Lauren Ruth Ward: “‘Love is not loving’ mama, that’s what Bowie said… Think I’m aggressive? I’m just obsessive. Maybe I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” – Live at The Chapel in SF (May 25, 2018)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

If you haven’t yet seen the volatile, voracious VOCAL VIXEN that is Lauren Ruth Ward​, you best MAKE IT HAPPEN. Many of my favorite LA bands had described her as “truly something else” and a “MUST SEE,” and only NOW (after seeing her last night for the first time at The Chapel​) do I understand why she deserves to be up on that pedestal. With the (1) bluesy rasp and feverish headbanging of Janis Joplin, (2) sultry, seductive sounds of Sia, (3) heavy howls and fairy-like movement of Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine), and (4) lyrical cadence of Courtney Barnett, Lauren is the EPITOME of a TRUE ENTERTAINER. Her killer combination of good looks, memorizing vocals, and “come-hither” demeanor will stop you DEAD IN YOUR TRACKS, and you’ll find yourself swooning more than once throughout the set. She uses her impressive vocal control to deliver salacious, racy lines in songs like ‘Make Love to Myself‘ and ‘Blue Collar Sex Kitten‘ with crackling/panting/heaving undertones (as if on the brink of climax) and a gritty vibrato that provokes the sexual appetite in us all, especially the cougars who shouted out to Lauren with pride: “Mom’s are out TONIGHT!” I’m so glad this provocative powerhouse decided to crawl onto the speaker RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME and allow to to capture some bewitching footage (def not camera shy) of her holding us under her spell. She even offered to shake my hand (along with others in the front row) which I found really endearing, and waved attentively at everyone in the crowd who was starring up at her in awe.

One of my favorite moments was when Lauren kicked off ‘Blue Collar Sex Kitten‘ howling “Thought you found Jesus in me while I lied there Fa-Fa-Fa-FAKING” and then later shouts (while looking in the direction of the drummer) “You should let me cut your hair to make you look a little BETTER!” (which is very fitting considering that she is a professional hair stylist). She also opens up about her sexuality: “I’m a dyke, dated guys, ain’t a crime, won’t apologize for my tribe.” Another favorite moment was her delivery of these two lines in ‘Well, Hell,’ the title track of her debut album: “Love is not loving” mama, that’s what Bowie said” and “Think I’m aggressive? I’m just obsessive. Maybe I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” LOVE LOVE LOVE. Her lyric cadence in this one reminds me of Courtney Barnett, which is ALWAYS A GOOD THING. ‘Staff Only,’ ‘Sheet Stains,’ and ‘Sideways‘ are my other favorites, along her her BRAND NEW siiiiiiiick song, ‘Valhalla‘ that has a super catchy chorus and a killer ending: “How did she do it, how did she do it, how did she do it? They all will ASK.” Yaaas. Can’t wait for this bad boy to be released! She also sang a song called ‘Scorpio Season‘ (not on her EP) which made me grin ear-to-ear as I thought to myself “OF  Of COURSE Lauren is a SCORPIO… The most passionate and sexual of all the signs.” I can definitely can SPOT MY OWN. 😛

A true knack for audience allure, Lauren Ruth Ward is building an intense fan base with her 60’s Rock n’ Role revival and this attention is only going to spread like wildfire over the next year. She makes it known in her title track (‘Well, Hell‘) that she is grateful for being heard (“I didn’t mean to make your head spin, I have a lot to say. I have a lot to say. I have a lot to say. Thank you for listening to what we have to say“), but WE are grateful for her voice, and her message. She is a MUST SEE, and I urge you to see her whenever she comes through your town. Just look for the gorgeous “Flower Child” in rainbow vintage pants and a rad, rainbow fringe.  ❤

Not only was I stoked to have met Lauren after the show (pic above) and to have learned that she was also a fellow East Coaster who moved out here about 3 years ago, but I was EVEN MORE STOKED to later learn that Lauren’s sister (Sarah) went to University of Maryland with my good friend Tony Awojoodu and is married to one of his close friends, Sasha. CRAZY SMALL WORLD!

Videos from the show:

“You’ve got a sign on your heart that says “Staff Only”. A Band-Aid life, you’re just staying high and lonely. Go on and treat me bad. Go on and treat yourself bad.” HELL YAAAAAAS. Such a fucking siiiick track. I love when she laugh “HA HA HA!” right after belting “The devil on your shoulders got a chip on his shoulder – ain’t that funny?”

“Got me a job and planned real good. But all the planning didn’t go as it should. I was distracted by the people walking faster than me. I’m going sideways. I’m going sideways.”

