Artists

Guest Mixtape + Interview / COYOL “Farmers’ Almanac”

roomcoyol

To start with, I owe this band a huge apology.

They sent me their mixtape a year and a half ago. It took me months to set up the interview them, and (after briefly thinking the audio was lost with my stolen computer) finished transcribing it this past fall.  And now at long last it is now here for you to see/hear/read.  Thankfully, the songs are timeless and the theme is rather timely with the new year, making changes, etc.

I am not exaggerating when I say that this is one of my favorite mixes I’ve ever received. I mean, all of them have a special place in my heart, both because they were created for me, and I always appreciate how no matter what my musical horizons are challenged or expanded (often both).  The tracks included in “Farmers’ Almanac,” however, are probably the closest to my personal taste.  And not just a genre I’m partial to, but a genre that has a tendency to elicit strong emotions from deep inside my being.  At least three of the artists on here have moved me to tears with their songs.

It does make sense though, as the music COYOL themselves make is not unlike what you will hear on this mix.  Perhaps with a dash of the American Southwest, to spice things up.  A write-up in Black Book Magazine this past fall praises “the fantastic arrangement that seems just a little yet perfectly off and the oddly beautiful lyrics that stick with you long after each track.”
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / Greylag “The Essence of the Pacific Northwest”

Photo Credit: Greylag

It’s true that there are no shortage of emotive folk artists in the world, but that certainly does not negate their ability to make an impact.

Take Greylag for example; the band has captured such purity in their music that it is impossible not to connect with them.  Minimal and raw, their debut EP, The Only Way To Kill You, is far too short to do justice to the depth of emotion that the band is capable of.

In a way that I can’t quite describe (maybe because I haven’t been myself) it makes complete sense for them to pay homage to the Pacific Northwest with their mix.  Yes, the band is based in Portland, but the relationship is deeper than that.  Their whole “musical aura” seems to be the color of gloomy skies, and the feel of a cool drizzle on your skin.
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / LA Font “Garage Rock To Clean Out The Garage To”

Photo Credit: Noé Arteaga

I recently declared that this blog was going to be all about me.  Well, that’s kind of true here.  Yes, this post features a mixtape from the class clowns of the Los Angeles music scene, LA Font, but I’m going to start by talking about a book that I am reading.

Considering how many times I’ve recommended it, it’s embarrassing that I’m just over halfway through it, but Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad is a must read for any music writer (or fan).  Particularly if you like indie rock. Or punk rock. Or garage rock.  Which brings me to LA Font.
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / Vanaprasta: Songs from Bands Who Have Thumped Our Skulls Live

By Amanda DK

Photo Credit: Dylan Bell

It’s no big secret that artists need to have solid live show to be successful. Similarly, it’s always a disappointment when a great album does not translate to a dynamic live show.Los Angeles quintet Vanaprasta does not have that issue.  For the past few years the band has built a strong reputation almost entirely by their larger than life stage presence. They are a fixture on the music scene here, turning heads at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in 2010 and impressing audiences at their Satellite residency this past November. Nor are they strangers to the national arena; Vanaprasta made waves at this year’s CMJ Festival and have played at least a couple shows at every SXSW since 2009, really taking the festival by storm in 2011 with a total of eight shows during their time in Austin.
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Guest Mixtape + Interview / The Barr Brothers: Songs We Are Thankful For

By Amanda DK 

Photo Credit: Andre Guerette

Music and setting have always been very closely linked. For example, it’s common knowledge that Bon Iver wrote For Emma, Forever Ago in a cabin in Wisconsin.  That isolated, icy sound translated into the music and now, who can listen to those songs and not be transported to a snowy forest?

Certain concerts are made that much more memorable or magical by the location too – TV On The Radio at the Hollywood Bowl, Milo Greene in a living room.

The combination of location and timing plays a role in the affect music has on us as well. I will never forget seeing Local Natives for free at Spaceland (now the Satellite) during their residency. I had barely heard of them and was totally blown away. Considering the venues they went on to play the following year (including Walt Disney Concert Hall) it’s an incredible memory to have seen them on the tiny, sparkling Silverlake stage.

I was in the right place at the right time.

It was a serendipitous combination of location and timing that led me to The Barr Brothers as well – not only my personal discovery of the band, but it’s very formation.  And the music itself even evokes a specific sense of place.

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