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PHOTO REVIEW: PROM QUEEN/LA LUZ & IS/IS AT THE DOUG FIR 1.23.15

January 30, 2015

Prom Queen has been on my radar for a couple years now, and until this past Friday at Doug Fir Lounge, I was unable to ever catch them live. Not for the sake of not liking their sound, cause frankly I loved it. It was a bit different than what was trending at the time (folk), so I was captivated.
The bands sound translated beautifully at The Doug Fir and they almost stole the show. It was their first Portland performance, and I have no doubt that they will be coming back to play a very excited and enthusiastic crowd.
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I haven’t seen La Luz play since SXSW last year, and you can tell these ladies have been hitting the pavement hard. Sound is incredibly tight, and rolling through their set effortlessly. Even a misstep they play off without 98% of the crowd realizing. They have certainly found a groove. And after hearing a a new track or two, I can’t wait for whats next.
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I missed most if IS/IS’s set, but they sounded incredible as well.
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NEW BAND/NEW ALBUM- COTILLON (Self Titled Album) Out Jan.26th

January 29, 2015

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Cotillon is the moniker of Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Jordan Corso. Originally a bedroom recording project intended to illustrate the difficulty of maintaining relationships in LA in the spirit of the french new wave, Cotillon took band form in 2013 playing 50 plus shows supporting a steady stream of songs and EPs that were self-released to bandcamp.

Addicted to writing by that point, Corso took a brief hiatus from performing to record in the winter of 2014 with producer Chet “JR” White formerly of San Francisco’s GIRLS. After spending the Summer and Fall developing demos by sending tracks back and forth via email, JR went to LA to begin tracking the album at historic East West Studio 3 (Pet Sounds Studio) with Corso and the rest of the band. They laid down most of the framework in LA before Corso found himself holed up on JR’s mission district couch. Recording between his home studio and Hyde Street’s Studio A, JR dipped into his rolodex calling on friends for polishing, including past members of GIRLS and The Modern Lovers, and current drummer for King Tuff, Garrett Goddard.

FEATURED SINGLE: “LET DOWN” BY POPE

January 26, 2015

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New Orleans’ Pope are getting ready to release their upcoming full length debut Fiction, on March 10th via Community Records (Caddywhompus, Sun Hotel, All People). The band, comprised of Matthew Seferian (guitar/vocals), Alex Skalany (guitar/vocals), and Atticus Lopez (drums), premiered the album’s first single “Let Down” on Stereogum, who noted:

“Pope have been playing together since high school, and that tight chemistry comes across strongly on their forthcoming debut album, Fiction. Every progression feels effortless, and the three members of the band — Alex Skalany, Donovan Wolfington’s Matthew Seferian, and Atticus Lopez — play off of each other in the near-telepathic way that only good friends can. “Let Down” roars to life with a sarcastic bite, the vocals sounding jaded and as bitter as a lemon. It’s noisy and dense, slathered with layers of distortion and fuzz, yet it also feels oddly welcoming. ”

Fiction is the band’s long awaited full length debut, following a trail of EPs and singles and finds the band expanding with a newfound sense of maturity to their songwriting. Fuzzy melodies and hook filled riffs offer a lush sonic landscape for the duel vocals of Skalany and Seferian. The band’s sound swirls between noise-pop and 90’s influenced indie rock in the vein of Superchunk, Guided By Voices, and Pavement, but like those bands and their drive to create timelessly infectious rock, there’s nothing “slacker” about it. Pope’s album is filled with overdriven guitar pop that moves between crushing distortion and introspective lyricism about life’s finer things… making bad decisions, friends and relationships, anxiety, the joys of social interactions, and the inevitable self depreciation, all delivered with an unwavering sense of awareness and biting sarcasm. There’s a radiant energy to Pope’s fuzzy indie noise and it shines throughout the record in massive enveloping guitar tones and warm power pop vocal melodies.

NEW OBSESSION AND FEATURED SINGLE: THE DOUGH ROLLERS “MANSION ON A HILL”

January 5, 2015

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New York City based blues-rockers, The Dough Rollers, announce the release of their EP Gone Baby Gone on vinyl via Third Man Records. Most recently the rockers have been featured on Late Night with David Letterman, Inked, Rolling Stone, KEXP, The AV CLUB and more. The EP possesses an infectious, stripped-down sound combining elements of blues-rock and garage rock, that aligns the foursome with rising artists like J Roddy Walston And The Business and The Alabama Shakes.

The Dough Rollers began in 2008 as a two-piece collaboration born out of a mutual love of blues music, between Jack Bryne (lead guitar) and Malcolm Ford (vocals/guitar). After experimenting with different band members and various influential sounds, Bryne and Ford were joined by Graham Norwood (bass) and their distinct southern blues-infused rock sound was solidified. The band has toured with Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, and Queens of the Stone Age. They are currently on a European tour with Billy Idol.

