Friday, July 8, 2011

Givers- Band of the Week- July 8th, 2011

Band of the Week: Givers

Sounds Like: Jumping in a bouncy castle with kind souls, taking a moment to look up and watch the clouds.

The Facts, Not the Lies: Comprised of a group of friends from high school and college out of Layfayette, Lousiana, the band got a boost when they jumped on tour with the Dirty Projectors in 2009. They went on to record an EP, just released their anticipated full-length and are on a constant rotation of tours to bring their hap-happy sounds to you.

Albums: In Light, Released June 7th, 2011

Why I Fell in Love:
1) The song Up Up Up, can't help but make you feel... Up.

2) A solo girl jiving with a band of boys. That's cool. I want to be her.
3) Any band that uses leaves as an instrument is my kind of band.

Favorite Lyric:
All your wasted time, caught up in your mind...Don't get stuck in the meantime, no such thing as the meantime

Live: I have not yet, but will on September 12th at The Troubadour! Join me?

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Belle Brigade- Band of the Week- July 1st, 2011

Band of the Week: The Belle Brigade

Sounds Like: Playing in the lush backyard of a childhood home, splashing water on friends, gaining independence.

The Facts, Not the Lies: Barbara and Ethan Gruska, the Los Angeles sibling duo that is The Belle Brigade, have the musical genes. Their father Jay is a wildly successful composer/producer, their grandfather is the one and only John Williams, Barbara was a prominent drummer on the scene and Ethan caught the music bug early on. The LA Times picked them as a band to watch in 2011, they started the year with a Spaceland residency, debuted a well received album and having just finishing a tour with K.D. Lang- they are well on their energetic way.

Albums: Self-titled, Released April 15th, 2011

Why I Fell in Love:
1) Hearing Losers for the first time. Cause really, it doesn't matter if anyone is better than you. Also, adopt dogs.
2) Songs that make me want to run in place are my fav.
3) Barbara makes the most amazing facial expressions. Ethan can play the guitar while lying on his back. Talent.

Favorite Lyric: I am dry, I'm your shirt and I've been hung out on the line. And I have designs, so if you stain me I will still seem fine. But really, you're just wearing me out... And no one is gonna iron me out, No, no one is gonna straighten me out.

Live: Seen it. Loved it. So much energy. So much happiness.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Armistice- Band of the Week- June 24th, 2011

Band of the Week: Armistice

Sounds Like:
Exploring an abandoned Spanish mission, running across desert floors and peeking around fading corners.

The Facts, Not the Lies:
Jay Malinowski, the frontman of Bedouin Soundclash and Beatrice Martin, the artist Coeur de Pirate, met just over two years ago through a music project for the Vancouver Olympics. Beatrice lent her voice to Jay's band in the tune Brutal Hearts and they continued their collaboration by creating an EP under the banner of Armistice. Recorded in LA with mariachi influences from backing by LA band The Bronx, these Canadian musicians created a sound quite different than their separate projects.

Albums: Self-titled EP, released February, 2011

Why I Fell in Love:

1) The eye contact between this real-life couple is what words have a hard time describing- love.
2) Separately unique and intoxicating voices, equally the same when together.
3) Attractive people make cool black and white videos.

Favorite Lyric: Since you locked me in some devastated stare.

Live: I have not seen it. Catch Jay's and Beatrice's shows and pass on your expert commentary!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Civil Wars- Band of the Week- June 17th, 2011

Band of the Week: The Civil Wars

Sounds Like: A man and woman sitting on a simple porch, speaking truth into the fading light over a country field.

The Facts, Not the Lies: My search began for this band when I heard Poison and Wine on Grey's Anatomy (I'm not afraid to admit I watch the show). Apparently, lots of other people did the same thing. Just over two years old, this duo comprised of NoCal to Nashville resident Joy Williams and Alabaman John Paul White, met at a songwriter's convention. Through the luck of straws, they ended up in the same room and after years of solo careers, formed a sound that has led to a stunning album, sold out tour dates and a promising career together.

Albums: Barton Hallow, February 2011.

Why I Fell in Love:
1) Their live show at Largo transported me. I envisioned a dance between a voice and a guitar and the muddy waters of the bayous.
2) They take another artist's song and make it their own in a very rare way. You Are My Sunshine becomes a devastatingly beautiful and dark song.
3) A class act. They dress up for performance. John Paul even wears a bow-tie.

