rock

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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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”

Neat Tracks / NONONO “Pumpin’ Blood”

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I have to admit, I don’t understand a lot of “popular” dance music. It’s repetitive and doesn’t go anywhere, and the vocals are frequently one-note.  There is no emotion, let alone an emotional arc to a song. Usually it’s the songs that I know and can sing along to that are my favorite to dance to, but every so often a curveball lands in my inbox.

Okay so, it’s possible that “Pumpin’ Blood” doesn’t really count as an electronic/dance song in the same way that “Clarity” or  “Titanium” does, and NONONO is not grouped in the same category as David Guetta but man, that song is my jam.

I can’t get enough of the combo of synth, whistles, percussion and (I think?) acoustic guitar, putting NONONO pretty squarely in the realm of electro pop/rock.  Not only am I compelled to jump out of my seat, a huge smile is on my face every time I hit repeat. It is exuberant and driving at the same time, and thankfully the rest of the EP doesn’t disappoint.

NONONO “Pumpin’ Blood”

Neat Tracks / Bombay Bicycle Club “Shuffle”

Not doing anything tonight?  Live in Los Angeles?  Dig the track below? Brit rockers Bombay Bicycle Club will be at the Fonda tonight with Vacationer.  It is bound to be a refreshing end to your Wednesday.  How can you not bop while listening to this song? File Under: Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Animal Collective, bouncy, sparkly, lush, electronic, pop
 
Bombay Bicycle Club “Shuffle”

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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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