Jeff Penfield Preview Israel Nash's Silver Season <p>Israel Nash has been a traveler so far in his musical career. Born and raised in Missouri, he moved to New York to start a music career. Even with initial success in Europe, he moved from New York to a 25 acre ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas, leaving the big city and delving deeper into analog recording technology.</p> <p>Using his nomadic experience, he crafted a deeply atmopheric and lush album<em> Israel Nash's Rain Plans</em> in 2013. He returns again with <em>Israel Nash's Silver Season</em>, out on Loose/Thirty Tigers on Friday, transporting the listener through space and time using his experience around the country as inspiration. The first single "LA Lately" exemplifies this spirit. Nash says, "'LA Lately' is a track that was written on the road while we were leaving LA after my first headline show. There is something magical about that city and the song is all about our experience. From getting there, to being there, and -as we do- moving along and leaving too. No shame, this is an LA song." Truly, with sounds that transport you to Laurel Canyon in the late 1960's, the song represents Los Angeles.</p> <p>Listen to the album in full before it hits stores!</p> <div align="center"><iframe src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="450" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></div> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:00:00 -0700 Jimmy Page Finishes Zeppelin Re-Masters <p>Jimmy Page released the final three re-mastered albums from Led Zeppelin on July and fans received one final look into the band’s recording sessions.</p> <p>On Presence, the band displayed their live prowess as they powered through recording seven songs in just eighteen days. Their most straightforward rock and roll release, the album featured no keyboards and only one rhythm acoustic guitar on “Candy Store Rock”. Due to the limited schedule, the companion disc does not offer as many nuggets as the previous re-masters, but it does include an early look at the next album with the piano track “10 Ribs &amp; All/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod)” and dirty vocals on “Royal Orleans”.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>In Through The Out Door was the final album from the band before John Bonham’s sudden death in 1980. It marked a very different direction as the album was filled with more processed sound and keyboards than any record before it. It still kicked off with the band’s standard explosive start on “In The Evening”. From there, they went into mellow tracks not guided by acoustic guitars like the early days. Instead, John Paul Jones led them into the upcoming decade with keyboards. Robert Plant’s voice shined through literally and figuratively as he headed the creative direction of “Fool In The Rain” and “All My Love”.</p> <p>The final Led Zeppelin album came about from their record contract, which required them to record one more album even though Bonham had passed away. Jimmy looked through the band’s outtakes from their 11 year run and found enough to make a new album released in 1982 called Coda. For the re-masters, Jimmy may have chosen the best demo and rare cuts of any release. On the first companion disc, he included a few demos of tracks from Coda along with most of the other songs the band released as b-sides, including “Hey Hey What Can I Do?” The second disc starts off with an indian orchestra performing two Zeppelin songs. Robert and Jimmy sat out on “Four Sticks” but accompanied the orchestra on “Friends”. The rest of the disc includes a new instrumental jam “St. Tristan’s Sword” and a shorter, bluesier version of “Bring It On Home”.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>The final re-masters leave the impression that the last three albums left originally: what would become of Led Zeppelin in the 1980. We never found out as Robert, Jimmy, and John Paul Jones went their separate ways. We can still dream though, can’t we?</p> Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:15:03 -0700 The Rebirth Of Jason Isbell <div align="center"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="jasonisbell copy" width="600" height="375"></div> <p>One of the best new albums of the year comes out today from emerging singer-songwriter Jason Isbell. He's had a successful career to this point, but his re-birth over his last two albums has been nothing short of extraordinary.</p> <p>That's not to say his work in Drive-By Truckers or solo with the 400 Unit isn't as good. His latest efforts, though, show a man re-born with a fresh perspective on life. Much of his evolution tracks back to February 2012, when his manager, soon to be wife Amanda Shires, and Ryan Adams confronted him about an issue that has affected many great musicians: substance abuse. He went to rehab and returned with a new stable of songs for Southeastern, including "Stockholm".