Tag Archives: Steve Rippin

Long Walks On The Beach [NEW MUSIC]

I received an e-mail a couple weeks ago which read, “This is my brother’s band.  He knows what the people want… blog about it.”  How could I not dig deeper?  I was so enthralled by this epic demand that I rushed ever so swiftly to the nearest computer and immediately Googled the shit out of them.  I almost fainted….  Ok it didn’t happen that way but, if these guys know what the people want then obviously I had to oblige and check this band out because after all don’t we all what to know what people want?  Yes we do.  Here’s a band that made me real glad I check my e-mail.  Long Walks On The Beach.

TRUE LOVE or bust – Long Walks On The Beach

I literally know nothing about the DC area local music scene, but I do know good music when I hear it.  Long Walks on the Beach has the mellow-ness of a beach bar down in Venice, CA with the punch of a big city such as DC.  An odd mix that works amazingly.  Also, if a band or in this case a musician by the name of Fritz Kramer describes his music as “bedroom pop,” on his facebook page a closer listen based on this description gained Long Walks a new fan in me.  The song writing is great and the tunes are right up my alley.  I read a quick little bio and like most people Fritz has a day job,

associate producer of a world class investigative journalism series wins Emmys by day then retreats to his carriage house bedroom near Howard University to make perfectly crafted pop songs by night.”   

Sounds good to me.  Fritz’s day job hasn’t stopped him from creating and releasing a handful tunes on Long Walks website.  It also hasn’t stopped 14 year old girls from making video picture retrospectives of Fall and Winter 2010 set to his tunes either.

metaPhysical – Long Walks On The Beach

A lot of people say, “don’t quit your day job.”  They usually say this to me when I sing off key like an asshole when I hammered, but I think Long Walks on The Beach really has something here.  So I say “f-it” quit your day job!  Why not?20,000+ people agree with me on the ole’ facebook.  It’s a tough road and obviously it doesn’t work out for everyone, but in this case the sound is right and ripe for more and more people to hear.  This last song is my favorite of the three tunes up for FREE on their site right now.  It has nothing to do with 14 year old girls or picture retrospectives on youtube.

I Didn’t Want to Make Out (I wanted to kiss) – Long Walks On The Beach

Long Walks On The Beach are playing local shows in DC right now and Saturday night (June 11th) they are playing the All Things Go Summer Showcase at the Gibson Guitar room with Penguin Prison.  Obviously check them out if you’re in the area or actually do yourself a favor and drive long distances to see this band.  An inside source has revealed that he may or may not be releasing an EP later this summer so get pumped.  I know I am.

The three tunes I posted above are available for FREE HERE.  Also Fritz and the rest of the band are collaborating with artist Jesse Treece on a digital download of pretty awesome ringtones and artwork where 100% of the proceeds go to Japan relief.  So let’s help Japan get some relief by going HERE and buying the digital download package and ringtones for a few bucks.

We all know people love “long walks on the beach” so joke all you want on your e-harmony profile, but I think as a band “Long Walks” has something special and Fritz has only scratched the surface of what has the potential to be some pretty cool music.  Keep an eye on this guy.  He might quit his day job and take over the world and I have a feeling that’s what people want.

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

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Cotton Jones “Tall Hours In The Glowstream” [ALBUM REVIEW]

After a week off from writing this blog I wanted to come back with a bang.  I wanted to come back with something new, fresh, fast and awesome.  I definitely got the fresh, new and awesome parts down, but the fast I guess is debatable and ok fine maybe not totally new, sue me.  Cotton Jones has been on my radar for years now and as we all know bands find there ways out of our thoughts no matter how good they were/ are.  I was reintroduced to them on a brief trip to Boston last week.  The musical heavens parted and I was reunited with a cool band with a mellow sound to reintroduce myself to on a laid back trip.  Doesn’t get any better.  This is Cotton Jones.

