Tag Archives: Los Angeles

Check ‘Em Out: Second Still

“can go toe to toe with some of the classic early punk of the 70’s” – Impose

 “a collection of icy post-punk dissonance… agitates and alarms while clinging to the inscrutable beauty of the genre. ” – Buzzbands LA

“Their moody, glimmering sound is evident on their new single…  an exciting song that showcases their vast talents” – PureVolume

Recover, the debut single and lead-off track from Second Still‘s upcoming self-titled LP, leaps straight for the throat and doesn’t let go for nearly five minutes.” – Post-Punk.com

“Second Still offers the menacing sound of bands like Wire or early Cure, modernized through a guitar tone that occasionally borrows from shoegaze, and sweetened by Suki’s Siouxie-esque airy vocals.” – The Deli NYC

Second Still is a three piece band from Los Angeles. Though strongly influenced by No Wave and French Cold Wave, their electronic drum sounds, unconventional bass and guitar lines, and strange vocal melodies still set them apart from any traditional categorization.

Bassist Alex Hughes and guitarist Ryan Walker met in 2007 and spent years combing through 80s underground records, the most memorable being Xmal Deutschland, Asylum Party, Garlands-era Cocteau Twin, and Opera De Nuit. It wasn’t until after moving to New York and meeting Suki San, (a classically trained violinist and former shoegaze vocalist), in late 2014 that they finally became a band.

Early Forms, the band’s debut EP, was released in March 2016 as a limited edition cassette. They recorded those four songs while snowed in, in a barn in upstate New York over three days in the dead of winter. Before re-locating to Los Angeles in January 2016, Second Still hunkered down in the studio and recorded their entire self-titled debut album in just two days.

The album is out now on Paris-based label Manic Depression Records, and in support of the release, the band is hitting the road for their first US tour.

04.16 – Part Time Punks @ The Echo – Los Angeles
05.14 – The Chapel – San Francisco, CA

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NENA’s Coming To The States!!!

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NENA coming to America: it’s one of the great unrequited love stories of pop culture history.99 Luftballons” was the first German-language song to enter the US charts since Marlene Dietrich, yet although the pop queen toured all over the world, she never made it over to the US to perform. NENA has continued to rule the charts in Germany with sixteen studio albums and countless hits, and now is finally her time to take America by storm.

In the 33 years since it was released, NENA’s “99 Luftballons” (“99 Red Balloons”) has had an unmatchable impact on popular and music culture.  Although NENA never stopped making music – she’s had a three-and-a-half decade career of hits and 16 studio albums behind her in Germany – and has toured in countries as far as Japan, NENA never got to tour the US. It’s one of those flukes in music history where what should have happened didn’t happen. But in NENA’s own words, “…now’s the right time. It’s always now!…When you want to do something and it just doesn’t happen, you shouldn’t be sad or disappointed because, well, 35 years later, it happens! It’s perfect timing.”

At the heart of NENA is a rock’n’roller with unbeatable stage presence and energy to spare, whether she’s playing to regularly sold-out crowds at the biggest arenas or more intimate club venues. Just take a listen to NENA’s latest outing – the excellent, energetic and rocking live album Live at SO36, recorded during a within-minutes sold-out concert at the famed Berlin club SO36. The opening rocking riffs of “Noch Einmal” NENA struck on her Telecaster sent out a shockwave of energy that carries through an entire night. From pure rockers to new-wave favorites to the touching ballads that fans sing along word-for-word, NENA can electrify a crowd with her incomparable, instantly recognizable voice and her own brand of rock’n’roll that includes influences of The Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads, among many others. The dancing never lets up with NENA until the lights finally go on at the end of the night. That’s what NENA is going to ultimately bring to the US – an amazing live energy that can shake an entire audience to its core.

