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Preview: Arroyo Seco Weekend 2017

June 22nd, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Before the Bigs Radio, Chill/Jam/Reggae, Daily Mix, Electronic Rock, Electropop, Pop, Rock |

It’s Friday, we are one day away from my first music festival of 2017 and I am so excited! I made a playlist last week and have been adjusting it so I can give you the best songs from the artists I’ll be seeing at Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena this upcoming weekend of Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25. Below I’ll give you my schedule of acts I’m catching and when to eat/drink. Purchase tickets here.

Day 1

Arriving around 3:15/3:30ish to catch end of Preservation Hall Band. I don’t love Jazz but I know this band brings it so I’m curious to see a few of their songs before heading to John Mayall. My friend Tim said he’s pretty good and after listening to a few songs, I’m looking forward to some of his set. If I’m not digging John Mayall, then it’s time to see Jeff Goldblum and The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra because Jeff Goldblum is awesome and who doesn’t want to see the dude play some music at a festival!? After Goldblum seems like a good time as any to grab a mid-day drink, some food, and a bathroom break because I want to see most of, if not all, the next band’s sets.

Dawes at 5:25, not missing much of that. I’m excited to hear some of their newer stuff and I’ve only heard good things from an old high school classmate of mine who works with the band. After Dawes, it’s time for some soul with Charles Bradley. I’ll probably only catch several of his songs, but that’s fine, I’m sure it will touch my heart and I’ll feel all the feelings.

Then it’s Alabama Shakes time and honestly this act I’m most excited about as I have their two first albums on vinyl. Dinner time after Alabama Shakes and hoping I can listen to The Meters while eating. Lastly, it’s Tom Petty and I’m stoked to see him, who has too many hits to list.

Most excited to see on Day 1: Tom PettyAlabama ShakesCharles BradleyDawes

Day 2

I’m getting there earlier on day 2 of ASW, around 1 pm so I don’t miss a minute of Magic Giant. I can’t wait for their happy harmonic folk-pop vibes, this will be my 4th or 5th time seeing the trio. Then it’s lunch time before seeing another 7-9 acts on Sunday. 2:20 catching The Mowgli’s who I’ve seen a couple times and always bring a happy poppy vibe that is hard not to like.Then it’s time for Con Brio, who I probably wouldn’t have seen except their publicity hit me up, gave me some songs to get into and I think I’m now a fan. Then it’s time for ZZ Ward, hoping she will do some upbeat songs but I’ll have to leave her set a bit early because I don’t want to miss rising genre-bending band The Revivalists whose hit “Wish I Knew You” is incredibly infectious and even after hearing it on the radio several times a day, I’m not getting sick of this song!

Then it’s time for some top 40 pop from Andy Grammer. Everybody will be smiling when he plays “Keep Your Head Up” but he’s got several other hits that are catchy and worth seeing live. After Grammer finishes the next acts I see will be a major toss up based on mood, what the people I’m with want to see and generally how everybody is feeling. My goal is to catch some of Lukas Nelson as a jam band is always a good time at a festival but will see most of Fitz & The Tantrums as they have a catchy pop vibe that is hard not to like and they are locals who I’ve seen once and enjoyed.

After Fitz, it’s dinner time and hopefully, I can eat while enjoying the funk jam band vibes of Lettuce. However as soon as it’s 7 pm, I’m jetting over to the main stage to see Weezer. I’ve seen them 3-4 times, ALWAYS a great show, they have more hits than the average festival goer expects and they should be one of the highlights of this inaugural festival. When Weezer finishes, it’s time to see some of The Shins. I love “Simple Song”, “Phantom Limb”, and “New Slang” but I’m excited to get into the rest of their setlist and find new favorites. Unfortunately, I’ll probably leave The Shins set about 2-3 songs early so I can get a great spot for Mumford & Sons, easily the band I’m most looking forward to. I’ve been in love with their harmonic folk vibes and ever since I watched the Mumford & Sons Live At Red Rocks DVD, I’ve been hooked! Hope they do a song from that Johannesburg EP they put out last year but either way, I’ll be satisfied with their performance as I love the folk vibes at a music festival.

So there you have it; that’s my schedule for Arroyo Seco Weekend. Thank you Goldenvoice for putting this together!

Vampire Weekend new album in 2017?

June 12th, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie |

I’ve been hearing rumors that Vampire Weekend will be releasing a new record in 2017 as they’ve inked a deal with Columbia Records recently. Lead singer Ezra Koenig gave an update to Pitchfork in regards to this, saying the album is tentatively titled Mitsubishi Macchiato. This would be the band’s fourth album and first without Rostam Batmanglij, who has done fantastic work with Hamilton + Rostam, I just love the song, “A 1000 Times”.

Vampire Weekend are anticipated to follow up on the success of their first three albums, with the release of Mitsubishi Macchiato later this year. I can’t wait to hear anything new from VW, I just love this band and the eclectic sounds each of their previous releases have provided.

In the meantime, watch Vampire Weekend perform “Unbelievers” on SNL back in 2013. (more…)

Review: JR JR @ The Echo *incredible!!!

May 30th, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Concert/Festival Review, Electronic Rock, Electropop, Pop, synthpop |

Last Thursday I saw JR JR at The Echo in Echo Park, Los Angeles. They were the best band I’ve ever seen perform at that venue and one of the best performances I’ve seen this year. They performed for over an hour and it felt like it was never going to end as they played many tracks they haven’t released yet as well as personal favorites like “Gone”, 2017 release “Same Dark Places”, “Simple Girl”, “If You Didn’t See Me”, “As Time Goes” and “We Almost Lost Detroit”. I loved every song they performed and just wish I knew the songs they haven’t released yet as I loved all of those too. They had tons of energy, good banter in between songs and the live looping the lead singer did to start each song really created such a beautiful sound. You can tell these guys are influenced by The Beatles, punk rock

Stream the songs I mentioned above and many more as you deserve to listen to all of JR JR to get an idea how good they are.

