Canadian Alessia Cara made her highly anticipated Los Angeles debut at The Troubadour. Signed to Def Jam records based on her Soundcloud page that included covers of Lorde, The Neighbourhood, Sam Smith and Justin Bieber, this show marked Alessia's first headlining gig.


Ahead of their June 9th release of their upcoming album Wild Nights, UK's PINS have released their new single "Young Girls." Also, they just announced their U.S. summer toiur which kicks off June 13rh in New York.


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


Last Saturday, over 150 bands made their journey to downtown Pasadena to take part in Make Music Pasadena (MMP), billed as the largest free, all-day music festival on the West Coast.


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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Cathedrals' Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin

This video works on so many levels, perfectly capturing the sound and mood of San Francisco-based band Cathedrals.  In the new video for "Unbound," a ballerina who dances and seems to float on air is softly illuninated by a sugar cubs light sculpture, set to delicate layers of vulnerable synth-pop melodies.  

"Unbound" official music video by Cathedrals.
directed by Sam Pressman

Consisting of Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin, Cathedrals have been together for about a year, releasing their debut EP in September.  Their songs does so much with its sheer simplicity before soaring into a wall of ethereal soundscapes.

Cathedrals previously revealed "Harlem" and "Unbound"  via their Soundcloud page, and both songs shot to the #1 position on the Hype Machine chart in no time.   

In October, Cathedrals will play their first ever East Coast shows at New York's CMJ music festival.  

Monday, September 29, 2014


Zola Jesus

New York Times is currently streaming Zola Jesus' full album TAIGA for a limited time. Press Play is the place where The New York Times debuts noteworthy new music. TAIGA drops October 7th, a day before she launches her record release world tour in San Francisco on Oct. 8th which also takes her to major cities across the globe including stops in Los Angeles, New York, England, Germany, France and Switzerland through November. 

TAIGA, her fifth studio album, is very pop-centric and accessible which is a contrast to her usual calming melodies which are peppered with delicate synths painting a rustic and industrial landscape. 

According to Vogue, Zola Jesus (aka: Nika Danilova) experiments with pop music for her upcoming album Taiga which drops October 7th.  Rolling Stone describes it as “a surprising set of 11 pop songs, replete with catchy beats and stuck-in-your-head hooks,” and Paste says, "The whole album thrives on a sense of clarity for the singer/songwriter." 

Listen to TAIGA in its entirety at New York Times' Press Play righT HERE

"Dangerous Days" official music video by Zola Jesus.

10/8 – San Francisco, CA – Bimbo’s w/ Operators
10/9 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey w/ Leech
10/16 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall w/ The-Drum
10/17 – Washington, DC – Hirshhorn Museum
10/19 – New York, NY – Webster Hall w/ Martin Rev (Suicide) & Lee Bannon
10/29 – Bristol, England – Colston Hall
10/30 – Leeds, England – Belgrave Music Hall
10/31 – Glasgow, Scotland – Stereo
11/1 – Manchester, England – Manchester Cathedral - Columns
11/4 – Paris, France – Badaboum
11/5 – Strasbourg, France – La Laiterie
11/6 St Gallen, Switzerland - Palace
11/7 Geneva, Switzerland – l’Usine
11/8 – Reims, France – La Cartonnerie
11/10 – Köln, Germany – Gebäude 9
11/11 – Berlin, Germany – Berghain
11/12 – Hamburg, Germany – Uebel and Gefährlich
11/13 – Frankfurt, Germany - Zoom
11/14 – Brussels, Belgium – La Nuit Botanique
11/15 – Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
11/18 – London, England - KOKO



Today, Lorde premiered her new single for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part 1" film.  The single, called "Yellow Flicker Beat" is the lead song off the soundtrack and it now available on iTunes now.

"Yellow Flicker Beat" is a moody, synth-pop tune, fitting for the Hunger Games franchise that launches into a military-like beat with a rising chorus that lifts from the dark ashes.

Lorde, the multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning artist from New Zealand, is currenlty on her North American Tour that began at this year's Coachella Festival in August.  She makes her Los Angeles Greek Theater debut on October 6th & 7th. 

9/30 – The Joint, Las Vegas
10/2 – Greek, Berkeley, Calif.
10/6 – Greek, Los Angeles
10/9 – Santa Barbra Bowl, Santa Barbra, Calif.
10/10 – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theater, San Diego10-12 – Austin City Limits, Austin (Weekend 2 only) *

* festival performance

Sunday, September 28, 2014


photo via Facebook/MozellaMusic
That catchy song you hear on the new Microsoft commercial is called "Unplug" by MoZella. The ad, for the new Surface Pro 3 Power uses lyrics "Unplug let it out, unplug let it in" to push graphic artists to switch from Mac to Microsoft. 