 

“SEALEBRITY”: PLANES ON PAPER

November 5, 2014

IMG_6010(1)Full name: Jennifer Noel Borst

Age: A lady never tells

Hometown: Yakima, WA

Name of band: Planes on Paper

Style of music: Songwriter stuff, with folk influences, I think…

Top 5 Seattle artists: Mikey and Matty, The Head and the Heart, Cumulus, Big Sur, Brandi Carlile

Favorite book: The BFG

Favorite Seattle drinking hole: Ha in Fremont made an absolutely amazing mango habanero margarita for me once, but only once. It’s my favorite for that single experience.

Best show you have ever seen: Fiona Apple at The Schnitz in Portland. She seemed completely unhinged, but was pitch perfect and beautiful.

If you could play a gig with two other bands, who would they be: Patty Griffin and First Aid Kit

Biggest celebrity crush: The Silver Fox, Anthony Bourdain.

Drink of choice: Barefoot winery Pinot Grigio. Sometimes the cheapest stuff is the best.

Guiltiest tv pleasure: Hoarders. Makes me feel like I really have my shit together.

Last thing you do before sleep: Laundry and Pinterest, in that order

Full name: Navid Eliot

Age: 32

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Name of band: Planes on Paper

Style of music: Whatever we end up writing, I suppose. I think it’s folk music, but folk purists would probably disagree.

Top 5 Seattle artists: Mikey & Matty, The Fraidies, Smokey Brights, Shelby Earl, but GOD DAMN IT, there are SO many more. Seattle is great right now. In fact, Washington is great right now. One of my favorite songwriters on earth (The Holy Broke) happens to be out of Spokane.

Favorite book: I have read “1984” more than any other book, but have a real soft spot for anything Hitchens.

Favorite Seattle drinking hole: I know I’ve ended up at the Duchess Tavern more than anywhere else. It’s really hard to say I actually like anything about that place, but I guess my actions speak for me.

Best show you have ever seen: Bad Religion at RKCNDY in like 1996 was a life-changer.

If you could play a gig with two other bands, who would they be: In a fantasy scenario where we can choose anyone? M. Ward and Simon and Garfunkel. They’d probably want us to open that bill, and I think we’d be OK with that. Afterwards, they’d want to stay up late talking about music, and probably buy us milkshakes or something, and tell me how they are actually big fans of ours too.

Biggest celebrity crush: I dunno, is Alyssa Milano still alive? I think the last time I had a proper celebrity crush, “Who’s The Boss” was still a big part of my life.

Drink of choice: Apple cider vinegar and honey.

Guiltiest tv pleasure: The League. I don’t watch football, or play fantasy football, but I love that show anyway.

Last thing you do before sleep: I take the dog out for a romp in the yard. He’s a restless little dude.

Make sure you catch this duo at The Timbrrr Fest on January 9th 2014, as well as many more upcoming dates throughout the Pacific Northwest. Check out their site and subscribe for all updates HERE

INTERVIEW: Jón Björn Árnason Of OurLives

October 24, 2014

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I’m lucky enough to run across some pretty beautiful music doing what I do, and frankly most of it the general public will never hear. And then some albums come along (very few), and literally paralyze me; I can’t stop listening to them. With that, I give you the album “Den Of Lions” by OurLives. Without exaggeration , I have ridden their musical cloud all the way to the other side of the rainbow and back numerous times in the last couple weeks. And I do mean from beginning to end. It’s bliss every time.

I was smitten and wanted to know more about the band and album, so I hope you enjoy this gem that literally deserves to be heard by everyone. I want nothing more than to see this band grace the largest stages in the world. Yes, I personally feel like, they are that good.

I hope you enjoy this interview, and even more so. Their music. (BUY COLLECTORS VINYL HERE)

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Jón Björn (Bjössi) and I play bass, keys and do some backing vocals in Ourlives.

What is your everday occupation?
I run a welding company with my father. We do a lot of different work, all out of iron (for example: railings, car trailers, etc.). I love my work.

What do you think Iceland brings to your music?
We’ve been asked this question a few times, and to be fair I still don’t know. I sometimes say that Iceland brings out a little bit of edge in our music, but to be honest I don’t know.

Seems that everything out of Iceland is very ethereal and beautiful. I’m not sure I’ve heard anything dirty or raw. Why do you think this is?
First off, thank you for this description of Icelandic music, but I can assure you that are a number of bands that I would describe as dirty or raw in Iceland. There are a lot of bands in Iceland, even though there are only 320,000 people that live here.

But again, I appreciate the gesture from you in regards to our music.

I was pleasantly surprised it was in English? Why that decision?
When we were growing up we listened mostly to music in English, and when we started doing songs our music sounded better to us in English. We have also always aimed for the stars, and the stars can relate to English better than Icelandic.

The album is incredibly gorgeous, but the song “Out Of Place”, kinda got me emotional. What’s the story behind that song?

Thank you very much. “Out of Place” is a special song for me too, and it’s also one of the most effortless songs we’ve done so far. The idea of the words came when Leifur was singing “figure it out” in a demo of the song, (we normally sing jibberish in the first demo, but in the middle of one of the verses he said these words) and I kind off took the words and started from there. The chorus started the song for me. For me it’s a rather tentative love song with a obvious twist to it.