Sail of The Silver Morning – Cotton Jones

Cotton Jones is the brainchild of lead singer Michael Nau.  I was introduced to him as the lead singer of the band Page France in Boston and soon after he started Cotton Jones.  Since 2005 Cotton Jones, a solo moniker for Nau, has released either an EP or a full length offering.  Their most recent full legnth release is called “Tall Hours In The Glowstream”.  Released in 2010 “Glowstream” features the soothing harmonies and great atmosphere I have come to appreciate from Cotton Jones.  This folk record has all the elements I like to hear when I want to sit down, listen and relax.

A Place At The End Of The Street – Cotton Jones

I love the drums on this record.  Nice and loose with limited low end.  I’m addicted to the rattle of the loose snares.  They compliment the twang of the spacey guitars and the twangy drawl of Michael Nau’s voice.  The effects on this record in my opinion are very appropriate.  I sometimes hate when the vocals are flooded with reverb and delay is added to give spacey texture or they sound like your in a closet or oversized bathroom, but in this case it adds to the music instead of take away, which for my taste is really rare.

Most of this music tends to be mellow, which is awesome. However this is one great track on “Glowstream” which I do believe it a Cotton Jones jam.  The song is called “Goethe Nayburs.”  It’s completely instrumental and it features the horns that are kept quiet on the rest of the record.  It’s a great little driving song and after listening to this record a number of times now I think it’s starting to grow on my as my favorite because I didn’t expect it.

Goethe Nayburs – Cotton Jones

I don’t think I need to sell you on Cotton Jones any more.  They have an amazingly mellow sound and they are my personal choice for easy listening on a hot California day.  There’s just one problem…  They are on tour and they aren’t coming to California!  There tour page is here and they have a bunch of dates coming up so obviously I must insist you see them live.

Cotton Jones recently released a short 4 song EP in February of 2011 .  The EP is called “Sit Beside Your Vegetables” and I can’t find it on their site, but I was able to buy it on iTunes.  He’s my favorite song from it.

Egg On A Sea – Cotton Jones

Of course I wouldn’t leave you hangin’ without the last tune from “Tall Hours In The Glowstream” as well.

No Things I Need (Like Some Time Ago) – Cotton Jones

Buy all their music HERE.  Seriously do it.

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

Foster The People “Torches” [NEW MUSIC]

I hate Ticketmaster.  I hate Ticketmaster with the fieriest of passions.  With that said I also pride myself on being an actual “ticketmaster.”  I’m that guy who signs into the site like 30 minutes before a show goes on sale, pulls up a world clock and does a quick stretch of my index finger for optimal ‘submit’ clicking capability.  I’m really f-bomb good at it and rarely does a show come around that I don’t get a ticket or tickets for.  With that said let me introduce you to an LA band called Foster The People.  Two nights at the El Rey (one of my all time favorite venues) completely sold the double f-bomb out and I can’t get a ticket… anywhere.  Did I mentions the shows are in July?  WHAT?  After hearing their new record I can see why.

Helena Beat – Foster The People

At the time I found out about this band I had only heard one song and thought I would check them out just for the sake of this blog, why not right?  New band, catchy electro pop?  Great!  I’ll check em out and see what happens.  Embarrassing for me I’m jumping on the “Foster” band wagon a little late because they are massive in LA right now and gaining momentum.  I had no idea.  Good news is their first full legnth release “Torches” was released today.  Holy shit.

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People

In 2009 keyboardist, guitarist and singer Mark Foster started making sweet sweet dancy rock pop with bassist Cubbie Fink, and drummer Mark Pontius.  They basically make radio friendly great hit potential music.  I rarely say that about any band.  All danceable fun songs.  Honestly there isn’t a weak link on this record.  Their sound is extremely popular at the moment and this record is a great example of a band using this type of music to their advantage.  ‘Waste’ is my favorite track and in my opinion is the best song on the record.

