Every month we come across so many ridiculously talented bands, we just cannot mention all of them. But what we do, is mention these few bands in our once-a-month newsletter that goes out to a ton of peeps in the world of music so, just maybe, even more people hear these wonderful bands. Here is a list of our five favorite bands for the month of February. See below for band links and enjoy!Experimental Dental School - Luv Luv Luv this band and you can get their stuff for free. Can't beat that! Birds Fled From Me - Dark Folk and on tour right now. Kill Henry Sugar - Has a new album coming out later this month. East coast freaks captivate. Velvet Davenport - Psycho-poppy sounds from Minnesota…like it a lot. Life Size Maps - NYC based-duo that blends orchestral and pop really really well.
Set to the backdrop of a chilly Los Angeles night, emerged a voice that could bring a smile to those that needed it the most, could bring warmth to those needing a touching moment, and a whoa, I am so happy to here be thank you from the audience to the band
With the vocals and cute swagger to match, emerged the playful, joyful, boisterous reaching voice that is April Smith & The Great Picture Show. With her ecclesiastical voice that could bring together people in the utter beauty of a moment that is listening to April Smith, the band delivered a monstrous set of charming, folk and pop-laden delectable songs that will have us remembering the name April Smith.
April Smith has been getting a lot of press and rave reviews lately. And whenever you read it all, you wonder just how good it will be when experienced live. Well, on this amazing night of heartfelt storytelling and magical music making, I can tell you this girl is the real deal and is surely adding herself to great tradition of up and coming female vocalists that are starting to set themselves apart in this generation.
April Smith has a voice and energy that resonates way beyond her age and it is always a treat to see someone on the verge of that commercial crossover and recognition, play such a fantastic setting like McCabe’s. April Smith delivered a performance that left us all humbled to be in the presence of a spectacular musical experience that will leave the few of us lucky enough to see her telling all our of friends about it. Download free tracks here and be sure to check her out on one of these tour dates!2/08: Casbah---San Diego, CA 2/10: Hi Dive---Denver, CO 2/11: Record Bar---Kansas City, KS 2/12: Off Broadway---St Louis, MO 2/13: The Summit---Columbus, OH 2/20: El Rey Theatre---Los Angeles, CA 2/22: Great American Music Hall---San Francisco, CA 2/23: Doug Fir---Portland, OR 2/24: Crocodile Cafe---Seattle, WA 2/25: Knitting Factory---Spokane, WA 2/27: Urban Lounge---Salt Lake City, UT 2/28: Larimer Lounge---Denver, CO
Its ok to want the best. And to aim high is necessary. Whether it be women and love, career and lifestyle, friends and family or even the music we chase...aim high. Leave the bullshit behind. Let the haters, the bullshitters do what they do, hate and bullshit.
You have a choice in this world to create, be original and be your absolute imperfect self. Rejoice, leave the energy sappers and ego whores behind on your quest and ride the path of simplicity which excels you to be the best person you can be. And of course, fuel it with impeccable, soul-searching live music.
Monday night's journey was brought to us courtesy of Lemon Sun at the Silverlake Lounge. There is something so personal, so incredible, when you know you are experiencing something, that may not happen again. Lemon Sun, will never be as perfect as this brief moment that night, and that is ok. Accompanied by drummer, sister vocalist, and a tap dancer, Lemon Sun, went on to deliver a performance capable of putting everything into perspective for me that night.
Let the silly disappointments of the day leave you, your daily bs and just listen to Rob sing. Surrender to it and you'll know what I am talking about. Within thirty seconds of their set, Lemon Sun, was gifting those of us there with a magical night of touching music. Lemon Sun simply blew me away that night.
This stripped down, rare performance Lemon Sun did was a shame it was not experienced by more people. Lemon Sun helped me live by my mantra of aiming high because that night's music left me on a buzz and with a smile that made another lonely night just fade away into oblivion. Who really cares, when love is around, it can manifest itself so personally to you in so many different ways, you forget what you longed for and know you just got so much more then you could have imagined, and listening to Lemon Sun was exactly like that. It can be a feeling that you hold dearly unto. It is just for you. And it does not even have to be possessive, yet I will hold unto to that night's Lemon Sun performance for a long, long time.