Spartan Records of Seattle put this album ‘Den of Lions’ out. How did this come about?
John Frazier from Spartan Records heard our music four years ago, when he was visiting Iceland, and we have been working together ever since then. He has been a huge influence on us and we feel very proud to be part of Spartan Records.

Have you spent anytime in Seattle? if so, what do you like about it?/If not, what do you know about it?
I’ve never been to Seattle, but I’m 100% coming over at some point. We are destined to play some shows in Seattle as I’ve listened to music from Seattle all my life, and now I’m on a Seattle based label.
What I know about Seattle has mostly to do with music, as obviously all the legendary great grunge bands are from Seattle, but also a lot of bands that I’ve listened to over the years, bands like Foo Fighters, These Arms Are Snakes, Blood Brothers, Band of Horses, to name a few.
But my personal favorite Seattle band is Sunny Day Real Estate, they were a huge influence on me many years ago. “Diary” was huge for me when I was young.

Touring ….what’s the plan?
We are recording new songs so that is where our head is at right now. We want to finish a new album worth off material as soon as we can, as song writing is going well right now, so that is the plan right now. But I can tell you that in November we are playing some shows in Iceland, so if you are visiting for the Iceland Airwaves festival, come and say hello to us.

In 3 words, how do you describe this album?
Ambitious, hopeful, pessimistic

Thank you!

INTERVIEW: LP AT NEUMOS 9/18/14

September 16, 2014

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LP is one of the best singer songwriters in the music scene today; her voice captivates, and her energy is electric. She will be taking the stage at Neumos on Thursday night (Odessa opens), and I was able to ask her some questions about music, fashion and Vicci Martinez. Do not miss this show!

You’re well on your way to stardom, and you said you never wanted to conform. Being with a major, isn’t that difficult?

It can be. But whenever you are in a collaborative situation wether it be a song, an album or the marketing of an album there are compromises and concessions you have to make. That’s just what happens when you mix business and art in my opinion. If you put it out on your own then you don’t which is awesome but it hasn’t been my path.

Speaking of conforming … would you have ever performed on a show like American Idol to catapult your career?

No but I don’t think that is necessarily conforming. I think people are very brave to do it.

Artists always mention growth. What is growth to you?

Growth is forcing yourself to keep going through difficult times (ie: failure and even success) mentally and emotionally as an artist. To tap into what you are feeling and express it through the truest filter of your mind and get to a new place for you even if it’s not new to someone else.

How do you differentiate when writing …what song you want and what your going to pitch to another artist?

When I’m writing sometimes I’m with the other artist which is always clearly defined. When I’m not I sometimes will be there because we’re writing for someone else. But when I just start writing and it’s coming out a certain way I usually know. There’s a familiarity like an old friend or something that resonates with my soul. Or it’s just too high for anyone else to sing . Lol

Speaking of which … I was a huge fan of The Hills (gaydar alert). How was it writing for Heidi Montag? Do you research the person you write for? or just write off the cuff?

I didn’t write those songs with her in mind. I had written a bunch of songs with a producer she was working with and when she heard them she loved them and just kept wanting more of them and hiring me as a vocal producer on them so it was totally cool with me. She’s a very nice person as well.

I am in awe of the writing and of course the singing of SIA. Thoughts?

I think she is amazing and has found the perfect balance as far as being a writer and an artist in her own right . I think she’s done it unlike anyone yet. It’s inspiring.

Now that your in the spotlight and not just writing, does it fuck with your head that people like your for LP and not for Laura?

Not at all . My name is LP and I don’t really like being called Laura as it does not feel like my name anymore. I didn’t know that would happen but it did. I might even change my name to LP as a first name legally.

Your style is fucking tits-bingo! Who are your style icons?

Thanks! Well I love the Beatles early 60’s style, Mick Jagger, Serge Gainsbourg , Brian Ferry, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix.

Favorite piece of clothing?

I’d have to say my Carol Cristian Poell boots and Saint Laurent blazer.

What is your idea of quintessential beauty in a woman?

Just natural grace. Inner beauty of course and the outer don’t hurt either. ;)

You homies with Vicci Martinez (Tacoma), you wrote a song for her?

I met her once at Sayers Club in LA after I sang. She was super cool and nice.

Any favorite Seattle spots?

Well u know I only really hung out at the W last time cuz we had a gig and a photo shoot and that was it! But I do love that W dammit!!

Debut album Forever For Now out now. BUY TIX HERE

Upcoming LP tour dates are as follows:

09/18 Seattle, WA Neumos

09/19 Vancouver, Canada Fortune Sound Club

09/20 Portland, OR Alhambra Theatre

09/21 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall

09/23 Santa Ana, CA Constellation Room

09/24 San Diego, CA Casbah

09/26 Los Angeles, CA Roxy Theatre

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