Author Archives: StevewithMWL

Givers “In Light” [ALBUM REVIEW]

I rarely start blogs with a song and I guess technically by typing now I’m not so I’ll stop.  This band is called Givers and I think this tune will get you in the mood for the rest of this blog.

Up Up Up – Givers

I just recently tuned into this band.  I am OBSESSED.  If you were ever wondering, “hey Steve, I know you write about all kinds of stuff, but what REALLY floats your boat?”  Wonder no more people.  Fancy dancy beats, lil pop, catchy tunes that are fun to listen to is what I like and Giver’s new record “In Light” is delivering on all those fronts, hard.

Ripe – Givers

I’m loving the bubbly guitar rhythms, the male/ female vocals.  The electronic elements in the song are just rockin’ as well.  This sounds a little crazy but this bad can do no wrong for me at the moment.  The music literally gives me energy and is a complete sonic blast.

Ceiling of Plankton – Givers

Givers hail from Louisiana.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Louisiana bayou has done this band good.  The cajun rhythms mixed with some keen harmonic indie rock gives Givers an awesome sound.

Comprised of members Tiffany Lamson on vocals and percussion, vocalist and guitarist Taylor Guarisco, drummer and vocalist Kirby Campbell, bassist and guitarist Josh LeBlanc, and flautist, saxophonist, and keyboardist Nick Stephan the band has well rounded sound.  There are no gaps as far as instrumentation.  This band is just awesome.  Yes this band rocks, but they are also able to slow it down and slow it down we shall.

Go Out All Night – Givers

Givers are making there way to Los Angeles in a few weeks on Monday September 12th.  They are set to play the world famous Troubadour in West Hollywood.  I already bought my tickets.  I bought that shit after I heard the first tune without hesitation.  This show is going to be unreal so I suggest you buy your tickets now as well.  Having made appearances on Jimmy Fallon and demolishing thier set at this years SXSW fest this band will be in high demand soon.  Check their tour dates HERE.  Do yourself a flavor (I know) and BUY THIS RECORD. (itunes).

Here’s the last track from this massively cool record.

Words – Givers

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

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Stroked “Is This It” [ALBUM REVIEW]

One of the best parts about writing this blog is the music.  Learning about new music and constantly listening to new bands and sharing it with you is a major perk.  Thinking you have your finger on the pulse of the Los Angeles music scene is also nice and completely unrealistic in this massive behemoth of a musical metropolis.  LA has so much to offer music wise and the ever changing musical landscape here is mind boggling but there are certain things that are definitive and one hundred percent accurate and one of them is popularity.  Good or bad popularity of a rock and roll act can’t be denied.  This blog is about one of the my favorite bands of all time and a very popular one at that.  They are called The Strokes.  Now your probably ready to punch me in the face for writing about something so mainstream?  Hold your horses cowboy and let me explain.  This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Stroke’s seminal album “Is This It.”  It’s a hit fest from start to finish.  Stereogum has put together a special tribute to “Is This It” with major and non major indie artists doing takes on the songs.  Get excited.

Peter Bjorn and John – Is This It

I don’t know or have heard a lot of the bands on this awesome tribute but I will highlight some of the best.  The opening tracks guitar laden effects slathered and the awesome vocal stylings of Peter Bjorn and John of “Young Folks” fame brings some major indie cred and star power to this record.  “Is This It” is one of the best / my favorite Strokes songs ever.  As a fitting introduction to the band ten years ago it has now become yet again a fitting introduction to “Stroked.”  For those keeping score I’m going to skip “Modern Age” and move into the third track on the record.  This version of “Soma” by Frankie Rose is a completely mellowed out pseudo electronic version of the original.

Soma – Frankie Rose

Pretty awesome version if I do say so myself.  A lot of these artists are new to me so perk up and leave a comment if you know more or can suggest something I should listen to.  This next track is The Strokes most famous and popular song.  It’s called “Last Night” and it’s done by a great band called The Morning Benders.  Recently The Strokes have toured the festival circut and released a new record of great music as well as efforts after “Is This It,” but for whatever reason I can’t get enough of this pop gem.  People (mostly me) go nuts when they play it on a nightly basis and it has defined the band since it was released 10 years ago.

Last Night – The Morning Benders

Awesome cover, awesome song.  Deep breaths, I’m getting all worked up.  The synth in that version kills it (kills it in a good way).  There is just enough of the original, great melody mixed with a quick pop beat, awesome cover.  Ok moving on.  This is where it get’s interesting.  I said earlier this record is a complete and utter hit fest.  Obviously I wouldn’t lie to you.  Many of the concert staples The Strokes play come off this record and from what I’ve read they actually enjoy playing them on a nightly basis.  On of the tunes I love so much is called “Hard To Explain.”  For me it’s the iconic example of how good of a singer Julian Casablancas actually is.  The tribute version keeps that in mind giving it the acoustic treatment, more specifically the string quartet treatment.  It’s a light touch with heavily effected vocals and I think it does the trick while keeping in mind how good the original is.

Hard To Explain – Owen Pallett

Gorgeous composition and great vocals from Owen Pallett that track is a stand out in the second half.  The next song is “New York City Cops.”  Yet another fan favorite and live staple.  The version on this compilation is, in a word, interesting?  It’s a hip hop song.  SAYYYY WHATTTTT?????  But, Steve “NYC Cops” is one of the most rockin’ tracks on the whole record why would they give it the hip hop treatment?  To be honest I have no idea, but its a pretty cool version of the song using a sample of Julian’s vocal as the chorus.  Check it out here.  I won’t judge if you won’t.

New York City Cops – Heems

This brings us to the end of the record.  We’ll skip over “Trying Your Luck” and get right after it with “Take it or Leave It.”  This epic show closer tells you like it is and that’s the way The Stroked have been since day one.  They make their music and quite frankly don’t give an f-bomb what anyone else thinks.  They have made some of my favorite music of all time and this tribute Stereogum put together is a fitting tribute to a great record and a greater band.  Enjoy The Strokes.  Enjoy this entire compilation for FREE HERE, take it or leave it.

Take It Or Leave It – Computer Magic

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

Incan Abraham “Sunscreen” [NEW MUSIC]

Adventures are always fun.  I spent this weekend with an old college roommate basically just trying to avoid being arrested.  Spent Sunday afternoon up at the Getty Museum in LA at a great event called “Off The 405”.  The band Lord Huron was playing.  I have written about them before on this blog so check it out here.  They served booze which, if you haven’t been drunk at a fancy shmancy museum, it’s a pretty awesome activity.  Lord Huron played and were great as usual, but this blog isn’t about them.  Later that night I called a friend of mine and he told me about this show happening in the Silverlake neighborhood of LA.  It was called “Sound Effects Art”.  It was put on by a good friend of mine named Rebecca and my new good friend Logan.  Together with the help of others created one part amazing art show and one part awesome concert.  Throw in a bomb taco truck and last night was pretty legitimate.

Sunscreen – Incan Abraham

Incan Abraham are a local band making a big splash in the LA music scene.  They are constantly playing shows in and around LA with countless residencies under their belt already.  I was told I needed to be there to hear their set and boy am I glad I made it in time.  They are a tight 4 piece dream/ pop/ drum/ hypnotica band comprised of members Giuliano Pizzulo, Spencer Mandel, Andrew Clinco and Teddy Cafaro.  They just released a new EP called Sunscreen.  Here’s the other track from the EP, “Third Man”.

Third Man – Incan Abraham

You can download “Sunscreen” for FREE at Incan Abraham’s Bandcamp page HERE and if you act now you can also download their previous EP called “Adult World” for FREE as well at the same site.  Here’s a pretty bitchin’ track off “Adult World” called “Helium Eggs”.

Helium Eggs – Incan Abraham

Incan Abraham have a bunch of shows lined up in and around LA.  They are playing one of my favorite small venues in this city, The Bootleg, on August 11th.  Check out their facebook and tour page HERE.

Also keep your finger on “Sound Affects Art”.  It was an amazing event with a musical score that went along with each of the paintings in a really really cool space.  This wasn’t a one off thing so keep tabs HERE.

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

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers “Rare Bird Alert” [NEW MUSIC]

It’s summer time and I’m completely obsessed with bluegrass music.  Two things that don’t really have anything to do with each other, but in my own little weirdly wired brain they go hand in hand perfectly.  This is outdoor music.  It’s acoustic.  It can happen anywhere and sound fantastic.  Add arguably the greatest comedian of all time turned banjo virtuoso Steve Martin into the mix and you have something very interesting on your hands.   High quality bluegrass licks with a hint of comedy.  Just like summer and bluegrass they seem to mix just fine.  Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers have recently released a full length record called “Rare Bird Alert.”  Get ready for a good ole’ fashion barnstormer.

Rare Bird Alert – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

Steve Martin plays banjo on all the tracks.  Although he limits himself to minimal singing the Steep Canyon Ranger’s more than make up for it.  After the instrumental opener in “Rare Bird Alert” this record moves into some great tracks featuring multi harmonies and a special featured guest.  See if you can recognize his voice.

Best Love – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (Feat. ?)

This is not a comedy record at all as you can see.  This is good ole fashion blue grass ass kickin’.  Honestly I worked for like 13 hours straight today and went home and all I wanted was a drink.  As I started to listen to this record more to prep for the blog my brain kept saying “go to the bathtub, make moonshine… it’s not a dumb idea”.  Whiskey was a much better choice than making my own moonshine, but I guess great music makes you think of doing wierd stuff from time to time.  Anyway, I just finished Steve Martin’s biography “Born Standing Up” which in part inspired me to look into his music more.  The banjo has been a part of Steve’s vaudeville/ variety act since very early on in his career.

He’s an amazingly accomplished banjo player and he reaches out on this record and shreds… yes I said shreds on the banjo.

Northern Island – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

Now don’t me wrong I don’t think Steve Martin would put out a comedyless product.  There are awesome little gems in here for comedy lovers as well.  Funny little lyrics and an ending that I’ll get to later.  One hilarious little song is called “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs”.  The song is a hymnal with Steve featured on vocals.  It’s pretty hilarious and has become one of my favorite tracks of many on this CD.

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

We all know the man is multitalented, that’s never been a debate and this music isn’t that far of a reach for the comedic and now musical genius of Steve Martin, but there’s just a sense of professionalism that comes through even more on this record than in Steve’s larger body of work.  It’s a pleasure to hear him use bluegrass as a vehicle for comedy and music.  It’s an amazing record.  Well at least I thought it was an amazing record…

Then I go to the last track.  The last track on “Rare Bird Alert” is called “King Tut”.  For Steve Martin fans out there this tune is all too familiar.  Back in his SNL and arena (yes arena) standup tour days he performed this song as a sketch and it has gone down in history has one of the greatest SNL sketches ever.

King Tut” is a novelty song performed by Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons (actually members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). It was released as a single in 1978, sold over a million copies, and reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Martin previewed the song in a live performance during the April 22, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live. The song was also included on Martin’s album “A Wild and Crazy Guy.”

King Tut – Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers

This record is awesome.  It’s available everywhere and Steve and the Steep Canyon Rangers are currently on tour HERE.  They are playing San Diego on 8/18.  No LA dates are announced yet, but he has been know to pop in down at the Largo from time to time and play some banjo and tell some jokes.  I’m so happy I got to write about Steve Martin.  He is one of my comedic idols and the guys pretty much dominates everything he sets his mind to.  Enjoy this CD and if you don’t like bluegrass I’m sorry, but you can go take a hike.  Oh and by the way.  The guy singing on that track earlier was Paul McCartney,  no big deal.

Jubilation Day – Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers

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

Rave On Buddy Holly [ALBUM REVIEW]

You know every song I’m about to post.  I would hope that you know every artist I’m about to post.  It’s also important that you know who a guy named Buddy Holly is.  I think you do.  “Rave On Buddy Holly” is one of the best tribute records I have ever heard.  The artist lineup and the song choices are epic and spot on.  Buddy Holly, in my opinion, embodied the spirit of local music.  Constantly touring until his untimely death.  I think it’s only proper that a site like this one devoted to spreading the word of good music and artist recognition take a breather from the underground hip hop and indie rock and take a look back at one of the original indie rockers and the people he has inspired.

Fiona Apple and Jon Brion – Everyday

See I told you!  Fiona Apple and Jon Brion own the second track and one of Holly’s greatest tunes.  Brion is an LA local and he plays shows every Friday night down at the Largo on La Cienega.  Fiona just has such an amazing voice.  I figured that would be a good tune to start out with to wet your whistle.

Dearest – The Black Keys

The video was a little lame, but it has some cool pictures so I left it.

If it wasn’t for that damn plane crash Buddy Holly may well still be with us and who knows what other great music he would have created.  This record is in honor of the man’s 75th birthday and what an impact he has had.  This tribute features everyone from friggin’ Kid Rock to Lou Reed to Modest Mouse to Patti Smith to She and Him to PAUL MCCARTNEY (he gets all caps cuz he’s a Beatle).  It’s pretty all over the place pulling artists from every possible genre of popular music.  My favorite track however is by the one and only Cee Lo Green.  His voice is just unbelievable.  He has found pop success of epic proportions and is far from an indie artist, but he branches out here an gives us an amazing take on a Buddy Holly classic.

(You’re so square) Baby I don’t care – Cee Lo Green

I really don’t have much to review here.  The music is classic and the artists on this record are really dead on in their interpretations of Holly’s music.  There is just enough of the original song and the best part is the obvious individual touches each artist put on his or her song.  One of the best examples of that is Florence and The Machine doing Holly’s tune ‘Not Fade Away.’

Not Fade Away – Florence and The Machine

I think Buddy Holly is beaming with a huge smile somewhere up in rock and roll heaven.  This is really just a fantastic assembly of talent all playing their asses off in honor of a great man.  I know I already said that, but who cares I’ll say it again.  I’m gonna finish this up with a few more tracks by She and Him and one of my favorite singers of all time, Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills, Nash (duh) and Young fame.  Lastly I’ll leave you with a surprising track.  I’m not going to tell you who’s singing it.  Guess in the comments section below and don’t cheat and look at the track listing.  It’s a very far attachement from what this artist usually does and it’s freakin’ amazing.

She and Him – Oh Boy!

Graham Nash – Raining in My Heart

???????? –  Well…All right

He died at 22 and at that age he had already helped define rock and roll as we know it.  He is arguably the most important figure bridging the gap between rockabilly to rock and roll.  He has obviously been missed, but after listening to this record I know for a fact he is not forgotten.  Rave on Buddy Holly…

Here’s the complete track list to inspire you to buy this record.  I’ll be back tomorrow with some good local music, but I had to get this one out.  It’s too good to ignore.

1. “Dearest” – The Black Keys (2:06)
2. “Every Day” – Fiona Apple & Jon Brion (2:19)
3. “It’s So Easy” – Paul McCartney (4:35)
4. “Not Fade Away – Florence + The Machine” (4:02)
5. “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” – Cee Lo Green (1:31)
6. “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” – Karen Elson (2:25)
7. “Rave On” – Julian Casablancas (1:55)
8. “I’m Gonna Love You Too” – Jenny O. (2:11)
9. “Maybe Baby” – Justin Townes Earle (2:06)
10. “Oh Boy” – She & Him (2:18)
11. “Changing All Those Changes” – Nick Lowe (1:41)
12. “Words Of Love” – Patti Smith (3:20)
13. “True Love Ways” – My Morning Jacket (3:25)
14. “That’ll Be The Day” – Modest Mouse (2:15)
15. “Well…All Right” – Kid Rock (2:09)
16. “Heartbeat” -The Detroit Cobras (2:20)
17. “Peggy Sue” – Lou Reed (3:19)
18. “Peggy Sue Got Married” – John Doe (3:57)
19. “Raining In My Heart” – Graham Nash (3:30)

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

Sublime with Rome “Yours Truly” [NEW MUSIC]

This weekend is being deemed “Car-Ma-Geddon” in LA.  Kinda like Armageddon, but even shittier than that movie.  They are shutting down one of our main freeways and basically telling the rest of the city to eff off and find another route.  Greaaaaaaaaaaatttttttt.  They expect traffic to be backed up 50 miles north and south.  If you go 45-50 miles south of LA you reach the fine city of Long Beach CA.  Now just pretend your sitting in terrible traffic in Long Beach.  What music comes to mind?  You probably have heard of a little band from Long Beach called Sublime.  “Santeria,” “What I Got,” Date Rape,” “Wrong Way,” just to name a couple are some of the tunes that have defined this section of the country and the reggae rock movement on So Cal not to mention propelled this band to uber success.  I went to a concert one time and “Sublime” was playing over the PA before the Dave Matthew’s Band took the stage. The crowd sang the lyrics so loud when the band took the stage they were so astonished by what they were hearing they sang a long and let the last tune play out, unreal.  The new in carnation of the band is called Sublime with Rome (The new lead singer) and today they have just released “Yours Truly”.  Check it out, then we’ll discuss…

Panic – Sublime with Rome

It sounds similar.  It sounds good.  They look similar because the rythm section of Eric Wilson on bass and Bud Gaugh on drums is still in tact.  The big difference is the lead singer Rome who replaces the deceased Bradley Nowell.  He has an amazingly similar voice to Nowell.

Now before you start thinking I’m going in the direction you think I am I will have you know I’m not.  I have to make the initial comparison, a little background.  This is a new band playing the great style music that made them famous and people like me love them in the first place.  Quite frankly im excited Sublime is back in any state making great So Cal roots rock.  This tune should get you in the mood for some new Sublime music.

Only – Sublime with Rome

Enough of that serious stuff from before.  This band since I have known about them and beyond has been all about fun upbeat music and nothing has changed at all.  In “Yours Truly” we get to hear Sublime’s slightly different take on what the have been doing.  There are your standard Sublime-y songs throughout the record.  Great tunes  like “My World,” “Murdera,” and “Only,” are definitely in the same vein as the good ole days.  The best part about this record however is the new sounding stuff.  Tunes like “PCH” and “Paper Cuts” have the lighter and slightly harder sounds respectively that we haven’t heard recently from Sublime.

PCH – Sublime With Rome

Paper Cuts – Sublime with Rome

I’m not entirely sure I can get behind that tune PCH.  I think it has to much bubbles to it… To much Jason Mraz-y, Jack Johnson-y vibey “hey lets go to the beach”-ness to it.  Did that make sense?  Prolly not, but hey they can’t all be gems?  Am I right?  “Paper Cuts” however is a hard, fast and in your face awesome song.   Any way as you can see this record has a lot of different flavors in it… even a little something for the Jason Mraz fan in you, I know it’s there.

Thats what the band sounds like playing one of my all time favorite Sublime songs.  They sound awesome playing the old stuff and I’m sure the new stuff sounds equally great.  For those who are nostalgic “Yours Truly” hits all the right notes and for those who love Jason Mraz this record hits one very brief note.  Had to…

Sublime is touring with 311 (ummm… awesome?) and although they don’t have a home town show booked as of yet I think the So Cal area is always on their radar.   You can buy their new record literally everywhere.

Here’s the last tune from Sublime with Rome’s “Yours Truly” and a bonus track feat. everyone’s favorite pot head Wiz Khalifa.

Spun – Sublime with Rome

Can You Feel It (Feat. Wiz Khalifa) – Sublime with Rome

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

Trevor Menear “Some Kind Of Sunshine” [NEW MUSIC]

It’s been just over a week since my last blog post.  Sorry.  Had to go visit the lady in North Carolina.  Thought I’d use my trip to discover some cool local bands out there, but instead I found hippie jam band drum circles and people playing homemade instruments (the terrible sounding kind) in the street.  Kinda cool if your deaf, but not really my cup of tea.  There is a time and place for hippie jam band drum circles and a romantic evening with the lady you haven’t seen in a couple months is not the time and in my ear drums wasn’t the place.  Instead I stumbled upon this awesome new artist named Trevor Menear.  I signed up for his mailing list at The Satellite Lounge in LA right before I left and he gave me his CD for free.  I listened to it on the plane ride back to LA and I wish I knew it was this good because honestly would have paid 20 bones.

River Blues – Trevor Menear

Chicago native Menear is a blues man.  His most recent and second full length offering “Some Kid Of Sunshine” he features the blues with a small hint of pop mixed in just for fun.  Two things hit me right off the bat.  His guitar work and the originality and distinctness of Trevor’s voice.  Both are the stars of the show on this record.  His take on the blues is fresh and his acoustic picking is just awesome.  This record has a good mix of heavy and light.  A good example to contrast that first track “River Blues” is the track “Better On The Way”.

Better On The Way – Trevor Menear

It’s pretty awesome when you stumble on an artist with this kind of range.  He keeps the same general tone throughout the record, but each song is very different and the mix between his acoustic picking and the electric guitar is awesome to listen to.  All that acoustic light stuff is nice, but lets be serious this guy can wail so lets hear some more.  Here’s an original off the record and a video of Trevor and band covering “Champagne and Reefer” by the legendary Muddy Waters.

Make Me Howl- Trevor Menear

That’s my favorite song on this record.  Come to think of it maybe “Blues River” is.  Eh, whatever they are both awesome tunes and as the starting two tracks on this record needless to say my attention was grabbed in a big way.  There are other little gems on this record as well.  One tune in particular is the track “Giver Her a Name” It’s kind if buried near the end of the record, but the haunting melodies and the strings are really cool especially after the heavy distortion of the guitar on the previous tracks.

Give Her a Name – Trevor Menear

Now for the good part.  Here’s where I get to tell you that Trevor lives locally in LA and has played and is playing a bunch of local free shows namely the Venice Beach Music Festival on August 13th.  I guess it’s really only good for me and the rest of the Californians, sorry.  His tour page is here and he’s playing The Foundry on Melrose tomorrow night from 8:30 to 11:30 for FREE.  I’ll see you there.

Now for the second good part.  On his website Trevor’s new record “Some Kind Of Sunshine” is available in the “pay what you want” format.  Do yourself a favor and throw him a 5 or a 10, whatever you can afford.  You won’t be disappointed
and you’ll get to hear the rest of the tracks I wasn’t able to fit above.

Here’s the last track as usual.  There are 13 tracks on this record.  Seriously buy it, I honestly think its worth a 20…

November (a long way from here) – Trevor Menear

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

J. Roddy Walston and the Business [NEW MUSIC]

You ever go to a bar, walk in, musics blaring and sadly its just a crappy cover band bangin’ away in the corner and like 20 drunk local- yokels destroying pints over in the other corner nodding along to the bands fifth time playing a slurred “Proud Mary” with one extremely unattractive -poor excuse for a truck drivers wife- dancing alone in the middle of the floor?  Then you punch yourself in the face for paying Cletus a pointless 5 dollar cover at the door and just take the loss and walk out?  Well that doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s just the complete and utter worst thing in the whole world.  I don’t mean to go all “Martin Luther King Jr.” on you but, I have a dream.  I have a dream that one day I will walk into the shadyest of dive bars, pay 5 dollar cover to Cletus and right before I punch my self in the face I will hear sweet sounds J. Roddy Walston and the Business.  Get after it.

Used to Did – J. Roddy Walston and the Business

With that said Baltimore’s J. Roddy Walston and the Business are the real deal.  They are loud and in your face.  Great piano, great guitars and J. Roddy himself has an awesomely distinct voice.  That first track I posted for you is the third track on their self titled release which came out about a year ago.  The next track I’m going to post is how the record opens.  It’s arguably one of my favorite songs in existence at the moment.  It’s called “Don’t Break The Needle” and if this doesn’t make you want to hear more you’re not human.

Don’t Break The Needle – J. Roddy Walston and the Business

J. Roddy Walston is backed by Billy C. Gordon on guitar with Steve “The Sleeve” Colmus (Drums) and Logan Davis (Bass) holding it down in the rhythm section.  They play rock and roll, simple as that.  This record is really outstanding.  Song after song I find myself not only getting lost in the music but nodding along the whole way.  As I said before J. Roddy has a distinct voice.  I think his voice completely makes this record.

His high energy matches the high octane of the band.  The rhythms are relentless and catchy.  If you like rock and roll and you need some music to throw on to keep a dying party going at say 3am I think you might find refuge in this record.

Full Growing Man – J. Roddy Walston and The Business

J. Roddy is playing The Satellite in Silverlake tomorrow night in LA.  I’ll be going.  I’ll be the guy right up front dancing my ass off.  If you want to dance come find me I’ll be hard to miss.  I’ll be dancing hardest to this song.

Brave Man’s Death – J. Roddy Walston and The Business

The band is currently in the middle of a US tour which looks like it stops at Austin City Limits.  Their tour page is HERE.  You can buy their self titled release HERE.  It’s only 7 bucks.  If you don’t buy it you are a stupid.

Next time you walk into a bar after paying a cover you regret and you’re about to punch yourself in the face.  Pull your iProduct out of your pocket and crank ‘J. Roddy Walston and The Business’ and pretend the poor excuse for a band is as good as them, which is impossible.  This band is going to be huge.  MARK MY WORDS.  Here’s the last track and a video.  And oh yea, a cover of my favorite Queen song, “Fat Bottomed Girls.” with a drunk guy singing in the background.  Boom.

Use Your Language – J. Roddy Walston and The Business

Qualities not terribly amazing, but you get the point.  Enjoy

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

Left Lane Cruiser “Junkyard Speed Ball” [NEW MUSIC]

So I was at the liquor store today buying myself some delicious treats.  I sauntered though the whiskey and bourbon aisle perusing the selection.  Wasn’t in the mood.  Last night wasn’t supposed to be one of those “what the hell happened and why do I have a tattoo of a ninja turtle on my rear end” kind of nights.  I got home and saw a text that read “Left Lane Cruiser, get after it.”  Checked my e-mail and there was a zip file with the same title.  I listened, without a word walked across the street, bought every single bottle of whiskey they had in stock and yelled “Cowabunga!” while a man named “Sneaky Dave” drew a terrible rendition of Michaelanglo on my ass just because I already knew where this night was going.  This is the blues, this is loud, this is Left Lane Cruiser.

Set Me Down – Left Lane Cruiser

Am I right or am I right?

This whiskey fueled two-man frenzy of blues-driven rock’n’roll noise straight from Fort Wayne, Indiana promise to hit you like a shock wave and show you a foot-stompin’ good time.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  With Freddie J IV completely shredding on guitar and Brenn “Sausage Paw” Beck on “drums, trash and hollering” this two man duo is a machine that will chew you up and spit you out without hesitation or effort.  They have released 4 records and their most recent record “Junkyard Speedball” is a complete monster.  If your going to call a record “Junkyard Speed Ball” it better be fast, it better have raw emotion, it better have grit and it better have… well I’ll just let them show you.  They would have punched me in the face for talking to much already anyway.

Justify – Left Lane Cruiser

There’s not much I have to say that the band hasn’t already said.  The gritty vocals, the DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY guitar, the pounding drums and the trash just come together and make me cross-eyed with pleasure.  The volume is awesome, this is good mood blues at 100 miles per hour.

