Tag Archives: Los Angeles

James Vernon, from Li Xi, shares debut “Old Ghost”

james-vernonRaised in the San Francisco Bay Area, James has been playing and recording music since his teens. He is co-founder of the odd-pop psych band, Li Xi and has released a solo recording project under his name. James blends lo-fi psychedelic pop with ambient and experimental sound. He recorded most of the record in a furniture shop in San Francisco between helping out customers.

Stream – James Vernon’s “Old Ghost”

James Vernon


1. Skull
2. Old Ghost
3. Turning Inside and Out
4. Coyote Hills
5. The Actor (Featuring Jasiel Berg)
6. Piers
7. Niles Canyon
8. Losin’ Step
9. Rainier Themes
10. Mirabeau
Criminals is due out September 9, 2014.

The Joy Formidable’s Prepares for Tour With Passion Pit

joy-formidableSo I’m writing about The Joy Formidable because they shared a Passion Pit remix and I love Passion Pit so I was really curious as to how this would sound. It’s different, and it should be since it’s a remix, but it does the song justice. I really like what The Joy Formiable did with the song, their treatment of it includes a lot more other worldly sounds and textures. It’s like something you’d hear in a movie like Tron. All sci-fi sounding. The vocals from The Joy Forimable to Passion Pit are obviously going to be different and my preference still lends to Passion Pit, but I do applaud their efforts.

Welsh-trio The Joy Formidable have just released the Passion Pit remix of their song “Silent Treatment,” from their recently released Silent Treatment EP. Many critics noted that “Silent Treatment,” a centerpiece on the band’s acclaimed sophomore album Wolf’s Law, was a different direction for the band. Pitchfork noted, “Most Joy Formidable songs start at heart-pumping and turn up the volume from there, but on the delicate “Silent Treatment”, Bryan is able to convey that same intensity backed only with an acoustic guitar.” The Passion Pit remix injects some artful twists into the song, which you can check out at the link below:

The Joy Formidable are preparing for their upcoming tour supporting Passion Pit, as well. The tour begins on September 29 in Charlottesville, VA, and will span from coast to coast throughout the entirety of October and the first part of November, including dates in Los Angeles at The Greek Theater on October 25. To see full itinerary, please see below.


9/29 – Charlottesville, VA – nTelos Wireless Pavilion *

10/1 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel *

10/2 – Winston Salem, NC – Ziggys *

10/3 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City *

10/5 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits

10/5 – Austin, TX – Emo’s ^

10/7 – Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater *

10/8 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues *

10/10 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park *

10/11 – New Orleans, LA – The Civic Theatre *

10/12 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits

10/15 – Denver, CO – First Bank Arena *

10/16 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex *

10/17 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune

10/18 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory *

10/19 – Portland, OR – Theater of the Clouds *

10/21 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater *

10/22 – San Diego, CA – SDSU Open Air Theatre *

10/25 – Los Angeles, CA – The Greek Theater *

10/26 – Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl *

10/27 – Las Vegas, NV – Life is Beautiful Festival

10/29 – Kansas City, MO – The Midland by AMC *

10/31 – Fairfax, VA – Patriot Center *

11/1 – Atlantic City, NJ – House of Blues @ Showboat *

11/3 – Norfolk, VA – Norva *

11/8 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre *

11/9 – Tampa, FL – Coastline Festival

11/10 – West Palm Beach, FL – Coastline Festival

* – w/ Passion Pit

^ – w/ The Black Angels

Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech Stars In Gripping New Tensnake Video “See Right Through”

And now for something a little bit echo-ey.

TensnakeWith his debut Astralwerks release – two-track single 58 BPM / See Right Through” feat. Fiora – out now, Tensnake (aka German DJ, producer, and Mirau label-head Marco Niemerski) unveils new details on the single’s upcoming remix bundle and his forthcoming artist album. (Check out the music above the post title, you can stream while you listen).

“See Right Through” is a sumptuous deep house offering co-written by Tensnake and Tasmanian-born, Berlin based singer Fiora. Shot in the depths of the Yorkshire dales featuring Downton Abbey‘s Allen Leech, the video is a powerful interpretation of Bonnie & Clyde with a modern-day twist. Best known for his character Tom Branson, Leech gets back behind the wheel in this gritty tale of murder and lust with a bloody ending. Set against a backdrop of light-headed atmospheric bass infused with the soul-drenched vocals of Fiora, the track reflects the love story acted out so passionately by Leech.

The “58 BPM / See Right Through” two-track single marks Niemerski’s signing to Astralwerks Records, a label with a well-deserved reputation for nurturing ground breaking electronic artists. Both tracks will feature on Tensnake’s upcoming debut artist album, which will feature collaborations with the likes of Nile Rodgers, Stuart Price, Jamie Lidell and more to be announced.

A “58 BPM / See Right Through” remix bundle is set for release October 15th – with a stellar cast of remixers including “See Right Through” remixes from Medlar and Toyboy and Robin. The remix bundle will also feature Niemerski’s own interpretation of 58 BPM under the Todd Edwards-inspired moniker Toddsnake.