She’s captured the hearts of Germany: her numerous top ten hits and 25 million sold records are proof of that. Now it’s time to share that with America. NENA’s most recent studio album, Oldschool, is the perfect fusion of her constant drive for artistic development and genuine authenticity. Produced and co-written by German hip-hop superstar Samy Deluxe, it blisters with a sense of immediacy and newness while especially playing lyrically with references to her past.

NENA has never been a nostalgia act; she still delivers onstage an exhilarating mix of her amazing and expansive discography. With that much spark, it’s a recipe for an utterly mind-blowing evening. American fans that missed the opportunity to see NENA when they were first introduced to her now have that chance. To paraphrase her latest single, there’s no time like “Genau jetzt” (right now).

NENA will be playing San Francisco on September 30, Los Angeles on October 2, and New York City on October 4.

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Newest Love: Beginners

Beginners

Los Angeles-based indie-pop band Beginners will release their brand new “white-hot scorcher” (Neon Gold) sophomore EP Pleaser on September 16th. A formidable follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut which garnered over 4 million Spotify streams, numerous TV syncs, and tour dates with artists such as Walk The Moon and Tove Lo, Pleaser features catchy dance melodies with a rock ‘n roll vigor and clever lyrics ranging from feel good to biting. Today, their new single premiered for their underdog anthem “What We Are”.

The sun-soaked indie pop track is “about my childhood in Indiana,” front-woman Samantha Barbera told Interview. “When I was growing up, my mom struggled financially and we were forced to live off of food stamps. Despite being poor in an otherwise wealthy town, she always instilled an impenetrable sense of confidence in me. I still have vivid memories of riding my second-hand bike around my neighborhood, wearing a giant gold medallion from the 70s that I took from my mom’s jewelry box, feeling like I owned the streets. It’s an underdog anthem about being proud of who you are, regardless of what anyone tells you.”

Pleaser is an ode to the thin line between love and hate. Pulsing singles like “Gangsters or Lovers” and “What We Are” leave no choice but to move to the contagious beats and guitar riffs. The Black Keys meet Yeezus in the tongue-in-cheek revenge ballad “I F*cking Hate You” where Barbera’s bluesy vocal melody delivers sultry lyrics with a violent twist. Gritty dance track “Making Love to the Dead” reveals how passion can turn to pain in a soul-sucking industry designed to churn out marketable hits, while hypnotic closer “Melting Into One” evokes the intoxicating power of young love. At first listen, I also immediately heard notes similar to that of Santigold.

Beginners delivers dark garage rock with a shimmery electronic pop veneer influenced by years of cutting their teeth in the LA punk scene. The band’s sound and lyrics ride a line between glossy and gritty, creating hooks that are at once magnetically catchy and unsettlingly honest. Their single “Who Knows” off their first EP launched the band two years ago resulting in buzz from Rolling Stone, Perez Hilton, Huffington Post, and TV syncs on shows including New Girl and commercials for Ray Ban, Skullcandy, and Miller Lite.

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Check ‘Em Out: Kinney

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Kinney is a talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and a certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher and dancer who incorporates the art of Acroyoga and acrobatics into her live show. Originally from Annapolis, MD, Kinney now calls Los Angeles, CA home. The debut single “Soul,” has drawn early comparisons to Zero 7 and Portishead with elements of Massive Attack. Her musical essence combines elements of fashion, art, global musicality and a unique creative vision, which makes Kinney truly stand out as a genuine artist.

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Listen: Busy Living – “Let You Down”

Busy Living

Listen: Busy Living – “Let You Down”

Crafting artful, arena sized indie-pop set against the beat of a post-punk backdrop, LA’s Busy Living are back with new singles produced by Spoon’s Jim Eno that take cues from the likes of Weezer and The Pixies, creating a seamless fusion of futuristic dance elements with pop-centric rock. Their songs are cinematic, landing them several syncs on popular television shows including NCIS, Hawaii 5-0, and Beauty and The Beast.
Comprised of Mike Moonves (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Hutton (bass, vocals), and Matt Leddy (keys, vocals), the Los Angeles based three-piece return with a staggering collection of indie-pop, set to be released later in 2014. Busy Living were recently hand picked to tour with Communion, a multi-city showcase founded by Mumford & Son’s Ben Lovett.

