at The Echoplex continued Sunday night at the free Toyota Antics Block Party. It seems Lovefoxx may have over exerted herself the night before as she seemed to be losing her voice but that didn't stop her from missing a beat. The sold out festival crowd danced to the "Alala," bounced to the trippy-laced "Let's Make Love," while the reggae-ish "Hits Me Like a Rock " got everyone grooving with their neighbors. It was that type of evening. Lovefoxx even dedicated the song "Music is My Hot, Hot Sex" to MEN, the band CSS is currently touring with.

CSS at the Echoplex during day three of Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks

You Say France & I Whistle
You Say France & I Whistle
You Say France & I Whistle performing at 826 LA during Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks

Saturday also brought back my new favorite band in You Say France & I Whistle who played their first U.S. gig Friday night at The Twonky Chateau at Taix. This time, they played across the street at 826 LA. A back alley entrance and a make-shift stage in what appeared to be a classroom also hosted Singapore DJ, Analog Girl who was just finishing up as I arrived. And as You Say France & I Whistle began setting up, the venue slowly filled, the room brimming with anticipation as word spread about this exciting new band. Again, they didn't disappoint, lavishing the crowd as though opening up a Pandora's box and releasing all the world's happiness upon us.

Decartes a Kant was a theatrical group that played fast and loud against their baby doll vocals. The pitt wasn't safe as they showered the crowd with their spray cans of foam bubbles or confetti. Hailing from Mexico, this indie-experimental punk band are influenced by a wide range of musical genres including rock & roll, punk, bossa nova and swing.

Making second appearances during the festival were Rainbow Arabia and The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Playing early in the day just as the crowds started to come in, it truly wasn't the same as watching them at night under the stage lights. The energy in the crowd was just different. Maybe it was just too early and people just hadn't visited the beer garden yet. But personally, I wasn't complaining.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour perform during the Toyota Antics free block party.
photo by picksysticks

Also making another appearance after first performing at The Co-Op on day one of the festival were V for Volume. Alternative rock felt missing during the festival. Luckily for V for Volume, they filled the void. A welcome surprise, this band from Columbia shines with catchy melodies and shows they can go from guitar-driven rock to melodious indie-pop ballad. Listen to "Cheap Universe" from their debut album Providence, released last year, and you'll be hooked.

The Asteroids Galaxy TourV for Volume
Asteroids of the Galaxy Tour and V for Volume during Culture Collide weekend.
photos by picksysticks

And hooked would be the key word that best describes my first experience with Filter Magazine's 2nd Annual Culture Collide Festival. What started as a simple idea to get a diverse lineup of bands to play together and party together can only grow with each year. As I wait for next year's festival, I'll spend my time keeping up with the new and exciting new bands Culture Collide has exposed me to and look forward for next year, when I'll be introduced to a whole new exciting crop of artists.

V for Volume
V for Volume during Culture Collide
photo by picksysticks



Here’s a new video song “Bust Your Knee Caps” by Bay-area darlings Pomplamoose. If you remember, Pomplamoose, made up of Jack Conti and Nataly Dawn were featured in those catchy Hyundai Christmas commercials singing those holiday classics last year. Next Friday, they will performs at Los Angeles’ Troubadour as part of their West Coast Tour. Click HERE for dates on their tour.

See also: Pomplamoose "Up On The Housetop" in new Hyundai car commercials

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Filter Magazine's Culture Collide
Filter Magazine's Culture Collide 2011 held at Taix


Cultures collided, literally on a three-block stretch on Sunset Boulevard when Echo Park hosted the second annual Filter Magazine's Culture Collide Festival, bringing together 85 bands representing 24 countries. From Brazil's CSS, Denmark's Asteroids Galaxy Tour to Mexico's Ximena Sarinana and USA's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Culture Collide, once again, has introduced Los Angelinos to brand new crop of up and coming artists from around the world.