</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>Now comes "Something More Than Free" with subtle lyrics dealing with many of the emotions of being a progressive man from the south. He sings about concepts of freedom and identity, themes not only from his new life but also much of the discourse in the US over the last year. His music comes out as genre bending but unique. Not quite Americana, not quite rock, he melds a sound that connects directly to his lyrics. "24 Frames" is just one of the tracks that encapsulates this blend.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>With a new album, a new baby due in Septemeber, and a new look at life, we'll see how continues to grow as a musician and songwriter in the coming years.</p> <p>See Jason as he performs live when KCSN Presents him at The Wiltern on August 12th. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here to purchase tickets.</a></p> <p> </p> Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:00:00 -0700 2015 First Half Recap <p>Hard to believe it but 2015 is already half way over. There has been a ton of great new music this year so what has been some of the best?</p> <p><strong>Laura Marling</strong> helped kick off the year with a gorgeous new album <em>Short Movie</em>, featuring the song "False Hope".</p> <div align="center"><object width="575" height="324" bgcolor="#000000" data=";playlist=false&amp;autoplay=0&amp;playerId=null&amp;playerType=embedded&amp;env=0&amp;cultureName=en_us&amp;cultureIsRTL=False" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="wmode" value="transparent"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="src" value=";playlist=false&amp;autoplay=0&amp;playerId=null&amp;playerType=embedded&amp;env=0&amp;cultureName=en_us&amp;cultureIsRTL=False"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></object></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>Father John Misty's</strong> sophomore release <em>I Love You, Honeybear</em> is even better than his first with just as many interesting song titles like "Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)"</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>We're happy to see our good friends <strong>Dawes</strong> continue to evolve on their latest release <em>All Your Favorite Bands</em>. We can't get "Things Happen" out of our heads.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>So how about the rest of the year? Well, <strong>Beck</strong> released a new track "Dreams", which will be on his next album. The phrase song of the summer may be a bit cliche, but this one certainly fits the bill.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>There's still much more to come from <strong>Coldplay</strong>, <strong>Jason Isbell,</strong> and more! So is there any new music you're excited for heading into the second half of the year?</p> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:00:00 -0700 Celebrating U2 At The Forum <div align="center"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="u2wide2014" width="400" height="243"></div> <p>I get it now.</p> <p>For years, people around me either praised or derided <strong>U2</strong>. To me, at least, no one seemed to be in the middle. They either loved the band or hated them. The controversial release of <em>Songs Of Innocenc</em>e did them no favors either. I liked them, but they weren't high on my list of greatest bands.</p> <p>After seeing their show at The Forum last Wednesday, however, I know where I stand. Never have I seen a band welcome the crowd and keep their attention quite like U2. Yes, they have all the amenities of the biggest band in the world: a giant wak through video board, a huge custom stage, more roadies than you can image, and more. Yes, Bono demands your attention as the frontman. Yes, this was an inspired show after their friend and tour manager Dennis Sheehan's death. Even with all that considered, I get it now. I love U2.</p> <p>This is a band who's heart is still in their hometown of Dublin. They still carry the violent memories of terrorism in their homeland from their youth. Bono described the inspiration to the new songs, many incorporating those themes, and allowed them to highlight the early part of the performance. The band clearly knows the position they are in. Their work with (RED) continues with their special ticketed area on the floor and their message of peace permiated the show. Looking back, they told a story: a story about the band, about a country, and, above all else, human nature in just a few short hours through their music.</p> <p>You can still bash U2 all you want, say they're over the hill, or whatever. I'm just going to keep rocking out to their music and help spread their message of peace and understanding.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> Wed, 03 Jun 2015 12:00:00 -0700 An Oasis Reunion On The Horizon? <p>Any artistic endeavor requires a great deal of passion to complete. When you work in a team, egos must be handled and emotions kept under control. We know all too well this doesn’t always happen in the music world, however one of the longest feuds may be coming to an end.