indie

Sessions At The Steps / Act As If [VIDEO]

Act As If_PressPhoto1.1In this line of work I meet a lot of artists. Most of them seem like they happily stumbled into a licensing deal and my presence. Not so with Peter Verdell, who is one of the most professional, savvy, driven and hardest-working musicians I’ve ever encountered…in addition to being a brilliant songwriter and talented performer with his band, Act As If. He is someone I both enjoy being around and cannot wait to do business with.

Since the right opportunity for a film or TV project has yet to arise, asking him to perform at my house for the very first installment of a new showcase series would have to do. It was a huge honor to host Peter, Sarah and Derek for the inaugural Sessions At The Steps, where they played stripped down versions of tunes from their latest album, Steady, for an intimate and appreciative group of music industry professionals.
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Now Digging / Andrew St. James

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Photo Credit: Cara Robbins

The kids these days. They are getting younger, wiser and more talented. Some of them are even extremely humble and kind. Specifically I am talking about Andrew St. James, a poet out of San Francisco who, at the age of 19, released his second (not his first) LP titled The Shakes in December.

He must get remarks like this all the time, but at the age of 19 I was a peon in the college theater ecosystem and making terrible decisions with regards to men.
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Neat Tracks / The Ceremonies “Land Of Gathering”

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A key determining factor in whether we keep a song in our library vs. commit it to the big trash bin in the sky (or cloud) is whether or not a song has changes.  Is it dynamic?  Does it go anywhere?  Does the tempo change?  Does the arrangement change?  It’s usually the songs that take me on a ride that catch my attention.

Such it is with The Ceremonies.  One of my favorite EPs of last year, I can’t quite pin them down.  The Ceremonies inject standard indie pop rock with a hot dose of slide guitar and some hootin’ and hollerin’ careening from shouts to whispers, horns to harmonies, and more.  “Land of Gathering” reminds me of Local Natives, “Straw Hat” has notes of a less epic AgesandAges or Typhoon (with some sexy sax).

The Ceremonies “Land Of Gathering”

TA Mixtape / An Ode to Autumn, from East to West (with Kan Wakan, Fossil Collective, Hurray for the Riff Raff and more…)

Godfrey Pond in Weston, CT
Godfrey Pond in Weston, CT

I find it pretty difficult to get into the holiday spirit here in Los Angeles.  I’m assuming this is because I was born and raised on the east coast, where the scenery at this time of year is not unlike what one would find on a postcard.  To be fair though I’ve never actually asked a native what defines Thanksgiving or Christmas to them.

Is Thanksgiving just a very large and specific meal, without the connotation of fall colors and a chill in the air?
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