Waste – Foster The People

I’m pissed I didn’t know about these guys earlier.  I guess you can’t win em all, but what you can do is see this band live.  I haven’t had the privilege yet, but they are playing a FREE in store show TOMORROW at Amoeba Records (greatest record store on the planet) on Sunset in Hollywood.  I will be there seeing as how I can’t get a friggin’ ticket to see them anywhere else.

Houdini – Foster The People

Foster The People are playing a bunch of festivals this summer including Lollapalooza in Chicago, Outside Lands in San Fran and Sasquatch up in Washington State as well and a bunch of dates on their own.  Their live page is HERE.  Hopefully they are coming to a city near you.

If you like to dance, buy this record.  Simple as that.  If you like to pretend you can dance, buy this record.  If you like to watch people pretend to dance, buy this record and play it for them so they can do so.  It’s 8 bucks on iTunes right now.  One of the best purchases I have made music wise since the dawn of time.  To far?  Just buy it HERE.  Here’s the last tune from “Torches”.  Front to back this record is a party and honestly I couldn’t find a sour note throughout. NOW SOMEONE PLEASE GET ME A TICKET TO ONE OF THE LA SHOWS!!!

Warrant – Foster The People

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

Guillemots “Walk The River” [NEW MUSIC]

When I first took interest in recording music in college, there were a few bands initially I had a chance to work with and Guillemots was one of them.  A British band making small waves in the US, but they were at least making waves none the less, which was good enough for a young aspiring music producer/ engineer.  They taught me two things.  One was there’s WAY better music out there than top 40 and jam bands (which I was VERY into at the time…I know) and the second was that you could put a pickup in a typewriter and use it as an instrument.  My mind was blown.  This is what we came up with.

Who Left The Lights Off Baby – Guillemots (Live At WERS 88.9fm Boston)

Fyfe Dangerfield formed Guillemots in 2004.  That last track was from the EP “From The Cliffs” released in 2006.  They released a great record called “Red” in 2008 and three years later I am so stoked they are releasing new music.  Their new record is called “Walk The River,” and I think will probably splash a little louder than they did years ago.

The Basket – Guillemots

There is only one way to describe Guillemot’s sound… BIG.  Huge vocals, massive guitars/ drums, vast effects that create a completely huge listening spectrum.  From a recording standpoint this band is just plain fun to listen to and from a music fans perspective, what’s not to love?

Vermillion – Guillemots

With “Walk the River” I think we are listening to a matured Guillemots.  This record has a very specific sound fixated on the melodies not just the driving drums and ethereal effects that are integral in past recordings.  For those who have listened to this band before or after reading this plan to look into them further I’ll think you’ll see those elements as a distinct link throughout all the music, but I also think you’ll hear their best work yet as all the songs on this record form a cohesive listening experience.

Walk The River – Guillemots

Yes this band can rock but as I saw many years ago there is a very thoughtful and beautiful side to the music as well.  Gorgeous ballads such as “Dancing in the Devil’s Shoes” have such vivid imagery of someone fighting inner demons.  With heavy industrial rhythms set back in the mix Fyfe Dangerfield’s voice soars above all.  Backed by Aristazabal Hawkes on bass and percussion, Greig Stewart on Drums and MC Lord Magrão on just about everything else (guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, accordion, xylophone, theremin, synth, bass, typewriter, musical saw, electric drill,melodica, melodeon) Guillemots is bound for a comeback although in my opinion they have never left.  Recently anticipating the release of “Walk the River” Guillemots played a pair of local sold out secret shows in the UK.  Since its release in April it has been well received and they are currently touring making appearances all over the UK.  Their tour page is HERE.

Dancing in the Devil’s Shoes – Guillemots

Do yourself a favor and grab “Walk The River.” It’s available through the bands website HERE.

