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..

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LA-based band BEST COAST Rocks new Windows 8 Commercial

Best Coast
Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino sings in front of thousands at Make Music Pasadena.
photo by picksysticks
Hey! Microsoft may be cool after all showing why the west coast is, by far, the best coast as LA darlings, Best Coast is seen AND heard rockin' the latest Windows 8 commercial with their song "The Only Place" off their record of the same name.  Check it out below!!

Windows 8 commercial featuring the song "The Only Place" by Best Coast.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Mette Lindberg of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour will perform at The Troubadour this Monday.
photo by picksysticks

Currently on their U.S. tour supporting their new record Out of Frequency, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are set to play at The Trouboudour this Monday (10/29).  

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.  If you haven't seen them yet, you've probably heard of them or heard their hit song "The Golden Age" from that visual, fun Heineken commercial.   Check out that song below and be sure to catch them at The Troubadour this Monday.

"The Golden Age" by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour.

Friday, October 19, 2012


KITTEN'S Chloe ChaidezKITTEN'S Chloe Chaidez

It's been a busy few months for LA-based electro-alternative band KITTEN.  After releasing their Cut It Out EP in August, they opened up for Paramore and just last month, they finished up their September residency at The Bootleg Theater.  Earlier this week, they just released their new video for their single "Japanese Eyes."  Check it out below! And check KITTEN out when they perform at The Echo on October 25th.

"Japanese Eyes" by Kitten

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ELLIE GOULDING @ Amoeba Records Hollywood

Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding performs during a free show at Amoeba Records in Hollywood.
photographs by picksysticks
After performing at a sold out show at The Troubadour Tuesday night, Brit indie-pop singer Ellie Goulding played a free show at Amoeba Records Hollywood the next day.  Lines started forming early and by 3:30 pm, about 3 hours before Ellie's show, the line stretched about three city blocks.  With over 400 dedicated fans lining up, Amoeba had to close early in order start letting people inside.  Ellie is spending the week in Los Angeles supporting her new album Halycon which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard charts.  She appeared on Ellen yesterday where she performed "Anything Could Happen" and today she performs live on and this Saturday, she will be performing at AMP Radio's Halloween Masquerade Party at The House of Blues on the famed Sunset Blvd. 

Ellie GouldingEllie Goulding
Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding
Ellie Goulding
Fans packed Amoeba Records in Hollywood for Ellie Goulding's free show.
photo by picksysticks

Crowds starting lining up for Ellie Goulding's free show at Amoeba Recrods.
pic via Twitter @elliegoulding

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


by Jeff Pegg
picksysticks contributor

The Shakers are set to release their new single, "Set My Sights". Lead vocals of Jodie Schell sound of a deep yearning, a slow release of frustration, with a growl of torment. It feels like she is a fly caught in a web of desires as the spider watches her endless struggle. The confounding of regretful ambition. The more she struggles the more she is entrapped. Emphatic emotions. The spider feels her pain, yet waits for a time to attack. It is as though she is a damaged soul that still has an inner glimmer. Hurting, yet holding tight to a moment and feeling that was once love, but that is now the hope. And who is the spider? That would be the ranting metal sounds of Chris Lee on guitar and Nick Woods on drums. They are hard hitting anger drowned by insanity to form a suicidal release. It has a lethal pulse that contrasts yet compliments the vocal life of Schell. This new single from The Shakers is an enthralled mix of soul pop pierced with metal shrapnel.

Come out Saturday, October 20, for The Shakers party show at The Viper Room! The single release party! Get there early! There will be 200 copies of the single "Set My Sights" given out FREE! Each autographed by the entire band! Doors: 7:30pm! The Shakers: 11pm! New full-length album: 2013!  

"Set My Sights" will be available on iTunes and CD Baby after October 20th.

Lyric video for "Set My Sights" by The Shakers


Sunday, October 14, 2012


Niki and the Dove
Niki and the Dove performs on the S.O.Terik Main Stage during Culture Collide's free block party.
photos by picksysticks

In a week that saw over 75 bands from twenty-five countries celebrate music from across the globe, the Third Annual Culture Collide  ended the four-day festival with a free block party headlined by Of Montreal and The Wombats.  
Icona Pop's Aino Jawo

But it was the strong showing of women-fronted bands that was the highlight of this years' festival that warranted encore performances to close out Culture Collide.  

First it was Icona Pop, who previously, the day before made the Echoplex into one giant sexy EDM  dance party, performed on the S.O.TERIK Main Stage under the blaring sun.  Straight off their hit single "I Love It,"  Icona Pop are currently on their own U.S. headlining tour they've just recently announced that they're touring with Marina and the Diamonds on her U.S. tour.  

