Ok so we all know Lorde, right? She’s now an international star at the age of 16 and has a massive hit song called “Royals.” Well she recently released her full length album and I wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up at every major music festival on earth next year. For those who are as tired of Royals as I am she has released her second single from her album “Pure Heroin.” The songs called “Team” and the video is outstanding. Give a look. This young lady is about to take over our ear drums for a while.
California indie dance outfit The New Division are an active bunch, each member active in at least one side project in addition to their prolific output as a band. Building anticipation for their forthcoming full-length followup to September 2011′s Shadows, they’ve been doing quite a bit. In addition to having songs from their November 2012 Night Escape EP placed in commercials for GoPro and Coach, they released a remix EP featuring new versions of all of its songs. A remix competition for “Stockholm” from the new album is in full swing, and not content to let others do all the remixing, they’ve reopened several of their past remixes for other artists for free download on their Soundcloud page.
2 Hearts and Chemicals‘ “Coming Home” provided an excellent playground for frontman John Kunkel’s mixing skills, with a male vocal not far off from his own on original TND tracks, joined by female backing vocals. The two groups share a predilection for strong melodic synth lines and a steady groove, both of which serve this song well both in one’s headphones and on a dancefloor.
Nashville’s Future Unlimited share some sonic similarities with The New Division as well, but in remixing “Golden”, John decided to take it in the direction of progressive house. TND’s clear interest in dance music far removed from the bedroom electronica they began with sets them apart from many bands that have been lumped into the ‘nu-disco’ and ‘chillwave’ genres over the past few years, with digressions into house and even trance becoming an increasingly prominent feature of their output.
Jim Smith, aka Teeel, is heavily indebted to the ’80s, an influence he wears proudly on his internet ‘sleeve’. Kunkel’s work on his angsty anthem “Crystal Lake” brings it squarely into the modern era, with much more clearly digital effects and processing de-emphasizing Smith’s distinctly analog sounds.
The spirit of collaboration goes beyond just remixing for The New Division, as they took it one step further to record a song featuring Keep Shelly in Athens as the title track of the aforementioned Night Escape EP, the Hypefactor remix of which you can stream and download for free.
As an added bonus, and to let those of you who haven’t heard of TND before this post hear John’s voice, here’s the Sanfernando Sound remix of “Devotion” from January 2011′s EP, The Rookie.If you like what you hear, you can catch them live at the Loft at UCSD December 6th.
By Dave Fox | Philadelphia Ambassador | @philosofoxthedj | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC
Blink 182 are the seminal pop punk band of the last 10-15 years. Aside from maybe Green Day and a hand full of others Blink 182 has risen to become a monster in the punk gone arena rock scene. With a ton of albums released and the hits to match I was curious as to how my night was going to go. Prior to Wednesday night the band announced a series of “smaller shows” in LA at the Palladium and Wiltern where they would play the entire “Untitled” album from front to back to honor the records 10 year anniversary.
Arriving at the venue the line was stupid long which is to be expected for a very sold out and very sought after ticket. This was opening night of 5. As my first Blink experience I know they have rabid fans and was ready for an on slaught of high school girls and bros with their shirts off. While those stereotypes existed what I saw was 4,000 hungry music fans waiting for what was to be a pretty intimate experience. As announced at 9:45 on the dot Blink 182′s Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom DeLong took the stage to thunderous applause and with out a word started into the “Untitled” album. Kicking off with one of the singles “Feeling This” past the break out slow burner “I MIss You” through the last song “I’m Lost Without You” (which was the first time they had ever played the later of the three songs live) the energy from the band toward the crowd and vice versa was electric. They plowed through 9 songs beofre even saying a word. They didn’t have to. People knew what they were in for and it wasn’t a surprise so the excitement was already in the air.
Greedy old me having never seen the band was hoping for a short second set highlighting the hits from some of thier other records. I didn’t wuite get that but after the band finished the album and walked off stage breaking back into the encore with “Not Now” off their self titled album form early 2000′s was a great way to start.
This is where it get’s cool. The group then tore into “an old one” and busted out “MnMs” which was thier debut single from 1995 and according to the setlist post I found they haven’t played it live in 10 years. That was a treat.
A show closing “Dammit” sent the crowd and me into the streets of LA feeling pretty good about what I had just witnessed. Seeing a band thats been around as long at Blink 182 reminds you that bands with longevity are around for a reason. They are good and they remain good/ tight and they sound awesome live. As a first time Blink 182 concert goer I got my monies worth and enjoyed the show. I’ll cross my fingers for a 15 year Enema Of The State anniversary show next year.