The song, written by Mozella & Tim Myers was also used in the 2012 trailers for the Judd Apatow film "This Is 40" starring Paul Rudd.

MoZella is behind the worldwide hit song "Wrecking Ball" written for Miley Cyrus.  It was Miley's first number one single in the U.S. and made the year's top lists for Billboard, Rolling Stone, MTV and Spin Magazine.  

"Surface Pro 3 Power" commercial featuring the song "Unplug" by Mozella

"Unplug" by MoZella

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Five Knives Announce Campus Consciousness Tour with Icona Pop

Fall 2014 Campus Consciousness Tour Kicks off Next Month

Red Bull Records artists Five Knives are hitting the road with Icona Pop on the 14th Campus Consciousness Tour (CCT.) This fall, the tour will visit ten schools empowering female student leaders and supporting environmental efforts on campus and nationally. To coincide with the tour, Five Knives have released a new song via Buzznet and Purevolume. Listen to “Sugar” here:

Hailing from Nashville, TN, Five Knives are the perfect intersection of where electronica and rock n’ roll meet.  Front woman Anna M’Queen, keyboardists/programmers Nathan Barlowe and Zach Hall, and drummer Shane Wise grind heavy synth riffs into an undeniably catchy sound that’s rooted in old-school punk, new school electronic and pure, unadulterated pop. Songs from their 2013 EP The Rising have been remixed by Xilent, Damn Kids and more, resulting in a Top 10 Billboard Club Chart hit, and Pretty Lights’ remix of the band’s song “Savages” has received almost 500k plays on SoundCloud. Five Knives are currently finishing their Mark Needham (Imagine Dragons, The Killers)-produced debut album, due out next year.

This semester’s CCT focuses on supporting campus environmental groups, recognizing female student leaders on campus, and bringing attention to national environmental campaigns, with an upbeat and fun approach. The tour will include an opportunity for students to add their voice to the Environmental Defense Fund’s Defend our Future campaign against climate change each day in the student union or campus center, and at each evening’s concert, non-profit group REVERB will set up an interactive Consciousness Village, with a recycled “Trashion Show” Photo Booth, Defend Our Future, student environmental groups, prizes, games, and more.

Fall 2014 Campus Consciousness Tour Dates:

10/15/14 - University of South Carolina - Columbia, SC - Colonial Life Arena (students only)
10/17/14 - West Virginia University - Morgantown, WV - Morgantown Event Center
10/18/14 - Cornell University - Ithaca, NY - Barton Hall
10/23/14 - St. Louis University - St. Louis, MO - Chaifetz Arena
10/25/14 - Southern Miss - Hattiesburg, MS - Historic Downtown Hatties
10/28/14 – IUP - Indiana, PA - Ohio Room, Hadley Union Bldg.
10/30/14 - Bloomsburg University - Bloomsburg, PA - Nelson Fieldhouse
11/01/14 - Bates College - Lewiston, ME - Gray Gym


Vic and Gab performs at The Soho House at SXSW.
photo by picksysticks
We first saw this sister dou at SXSW earlier this year.  With their cool and refreshing indie-pop, their songs are ohhh sooo catchy. 

For Tegan and Sara fans, Milwaukee's own sister duo Vic and Gab should be added to your playlists.  And just like the Canadian twin sisters, these sisters also trade off and share vocal duties. Infectious playful songs that are beat and bass driven are their forte along with their sweet harmonies that barely rise above a sultry whisper.    

They just released their new video for "Love of Mine" directed by Betty Allen. Check it out below.

"Love of Mine" official music video by Vic & Gab.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014



You ever enjoy someone's company so much you'd rather stay out all night and do nothing?  That's what Elliphant's new song "One More" reminds me of.  But no matter how hard you try and make the night last, time just seems to fly by.   

Listen to the chill, dark and moody new video from Elliphant featuring MØ.  Set to hypnotic beats, we follow the two singers driving the empty city streets looking to extend their night. 

"One More" is off Elliphant's One More EP which drops October 14th.  

Music video by Elliphant feat. MØ performing One More (Official Video). 2014 Record Company TEN under exclusive license to Kemosabe Records

Monday, September 22, 2014


Perez Hilton

It's safe to say that mostly every website out today owes a great deal to blogger Perez Hilton. At a time when the internet was still at its infancy, way before MySpace and Twitter, his site was writing about what eveybody loves - gossip.  His site spawned thousands of copycat sites and, it's safe to say, has transformed the internet to what it is today.  

