New Band Alert: SPURS


Adam Arcuragi is certainly not new to the music scene. His richly textured voice has been mesmerizing the masses since his debut album was released in 2006. Adam has toured extensively in the US and abroad, living in Georgia, Philly, NYC, and now Los Angeles. His last album, 2012’s Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It…, was met with excellent reviews (LMN included). This guy has even been deemed the founder of an entire musical genre (Death Gospel). Although “Adam Arcuragi” has taken different formers over the years (at one point there was an eight person woman’s choir involved), the music has always been under that name.  Then a year or so ago, Adam went to Joshua Tree to work on new music and he emerged with a new musical moniker, SPURS. Curious about this new project, I sat down with Adam over gelato where he pontificated on his new outlook, new team, and what is on the horizon for SPURS.

Here is what I learned:

SPURS was inspired by ghosts, a personal hero, and teenage Adam

After taking some time to go home and be with family, Adam came to a realization: “Life’s too short so why not do the things you want to do. Part of that was just wanting to expand. I was driving just outside of St. Louis and it just washed over me. You’re done. You’ve scratched every itch you’ve wanted to scratch. I made all the records I wanted to make in that style and in that way. I was hungry to learn something new.  So when I came out here [to Los Angeles] it was a combination of the desert (places like Santa Fe and the high desert out there in New Mexico)…I don’t know a better way to put it than they have ghosts. I know it sounds kooky but it made be believe. Any good scientist is going to tell you it’s never knowing, it’s only failure to disprove, but I was of the mind that pretty much everything has been failed to disprove at this point. It opened me back up on a weird way.

I think this set me up personally to meet a songwriting hero of mine [Jeff Barry, co-writer of 60s hits like “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Be My Baby”]. At first it was just kind of hanging out and talking about the process and what not. Then we worked together and he said he’ll actually master and the dude made it look like nothing. Remember the piano playing Muppet who would pound his head against the piano? I always thought that real genius was that. Sitting in a dark room somewhere just feeling it. It overcomes you. And for him it was not that at all. He had his method. He had his insight. And he just went through it.

It was that combination that really let it loose. It was a feeling of sort of letting 16 year old Adam out of the box.”


More than a new sound, the new name represents a new freedom (freedom to use reverb).

From Adam’s perspective: “When you are trying to do anything creative, there is a certain idea of challenging yourself. You put up these rules or restrictions. For me, I love reverb, I love tremolo. I love organs and Mellotron, and lots of vocals, but I always sort of held back on all of that, especially reverb because in my mind, it was the easy path and as an artist I wanted to challenge and grow. I think I just got to that point that I’ve proved to myself that I can do it well holding back all those things, the sort of teenage impulses. This project is about that [exploring those impulses]. If little Adam wants reverb, there is reverb. There is reverb all over this record. Like bonkers proportions. Physical reverbs, different kinds of processed digital reverbs, things like that. There’s a whole bunch of tremolo. There’s a whole bunch of piling on voices in such a way that it sounds less and less like a human voice. Yeah, it was that kind of freedom.”


The songs are more decoded, translatable

From his time in the desert and his brief apprenticeship with Jeff Barry, Adam learned a different way to approach his lyric-writing.

“He [Jeff Barry] always gave me a hard time. He said all of my lyrics are coded. He said some people are going to have the key to decipher it and some are not, how you fix that is you don’t make it a code. I said to him, Jeff isn’t that a matter of taste, a matter of that’s how it comes out and he said that is absolute shit. If you’re trying to tell somebody something, you need to tell them in a way that they are going to understand. My lyrics didn’t go from dense mess that they are into Da Doo Run Run, but I feel like I found a nice middle ground.

And in terms of performance, and how that translates, I just shook off that part of it that is thinking that everyone could see the same color haze that I saw and instead of relying on the idea that everyone could see the same haze that I saw, just breaking through it and saying so, there’s this haze, there’s a difference in terms of intention. It has a huge different in how you come across. “


Who exactly is SPURS?

SPURS is still basically Adam Arcuargi. The way he puts it is “it’s sort of putting that closet of clothes away and getting new clothes. It’s still you in the clothes. It’s just a new way of looking at things. “

The majority of SPURS’ debut album was conceived and recorded out in Joshua Tree where Adam recruited friends David Hartley (Nightlands, The War on Drugs) and Fabian Simon, two guys that Adam claims really got it and helped him achieve the sound that was in his head. The recordings were then mixed by Andy Brohard.