Full Setlist: (Untitled Album In It’s Entirety) Feeling This, Obvious, I MIss You, Violence, Stockholm Syndrome, Down, The Fallen Interlude, Go, Asthenia, Always, Easy Target, All Of This, Here’s Your Letter, Im Lost Without You
Encore: Not Now, M+M’s, Mutt, Dammit, Family Reunion
Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
Check out Kan Wakan! Photo courtesy of Last FM and the band.
Kan Wakan is a name that many have never heard of. Breaking into the scene with such an inspiring breadth of artistic talent, that obscurity may be coming to an end. Based in LA, the band’s self titled debut EP features a mix of 60’s jazz and contemporary rock all wrapped up in provocative and hypnotic vocals. Infused with influences of Air, Nina Simone and Leonard Cohen, their sound is one which stands out amongst the rest.
But where they are now, wasn’t the original direction of instrumentalist Gueorgui I. Linev, the Bulgarian-born brainchild. With the involvement of others, this small ensemble evolved into Kan Wakan, with Kristianne Bautista (vocals), Peter Potyondy (guitar), Ian Anderson (bass), Dannon Rampton (violin), Jesse Aumiller (keyboards, saxophone), and Keith Krey (drums). With such a large number of members, there is still a minimalistic approach in which the band draws its earliest roots.
Under the direction of Linev as Potyondy as producers and steered in the right direction with the help of Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Gnarls Barkley), the band spent the best part of 2013 recording their EP, which would pave the way for their first full length album, “Moving On,” in 2014.
Despite the limited number of songs they have under their belt, they’ve already gained their share of notice. Forever Found radio, KCRW, and even LA have acknowledged their album, citing the band as one to watch for in the near future. Yet until the release of the album, Kan Wakan will be playing shows at only a select few cities. A show which has been hailed as “like a masterful ballet,” combining the impressive talents of all members into a blend of complex and minimalistic arrangements.
Catch them in San Diego at the Griffen November 3rd.
Ummmmm. Arcade Fire has started streaming their highly anticipated album “Reflektor” on youtube with a monster lyric video suddenly. This is unexpected twist in the saga that has been hype and promotion for this album. It was leaked in Ireland due to an early release so it looks like the band has taken it upon themselves to make sure fans hear the record directly from them before it becomes available for purchase next week.
It was a fancy LA night with some fancy LA bands over at The Palladium on Sunset BLVD. I got a couple comps so my buddy Adam and I decided to go check out the show. I had heard of all three (two of which I was there to see) bands before. I wasn’t quite sure why they were all on the same bill, but free music’s good enough for me.
At this same venue I have seen acts like the Sound City Players concert (Foo Fighter’s backing people like Stevie Nicks and John Fogerty) as well as the legendary Elton John and the original line up of pop titans The Cars. The lines for those shows were NOTHING compared to the line I faced on Friday night. The sidewalk was littered with used sticks of face paint, subway sandwich paper and garbage left by a ‘Walk The Moon’ army who must have been waiting all day for doors. When I entered the Palladium it was friggin packed to the gills. Soon after Smallpools from New Jersey took the stage. They are babies in the music scene establishing themselves as a band this year and releasing a four song EP. Their hype mahcine “hit”, ‘Dreaming’ was a highlight of the set as well as a pretty awesome cover of The New Radicals “You Got To Get What You Give”.
All in all I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Smallpools. Their sound fits right in with Passion Pit an other pop/ synth rock songs. It was hard for me not to draw comparisons as they played Passion Pit’s “The Reeling” over the PA as the band exited the stage to make way for The Mowglis.
All 8 members of The Mowglis took the crowd by storm and tore through much of their recently released album, “Waiting for The Dawn”. With the crowd already amped up by Smallpools, Mowgli’s benefitted and were by far the stand out band in a night where generic pop music stood tall. Mowglis have a bit of an acoustic hippy vibe about them and the energy of 8 people running around the stage quickly won over the crowd. They are one of the breakout bands this year from LA and they sounded great establishing themselves on one of LA’s bigger stages. Closing their set with “The Great Divide” and the single “San Francisco” i was glad I was finally able to see them live after many attempts.
Walk The Moon was the headlining band. It took them close to 30 minutes to take the stage following the Mowgli’s and I’m pretty sure the stage hands tuned the same guitars like eight times. I waited, saw one song and bounced out of frustration/ I needed to get some sleep. Their break out single “Anna Sun” has been hammered down our throats on alt radio here in LA and hilariously enough was playing in the car as I drive home, I’m sure it was great, but I just didn’t care.
Seeing these small bands at a big venue was really refreshing. It was good to know that there is still power left in new music and witnessing the energy of unknown bands conquering thousands of people was inspiring. For more information on all of the bands check out their respective websites below.