Tensnake upcoming tour dates:

Oct 31 – Mezzanine – San Francisco, CA

Nov 3 – Hard Fest Day of The Dead – Los Angeles, CA

Nov 7 – Concorde Music Hall – Chicago, IL

Nov 8 – U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC

Nov 9 – Verboten – Brooklyn, NY

Hauntingly beautiful, lyrics, voice, strings the whole Laura Stevenson shebang

Laura Stevenson has announced fall tour dates in support of her critically acclaimed album Wheel, honored by The Onion A/V Club as part of the “most notable music of 2013 (so far).” In addition to headline shows, Stevenson will join Cursive’s Tim Kasher on the road for a majority of the September through November run. The two are already well acquainted on account of Kasher, an admirer of her work, inviting Stevenson to sing guest vocals for a track on his new album. Upcoming tour dates below. The Philly date is November 9th at Johnny Brenda’s for my local peeps. I would LOVE to get to this show!

Wheel features strings by Grammy award winning violinist Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Antony And The Johnsons), brass accompaniment from Kelly Pratt (Beirut, Arcade Fire, David Byrne and St. Vincent), and was produced and mixed by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus, Frightened Rabbit, Real Estate).

Stevenson was born and raised on Long Island into a family of mariners and music makers. She spent many of her younger days on the sugar barges of NY harbor with her father and uncles, who all made their living on the water, at one time running one of the largest fleets on the Hudson. Meanwhile, her mother’s parents were successful musicians; Harry Simeone, the composer and choral arranger responsible for such works as “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and Margaret McCravy (stage name McCrae), a singer from South Carolina who got her start accompanying her elder siblings “The McCravy Brothers,” a harmonious gospel folk duo, before continuing on her own to record and tour with bandleader Benny Goodman. Armed with her grandfather’s love for modernist dissonance, a genetic predisposition for harmony, and with her sea legs firmly planted in the traditions of American folk singing, Stevenson began creating melodies at a very young age.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

* = w/ Tim Kasher


05 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom w/ The Deer Hunter

06 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom w/ The Deer Hunter

07 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer w/ The Deer Hunter

19 – Amityville, NY – Revolution

20 – Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes

27 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter (Early Show)

28 – Columbus, OH – Rumba Café

29 – Keyser, WV – Clancy’s Irish Pub


01 – Nashville, TN – The End

02 – Bloomington, IN – The Bishop

03 – Normal, IL – Firehouse Pizza

04 – Moline, IL – Bier Stube

05 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room *

06 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge *

08 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Urban Lounge *

09 – Boise, ID – Neurolux *

10 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge *

11 – Vancouver, BC – Electric Owl *

12 – Seattle, WA – Barboza *

15 – San Francisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop *

16 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place *

17 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room *

18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo *

19 – Las Vegas, NV – Backstage Bar & Billiards *

21 – San Diego, CA – Casbah *

22 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom *

23 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress *

25 – Dallas, TX – Three Links *

26 – Austin, TX – Red 7 *

27 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds *

29 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder *

30 – Orlando, FL – The Social *

31 – Gainesville, FL – The Fest – Rocky’s *


01 – Tampa, FL – Crowbar *

02 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl *

03 – Raleigh, NC – Kings Barcade *

04 – Charlotte, NC – Tremont Music Hall *

05 – Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel *

06 – Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House *

07 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *

08 – Pawtucket, RI – The Met *

09 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s *

11 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop *

12 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick *

13 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle *

14 – St. Louis, MO – The Firebird *

15 – Iowa City, IA – The Mill *

16 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club *

18 – Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme

19 – Toronto, ON – The Drake Hotel

20 – Rochester, NY – The Bug Jar

22 – Peekskill, NY – 12 Grapes

Rolling Stone Premieres Big Harp’s “You Can’t Save ‘Em All”

Big Harp’s sophomore album Chain Letters will be released on January 22 via Saddle Creek. Rolling Stone is running an MP3 premiere of “You Can’t Save ‘Em All” from Chain Letters. Big Harp’s Chris Senseney says, “A good portion of our new album deals with the tension between action and inaction, especially as evinced in terms of surrender and escape. This song kind of sums it up; for every ship righted another sinks from neglect, and the impossibility of perfection is a strong deterrent to action.” Read more and download the track at Rolling Stone.com.

Chain Letters was recorded at Omaha’s ARC studios with engineer Ben Brodin and partly at the band’s Los Angeles home. The album was mixed by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, M Ward, First Aid Kit). On Chain Letters, the duo of Chris Senseney and Stefanie Drootin-Senseney is joined by their friend John Voris on drums. The album moves away from the rustic, pastoral sound of their debut and towards a truer union of their backgrounds (Chris grew up in Valentine, NE, an isolated cow town of 2,800; Stefanie is a native Angeleno). Built on a foundation of crackling fuzz bass and angular electric guitars and keyboards, the songs on Chain Letters play like a series of character sketches centered around escape and surrender, and the blurred borders where the two become indistinguishable.

