Vanish Valley – “Get Good” [NEW MUSIC] [EVENT]

Vanish Valley

Vanish Valley is a country-ish rock band from Los Angeles that recently released its’ sophomore album, Get Good.  Filled with heartfelt lyrics, twangy guitar rifts, harmonicas, and rhythmic percussion the album is definitely worth checking out.

After some soul-searching, career changes, and moving to three different states in the matter of a few years, Vanish Valley’s founder, Andrew McAllister, has finally settled down in the warmth of sunny Los Angeles. The singer/songwriter wrote and recorded Vanish Valley, his first album under the moniker, back in 2008, with the help of some fellow L.A.-based musicians. Upon this release, life took McAllister on a rollercoaster ride that eventually returned him to the City of Angels, where he recruited a drummer, bassist and keyboardist, and assembled a proper band for his country-folk outfit.

Vanish Valley

“A lot of this album was written while surviving the first couple years in Los Angeles.”, says McAllister. “The town can take on so many shapes that it really forces you to carve out your existence.  It was a wake-up to keep solid people close and value the relationships I have – near or far.  I guess the album is about the struggle and celebration in trying to do that.”

Blending elements of folk, country and psychedelic rock, the songs on Vanish Valley ramble their way through hushed landscapes and into roll-your-window-down backcountry cruises.  Listen to Vanish Valley and you’ll feel it too.  If you’re in L.A. they’ll be playing at Pehrspace in Echo Park this Saturday.

<iframe width=”300″ height=”410″ style=”position: relative; display: block; width: 300px; height: 410px;” src=”; allowtransparency=”true” frameborder=”0″><a href=””>Get Good by Vanish Valley</a></iframe>

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Lisa Hannigan – Passengers [NEW MUSIC]

Passenger is the second LP from Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan. The album was released in the US and Canada on 20 September 2011 and in the Republic of Ireland on 7 October 2011 (brought forward from the originally scheduled date, 21 October). The LP features 11 new tracks

Writing for the album began in late 2009 and throughout 2010 in Ireland and the US. In March 2011, Hannigan revealed the track ‘A Sail‘ as part of her ‘Recording Diaries’ which were shot during the recording of the album in Wales. Available from her youtube page the ‘Recording Diaries’ gave fans the opportunity to go behind the making of the new album. ‘A Sail’ would later be released on her website in August 2011 as a free download. The albums artwork was revealed exclusively in Hot Press magazine and on their website on 5 August 2011. The album is released in Ireland at a later date as Hannigan is on tour throughout the US in September and early October. On the track ‘O Sleep’ it features the vocals of Ray LaMontagne.

The first song available from the album ‘A Sail’ was released as a free download in August 2011 from The first official single from the album is ‘Knots’, this was released as a download on 12 September 2011 in Europe.

Lisa Hannigan’s US and Canadian tour starts on 27 September 2011 in Los Angeles she will perform for 17 dates on this tour. She will then headline an Australian tour starting at Sydney’sOpera House on 11 November 2011 and finishing in Melbourne on 15 November 2011.In early October Hannigan announced her European dates which begin in the UK. On 13 October 2011 Hanniagn announced her Irish leg of her European tour. Further territories will be announced soon.


By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Pinsky – “Losing Touch” [NEW MUSIC]

There’s a sound I always find myself craving when fall comes around.  I don’t know if it’s the echo of good times associated with Halloween and birthdays and homecoming or if it’s just the chill that sinks into my bones that reminds me that I need a little vacation from the sweet, jangly sounds of the past few months.

Whatever the case, Pinsky hits the spot.  Their bio claims their debut is a summer record, but I would beg to differ.  The gruff vocals (split three ways!) and spiky riffs hammer home best over a dull October moon, not sparkling mid-summer sun.  It’s a little post – everything: hardcore, punk and pop, mixing genres till they break and form something fresh.  Like hooks?  Check out the lead single “Losing Touch.”  Like dense instrumentation?  Borderline jazzy guitar riffs?  Closer “States” has you covered.

Their video for lead single “Losing Touch” makes the most of a clever idea on a small budget.  I particularly love the detail of the “can-delier” hanging in the center of the performance space.  Check it out:

Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles |@Chris_Cullari | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |

“Isles.” Video from UK indie-rock group, Little Comets.

Emerging from humble beginnings, Little Comets have come from spontaneous shows on subways and bakeries to a major record label deal. Since breaking from said label in 2010 (the band jokingly adds that their album didn’t sound enough like Ke$ha), Little Comets have gone independent touring through Great Britain appearing at numerous venues and festivals along the way. Hailing from Newcastle, England, the band recently released their first single after being emancipated from their major record label. “Isles,” as well as 11 other tracks juxtapose in the form of their most recent album, In Search of Elusive Little Comets, which was released earlier this year reaching #54 on the UK Billboard charts. Check out the music video below from these Tynesiders. They are Little Comets. This is “Isles:”

You can find more information about Little Comets from their website, fan page, and twitter account. They will be touring England through the end of year, closing the year out with a show in their hometown.

