Late last year, the new Shine 2012 Chevrolet Cruze commercial began airing featuring Third Street Promenade street performer Chelsea Williams singing the Travie McCoy/Bruno Mars hit song "Billionaire." This week, Chelsea releases this video with a full version of the song. Here she is performing on Third Street. And below is her commercial for Chevy.
Moonpools & Caterpillars are Kimi, Tim, Gugut and Jay Jay.
"Los Angeles...it's gonna happen" was the cryptic message posted on the Moonpools and Caterpillars official Facebook page on Jan. 28th. Which means that after 14 years, the Los Angeles band will reunite to play once again. OH YEEE-AAAH. Now, all we need to hear are dates and venues which they'll hopefully announce soon and I'll be first in line to grab some. Stay tuned for more details.
It began back in August of 2010, with rumors of a reunion show which was fueled by Moonpools and Caterpillars' own Facebook page revealing full-band practice sessions and the teasing a possible show at the intimate Hotel Cafe. And with that news, fans were foaming at the mouth for a chance to see Moonpools and Caterpillars one last time. Let's hope, at least for me who has never seen this band live, that this happens.
Comprised of Kimi Ward Encarnacion, Jay Jay Encarnacion, Gugut Salgado and Tim de Pala, Moonpools and Caterpillars' rise to fame was accidental. It's said that during one of their shows, an A&R representative from a record label went to one of their shows looking to sign a different band that was also performing that night. Well, the A&R guy got there early and caught Moonpools' set and loved them so much he signed them on the spot. As for the other band? Who knows?
Moonpools and Caterpillars last show at The Whisky A Go Go
Through the years, Moonpools and Caterpillars have grown a cult-like following by word of mouth, friends making copies for friends, listening to their songs on long car rides and singing along to their universal lyrics of life, proving that their albums hasn't aged through the years and their songs could easily play on radio today. Today, years later, I still listen to these albums and with the help of the internet, fans –new and old – can rediscover this band that continues to entertain. For me, this was basically the start of Picksysticks and my love for women-fronted bands began.
Check out their appearance on Disney's "Wish Upon a Star" which happens to be Katherine Heigl's very first movie.
Moonpools and Caterpillars performing "Hear" in the 1996 Disney movie "Wish Upon a Star." .
Wow. This electro-pop duo is hyping me up for the weekend. Comprised of Boston duo Sara Graziani and Matt Rhoades, Young London just released their dance-inducing, explosive self-titled debut album on January 10th. Hit songs up the wah-hoo, they wowed with hits like "Celebrity" and "New Reputation" at SXSW and their video for "Let Me Go" have amassed nearly 100,000 views since it was released four months ago. Their debut album is available in stores and on iTunes right HERE.
Olivia Merilahti of The Dø performs at The Bootleg Theater in 2010. photo by picksysticks
The UK's The Gaurdian just premiered a new song from French outfit The Dø. Actually, it's not a new song but a new cover of Janelle Monae's "Tightrope."
The Gaurdian excerpt: Artists often cover songs either as a way of adding a layer of "authenticity" (see Travis's acoustic take on Britney's Baby One More Time, or as part of a TV talent show and they have no choice. On both occasions a good cover – to quote Simon Cowell – involves "making the song your own" and while that's always nice when it happens (Johnny Cash's reworking of Nine Inch Nails' Hurt is taken as the definitive version now), it's also fun just to hear someone giving a song a go for the hell of it. That's where French/Finnish duo the Dø's take on Janelle Monaé's Tightrope – premiered here – comes into its own. (read the rest of the review at The Gaurdian)
Cassadee Pope begins her acoustic tour this Friday. photo by picksysticks
******UPDATE: Feb. 3, 2012********
Check out our pics and review of Cassadee's show at the Key Club right HERE.
Hey Monday lead singer Cassadee Pope has been performing in front of audiences since she was 13 years old. So when Hey Monday surprised their fans when they announced the band would be taking a 'hiatus' it came as no surprise to learn that the now 22-year-old Pope turned to what she's known most of her life - the stage.
Earlier this month, with Pope's announcement that she would be embarking on her first ever solo tour, there was a collective sigh of relief from millions of fans upon hearing the news that Hey Monday had not broken up but were merely taking a 'hiatus.' It took lead singer Cassadee Pope to clear up the confusion when she released a statement:
"I wanted to let you all know that Hey Monday is not "broken up." We are, however, taking a break and pursuing things on our own...I hope you all understand that this does not mean we'll never release new music or tour ever again...Me and the guys are still friends and always will be, and this was a decision we all agreed was for the best."