This band was one of the best bands I have had the pleasure to work with and thankfully they continue to experiment and release great new music for my (and your) ear drums.  Hopefully with the success of their most recent release we’ll see a state side tour, which I’m sure will destroy every single club it stops at.  As usual here’s the last track from Guillemots “Walk The River”.

Yesterday Is Dead – Guillemots

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

Milo Greene “The Hello Sessions” [NEW MUSIC]

Early on in my concert going career I found myself saying “yea, they won’t go on until 9.  We can skip the opener.  Blah, blah blah…”  Nowadays I say “I have to get out of work early so I can get down to the club and see the opener.”  In this case the club was LA’s Troubadour and the opening band was Milo Greene.  I was there to see Lord Huron who I have the biggest musical hard on for right about now so I was already amped for the show, but Milo Greene impressed me beyond belief.

1957 – Milo Greene

For those wondering this is how the band got together:

andrew knew marlana; he met robbie and curtis in school, and was introduced to graham at the greene house. andrew is milo greene.

marlana knew andrew; she was introduced to curtis, doesn’t remember how she met robbie, and welcomed graham into the greene house. marlana is milo greene.

graham met robbie over sushi; he was introduced to marlana, curtis  and andrew at the greene house. graham is milo greene.

curtis and robbie and andrew were school friends; robbie introduced graham to curtis, and andrew introduced curtis to marlana. curtis is milo greene

robbie met andrew and curtis at school; robbie introduced graham to marlana, curtis and andrew at the greenehouse. robbie is milo greene

who is milo greene?

Milo Greene is kinda like Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish.  He doesn’t actually exist, but he makes for a really cool band name.  This band is very young but the fact they came together in such an organic fashion is interesting and it definitely shows in their music and live shows.  They have only released two songs.  One of which is “1957” and the other is “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” which I will post below.  Right off the bat I hear the influences of today’s LA music scene.  A little bit of Local Natives (o.k. fine a lot-a-bit) and maybe a little Edward Sharpe (o.k. fine not really a lot at all) brewing together creating fantastic harmonies and a light pleasant listening experience.  These two songs are driven by  poppy drums/ rim shots (gotta love those rim shots) and the airy guitars that support the out standing vocal efforts.  When I saw them live I was pretty blown away by the harmonies.  It drew me closer to the stage and I guess if they can do that with just their voices imagine what they will do when they put out a full length release.

Don’t You Give Up On Me – Milo Greene

I’m excited about this band.  They are playing a couple local LA shows, most of which are FREE.  Their tour page is HERE and you can download those two tracks for FREE HERE.

Do yourself a favor and try to get there for the opener.  You never know what you’ll stumble upon.  I can guarentee one thing.  I won’t be missing many openeres especially if they happen to be named Milo Grenne.

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

The Belle Brigade [NEW MUSIC]

Ethan and Barbara Gruska are brother and sister and they are also indie folk rock duo The Belle Brigade.

Barbara and Ethan met when Ethan was born. They knew they were brother and sister but they did not know that 19 years in the future they would form a band. — The Belle Brigade 

I received this CD from a friend a few days ago after reading a couple articles about The Belle Brigade.  I wanted to give it a listen because they have opened for some great bands such as Fitz and The Tantrums and Awolnation in LA… at the El Rey Theater.  Hold up.  I was there?  That sounds way to familiar.  Needless to say I was confused.  I looked up a couple pictures of the band to try and jog my foggy memory and of course I recognized them right away!  How could I forget about them?!  Turns out I’ve been trying to remember this bands name/ where I had seen them since last november!  Well I’m glad my dumb luck worked out this time and I stumbled back onto this band.

Where Not to Look For Freedom – The Belle Brigade

The one thing I love about so called “family” bands are the harmonies.  There’s no question siblings seem to have a connection on another level.  It’s basically a male and female version of the same voice and they achieve better cleaner harmonies because of it.   With a signature of quick brush snare hits with sacred steel and fast acoustic strumming the appeal of The Belle Brigade is undeniable.  And with a great backing band morphing the sounds of two people into five it just gets better.

