Podcast #3: Alicia Blue

For someone who has gotten a late start on her musical journey, Alicia Blue has proven that it’s never to late to follow your ❤️. The late bloomer has blossomed beyond belief since I first saw her at back in July 2018 at The Love Song Bar. She’s released an impressive self-titled debut EP with bangers like ‘Come on Home,’ ‘Incognito,’ and ‘Magma.’ ‘Come on home’ describes her desire to pursue music dreams in LA despite her family calling her back: “Hey babe, won’t you come on home, everyone’s wondering what you’re looking for’… “How can you ask me again you know the fire I feel in my heart, I don’t fit inside this town.” ‘Incognito’ is a clever, biting joust to those that have discriminated against her Mexican relatives, and man does it make you reflect. ‘Magma‘ will have you erupting will all sorts of warm, feel good vibes, esp. with Alicia beaming as she belts, “we’re looking so beautiful, AS WE RISE.” Another song that erupts euphoria is one she wrote in honor of her friend Lauren Ruth Ward: “She repairs the girls off sunset boulevard, she’ll braid your hair then she’ll break your heart.. but most of all, she’s A STAR. She’s the Queen of Echo Park.” I was lucky enough to be a foot from Alicia as she debuted this song at The Love Song Bar with LRW there to join on backup vocals. Not only was LRW brought to tears, but so was the entire room. We could not help but join in tearshed as we watched these incredibly talented women sing one another’s praises: “She’s electricity every time we meet.. and she don’t judge as she resurrects all the color buried in my chest.” This song made it onto Alicia’s newest album, ‘Bravebird,’ which I feel was meant to help us find flight, even in the midst of a global pandemic. My favs are: ‘The Joke,’ ‘Inside with You,’ ‘Blind Spot,’ and ‘Star Maps,’ the latter of which Alicia said came to her in just a few hours. They are a testament to her pensive, prudent lyrics and her rich, warm vocals. Looks like Nashville is the next stop on Alicia’s star map, for she is there now to play a few shows, collaborate with a few musicians, and see the legendary Lucinda Williams. We know that when this star returns, she’ll be shining brighter than before. ❤ 🙂

Such a treat to hear a new unreleased song that Alicia wrote during the pandemic

Music Videos:

Spotify:


Industry Reviews:

Billboard, TreeHouse LA, Jam in the Van, Girl Underground, TooMuch Love Magazine

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Podcast #1: Kat Leon (Holy Wars, Pep Squad)

Could not be more giddy about having had my good friend and badass front woman Kat Leon of Holy Wars and Pep Squad to pop my podcast cherry. I’ve had an interest in doing podcast for years, and am so grateful that Matthew Faulkner and & Matt Shores of BetaWave reached out to offer me the audio & video support to move forward with this endeavor. Kat was an obvious choice as my first guest, for she is lovely human being that I find so easy to talk to, and she has tons of recent successes to celebrate and be proud of: multiple song releases, publishing deals, music videos, virtual performances, etc. She is not simply surviving these COVID times, she is THRIVING, and although she may not want to bark about her victories, I certainly will. And, when it comes to live performances (who knows when those will be back), not many can reach into your chest and grip your heart with such tenacity and such grace as Kat. This dark, emotive beauty writes lyrics that are raw and revealing, “not covered up with poignant poetry but just saying exactly what I feel.” In her newest release, ‘IHATEMYSELF,’ Kat raises every hair on our body with the verse: “I look for happiness in the bottom of a glass, Drowning in the dark thoughts of an egomaniac. I’m making enemies, all the bullies in my mind, They try to hurt me but it was me the whole time.” Holy Shit. HOLY WARS. I feel so damn lucky to have met this lil’, petite, pint-size powerhouse who inspires us to shed the masks that society has asked us to put on and to embrace our truest self.

Industry Quotes:

  • “IHATEMYSELF” is one of the group’s most ambitious tracks, using dissonance and tonal changes to unsettle listeners and set up Leon’s powerful vocal hook. The song structure is similar to Radiohead’s first single “Creep,” shifting from a drifting, almost sarcastic melody into a hard-charging, guitar-and-drum riff, lightly layered with a synth vocal section that makes Leon’s delivery of the chorus even more powerful. –BILLBOARD
  • “Leon’s singing and music are really powerful with a vocal range that has come up against few boundaries” – BILLBOARD
  • “Legend” is heavy on stark, unsettling imagery and hypnotic symbolism that’s both strangely beautiful, and at times, disturbingly transcendent” – BILLBOARD
  • “…a distinctly heavy synth-rock sound that’s somewhere between Siouxsie and Suicide with a modern production sheen” – LA Times
  • “Crafting cinematically dark music with a sense of urgency and power, front-woman Kat Leon (Holy Wars) was reborn into music after the tragic loss of her parents a few years ago. The gaping void shattered Kat’s world and altered her soul and songwriting forever…With fantastical and warrior-like themes, this is music that’s somehow simultaneously melancholic and inspiring.”Position Music

