Posts Tagged ‘California’

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Founder of paisley underground psych-rockers True West, Russ Tolman is a singer/songwriter in Los Angeles, California. His latest album release is Compass & Map, a 20 song retrospective covering 1986 – 2013.

As the son of a rancher and a former burlesque dancer, folk rock singer/songwriter Russ Tolman grew up in California and Arizona with a romantic view of the American West. Whether images of the open range of the cowboy, the hobo jungle of skid row, or the cross-country adventure of Kerouac’s On The Road, Tolman held a fascination with the freedom and promise of the West.


Released May 29th, 2020
song by Jim Huie
produced by Russ Tolman
all instrumentation by Russ Tolman, except drums by Jim Huie
background vocals by Chris von Sneidern

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Talker is the grunge-pop project of Los Angeles-based Celeste Tauchar. The name is a nod to her last name, notorious in her family for being misspelled and mispronounced. Starting out touring and playing for other bands including electro-pop group FRENSHIP, Tauchar quickly gained extensive performance experience at venues and festivals like Red Rocks, The Bowery Ballroom (NYC), The El Rey Theatre (LA), Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands.
After years of writing and developing on an artistic & personal level, Tauchar began independently releasing music under the name “talker”, which received attention from such notable outlets as Alternative Press, Grimy Goods, We Found New Music, Buzzbands LA, and more. Her first single “Collateral Damage” reached #5 on the Hype Machine popular charts, and her single “Intimidated” was featured on Spotify’s “Pulp” playlist.

These early releases resulted in talker’s debut EP “Horror Films”, which featured collaborations with April Bender and Dan Sadin, production from Sadin and Phil Simmonds,Deeply rooted in the Los Angeles indie scene, talker has headlined the Hi Hat, Madame Siam, & Moroccan Lounge, and has performed at countless other notable venues including the Hotel Café and the Roxy. In January 2020, she embarked on her first tour up the West Coast.


Spellbinding as its suspense makes sparks fly, “Personal Space” is a drama tautly-told and the grandly-imagined brand-new single from L.A.’s Celeste Tauchar, a.k.a. talker. The track concludes her recently-released, six-song Wax EP.

Originally released March 6th, 2020 . Common Ground Collective

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“Run It Again” is 10 – song album that shines a fresh light on a raw sort of garage rock, full of melody, smart lyrics and hooks for days. Recorded at Future Shock studio in LA, produced by Alex Newport (Death Cab For Cutie, Frank Turner, Bloc Party), there’s an artful flow to the collection of songs. Though the band recognizes that for many listeners these days it’s an a la carte world, Sean Erickson (SE) states, “We put a lot of thought into the song order.” And it must be said – these guys really know how to sing. In particular, lead vocalist Michael Fiore seems able to effortlessly cram or stretch syllables at will.
Released March 1st, 2019 , All songs written by Michael Fiore except “Turpentine” written by Michael Hiller.
This record is a small collection of songs that were left off of the original album as well as a reworking of two tracks. When narrowing down the tracks that would comprise “Run It Again”, the band collectively agreed on 10 out of the 16 – 20 songs they had written for the full – length, setting aside the rest that didn’t quite flow within the sequence as well but would certainly see the light of day eventually in some capacity.

“I think these songs on the EP really show the depth and range of the band, ” frontman Michael Fiore said. “Especially the quieter stuff like ‘Mississippi Belle’, which was definitely influenced by Big Star and generally the early ‘70s ballads like early Faces and the like. ”Elsewhere”, the acoustic version of “Rearrange Me ” [“Rearrange Me (Rearranged)”] – a song the band has reimagined a few times over its career and which has taken its rightful place as the band’s ‘signature song’ of sorts due to this fact – came about when Fiore played it at one of his best friend’s weddings last September.

Released October 4th, 2019

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Electric Looking Glass is a baroque pop group from Los Angeles, California. Fresh on the scene, these four far out dandies have been busy working on their debut EP which is bound to impress. Expect flash melodies in full harmony, with jangly guitars, whirling Hammond, delicate Mellotron and a fab thumping back beat. Sounds of yesterday and visions of tomorrow; a new reflection in pop. Get hip now before it’s too late!