Kassette performs at the Chateau at Taix.
photos by picksysticks

Not familiar with most of the artists on the line-up, I went into this festival blind but excited to discover new bands. A musical marathon spanning four days and 85 bands spread out to seven venues. The Twonky Chateau at the Taix was festival central, its bar lounge serving drink specials and hosting cultural music nights highlighting that country's representing artists and also their beers. Thursday's offering was the Swiss and Canadian Happy Hour with special guest Kassette from Switzerland who played over dark, tranquil melodies. Kassette, aka: Laure Betris also played a second set later that night. It turns out, with packed rooms nightly, Taix was the place to perform during the festival as it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to catch musicians hanging out and having a drink after their set or talking to fans out in the hallway.

Los Hollywood
Los Hollywood performs at The Co-Op.
photo by picksysticks

Across the street, stretched along two blocks of Sunset Blvd were three venues, The Echo, The Swinghouse at Co-op, 826 LA and Origami Vinyl. The Co-Op, a fashion boutique by day was transformed into a rock club this night, hosting a Latin flavor with Los Angeles locals Los Hollywood, fronted by Heidy aka: Ide Flores, kicking off the night with their alt-rock sound mixed in with some spang-lish flavor. Revving guitars command this group but it's Heidy's free-floating melodies that holds your attention. They were creating buzz in the Latin rock community long before they released their first EP in 2009 after wining they Myspace Sponsor Your Band competition. Just listen to their first single off that album, "No Te Aguites" and you'll see why.

Up next was Mexico's Ximena Sarinana who's been receiving critical praise from her self-titled second album which marks her first album with English lyrics. She just announced her first headlining US tour this fall, starting in November. 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.

Ximena Sariñana
Ximena Sariñana performs at The Co-Op.
photo by picksysticks

We first noticed her when she performed at the Silverlake Jubilee earlier this year, right about the time her new album was released. It was obvious, the crowd was there to see Ximena with the Co-op, so full, it was told to me that it had to be shut down for the rest of the festival due to safety reasons. The remaining acts scheduled to perform at this venue were moved to the Champagne Room at Taix. And this is still the first night . In a hint of what was to come during this four-day music fest, earlier in the week, Filter Magazine organizers announced the event was sold out.

Ximena Sariñana
Crowds packed The Co-Op to watch Ximena Sariñana perform during day one of Culture Collide.
photo by picksysticks

After Sarinana ended her set at around 10pm, I had about an hour to kill before Rainbow Arabia at the Echo, which luckily was seven store-fronts down. With a flourishing music scene happening in Melbourne and Sydney, with such acts as Temper Trap and Little Red, I headed over to the Echo to catch Guineafowl, Australia's latest offering. Named as one of Rolling Stone's artists to watch in 2011, Guineafowl, delivers trance pop-alternative danceable tunes that are hypnotic and spacey. Currently they're offering their single, "Botonist" as a free download on their Facebook page. They also employ synth-angel Imi Harper on backing vocals, Lachlan McQueen on bass, Yarran Hominh on guitar and Nick Meredith on drums. If this music thing doesn't work out, they can all make a living as Abercrombie & Fitch cover-models. Does everyone in Australia look and sound this sexy?

Guineafowl performs at The Echo during day one of Culture Collide.
photo by picksysticks

Rainbow Arabia
Rainbow Arabia performs during Culture Collide at The Echo.
photo by picksysticks

And finally, to end my night was Los Angeles duo and married couple that makes up Rainbow Arabia. Led by Tiffany on vocals, Danny's sonic landscaping on synths inject a tribal and Caribbean dance beat, mixed with earthy textures. Acclaimed by the critics for their debut EP Basta in 2008, Rainbow Arabia released their latest album Boys and Diamonds last March on Kompakt records. I was also looking forward to see them again Sunday at the free block party.

Great music, great food and great people highlighted this first day of the festival. With a day job early Friday morning, I headed home, already looking forward to day 2 of Culture Collide.