Lemon Sun has an upcoming show @ The Troubadour on February 12th along with Rumspringa, Restaurant, and The Growlers. While I cannot guarantee a repeat of that night's, acoustic-rock infused tap dancing-rag time vocal inspired rhythm, I can tell you that you should not miss another opportunity to listen to Lemon Sun blow you away.www.loudvine.com
I gotta say it: The Hotel Café Rocks. I keep showing up and they keep presenting really cool shows. What I love even more? Each show I see there is different and unique, but always pretty fun. From swinging jazz to soft acoustic, indie rock outs or a capella teams, they've shown it all. What could they possibly show me next? Even though I knew nothing about Lindsay Mac when she started playing last night, I knew it'd be a show worth seeing. How about this for interesting: Non traditional multi-cultural cello folk music?
Lindsay Mac, a Boston-based folk singer, walked on stage holding her cello to the audience. She immediately addressed us, "No guys, this isn't a guitar on steroids! It is a cello. Here we go!" With a steady folk-music wail, she could seriously pluck those strings. And I commend her for it, holding a large cello for the whole show must not have been easy. Because she was using her instrument in such a non-traditional way, she had to constantly retune that sucker. Yet her attitude was always grounded and cheerful. "No, you haven't had too much to drink," she told the crowd, "Cellos aren't actually supposed to do this."
In addition to cello, Mac was supported by the truly phenomenal Mona Tavakoll. Tavakoll provided an intricate and passionate rhythm-percussion for the set. The plethora of multi-cultural drumming instruments at her disposal brought unusual zest the Mac's earthy folk. From steady rat-a-tats to star-like jangles, Tavakoll was a pure delight to both watch and listen to.
Despite non-traditional leanings, Mac's songs were often hopeful and earnest in the way only folk music can be. She waxed poetic about bottom-dwellers with big dreams (in "Lucy") and finding the strength to be an individual ("Barbies Broncos"). The music could veer from idealistic to strongly socially aware. One song, "Rain" was dedicated to over-development and the effects of pollution on the environment. One verse was about excited children dancing around a three-eyed frog. And while that doesn't sound like that would make the best subject for a song, it was both powerful and clever.
Standing there, watching Lindsay Mac play her cello like a guitar, I took a moment to be really glad for the Hotel Café. Aside from the great atmosphere and location, they really do show a lot of great bands. I only discovered this venue a few months ago, and I'm so glad I did.
Rachel K. www.loudvine.com
Just when I feel like giving up on Los Angeles, this city manages to show off its very best. Last night, the Hotel Café was super packed with an excited, enthusiastic, and (dare I say?) happy crowd. This was a great change of pace, as several shows I've been to the last week have been pretty empty. We were all there to see Jen & Abby, a local indie-rock girl band. But instead of the sticking to same old indie sounds, they provided the audience with a sort of musical time machine. Jumping through genre and style, they got the place buzzing with even more energy.
As soon as they started playing, I knew it was going to be a fun show. Lead singer Abby Miller was phenomenal. She was our bubbly pixie-like host for the evening, constantly offering jokes and anecdotes for the audience's pleasure. Instead of introducing a song she simply said, "This song is... Oh you'll figure it out!" Jen Trani on guitar offered the steady musical grounding to Miller's rich vocals. The songs bounced from jazzy numbers (the king that belong in a black and white Cary Grant movie) to the sort of 1990's Grrrl rock that Seattle would be jealous of.
Formed in Los Angeles four years ago, Jen & Abby are apparently Hotel Café regulars. They have a pretty strong local following and I can see why. The band members were great at what they did. I was particularly impressed by Adrienne Woods on cello. I'm a huge sucker for cello, and she was not disappointing. My first favorite song of the night was a Gothic folk song about a father who loses his daughter and seeks revenge. It was dark and haunting and put the Hotel Café at a stand still (which is quite the accomplishment when you think about how many people in the audience were drinking). After this number, Miller looked at the audience mischievously and got ready for the last song.
