The record starts simply enough with the opening track, “Unfucktheworld” where she sings about a broken heart and then lets loose with the next track, “Forgiven/Forgotten“. It’s truly a beautiful record from start to finish and quite different than both her debut, Strange Cacti and Half Way Home, but her voice is still the star of the show.
Angel is about to embark on a massive three month tour of the US and Europe so you have plenty of chances to see her live. You can catch her this coming Sunday, March 2nd at the Echoplex in Los Angeles, March 3rd at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, and Friday March 7th at Barboza in Seattle. She’ll also be playing at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin as well as at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain. Check out all of her tour dates here and check out her new video for, “Hi-Five” directed by her frequent collaborator, Zia Anger.
The songs are heartfelt and powerful with Lee’s fragile and beautiful voice as the centerpiece, and the recordings are an instantly engaging blend of high and low fidelity, mixing lush studio productions, featuring keys, guitar, violin and banjo, with clattering homemade percussion and found sounds. While the album is certainly Lee’s brainchild, the recordings are very much a collaborative effort featuring contributions by friends and others met along the way.
Mutual Benefit is currently on a US tour with European dates to follow. Check out his video for Advanced Falconry and then catch him live this Tuesday, January 28th at the Center for the Arts Eagle Rock in Los Angeles. He’ll also be playing some East Coast dates in early February before heading off to Europe.
The short, but sweet set featured songs from his debut LP including “The One Eyed King”, “Chameleon”, “The Ballad of Little Jean”, and my personal favorite, “Clear The Air”. The show echoed the album’s fuzzy, but highly psychedelic feel that had the crowd swaying from the very first beat. I’ll be looking forward to hearing what he has up his sleeve for the next record, but in the meantime NPR just released a video for his newest single, “The End Of August” that you can watch here.
Jacco is currently on tour with the Allah-Las and you can catch both bands at The Chapel in San Francisco tomorrow night, Saturday October 5th. Enjoy the video for his song, “Clear The Air” and check out dates for the rest of his US tour as well as his jaunt across Europe that will last through the end of the year.
Taylor Rice of Local Natives. Photo by Barry Belkin
Nick Ewing of Local Natives. Photo by Barry Belkin
Friday the 13th was nothing but lucky for LA’s Local Natives as they headlined the Greek Theatre a couple of weeks ago. The band gave their hometown fans a hard hitting, emotional show full of heartfelt thanks and crushing songs. Not that long ago you could have seen them at any number of clubs in Echo Park or Silverlake, but to see them perform at one of their largest headlining hometown shows to date was something I could not miss. With their latest album, “Hummingbird” released at the beginning of the year on Frenchkiss Records, the band played their hearts out to the enthusiastic crowd of well wishers.
Opening with, “Breakers” from their new record, the band jammed through songs both new and old including, “Wide Eyes“, ”You & I, “Camera Talk”, and “Airplanes” and continued to thank the audience of fans, family, and friends up until their final song of the night. With that familiar thumping drum beat and the band bathed in red light, the crowd clapped and jumped along to one of the most intense versions of, “Sun Hands” I’ve ever seen them perform.
Local Natives will be appearing both weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival on October 4th and 11th as well some shows in between so check out there tour dates here to see if they’re playing in or around your area before they head off to Europe. Also, check out their new video for their song, “Ceilings” which was directed by their bass player, Nick Ewing.
AlunaGeorge performing at the El Rey Theatre, September 12, 2013. Photo by Barry Belkin.
Aluna Francis and George Reid, better known as AlunaGeorge have one of my favorite records of the year. I’ll even forgive them for covering Montell Jordan‘s 90′s hit, “This Is How We Do It” even though I couldn’t help but sing along when they played it during their LA debut at the El Rey Theatre a couple of weeks ago.
Playing songs from their debut album, “Body Music” released on Vagrant Records this past July including my favorites, “You know You Like It”, “Attracting Flies“, and “Best Be Believing”. They also got the crowd really riled up when they played their collaboration with Disclosure, “White Noise” which the crowd acknowledged by jumping up and down through the whole song. Ending their set with, “Your Drums, Your Love“, the lights came on almost immediately signaling no encore even though most of the crowd was begging for more.
You can catch the band performing in Australia starting this Saturday at the Listen Out festival taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth before heading back home for a full scale European tour that will have them on the road until the end of November. Check out their latest video for their infectious song, “You Know You Like It” and definitely try to catch one of their upcoming shows.
“I heard my song at Whole Foods like a half an hour ago… this is weird”, said Montreal’s Cœur de Pirate, aka Béatrice Martin who performed this past weekend in LA at the El Rey Theatre in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. At only 23 years old, she already has two award winning LP’s under her belt and three new nominations from the ADISQ (Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo) this year, and she was invited to perform at the Francofolies first American event, A Tribute to Édith Piaf at New York’s Beacon Theatre tonight. I was more than happy that the busy young singer/songwriter graciously sat down with me to chat before her LA debut.
“It’s my first California tour, I did Portland and Sasquatch about a year ago when I was still pregnant so that was intense”. ”I wasn’t expecting such a turn out” she says about her show at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall the night before. “I thought 3 people were gonna show up… it was packed… people that don’t know French and they’re just singing… it was really nice so I’m excited about tonight”.
Julia Holter performing at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles on September 11, 2013. Photo by Barry Belkin
Los Angeles based artist Julia Holter recently released her third full length album, Loud City Song on Domino Records to great reviews as well as a feature about her in The New Yorker. I was lucky enough to catch the first show of her North American tour last week at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles as part of their Church Sessions concert series. Playing to a very respectful and quiet audience, she performed songs from her new album accompanied by members of Los Angeles’ wIld Up orchestra who also performed earlier in the evening. You could hear a pin drop during her entire performance making me happy the show wasn’t at your average club/venue.
Her cinematic new video, “This is a True Heart” is a perfect introduction to her beautiful voice and rather unique sound. Julia Holter is definitely worth your time and her live performance will resonate with you long after the lights come on. Upcoming shows include Chicago’s Schubas on September 21st as well Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 24th. You can also catch her in Europe this coming October and November. Check out the video and hopefully you can catch one of her upcoming performances.
Earlier this week, a sold out capacity crowd saw Chet Faker aka Nicholas Murphy take the stage for his first US performance at the Echo in Los Angeles. He released his debut EP, “Thinking In Textures” early last year and has been working non stop ever since. Fellow Aussie Flume had him sing, “Left Alone” on his debut and the Swedish/Australian group Say Lou Lou featured him on their b-side, “Fool of Me“, but it was his cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” that he released a couple of years ago that started it all.
“This songs about sex”, quipped Nick as they played my personal favorite, “Love & Feeling” midway through his short, but very sweet set. Other stand out songs included the opener, “Archangel”, “Terms & Conditions”, “I’m into You”, and of course ending the set with “No Diggity”. The crowd while talkative, sang along to every word. Taking a break from his keyboard for the encore, Chet played his new single, “Melt” sans singer Kilo Kish, but still a very nice ending to a fantastic first show.
Chet Faker is currently on a North American tour that will take him across the country including an upcoming show at New York’s Webster Hall with recent collaborator Flume on September 11th. He’ll also be joining Bonobo on their tour starting October 31st at the Complex in Salt Lake City. Check him out now before he moves on to bigger venues like I know he will.