Laura Jansen
Laura Jansen performs at the Dutch Impact Party at Taix.
photo by picksysticks

Day two's International Happy Hour began with the Dutch Impact Party featuring performances by De Staat, Death Letters and Laura Jansen. I've been trying to catch Laura ever since she released her album Bells last March when she played Hollywood's Hotel Cafe. So understand my excitement when I saw Ms. Jansen on this year's Culture Collide lineup. A lively crowd, there hours earlier helping themselves to the lounge's drink specials was there to greet Jansen and her band who had to follow Death Letters, a fast-heavy guitar rock band from the Netherlands. Switching gears, Jansen wraps her billowy songs with soft, delicate keys, singing of love and loss in a voice that radiates vulnerabilities but then finds strength through heartbreak. Jansen would play a couple hours later at The Echo Park United Methodist Church.

Guineafowl performs on The Loft at Origami Vinyl.
photo by picksysticks

Maybe it was the lack of sleep from the previous night because confusion was the theme for me during day two of Culture Collide. Changes in set times and venue relocations were posted at festival central at Taix. Unfortunately, I realized that a little too late. It's like throwing me off my game. As previously mentioned, I found out later, due to overcrowding, performances at The Co-Op had to be transferred The Echo. In addition, The Reform was moved to Taix's Champagne Room.

Laura Jansen
Laura Jansen plays inside Echo Park United Methodist Church on day two of Culture Collide.
photo by picksysticks

With time to kill, I wanted to catch Guineafowl for the second time this festival. With a great show at the Echo the night before, Origami Vinyl would be a more intimate setting to catch them. It would've been sad not to fill the store, which holds about 45 people but they did and they played a great set 20 feet above the crowd in what is known as The Loft. Origami Vinyl, an old-school record store was also the place Florence and the Machine handpicked to perform a special gig when she returned to Los Angeles in 2009 after falling in love with it's quaint setting when she was just starting out. Who knows? Maybe next year, Guineafowl will return and play The Loft again after making it big.

Portugal's The Gift was next on the schedule at 9 pm at The Echoplex. Schedule is the key word. I understand bands can go past their time. Delays happen. I get it but nearly 45 minutes of waiting for The Gift to take the stage meant I was missing other bands. Although I was looking forward to catching The Gift, I opted to leave and head back to The Champagne Room at Taix to watch He's My Brother, She's My Sister. Or so I thought. It wasn't. Instead of He's My Brother, She's My Sister, it was singer songwriter (I didn't bother to get his name). Remember the confusion I wrote about earlier? Well, this was it. Trying to salvage this hour, I left singer/songwriter dude and walked over to the church to catch the last few songs of Laura Jansen.

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour at The Echoplex during Culture Collide Music Festival.
photo by picksysticks

11 PM. Returned to the Echoplex to catch The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Playing since 2007, probably my first exposure to the band came from their catchy song "The Golden Age" which is featured on Heineken's spectacular TV ad. This Denmark-based band, fronted by porcelain, psychedelic, pop-princess Mette Lindberg, shines with their horn section and with their rich and cascading party arrangements. They've taken the responsibility of making the official soundtrack for any cool house party. Heck, they even club-ified one of my favorite classics "Safety Dance" by Men without Hats. They can probably make Rebecca Black's "Friday" danceable.

At midnight, I was contemplating either going home to rest up for Saturday's events or stay to watch this little band from Sweden with a weird name You Say France & I Whistle. Although they were scheduled to play two more times during the festival, I figured I'd just catch them the next day when I was good and rested. But instead, I decided to take a peak. It was at The Chateau at Taix...the hot spot of this festival.

Wow. This was the best decision I made all week. Not only were they the best new band of the festival, they became my new favorite band. Already released overseas, their new album "Angry Men" won't be released here in the States until next year. But the packed crowd at Taix were treated to gems like "OMG," "Animal" and "When Lovers Die."

You Say France & I Whistle
You Say France & I Whistle plays their first U.S. gig at The Taix during Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks

If their songs weren't a hint of what to expect from this band, then their stage decorations should have screamed it loud and clear as stuffed animals adorned the stage and musical instruments. And it didn't take long for this Los Angeles crowd to turn cuddly innocent stuffed dolls into soft, deadly projectiles as flying sharks and teddy bears flew above this dancing crowd. Even the band members, made up of Patrik, Claes, Ida, Petter and Christian weren't' safe as they dodged flying rabbits and giraffes. Like being injected with a sugar kick, their songs are like a euphoric drug that bolts through your veins. All this happiness should be illegal or even banned at the border. Give me more and I'll be glad to OD on this Swedish drug called You Say France & I Whistle.