So, while fans won't be hearing any new Hey Monday songs anytime soon, the better news is that Pope has been writing new original songs and plans to showcase them on an 18-city acoustic tour across the United States. In fact, one of her new songs called "Lunatic" posted on YouTube has already received over 16,000 hits since she posted it January 10th and reveals a more mature songwriting direction from Pope but still manages to deliver it over pop melodies that Hey Monday fans come to expect. But unlike Hey Monday's power-pop sound, Pope hopes to carve out her own musical identity. "I want the lyrics to be more edgy and darker than anything on the radio. Just doing what I love, the real instruments and guitars but with a real pop twist to it," says Pope.
But don't fret HM fans. Pope also revealed that her set list will include some Hey Monday songs as well as 10-11 original songs she's been working on as well as a possible cover or two. "It's going to be a really fun time, like a 'Storytellers' kind of thing," she says.
Pope first came into public view when she formed Hey Monday in 2008. Their power-pop sound caught the attention of Pete Wetz and they soon were signed to his label and Columbia Records. Since then, the band has toured non-stop sharing the stage with the likes of Fall Out Boy, The Academy Is and All Time Low.
Cassadee Pope embarks on her first ever solo tour. photo by picksysticks
Now, as Hey Monday takes a break, Pope is heading out solo by playing 18 cities in one month beginning this Friday at Anaheim's Chain Reaction and ending 28 days later in her home state of Florida. Supporting her will beStephen Jerzak, Justin Youngand Darling Parade. If you can't make the Anaheim show this Friday, Cassadee performs at The Key Club on the famed Sunset Strip next Tuesday (1/31). Click HERE for dates and ticket info.
CASSADEE POPE SHOWS
1/27 - Anaheim @ Chain Reaction 1/28 - San Diego @ Soma Sidestage 1/29 - Scottsdale @ Martini Ranch 1/31 - West Hollywood @ Key Club 2/1 - Camarillo @ Rock City 2/2 - Bakersfield @ Jerry’s Pizza & Pub 2/11- Chicago @ Beat Kitchen 2/12 - Pittsburgh @ The Altar Bar 2/14 - Philadelphia @ First Unitarian Church 2/15 - Boston @ Brighton Music Hall 2/16 - Teaneck @ Mexicali Live 2/17 - New York @ Highline Ballroom 2/18 - Whitehall @ Planet TrogEnt. Complex 2/19- Baltimore @ Baltimore Soundstage 2/21- Greensboro, N.C. @ Greene Street 2/22- Atlanta @ The Masquerade 2/23 - Gainesville, Fla. @ Double Down Live 2/24 - Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Culture Room
Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo) and Tanya Donelly (Belly). photo via Kay Hanley twitter
Awwww. Check this out. My two favorite singers together. Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo and Tanya Donelly of Belly taken recently by Kay in Boston where the two performed together during a benefit for Foundation to be Named Later on January 14th. Maybe the two will form a band together. I can dream can't I? Who could ever forget Kay serenading Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in "10 Things I Hate About You." One of the best films ever. I miss the 90's and looking at this pic, 90's alternative never looked so beautiful.
And 19 years ago today, Belly released the dream-pop-alternative album Star which spawned hits "Feed The Tree," "Gepetto," and "Slow Dog." Formed in Boston in 1991 by front woman Tanya Donelly, the album reached certified gold and Belly was nominated for two Grammy Awards. They disbanded in 1996 and Donelly went on to record one of my favorite albums - yet under appreciated Lovesongs for Underdogs in 1997. Today? Donelly still immerses herself in music. Last year, she released the fragile and soft, country-esque album Whiskey Tango Ghosts. And last month, she took part in Under The Covers: Please Please Please tribute to The Smiths, singing an acoustic version of "Shoplifters of the World." You can get that album now at American Laundromat. And it's available on iTunes.
What's Kay up to these days? She currently resides in L.A. and fronts the her new band Palmdale, releasing two EPs last year called Get Wasted and How To Be Mean which you can purchase at iTunes right HERE! Below is Palmdale's single "Happiness Has a Half-Life" and for good ol' times sake, "Here and Now" from Kay's Letters To Cleo days.
"Happiness Has a Half-Life" by Palmdale from the Get Wasted EP.