“Fresh off of their recent debut single on Hypnotic Bridge Records, here comes the second single from the Electric Looking Glass! This newer Los Angeles quartet serves up a double A-sider with a couple of dandy gems loaded with 60’s-style baroque psychedelic flashes and smothered with sugar coated pop-psych goodness! Both jangly pop songs delivered with all the trimmings, from Mellotron and piano punctuations on to well-crafted vocal harmonies. A confectionery two-sider sure to appease your sweet tooth cravings!”  (13 O’Clock Records)

“A wholesome quartet that absolutely nails the baroque and psychedelic pop sounds prevalent on both East and West Coasts during the heady days of 1967-68. Recalls the Left Banke, Curt Boettcher, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy et al and truly captures the sound” – Jon “Mojo” Mills, Shindig! Magazine

“One of the most refreshingly unique acts to appear in California in years” – Record Turnover

Promo film for Electric Looking Glass’ third single “Dream a Dream”. Produced in collaboration with Mat Dunlap who shot & edited the video. Dream a Dream was written and recorded by Electric Looking Glass and released January 3rd, 2020 on a 7″ vinyl 45rpm vinyl single courtesy of 13 O’Clock Records.

8mm promo film for Electric Looking Glass’s first double A-side (Death Of A Season/Someday Soon) out on Hypnotic Bridge Records (August 2019) Electric Looking Glass is a baroque pop group from Los Angeles, California.  Expect flash melodies in full harmony, with jangly guitars, whirling Hammond, delicate Mellotron and a fab thumping back beat.  Get hip now before it’s too late!

Song written and recorded by Electric Looking Glass .

Band Members:
Brent Randall Bass/Vocals
Arash Mafi Organ/Mellotron/Vocals
Danny Winebarger Guitar/Vocals
Johnny Toomey Drums

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If you know this San Jose band, you probably know the essay Lester Bangs wrote positively drooling over this album, which got him so excited he made up a bunch more Count Five LPs that didn’t exist. The Count Five – who wore Bela Lugosi-style Dracula capes – had a touch of the Zombies about them, and some similar melodic and rhythmic panache, albeit with less flexible grooves. This record is catchy as hell, with a couple Who covers, but more highlights in terms of originals. The hit title track borrows the rave-up gambit from the Yardbirds’ “I’m a Man” – a pretty bold pilfer – but opener “Double-Decker Bus” is the real rabble-rouser. Again, the American guitar-wielding teens of 1966 loved British stuff. And the reconceptualization of everyday British imagery could be pretty heady in its new seedy American digs. Don that cape!.

Psychotic Reaction which reached number 5 on the Billboard charts in 1966 and was selected as one of the five hundred most influential songs in Rock n’ Roll History by the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Psychotic Reaction was released worldwide and obtained prominence in United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, and Mexico.

At a rehearsal in early 1966, Psychotic Reaction was composed by the group. Psychotic Reaction” is an early garage rock song released by the band Count Five in 1966, and also the title of their only album. The song Psychotic Reaction was written by the five members of the Count Five, Craig “Butch” Atkinson, John Byrne, Roy Chaney, Kenn Ellner and John “Mouse” Michalski. The song started off as an instrumental jam between Ellner, Chaney and Michalski and was composed in the living room of Craig Atkinson’s at the beginning of a rehearsal. Kenn Ellner was breaking in a new harmonica for the first time and Chaney and Michalski were jamming and composing. The harmonica was a C harmonica, so the jam was in G. Atkinson and Byrne joined the rehearsal and added to the jam and composition. Many weeks prior to this monumental rehearsal Byrne had a psychology class at San Jose City College. The lecturer was discussing psychotic reactions and a friend and classmate Ron Lamb thought it would be a good name for a band. John Byrne had mentioned to the band about that event and it evolved from the name of the band to a good name for a song. At the rehearsal Ellner and Byrne looked at each other and said this is “Psychotic Reaction”.

Count Five (also known as Count V) is a garage rock group that was founded in 1964 in San Jose, California. The band is best known for its hIt song Psychotic Reaction went to #5 on the Billboard charts. Count Five continues to write, play music and is available to entertain at events, private parties, cop orate events and festivals.

Band Members:
Kenn Elner, Roy Chaney, John “Mouse” Michalski, Phil Indovina and Rocky Astrella.

Former Band members: John “Sean” Byrne, Craig “Butch” Atkinson

Classic blues ridden garage from Count 5 Originally released on Double Shot in 1966.