Next up was Marit Larsen, who was an unexpected surprise at this years festival, who opened the week shined at the Echo Park United Methodist Church.  This time she performed at Taix Lounge, the main hub of Culture Collide which was continuously packed all week. Marit's performance was no different as a packed room waited patiently after a technical difficulties.  Her latest album "Spark" includes the hit "Coming Home" and it showcases her soft and catchy melodies.  Just listen to her love ballad  "If A Song Could Get Me You" which is a wedding song favorite and you'll be hooked. She jokingly gave permission to the crowd to download her songs 'illegally' if they can since no one is downloading them 'legally.'  

Marit Larsen
Nora Patterson of Royal TeethMarit Larsen
Gary Larsen and Nora Patterson of Royal Teeth
Gary Larsen and Nora Patterson of Royal Teeth performs on the Red Bull Soundstage during Day 4 of Filter's Culture Collide Festival.
photographs by picksysticks
But one of my favorite bands from this years' festival was Royal Teeth.  They were one of the highlights  at the Echoplex Friday night and Sunday, they returned for an encore show.   I didn't know anything but Jazz came out of Louisiana but these kids from New Orleans has broken out in a big way with their bouncy and fresh indie-rock.  Leading the charge is Gary Larsen who marches ahead with drum beat command while sharing vocal duties with Nora Patterson whose radiating vocals shines on songs like "My Donna" and "Heartbeat."  But it's their hit song "Wild" that is getting them noticed on college radio across the nation.  It's off their debut EP Act Naturally and you can purchase it on iTunes right HERE.
Niki and the Dove
School of Seven Bells

Bands also making an encore appearance were Niki and the Dove and New York City's School of Seven Bells.  After a long delay on their first night, Niki and the Dove had another delay setting up, nearly coming to blows with the sound engineers onstage, causing to them to go on almost 30 minutes behind schedule.  But the wait was well worth it.  A rainbow of sounds intertwine as they seamlessly incorporate electro beats with pop-synths and R&B melodies.  

While School of Seven Bells showed why their performances are never dull and why they deserved to play at Culture Collides primo venues The Echoplex and The Red Bull Stage.  Ethereal EDM dance beats showered the crowd and the sun sank behind the Los Angeles skyline, a perfect setting to another perfect Culture Collide.  

See also:
Culture Collide: Day 1
Culture Collide: Day 2
Culture Collide: Day 3



Pretty Reckless's Taylor Momsen
Taylor Momsen of Pretty Reckless performs at Vans Warped Tour.
photo by picksysticks.
19-year-old Taylor Momsen, front-woman of The Pretty Reckless, just released a new spoken-word video where she read lyrics from her song "Under The Water," a single off their Hit Me Like a Man EP which was released earlier this year.  It's apparently for Amp Rock TV and their initiative "The Words."   Quick shots of black and white images of Taylor flashes on screen as she reads when it ends on Momsen apparently nude.  


Thursday, October 11, 2012


Niki and the Dove
Niki and the Dove performs during the Third Annual Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks
by Jeff Pegg

Saturday, October 6, 2012. It was night three of finding female fronted bands at FILTER Magazine's Culture Collide. After two previous nights of music and again tonight, it was surprising only Saturday. And strangely enough, it was the second time going to church in the same week, starting the evening once again at Echo Park United Methodist Church. Although there was no minister preaching, it still felt like a morning service, for no drinking alcohol allowed in the church.

Mimes of Wine
Italy's Mimes of Wine performs at Echo Park's United Methodist Church during Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks
Laura Loriga of Mimes of Wine
Laura Loriga of Mimes of Wine
It was actually nice to start the evening sober, to sit and unwind, and ease into the night with the choir orchestra sounds of Mimes of Wine (Italy). Lead vocalist Laura Loriga starts the set with a little wooden box resting atop her keyboard, a shruti box. The sound this bellow box makes is a sort of single long organ note, kind of like a long constant tugboat horn. In the church, it creates a resonating mood, like a steady hum to get everybody's attention. As the set progresses wonders comes alive. Guitars dance like glittering insects, keyboards bloom like flowers with every note, an accordion accommodates as if being played by a prancing jester, drums march of toy soldiers, and a cello rises from deep just above the bass guitar to form out of the mist, an embellished elephant lumbering along as nature's guardian. Loriga's vocals serve as ringmaster, the soft voice of dreams, leading this mystical circus through an enchanted land. Mimes of Wine sound of a fairytale choir praising under the steeple.