Chris and Stefanie (The Good Life, Bright Eyes, She & Him) formed Big Harp in December 2010, after a three-year whirlwind that saw the two meet, have a baby, move halfway across the country, get married, move halfway across the country again, and have another baby. As Chris tells it, “I was playing in a band opening for The Good Life. Stef and I started hanging out, binge-smoking and chain-drinking, and we never stopped. Never stopped hanging out I mean. Within a few months Stef had a gut full of baby, and the bender came to a quick and bloody end.” When the dust settled, they holed up in Stefanie’s parents’ spare bedroom, practiced for a week, and recorded their debut album White Hat, a collection of intimate, low-key folk-rock laced with subtle irony and dark humor that earned them comparisons to songwriters like Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Townes Van Zandt.

Understandably for a band that had only existed for a week before recording their first album, and had never played a show, their sound began to change almost immediately. They packed up the kids and hit the road, earning high praise for their energetic live shows, where the intimate acoustic-based arrangements they’d recorded gave way to something increasingly complex, ragged and dirty. Guitar World highlighted Stefanie’s bass playing in their Best of SXSW 2012 feature.That March, they began recording Chain Letters.

From the pained apathy of “You Can’t Save ‘Em All” to the cracked parade march of “Call Out the Cavalry, Strike Up the Band,” Chain Letters finds the band enveloping and exploding their literate songs with fuzzed-out, needle-sharp textures. Chris says, “We really built the songs around Stef’s fuzz bass. It was kind of funny — we were sitting around in a bedroom playing really loud with no drums, just kind of trusting that it was going to make sense once we put it all together. Hopefully we landed closer to mid-’70’s Iggy Pop than Leonard Cohen this time. Really I’d like it to sound like Leonard Cohen fronting The Pixies. It doesn’t though. Maybe a little. You tell us.”

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Lake Effects, definite chick-flick, looks great!

This is a movie I think my Mom and aunts would enjoy very much. And it is one which we really as a society should probably try to embrace. There are not enough movies like this nowadays unless you watch the Hallmark Channel frequently, which I admit I do often around Christmas time.

On behalf of Anchor Bay Entertainment, we’re excited to announce LAKE EFFECTS will be available on DVD August 14th, 2012!


Sara (Scottie Thomson) and Lily (Madeline Zima) are two sisters from a small, lakeside town that lead two different lives: Sara, a successful Los Angeles attorney and Lily, a local art teacher who never left home.  But when the father of the two sisters (Jeff Fahey) unexpectedly dies, Sara returns to her childhood home – on the enchanting Smith Mountain Lake – to help settle his estate.  Through the guidance of their father’s spirit, the two women and their mother, Vivian (Jane Seymour), will finally discover what being a family truly means.

Directed by: Michael J. McKay
Produced by: Sara Elizabeth Timmins
Starring: Jane Seymour, Scottie Thompson, Madeline Zima, Jeff Fahey, Casper Van Dien, Sean Patrick Flanery
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
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Rdio Presents: Nada Surf Live on YouTube – Powered By BandPage

Barsuk Records, City Slang and Nada Surf are excited to announce that they will be streaming their hometown album release show at the Bowery Ballroom on January 24, beginning at 10 PM EST. Presented by Rdio and RootMusic BandPage, the full concert will be webcast live on their YouTube channel. For more details and the latest updates, fans can RSVP to the event on Facebook.

The band’s highly anticipated new album, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, has been hailed as “tremendous — full of big, blooming rock that practically glows with generosity,” by NPR’s All Songs Considered. Fans can listen to the entire album now at Spinner.com. “Waiting For Something,” one of the many explosive and melodic songs on the new record, just recently premiered on Stereogum and is available as a free download thanks to the widget below. The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, which also features the track “When I Was Young, will be available everywhere today, January 24, 2012.

Nada Surf are also set to kick off their national tour on March 20 in Los Angeles, CA. The band have confirmed An Horse to be the opening act on all the dates, which will have the bands rolling cross-country and wrapping up in Washington, DC on April 10. The dates follow select east and west coast gigs in late January. The band will appear on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on January 30, to play a new song on TV and an old fan favorite which will get posted on latenightwithjimmyfallon.com the next day.

Stars is Nada Surf’s seventh record, and fourth for Seattle indie Barsuk, following the successful and critically lauded Let Go (2003), The Weight is a Gift (2005), Lucky (2007) and their self-released covers record if i had a hifi (2010). This is their first album of new material in four years, and unlike all of the other Nada Surf records, Stars was made with a distinct attempt to capture their live sound. “We’ve always played faster and a little harder live,” says vocalist/guitarist Matthew Caws, “but we’d play so carefully in the studio. So with this album, we made a conscious decision to preserve what it felt like in the practice room, when you play with that new-song energy.”

Nada Surf’s lineup for 15 years has been and still is Matthew Caws (vocals, guitar), Daniel Lorca (bass) and Ira Elliot (drums), though this time, as on if i had a hifi and the tour that followed, they invited guitarist Doug Gillard (Guided by Voices, Death of Samantha) to join in the proceedings. Chris Shaw (Wilco, Brendan Benson, Elvis Perkins in Dearland and Super Furry Animals) was brought in to produce and record.

Order The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy at iTunes.

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