On this day (May 26th) in 1982: Los Angeles psych/garage rock revival band The Salvation Army released their self-titled, debut album on influential indie label, Frontier Records; (Since Reissued on Burger Records) after the charitable organization objected, they changed their name to The Three O’Clock and became one of the leading lights of the city’s burgeoning ‘Paisley Underground’ neo-psych scene…

In March 1981, South Bay, CA, teenager Michael Quercio formed the Salvation Army a punky, psych-influenced garage band that took most of its stylistic and musical cues from Lenny Kaye’s Nuggets anthology. Before the year was out, the Salvation Army had a single out on the Minutemen’s New Alliance label, a new guitarist (Greggory Louis Gutierrez), and a batch of new songs to demo.

After this demo was played on Rodney Bingenheimer’s massively influential Rodney on the ROQ radio show, signed the Salvation Army to Frontier Records and released the trio’s self-titled debut in May 1982.

The philanthropic organization took umbrage over the name and the Salvation Army politely changed their name to the meaningless but suitably psychedelic the Three O’Clock The band replaced drummer Troy Howell with ex-Quick drummer Danny Benair added keyboardist Michael Mariano, and transformed themselves into the leading lights of the paisley underground, a phrase invented apparently by Quercio that’s dogged him ever since. Fancher Records reissued the Salvation Army album under the clever name Befour Three O’Clock after the group misguidedly left Frontier for IRS, and in 1992, collected the full album, that pivotal five-song demo, and all four songs recorded during the sessions for the New Alliance single for a comprehensive collection of every Salvation Army studio recording.

As such, “Happen Happened” (named for the trippy A-side of that single, which appears in two versions) is a priceless document of the early days of the L.A. psych-pop revival scene. Fans of the Three O’Clock’s much glossier music might be surprised by the punky speed and noisy guitars, but the simple two- and three-chord songs are bracing and surprisingly melodic, and flashes of Quercio’s skewed lyrical bent are already visible in songs like “While We Were in Your Room Talking to Your Wall.” Six songs are repeated, though there are only notable differences in a couple of cases and invariably the album versions are superior to the demos. Regardless, this is both a definitive historical collection and a great piece of early-’80s post-new wave punk-pop.

a.k.a. The Three O’clock, power pop / paisley underground
from Los Angeles, California… 1992 “Happen Happened” CD Reissue of 1982 “Salvation Army” Album, plus 9 bonus tracks [Frontier Records, 01866 34639 2]

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Sarah Walk released her debut album ‘Little Black Book’ in 2017 via One Little Indian Records. At once aching and artful, her work speaks to every magnitude of love and loss, while also examining identity, sexuality, nostalgia, and homesickness.

Her sophomore album ‘Another Me’ is set to release in 2020, produced by Leo Abrahams (Regina Spektor, Imogen Heap, David Byrne, Brian Eno). I wanted to make a point early on with this record that there is a lot that women feel and experience outside of what exists in their romantic relationships” says singer-songwriter Sarah Walk, who has just announced her stunning sophomore album, ‘Another Me’ on One Little Indian Records.

‘Another Me’ starts as it means to go on, taking a swipe at the patriarchy, and delivering a cold hard look at the institutionalized entitlement of men. Indeed, Walk opens with the line:

“Nothing’s hurt me more than men that grew up with no consequences, why is it my job to fix this mess? You’re always ready to defend, you hear my concern as anger, and no-one wants an angry woman”.


Releases August 28th, 2020

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When the Anti- Records’ publicist tells us we’re all likely to write that the follow-up to 2019’s These Times is “new and different,” it turns out that this time to be accurate.

The Universe Inside takes a dramatic left curve from the more traditional singer/songwriter neo-psychedelic alt/pop and alternative rock that has dominated the work of Steve Wynn, who led The Dream Syndicate in the 80’s, had a long and storied solo career, and re-formed the band in 2012 with original drummer Dennis Duck, Mark Walton, the longest lasting of the early bassists, and new guitarist Jason Victor. Together they’ve produced two full-length studio recordings and a live album, which solidified their earlier psychedelic leaning while also rocking harder and greater intensity. But if you can remember all the way back to Wynn and Dream Syndicate’s first and most significant breakthrough in 1982, The Days of Wine and Roses, a 7-plus minute mix of Dylanesque verses with lengthy guitar jams, which points in the direction of the band’s newest work.