But other than the latest celebrity gossip that Perez is known for, he has also been at the forefront of discovering the next big thing in music.  Hilton's passion for music has lead him to creat the hugely successful musical event series "One Night In..." which features up-and-coming and top musical atcs in the industry.  

This night on the red carpet, before heading inside to celebrate his 10th anniversary, he told us that music is his passion and that his latest obsession and future star is Canadian pop-singer Kiesza who he featured last month at his annual "One Night In Los Angeles" musical event.  

Ten years later, Perez Hilton is still going strong and Picksysticks owes a great deal to his site, following and also loving his musical picks and we will always look to Perez Hilton for the 'next big thing in music.'   

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Kiesza performs at Perez Hilton's "One Night In Los Angeles."
photo by picksysticks

Thursday, September 18, 2014



This week, you might have seen the new tv spots  for TJ Maxx featuring families stylin' it in everyday life or as the commercial says "Maxximize Everything in Your Life"  which an audible funkadelic tune underneath with the lyrics, "I wear my clothes like this because I can, I wear my hair like this because I can, I walk around like this because I can." 

Of course, the best 'thang' about the spot was the use of Estelle's  song "Do My Thang" featuring Janelle Monae.  The single was off her 2012 album All Of Me and it's use was a perfect fit for the advertisement 

TJ Maxx "Maxximize"

And for good measure, here is Estelle's full song "Do My Thang."

"Do My Thing" by Estelle


Meg Myers

Shot in gritty black and white, Meg Myers' new video for "Go" tells a story about a destructive relationship.  Standing up with the courage to leave the abusive relationship, Myers venomously sings "Shut up it burns, Spit on me with your words...Nobody's ever gonna tie me down."  "Go" is off Meg's Make a Shadow EP which dropped earlier this year.  

Tomorrow (9/19), Meg Myers starts her fall tour supporting Royal Blood through month which will end on Sept. 29th at Los Angeles' sold out Troubadour.   

"Go" official music video by Meg Myers.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014



The 'IT' band of the year has been LA-based siblings Echosmith.  And it's been busy for the group, just coming off a featured spot on this summer's Vans Warped Tour.  With their SoCal, sparkling-pop sound, the siblings consisting of Sydney, Jamie, Noah and Graham recently performed their hit song "Cool Kids" on NBC's Today show and was featured this week at Apple's new iPhone 6 and iWatch unveiling. Not to mention, they've been named VH1's "You Outta Know" Artist for the month of October.  

And this week, they just released the official music video for their Gold certified single "Cool Kids"   ahead of their upcoming tour with American Authors and Neon Trees. Check out the video below:

"Cool Kids" by Echosmith

Echosmith Fall Tour
09/25    Tobin Center - San Antonio, TX
10/01     Knitting Factory - Reno, NV*
10/02    House of Blues - San Diego, CA*
10/03    The Observatory - Santa Ana, CA*
10/04    Club Nokia - Los Angeles, CA*
10/05    The Catalyst - Santa Cruz, CA*
10/07    Wonder Ballroom - Portland, OR*
10/08    Vogue Theater - Vancouver, Canada*
10/09    Showbox at the Market - Seattle, WA*
10/10     Knitting Factory - Spokane, WA*
10/11     Knitting Factory - Boise, ID*
10/13     The Depot - Salt Lake City, UT*
10/14     Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO*
10/16     Uptown Theatre - Kansas City, MO*
10/17     Granada Theatre - Dallas, TX*
10/18     Warehouse Live - Houston, TX*
10/19     Mohawk - Austin, TX*
10/24     Life is Beautiful Festival - Las Vegas, NV
10/27     Aztec Theater - San Antonio, TX^
10/28    Civic Theatre - New Orleans, LA^
10/29     Florida Theatre - Jacksonville, FL^
11/02     The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC^
11/03     The Town Ballroom - Buffalo, NY
11/04     Iron City - Birmingham, AL^
11/05     Track 29 - Chattanooga, TN^
11/06     Tennessee Theatre - Knoxville, TN^
11/12      Jammin Java - Vienna, VA
11/13      The Barbary - Philadelphia, PA
11/14      Marlin Room at Webster Hall - New York, NY
11/15      Higher Ground - S. Burlington, VT
11/16      The Middle East (downstairs) - Cambridge, MA
11/19      Schuba's Tavern - Chicago, IL

* Honda Civic Tour w/ American Authors

^ Neon Trees tour

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin of Cathedrals

It's usually rare to see a venue packed very early for an opening band, especially for a band that was only performing their second show ever.  Cathedrals did just that last last Wednesday at The Echo in Los Angeles.  