</p> <p>For the first time since their breakup, <strong>Oasis</strong> appears to have an outside chance. <strong>Noel Gallagher</strong>, on tour with his group <strong>High Flying Birds</strong>, stated in recent interviews that he is open to a reunion...for a price that is. Then his brother <strong>Liam</strong>, who recently broke up his band <strong>Beady Eye</strong>, tweeted this:</p> <div align="center"> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p>Keeping it in the family...LG x <a href=""></a></p> — Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) <a href="">March 14, 2015</a></blockquote> </div> <p>So how does this compare to historical feuds? Well, the <strong>Eagles</strong> had a long running feud that broke up the most successful American rock band in history for 14 years. The disagreements were so bad that <strong>Don Henley</strong> consistently said the band would reunite when “hell freezes over”. Of course their reunion album was aptly titled <em>Hell Freezes Over</em> and the band continues to tour today.</p> <p><strong>Pink Floyd</strong>, on the other hand, could never get over their issues. <strong>Roger Waters</strong> increased his songwriting control in the group throughout the 1970’s to the point that <strong>David Gilmour</strong> received no writing credits on 1982’s <em>The Final Cut</em>. Waters left the band and attempted to keep Gilmour and <strong>Nick Mason</strong> from using the name. They reunited once since that album, however the band appears to have cut all ties after releasing last year’s outtakes album <em>The Endless River</em>.</p> <p>So what do you think? Is Oasis bound to be the next Pink Floyd? Or will they come back better than ever like the Eagles?</p> Mon, 16 Mar 2015 16:08:43 -0700 Physical Graffiti's 40th Anniversary <div align="center"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="LZPG PS 300dpi RGB copy" width="400" height="400"></div> <p> <br>1975 was when <strong>Led Zeppelin</strong> reached their peak. Sure, their second and fourth albums receive more praise, but Zeppelin truly ruled the world in 1975. Their new label <strong>Swan Song</strong> released <strong>Bad Company</strong>’s debut platinum record the year before. All five of their albums had gone platinum and they were selling out stadiums. <strong>Earls Court</strong>, the largest venue in the UK, sold out five nights of shows, each of which would last over three hours.</p> <p>Behind Led Zeppelin’s wonderful year of 1975 was <strong><em>Physical Graffiti</em></strong>. The double album was the most expansive musically with their standard blues rock along with folk, boogie piano, new technology, and even a few Middle Eastern influenced songs. It was some of their most polished work but also one of their loosest albums with sounds from the studio between tracks, including the plane flying overhead before recording <strong>“Black Country Woman”</strong>.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>To celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary, <strong>Atlantic Records</strong> released a remastered deluxe version of the record. Jimmy Page beautifully remastered the record much like he did for the first five Led Zeppelin albums. The companion disc holds early versions of songs like <strong>“Houses Of The Holy”</strong> and <strong>“Trampled Underfoot”</strong>, which was originally labeled <strong>“Brandy And Coke”</strong>.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>More information on the remasters is available at <strong><a href="" target="_blank"></a></strong>.</p> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:03:40 -0800 Guest Post - Around the Dial: A Personal Appreciation of KCSN <div align="center"><img class="center" title="" src="" alt="jeffhirsch2" width="220" height="228"></div> <p>I fell in love with rock music and radio at an early age. Like all great love affairs, the peaks have been exhilarating and the setbacks deeply disappointing. Eventually, I was resigned to a comfortable but passionless relationship as the years went by and radio seemed to lose all interest in me.</p> <p>Where did the excitement go? Was I, along with my follow baby boomers doomed to spend my middle age listening to the same handful of classic rock hits over and over again? Or worse, tune into the artificial, overly produced, formulaic songs of the pop divas or watered down country music hits?</p> <p>There still had to be great music out there, but it was hard to find on the dial. Here in Los Angeles, we had KCRW, a NPR affiliate that played music from 9 ‘til Noon on a show called “Morning Becomes Eclectic.” A blend of indie rock and world music, there was a lot to discover and enjoy there. It was much better than anything else on the radio, but there was only three hours of it each day and it was a bit esoteric and hit and miss for my tastes.</p> <p>Things got much more interesting for several years after Nic Harcourt took over the show. An Englishman, a one-time wannabe rocker who spent several years in Australia before discovering his calling as a DJ and music programmer in Woodstock, NY, Nic had a distinctive voice, impeccable taste and a singular talent for recognizing great music. He was the first to play bands like Nora Jones, Coldplay, David Gray, Franz Ferdinand and others.