Trixie Whitley performing at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, CA on May 28, 2013.
Trixie Whitley who’s husky, but soft spoken voice turns into quite a powerful instrument when she starts to sing played to an intimate audience the other night at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, CA. Playing songs from her debut LP Fourth Corner (released independently earlier this year on Strong Blood Records), Trixie showed us why musicians like Daniel Lanois, Marianne Faithfull, and Robert Plant have collaborated with her. Backed by a keyboardist and drummer, she played both electric and acoustic guitar and even sat at the Wurlitzer for a few songs ending the show with a stirring version of her single, “Breath You In My Dreams”. She came back onstage to play one of the first songs she ever wrote, “Strong Blood” which I’ve heard her in the past dedicate to her father, the late blues singer/guitarist, Chris Whitley.
Trixie’s currently on a West Coast tour which will find her at the Troubadour in West Hollywood tomorrow night, Friday May 31st and at San Francisco’s The Chapel on Saturday, June 1st. She’ll also be performing at this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN on June 14th. Check out her new video for, “Breathe You In My Dreams” that premiered the other day on Vogue.com and definitely try to catch her perform live to hear her incredible voice.
Cillie Barnes performing at the Troubadour in W. Hollywood, CA on May 7, 2013. Photo by Raymond Lew.
LA based singer Cillie Barnes (aka Vanessa Long) released a video for her very catchy song, “Brainwash” late last month and I’ve been having a hard time getting it out of my head. You’ll definitely be seeing and hearing a lot more from her once her debut record comes out on Loma Vista/Republic Records later this year.
I caught her last week supporting British singer Tom Odell at the Troubadour and was instantly taken by her refreshing voice and relaxed stage presence. Backed by a guitarist and keyboardist she had no problem engaging the sold out crowd and even got us to sing-a-long for her final song.
She’ll be performing again on May 28th at a Red Bull Sound Select concert with DIIV at the Echo in Los Angeles so try and check her out if you’re in the area. Watch the video for “Brainwash” and follow her on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on new shows and of course her debut release, “Happy Valley”.
Last November I introduced you to Philadelphia duo, Lockets and their beautiful debut album, Camera Shy. Well, Todd Mendelsohn and Dani Mari are back with a new single, “Surrender” that they’ve graciously let us premiere down below. The two track, limited edition 7″ will be released July 9th on London based label, Beautiful Strange.
The lush song is filled with big beats and huge synths and Todd from the band says, “this is probably the most pop oriented track we’ve done”. It’s definitely a song you’ll listen to on repeat and then wait in anticipation for them to release the b-side.
Lockets will be performing in Brooklyn tomorrow night, May 3rd at Shea Stadium as well as a hometown show supporting Twin Sister at Johnny Brenda’s on May 12th. You can also still order their amazing limited edition debut LP, “Camera Shy” here. Be sure to follow them on Facebook for more news about the upcoming release and enjoy the premiere of, “Surrender”.
Django Django‘s crazy new video for “WOR” features India’s Wall of Death Riders in Allahabad. Our friends at Noisey shot the video in a documentary style standing right in the middle of all the action.
I was able to catch the Django’s last show of their US tour at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood last month. “Hello citizens of Los Angeles”, yelled out singer Vincent Neff before they jammed into “Hail Bop”. The band was a lot of fun to watch since they barely came up for air during their hour long set except when they went acoustic for their song, “Hand of Man”.
Megan James from Purity Ring performing at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on April 18, 2013.
A little dream-pop, a bit of hip-hop, and a lot of bass, that’s what Canada’s Purity Ring brought to the very sold out El Rey Theatre last week in a show that was sandwiched in between the two weekends of Coachella. The crowd lined up early to get a close up spot to see this highly anticipated appearance, myself included.
The bone-rattling bass during Blue Hawaii‘s opening set almost drowned out singer Raph Standell-Preston, so I was hoping that Purity Ring’s sound wouldn’t be as bass heavy. After a very strange Taylor Swift sing-a-long during intermission (yeah, that happened). I didn’t know the indie kids knew all the lyrics to “I Knew You Were Trouble”, but they do and sang along very loudly. The lights finally dimmed and the alien-like stage set of Purity Ring started to glow. Unfortunately, the heavy bass continued for the first few songs, but then finally got toned down and the incredible voice of Megan James rang out clearly. Watching bandmate Corin Roddick work magic on his custom-built sound and light instrument was just as mesmerizing.