Icona Pop
Icona Pop's Caroline Hjelt
Pageants from Long Beach brought everything back to reality. Rebecca Coleman vocals felt like she was missing the high notes and the tone was off. The performance was after the beautiful sounds of Mimes of Wine, so it was not the equipment distorting the performance. It was as if she was performing in a church talent contest with an adolescent and yet undeveloped voice, unsure whether to talk or sing her way through the song. However, Coleman was able to make the mood melancholy with the feel of tears falling across the string of her guitar. The recorded tracks has all the flaws of the live performance smoothed out, creating a wonderful sound of dreary optimism, a feeling of daisies that can be left behind alive without love or can be plucked into a loving bouquet that will soon die. The tragedy of wonderful music unable to be heard live. 

Alas, it was time to get out of the church before digressing into contemplative sorrow to nearly want to become a member. It was now time for the big show. The big stage. The dance party. It was time for Echoplex with Icona Pop (Sweden). This elecotropop duo of Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt are musicians, emcees, and deejays all rolled together. Applause started the set and the beat never ceased until fading under the second applause at the end of the set. It was one long and continuous Icona Pop club mix of raving the night away. Beat nonstop. Between songs with the beat rolling behind, they did their shout outs to the crowd keeping it lively and connected, like two talented women just partying with the rest of us. Though their vocals are not great individually, when they sing in chorus it is electrifying, they become their own electronic beat, imagine high voltage current with a voice. No modulation.

Niki and the Dove
Niki and the Dove performs to a packed house at Culture Collide's Taix Champagne Room.
photo by picksysticks
Back at the Taix Champagne Room, it was the sounds of Sweden again with Niki & The Dove. Vocalist Malin Dahlstrom may be The Dove, but oddly, there is no Niki in the group. Dahlstrom looked like Cyndi Lauper waking up for her morning coffee with a nest of hair, dressed in a cat face nightgown with lime green stretching to the toes with lots of lime green accessories. A visual acid trip of distorted image and color. The music also sounds like Cyndi Lauper reinventing herself in the current dance music genre, sounding a bit more indie and experimental. Each song has its own twisting flow and movement, not just a steady repetitious beat from beginning to end. The music and vocals undulates between subtle building peaks, bursting climaxes, and slow discharges. It creates a feeling that crawls the skin, flows through the nerves until griping the spine, then shaking the body until it is all out, only to have it crawling the skin again. Niki & The Dove generate an overwhelming surging of cycling energy. The body feeling like this electric turbine ended night three, feeling reenergized for next day's festival ending block party!

See also:
Culture Collide: Day 1
Culture Collide: Day 2
Culture Collide: Day 4 (Block Party)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Ambre Leigh of Some Hear Explosions
Ambre Leigh of Some Hear Explosions performs at The Roxy
photograph by Picksysticks

Sad news  this week as one of our favorite bands, Some Hear Explosions, has called it  quits after five years together.   Bay Dariz wrote on their Facebook page on Monday: 
"I know you haven't heard from us for awhile, so I thought it was time to fill everyone in on what's going on with us. 
When Ambre and I started writing music together nearly 5 years ago, we didn't even know if we would become a band, release any music, or play any shows. It was just about creating, and I think we created something great together! Of course, we did indeed become a band, release an album, and play shows all over the country. 
The best part of the whole experience is meeting all of you, either in person or on social networks. Your support has meant the world to us! Creations become much more meaningful when you have someone to share them with, and we could not have asked for a better audience than you. 
The best explanation of what happened is simply that this band had run its course. We all became more interested in doing different things and focusing on other aspects of our lives. No crazy drama. We’re still friends :) 
We hope you continue to support us in all of our new endeavors as we support each other! We will be using this space to tell you about new projects and we hope you enjoy them. 
I have been very busy in the last few months! I produced a feature film called “Pretty Perfect” that will be playing festivals next year, started a new band called The Secondhand Lions with my friend/collaborator Oliver Thompson, and started producing and developing a super talented new artist named Laura Maust. I hope that you love and support these projects as much as you did for SHE over the years."
Bay Dariz

Monday, October 8, 2012


Zola Jesus
Zola Jesus performs at The Echo during night 2 of Culture Collide.
photo by picksysticks

by Jeff Pegg

The evening of Friday, October 5, 2012 was night two of FILTER Magazine’s Culture Collide third annual music festival. This night ended with itching at the wristband that had to stay on another two days, along with ears still ringing from a second consecutive night performance of the insane sounds of The Balconies. Tonight they were at Taix, the night before at The Echo. The Balconies are the new addiction. This band is definitely the gem discovered at this year's festival, a sort of black onyx gem forged from brimstone to be exact.