Review: Mother Mother live @ Troubadour *high energy hard rock!

May 24th, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Concert/Festival Review, Electronic Rock, Music Video, Rock |

5-piece indie rock band Mother Mother surprised the shit out of me with high energy hard rock, getting the whole crowd banging their heads along with the five-piece band. It was a packed house last night at the famous Troubadour in West Hollywood as an equal number of males and females rocked out to Mother Mother.

Each song they performed felt like an epic hard rock ballad, I hope this band can perform in arenas and larger venues because their sound is best suited to be played loud and they will definitely be playing in venues larger than the Troubadour. But for every fan there last night, we were delighted with a long set of hard rocking songs that reminded me of bands like QueenYoungblood Hawke and Coheed & Cambria.

Yes, I mentioned three bands that don’t have much in common but while enjoying Mother Mother‘s set, I felt like they were a mix of rock, with influences of electro, punk and some pop with the harmonies. Many of the songs felt like awesome roller coaster rides of sound, sonically dynamic and exhilarating!

It’s hard to pick a favorite because I enjoyed most of them and sometimes it was hard to hear what they were singing so hard to remember many of them but their new single “Love Stuck” is catchy and probably my favorite. Watch the official video for it below and learn about all the songs Mother Mother played in their set last night! (more…)

Hidden Gem: Tors *folk harmonies like British Fleet Foxes

May 12th, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Chill/Jam/Reggae, Hidden Gem, Music Video |

It’s folk music Friday and I got a fantastic up-and-coming UK band in Tors. If you like Fleet Foxes then read on as this four-piece band from the UK have excellent pitch and harmonies with their sonic abilities in single “Merry Go Round”.

Stream it below and watch their live video for it as well.

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Hidden Gem: Jordan Mackampa – “Battlecry” *thoughtful folk-pop

April 27th, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Hidden Gem, Pop |

After hearing “Battlecry” and “Saint” and the songs from his Physics EP, I’ve become a huge fan of Jordan Mackampa and am happy to share his music!

He’s got this unique gospel-tinged vocal that is mesmerizing and he pairs that with soulful folk-pop instrumentation, and delivers a track in “Battlecry” that is motivating and I could see it getting licensed on a ton of media (commercials, TV shows, films, etc.). I love the handclapping instrumentals that move along as Jordan Mackampa delivers his soulful voice.
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Video: Winston Surfshirt – “Be About You” *hip-hop/dream pop/rap

April 27th, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Hip-Hop/Rap, Music Video, synthpop |

Continuing to make waves at home and abroad is Australian outfit Winston Surfshirt, who recently shared their new video for debut single “Be About You”. The video brings their unique blend of hip-hop, rap, and blissful dream pop to life as the band hang out, cut shapes and introduce themselves as Winston Surfshirt.

“Be About You” is suave, has this chill vibe and I’m low-key swaying my head as I’m listening to this song and writing about it. Definitely looking forward to hearing more. Watch the video to “Be About You” below. (more…)

Introducing Bokito *London Tropical Indie

April 21st, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Hidden Gem |

“Better At Getting Worse” by Bokito, their debut single, is an all over the place song that is impossible to classify into one genre. The London-based five-piece Bokito have coined a phrase for their unique genre mashup: tropical indie. Bokito take inspiration from such diverse sources as J Dilla, Jeff Buckley, Fela Kuti, Justin Timberlake and Queens of the Stone Age to bring a little of the rousing Celtic spirit of lead singer Moses’ Irish homeland to London’s global soundscape. The thrilling results proved irresistible to Lost In The Manor Records, which added Bokito to its roster as a signing sure to put a rocket under 2017.

Stream “Better At Getting Worse” below.

Can’t wait for more weird music from them, definitely an intriguing sound, probably in big part to producer Brad Spence who has worked with some big names like Alt-J, Sigur Rós, Radiohead and Take That.

Club Kuru – Waiting For Me EP *sounds like Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco

April 17th, 2017 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Alternative/Indie, Chill/Jam/Reggae, Hidden Gem, Rock |

The new EP from British five-piece band Club Kuru dropped last month, Waiting For Me, which has this psychedelic rock vibe that reminds me of one of my favorite contemporary psychedelic rock bands, Tame Impala.

Collectively, the band cites influences from modern day artists such as Mac DeMarco, Tame Impala and Connan Mockasin, to classic greats including Shuggie Otis, Vangelis, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones. There’s a summer west coast vibe to their sonic output, mixed with some sleazy Americana, but ultimately the band is spearheading something unique; they’re putting their British take on a US heritage sound – and it works.

The new EP ‘Waiting At The Corner’ is an introduction to Club Kuru and you can stream it below! (more…)

Introducing Joy Downer *dream pop

April 14th, 2017 by | Alternative/Indie, Pop, Rock |

Joy Downer is the project from Joy Bishop and Jeff Downer, a married duo out of Los Angeles, CA. Inspired by duality; themes of light and dark, man and woman, mind and matter collide to set the backdrop of the sound.

Listen to their new single below, I like it for a relaxing Friday as it’s got this laid back vibe but is still fun and definitely intrigued by what else they will put out. Stream “Stranger Places” below and let me know if you get the Lord of The Rings reference in “Stranger Places”.


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