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
While I’ve only seen this band but once, they certainly captured my attention at SXSW. I suppose it’s only fitting that I receive a press announcement about them via email as well as a song premiere post on Facebook from Paste Magazine on the same day. Clearly, they are meant to have my attention today. I don’t really mind 🙂
I’m happy to report that this little band is doing quite well for itself after just an EP release. I’ve been slightly keeping up with them via Facebook but Missing Piece Group says it so much better,
“2011 saw Seattle folk-pop band Ivan & Alyosha play more than 150 shows in support of their EP Fathers Be Kind, highlighted by tours with Brandi Carlile, Aimee Mann, and Hey Rosetta! The EP has been recognized on Amazon’s Best Music of 2011 Thus Far, with that EP’s “I Was Born to Love Her” ranked at #4 on their Songs You May Have Missed round-up. This echoed the earlier inclusion of Fathers on NPR’s Best of the Year (So Far) list.”
Quite impressive! They are currently recording their debut album and will be on tour in March and April through May with Rosie Thomas. I hope to catch them here in SD and again at SXSW. Are they playing in your area?
Upcoming Tour Dates:
2 – Pullman, WA: Belltower Concert House
3 – Portland, OR: Bunk Bar
5 – Los Angeles, CA: The Echo
6 – San Diego, CA: Soda Bar
7 – Tucson, AZ: Plush
8 – Santa Fe, NM: Santa Fe Sol Live
11 – San Antonio, TX: The Big Spill Festival
13 – 18 – Austin, TX: SXSW Music Conference
21 – Lincoln, NE: Bourbon Theatre
22 – Denver, CO: Hi-Dive
25 – Portland, OR: Mississippi Studios
27 – San Francisco, CA: Hotel Utah
28 – Visalia, CA: The Cellar Door
29 – Los Angeles, CA: Hotel Cafe
30 – La Jolla, CA: The Loft at UCSD
1 – Phoenix, AZ: Rhythm Room
4 – Dallas, TX: LaGrange
5 – Austin, TX: Lamberts
6 – Tulsa, OK: Fassler Hall
8 – Denver, CO: Soiled Dove Underground
9 – Salt Lake City, UT: The State Room
11 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune
I’m not sure how many of you have heard of the band Wires in the Walls but if you haven’t, you definitely need to look them up.
As their bio states, this LA-based quintet explores a textured space between Americana, anthemic indie rock, austere post-punk, and pop. Since the band’s formation in 2009, they have played many of LA’s top venues and toured the east and west coasts, with their well-received 2010 EP “Call Signs” receiving local and national college radio play. Wires in the Walls takes a hands-on DIY attitude to their promotion, including the screen printing of all of their own merchandise.
Wires in the Walls spent 2011 writing and recording their debut full-length album New Symmetry, which was released on October 25. New Symmetry expands on the traditional Americana trappings of their previous recordings, and is the first to feature the two newest members of Wires in the Walls. The first single from the record, The Ringer, debuted April 2011 alongside the B-side Soft Shirt.
Wires in the Walls is: Warren Sroka (vocals/guitar – NYC), Nick Tracz (bass/vocals – upstate NY), Bryan King (drums/horns – Virginia), Dave Irelan (guitar/vocals – Oregon), & Dave Sicher (everything – Illinois).
I should also add that LMN is presenting their show THIS SUNDAY ( Nov. 20th) at Lot 1 with Holy Rolling Empire and Sunken Ships. Be sure to get out there and check them out. Oh, and you can come say hi to us too!
Here’s what you need to like, follow, and generally keep track of important goings-on:
Their first show was in March, and they’ve already played to a packed crowd for the Hammer Museum’s “I Also Like to Rock” series. Last night was the first time I was able to see Milo Greene at The Bootleg Theater opening for Races. I was mesmerized by all the beautiful voices…especially when they started working together to create gorgeous harmonies or counter melodies. I was also excited to see a couple familiar faces up on stage, former members of the sadly defunct LINKS. If you want a comparison, they remind me a bit of Seattle’s The Head and The Heart (an LMN fave). But really, you should check them out for yourselves. Their next posted gig seems to be at Sunset Junction. In the meantime, get to know the band! Here follows the appropriate links…
Alana Grace + 3/4 of After Midnight Project = Toy. That’s enough to sell me. I still remember being impressed with Alana Grace back in 2008 when I first saw her at Bonnaroo. Her song “Domino” was stuck in my head for days. And, of course, After Midnight Project is one of my favorite LA bands of more recent years. Their CD, Let’s Build Something to Break, still gets play time in my car stereo. I can’t say I’d put this combo together, but I’m excited to see where it will go.
According to their bio, Alana wanted to go a little heavier with the rock and add an electronic edge. She called upon Spencer Bastian, Christian Meadows, and Ryan Folden, friends from Warped Tour, to work with her on creating this sound. They’ve already been booked on a major nation-wide tour opening for Styx and Yes. They have a song up on facebook called “Get Out of My Head.” Like their page and have a listen.
If you like what you hear (as I did), go vote for Toy for the Summerfest emerging artist series. They are competing with some of my favorite up and coming artists like Makeshift Prodigy, The Republic of Letters, Atomic Tom, and Tailor Made Fable among others.
And, there you go! Another great band to discover and follow. You’re welcome!
According to the band, Hot Brush is defined as an intense moment/experience; enlightenment; an alignment of fate. If it is fate that brought together Jace (Alright Junior) and Elissa (Karma Bat) on their musical journeys, then certainly we should pay attention! This duo from Philadelphia only has a couple songs up for our listening pleasure, but I’m quite excited about what I hear. I’ve always been a huge fan of Jace’s voice and I find it only enhanced by the sweetness of Elissa’s harmonies in “Bloodfed Trees”. I’m also digging the pluckiness of the ukulele which is a fantastic juxtaposition to the darker lyrical tones. The other Hot Brush tune “Dr. Fuller” (see below) is another gem. It reminds me of a darker version of Egyptian’s “Doctor Doctor“…it’s as if Hot Brush is the east coast’s answer to the west coast’s power duo of Aja (Nico Vega) and Dan (Imagine Dragons). But I digress…
If you’re in Philadelphia, you need to go check out Hot Brush (and kindly report back). They have a couple shows on the calendar. May 30th at Kung Fu Necktie and June 1st at PJ Ryan’s Underground in Pheonixville.
In the meantime, like them on facebook, follow them on twitter, listen to some tunes on reverb nation, and generally fall in love with some new music! yay!