For the live incarnation of the music, Adam has recruited a local LA band that consists of drums, keyboard, guitar, bass, and a couple backup vocalists. The use of multiple voices helps to capture a bit of the lush sound of the record.

Beyond those in the recording booth and on stage, Adam has recruited a new team (manager, lawyer, etc), who all have had an impact on the new project with their ideas and support.



SPURS live: from The Hotel Cafe residency to house shows

SPURS has been doing a residency at The Hotel Cafe. The final show is Tuesday April 28th at 9pm. On these shows, Adam says, “All three of these shows have gotten successively better. I think the band is finally hearing what they want to hear in terms of everything coming together. We’ve got some nice things to come out for.”

After The Hotel Cafe, SPURS has a few more LA gigs in the works. Adam also hopes to head back to Europe where he has had several successful tours in the past. One notion he loves in Europe that wants to do more of is the house show.

“The thing we’re really getting into is house shows. In Europe, it’s a whole thing. A group of people get together, pool their money, and put it towards the artist they want to host and that is the entertainment over there. It’s fulfilling in a way that playing a show in a theater or club is not. It’s different, looking at people when they are in a more intimate setting. It’s not always in a living room. It can be on a porch or in a beautiful manicured garden, or a larger space like a church. The idea is that it’s a community of people that get together to curate this thing for themselves.”


SPURS recordings: 7” vinyl and the eventual record.

Adam is excited about the upcoming release of a promotional 7” to “test the waters”. Encouraged by his vinyl junkie manager, these limited runs will be done in small batches of colors like pink and white. Then when they sell out, they will be gone.

The full length record is basically done and should come out in the US, Europe, Australia and maybe Japan by the end of the year. To answer the question of why it has taken so long for the album to come out, Adam points to another thing that’s changed with the name, “We had everything in place for one model and then when the new team came on, they wanted to see what they could do and make it a little more there’s. If you’re gonna change the name. If you’re going to slightly change the sound and the focus why not change the way you go about it? I’m looking forward to it. “


To keep track of SPURS, bookmark/follow/like/friend/etc at the links below


~ Kristen

New Band Alert: Mosco Rosco

Here’s one that I’m glad I caught (but almost didn’t). LMN Band Love, Harper Blynn, has re-named themselves Mosco Rosco. Along with the new name comes what I’m told is a new sound! Not exactly sure how I feel about this as I adore the sounds of Harper Blynn, but I am optimistic. Regardless, the four gentlemen of Mosco Rosco are one of the tightest groups I have seen, musically. No doubt whatever sound they want to produce will be done incredibly well…and with some pizzazz!

For a hint at what is to come, here’s a listen to their song, “I Wanna Love You” featuring Reggie Watts. It’s got a very 70’s feel and makes you want to groove so I’m into it!


If you’re in LA, the band is doing a Monday residency the month of April at The Satellite!

To keep tabs on Mosco Rosco, here are some relevant links:




~ Kristen

New Band Alert: The Tragic Thrills

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.


Important Links:





New Band Love: Gin Wigmore

[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.

Check out one of my favorite songs: Man Like That

New Band Love: Irontom

“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!






~ Kristen


New Band Alert: Dear Boy

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.

And, of course, connect on the pertinent sites:






Listen! Learn! Love!

~ Kristen

New Band Alert: Leogun


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:




They are currently touring around the US. Be sure to catch them if they near a city by you!


10/10/12 Los Angeles, CA The Satellite More Info
10/14/12 Phoenix, AZ Hard Rock Cafe More Info
10/17/12 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar More Info
10/18/12 Easton, MD Nightcat More Info
10/19/2012 New York City, NY Fat Baby – CMJ Convention More Info
10/23/2012 Somerville, MA Johnny D’s Restaurant & Music Club More Info
10/31/2012 – 11/04/2012 Miami to Great Stirrup Cay Kiss Kruise II More Info
11/07/2012 Chicago, IL The Ace Bar More Info
11/08/2012 Madison , WI The Rigby More Info
11/09/2012 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry More Info
11/11/2012 Saint Louis, MO Heartbreakers Rock-N-Roll Saloon More Info
11/12/2012 Lee’s Summit, MO Jerry’s Bait Shop More Info
11/14/2012 Denver , CO Hi-Dive More Info
11/16/2012 Colorado Springs, CO Stargazers Theatre More Info
11/20/2012 Boise, ID Neurolux More Info
11/21/2012 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory Concert House More Info

Listen! Learn! Love!

~ Kristen