killingthecabinet Fri, 20 Nov 2015 20:52:26 +0000 en hourly 1 Big Black Delta at the Teregram Ballroom Wed, 11 Nov 2015 16:46:28 +0000 Aurora Big Black Delta CR 7 1024x682 Big Black Delta at the Teregram Ballroom

By Aurora Cowen

When Big Black Delta hit the Teregram Ballroom stage at 10 pm, the nearly full 600 cap room lit up.  Jonathan Bates’ stage presence was invigorating.  His moves and the way he handles his mic are unmatched, a confidence so thrilling to watch you almost need a minute to settle in before you can even grasp the vocals.  This was an entirely different scene from the 2 shows I saw in 2011 and 2012 when BBD played with two female drummers and a much more minimal sound (check out our interview from 2012).  He had the moves back then of course, but this was a whole new level sonically and thematically.   The same songs were almost reinvented into a full bodied, electrifying sound that gave me the chills to hear and see.

There was definitely a new energy about him personally.  This night was essentially a reemergence from a nearly year-long hiatus, and coming back with the full band seemed to make perfect sense.  It was actually really incredible to experience, especially knowing the backstory behind his disappearance.   Earlier in the year, he was robbed of everything he owns besides his cat – all of his music, gear, records, light rigs and his identity were taken.  At the end of his set, he expressed his gratitude for all the support and explained that anyone who knows him understands how special this moment is because, “shit’s been weird for me.  The fact that you guys are here…”   It was an honest and emotional moment that I felt brought the whole night, and his career together.  I have high hopes for the future of Big Black Delta – this project seems to finally make complete sense.  Sometimes tragedy generates a newfound creativity and understanding of what you want and who you truly are.

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Photos by Colin Rieser

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In the Zone: LA’s Rene Brown is Chasing the Dream & Changing the Female Rap Game Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:00:48 +0000 Aurora rene brown In the Zone: LAs Rene Brown is Chasing the Dream & Changing the Female Rap Game

By Aurora

She’s an unsigned MC from Mississippi, living in LA doing things her own way and she’s literally just getting started (she has 598 likes on FB people).   Rene Brown squashes gender identity and unapologetically lays out the often times harsh truth from her perspective.  Her verses are doused with passion and intensity, but the optimistic kind.  The hardships in her life – growing up in the projects, being raised by a single mom, facing discrimination on a multitude of levels (gathered most of that from lyrics, assuming it’s the case) have allowed her a unique artistic freedom.  Unlike many artists in hip hop, she’s been though some tough shit, but she’s not bitter about it.

Check out her freestyle on Future‘s “Commas” here.

Her androgyny is a part of the appeal: super cute and youthful with delicate features and an innocence in her eyes, yet she’s covered in tattoos and dresses more like a dude than a 20 something girl.  She’s intriguing stylistically, both in her flow and in her image.  She’s got swagger and a down to earth persona, but she’s hard AF.  She’s also a military chick and recorded her first track, “Home,” while deployed in Afghanistan.

I love to see women in music succeed, especially in hip hop because it’s traditionally a scene dominated by the guys.  But most female rappers today have specific tones and nuances that are displeasing (okay, annoying) to the ear (Nicki, Iggy), especially if you’re listening to an album or a few songs back to back.  Rene Brown’s subtle range and simple style is much more approachable sonically, similar to some of the old school ladies who once dominated the game (Eve).

Chasing Dreams

No tour dates seem to be routed as of yet but she’ll be at Zanzibar in Santa Monica this Sunday and that’s my HOOD so you will definitely catch me there!

Her EP The Wave comes out this fall.

Thanks to Beth at Danger Village for sending her my way!

Twitter @ReneBrownMusic

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Surging Through Speakers and Consuming Souls: Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool Mon, 10 Aug 2015 16:08:06 +0000 Charissa wolf alice lp Surging Through Speakers and Consuming Souls:  Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool

By Charissa Lock

I’m strongly considering writing a piece about the benefits and amazing abilities of technology while I relax in a power-less coffee shop, one of which realizes it’s better to stay open (if only for the ice coffees and teas) to satisfy the needy caffeine obsessed population.  An early morning thunderstorm ceased the electricity of more than 116,000 homes and business in my little state of Rhode Island and yet, here I sit, still able to jam to my new obsession (Wolf Alice) while drinking a delicious ice coffee and typing my heart away.  Ah, as much as one could say “how will they ever fall in love?” observing two lovebirds mercilessly tapping away on their phones, it’s hard to ignore this phenomenal moment I’m experiencing (also, props to Spotify’s “offline” mode).