I thought I would throw in a bonus track. It’s called “One Night in October.” It was Little Comet’s first big hit and I’ve been a fan ever since I heard a year or so ago. Cheers.

kyle c. stilley | marketing strategist | music without labels, llc | chicago | @stillz

Blitzen Trapper “American Goldwing” [NEW MUSIC]

I want a porch.  I want a friggin’ porch so bad.  If I had my way I would move out of my Hollywood apartment away from my homeless neighbors who live on the stoop and the drunk assholes ready to kill someone over a double double from In and Out real fast.  I want a porch.  I want to sit on it and I want to listen to music and relax and drink a lot of beer without a care in the world.  I would have massive speakers and a rocking chair.  That to me at the moment is “the life”.  With Blitzen Trapper as my band of choice and their newest record “American Goldwing” as the soundtrack to my laid back afternoon I think I’m on to something here.

Might Find It Cheap – Blitzen Trapper

Indie rock, folk rock, southern rock, call it what you will Blitzen Trapper is a rock band.  They call Portland, Oregon home and have been touring heavily for the last few years.  They just released “American Goldwing.”  It’s one part rock and roll guitar laden, drum heavy grooves and one part distinct cool vocals with a southern twist.  Blitzen Trapper have created a sound all their own and I’m sold 100% on what they are selling.  Next track is called “Fletcher” which is one of my favortie tracks on the record.

Fletcher – Blitzen Trapper

After releasing Furr in 2008 Blitzen Trapper fell onto my radar.  After seeing them at Coachella Music and Arts Fest later that year (or in 09, I can’t remember) I couldn’t get them out of my head.  I have been following them on and off since then.  They released an awesome record called “Destroyer of The Void” in 2010 and now American Goldwing is just solidifying what I saw years ago.  These guys are tight and have honed this music and are perfecting it.

Your Crying Eyes – Blitzen Trapper

Despite being from Portland Blitzen Trapper has a little bit of a southern twang to them and then they just kick you right in the junk with a tune like Your Crying Eyes.  I think thats what I like most about these guys.  They have that southern influence that eases you into the music with familiarity and then they turn up the volume.

The band currently has six members with Eric Early on guitar and vocals with Brian Adrian Koch and Marty Marquis on drums and vocals and guitar and keyboards respectively.  The vocal duties are supported Erik Menteer on Guitar and Keyboards, Michael VanPelt on bass.

Girl In A Coat – Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper is currently on tour.  Lucky for me they are wrapping up their tour on November 17th at the Music Box in Hollywood.  Tour dates page is HERE.  Their new album “American Goldwing” is available anywhere where people care about good music, so basically the internet and Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd.  Here are a couple final tracks from “American Goldwing.”  One rockin’ and the last track which is not so rockin’ but a great way to end the record.  Check these guys out when they are in your town.  In fact go out of your way by hours and hundreds of miles to see these dudes.  It’s worth it.

Astronaut – Blitzen Trapper

Stranger In A Strange Land – Blitzen Trapper

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Euforquestra Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO [Photos] [Free Download]

Euforquestra Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver, CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Euforquestra

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Download Euforquestra’s New Album “Soup” for Free!!!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Artist Relations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

The Muppets “The Green Album” [NEW MUSIC]

Muppets fans get ready.  A couple weeks ago the soundtrack to the new highly anticipated Muppet movie was released.  Amazing indie rock acts takes on Muppet classics.  I love the muppets more than sunshine to the point where it is extremely awkward when people come into my office and see my collection of Muppet shit, but guess what?  I don’t care.  Muppets are cooler than skinny jeans and flannel.  Before I get into the artists and the record itself I wanna kick it off with a Muppet classic we all know and love done a little bit differently… ok, go.

Muppet Show Theme Song – OK Go

This soundtrack features 12 tracks from folks like the aforementioned OK Go to the sweet solo sounds of Andrew Bird and Rachel Yamagata and pretty much everyone in between.  These new takes on old classics are re-energizing my childhood dreams of becoming Animal when I grow up.

As you can see from OK Go’s take on The Muppet Show Theme Song people are doing things a little differently on this record.  One of my favorite songs is Rainbow Connection.  Done by Weezer and Hayley Williams of Paramore fame. They take a more straight forward approach to the tune and thats not a bad thing at all.