Favorite Lyric: I don't have a choice, but I still choose you.

Live: Seen it. Loved it. Their voices seep deep inside and might conjure up a tear or two.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Head and The Heart- Band of the Week- June 10th, 2011

Photo by Dylan Priest

Band of the Week: The Head and The Heart

Sounds Like: Finding part of yourself in the serenity of a wooded forest, with glimmers of light beaming through the tree tops.

The Facts, Not the Lies:
Originally from all over the country, these musicians came together in 2009 after meeting at an open mic night in Seattle and formed a band filled with harmonies, poetic lyrics and a vision. Self-releasing their album early last year, they garnered attention quickly, and ended 2010 by signing with the prominent Sub Pop Records.

Albums: Self-titled and self-released in early 2010; remastered with an added track and re-released in April 2011.

Why I Fell in Love:
1) Watched them open for Stornoway at The Troubadour in December, I did not even know their name and was instantly sucked in by their live sound and stage presence. Four months later, they were back headlining a sold-out show.
2) Watching Rivers and Roads live. Nothing like some quality emotional stomping.
3) Bands from Seattle generally exude coolness right? They get to wear knit gloves and hats.

Favorite Lyric: Down in the valley, with whiskey rivers, these are the places you will find me hiding, these are the places I will always go.

Live: Seen it. Deeply Liked it. Their live energy really bolsters their music.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lord Huron- Band of the Week- June 3rd, 2011

Art by Ben Schneider

Band of the Week: Lord Huron

Sounds Like: A dance between a breezy tropical island and a beautifully emotional ocean.

The Facts, Not the Lies: Ben Schneider, a Michigan native who now resides in LA, has come to music under the name Lord Huron. He attended art school in Michigan, recorded two EPs by himself and has since acquired a full band that is in a prominent position toward success. Headlining the Troubadour recently, they play at Lollapalooza and Outside Lands festivals this summer- a band and a sound gaining much deserved ground.

Albums: Two EPS- Mighty, November 2010, Into the Sun, June 2010

Why I Fell in Love:
1) The song Mighty was my anthem during the final weeks of Girl at a Bar. The empowering tribal beats inspired me to dance non-stop in joy around my apartment daily. The lyrics below were beyond meaningful to a journey where I took no prisoners.
2) I believe there would be some fascinating fun conversation with the eclectic boys in the band.
3) Ben's talent in art transcends into his vision for videos.

Favorite Lyric: The entire song Mighty-
You were a wild thing when you were younger, stomping through the jungle.
You were mighty and you were stronger but I bow no longer.
All your temples will lie in ruin once I ravage through them.
All your rivals will not go near you but I do not fear you.
Well, you howl and you roar, but I am not afraid of you anymore.
You think you can have it? Then come and get it.

Live: Seen it. Deeply Loved it. The band can only get bigger and better.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Foster the People- Band of the Week- May 27th, 2011

Band of the Week: Foster the People

Sounds Like: Zig-zagging above the world in a wicked cool mobile flying unit, moving into the future.

The Facts, Not the Lies: In case you somehow missed the addictive song Pumped Up Kicks or the news of their first album debuting this week on a major label, here's an LA band I've been watching since before they moved to success in astonishingly rapid speed. Mark Foster, the alluring gentleman fronting the band, worked in music composition before bringing on collaborators Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink in 2009 to make up the band today. Starting 2011 with a packed residency at The Echo this January- they have since wowed SXSW, overflowed a tent at Coachella, gotten major radio play and sold out nearly every stop on their upcoming second US and international tour. Foster the People went from a Band to Watch to a Band You Know.

Albums: Torches, Released May 23, 2011

Why I Fell in Love:
1) A fantastical LA success story. They said at Coachella, with genuine gratitude, that a year prior they were playing a pizza joint down the street. Dreams really do come true.
2) Hearing Mark's voice live for the first time at The Echo- a rich sound and use of falsetto that is often ignored in contemporary vocals; it's refreshing when singers have command of their instrument.
3) I heart when band members play multiple instruments. Especially when singers break out on the drums.

Favorite Lyrics: What I got can't be bought.

Live: Seen it. Deeply Loved it. It is imperative to see this band live.

Extra Treat: Bonus Tract- Broken Jaw