It’s far too easy to compare the foundation of My Love Is Cool to ground shaking thunder, lightning bolts blasting through the dawn and forcibly ripping your attention resulting in spontaneous destruction.  Okay, well the latter part may sound a tad negative, but I mean it in more of a badass kind of way (my sincere apologies for those whose homes or businesses were damaged).  The album takes your soul into their possession to manipulate as they wish, forcing your opinions to change dramatically as the tracks roll through.  Whatever your expectations were before you embarked on this journey, they are soon topped because this quartet from North London know what they’re doing in regards to technical brilliance, lyrics and theme, pop melodies, elegantly combining all factors and influenced into getting a beautifully produced sound.

Wolf Alice plays to this grey area genre, which is my favorite, where they are multiple ‘ishes swarming in unison and prepared to assault you with a new, completely fluid take on a melody or guitar riff.   For example, in “Giant Peach” you are rocking out a bit and getting this Octopus Project vibe when about a third in you realize you’re spiraling into a black lipstick chick rock sound with screams and Black Sabbath instrumentation.   For a chunk of My Love Is Cool, the instrumentation, specifically guitar distortion and melodies, follow an Oasis-type path amongst rhythm guitars streaming a heavier rock (that Black Sabbath-esque previously mentioned) or softer moments.  Of course, the fact that Ellie Rowsell is holding the lead vocal reins and guiding you along, this album becomes a whole other beast in itself.  Her feisty attitude makes Wolf Alice, Wolf Alice.   And though she wears her heart on her sleeve, Rowsell would be more than willing to rip you apart Rousey style if you have something to say about it.  Her presence inspires these great early 2000s female pop moments that are strangely welcomed amongst the amazing drum solos and gritty distortion.  “Freazy” is a pleasant upbeat track with a rather lovely taste of the Spice Girls, particularly at the bridge, and I find myself singing along in confusion as I seriously have always disliked the Spice Girls.

There are three tracks on here that have stolen my heart forever and it would have been four, except I cannot handle background whisper talking (my only complaint about the entire record).  Even though “Silk” has so many wonderful transitions and phrases to sing along to “My love it kills me slowly, slowly I could die,” a monumental outro that can probably only properly be experienced live, the maybe fifteen seconds of background whisper talking kills me!  It’s very unfortunate.  I actually should correct myself about my first favorite, as the version on My Love Is Cool doesn’t quite cut it compared to their single release of “Bros.”  Their first attempt packs a heavier punch and I fell in love at first listen.  I remember chilling on the couch when Matt sent it over, “YOU HAVE TO LISTEN!” type of suggestion.  The experience of watching the entire video and being in awe at how delightful it was, carrying around  that need-for-freedom effect, was like listening to KITTEN’s “G#.”  Besides being one of my favorite titles (with the idea of it being two lady besties) the instrumentation melody is simplistically different and marvelous.  “Your Loves Whore” is another killer track, making me want to stand with my arms up and hair whipping behind me in topless jeep heading to an unknown destination.  I could easily imagine drug-induced slow dancing would ensue as well.  The quiet nature that embarks is so enjoyable you almost want it to continue instead of going into the heavy vocal turn to instrumental bridge…well almost (we all know I lose it when it comes to built-up powerhouse moments).  And last but not least, “You’re a Germ,” because it makes me want to punch the evilest of evil in the face and chuckle while my knuckles bleed (and here lies the badass devastation).  I definitely rocked the hell out to this track in my apartment alone with headphones blazing “You ain’t going to heaven, ‘cause I’m dragging you down to hell!” and it made me feel extremely fulfilled.

For a live experience, these fantastic folks are going back and forth between a North American and European tour through the fall so make sure to check them out and you can find their album here.