They played most, if not all all of their 2012 4AD debut, “Shrines” including my personal favorites “Obedear” and the set ending “Fineshrine” that had the entire crowd dancing wildly. The band is currently in the midst of a US tour so you still have an opportunity to catch them live. Check out their very cool cover of Soulja Boy & Ester Dean’s “Grammy” which they also played to perfection live and try to catch them at one of their upcoming performances.
Widowspeak’s Molly Hamilton performing at the Echo in Los Angeles, April 2, 2013. Photo by Diane Lee
Brooklyn based duo Widowspeak released their sophomore record, “Almanac” this past January on Captured Tracks and they just played an incredible headlining set at the Echo in Los Angeles last week. The new record sounds amazing live, with the bewitching voice of Molly Hamilton and the flowing guitar riffs of Robert Earl Thomas it’s easy to see why. If you’re like me and have a soft spot for bands like Mazzy Star, then definitely seek them out.
Playing songs from Almanac as well as their self-titled debut, the band was in great spirits throughout their entire set even playing the perfect cover of Chris Isaak‘s, “Wicked Game“ during their encore.
The band is in the midst of a US tour and will be stopping in at the Mohawk in Austin on April 8th, as well as Schubas in Chicago on April 13th before heading back to Brooklyn to play a show at the Knitting Factory on April 19th. You can also check them out in late April and all of May when they head out on a UK/European tour. Check out their video for ‘Locusts’ and do your best to grab a ticket to one of their many upcoming shows.
Roxanne Clifford from Veronica Falls performs at the Troubadour on March 29, 2013. Photo by Saunter Lee
“I’m Broken Hearted, Dearly Departed”, sang Roxanne Clifford as Veronica Falls played their very first single, ‘Found Love in a Graveyard‘ to a very happy crowd at the Troubadour in West Hollywood this past Friday night. Their new album, Waiting for Something to Happen released this past February on Slumberland Records is definitely a step in the right direction. A lot more polished and confident then their first release, the band had plenty to celebrate on this second to last show of their US tour.
“We’re not used to the heat, it’s pretty crazy”, said drummer Patrick Doyle as they launched into ‘Bad Feeling‘, another song from their self-titled debut. Funny enough, I don’t think it topped more than 70 degrees on the day of the show, but I guess living in the UK, every day in LA seems like a hot one. The band played a mix of new and old songs that kept everyone dancing and head-bopping through their 50+ minute short set. Standouts from there new record were the title track, ‘Waiting for Something to Happen’ as well as their new single, ‘Teenage’. Closing the show with their cover of Roky Erickson’s ’Starry Eyes’, the band immediately left the stage and almost instantly came back out to chat and take photos with the crowd.
Check out their new video for ‘Teenage’ shot entirely on 8mm film and be sure to catch them when they tour Europe this month and next.
Already a huge presence in Australia, Flume has been gaining a lot more attention in the US, especially with the recent release of his self-titled debut on Mom + Pop Music. I was lucky enough to catch his recent sold out performance at the Echoplex in Los Angeles.
Truth be told, I don’t go to a lot of EDM shows, but after hearing his album I was hoping to see some of the guest vocalists that are heavily featured on his debut. WIth the likes of George Maple, Chet Faker, Moon Holiday, and Jezzabell Doran all appearing on his record, it would have been extra special to see some of them perform live. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, BUT I did manage to dance my ass off with a crazy sold out crowd to his ear-shattering beats.
Songs like “Insane” featuring the before mentioned Moon Holiday had the crowd singing along and jumping wildly to every beat. He’s currently in the midst of a US tour with shows coming up at Portland’s Mississippi Studios on March 31st and a sold out show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on April 2nd among others. In May he’ll be back in Australia for his first headlining tour titled, The Infinity Prism Tour with Chet Faker supporting. Check out the video for Left Alone and definitely try to catch him live before he heads back down under.