Lucky Guy – The Belle Brigade

This record is a little all over the place.  Not a bad thing, trust me.  They have pure country, a little rock-a-billy and some slow quiet folk tracks.

“We didn’t want to make something small and precious,” Barbara says. “We wanted to make something big and exhilarating. Recording this album was an incredible lesson at walking the line between holding on and letting go. Every note is intentional, but we gave up the reins to let the music go freely where it wanted to go. We wanted to make a record that was personal and aching, but still uplifting, relatable, and fun to listen to.” — Paradigm Artist Bio

Growing up in a musical household Barbara and Ethan were exposed to the likes of Michael Jackson to Dusty Springfield through their father who was a known songwriter in his own right.  With a studio in their LA area home’s back yard artists would come and go allowing the siblings to get inside and first hand experience listening to new music and hearing the process.  On top of that they also site the famed film and TV composer John Williams as a major influence.  To me this sounds about as musically well rounded as it gets.

The southern rock inspiration and country like harmonies are the driving force in this initial release, but I was very impressed with The Belle Brigade’s ability to turn the corner toward straight up rock and roll with a hint of that “indie” sound we all know and love.

Lonely Lonely – The Belle Brigade

And then they follow that tune up with a slow sad tune called “Punch Line,” a song featuring a gentle string arrangement strings and soaring harmonies.  On most records I don’t like it when bands decided to jump in and out of genre’s and have major shifts in volume on their records without easing my ears into it.  The juxtaposition between heavy and light, loud and quiet works very well here.  These two songs are part of a three song set that are my favorite part of the record.  The third song is called “Rusted Wheel” which is a song that starts off where “Punch Line” left off, slow.  Then it builds into a big harmony laden country song with elements from the two previous songs. These three tunes highlight the dynamic range of The Belle Brigade while showing their ability to rock out and have fun and then immediately settle down and bring out a sad song and then ease us right back into the “big and exhilarating” sounds that drive this record.

Punch Line – The Belle Brigade

Rusted Wheel – The Belle Brigade

I’m a big fan of The Belle Brigade and I’m glad I was able to stumble back into their music after a few months of searching.  This new full length release is a testament to good song writing and a partnership of great singing and musicianship.  There are a bunch more tunes on this record that I didn’t post in hopes that you will go out and buy this record.  It’s available on CD/ Vinyl or iTunes HERE.  The Belle Brigade’s tour page is HERE as well.  They are opening some dates for KD Lang all across the US and Canada.

Here’s the last tune from The Belle Brigades most recent self titled release.  It’s yet another example of the dynamic range this band has.

Fasten You To Me – The Belle Brigade

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

Timberwolf (Samuel Tucker Young) “Old Soul” [MUSIC]

Photo: Mike Lloyd (yet another amazingly talented friend and co-worker)

Timberwolf lives in Los Angeles.  Timberwolf is the alias of Samuel Tucker Young an up and coming singer songwriter in the LA folk and indie rock scene.  I’ve been working with Sam for over a year now and I knew he played guitar and I knew he could sing, I just had no idea he was this good.  Hailing from the music hot bed of Nashville Tennessee I really should have dug a little deeper into Sam’s pure talent and honest (and amazing) new tune called “Old Soul”.

Seriously download the f-bomb out of this song.  It’s FREE by the way!  The good news is there is more to come.  Timberwolf has been slaving over new music  for months and has recently been sleeping in studios (bedrooms) throughout the LA area.  If you ask me this is one artist to keep your Ray Ban covered eye balls on.  It’s not often you get to hear fresh new talent before any one else.

Photo: Mike Lloyd (yet another amazingly talented friend and co-worker)

Timberwolf will be playing shows locally soon.  As far as I know no shows have been booked yet, but just wait.  If you wait to long however you’ll miss out and then he’s going to rightfully charge you a shit load of money to hear him sing.  I know I’ll be paying.