Even so, nothing prepares one for the 20-plus minute opening track, “The Regulator,” a groove based jam that relies on the guitar interplay of Wynn and Victor, but features additions from Chris Cacavas on electric piano, Marcus Tenney on sax, and Stephen McCarthy on electric sitar. Wynn offers on vague paragraph of lyrics that’s repeated which suggests “songs and sounds that soothe the savage soul,” in a voice that’s a mix of Leonard Cohen’s deep bass and Tom Waite’s gargled gravel resonance. But the emphasis is on the repeated question, “have you heard?” and the band’s expansive instrumentals, mixing jazzy moments with more ethereal sounds, all driven by Walton’s relentless bass line and the song’s refusal to end, repeatedly rebirthing into the long, lasting groove.

Similarly, the not to the same degree or length, the four other tracks feature extended instrumental interplay. “The Longing,” which features Wynn in his more comfortable singing voice describing that inner desire to live, to love, to communicate, coming in at 7 and a half minutes. The other three are all in the 10 minute range, but not all these lengthy jam oriented pieces are created equal. “Apropos of Nothing” is appropriately titled, while “Dusting Off the Rust” is a superior instrumental built on a more substantial jazz riff and relying on Tenney’s fuller horn sound, playing trumpet as well as sax. They slow things down to a haunting, slower pass with long searching jazz tones on the guitars and horns as Wynn at first talks through his poetic lyrics, but it builds of course again to an expansive, psychedelic feel to match Wynn’s mention of “psilocybin lysergic psychedelic dreams.”

These long trippy jams recall an era in the 70’s when bands like the Grateful Dead and Allman Bros. were notorious for long, spacey instrumentals, but the addition of Tenney mostly on sax, give The Dream Syndicate a decidedly jazz orientation which will appeal to some who appreciate the idea of seasoned musicians jamming freely. But compact, singer-songwriter pop/rock, this is not.

“The Slowest Rendition” by The Dream Syndicate from the album ‘The Universe Inside,’ available now

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Mini Trees is the moniker of Los Angeles based indie artist, Lexi Vega. In May 2019, Vega released her debut EP, “Steady Me”, and returns “Slip Away”, the first release of 2020 and the title track to her forthcoming EP, set to release in May 2020.

Mini Trees is the new musical endeavor from LA artist Lexi Vega. In recent years, her musical career has centered around her role as a drummer, but with the emergence of Mini Trees, the artist unveils her penchant for lyric and melody.


Releases June 26th, 2020

All songs written by Lexi Vega and produced by Jon Joseph.
Vocals, Drums, Guitars, Keys: Lexi Vega
Bass, Keys, Guitars: Jon Joseph
Woodwinds: Max Kaplan

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Shannon Lay’s “Live At Zebulon”, is her first-ever live album, recorded last fall while on tour in support of August, her Sub Pop debut. The thirteen track effort features songs from throughout her three album catalog –“August, All This Going Down, Living Water” – and her covers of Karen Dalton’s “Something On Your Mind” and Black Box’s “Everybody, Everybody.”

Shannon says of Live at Zebulon, “During November of 2019, I set off on tour with three of my best friends, Shelby Jacobson, Denee Segall and Sofia Arreguin. We played all over the U.S. and then returned home for a December residency at Zebulon in Los Angeles. We were joined on stage by Ben Boye and Mikal Cronin for three nights of celebration and with the help of engineer Elizaveta Boldyreva and the mixing skills of Michael Kriebel these are the recordings that came out of it. I had never toured with a band before and the songs became brand new again. I am so happy to have captured what they were in those moments with those people. To get to play music with the friends I love so much is a very special thing and I want to sincerely thank Shelby, Denee, Sofia, Ben and Mikal for adding their magical touch. In my wildest dreams I never imagined knowing such incredible people and getting to share the stage with them.”

Shannon has also delivered a full album stream for Live At Zebulon featuring footage culled from the tour. Lay offers this on the YouTube document, “To go along with the live record we filmed footage of the U.S. tour in November 2019. Edited by Shelby Jacobson and filmed by Shelby Jacobson, Sofia Arreguin, Denee Segall and Shannon Lay it is a moment in time that we knew would be fleeting so we wanted to preserve it somehow. I hope you enjoy listening to the album while watching this film.”

released May 8th, 2020 Sub Pop Records.
L.A.’sShannon Lay has just released Live at Zebulon, her first-ever live album beautifully picked like Nico’s “These Days” and finely focused — can be found thereupon. Containing 13 arresting tracks like this, it’s out care of Sub Pop. You can buy the digital version of it either from their MegaMart or from her Bandcamp page right now.