acoustic

Now Digging / Laney Jones

Laney Jones Grey Fox 2013

I am a sucker for songs with a catchy hook and a whole lot of heart. This tune by Florida-based songstress, Laney Jones starts off with earnest acoustic guitar, building momentum until an electronic beat kicks in at the chorus. When in the wrong hands this sort of genre switcheroo can be a sloppy let down; when done well, a cathartic dance floor anthem that makes you sing-along and shake your booty (e.g. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii / Aloe Blacc).
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Tadpole Audio Presents…Love Letters To LA: Pianos Live

By Amanda DK

Have you noticed anything different about Los Angeles lately?  Something unusual, out of place?  An infestation, if you will, but one…that is musical in nature?

For the past couple weeks the city has become home for the latest installation of Play Me, I’m Yours, a sprawling, free public art installation, where 30 pianos painted by local artists will be placed in high-traffic public spaces around the city – and anyone can play them! The project was conceived by a London artist, then went to NYC, and is now in Los Angeles.  You can view all the piano locations here – most of them can be found Downtown, but there are a few mid-city, a couple in Santa Monica, even ones in Torrance and Burbank.  The piano I would especially like to point out to you is outside of the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
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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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RIYL Mixtape / Laura Veirs :: Summer Love

RIYL Mixtapes: Because sometimes the best way to get to know a new artist is to use them in a sentence.

I’ve decided to do RIYL Mixtapes a little differently.  The first one started with an excellent new band and put them in a playlist with more known names, but then I realized that it’s probably a better idea to start with an artist people are more familiar with and go from there.

RIYL: Laura Veirs

This mixtape begins with Colorado native, Laura Veirs.  Her latest effort July Flame landed her on many Best of 2010 lists, including NPR, Paste, American Songwriter, and a slew of other blogs (including this one).  The album is quiet and organic.  Veirs draws you into such an intimate listening experience with her pure voice that, when finished, you can’t help feel woken from a beautiful trance.  Since the album is an ode to the fleeting sweetness of the summer, it seemed appropriate to introduce several other songstresses and artists in a play on that theme, specifically, summer love: exciting, hot, and often fading with the season itself.  Mixtape below.

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