Please do yourself a favor and download “Old Soul” HERE

UPDATE:  NEW SONG!!!

My Life In A Cave – Timberwolf

Download for Free HERE.!

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

The Vaccines “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines” [MUSIC]

It’s time to cross the pond in this post.  Most of the time I try to keep it local talking about bands in the local LA music scene or even just in the US, but every now and again I hear a band that I MUST write about no matter where they come from.  This band is called the Vaccines.  They write cool songs, they are British which makes them cooler and they have a new record out called “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines.”  I expected complete bullshit and I got complete awesomeness. (I didn’t actually expect complete bullshit.)

Wreckin’ Bar – The Vaccines

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Grouplove [MUSIC VIDEO]

Living in LA is in a word, exciting.  There’s something magical about this city and cool things seem to happen here that normally wouldn’t happen any where else and for some crazy reason I keep getting to experience them.  My dad calls it “falling up,” but I think it’s just dumb luck.  So now imagine this:  A breezy mountain top over looking the Malibu Pier and the ocean with the bright Santa Monica Sky Line looming in the distance as the only sign of real civilization.  I’m standing on top of a roof that extends into a cliff.  The roof belongs to the Lloyd Wright (as in Frank Lloyd Wright) family and the sweet sounds of Grouplove echoing from the large deck/ stage surrounded by giant rocks and streams are creating an experience I’ll never forget.  And to top it all off there was BBQ.  The party was sponsored by Mini Cooper and the headliner was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, but this blogs not about them.  It’s all about Grouplove and their new amazing self titled EP.

Grouplove – Naked Kids

Released independently last year this record is a party.  Good ole fashion rock and roll with attitude.  Dirty acoutic guitars and the gritty vocals of Christian Zucconi are the driving force.  The band consisting of Hannah Hooper, Sean Gadd, Ryan Rabin and Andrew Wessen add even more awesomeness.  Reminiscent of Modest Mouse or The Raconteurs the talent and potential this band has is obvious.  Their live show was a massive ball of energy that warmed up the crowd on a chilly California night.

Their most recent/ only release is a five song EP.  Top to bottom its solid and a great initial effort.  It’s more then enough to spark attention and make me wait patiently for a full length offering.  My favorite song on the record is called “Colours.”  Lyrics are great and the melody is comletly original.  It’s only been stuck in my head for about a month.

Grouplove – Colours

A lot of bands meet in high school/ college or through people they meet at shows or through common friends.  Grouplove met on the island of Crete and reconviened in LA to create this EP and tour under the Grouplove moniker.  They are gaining momentum world wide having appeared on TV and radio.  This summer they are touring heavily and starting to play some big festivals.

It’s no surprise that a group of globetrotters would be on tour.  They are currently in the UK and on June 3rd they are headlining The Satellite Lounge in Silverlake.  They are also playing spots at this years Lollapalooza (Chicago) and Glastonbury Festivals (UK).  All their tour dates are listed HERE.

You can buy their EP HERE.  It’s cheap and worth it.

Last but not least here’s the last track from Grouplove.

Grouplove – Don’t Say Oh Well

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

He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister [CONCERT REVIEW]

Last night I went to the monthly residency at LA’s Satellite Lounge which used to be called Spaceland or is still called Spaceland.  I don’t know.  I went for two reasons.  The fist was it was a free show and a good friend of mine asked me to tag along and the second was the self description of He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister on their facebook page.

Flamboyant Folk, Glam-a-billy, Circus Rock, Vaudeville Pop, Cabaret Blues. — HMBSMS

What the f-bomb?  Is this for real?  Could it be true?  Yes it could be true and they lived up to each and everyone of those descriptions.  And oh yea the band features instrumentation such as a TAP DANCER and an accordion.

He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister – How’m I Gonna Get Back Home

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