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Soul Wrenching Sophistication: Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:00:15 +0000 Charissa alabama shakes sound and color Soul Wrenching Sophistication:  Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color

By Charissa Lock

As much as Boys & Girls was raw and magical, Sound & Color is sophisticated, rich, and magical…just in another way.  The second “Heavy Chevy” hit my ears three years ago, my mind exploded and from that point on I was aboard the Alabama Shakes train (read Boys & Girls review here).  Besides the groovy 60s-esque bluesy tracks, Brittany Howard tore my soul out.  Tissues in hand I felt her heartbreak as if it were my own and suffered her struggles through each guitar solo or strained growl.  There are very few artists who have struck me with such sincerity and emotion as Miss Howard has, which leaves me believing there’s something quite superhuman about her and the music that is created around her.

Skip ahead three years and their sophomore album is released onto the world with “Don’t Wanna Fight” (immediate goosebumps appear the second Howard’s soulful screech surrounds you) and “Gimme All Your Love,” (the smarter of the audience members in this video don’t even know what to do with themselves), as the singles escalating the anticipation.  Sound & Color never leaves out Howard’s passion and you can instantly feel chills on “Miss You.”  However, with the more stylized approach, more seamlessly professional sound, a little less grit and a little more jazz this album gives you a different feeling.  You no longer want to be laying on the grass behind an isolated home in Georgia circa 1965, instead with these new tunes you can picture driving in the night sky over rolling hills towards a city…sometimes with hope in your eyes, other times with tears.  This complexity has intruded over the sound of “firsts” and jam band garage’s scratchy exterior.  Yet, I cannot discourage the enjoyment I receive from listening to the crisp, rolling electric guitar melodies and Howard stretching her vocals so they’re not just raw but also a pretty falsetto.

Many songs have background vocals (“Dunes,” “Future People”) that allow some vocal diversity so that Howard can do her thing while more scripted choruses and bridges are spurred along.  It’s a lovely subtle addition creating wonderful dynamics amongst the typical instrumental ones we’re used to.  As the album progresses, there are little treasures along the way.  For instance, “The Greatest” is packed like a little present to be found unexpectedly resulting in a giant grin at the high speed rockabilly, Beatle’esque chorus, and extended jam-band outro.  With Howard’s final laugh, I take it as a secret she’s delivered for me alone, “I know you loved ‘Heavy Chevy,’ but let’s throw this one on there for you.”  Thanks, Brittany… much love.  Following is “Shoegaze” (which unsurprisingly has no musical similarities with the genre), that has all the tantalizing features of a brilliant song with a magnificent chorus exploding in powerhouse intensity.  Closing out is “Over My Head,” gripping you, yearning for what’s next until the bass drum transitions you into the choruses at a slow speed among the heightened vocals.

My initial reaction was that this album would be easier for the general public to accept, maybe the pop’ier instrumentation or production value.   This feeling was proven correct with their album appearing number one on Billboard.  Yet despite the sound quality and experience, nothing seems to deter away from those fantastic guitar melodies and distortions, the passion transformed into blissful imperfections of vocals, and the essence of the Alabama Shakes.

Pick up the album here and be sure to check them out at an upcoming festival (I’ll be seeing them at Boston Calling this September!).  If you’re doomed to be a non-festival attendee, don’t miss them on their national fall tour beginning in August.  Speaking of festivals, if you want to know more about The Shakes and their summer, read this beautifully written interview by the Guardian’s Tom Lamont.

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Up Next: Hunter Hunted Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:00:10 +0000 Charissa hunterhaunted Up Next:  Hunter Hunted


By Charissa Lock

Hunter Hunted has recently been blasting new tunage out of LA and the fact that this is a duo…as in only two males.. will probably shock your socks off.  Their sound is so dramatic and intricate, you can’t imagine any less than a quartet here.  Yet, these two dudes, Dan Chang and Michael Garner, have an ear for the grandeur.  Two years ago they released a five track masterpiece to the world that was stuffed with catchy singles (“Operating,” “Keep Together,” “End of the World,” …okay so basically all five tracks) and July 10 will be delivering audiences with a new collection of jazzy electro pop sounds.  Now since electro pop is basically the new pop (unless pop is now country, genres are a little fuzzy these days), or at least the newest trend for indie bands, it’s easy to get lost amongst all the synth and upbeat’ness going on out there.  Hunter Hunted doesn’t exactly use the genre as their backbone, but rather their love for far-reaching intensity as their motivation and the keyboard is just their way of getting there.

