Once upon a time there was a pop band called Allstar Weekend. They were wildly popular, having toured all over the world and enjoying the perks of being a Disney-esque pop band. Then one day, they went into the studio to record a new album and realized they were a completely different band with a different sound than before. Thus began the transformation from AllStar Weekend to The Tragic Thrills.
Below is their newly released video for their single “Tears”
They’ve only played a handful of shows so far but if you like what you see (hear) you can catch them tonight (10/25) at the Bootleg with Irontom.
[Writer's Note: I had this written up forever ago and just never got around to posting it. No idea why but here it is]
The first thing you need to know about Gin Wigmore is that she is a badass. The second thing you need to know about her is that she kicks ass.
I first saw Gin Wigmore at Warped Tour in Pomona at the end of the day and although I wasn’t familiar with her, I decided to stick around and see what she was like. It was the best decision I made all day, apart from going on the slip and slide to cool down. Gin has a wonderfully gritty voice that is truly captivating and I found myself getting closer to the stage the longer she played. With her blending of jazz, soul, folk, blues, and rock, Gin and her band evoke a feeling of nostalgia, New Orleans, and good times. Her newest release Gravel and Wine (produced by Butch Walker) has been on a continual loop in my truck. Get yours and join the Gin Club.
“I think tonight I’ll be head banging in my sleep” – friend after seeing Irontom for the first time
The quote is particularly relevant as it came from someone who’s last shows with me were Joshua Radin, Rachael Yamagata, and Ryan Cabrera. Irontom is…well, not like that.
Yes, this band is full of young promising talent. Yes, the music is fresh and exciting. Yes, there are quite a few bands that could be described as such. What sets Irontom apart is the seductive energy that comes through every rockin’ guitar lick or dramatic flick of frontman Harry Hayes’ hands. There is something about the band that can make just about anyone feel the groove and start to dance. They are that band that the more you listen to, the more you crave.
I’ve seen the band twice in the last week, so my craving is pretty extreme. Fortunately, the band is playing again next week opening for The Parlotones: Monday (May 6th) in San Diego at The Griffin and Tuesday (May 7th) at The Roxy.
If you can’t make it to Southern California, here are some other links to help you get more familiar with Irontom. Their The Loose EP can be downloaded on iTunes and the band has a new EP coming out something this month. Friend, follow, etc the band to get the details!
LA band Scarlet Grey disappeared to London for over a year and now emerge reformed and renamed. Making music under the moniker Dear Boy, front man Ben Grey is now joined by Keith Cooper (drums), Austin Hayman (Guitar), and Nils Bue (Bass). The band has been very mysterious about the new sound and general vibe, releasing a few largely uninformative teasers over the last few months. Today, fans finally get something more concrete, a video for Dear Boy’s first single, “Come Along”.
Check it out:
If you like what you hear and are in the LA area, be sure to get your tickets for the band’s LA debut at The Troubadour February 13th.
Leogun stormed into my life Wednesday night when they played an electrifying set at The Satellite. I don’t think this band has been around for too long (they joined facebook in April of 2012), but I’m sure it won’t take too long for their popularity to grow. They are the kind of band that demands notice. For a quick summary, their fb page gives two definitions for the term “Leogun”. The first is “a three-piece band from London, surging with a mix of blues, soul and a whole lotta rock & roll. With “bite your head off” choruses and a hunger to groove, LEOGUN mixes the musicality and heart bleeding emotion of The Racounteurs with all the sexual prowess and break-neck attitude of Queens of The Stone Age.” The second definition is “believed to be a were-lion, LEOGUN was a half man, half lion.” I think that sums up my experience of the band quite nicely.
Their debut self-titled EP comes out next week (10/16). Here are my quick thoughts on each song:
“Let’s Be Friends” – their first single, a great introduction to their rockin’ style with stand-out guitar licks, soaring yet gritty vocals, and brazen attitude all wrapped in a catchy tune.