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>He eventually gave up the grind of the morning show, but still hosted a Sunday night show for the station. Then one day he was gone completely, fired suddenly for doing a one-hour show, for no pay, on a small, public, college radio station called KCSN. I had never heard of it, but having read about his controversial firing, I made my way a bit further left on the dial to 88.5 to see what the fuss was about.</p> <p>I was fortunate to find Nic back on the air every morning, and learned that the station had brought on veteran music executive and radio personality Sky Daniels as General Manager, chief programmer and afternoon drive time DJ. He gave KCSN a distinctive sound like no other blending the thrill of discovery with the pleasures of rediscovery, something entirely different from nostalgia.</p> <p>KCSN plays a good deal of classic rock, but it’s not “Stairway To Heaven” all day every day. They’ll play The Kinks, but you’ll more than likely hear a deep cut from “The Village Green Preservation Society” instead of “Lola.” Bruce Springsteen will pop up every now and then, but you’re more likely to hear his cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “Trapped” or the very early “Incident On 57<sup>th</sup> Street” rather than “Born To Run.”  The station programs old music in a way that’s intelligent and stimulating, decidedly not mind numbing, repetitive or wistful.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>If those deep cuts were all they played, it would still be an improvement over everything else on the air. But now I’ve got Spotify on my iPhone, and I’m damn good at curating playlists of old and delightfully obscure songs myself.</p> <p>The greatest pleasure I derive from KCSN is the new music. It’s exhilarating to be connected to the freshness of young artists like Dawes, Real Estate, Cage The Elephant, War On Drugs, Laura Marling, Edward Sharpe &amp; The Magnetic Zeroes and Courtney Barnett.</p> <p>Maybe the thrill isn’t as intense as sneaking my transistor radio into bed as a 10-year-old to listen to the sounds of the British Invasion until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore, or when the free-form, album oriented format of WNEW-FM emerged in the late sixties with seminal DJ’s Rosko, Jonathan Schwartz, Zacharly and Allison (The Night Bird) Steele.</p> <p>Still, hearing KCSN for the first time reminded me of a time in the late 70’s when I was back living in New York, working at my first job after grad school in an ad agency, with the dreaded disco era in full swing. One morning day I was awakened by my clock radio, tuned to WNEW-FM of course, to be mesmerized by a raw, driven sound that was kind of like my favorite 60’s garage bands on steroids. The New Wave had arrived and young guy from England named Elvis Costello rocked my world.</p> <p>It’s been a very long time since I felt that way. But thanks to KCSN, radio is as compelling as ever. </p> Fri, 06 Feb 2015 14:16:05 -0800 Song Similarities - Coincidence? <p dir="ltr">Have you ever heard a song you could swear was based off of someone else’s work? Every once in a while a hit song seems too good to be true.</p> <p>Sam Smith had a smash hit with “Stay With Me”, but publisher’s of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “I Won’t Back Down” felt the chorus matched to closely. In this case, Sam Smith’s publisher has settled to add Petty and the song’s co-writer, ELO’s Jeff Lynne, to the songwriting credit. Smith’s rep says that the similarity was a complete coincidence. Listen to both songs below:</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>In some cases, these fights don’t come to an easy end and last decades. Spirit’s Randy California claimed that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” ripped off “Taurus”, which was released two years earlier. Last year, California’s estate sued Led Zeppelin for songwriting credits and the band has fought the accusation. Take a listen for yourself below:</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>So what do you think when you hear about copyright infringement? Do you think bands intentionally take other material or is it mere coincidence?</p> <p><em><strong>UPDATE</strong></em></p> <p>So Tom Petty has weighed in on the settlement and he did it in classic Tom Petty fashion. Check out his response below:</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;"><em>About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam.  All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen.  Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by.  Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement.  The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention.  And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself.  Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this.  