Since July 10th is nearby, they’ve released two tracks from Ready For You and the most recent “Lucky Day” was the spark that has brought me here.  As their former “Blindside” is along those electo pop lines, this latter track is a ukulele driven, Mowgli’s meets Imagine Dragons-eque party that spits and simmers summer.  You want beach, you want windows down, you want shorts and tank tops with bare feet tapping along while a happy go-lucky melody carrying you along.  Knowing that they can create jam-packed multi-level moments (thinking back on their self-titled album) and then add in this dash of carefree simplicity, well it’s only natural that my intrigue level has been heightened.

Besides catching their album upon its released date (July 10), don’t forget to see this two-some live on their national tour starting July 13th in West Hollywood and stopping off in Rhode Island (hells to the yes).

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Up Next: Jarryd James Wed, 17 Jun 2015 18:20:25 +0000 Aurora JarrydJames2 Up Next: Jarryd James

By Aurora

I’m a musically eclectic soul, I love so many different styles and genres, but I am definitely particular and sometimes hard to please. Therefore, when I’m presented with a new artist or song that I absolutely love, I get overwhelmed with excitement and my entire being is affected.  The song(s) become a part of me and materialize as an auditory memory of that time in my life.  Such is the case with Australian singer/songwriter, Jarryd James.  My little sister sent him my way a few months ago and I’ve been hooked since.  Surprisingly, he only had one song at the time.  But it was enough.

Do you remember” (co-written and produced by Joel Little) is everything an R&B song should be in 2015: a minimalist foundation of subtle synths layered with smooth, sometimes raspy, falsetto vocals perfectly balanced with haunting guitar plucks, concentrated percussion and a heavy bass that bottoms out when the chorus hits.  James’ mysterious, gentle demeanor parallels the passion and vulnerability of the lyrics and the tone of the song and his voice.  Perfection.

I’m not alone in my sentiment.  The single peaked at #1 on the Australian iTunes singles charts, was the #1 played song on Australian radio nationwide, #1 on on Shazaam, and #2 on the ARIA Singles charts.  His debut tour down under saw great success selling out clubs, igniting another round this summer.  All of this as an independent artist, mind you, though Interscope swooped him up in April – proof that one great song is all it takes to get a jumpstart in this business today.

And alas, we have another track.   “Give Me Something” is a tight follow-up to “Do You Remember”: not as intense lyrically or sonically, yet well written and produced; definitely indicative of his raw talent and muscial vision.  He’s saying things that all the girls want to hear and crafting songs that can be appreciated multifariously, all the while exuding a super cool yet deep, soulful  vibe.  Dude’s definitely had a heartbreak or two in his life and clearly it’s worked out in his favor.  I’m in love.

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Wolf Alice at the Roxy 5/18 Fri, 22 May 2015 17:37:03 +0000 Aurora WOLF ALICE GATEWAY DRUGS ROXY 5 18 15 293 Wolf Alice at the Roxy 5/18

Wolf Alice played to a sold out crowd at the Roxy on Monday – a surprisingly mature crowd I will say: rocker dudes, couples, and I imagine a slew of industry peeps all there to support the London based vintage rock quartet whose star is definitely on the rise. Lead singer and guitar player Ellie Roswell is a complete doll – tiny as can be and clearly bad to the bone playing guitar, and well, on every song. She and her band mates are unbelievably cohesive; you can feel a real organic connection between the four of them. It’s in no way forced and there’s a real authentic feel to their overall look, feel and sound, reminiscent of a few grunge/alt rock bands that hit hard in the 90′s.