“End of The World” – sung with abandon, it will seduce you
“You’d Better Love Me”- a blistering rock song that rightly demands the attentions of its listeners
“Everyday” – a slower-building jam that showcases the groovier side of the band but will have your head banging by the end
Here’s the band’s first official video:
Other important info to get you connected to the band:
There is probably a lot of great new music coming out today, but the one you absolutely need to get your hands on is the new Imagine Dragons CD, Night Visions. If you haven’t heard of this band, you’ve probably at least heard their songs on various movie trailers and TV show promos. They also snagged a MTV video music award nomination for their song “It’s Time” which will also be covered on an upcoming episode of Glee. In other words, this little rock band from Las Vegas has come a long way in the last year or so when I was rocking out with them at The Viper Room. They are one of my favorite rising bands and I couldn’t be happier for them!
Tonight, to celebrate their release, the band will be making an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel so tune in!
Here’s a picture I took of Imagine Dragons last night when they did an acoustic set at The 98.7 Penthouse:
Neurotic band members, an oddly defined sound and cheese. Say hello to Los Angeles’ own Bethpage Black
Los Angeles-town has no shortage of bands for me to talk about but we’re going to change things up a bit and let the band talk about itself. Why? Well, why not?
Bethpage Black (http://bethpage-black.com/) is two things: a world famous golf course and a band that thinks to be defined by a whole new genre unto itself. “We call it ‘Sickle Pop,’” explains drummer-songwriter Steve Coy. “It’s aggressive pop-rock with a slight metal edge.”
Intriguing. As an up and coming band in LA, Bethpage Black has been making the rounds at local venues like the Viper Room and radio play on KROQ. On March 8th they’re primed to hit yet another renowned LA stage: the Troubadour for a night of rock solid local bands including the Crash Kings, the Active Set, and Light FM. I cornered Steve Coy for a little more info on the band.
LMN: So how long has the band been in existence? Who are the players and why are they here?
Steve Coy: In its current and best lineup, since May 2011, the players are me, Matt Carmichael (Vox/guitar), Davin Givhan (guitar), and Vivien Larena (bass). Collectively we are here I think because we like playing in a band where every song is a new experience instead of the “soundalike” scene where not only do 20 bands sound the same, but all 20 of their songs (if they have that many), sound the same. We’ve had people tell us our songs sound like everything from Death From Above 1979 to the Ataris to Muse to The Used to U2, and that’s definitely by design.
LMN: What’s the musical definition of Bethpage Black?
Steve Coy: Bethpage Black is an effort to, as our guitarist Davin says, “always write better songs.” it’s a starkly simple statement but I think it’s our driving force, along with executing those songs better every time we play.
A visual aid, anyone? Video- “Losing My Nerve”
LMN: Got it. Is that why you spend your spare time playing drums when there are homeless kittens around the world that need love?
Steve Coy: I’ve been many things in my life: Chef at LA’s #1 restaurant, web designer for major recording artists and superstar athletes, but it’s playing drums and writing songs for my unsigned, money-sucking rock band that’s brought me my greatest sense of personal triumph. When I wrote “I’ve Got Friends” in 5 minutes, I knew at least I’d created something undeniably great, and that will be with me forever. Music hurts me a lot, but she’ll never leave me. I suppose a cat wouldn’t either, though.
LMN: Never underestimate a cat. Now who’s the most neurotic member of the band?
Steve Coy: Unquestionably me. The days and weeks leading up to a big show, I want to jump off a cliff, until we play our first note, then it’s smooth as eggs! Davin is neurotic in a different way, more of a Rain Man, I’d play guitar for 16 hours a day if I could kind of way.
LMN: I think I know the answer to this but I’ll ask anyway: what band do you want to be bigger than?
Steve Coy: Foster The Fucking People. I want to stomp them out of humanity’s collective musical memory, and you can print it exactly like that. They are the opposite of, say, Young The Giant or Saint Motel, to name two other LA “indie-whatever-pop-rock” bands that would probably get booked on a festival with FTP but who wipe the floor with them in every conceivable way.
LMN: Final and most important question: cheese or cotton candy?
Steve Coy: Cheese–my goodness, what an invention! The first person to willingly eat the solid by-products of fermented milk–that’s a brave human.
This is the stuff of greatness or insanity, folks. Either way, you can catch it in the live on March 8th at the Troubadour when Bethpage Black rock out along with the amazing Crash Kings. Get a ticket or two right here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/94703