A musical accident no more no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.</em></p> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:56:50 -0800 Best Music Coming In 2015 <p>Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed the Top 50 Album countdown on New Year’s Eve. If you missed out, <a href="[sitetree_link,id=191]" target="_blank">check out the full list</a>. So what about the best coming in 2015?</p> <p>The list has to start out with <strong>The Decemberists</strong>. They announced their new album <em>What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World</em> with lead singer Colin Meloy busking on the streets during the CMJ Conference in October.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>The album comes out January 20th. Here’s the first single “Make You Better”, featuring Nick Offerman in the music video.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>Father John Misty</strong> also made waves with his introduction of his upcoming album <em>I Love You, Honeybear</em>, out February 10th, with his eccentric performance of “Bored In The USA” on Letterman.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Let’s not forget about good friends of KCSN <strong>The Lone Bellow</strong>. Their new album <em>Then Came The Morning</em> Comes Out January 27th. Here’s the title track.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>So what new releases are you excited for in the new year?</p> Fri, 02 Jan 2015 12:13:15 -0800 Dream Collaborations <p>Earlier this week <strong>Robert Plant</strong> had a Facebook Q&amp;A when he released <em><strong>lullaby...And The Ceaseless Roar</strong></em> and he discussed his admiration for <strong>Jack White</strong>. He even went as far as saying he'd like to record a song with White when he visits Nashville. Unfortunately, White is still on tour and nothing will come from the comment now, but you never know down the road.</p> <p>This isn't Plant's first time collaborating with another top notch musician. Who can forget <strong><em>Raising Sand</em></strong>, the multi-Grammy winning album he recorded with <strong>Allison Krauss</strong> and <strong>T Bone Burnett</strong>. They brought life back a number of American classics like <strong>"Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)"</strong>.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Sometimes these collaborations can become long term projects. <strong>The Shins' James Mercer</strong> and uber-producer <strong>Danger Mouse</strong> released a second <strong>Broken Bells</strong> record earlier this year. <strong><em>After The Disco</em></strong> included the <strong>Bee Gees</strong> sounding chorus on <strong>"Holding On For Life"</strong>, something you coiuldn't imagine either producing on their own.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>So what collaboration do you want to hear? Any other favorite collaborations from the past?</p> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:43:08 -0700 Way Over Yonder Festival 9/26 and 9/27 <p>Way Over Yonder, the west coast’s version of Newport Folk Fesitival, returns for it’s second year at the Santa Monica Pier September 26th and 27th and KCSN is proud to announce we will be the official radio sponsor. Good friend of KCSN Jackson Browne will headline with Local Natives, Lucinda Williams, Heartless Bastards, Houndmouth and more. Jackson is sure to bring some of his new tunes from his album out this fall along with his classics.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>Newport Folk Festival®, one of the longest running and most historic music festivals in the U.S.A, first went west last year with the debut of Way Over Yonder. Newport Folk® producer Jay Sweet says: "We can't wait to return to the Pier. We made so many new friends on the West Coast last year who made us feel right at home, we're looking forward to re-connecting and meeting a whole bunch more."</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The festival was met with open arms, spurring this year’s edition.  Martin Fleischmann of Way Over Yonder partner Rum &amp; Humble says “We’re thrilled to keep the Newport Folk tradition going, with a California spin to it.  This year is going to build upon the foundation we’ve laid for a truly spectacular boutique festival.”  In addition to the musical programming, and the many charms of the Santa Monica Pier, a carefully curated assortment of food and beverage vendors will be present to fortify the audience.   Additionally a sod seating area will increase audience comfort. </span></p> <p>Tickets are on sale now at Single day passes will cost as low as $35. Two-day passes start at $74 and will include almost 13 hours of music. Way Over Yonder will run from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm on September 26 and 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm on September 27. Premium ticket packages are also available.