Kim DiVine has that voice that you've heard of before but never actually knew who's voice it belonged to. Her angelic voice has helped her compile an impressive resume that includes her songs being featured in films, television and commercials and singing in some of the country's biggest venues including Madison Square Garden and Staples Center.
This is her official video for her song "Perfect Kind of Love." It's off her EP Five which she just released this weekend. And if you still don't know where you've heard her voice before here's a hint: She's the voice of Jello-O. You've probably heard her singing the jingle in the Jello-O commercials. Yep, that's her.
Alabama Shake's debut album Boys & Girls won't be released until April but they still managed to sell-out more than half of their dates on their tour - including one here at The Troubadour on Jan. 25th. And after watching this video, you'll understand why.
Amy May performs at Santa Monica's Apple Store on 3rd St. photo by picksysticks
If you're a regular reader of this site, then you're well aware of my love for Amy May. A regular busker on Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade, Ms. May just released an official video for one of my favorite songs "Real." And last night her song was featured on CW's "One Tree Hill." How cool is that. Chalk up another success story from 3rd Street Promenade. "Real" was also featured on Delta Airlines' Hello Music in-flight entertainment recently and with a couple independently released albums under her belt, Amy has hopes her new music will reach the mainstream by launching a campaign to raise funds to record her new album through Indie Gogo. You can help her out right HERE. You can watch her next when she plays the Macha Theater in Hollywood on Jan. 25th. It'll be nice to see her perform on an actual stage instead of the on the streets. Should be fun!
Los Angeles rockers, Dead Sara has just been confirmed as one of the featured artists to performs at this year's Vans Warped Tour. With this, Dead Sara is ready to explode onto the music scene. In what has to be one of the longest debut album release teases in history, Dead Sara reminds us why good things come to those who wait. A planned release last August was pushed back to October and then finally this May through Fontana/Universal by way of their own record label Pocket Kid Records. Warped Tour, now in it's 18th year launches June 16th in Salt Lake City, Utah.
After receiving rave reviews for their second full-length album Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy which was released last September, New York bubblegum-punk rockers Candy Hearts are now currently working on a new EP. Known for the bouncy melodies delivered over punk-pop arrangements, Candy Hearts are currently working on their new EP and are offering a brand-new acoustic demo song titled "I Want You" free through their Bandcamp page. A full band version of the song will appear on their upcoming EP later this year. And while they're doing that, Candy Hearts just announced that they're heading out on tour with Man Overboard in what's being billed by Alternative Press as one of the top tours to attend this winter. Click HERE for tour dates and info.
Anyways, below is one of my favorite songs off of Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy. It's called "Tongue Tied." Enjoy!
I came across this single "Honeypie" from Silverlake's own Peachy Keene and immediately fell in love. Made up of Danielle Clement, Christine Clement, Glenn Chu, Kim Ward and Kelsey Johnston, Peachy Keene lavishes in dreamy pop melodies over playful synths in a way that makes them sound refreshing and new. Their other songs, off their EP When We Collide, which was released last year, have hints of vintage-romantic and folky-pop sound. They play The Commonwealth in Fullerton on January 22nd and then The Silverlake Lounge on Jan. 24th. Can't wait!!
Asteroids Galaxy Tour performs at The Echoplex during Culture Collide. photo by picksysticks
Probably my first exposure to The Asteroids Galaxy Tour 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.
"Golden Age" by Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Now, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour are set to start their U.S. tour to support their latest record. Here's the newest video from The Asteroids Galaxy Tour called "Heart Attack." It's the first single off their upcoming album Out of Frequency which drops on January 31st. That's the same day they launch their U.S. tour in New York City. They play the Echoplex here in Los Angeles on Valentines Day. You can pre-order their album right HERE.
Joy Formidable performs at The El Rey last year. photo by picksysticks.
Joy Formidable has just announced they'll be heading out on a new U.S. tour beginning this March. They're currently in Portland, Maine recording their follow-up to the smash debut album The Big Roar. Joining them on this tour will be A Place to Bury Strangers and Exit Music. Already pre-sale tickets are sold out for certain cities so get them quick! Click HERE for ticket info.