Magic Wands
Dexy Valentine of Magic Wands
The Balconies were the end of the evening. Stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway was the beginning of the evening, causing the missed performance of Penny Hewson (Australia) at Echo Park United Methodist Church, and therefore, skipped the church this night.

Instead, the evening started with Magic Wands (USA) at Taix Champagne Room along with a tall can of Tiger beer. It finally felt like the weekend had started. Lead singer and guitar, Dexy Valentine, looked like a witch draped in black beneath a big brimmed peaked hat. It was not a costume, but rather just her style, a casual witch with a guitar from her trusty broom closet. She sings as if she is chanting a ghostly spell, deep, hollow, filled with vapors of chilling breaths. Her guitar floated chords like a swirling mist in the wind, yet splintering sharp like needles at times. The live performance of Magic Wands is not as electronic as their recorded music, but rather more deep forest in the dead of night bewitching echo with subtle electro. Their set needed more smoke, trees, and a smiling pentagram. Nevertheless, no need for real magic wands, for their music itself conjurors a deep energy within.        

Mr. Little Jeans' Monica Birkenes
Mr. Little Jeans
Monica Birkenes of Mr. Little Jeans perfoms at Taix during Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks
Another tall can of Tiger while waiting between sets, then next up on the same stage was Mr Little Jeans (Norway). Interestingly, lead singer Monica Birkenes is not a man, nor is munchkin little, and to bottom it off, was not wearing jeans. That was a realization inner laugh that gave her instant charming character. This is another band with a performance that does not have the dance music sound of their recorded tracks. The songs have a steady fast tempo, but Birkenes' vocals sound like an intimate acoustic session sped up to a dance beat rhythm. It is different, but has a struggle to it. The songs conjure an image of a tiny yellow rowboat persistent to survive and row beyond a continual barrage of foaming high and low ocean waves. Her vocals rise, smoothly dip, and have splashes of abruptness. Oddly, this metaphor was instilled before reading the biography about Birkenes growing up in a seaside town where her father built catamarans. It seems that the childhood sounds of her ocean has immersed into her music. Her vocals navigating the surging oceans of emotions.

School of Seven Bells
School of Seven Bells perform on day 2 of Culture Collide at the Echoplex.
photo by picksysticks
Back on dry land and into the 80's was next with School of Seven Bells (USA) at the wine cellar, catacomb cave chilled atmosphere of Echoplex. Down the steps below. It was like a sudden time warp with lead vocalist Alejandra Deheza having the look of a young free spirited Winona Ryder bringing to life a Patrick Nagel artwork set to a techno disco soundtrack. Her thick black mushroom bowl hair flared center frame on stage with her chalk white features reflecting the vibrant violets and pastel blue canvas of lights strobing about her form. 

Zola Jesus
It was remnant sound and light waves of Studio 54 captured in this cavern for a brief set, before dissipating into the darkness of the present. School of Seven Bells, a fashion piece bringing to life a rendition of culture past.

Next, it was up the stairs out of the depths of the earth and into the starlight stratosphere of Zola Jesus (USA) at The Echo. Her halo blonde golden hair flowing over a soft white tunic adorning her body in an atmosphere of swirling stars gave her the look and tranquil presence of an angel spreading out her delicate wings for all to miracle. 

The celestial vocals of this Nika Roza Danilova feel as though she is calming and yet exiting us with her stories of the heavens, like a messenger on the mound with a sermon that will lead us into the light. Then the audience hits a surprise when the backing instruments of classical instruments harmonized with electronic beats suddenly speeds to a feverish fervor. Her voice continues to outstretch, but the beat feels too fast to accommodate, and seem to inch closer into overwhelming her, like a steamroller slowly creeping up from behind. It is as thought the rising wave of steady fast beats is inevitably going to drown her out and wash away her vocal glow. The instrument disciples need to slow down and follow the path of Zola Jesus, and not be get over anxious to reach the heavens before her. Then it was again to see the second consecutive night performance to get another addicting fix of The Balconies!

the Balconies
The Balconies ended night 2 of Culture Collide at Taix.
photo by picksysticks
 Also see:
Culture Collide: Day 1

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Friday, October 5, 2012

GIRLS ROCK "CULTURE COLLIDE" DAY 1 (with Balconies, Blood Red Shoes & Marit Larsen)

The Balconies
The Balconies perform at The Echo during day 1 of Culture Collide.
photos by picksysticks
by Jeff Pegg
Picksysticks contributer

The world is singing. Los Angeles is listening. It was opening night of FILTER Magazine’s Culture Collide third annual music festival, Thursday, October 04, 2012. It was the beginning of four consecutive days of music from abroad and from the states, representing twenty-five countries this time. Female fronted bands were represented in vast amounts, spanning ten continents themselves.      

Performing at the Echo Park United Methodist Church is Marit Larsen of Norway during day 1 of Culture Collide.
photo by picksysticks
The four-day tour of female fronted bands across the lands began with the sound of Norway by the way of Marit Larsen gracing her presence at Echo Park United Methodist Church. During her set, she looks on her arm as though she has a slit wrist scar to remember the pain of misplaced love and other regrets. Her voice is soft, but heavy, as though singing through heavy tears in her heart. She strums the guitar gentle but determined, like rain showering hard against a windowpane.

Jacquie Neville of The Balconies
Jacquie Neville of The Balconies
pic by picksysticks

It is obvious she is releasing a humble hurt as though her performance whispers a confession of guilt love. However, in songs of happiness her voice changes from burden to bliss. The thickness in her vocals dissipates and frees a confident crisp delight like that of a morning songbird. After, she lets us know that it is not a scar on her wrist after all, but rather her set list for the evening she penned on her arm, so not to get lost as she moved seats from piano to guitar. Though little does she say that the songs may be scars themselves. A church of woes.
Laura-Mary Carter of Blood Red Shoes

After spending time in church, it was forward into the enchantments of the darkness that is The Echo to submerge into the sinful wickedness of The Balconies (Canada). Jacquie Neville leads vocal and guitar like an insane immortal sorcerer setting herself on fire for fun, repeatedly. She spasms as though possessed by a James Brown in flames. She does this while transforming her guitar into a rampaging adrenaline drugged bull. Her voice sounds like a disco Blondie, but instruments lash with guitar and bass torturing tones of Psychobilly. Neville's performance vibes of a damsel turning werewolf in dead of night under a full moon disco ball. She has to be seen for this to be truly understood and believed. Supernatural.  

Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell of Blood Red Shoes
UK's Blood Red Shoes Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell  performs at the Taix Champagne Room.
photos by picksysticks

Jacquie Neville of The BalconiesMarit Larsen
Then there was the final twist of the evening with Blood Red Shoes (UK) in the Taix Champagne Room. Not darkness, nor the light, but rather a view of an awkward dream where an arena stage with a bad ass band meant for a high school gym dance crashes down into the room of a crystal chandelier wedding banquet in the back of Taix. Blood Red Shoes with leading vocals and guitar of Laura-Mary Carter eats into the memory like first and final love in ever-wavering turmoil. Love regretting memories of the future. Fake ID whisky filled flask dropped into a champagne bottle. A confused message that is not possible, but the feeling is exact. The glitter green prom dress looks normal at the altar. The music pulsates between vibrant life and vibrant loss, deep into torn restlessness. Passion bursts captured and corked in a bottle. Glitter lights over carpet soaked alcohol. Good memories gone bad. There is a bright light shinning in from an open back door for an awaking escape, but realizing it only leads to a street light outside. Where are all the tables and chairs anyway? Now it is a VIP green room without an open bar. What kinds of drug are in those Blood Red Shoes soaking in the punch bowl?

This was only night 1 of 4. It was only a four-day event, but how long would it really last in the body and mind? Permanently, is likely the diagnosis?  

Also see:

Monday, October 1, 2012


Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females
Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females performs at the Eagle Rock Center of the Arts back in April.
photo by picksysticks
If you're planning on going to the Garbage concert at the Palladium Tuesday night, be sure to get there super early to catch opening act Screaming Females.

They shred with precise efficiency under the blinding, siezure-tastic strobes. Ordered chaos with laser sighting concentration.  Screaming Females, the New Jersey trio who has been featured on Spin Magazine and Rolling Stone and currently opening for Garbage on selected dates will bring their  garage-punk wailings to the Palladium Tuesday night, Oct. 2nd,  to  put on a show for the ages.  Tormenting Smashing Pumpkins-esque melodies sewn with sharp, Van Halen-like riffs, pint-sized front-woman Marissa Paternoster screams and thrashes without abandon.  But although it seems like they're raising anarchy onstage it's Screaming Females' sense of control that impresses most, like a well trained knife juggler, you cant' take your eyes off them - sooner or later they may draw blood. 

They recently released their fifth studio album, Ugly, in April.  Be sure to get there early to catch this band. You won't be disappointed.