</p> <p>For more information on Way Over Yonder, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:00:00 -0700 Songs Of Summer 2014 <p>Every summer a song comes along that seems to fit right in for the season. Of course a number of songs declared "song of summer" lean a little poppy to outright catchy before getting old fast. Here are some songs destined to stick around, especially for this summer.</p> <p><strong>First Aid Kit's</strong> new album <strong><em>Stay Gold</em></strong> just looks and feels like summer. The warmth and optimisim of <strong>"Cedar Lane"</strong> fits perfectly with the season. This is a song to put on while relaxing on the porch watching the sun set on a cool summer night.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>The Shins</strong> had their big break when <strong>Zach Braff</strong> decided to include them on the <strong>Garden State</strong> soundtrack ten years ago. Now that a decade has passed, they come together again with <strong>"So What Now"</strong> on the soundtrack for <em><strong>Wish I Was Here</strong></em>. This song seems perfect for lounging on the beach or on a cruise with the top down.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>  </p> <p><strong>Ryan Adams</strong> has a late entry, and although the full album doesn't come until the fall, <strong>"Gimme Something Good"</strong> should be considered a summertime song. Straightforward and hopeful, this is another one to enjoy during your vacation.</p> <p><iframe src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p> </p> <p>So what songs jump out to you this summer?</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:00:00 -0700 Best Of What's Next In 2014 <p>The dog days of summer are upon us, but right around the corner will be a busy fall release schedule. Artists like Robert Plant, Ryan Adams, Delta Spirit, and more have new albums on the way, but here are some to keep an eye on.</p> <p><strong>Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers <em>Hypnotic Eye</em> - Out July 29th</strong></p> <p>Petty and co. have been quiet since 2010's <strong><em>Mojo</em></strong>, but they look to make a spash with their new album at the end of the month. The band is rocking again on tracks like <strong>"Red River"</strong>.</p> <p><iframe src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Tweedy <em>Sukierae</em> - Out September 16th</strong></p> <p>First rumors swirled that <strong>Jeff Tweedy</strong> of <strong>Wilco</strong> fame would release his first solo record this fall. Then, a few weeks later, came the first track <strong>"I'll Sing It"</strong> and the announcement that his son <strong>Spencer</strong> would be joining him on the drums and the group would simply go by Tweedy. Out on the road now, father and son already have lots of experience together when Spencer drums on <strong>Mavis Staple's</strong> album <strong>One True Vine</strong>, produced by Jeff.</p> <p><iframe src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Jenny Lewis <em>The Voyager</em> - Out July 29th</strong></p> <p>Bringing it back home to Los Angeles, Jenny Lewis made a name for herself first as a child actress then as the lead singer of <strong>Rilo Kiley</strong>. Now on her second solo album she's just trying to be one of the guys, at least according to the first song we heard from the new album. Here's the video for <strong>"Just One Of The Guys"</strong> starring <strong>Anne Hathaway</strong>, <strong>Kristen Stewart</strong>, and <strong>Brie Larson.</strong></p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>What are you excited for?</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:00:00 -0700 Art Or Advertisment? <p>Just before the weekend, the <a href="" target="_blank">LA Times posted a story</a> about <strong>Foster The People's</strong> giant mural on the side of a downtown building at 539 S. Los Angeles St. The mural was painted in anticipation of their latest album <strong>Supermodel</strong> and it mirrors the artwork for the album. They received permits from the city to paint it, however the permits were recinded last week. Why? The city claimed that is was an advertisement for the album, which is against city regulation. Late last night, thanks to a petition started after Friday's announcement, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has saved it from being removed.</p> <div align="center"><img title="" src="" alt="Supermodel Mural" width="500" height="500"></div> <p>This came a week after a mural in Philadelphia that was used as artwork for <strong>Kurt Vile's</strong> album <strong>Walkin On A Pretty Daze</strong> was painted over. The perpitrator who painted over the mural there said the it was attracting graffiti in the neighborhood.</p> <p>So that leads to this question: murals by musicians, artwork or advertisement?</p> <p>Looking at Foster The People's mural here in Los Angeles, there was no specific mention of the album on the mural. Although the painting of it was used in a promotional video and the band performed a special concert there, there was no further use to promote the release. Mark Foster, lead singer of the band, said he simply wanted to make a lasting impact on Los Angeles.