The show, their third in LA, was indeed impressive from start to finish. “Blush” (my personal fav) was like a full on spiritual movement for me. My bestie and I have fallen madly in love with the lyrical brilliance and musical storytelling of this song so it was a really special moment to finally see it live. “Bros” was also one of the more memorable parts of the evening, as I was looking at my friends and really feeling the essence of what the song is all about – like truly bro’ing down with them while we sang along.  I about lost my mind (and snapped my neck) during the breakdown on “Giant Peach,” it’s just too good. Much like “Moaning Lisa Smile” which also got me all hyped up. If you were there, ya probably saw my blonde locks flying.  Overall, they killed it from beginning to end and it ended up being an epic Monday night in Hollywood.

If you’re not familiar yet, you probably will be soon! I just heard “Bros” on 98.7 tonight and there’s definitely a buzz going around about these babes.  Their debut album, My Love is Cool, is out June 23rd. Get that.

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Check them out on Facebook Twitter Soundcloud


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photo cred LA Record

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As Expected, Unconventionally Refreshing: Awolnation’s Run Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:16:58 +0000 Charissa AWOLNATION RUN As Expected, Unconventionally Refreshing:  Awolnation’s Run

AWOLNATION RUN1 As Expected, Unconventionally Refreshing:  Awolnation’s RunBy Charissa Lock

“This album got poor reviews,” Matt

“(Obscenities) you’ve got to be kidding me!” Me

Aaron Bruno has a better ear for music than three quarters the population and is more adept at fusing beats and instrumentation in a pop melody than many who would call themselves musicians.  He doesn’t throw together a mess with a catchy hook and hope it all fares well in the end, probably because he couldn’t even if he tried.  Everything is so precise in the creation stage that upon its final production, the aesthetic pleasure is to die for.   Sure it’s not all radio friendly due to unconventional patterns the songs take and intensity of tracks that explode after hovering in a rather long pause before the drop.  However, radio-shmadio, I certainly do well with little to none of it.  I think many souls enjoy the world of experimental as long as it borders on bouncy melodies and sing along choruses…which is what Awolnation makes sure to provide.

I do love the constant traipsing along the grey area of pop that takes place within the tracks, it could be my favorite part about Bruno’s take on his art.  You can’t not love the chorus of “I Am” (featured in a “World of Red Bull” commercial) when suddenly you’re propelled forward in a blast of “Yeahhh! Yeahhh! Ooooh, someone left the lights on.” Then quite tactfully it travels into the abyss in an instrumental exhale, floating away in a bittersweet farewell. Even in “heavier” (please, they’re not really) tracks like “Dreamers” you may think it’s a softer by-the-book E-infused bass mindf*ck, but there goes Bruno bringing all he has into that genre type.  Quickly satisfying pause drops and leaving you with blood curdling cries layered above the Awolnation-esque monotone “ooh”s.

Let me tell you about “Windows.”  I was surfing around listening to new singles from my favorites and to my pleasure wound up experiencing Awolnation’s newest single, “Windows.” In my typical “really listening” position of laying on my back with big ole’ headphones on and eyes closed, I went into a three minute and thirty seven second out of body experience where I was floating throughout the beats and sailing on the “aww, man”s (my favorite part of the album).   It was absolutely tremendous because at every moment you are experiencing the song.  You know it’s going to turn into something else great in a few and then repeat back to where you fell in love at the beginning.  At the end you experience some fresh love, and your body is now in a completely euphoric state.

I do think Mr. Bruno writes songs so that he can place stellar bridges at the ends.  You know they’re coming, another fascinating feature of Awolnation, and actually… they’re probably not even technical bridges.  They come about halfway through the song and last until pretty much the end with layers upon layers of instrumentation, beats, and vocals filtering through with their own agenda all set in perfect collaboration with one another.  It’s unreal.  Being able to have that many interpretations on one 2-4 minute track where you never feel that it “should be its own song.”  Most tracks fit this bill, specifically “Like People, Like Plastic,” there’s a Supremes doo-wop portion, a lovely little “F*ck your ghost!,” verses sounding a bit reminiscent of “Wake Up” (Megalithic Symphony), all smashed into one and flowing so nicely. “Lie Love Live Love” is another one with such an exceptional bridge that may be my second favorite potion of the entirety of Run.  You can’t compete with that.