Consisting of Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin, Cathedrals have been together for about a year. Their social media footprint is basically non-existent except for a Soundcloud page and a Facebook page that (at this writing) has only 7,110 likes.  

Cathedrals' Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin
Cathedrals' Brodie Jenkins and Johnny Hwin perform their first Los Angeles show at The Echo.
photos by picksysticks
Yet, their debut EP, recently released September 8th, has been generating a lot of buzz on the blogo-sphere.  It spawned synth-pop singles "Harlem, "Unbound," and "Want My Love."

Wednesday's show, you can say, felt like an spiritual experience. Their songs does so much with its sheer simplicity before soaring into a wall of ethereal soundscapes.  Hauntingly beautiful and layered with Jenkins' powerful and sultry vocals, their melodies are as colorful as sunlight shining through a stained glass window. 

Listen to their EP below. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014


Shiny Toy Guns' Chad Petree and Carah Faye Charnow

Fans at the packed Echoplex on Sunday left sweaty and exhausted after Shiny Toy Guns played for over an hour and fifteen minutes for their hometown crowd.  It began earlier in the day when their loyal following began lining up hours before the doors opened, a line that eventually stretched around the corner by the time doors opened well past 8pm.  That's quite an accomplishment for a band whose last album was released two years ago.  But if that seemed so long ago, it seemed like their fans didn't care.  

Carah Faye Charnow of Shiny Toy Guns
All that really mattered this night was the music which Shiny Toy Guns gladly offered up to the hungry crowd.  They stormed out of the gates kicking fast and heavy with dance-heavy beats like "Speaking Japanese," "Ricochet" and their one of their most famous hit singles "Le Disko."  

And with their onslaught of roaring guitars, driving drums and pulsating synths in songs like "Ghost Town," "Carrie" and "Starts with One" the night  saw singer Carah Fay Charnow and Chad Petree sharing vocal duties and peppering their set with covers like with Depeche Mode's "Stripped" and "Major Tom" by Peter Schilling.

But some of the highlights of the night was when the group slowed down, flaunting their softer, melodic side with rock ballads like "If I Lost You," "Don't Cry Out" and "Fading Listening" that showcased Petree's crooner vocals.   

Also led by the sparkplug of a front-woman Charnow, Shiny Toy Guns performed nearly 20 songs old and new from their 2006 breakthrough, Grammy-nomited debut album We Are Pilots, 2008's Season of Change to their most recent /// which was released in 2012.

Chad Petree of Shiny Toy Guns
Chad Petree of Shiny Toy Guns performs at Echoplex
photos by picksysticks
After touring for over a year, most recently with Paramore on their "Parahoy!" four-day cruise which also featured Tegan and Sara and New Found Glory, Charnow mentioned to the crowd that she was glad to be home.  "I love playing Los Angeles. It's home," she said. "It's very dear to me. This is my home."  

After over an hour playing, they returned to the stage for a three song encore and finished off the night with "Rainy Monday" and "You Are The One."  

Monday, September 8, 2014


Screaming Females

They shred with precise efficiency under the blinding, siezure-astic strobes. Ordered chaos with laser sighting concentration.  Tormenting punk-rock 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. 

If you haven't seen Screaming Females live yet, you are definitely missing out.  The New Brunswick trio just announced they're heading out on a national tour with PUJOL beginning in October.  Over 30 dates in one month that will take them to both coasts taking them to major cities like Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New Orleans and Philadelphia.  

Check out the raucous live “Boyfriend” video below filmed during the “Live At the Hideout” performance, for a taste of what to expect on tour.

"Boyfriend" by Screaming Females

Screaming Females Tour Dates with PUJOL
10/03: Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar (U+N Fest)
10/04: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory*
10/05: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr Roboto Project*
10/06: Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups*
10/07: Chicago, IL @ Logan Square Auditorium*
10/08: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club*
10/09: Spearfish, SD @ Back Porch*
10/10: Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge*
10/11: Boise, ID @ The Crux*
10/13: Portland, OR @ Holocene*
10/14: Olympia, WA @ Obsidian*
10/15: Seattle, WA @ Black Lodge*
10/17: Oakland, CA @1234 Go!*
10/18: San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern*
10/19: Los Angeles, CA @ Los Globos*
10/20: San Pedro, CA Harold's*
10/21: Tucson, AZ @ The Flycatcher*
10/23: Austin, TX @ Red 7*
10/24: Houston, TX @ Walter’s Downtown*
10/25: New Orleans, LA @ Community Records Block Party*
10/26: Cleveland, MS @ Green Room (Delta State University)*
10/27: Birmingham, AL @ Seasick Records*
10/28: Nashville, TN @ The Stone Fox*
10/30: Ybor (Tampa), FL @ Pre-Fest 2
10/31: Gainesville, FL @ FEST 13
11/01: Atlanta, GA @ 529 Bar*
11/02: Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade*
11/03: Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter*
11/04: Washington, DC @ Black Cat*
11/05: Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s*
11/06: Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bear’s Place*
11/07: Providence, RI @ Spark City*
11/08: Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes*