</p> <p>The other way of looking at this is the mural was used to promote the album. Whether or not it mentions the album or the band, they used it for promotional purposes and it is, at the end of the day, the album cover. It implicitly is connected to Supermodel and could be considered an advertisement.</p> <p>So do you think this is art? Does a mural have to be specific to be considered an advertisement? Or does promotional use and implicit connections make it an oversized billboard?</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:20:33 -0700 Get Ready To Rock With Benjamin Booker <p>One day rock may actually die. We hear the proclamation "Rock Is Dead" time and time again, but it never seems to go away. Rock will never die as long as artists like Benjamin Booker are still around.</p> <p>The first thing you notice about Booker is energy. "Violent Shiver" kicks off with a blistering guitar rift and Booker's gritty voice takes a hold of your ears immediately.</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Digging into the music deeper, you hear more slick guitar work. He seamessly blends rock, punk, and New Orleans blues into one sound. Heck, he even throws in a little psychedelia close to the end of "Have You Seen My Son?"</p> <p> </p> <div align="center"><iframe src=";color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" frameborder="no" scrolling="no"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>For years, the burden fell on Jack White, who seems to singlehandedly perform every kind of rock imaginable. Lately we've seen more bands willing to give rock a chance. Benjamin Booker is one of those artists making a name for himself and rock will certainly never go away with him around. His self titled album on ATO Records comes out August 19th.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:35:10 -0700 Best From The First Half Of 2014 <p>2014 has been another great year in music. We've seen legends release another terrific album while up and comers surprised us with new classics. Here's a few of the best (in no particular order) since January.</p> <p><strong>Beck <em>Morning Phase</em></strong></p> <p>When Beck first released "Blue Moon", the first taste of his latest effort, we could tell it would have a California folk sound. It hearkens back to the days of Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Jackson Browne, and the many other Laurel Canyon musicians of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Deep and retrospective, this album will certainly end up at the top of many best of lists come December.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>St. Vincent <em>St. Vincent</em></strong></p> <p>Ms. Annie Clark, AKA St. Vincent, has been slowly training over the years. From her time in Polyphonic Spree to touring with Sufjan Stevens, she cultivated an eccentric sound when she went out on her own. Her first two albums turned a number of heads, but her third solo album brought her to the forefront of music today. She learned a number of lessons from her time with David Byrne and she made eccentric mainstream much like he did with Talking Heads. She can rock out with the best and proves she is one of the more skilled guitarists with songs like "Regret" and "Digital Witness".</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p><strong>War On Drugs <em>Lost In The Dream</em></strong></p> <p>After touring in support of <em>Slave Ambient</em>, Adam Granduciel, founder and bandleader, went into a deep depression. The songs that come out of the loneliness he felt went on to form the album. He recorded it across the country and created a number of different versions along the way. All the work and second guessing lead to another top notch effort that sounds like Dire Straits meets Bruce Springsteen. </p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>What do you feel deserves recognition so far in 2014? What upcoming releases are you excited for?</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 12:04:45 -0700 Let The Genesis Rumors Commence! <p>For a few months, whispers of a <strong>Genesis</strong> reunion have been floating around. Considering <strong>Peter Gabriel</strong> hasn't played with the band since 1982 and <strong>Phil Collins</strong>' "retirement" since 2011, they seemed to be nothing more than just rumors.</p> <p>After the past month, however, new revelations have fueled the fire and more signs emerge of an impending Genesis reunion. First, Collins <a href="" target="_blank">performed live for the first time since 2010 at Miami Country Day School</a> during its band recital after his sons asked him to join them on stage. He performed his classic <strong>"In The Air Tonight"</strong> along with Genesis tune <strong>"Land Of Confusion"</strong>.