It was time to really bring the house down. It was time for a 1970's, badass, groove-tastic reinterpretation of Britney Spear's Toxic. The song was so well done that I didn't recognize it until half way through. I just stood there and thought, "Wait a minute? This is a Britney Spears song. But... But... it sounds good!" Britney should take more than a few lessons from Abby Miller's example. People were dancing, clapping their hands, and not a single pair of booty shorts were in sight.
All in all: Great people, great music, great times. Jen & Abby provided an instant pick-me-up to my night without that nasty sugar-crash that Red Bull causes. Thanks LA, I needed that.
Rachel K. www.loudvine.com
Last night...what can I say about last night? First of all, I'm one of those people who doesn't like to miss the opening of the act that I'm going to go see...which means I am always on time or a bit early to the show. Last night, I went too far. I didn't want to miss Wonder Wheel perform and I had no idea what order the bands would go on. I know that bands never start on time, I know that. But, I had never been to L'Keg and I wasn't sure how promptly they started. I got there at 8, as if I had never been to a show in my whole life. I knew I would be waiting. At least there was much flier art and local band photos on L'Keg's wall to admire! After staring at the walls for an hour, I was bored. I was tired. I wanted to be in my warm bed at home like an old lady. The place was a ghost town for a long time. The couple people who were there stared at me, or maybe that was my imagination. I was uncomfortable to say the least. I wanted to leave countless times, but I knew that would be a mistake. I was there to hear good music and I was going to stick it out. Wonder Wheel finally went on around 11:30 (early in the grand scheme of things, but I had been there for 3 hours already!) and I was elated!
Paul A. Rosales is the creative mind behind Wonder Wheel. He opened his set by asking everyone to stretch, which they did, even the guy selling pipes in the back got up to stretch! Listening to his music live was a pleasure. It's sci-fi, lo-fi, echo, happy, and sad. I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. Paul is engaging. He tells us where he is in his career, what his grade point average is, what song is coming up, and where he is playing next. It's simple and genius self-promotion. I'm always amazed when not-so-well-known bands forget to tell us their next gig and don't pronounce the name of their band clearly, but Paul knows how to promote Wonder Wheel and seems well put together, organized, and smart about the business.
Once he started, the crowd (his friends?) was shameless, and I mean that in the best possible way. They were excited, happy, drunk, and disorderly. They danced to Wonder Wheel's intoxicating music, they did push-ups, piggy-backed, laughed, rolled, and snaked across glass, yeah, glass! There was even partial nudity being exhibited! I would have participated, but I'm too old and cool, haha! If I were 8 years younger maybe I would have been so brave.
Paul tells us that he is always writing and creating new music. Last night we heard " Crimes," a new 7" that is coming out, it was amazing! I must say that if you haven't heard of Wonder Wheel and want to check him out, start by listening to "Body Language." It's hypnotizing fun! Wonder Wheel will be at Space 15 Twenty on Febuary 1st and it's freeeeeeee (trying not to sound like that matress guy in the commercials).
C. Sanchez www.loudvine.com
After a lot of touring in 2008 with Saul Williams, going forward in 2009 Davin Givhan will be doing more solo performances. And we are thankful, because at Loudvine.com we really dig his music and want to see him perform live again.
We are thankful this cool guy from Long Beach, student of music, and overall talented singer and songwriter spent some time with us.www.loudvine.com
In a musical set up that would survive any nuclear meltdown from the latest Will Smith movie, Doxcyde holes up in this west side locale with enough ammunition, toys, rugs, and mixing equipment to perfect what their working on. It is a shrine in here with an assortment of keys, old guitars and enough speakers to blow the neighbors windows out. We were excited they decided to spend some time with Loudvine.com. The entire interview and jam session is in this single video.