“Buddy, I don’t need you I can make love to myself. If you think I’m lonesome then you’re lying to yourself… I am not your honey. I don’t need nobody for nothing. I’ve got myself for loving. I’ve got myself for loving. I am not your honey and I don’t need nobody for nothing, no. I’ve got myself for loving and I don’t need nobody.”

Lauren’s siiiiiiiiick new song, ‘Valhalla.’ I love the enigmatic ending: “How did she do it, how did she do it, how did she do it? They all will ASK.” Yaaas. Can’t wait for this bad boy to be released!

“You were appointed the master of control. It won’t give you self control, you’re only getting older.”

“Thought you found Jesus in me while I lied there faking… Contemplation, admiration, salivation, masturbation : four – step Friday night. I’m a dyke, dated guys, ain’t a crime, won’t apologize for my tribe.” WOW.

Of COURSE Lauren is a SCORPIO! The most passionate and sexual of all the signs… Glad to also be one. xx

“Love is not loving” mama, that’s what Bowie said… Think I’m aggressive? I’m just obsessive. Maybe I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” OMG I LOVE THIS. Her lyric cadence in this one reminds me of Courtney Barnett, which is ALWAYS A GOOD THING.

 

 

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Rebound (Playlist: May 18, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

May 18, 2018

FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (Spotify link below) inspired by awesome bands I saw in Austin at SXSW 2018 (Kid Queen, Magic Bronson, Caught a Ghost, The Lagoons, The Wild Now, Dawg Yawp, Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Black Pistol Fire, Dr. Joe, Abhi the Nomad) and others I saw in San Francisco/Los Angeles/San Diego (The War on Drugs, EasyFriend, Ramonda Hammer, SLUGS, Rival Cavves, Little Monarch, Penguin Prison, The Oh Hellos, Holy Wars, Ibeyi, Overcoats, Mt. Joy, The Drums, Alvvays, Planet Booty, Escort, Sal’s Greenhouse, Wild Child, Stelth Ulvang, Frenship, Yoke Lore, George Ezra, Noah Kahan, HAIM, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Zach Winters, Horse Feathers, and Dead Horses).  Playlist also includes new releases from (Geographer, Meg Myers, Leon Bridges, Ryley Walker, Trevor Powers (of Youth Lagoon), DonCat, The Colour Coast, Bishop Briggs, Charlotte Cardin, Courtney Barnett, Harrison Storm, GIVERS, the French Cassettes, Black Pistol Fire, Florence + the Machine, Matt and Kim, Derek Ted, Christof Van der Ven (of Bear’s Den), Brenda Carsey, Youth in a Roman Field (of San Fermin), Goodnight Texas, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Lord Huron, Betty Who, Wye Oak, Two Door Cinema Club, Wildling, Johnnyswim, Riley Geare (formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra), Milo Greene and Mastersystem, the newest project of Scott Hutchinson (Frightened Rabbit, Owl John), an irreplaceable LEGEND that we painstakingly lost to suicide on May 10. See below for my brief ‘Tribute to Scott’. A more in-depth one is in the works.

I chose kid QUEEN’s ‘Rebound’ for this playlist’s title track because I was INSTANTLY HOOKED to this song the first time I heard it at kid QUEEN‘s set at SXSW (videos on my Facebook music page), and I especially LOVE growling along to the part, “I don’t gotta alot of work to define my wealth, but I’m poor motherfucker with a wide array of shit to sell.” RAWR. “Call me crazy call me the rebound-er, I’ve been watching this city and I’m confounded.” YAAAAS. ❤ kid QUEEN was my FAVORITE new discovery of SXSW 2018, and I was so happy to find that they are based in backyard of SF, It was also cool to learn that their frontwoman, Shannon Harney, was formerly of Be Calm Honcho and played shows back at UC Davis at the same time I was there. This SEXY SASSAFRASS has sultry pipes that will STUN YOU at first hit and stop you DEAD in your tracks. I knew all the tracks after just one set and was already singing along the second time around. That’s at sign of a SUPER SOLID band. Every track was a hit and I can’t wait for more releases.

