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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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"

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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
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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.
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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

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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
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