600 words later and I only mentioned one of my favorite albums of all time, Megalithic Symphony once, and that is exactly why my response to Matt involved many obscenities.  Awolnation’s first album was filled with wonder and amazement, theatrical and dusted with fascination.  This sophomore is chuck full of grimy beats covered in dirt and sweat…dripping with flawless maneuvering of brilliance throughout every song.   Very different, but both just as unique, like a giant gulp of fresh oxygen. Breathe it in people, breathe it in.

Check out Awolnation on tour and let your mind be blown.

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Pandora + Sonos Style: Mikky Ekko Live in Los Angeles Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:54:07 +0000 matt  

IMG 8898 1024x669 Pandora + Sonos Style: Mikky Ekko Live in Los Angeles

by Matt Downes

Last Thursday at the SONOS Studio, Mikky Ekko performed to a packed house tracks off his latest album Time. The room was a bit warm and after a bit of technical difficulties that Mikky easily shrugged off, he ripped down the smash “Stay” sans Rihanna.  Its not typical for an artist to have fans standing on three sides and feel comfortable.  I think he actually enjoyed the intimacy.

SONOS has done a great job mixing an art gallery and sound space to bring you some super cool artists over the last couple of years.  A little birdie told me that the Charli XCX show here while back was one of the best. Looking forward to the next gig!

Special thanks to Pandora and Sonos for the hospitality.

Image brought to you by Chase McCurdy courtesy of BBgun.

TAGS: DCFC pre show @ iHeart Theater, Heros?  NO., Dual Music nights, Burbank to La Brea, Trans-at-lanta-cism

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Epitome of Entertainment: MisterWives’ Our Own House Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:00:48 +0000 Charissa MisterWives Reflections Epitome of Entertainment:  MisterWives’ Our Own House

By Charissa Lock

Reflections” is a spectacular single, one in which you can’t seem to get sick of hearing it, are unable to sit still when the chorus riffles through…it stays in your head throughout the afternoon and there’s this constant nibbling to hear it again, and again.  It’s not so typical for heavy hitting tracks to be supported by an album of equal or greater intensity , yet here I am filled with this rush of emotion at listening to the February 24th release a few weeks after having listened the first time.   You know that feeling you get from seeing a favorite family member or a close friend after not having seen them in awhile?  The one where you instantly turn into a 16 year old as a startling high pitched screech leaves your lips and frankly you couldn’t run fast enough to embrace that whom you’ve felt half a person without.   This experience of re-listening to Our Own House was almost that thrilling.  As the songs tumbled along my ears perked at every familiar moment I had remembered and may or may not have realized was as spectacular as I’m witnessing now.

This gang has been on my radar since their “Reflections” single, specifically their Jimmy Kimmel performance.  I will openly and proudly state that I’m completely judgmental when it comes to music and by god, I better hear an album or two and watch more than one music video before considering my “love” for them.  Somehow this quintet fluttered through every blinking red light, yield sign, and panel of snobby judges and cozied up into my heart ready to be loved after one song and one performance (Bleachers is feeling very snubbed).  MisterWives have that something which has allowed themselves so easily in, and to the relief of my inner snobby judges, the rest of the album is exquisite.

Even those tracks that start off with a slower melody perk up to a grooving tune, a skin tingling chorus, a brilliant introduction shooting off to a sparkling powerhouse ballad, sometimes just one and other times all of these at once.  The impeccable journey of these tracks runs through my veins uplifting my soul on a continuous stretch throughout Our Own House.  Not that the only high point are the transitions and adventure, for the themes that piggy back also bring their own hunk of respectability (of course, if I have to listen to Nicki Minaj’s “Only” one more time my brain will easily recognize “Mary Had a Little Lamb” as a lyrical masterpiece).

Probably the slower of the package, “Coffins” lifts your heart, stabilizing it to a passionate symphony before topping your senses (a common thread throughout) in this slow motion hip hop bridge.  As lovely as this track is, there are about eleven others that fester such a connection making this a hard album to choose a favorite from.  Well…there is the delicately manifested “Hurricane” (insert blushing smiley emoticon here).  With an acoustic and somber introduction, Mandy Lee slides by completely taking you by surprise as the chorus slams down in a Katy Perry-esque hands-to-the-sky uproar.  You want this album to be the soundtrack to your day, carrying you along your blasé days and uplifting those winter woes.