Industry reviews:

https://www.grimygoods.com/2020/07/17/hot-new-band-alert-punk-rock-cheerleaders-pep-squad/

https://buzzbands.la/2019/11/23/photos-holy-wars-and-draemings-at-the-echo/

https://earmilk.com/2019/07/24/holy-wars-fiery-new-video-proves-that-kat-leon-is-a-true-legend/

https://www.rockcellarmagazine.com/holy-wars-band-interview-kat-leon-nic-perez-los-angeles/

https://www.bringthenoise.com/blog/noiseworthy-heres-why-holy-wars-might-just-be

Playlists I featured her on:

Forever on Your Mind, Under the Same Sky, Feel BetterYoung and Able, Miss Beverly, Stars Align, Born Dark,

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Rett Madison: “Shame is a river, and I’ve crossed its waters, always sink… Hope’s on the other side, and I’ve got guilt I’ve got bricks to my feet… Love is a sunrise, where’s the light to eclipse my grief?” – Live at The HiHat in LA (March 8, 2019)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Photo credit: Nikki Neumann (website: Neumann.com  /  Instagram: @nkknmmn)

“Everybody says I’m just like you, is that one of the many things you suffered through… both know sadness too well I lost you too, waking up without you is waking up in hell, I never meet you 48, you won’t cry on my wedding day, you’ll never hear my children say your name, Jaqueline… I’m just pissed off and bitter, I couldn’t save my mother, I’m grappling with what I got left” 

FUCK. Tears just won’t stop flowing. Such a heavy heart listening to Rett Madison sing about the recent loss of her mother Jaqueline at The Hihat last night. It was very hard to hold back the tears, and it breaks me to think about the pain that this incredibly talented, hilarious, down-to-earth, and downright adorable person must be going through. Just last month at The Bootleg, Rett mentioned that her stage banter was a bit off because she “has just lost her mom” and “feels a bit weird.” ‘Jaqueline,’ ‘Death Don’t Make a Bitch An Angel’, ‘Flea Market,’ (see videos below) and ‘Don’t Know Better Till You Do’ (“I admit that pride gets my tongue, but you and I are of the same blood and you played the game better than I could.. when I should have done better by you”), were all songs that hit us a like a brick wall and triggered instant tearshed. Heavy and intense, you could feel the cathartic relief accompanying each lyric as Rett belted them vehemently from her chest. Rett also played ‘Shame is a River,’ (LOVE) ‘Pin Up Daddy,’ ‘Fleas,’ and ‘God is a Woman,’ all tracks (videos below) I had heard before and instantly connected with, wishing they were already available on Spotify. Her album is going to be an absolute masterpiece.

Rest Madison certainly stands out as my top 3 discoveries in 2019, and I will see her every chance I can get. To stay that I was stunned the first time I saw Rett play (which happened to be alongside Emma Cole and Wolf Bay at Madam Siam back in Oct and then later opening for Lauren Ruth Ward at The El Rey) would be an understatement. The minute Rett opened her mouth was the minute MY mouth would remain open, jaw dropped on the floor. Her West Virginia roots have fertilized a southern-raspy vibe that stands out in the LA music scene, carving a niche that not many can touch. She almost always starts her show with a gospel-like vocal intro called ‘One Year‘ (video below) that hooks you hard, stopping you in your tracks like a dear in headlights. Every song in her set is a masterpiece, and it blows me away that she is only in her early 20s. Since the Madame Siam show, I have been obsessively listening to her EP (God Is a Women, Mother’s Girl, Twinty-Five) over and over. I can understand some of the frustrations she mentions in ‘Twenty-Five’ (“My pals are all making plans and playing house… but I ain’t got a damn thing figured out”), but cannot understand her sense of urgency with her self-imposed time line: “Why did I romanticize where I’d be at 25… and I know that I know that I’ve still young but how come I’ve run out of time.” She is still SO YOUNG and is FAR FROM “running out of time.” She has already surpassed many her age, having written incredibly brilliant songs that raise ever hair on my body when I hear them sung out loud. Considering it was INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, it was also PERFECTLY FITTING for Rett to play ‘God Is a Woman’ (“I wish I had known back then that no love is a sin… cause GOD’S A WOMAN, She F*CKS A WOMAN, just as divine… that GOD’S A DIKE, and she made rainbows to give us a sign”) for her encore. I will forever put Rett up on a pedestal & broadcast her gift to the world until her fans are “drawing rainbows 🌈 in the sky to give her a sign.” ❤