Rainbow Connection – Weezer feat. Hayley Williams

Singer Sondre Lerche stands out among a crowd of greats with his version of Mr. Bassman.  A country vibe mixed with great a cappella “bass” vocals his version of the tune is awesome.

Mr. Bassman – Sondre Lerche

Other great artists include My Morning Jacket with “Our World” and Alkaline Trio with “Movin’ Right Along”.  Both are hugely successful acts who have come up through the indie and jam scenes.  Another great standout is LA’s own Airborne Toxic Event with an awesome take on “Wishing Song.”

Wishing Song – Airborne Toxic Event

As a compilation this record is a gem and as a compilation involving the new Muppets movie it’s even better.  We all know and love these songs and we all know and love the artists covering these tunes.  Here’s a full track list just incase your gonna be “that guy” and not just go out and buy the record based on the awesome tracks you’ve already heard.

  1. The Muppet Show Theme” (OK Go)
  2. The Rainbow Connection” (Weezer and Hayley Williams)
  3. Mahna Mahna” (The Fray)
  4. Movin’ Right Along” (Alkaline Trio)
  5. Our World” (My Morning Jacket)
  6. Halfway Down the Stairs” (Amy Lee)
  7. Mr. Bassman” (Sondre Lerche)
  8. Wishing Song” (The Airborne Toxic Event)
  9. Night Life” (Brandon Saller and Billy Martin)
  10. Bein’ Green” (Andrew Bird)
  11. I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along” (Matt Nathanson)
  12. I’m Going to Go Back There Someday” (Rachael Yamagata)
There is a great balance between the full band blowouts and the small gentle solo acts on this compilation.  Songs to note aside from what I mentioned above are “I Hope That Something Better Comes Along” by Matt Nathanson and The Fray with the popular “Mahna Mahna”.  To end this thing properly I have to post the latter of those two tracks and then as usual with all my blogs, the last track on The Green Album.
Mahna Mahna – The Fray
I’m Going to Go Back There Someday – Rachael Yamagata
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Dubskin Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver,CO [Photos]

Dubskin Live at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, Denver,CO

Jimmy Iles Beat-Play Dubskin

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Vibe out to Dubskin!!!

Photography By: Jimmy Iles | Director of Artist Relations | @JimmyMWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Gregory Alan Isakov at Gold Hill Inn in Gold Hill, CO. [Photos]

Gregory Alan Isakov at Gold Hill Inn in Gold Hill, CO.

Gregory Alan Isakov-“That Moon Song”

kit chalberg-gregory alan isakov-gold hill inn

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Check out Gregory Alan Isakov

Photography by Kit Chalberg |Denver Photographer|@kitwithmwl|beat-play&musicwithoulabels,llc

Act As If – “Pathetic” (Blink 182 cover) [VIDEO]

This post is part show and tell, part discussion question raised by the song and video above.  I directed the piece for an artist I’ve worked with before, and was excited to find the response from the generally picky, grumbly internet was 99% positive.

A small number of people who hear it though instantly dislike it.  “That’s not ‘Pathetic’!”,  “It’s too slow!,”  “I can barely tell what song that is!,” and my favorite, “Great.  Now we’re doing Coldplay covers of Blink 182?”  More than one fan pointed me to Great Glass Elevator’s cover as the better version:

I can see how it definitely sounds more like the original – mostly because they kept the same vocal phrasing – but how on Earth could you prefer it?  The production is Casio keyboard level and the vocals aren’t much better.  There’s no added depth or flavor, it’s literally just slowed down.  In fact, the only standard by which it seems “better” is that it’s “similar,” but in that case, why not listen to the original instead of the kinda, sorta slower one?

To wit: isn’t deconstruction, manipulation and mutation of the original the point of doing a cover?  In an era of media that is taken to task for being too derivative, we should be celebrating the re-examination of pop-art through a highly personal, specific lens.  It’s the difference between a bad remake of a film and a good one: does the director connect with the material in a unique way?  No one (well, almost no one) would argue that Gus Van Sant’s Psycho or John Moore’s The Omen are strong films because they are almost a shot for shot remakes.  John Carpenter’s The Thing is considered the definitive take on the concept because he brought his sense for creeping, claustrophobic horror to what was, in a past life, just a silly monster movie.  It’s why I’d love to see David Lynch tackle a Nightmare on Elm Street film – it might not even have Freddy Krueger, but no one is better at creating nightmares on film than Lynch and he would present a fascinating personal vision of the series’ themes and ideas.

Anyway, I digress.  I realize this might be coming across as a knee jerk defense to a minor criticism, but I really find the differing opinions interesting.  What say you all?  Is this how you like to hear songs covered, or do you prefer less abstract, more straightforward versions?

Oh, and if you do like the track, you can download it for FREE right here.

Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles |@Chris_Cullari | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |