Category Archives: Los Angeles

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=”http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=3887488050/size=grande3/bgcol=FFFFFF/linkcol=4285BB/&#8221; allowtransparency=”true” frameborder=”0″><a href=”http://vanishvalley.bandcamp.com/album/get-good”>Get Good by Vanish Valley</a></iframe>

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

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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

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

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 |

Scott Bartenhagen [Interview] [Free Download]

There’s a lot to like about Scott Bartenhagen, a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Lathrop, California.  He’s not your typical singer/songwriter: he’s 6’7” for starters, loves Sci-Fi and draws inspiration from movie soundtracks and 20th century classical music.  A friend of mine suggested I watch a video of his song Delta Fog, and I am forever grateful that I did.  Scott’s jazz-influenced guitar playing along with his beautifully deep, soul shaking voice make for an astounding combination.  When I met Scott I was immediately drawn to his warm and quirky personality and quiet demeanor.  It was a privilege to interview such a young talent, and it’s my pleasure to help spread the word about this rising star.  Check out the video of Delta Fog below, courtesy of YouTube, and if you liked what you hear (which I know you will) you can download the song for free via the player below.

 

MF: When I first saw your video for Delta Fog I was immediately awe struck and completely blown away by the hauntingly deep and poetic sound of your voice.  I feel that you have one of the best voices of our generation, I know bold statement, but every time I listen to your songs I am instantly inspired, and amazed.  When did you start your singing career?

Scott:  Pretty freaking bold statement man, and thank you so much.  I sang “Great Balls of Fire” my junior year of high school for a 70’s school dance that the high school band put on.  Then I started writing songs, so I’ve been singing for I guess that would be about five years now, I didn’t ever sing before that I was always too afraid.

MF: Have you ever had singing lessons?

Scott:  No, I’ve never taking formal singing lessons, but I’ve had good guidance from friends that were great singers that really helped me out. 

MF:  Like I said, I feel like you have an incredible voice.  I remember the first time I watched Delta Fog, your voice gave me chills.  It was almost hard for me to believe that that voice was coming from you, it really blew me away.

Scott:  Wow man, thank you I really appreciate it that’s awesome.

MF:  I feel that writing lyrics is the hardest part of creating great songs, and you nail it on every song. Where do you get the inspiration for your lyrics?

Scott:  I get the inspiration from my lyrics from personal experience, or nerding out on something.  It also comes from my general love of storytelling.  My lyrics have to sound good coming out before anything else.  That’s kind of the David Byrne theory of lyric writing.  I find words that I think sound great then I use my imagination to put them into situations that make sense when they are spoken aloud.  So it comes melody first, then how the words sound, then what kind of words can I fit around those syllables that still makes a great song, and that’s why its kind of a bigger puzzle than if you were just writing lyrics. 

MF:  In my personal experience with writing songs, I feel that lyrics are the toughest part of writing any song.  If you don’t have solid lyrics then it’s going to be harder for the listener to connect to you.

Scott:  Oh yeah.  I could write like a dozen songs a day, but it takes me a week to write the words for the songs sometimes.

MF:  Yeah, that’s understandable I think it’s very hard to write solid lyrics and you do a great job writing great lyrics.

Scott:  Thanks man, As long as they’re not too contrived, or as long as they’re honest enough, even if they’re not true if they’re honest and they’re not contrived and trying to sound cool, I like it.

 

MF: What are your musical influences, and what artists inspire you to create your music?

Scott: Um, my musical influences would be, movie soundtracks, Joni Mitchell, and Jazz.  Those are the big three, but I also like singer-songwriters that influence me a lot, like my good friend Travis Vick, a local Sacramento artist. His music has a big effect on me. Also, Bluegrass players and anybody who excels at their instruments inspire me as well. That’s a tough question, because I have a whole lot of influences from a lot of different things.  Movie soundtracks are a big one.  As well as orchestral music, and 20th Century classical music is where I get a lot of my melodies.  So that’s a little bit of an idea of how I get inspired.

MF:  As far as movie soundtracks do you have a favorite composer?

Scott:  I like uh, I really like Joe Hisaishi, Hans Zimmer’s pretty cool, he’s kind of a hack, and I like John Williams as well.  Anyone who puts music to motion, I admire, because it’s all about the emotion other than the notes, it’s about evoking a feeling, which I’m a big fan of.

MF:  Is there anything outside of music that inspires you to write your songs?

Scott:  Yeah definitely. Various novels, stories that my dad tells me, great Science Fiction, um, trying to get a handle on politics.  Not that my songs are too political.  I’m not too crazy politically but politics definitely make me angry, and anger definitely inspires me.

MF:  As far as Science Fiction is concerned what specifically about Sci-Fi inspires you?

Scott:  I like all types of science fiction, usually get inspired by near future science fiction, like Blade Runner, or people like William Gibson who write Cyber Punk. It really gets my mind racing, I really enjoy it. I’ve written some songs based off of stuff like that.  A decent amount of my songs have a Sci-Fi twist on them. 


 

MF: You are a phenomenal guitar player, how long have you been playing the guitar, and what inspired you to start playing?

Scott:  I’ve been playing the guitar since about, eighth grade, probably a little bit before that.  Probably ten years.  My mom is a great guitar player so I listened to her a lot and got inspired.  Also, I think a friend of mine got a guitar down the street, and that made me really want one.  I was already playing trumpet in a band, so I figured I could move onto guitar from there.  I didn’t really get into songwriting for a long time, but learning jazz guitar definitely helped keep the fire and passion for the instrument.

MF: Have you had any professional training?

Scott:  I was a music major at Sac State, before I left.  I took three years of schooling as a jazz studies major.  I am a big proponent of taking lessons and learning as much as you possibly can, shedding ego as a guitar player and just wanting to learn.  I took lessons from a really great jazz guitar player, and I learned to play with other people in groups for a long time as well. 

MF:  Also, you mentioned you played trumpet, do you play any other instruments?

Scott:  Yeah, trumpet and tuba were my first instruments and then I moved onto the piano and guitar.  Those are the main instruments that I can play. 

MF:  I notice you have a lot of songs ready to go, are you coming out with an EP or a new album in the near future, and if so will Delta Fog be included?

Scott:  No.  I’m over the idea of albums.  Like every year you make your one album, and then you put an EP out and then you make an album that has twelve songs on it or something and then a whole year passes.  That whole cycle is formulaic and I don’t think it works any more with the way people buy albums.  So I’m kind of into smaller releases but more often.  I think that’s a pretty cool idea.  I have a few releases coming up, I have a five song project that I’m working on called Speeches, that I’m working on at the moment, still recording.  It should be done in the next couple weeks.  Then I have another small project on the way that should come out within a couple weeks as well.  So within this month I’m hopefully going to have a bunch of new stuff done for the world to see.

And I have a new group as well, with three girls from Sac State, a drummer and a bassist. The three girls are singing three part harmonies as well as playing the violin.  I’ve added six people to my group.

MF:  Wow, that’s exciting I can’t wait to hear you play with the new band.

Scott:  Yeah, I’ve already got to play some shows with this new band and they are really freaking good man, they’re really tight.  These two girls sing some amazing harmonies, and we have this bitching violin player who’s incredible, it’s tight man. I can’t wait to play some shows in Los Angeles so you guys can hear it.

MF:  What are you thoughts on the current state of the music industry, and where do you see it going?

Scott:  I think that there’s a lot of music out there. I think the music industry is pretty oversaturated with the Internet now and I think it’s high time for bands to get more creative with the way they do things and how we get music out there, and what it means to have art.  I think there are a lot of creative ways to distribute music, play shows and collaborate.  I think it’s a good thing and I think it’s going the right direction. I just need people to start giving a crap, but I guess we need to make them start giving a crap. 

MF:  As an independent artist, do you find it difficult to accumulate new fans and to be heard amidst the overwhelming amount of music that is out there?

Scott:  I do feel it’s really hard to be heard.  I feel there are so many different avenues for me to put my music out that nobody bites.  I get a good response when I play shows, but it’s hard playing venues when you don’t have a fan base.  Promoters don’t promote anymore, venues don’t want to get people in the door themselves, it all falls on the shoulders of the bands, which is I think criminal.  Live performance is not geared to help bands.  It’s hard finding fans, and it’s hard finding places that want to help musicians get fans instead of just wanting to take their money.

MF:  So which one do you think is more difficult?  Trying to accumulate new fans, or to be heard?

Scott:  I think they’re pretty much the same thing. I would like to hope/think if someone hears my music they’d become a fan.  I can’t force them to become a fan. I would say it’s harder to show my music to people in the right context.  It’s hard for people to find my music and want to listen to it, as opposed to they have to either actually search for it or they find it on some obscure online radio station that never actually works.  So I think they’re both related: it’s hard to find fans and it’s hard to try to get the people who aren’t fans yet to listen to your music to become fans. 

MF:  I absolutely agree.  It was really great to learn more about you as a musician as well as a person.  I enjoyed talking about your music, what you’re working on, and the thoughts you have about being an independent artist, as well as your thoughts as the current state of the music industry.  I am looking forward to your upcoming projects and attending your shows with your new band.

Scott:  Thanks man, I really enjoyed it as well, and I will keep you updated with the projects I am currently working on.  Great talking with you, and I will talk to you soon.

By: Mason Frank|L.A. Ambassador|MasonFrankMWL|Beat-Play & Music Without Labels LLC

 

The Barr Brothers “The Barr Brothers” [NEW MUSIC]

I’m going to start this blog off by saying I love music. I love the sounds I love being a part of thriving music scene here in LA, seeing shows and being a small part of the creativity.  Back in the day in college I went the standard college radio station route to put myself right smack frickin dab in the middle of arguably one of the most diverse and ever changing music scenes in the country, Boston Massachusetts.  Little WERS 88.9 fm has literally made me the music fan I am today and my dad, can’t forget him either.  I have been to hundreds of shows and in those early years where I discovered it’s always better in a small club rather than a giant arena I got a glimpse of amazing real talent.  This band I’m about to introduce you to is one of those groups whose members bring music and love of music full circle on a personal level.  They are the Barr Brothers and their new record is something that I honestly don’t want to share with anyone and keep all to myself, but we all know I can’t keep a secret to save my life.

Beggar In The Morning – The Barr Brothers

Brad and Andrew Barr are from Boston Massachusetts.  They live in Canada now.  They have a band which are called The Slip they share with bassist Marc Friedman and now they are The Barr Brother which the share with harpist and neighbor Sarah Page and Andres Vial who fills the void by playing bass, keys and percussion.  My first introduction to these gentlemen was when they were part of The Slip when they were touring behind their amazing album Eisenhower.  I remember doing two in studio mixes with the guys one was fully plugged in and the other was acoustic.  The first mix was all material from Eisenhower, but the second they shared with me a couple new songs and I gave them my mixes to use as demos to make a new record with.  This was about 5 years ago.

I have a amazing treat for this blog.  One of the demos I recorded back in the day made it on the Barr Brothers newest release.  To clarify my version didn’t make it on, but the song did.  I’m going to post both of them.  The first version of the song was recorded with Brad playing his acoustic guitar and Andrew playing the studios Steinway grand piano.  The second is the second track off the Barr Brother’s self titled release.  Same song, years apart.

O0h, Belle (Live at WERS) – The Barr Brothers

Ooh, Belle – The Barr Brothers

Pretty cool huh?  I don’t know how to play music very well but I’m pretty sure they changed the key.  I’d love to know what you guys think in the comments section below.  This is one of my favorite songs I was given the opportunity to record during my stay at WERS and as far as the record the music on this release is diverse and something that I could only see coming from the musicians that made it.  I think it is truly listeners music.  The nuances in it and the light additions of keys and the harp just bring light to the whole thing.  Not every song is as light a lullaby as Ooh, Belle after all they were in an experimental rock/ jazz outfit for many years.  Try this one on for size.

Give The Devil Back His Heart – The Barr Brothers

They still have the rock in them.  I love the guitar and vocal pairing on this song.  Brad Barr is an amazing guitar player and with the effects used on his vocals with his style of singing on this song it’s a little bit of a wake up and just shows how diverse these musicians really are.

There is a little blues element a little middle eastern rhythm and of course a jazzy element to this tune that really grabbed me and is definitely the standout on a record of standouts.  I think tune will drive all the points I just made home.  The next two tracks after Give The Devil Back His Heart are quiet acoustic songs, amazing, but then  we get to the 7th track on the record called Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’.  Welcome to the delta…

Lord I Just Can’t Keep From Cryin’ – The Barr Brothers

I can’t boast about these guys enough.  They are amazing musicians and from my limited interaction with them over the years, they are amazing people always generous to share new music and try new things.  I think this record is a testament to their efforts to try new styles of music and play the music that inspires them.  From the quietest notes of Ooh Belle to the loudest grittiest notes of Lord I Just Can’t… the dynamic range on this record is really one to be admired.  As a music fan I think I can recommend this band and this music to just about any one.

Deacons Son – The Barr Brothers

The Barr Brothers are currently touring on their new self titled release and will be making stops in Los Angeles on November 2nd at the Hotel Cafe.  Do your selves 2 favors.  Get your hands on this record.  It is available on Amazon and iTunes.  It is also available to listen to on Spotify.  Here is the last track from The Barr Brother’s self titled release.  Next time I’m going to write about the Muppets, yes the Muppets.

Let There Be Horses – The Barr Brothers

Paulie Pesh – “Making of a Song: Shining Stars” [VIDEO]

Paulie Pesh

Paulie Pesh is complex LA folk band whose albums Shining Stars and Post Mortem enchant you with their comfortable yet creative harmonies, and delight you with their array of instruments (including the violin, viola, trumpet and clarinet). In addition to Paulie Pesh and his wife (Cristal Peshkepia – backup vocals), band members include Philip Roosevelt (electric guitar), Philip Glenn (violin), Jazmin Rampas (violin), Yena Lee (viola), Marissa Peshkepia (clarinet), Adam Portocarreo (trumpet), and Jason Chavez (bass), among others.

According to Pesh, after returning from a two-month tour with his wife in the summer of 2010 he became excited by incorporating brass, woodwinds, and strings into his music.  In order to create such complex pop songs he had to recruit family and friends.  Explaining the logistics of the band Paulie says, “We actually have anywhere from 8-14 players to be accurate. I rely on friends, family and new talent and just whoever I can get. I usually just send out a mass text or e-mail and just sort of wait for a response. It’s worked out great that way. There are so many committed people to this project. That is another reason why it works.”

Paulie Pesh Post Mortem

Chris Schlarb produced their newest EP Post Mortem. The new tracks orbit in the galaxy of stars such as Paul Simon and Randy Newman, and the title song sways amid horns, keys and plucked strings.  Check out the video by Paulie, Making of a Song: Shining Stars to get a feel for the look and sound of this talented new band.

 

 

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

Strive Roots Opens for War – Downtown San Diego

This Friday, Sept, 23rd, the incredibly talented band Strive Roots is opening up for classic funk band War. If you’ve never heard of Strive Roots, let this video recorded by MusicWithoutLabels at last year’s THC Music Fest, give you your first taste. Eli (lead guitar) does something with the guitar I’ve never seen ANYONE ever do. I still can’t figure out how he does it. Check it out:

With tunes like that, and one of my favorites, Communicate:along with a whole slur of new material, this show is going to be ridiculous! If you’re in Southern Cali, and you like to dance and jam the f*k out, you’re definitely going to want to catch this. Tickets are on sale here, or you can email Eli directly at eli@striveroots.com, and maybe he’ll hook you up!

Strive Roots also plays tonight at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood at 11:30 pm. If you don’t happen to be in town, you can check out all that Strive Roots has to offer at striveroots.com or on Facebook. This band is seriously going to blow up soon, unquestioned. Don’t miss em!

Written by: Dante Cullari

Cymbals Eat Guitars “Lenses Alien” [NEW MUSIC]

Cymbals Eat Guitars is an awesome band name.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is an awesome band.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is loud energetic and just the right kind of music for the mood I’m in right now.  I think I’m going to get tired of continuously typing Cymbals Eat Guitars, but I’ll do it for you in the name of rock and roll.  If you like this kind of stuff and hate typing, feel free to proceed.

Rifle Eye Sight (Proper Name) – Cymbals Eat Guitars

When I’m in the mood for distortion I think I have a new band to turn too.  Cymbals Eat Guitars is that band.  They hail from the NY/ New Jersey area.  Their record comes out today and, duh, I HAVE IT ALREADY so were gonna move through this, it’s going to get loud and soft and loud and soft and you’re going to like it.

Keep Me Waiting – Cymbals Eat Guitars

“Lenses Alien” was produced by John Agnello.  His past clients include the likes of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. two bands that make evident where Cymbals Eat Guitars draws their influence from.  Dinosaur Jr. is a hometown (Boston) band for me and also one of my favorite bands of all time so when I started putting 2 and 2 together I was excited to see the resemblances between the two acts.  I was also excited to see Cymbals take their obvious influence and turn it on its head.

There is a little more pop to their music.    I can only speak for “Lenses Alien” but I will most definitely be diving into their back catalog VERY soon (as in right after I’m done writing this entry.)   High powered heavy guitars, distinct melodic vocals and great bass lines are what is driving this record for me right now.

Definite Darkness – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Appropriately enough the band started with drums and guitars.  They have grown since then and found popularity on the indie rock circuit nationwide.  As I write this and listen to Lenses Alien I’m pretty blown away.  One of my favorite tracks is the eerie tune called The Current.

It has a driving rhythm throughout under darkly distorted vocals.  It’s a far stretch from the music I usually enjoy, but for some reason it stands out for me on an album of good stuff.  The juxtaposition between that and the following partially acoustic track, Wavelengths, was a really cool transition.

Wavelegnths – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars is the perfect kind of rock music for pretty much anyone who wants a new flavor of style of music from our younger years.  Either that or if you are into guitar laden, harmonic, sonic or whatever else ends in “onic” type of music.  Lenses Alien is refreshing, loud and most of all this record is honest in the fact that even though the inspiration is obvious they have stayed true to themselves and have created awesome new music because of it.  Here’s the last track.  I love it.  A great ballad to leave us on a soft note… if your not in the mood to be left in a soft note just replay the damn thing from the top on today when you buy this record.

Gary Condit – Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars are about to tour from Boston to LA and back to NY for the fall.  They play LA’s Echo on the 7th of October.  See you there chumps.

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

Washed Out “Within and Without” [NEW MUSIC]

The dawn of a new electronic musical era is upon us.  As if you didn’t already know.  Now more than ever its easy to get your hands on a synth and some fancy computer apps, a cheap mic and a mbox and you can make music for the masses.  For most this is both a blessing and a burden.  It’s a blessing because the potential is at the tip of our talentless fingertips only to be lost in a “oh man I wish I could do that” moment.  It’s a burden because of the frustration the consumes you when you hear someone doing it right.  Washed Out has recently released “Within and Without.”  If you are feeling euphoric and ready for a sonic blast from another planet throw some cans on lay back and turn it up.  This is Washed Out.

Eyes Be Closed – Washed Out

I’m sitting in my bedroom right now as I write this.  Earnest Greene other wise known as Washed Out is putting people like me in a euphoric trance as I listen to the music he is making from his.  His “chillwave” style of music caught the attention of many music bloggers like myself and propelled him to indie fame having been chose by Battles and Pitchfork to perform at their respective curated festivals.

Amor Fati – Washed Out

I’m just now getting into this kind of music.  I find it incredibly relaxing.  It’s the type of music playing at a dark LA club.  Not much dancing just something cool and ambient to listen to as you fade into the night.  I’m not really a “fade into the night kind of guy,” but hey if the tunes take you there I’m all for giving it a shot.  With that said I love the synth work and the simplicity of the drums compliment the spaceyness of Mr. Greene’s voice.

You and I – Washed Out

I normally post the album cover at the top of the blog entry, but this time it’s here:

Ding Ding Ding.  This is one of the sexiest album covers I have ever seen.  Maybe move the dude out of the way, but hey we can’t win em’ all.  I was going to bring this up earlier, but resisted.  Then I saw the album cover and realized how sexy this music is.  I don’t think I have ever said that before, but hey today’s a new day and these tunes are incredibly sexy.  Like right out of a movie where the heroin is getting out of a pool with perfect hair (somehow) or the big reveal at the top of the stairs as she blows the room away kinda stuff.  When my girlfriend get’s back from her trip I’ll throw this on and see what happens.  I think it’s a safe bet she’d call me an idiot, turn it off and put on Katy Perry.  Here’s the last track from Washed Out’s “Within and Without”.

Dedication – Washed Out

Washed out currently resides in Georgia and is also currently, and appropriately, on tour with Cut Copy making a stop in Los Angeles on Wednesday October 12.  I think I might make my way down.  See you there?

Here’s a fan made video for the song “Feel It All Around” which has been making a splash recently.

Get it?

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