You Say France & I Whistle
You Say France & I Whistle's Ida Hedene.
photos by picksysticks

You Say France & I Whistle performing at Taix.
vid by musichelp1

So, in the end, although day two began to a rough start, it ended with many, including myself, leaving with new discoveries and more appreciation of what the world of music has to offer.

Day three and four will be posted soon...I promise.



UME's Lauren Larson
Lauren Larson of UME performs at 3 Clubs in Hollywood last year.
photo by picksysticks

This is UME's newest video for their latest single "Captive" which premiered today on MTV. It's off their album Phantoms which was released in August. Ume are just about to wrap their U.S. tour which ends October 28th at Grinnell College in Iowa.

"Captive" by UME.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Dum Dum Girls' title=
Dum Dum Girls

Here's the latest video from the Dum Dum Girls. "Bedroom Eyes" is their first single of the new album Only In Dreams which dropped on September 27th. They've been busy bodies, touring the States all through October and then jetting across the pond to play dates in Germany, U.K. and Italy. You can grab their new album in iTunes HERE.

"Bedroom Eyes" by Dum Dum Girls.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Little Red Lung
Little Red Lung performs at the 13th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival
photos by picksysticks

by JPegg

Here’s the part about a few of the female fronted bands that recently played at 13th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival. There was Little Red Lung lead by the vocals and keys of Zoe-Ruth Erwin. They performed early at 6pm, while the sun still shined bright with heat. There is something about listening to somber echoes in the daytime that does not have as much of a moody effect as echoes in the night or under shadows of candle light. Daytime is not a mood enhancer for music, it always seems, unless it is raining, and it was not raining. The violin of Charlene Huang cried soft and sorrow, but again, did not have an eerie effect as it likely would have during a night show. The sun shining on the creeping lullabies of Little Red Lung was too bright for the listener to be absorbed into their thick red and heavy gasping darkness.

Saucy Monky
Saucy Monky performs at Columbo's Restaurant during the 13th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival.
photo by picksysticks

Outside of Colombo’s Restaurant was Saucy Monky. Cynthia Catania and Annmarie Cullen share vocals. Catania is sultry roughness while Cullen exudes a softer shy tenderness. Together they give audiences a feeling of kicking up dirt and washing it down with American bourbon. A sort of pop and Country grinded between the cracked concrete of city streets. There’s an unsmooth rawness that gives their sound an undoubting vitality of hope scraped with scars. Most people probably missed their performance because they had to compete with a jam band playing on the balcony of the apartments across the street, or also, because they played at Colombo’s Restaurant behind a mesh fence that concealed them almost to their necks, while onlookers watched in the streets, leaning on a police car. It was as if they were poking their heads over the fence to sing. What the heck happened there? While in the backyard patio of Colombo’s was an audience of chairs for an elderly cover band. It would have been better if Saucy Monky simply played on the streets. The bad staging area probably had to do with some screwy city ordinance thing.

Cheeto Champ'
Cheeto Champ's Adrian Teeney
Cheeto Champ performed at the Razorcake/Zacaloc stage in the American Legion Hall during the 13th Annual Eagle Rock Music Festival.
photo by pickssticks

Then there was Cheeto Champ! They played the Razorcake/Zacaloc stage at American Legion Hall. The place was a little bit harder to find, an auditorium hidden beyond the outside children skipping Family stage and the parking lot full of cupcakes, popcorn, and sugar high kids. Cheeto Champ has that irritable charm to them, kind of like screaming children at play. It may sound annoying to some, but other hears it as humans enjoying their hearts out. Something loud and annoying that makes sense. A releasing feeling of trashing the sound to create the comfort of chaos. Something else to stick a knife in normal. Ladies Adrian Teeney scrapes guitar and jars vocals while Emi Tamura pounds bass and screams her bit too. This show was their record release show for their Get the Giggles album, out now. That’s it for now “crust as fuck Los Angeles.”

"Wildfires" by Cheeto Champ.
vid by 405east