Tribute to Scott:

My heart is broken and is going to take some time to mend. Scott Hutchinson (Frightened Rabbit, Owl John, Mastersystem) was one of the most naturally-gifted songwriters of our generation with powerful, palpable lyrics that will stand the test of time. Fearless and transparent about his struggle with depression, he would often shroud his dark thoughts (“With my head in my hands I resolve to die alone”) with comedic charisma (one of the funniest dudes on the planet) and hopeful resilience (“oh how she plunges a knife into my suicide”). Songs POURED out of him, bursting open emotional floodgates that fed streams our of consciousness and clarity. Everyone knew his lyrics by heart, belting them out from their core in a catharsis that can only be realized firsthand. He had given away enumerable gifts (music, poetry, art, humor) to the world, and his generosity and loyalty to fans was like nothing else I had ever seen. Even after my tenth show, he still remembered the first time we met at The Belfast Empire. He always made time to meet and greet fans, even after sold out shows. If only he knew how much light he radiated into everyone around him.  But, the stark reality is that the “brightest lights cast the darkest shadows,” and it FUCKING SUCKS. His immense, intense imagination was both a blessing and a curse, and it’s devastating that he couldn’t dampen the demons. Scott, I am so grateful for you and your music, and the constant it’s been in my life when nothing else could. “When my blood stops, Someone else’s will nod… And while I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth.” Our ❤ will always bleed for you and the infinite “tiny changes” you made to earth.

What’s even more painful and ironic and that Scott recorded with the Fruit Tree Foundation, a Scottish supergroup of founded by Idlewilds Rod Jones and the DelgadosEmma Pollock to “raise awareness of mental health and challenge perceptions of mental health problems by creating great art.” Here’s a song he recorded with James Graham (another favorite frontman) of The Twilight Sad:

Scott helped others fight the same battle he could no longer fight in himself. Heavy heart.

Depression is an alarmingly dangerous devil and we must arm ourselves against it. We must learn from this tragedy and develop a stronger strategies for suicide awareness and prevention. My heart hurts so much to think about Scott’s family and band mates and all of the people around the globe who loved him. It’s just so incomprehensible. He gave so much for others but couldn’t give to himself. I have been listening to Mastersystem‘s ‘Dance Music album on repeat (it’s SOOOOO GOOD) and there are harbingers of suicide in at least half of the songs, especially A Waste of Daylight‘ and ‘Bird is Bored of Flying‘ (and I don’t it’s a coincidence that this put this as the very last track on the album):

Proper home‘: “I used to want to fly but now I don’t… And if the curtain drops tomorrow, I would not mind”

Peaks and Troughs‘: “It’s all peaks and troughs on the way to the grave”

A Waste of Daylight‘: “The world is far too big, and I’m too tired to conquer it… I missed the summer, but didn’t care… there will always be another if I make it to next year… I’m not sure what happening, but I’m trying to find an answer… At some point I’m just gonna give the fuck up.”

Bird is Bored of Flying‘: “Do you wonder why a bird is born a flying… Here comes the ground again.. my concrete safety net… as I leave the sky for the earth, I shed, shed my feathers and my small net worth. i want less, I want less, I want less… I’ve seen all that I can see, become what I don’t want to be, bird is bored, bird is bored, bored of flying…”

Scott insinuated a drowning suicide (especially) in many of his songs, and it’s so sad that he finally followed through on his vision:

Floating in the Forth‘:

“And fully clothed, I float away
(I’ll float away)
Down the Forth, into the sea
I’ll steer myself
Through drunken waves
These manic gulls
Scream it’s okay
Take your life
Give it a shake
Gather up
All your loose change
I think I’ll save suicide for another year.”

Swim until you can’t see land’:

“And if I hadn’t come now to the coast to disappear

The sea has seen my like before, though it’s my first and perhaps last time
Let’s call me a baptist, call this a drowning of the past
She is there on the shoreline throwing stones at my back
….
All I have is a body adrift in water, salt and sky.”

“With my head in my hands, I resolved to die alone
Now I’ve finally found a good reason to grow old…

A Good Reason to Grow Old‘:

“I was ready to drown in the afterlife, Not anymore…That I’ve finally found a good reason to grow old”

Break‘:

“Nothing’s worse than realizing who you’ve hurt
I didn’t bend and now we eat the consequence

Over the edge I can’t stop myself
Off the ledge throwing punches
Over the edge I can’t steer myself
All over again, I don’t want this…”

Oh what we all would have given for Scott to throw a few more punches before stepping off that ledge. He had SO MANY PEOPLE who loved him more than he will ever know. In honor of mental health awareness week, please PLEASE stay vigilant about those who are hurting and in need someone to talk to. You are never alone. Let’s try and get in involved with organization like Sounds of Saving, which is dedicated to raising awareness about depression and healing through music. The do so by creating videos of artists in their chosen setting playing the music which saved their life. Spread the ❤

 