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Mystery Skulls Announces Residency at Dirty Laundry in October

Mystery Skulls

“There’s something about his diverse past that’s met by his music – a hybrid of disco, electro, pop, and soul (to name a few)…” -SPIN

 “He sings, he DJs, he produces, he stuns…Tantalizing disco-inspired harmonies will no-doubt get you dancing.” – VIBE

Mastermind electronic artist, producer and singer, Mystery Skulls AKA Luis Dubuc, has announced his upcoming residency at one of LA’s hottest establishments, Dirty Laundry, for the month of October. Each consecutive Thursday from October 2nd through 30th, Luis will bring his dynamic set with live vocals, trigged samples and beats that come together in a dazzling fashion. He will also be joined by an array of supporting acts which will be announced later.

Hailing from Dallas by way of South America, Mystery Skulls has a knack for creating insatiable pop anthems, which blend hints of 70s and 80s pop and dance music with futuristic elements. He has also already captured the attention of legendary figures such as Nile Rodgers and Brandy, of which will be featured on his forthcoming debut album, Forever.  

Earlier this year, I posted these videos — but here they are again, as a little reminder of the awesomeness that is Mystery Skulls:

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Check ‘Em Out: Pollimer

 

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Listen: Pollimer – “Summer Nights”

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If you liked that, check out Pollimer’s new EP, Find Me

Stream: Pollimer – Find Me EP

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Newest Love: Slaptop

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Listen: Slaptop – “Sunrise”

Slaptop was born in the abandoned buildings and forgotten beaches of the Northern California Coast. His music evokes feelings of wandering through sun-soaked adventures and chasing a wild youthful spirit. His debut single, “Sunrise,” is about a group of friends embarking on an all-night adventure that culminates in watching the sunrise together. They call it a “Sunsquad.” The single was fittingly written and produced over the course of one night in Slaptop’s college dorm room.

“Filled to the brim with a cluster of melodic elements such as subtle drum and xylophone patterns, sexy saxophone solo’s, and lyrics that bring chill vibes to the production…will have you hitting the replay button repetitively” – This Song Is Sick

Slaptop DJ Set:

6/27: San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge (w/ STRFKR) (tix stage 10pm / all ages)
7/26: Los Angeles, CA @ The Standard Downtown (stage 1-2pm)

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Newest Love: Tapioca and the Flea

TATF

Los Angeles electro-pop outfit Tapioca and the Flea (TATF) have premiered the brand-new video for their new single “Take It Slow”, which premiered last week and is available on iTunes. The video shot by ENDS (creative collaboration between director duo Daniel Iglesias Jr. & Zack Sekuler), who is also responsible for The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” and “Afraid”, chronicles the highs and the lows of a chaotic relationship. “Take It Slow,” which was produced by Crystal Castles’ Ethan Kath, is TATF’s contribution to Red Bull Sound Select’s forthcoming Limited Edition Split 7″, to be released as free gift with purchase on Record Store Day (April 19) at all participating retailers in the US. 

PopMatters had this to say about the track, “Just don’t let the title fool you, since “Take It Slow” is a brisk, catchy synth-driven number, a combination of old-fashioned pop-minded songwriting and a state-of-the-art vibe.” TATF will bring their high energy show to Los Angeles’s Amoeba Music (6400 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028) for an in-store performance this Saturday, April 19th at 6 PM.