I’d definitely compare these guys to the likes of ‘The Black Keys’ because they have that same two man dynamic with no bass guitar.  I would ‘un-compare’ them to ‘The Black Keys’ because I hate having to make comparisons in the first place and these guys are just different.  Yes the instrumentation is the same.  Left Lane Cruiser is fast, faster than everyone else.  They have a certain whiskey fueled anger to their music.  They site the North Mississippi Hill Country Blues as an influence.  I’m already familiar with the Dickinson Family and the North Mississippi All Stars (you should be too) and man does that just click and make sense.  This song is called “Big Momma.”  Time for 5 more shots.

Big Momma – Left Lane Cruiser

So basically all I have to say is, you’re welcome.  If you like rock and you like the blues Left Lane Cruiser is for you.  Honestly I haven’t been this excited about a band in a while.  Go out and buy their music.  They are on iTunes HERE.  I received the “Junkyard Speed Ball” from a friend, but I definitely coughed up a couple bucks to hear what else these guys have to say and trust me its worth it.  They are currently bar hoping and playing a bunch of smaller festivals in the Mid West.  Tour page is HERE.   If you live there I envy you like I have never envied anything before.  This band will give you a hangover.  This band is heavy.  Enjoy.

Heavy – Left Lane Cruiser

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

Hey Champ “Star” [NEW MUSIC]

OK dudes and lady dudes.  Get your dancing shoes on throw some glitter in your hair.  Hey Champ hails from Chicago, IL and they blend house, indie rock and disco into their amped synthtastic sounds.  Yes I know, I’m sweating just thinking about it.  Let’s get into their most recent full length release ‘Star’.

Shake – Hey Champ

As you can see these guys are a party.  With a primary emphasis on all things synthesizer, sweet beats and raging guitar this music is just plain fun to listen to.  They site “The 80’s” as an influence on their facbook page and as you can hear from the opening chords of the first tune “Shake” they aren’t holding anything back.  Dance pop/ rock at its finest.

“Hey Champ’s roots can be traced outside of Chicago in nearby Rockford, where band members Saam Hagshenas (Vocals, Guitar) and Jonathan Marks (Vocals & Drums) discovered their love of music at a young age. After Saam’s graduation from law school, Jon’s fellow Princeton Pete Dougherty (Synths) moved to Chicago, cementing the lineup of the group.”

One of my favorite songs is called ‘Cold Dust Girl’.  An upbeat summer anthem ‘Cold Dust Girl’ is a great example of the simplicity in the song writing and the bands ability to create catchy hook on top of catchy melody.  Now who wants to watch hot hipster chicks dance in extreme slow motion and make out with each other?

Cold Dust Girl – Hey Champ

I said it once and I’ll say it again.  ‘Hey Champ’ is freakin’ fun.  As far as I can tell they don’t take themselves too seriously.  Which comes through in the music not because it’s sloppy or anything like that, but because these guys are trying just have a good time playing loud and making people dance.

After listening to this record I can only imagine what a live show would be like, but I’d put a weeks pay that I walk out of there a sweaty mess.  They state on their facebook page that their band influences are Crochet, Pottery, Antiquing.  I just really glad we have something in common.  BOOM!  Title Track.

Star – Hey Champ

“Hey Champ” has ZERO tour dates listed and I’m pissed.  Hopefully they get some dates up there soon/ just play shows in my house or LA forever.  They just released an EP called ‘Anything At All EP.’ that and their full length offering ‘Star’ are AVAILABLE HERE FOR CHEAP.  At 4 bucks for the EP and 6 bucks for the record you are literally stealing from this band so I suggest you buy it before they catch on.  Here’s the last track from ‘Star’ and a video for another awesome song called “Neverest”.

Steampunk Camelot – Hey Champ

Can’t wait for this band to get back on the road and play some shows. Ummm, Synth pop rules.  (I had a harder time than I thought I would trying to end this blog… deal with it.)

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