TOUR DATES: 3/12 - San Francisco @ Independent 3/13 - San Francisco @ Independent 3/14 - Los Angeles @ Henry Fonda Theatre (The Music Box) 3/17 - Denver @ Bluebird Theatre 3/19 - Minneapolis @ Fine Line Music Cafe 3/20 - Madison @ Majestic Theatre 3/22 -Bloomington @ The Bluebird 3/23 - Cincinnati @ 20th Century Theatre 3/24 -Atlanta @ Masquerade 3/25 - Asheville @ Orange Peel 1 3/26 - Washington @ 9:30 Club 3/28 - New York @ Terminal 5 3/29 - Philadelphia @ Union Transfer 3/30 - Boston @ Paradise Rock Club 3/31 - Montreal @ SAT 4/2 - Toronto @ Lee’s Place
Dead Sara performs at a sold out Troubadour. photo by picksysticks
Tuesday at The Troubadour was the place to be if you love music. Put on by people who LOOOOOOOVE music. Not only was it a great night, it featured performances by local artists brought together by Danny Masterson's Bronson Island and 98.7. Masterson, a big supporter of local artists also spun hypnotic beats and mashups under his moniker DJ Mom Jeans. On the bill this night was The Feaver, Last In Class, Little Hurricane and Dead Sara.
Like lead singer Emily Armstrong pacing on stage waiting to explode into full on fury-mode, Dead Sara is ready to explode onto the music scene. In what has to be one of the longest debut album release teases in history, Dead Sara reminds us why good things come to those who wait. A planned release last August was pushed back to October and then finally this May through Fontana/Universal by way of their own record label Pocket Kid Records. I've been waiting for their album to come out when I first heard their song "We Are What You Say" about two years ago. Unfortunately, they haven't been playing that song live (at least the three times I've seen them live) but that's just one great song out of a shit-load of songs in their arsenal to love.
Pure rock and roll, Dead Sara oozes it from their pores in sweat and tears. As anticipation grew in this sold-out Troubadour crowd, Emily Armstrong started off with the slow-burning rock ballad "Sorry For It All" showcasing her powerful vocals, reaching deep into the depths of her soul. Soon afterwards, Dead Sara gave the fans what they paid to see -fierce and blistering guitars let loose over rock-anthem-like choruses in "Lemon Scent," "Test My Patience" and "Face to Face." And when Dead Sara launched into their soon-to-be mega hit "Weatherman" you almost forgot you were watching a rock show in the 450 capacity Troubadour and not in a venue like Staples Center that holds thousands. Dead Sara next plays at The Slidebar in Fullerton on Jan. 20th and then The Bootleg Theater in L.A. on Feb. 2nd. Get tiks while they last.
Last In Class performs at The Troubadour photos by picksysticks
Earlier in the night was Last In Class, fronted by Emily Wilder and Jessica Gelt, former members of Wet & Reckless. And rounding out the group are Charlie Wadhams and Chris Watson. Only been a band for about 3 months, the foursome celebrated their coming out party by playing a residency at Casey's Irish Pub downtown last November and then a few dates at The Satellite. Last In Class spice their Nancy Sinatra meets punk sound with memorable guitar hooks and catchy melodies. Add some pop and fast powered throbbing beats and I promise you that you'll find it hard not to keep from dancing. Barely an online presence, the only way to hear them is to see them live! I love this band and can't to see them again.
Celeste 'CC' Spina and Anthony 'Tone' Catalano of Little Hurricane photo by picksysticks
The night closed out with San Diego darlings Little Hurricane consisting of Anthony 'Tone' Catalano and Celeste 'CC' Spina. The two-person band with a big sound ala White Stripes but with a more bluesy-rock flavor took home the Best New Artist Award at last year's San Diego Music Awards. Their sound? Think of Tone as the scorching hot sun and CC is the rattlesnake gliding across the dried up desert floor. I missed them at last year's Culture Collide at The Echo due to time changes in set times. Bummer. But so excited I finally got to see them. Last month, they released their debut album called Homewrecker and Little Hurricane just scored four dates at this years SXSW Music Festival in March so this may be the year I finally decide to go.
DJ Mom Jeans spins to a sold out Troubadour. photo by picksysticks
UH HUH HER will perform this coming Monday night, January 9, on ABC-TV’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” marking the electro-pop group’s first-ever national late-night TV performance. Tune in on Monday at 12:05 am ET/CT/PT to watch UH HUH HER--LEISHA HAILEY (keyboards, bass) and CAMILA GREY (keyboards, guitar)--perform the electrifying new single “Marstorm” from their sophomore release NOCTURNES (Plaid). The show will also be available for viewing online the following day at: http://abc.go.com/shows/jimmy-kimmel-live.
UPDATE: Here's the full performance below. They sing "Marstorm" off their new album Nocturnes.
And check out their video below for "Another Casem " also off their newest album Nocturnes which is out now!!
Summer Camp is Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley
Well, I don't know if 'tour' is the right word here. So far Summer Camp have announced three cities on this trip across the pond. Hopefully, more will follow. But most importantly, they're playing the Echo on Feb. 13th! And it's FREEEEEEEE. Woo-hoo. Four dates and three cities in February with stops in New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. Summer Camp recently released their album Welcome to Condale here in the States in November. You can purchase the album right HERE. The video for the song "Better off Without You" was their first single off that album.
There must be something in the water over in Australia that's breeding a new crop of up-and-coming bands. The past couple years alone, I've listened and come to like certain bands only to find out later that they come from down under. Temper Trap, Kimbra, Guineafowl, MonaAnnLisa Wilde. And now comes another band from Australia - Tonight Alive, a made for Warped Tour type of band. Sort of in the same category as Hey Monday, Paramore and We Are The In Crowd, Tonight Alive has all the right tools to find success in the States. They just wrapped their US Tour as part of The Fearless Friends Tour and now they're releasing their new album next month. Read their official bio below:
Introducing Tonight Alive: Australia's hottest new export, power pop-punk quintet Tonight Alive, are gearing up to rock the US with their new album What Are You So Scared Of?, due out Valentine's Day (Feb 14) on Fearless Records. Lead by Jenna McDougall, their 19 year old ingénue-with-attitude, Tonight Alive has exploded onto the pop-punk scene with their ebullient, fist-pumping anthemery, arena-sized hooks and high-voltage live performances. Already a name in their native Australia, Tonight Alive turns their attention to the US as one of the year’s most anticipated new bands. Tonight Alive will tour the US with Go Radio March-May and will return for additional touring June-August. Don’t miss the scene’s next breakout band!
It was such a wonderful experience to spend my last day of 2011 with Wanda Jackson and Best Coast at Club Nokia. It was a night of giving thanks to our blessings of the past year and to say 'hello' to the year ahead. And this night summed it up perfectly. We all need to give a big thanks to Mrs. Jackson and, of course, Best Coast probably wouldn't be here if it had not been for Mrs. Jackson blazing the trail. And I invited someone who loves music and who supports independant bands as much as I do - Bored4Music who took some great pics and wrote a nice write-up of the night. Read below and check out more pics of Wanda Jackson and Best Coast including a new song "In Your Sleep" right HERE.
We have followed Best Coast (Bobb & Bethany) since our inception back in 2010. Love their sound, it reminds me of Jenny Lewis / Rilo Kiley.
My Friends had the opportunity to experience Beth and Bobb a few months ago when they visited San Fran. Remember, she had high praise afterwards. Not only that, this would be Picksysticks' fourth trip to see them. Is he a stalker? Maybe, but after experiencing Best Coast live...understand why they love and happy they were the cherry on top of 2011.
We had front row seats, right behind the press pit. So, the pictures couldn't have come out better. Behind us, the whole club was nearly sold out. Many of the fans that came for Best Coast left before Wanda Jackson rang in the new year. Not surprising though. Since I first heard of them, Best Coast have become quite big in the indie rock blogosphere.
After researching (Wanda Jackson), had one of those "Holy Fucking Shit" moments. No wonder why she was headlining Club Nokia, new year's eve. You can thank Jack White for dragging this legend out of the chest. She has had recent appearance on Divas Live and current member of the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.
Best Coast just announced they'll be headlining The Smell this Saturday as part of The Smell's 14th Anniversary Celebration weekend. Go to thesmell.org for more details and lineup. Tiks are only $10. Also, album news: 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. Happy New Year everyone. Here's to 2012.
Tic Tic Boom performs at The Viper Room. photo by picksysticks
What a great first day of 2012! To celebrate, here's Tic Tic Boom's newest video. It's for "Just Friends" off their latest EP Reasons & Rhymes. Currently, they're working on their new EP with plans to tour and with help from YOU, the fans, you can make 2012 an awesome year. Tic Tic Boom are offering some cool exclusives at pledgemusic.com which includes a private house concert, dinner with the band, signed CDs, posters and even the oppurtunity to download their new EP early. Click HERE to pledge.
Anyways, check out the new video for "Just Friends" below and for good measure, an oldie but one of my favs "All That Matters" which is off their 2008 EP How to Defuse a Bomb.