Catch them on a US tour here and purchase their album so that you’re fully obsessed before the show.

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TAGS: new Kendrick 3/23,  Kanye All Day” all weekend, Caribou, Kid Cudi “Love”

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Your Girl Got “Spiritualized” at Lotus Last Week Thu, 26 Feb 2015 17:17:13 +0000 Aurora YYDLvoB Imgur 1024x683 Your Girl Got Spiritualized at Lotus Last Week


I arrived late and when I walked in my stomach dropped. There were 100 people in the room and  Lotus was about to come on. This is my usual fear when the bands I love come to LA – nobody shows up, the promoter backs out of future shows at venues of  that size and before you know it, your bands aren’t coming to your hood anymore. Classic tale of the jam band scene in LalaLand. Indie rock, no problem. EDM, the kids are all over it. Hip hop kills it in LA. But the jam/jamtronica scene is practically non existent. This night in particular, the crowd at the House of Blues was small, yes, but everyone was definitely ready to go extra hard to make up for the lack of bodies. It turned out to be one of my favorite nights at the House of Blues to date.

They started off with “Greyrigg”, a mild groove that definitely felt like a warm up to the intensity that I think we all knew would soon follow. Two more songs in and things started to get a little rowdy. As “Suitcases” began, the lights shifted to a more vibrant blue hue that set the perfect tone for such a cool, playful song. I was extremely pleased with the very Nomadic first set. It’s my favorite Lotus album. In my opinion, Nomad is the true essence of Lotus’ sound. The guitars are bright and jazzy, the percussion is light and airy, and there are minimal transitions into those heavily synthesized, stern guitar forward moments that have become such a focus in recent years (Build, Guilded Age).

Things really turned up during the last song of the first set. As soon as the first note of “Spiritualize” came in, the room was pulsing. Drinks were in the air, the room filled with smoked. I  made new friends during that song, honestly. It was probably more monumental  for me than the average bear because I’ve been following this band for a decade and not once have I seen them play what I consider to be one my favorite songs. That cherry got popped.

After a short break, the second set took us on a whole new journey but didn’t stray from the Nomad theme. We got “Plant Your Root” and “Greet The Mind,” two gems that have been a strong foundation for what I truly love in music. They have such an ability to create positive emotion in their structure and tone and it translates so well in a small room. One thing I did not love was the Daft Punk cover (“Around the World”) and I don’t understand why that needs to be tied in. STS9 did it at the Palladium, too, and I didn’t enjoy that version either (which is saying a lot). Other than that, it was a moving performance overall and a night that I’ll never forget. Especially the moment when I finally got to experience the magic of “Spiritulaize” in the flesh. Happy girl.

VPXhChU Imgur 1024x682 Your Girl Got Spiritualized at Lotus Last Week

iIkoD38 Imgur 1024x683 Your Girl Got Spiritualized at Lotus Last Week

photo credit: Zack Blum

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Up Next: Humans Tue, 24 Feb 2015 19:36:29 +0000 Aurora ION HUMANS Noontide Up Next: Humans

By Aurora

So far, the first quarter of 2015 has been off to pretty decent start with a handful of albums I’m already deep into including my little lover boys, Rae Sremmurd’s Sremmlife, Drake’s surprise If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Panda Bear’s Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. Some newbies in my life: Vancouver experimental electronic duo Humans (Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq). Their album Noontide (out today via Hybridity Music) caught me off guard last week and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since.

The whole album is impressive – catchy (but not annoyingly so) pop driven hooks and melodies, layered synthesizers and repetitive rhythms with fluttering, sometimes dark guitars. The self-described Detroit techno brings new flavor to an over saturated new age electronic scene with old school roots; notes of Kraftwerk, Miike Snow, Daft Punk, Tanlines, and even Pink Floyd (“Tell Me” outro) are sprinkled throughout the 11 songs.

Matt and I agree, we like this more every time we listen. And it’s been in heavy rotation this past week so, needless to say, we are fans.

Check out the video for “Follow” and while you’re t it, follow them yo! Twitter Facebook tour


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See them in LA at Los Globos on March 26th!

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