Tapioca and the Flea began as a bedroom project of Samuel Jacob-Lopez, Jr. As the son of a Puerto Rican DJ and salsa dancer, the LA-based artist fell in love with rhythm at an early age. Growing up skateboarding to the sounds of artists like Syd Barret, Radiohead and Dr. Dre, Tapioca and the Flea, found its own eclectic blend of psych, indie rock, and electronic music. In 2011, he recruited three of his best friends – drummer Matt McClanahan, guitarist Ronnie Watson and bassist/keyboardist Frank Alva – and the full electro-pop band was fleshed out. Tapioca and the Flea gained momentum in their native L.A. on the strength of their psychedelic dance tracks “Mellotron” and “Home” and have opened for such acts as CSS and Young the Giant. The band has won praise and support from OC Weekly, who nominated them for Best New Artist of 2014 and The Owl Mag, who described their music as “the soundtrack to the world’s coolest underwater dance.”

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Download: Leftover Cuties – “One Heart”

LC

“…Leftover Cuties have added a breath of fresh air to L.A.’s music scene.”
– Paste Magazine 

“The Olympics’ most surprise breakout band was California jazz-pop outfit the Leftover Cuties.”
– Billboard

Los Angeles-based noir-pop quartet Leftover Cuties are primed to release their sophomore full-length album, The Spark & The Fire, on July 23rd! Returning with their irresistible knack for modern classics, Leftover Cuties seamlessly blend timeless songwriting with a nouveau eclectic edge that is both sophisticated and accessible.

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Fans and music lovers will be rewarded with a 12-track journey that swings easily from smoke-filled Bourbon St. speakeasies to quiet island getaways. Shirli McAllen’s silky voice provides the hook as the band’s sound pulls you in with upright bass, accordion, piano, brass, brushed drums, and yes, the ukulele.

“One Heart” is a powerhouse track, with handclaps and stomping percussion marching alongside seductive vocals & smoky melodies.

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Listen/download: Leftover Cuties – “One Heart”

Starting this summer Leftover Cuties will embark on a full US Tour, giving new fans their first chance to see the Cuties captivating live show.  The tour will start in California, with stops in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Montreal and more.

Leftover Cuties first came to global recognition when their tune “Game Called Life,”was chosen as the opening theme of Showtime’s hit series, The Big C. Their music has also been heard in worldwide ad campaigns for the likes of  Samsung & Hyundai.

Leftover Cuties has performed alongside Shelby Lynne, Alabama Shakes, Honeyhoney, Kinna Grannis, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Saint Motel, the Be Good Tanyas and many more.

Leftover Cuties Tour Dates
6/14: Santa Monica, CA @ Casa Del Mar
6/20-6/22: Las Vegas, NV @ The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
6/28: Santa Monica, CA @ Casa Del Mar
7/12: San Francisco, CA @ Hotel Utah
7/13: Grass Valley, CA @ California WorldFest
7/14: Grass Valley, CA @ California WorldFest
7/17: Minneapolis, MN @ Dakota Jazz Club
7/18: Rochester, MN @ Thursdays on First & 3rd
7/20: Louisville, KY @ Lebowski Fest
7/21: St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
7/22: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
7/23: Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark
7/25: Toronto, ON @ Rivoli
7/26: Montreal, QC @ Quai Des Brumes
7/28: Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
7/31: Boston, MA @ Regattabar
8/3: New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
8/4: Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest
8/6: Arlington, VA @ Iota Club
8/7: Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
8/9: Tampa, FL @ Straz Center at Jaeb Theater
8/10: Jacksonville, FL @ Underbelly
8/12: Mandeville, LA @ Ruby’s Roadhouse
8/13: Fort Worth, TX @ Live Oak Music Hall
8/14: Austin, TX @ Stubbs Jr.
8/17: Phoenix, AZ @ MIM Music Theater
8/21: Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar
9/4: Seattle, WA @ Triple Door
9/5: Portland, OR @ White Eagle Saloon
9/7: Fresno, CA @ The Painted Table
9/8: Larkspur, CA @ Marin Country Mart
9/13: San Diego, CA @ The Griffin

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