*=with PUJOL



With the announcement of their new EP dropping this January, LA's Monogem just premiered their newest single "Stay With Me" on Noisey.  "Stay With Me" is a dreamscape of shimmering synth-pop that'll make you believe that dreams can come true, as front-woman Jen Hirsh tells Noisey the song  "was inspired by that magnetic love that tends to hit you like a bus."

Listen and read the rest of the article at Noisey right HERE.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

PHANTOGRAM @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Phantogram's Sarah Barthel
Phantogram's Sarah Barthel performs at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
photo by picksysicks
Given the dark, shadowy melodies by New York City's Phantogram, a concert at a cemetery was fitting for New York duo. Friday night, Phantogram performed in front of a sold-out crowd at Hollywood Forever Cemetery - a site that's fast becoming one of Los Angeles' best venues for nightly concerts and film screenings given throughout the year.

Phantogram performs "Bill Murray"during their show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
photos by picksysticks
Known for their visual and electric live shows, Phantogram has slowly built their loyal following since the release of their debut album Eyelid Movies in 2009.  Shimmering guitars that pave the way for diamond-laced, synth-pop was showcased with an even extravagant light show in front of the sold-out crowd willing to brave sitting a few feet from tombstones.  One of the highlights was during "Bill Murray" when Sarah donned a floor-length throw covered with diamond-shaped mirrors as golden spotlights bounced off her like shooting stars.

No doubt one of the busiest groups in music today, Phantogram, consisting of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, have been touring constantly since their sophomore release of Voices earlier this year.  Their busy touring schedule also had them performing at some of the biggest music festivals this summer including Firefly, Lollapalooza and the upcoming Austin City Limits.  And starting in November, Phantogram will take their tour overseas for their European tour with stops in Germany, France and the UK.

Phantogram's Sarah Barthel.
photo by picksysticks

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Check out the cool new video for the even catchier song by Canada's acclaimed pop, multi-instrumentalist singer Lights.  The song "Up We Go" is the first single off Lights' third studio album Little Machines which drops Septebmer 23rd via Warner Brothers Records.  She begins her fall tour next month.

Shot in one long three and a half minute take set inside an elevator, the video for "Up We Go" seemingly takes Lights up 16 floors where, at each floor, unique characters come and go. But it isn't until the end when we realize that the entire video is entirely done with a little movie magic!!!  Watch towards the end to see the surprising reveal!!!

"Up We Go" official music video from LIGHTS.

Lights Fall 2014 US Tour Dates:
10/24 Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall
10/25 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
10/29 New York, NY - Irving Plaza
10/31 Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony
11/01 Baltimore, MD - Rams Head Live!
11/02 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts
11/04 Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
11/05 Chicago, IL - House of Blues
11/07 Denver, CO - The Summit Music Hall
11/08 Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex
11/11 Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre
11/13 San Francisco, CA - Grand Ballroom at Regency Center
11/14 Portland, OR - Aladdin Theater
11/15 Seattle, WA - Showbox At The Market

Wednesday, September 3, 2014



One of my favorite albums this year was About Last Night from Sleeper Agent - the six-piece band from Kentucky. With sixties pop-beats that channel the Liverpool-esque era, Sleeper Agent, who also captures the height of the MTV, pop-80s vibe that defined a music generation has forged a sound all their own. 

In a new video posted yesterday, Alex Kandel's usual powerful vocals is toned-down to an almost delicate whisper on Sleeper Agent's fragile rendition of "I Wanna Get Better" by Jack Antonoff of Bleachers. Check it out below.

"I Wanna Get Better" cover by Sleeper Agent

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Smoosh perform at SXSW in 2011.
Sisters Asya and Chloe who make up Chaos Chaos are somewhat of legend in the music blogosphere, championed by music taste-makers who gush in wonderment at their raw talents. 
Only in their early 20s, they've already toured with Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney, Cat Power and Pearl Jame.   We first saw them when they performed as Smoosh at SXSW.  Now, the siblings, who tout a cult-like following just previewed their synth-pop single "Breaker" and it's easy to see why they have so much buzz surrounding them.  It premiered today on Noisey and you can listen to the single and download for FREEE below or right HERE.  "Breaker" is off their upcoming EP Committed to the Crime which is expected to drop on October 7th.