Videos:

“If I was given one month to live, I’d carry our dreams in a bucket till we crossed our last wish off our list. If I was given one day, if I was given one day to live, I’d memorize your kiss with my clumsy mouth while you hold my shaky legs still. If I was given one hour, If I was given one hour to live, I would praise your body with every own god sin there is. If I was given one breath, if I was given one hour, if I was given one day, if I was given one month. If I was given one year, if I was given one year to year. I would plant that tree in the garden to keep track of our last seasons. If I was give one year.”

“Let me tell ya it takes more than a stitch to make me obedient… I never learned how to stay cause I was born a stray, yes I was born a stray”

“Shame is a river, and I’ve crossed its waters, always sink… Hope’s on the other side, and I’ve got guilt I’ve got bricks to my feet… I was 15 when I had my first drink, I’m on the sofa across from a shrink, keeping my mouth shut and grinding my teeth.. Got away as far as I could but that didn’t do me any good… love is a sunrise, where’s the light to eclipse my grief… Grace speaks of silence, I’ve been quiet but I only hear my own scream.”

“I’m so pathetic, I begged God to trade my life, with my mom’s, but you didn’t have that, you never asked me, you only wanted me to be happy… So I’m trying my best to be happy”

“Sometimes I think you live you through me, and you’re pissed you’re not directing the movie… If I die would you find a way to make my pain about you… When I go I already know that death don’t make a bitch an angel”

“Mamma never said I was second best, she loved a TomBoy in a Sequin dress…”

“I wish I had known back then that no love is a sin.. cause GOD’S A WOMAN, She FUCKS A WOMAN, just as divine… that GOD’S A DIKE, and she made rainbows to give us a sign”

 

 

Previous reviews (The Bootleg, The Love Song Bar, The El Rey, Madam Siam):

 

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Sharon Van Etten: “Halfway through this life, I used to feel free, Or was it just a dream? Now you’re hotshot, Think you’re so carefree, But you’re just seventeen, So much like me” – Live at The Fillmore in SF (Feb 26, 2019)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Lucky enough to finish my meeting in LA just in enough time to drive up to SF and catch the one and only Sharon Van Etten to a SOLD OUT crowd at The Fillmore ON HER BIRTHDAY (one of the greatest gifts she said she could ask for). It had been ~8 mon since I moved from SF, and there was great sentiment in getting back to the city where I first saw Sharon play (Aug 2012 at The Rickshaw Stop). Happy one year wiser to the female phenom who continues to advocate to “love more” (what a beautiful encore), and for that we love HER more. Besides dedicating ‘One Day’ to her mom who would have requested it, she dedicated ‘I Told You Everything’ (“a song about being brave enough to tell someone your deepest truths”) to a couple (“The Ruckers”) who gave her a card thanking Sharon for helping them to “let go.” She also dedicated a song to “all the mothers other there,” conveying her urge to protect her son (now 3 years old!) “from all the evil in the world.” A major highlight for me was when Sharon’s performance of ‘Seventeen,’ a song that I literally listened to SEVENTEEN TIMES IN A ROW and is my favorite track on the new album, Remind Me Tomorrow. I nearly DIED when she came over to my side of the stage and looked directly into my eyes as she shouted vehemently, “Downtown hotspot,  ” She describes ‘Seventeen’ as a “love letter to NYC,” to the “places I have lives, lost and found myself, let go of, and embraced,” and you can feel every hair on your body raise as you watch her reflect on the love/hate relationship and realize the “hotshot” that she wished she could have advised looking back: “I see you so uncomfortably alone.. I wish I could show you how much you’ve grown.” What a freaking masterpiece. “It feels odd singing about being 17 on your 38th birthday,” she said, “but I find comfort in the phrase ‘It is what it is’ that I saw recently on a pillowcase.” What an extra special night honoring an extra special lady. ‘Come back, Kid.’ We love you. ☺️❤️

Previous reviews:

 

https://beatsthatsetmypulse.com/2014/06/11/sharon-van-etten-weve-been-through-better-days-and-youve-tasted-all-my-pain-break-my-legs-so-i-cant-walk-to-you/

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