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p>Now <a href="" target="_blank">a new documentary is in production</a> called <strong>Genesis: Together And Apart</strong>. The biggest piece of news is Gabriel's involvement with the BBC produced project. Past reunions have come close to fruition, however Gabriel's busy schedule prevented a 30th anniversary tour for Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the closest the band came to hitting the road again. Unlike other bands rumored to reunite (*cough**cough* Led Zeppelin *cough**cough*), no one in Genesis has ever completely ruled out a tour. Only time will tell if more comes from this.</p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:55:20 -0700 Led Zeppelin Remasters Out Tuesday <p>Remember when bands just rocked out on stage? Before the frills? Of course they've always had to be entertainers, but every band starts with the basics. Led Zeppelin, who became showmen of the 1970s, started with nothing more than the four band mates on a stage.</p> <p>With the new Deluxe edition sets of their first three albums, we get a better look at their early, raw beginnings. Thus far, a large majority of the live releases from Robert, Jimmy, Bonzo, and Jonesy have been after 1970, when the double neck guitar, smoke machines, and 4 hour marathon shows became their staples. 2004's Led Zeppelin DVD caught a glimpse of the band at Royal Albert Hall right as they started transitioning to arenas. Raw in many respects, the performance showed how they could captivate an audience on their own. Although the bonus features also had early glimpses of the band, they were awkward TV performances that didn't seem to suit them, which led to no live TV appearances after 1969.</p> <p>With the bonus tracks included for the new release, we now get a better look at the band from their early days. Led Zeppelin I features live tracks from a show in France, the first live concert before 1970 released by the band. “Communication Breakdown” is blistering with dirty guitar licks from Jimmy Page and the powerful wails of a young Robert Plant.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>Led Zeppelin II offers a look into their recording process. Whole Lotta Love always seemed destined to be a rich track with layering unlike many bands before, but their demo shows how the band made changes along the way. Originally recorded without the now trademark chorus, they later change the chorus from the original Willie Dixon penned “You Need Love” to “Whole Lotta Love”, likely to avoid copyright issues that still came when the band settled with the bluesman in 1985. Also included is “La La”, an experimental track that foreshadows what was to come in 1970.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="420" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>The final installment of this set of re-releases is Led Zeppelin III, the album where the band showed their lighter side. The bonus disc here includes another inside look at the album’s roots. The alternate mix of “Immigrant Song” leaves out the reverb that made the song iconic.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p> </p> <p>A number of versions of deluxe editions go on sale Tuesday, June 3rd, including a 2-CD set and more multiple CD, Vinyl, and Digital formats available along with limited edition super deluxe boxed sets.</p> Fri, 30 May 2014 10:57:24 -0700 The Evolution Of Great Musicians <p class="p1">When you hear The Beatles, you know it's The Beatles. Same with David Bowie. Same with Pearl Jam. Oddly enough, the unique quality of these bands were their ability to evolve and change over their career. Many bands fail trying taking next step or finding a new direction. So what's the key to great musicians and their long term success? It's a complicated answer to say the least, but two artists just showed how do it: Ray LaMontagne and The Black Keys.</p> <p class="p2">LaMontagne has been a staple for folk rock over the past decade and every album seems to have a new ear catcher on it. With his new album, however, he explored new sounds by incorporating a 1960s vibe. "Supernova" seemed outside of his normal range with a catchy hook and slick production, but within the context of the album it makes perfect sense. He took on a psychedelic sound on "Lavender" while going a little country on "Ojai". His signature vocals obviously keep the songs his, but beyond that the music is still rooted in what he's created before. His outstanding lyrics are still there along with the folk sound that has always been his base.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p2">The Black Keys are following up from a blues rock album filled almost entirely with with catchy lyrics and straightforward songwriting.  This time, they delved into a more diverse song structure with a more exploratory sound, however their vocals and blues rock base remains. Yet again, a band found a way to expand their music while remaining true to their core sound.</p> <div align="center"><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></div> <p class="p2"> </p> <p class="p2">What musician do you think has successfully walked the line between exploration and staying true to their sound?</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 11:40:44 -0700