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Judah & The Lion: “Hey, my life is real great, feel I’m well on my way to my dreams coming true and I’m getting to do with you” – The Chapel (April 21, 2016)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remember leaving The Chapel (small venue in SF) in AWE when I first saw Judah & the Lion there over a year ago. To my PLEASANT SURPRISE, these Nashville natives were able to deliver their SUPERB STAGE PRESENCE and RELENTLESS ENERGY to a much larger venue, BottleRock Napa main ‘Jam Cellars’ stage. I was once again blown away by their unique fusion of folk and hip-hop (“Folk Hop n Roll”) and their hilarious, coordinated dance routines (even a booty dance!) to some of their songs. Flying banjos and mandolins, twirling accordions, broken drums sticks, are just a few of the flashbacks that I have, and I am still amazed by the passion and charisma of the frontman, Judah Akers, who was running all over stage and into/onto the crowd (yes, there was a crowd surf!). The best part is that you really DIDN’T NEED to know any of their songs prior, for I guarantee you’d find yourself picking up the lyrics and quickly chiming in on the chorus as if if was your LIFE ANTHEM. Highlights for me were ‘Kicking Da Leaves,’ ‘Hold On,’  ‘Going to Mars,’ ‘Better Man,’ a cover of The Killers ‘s ‘Mr. Brightside’ (HELL YES) and the EPIC ENCORE of ‘Take it all back,’ which is STILL A BLUR and pretty much felt like an EXORCISM of negative energy. I definitely left that set “thinking I could do anything I want,” which was the ONE and ONLY request that Judah asked of the audience. Still buzzing from that wildly creative, genre bending experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GDJYB: “Tick tick tock tock the minute goes, the history flows, nothing’s gonna change the lies u told, the scam we know” – Iceland Airwaves (Nov 3, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang) were one of the top new discoveries for me at Iceland Airwaves this year. Calling themselves a “Math-folk girl band from Hong Kong and plays song in Honglish,” this badass quintet (Soni Cheng – guitarist, Heihei Ng – Drummer, Soft Liu – Vocalist, Wing Chan – Bassist).  My eyes were bugging out the entire set and bugged out EVEN MORE when I learned that they will be playing at San Francisco’s Noise Pop festival at the end of February! Can’t wait to see them again! Be sure to check out GDJYB’s debut EP (what I bought right after the set) and their first full album (11 songs) ‘23:59 Before Tomorrow,’ released in early 2017 in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. I true treat! 🙂

“If there’s a band capable of striking a successful balance between tranquility and tumult, calm and tension, it’s GDJYB, Hong Kong’s best-kept secret. Featured on the art-pop quartet’s debut album, 23:59 Before Tomorrow, the intriguingly titled “That Day I Went to His Funeral” presents a clean, smooth, and resolutely warm façade, one capable of disarming the most hardened set of ears. Beneath its alluring surface, however, the band can be heard churning out energetically swirling tangles of guitar, bass, drums, and even multi-part harmonies that in their delicate complexity fall somewhere between the Marine Girls’ jazzy post-punk and Warpaint’s dreamy tribal pop.”KEXP

Some of my favorite tracks can be found on my recent playlist: Make It Out Alive

Make it out Alive (Playlist: Jan 15, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

“I felt the music hit my bones and I fell back
I fell into the clouds
My feet weren’t touching the ground
We started to float around” Angus and Julia Stone (‘Make it Out Alive‘)
FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (82 songs!) inspired by some of my TOP PICKS of Iceland Airwaves music festival (Nov 2017) for which I’ll post individual reviews: Mammut (winner of the 2004 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Kiriyama Family (whose track ‘Innocence‘ has been #1 in Iceland for the past 3 months), Omotrack (2nd prize winner of the 2017 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Mani Orrason, Hórmónar (1st place winner of the 2016 Icelandic Music Experiments), Songhoy Blues, Keto (my talented friend Le Hah!), Axel Flovent, Hatari (Grapevine music award‘s 2016 and 2017 ‘Best Live Band of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang), Rökkva, Valdimar, One Week Wonder, Rythmatik (winner of the 2015 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir)), Captain Syrup, Hogni (Grapevine music award‘s ‘Album of the Year‘), GDJYB (Gai Dan Jan ), Mosi Musik, Asgeir (fastest-selling debut album in Icelandic history, ‘Album of the Year’ winner at 2012 Icelandic Music Awards), We Made God (3rd prize winner of the 2006 Annual Battle Of The Bands (Músíktilraunir) ), and I am Halo.
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Mammut is by far one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC BANDS and have been ever since I first discovered them at the Great Escape music festival in Brighton back in 2013. I am somewhat OBSESSED with their newest album, Kinder Versions, especially after getting hooked on ‘Kinder Version‘ (“I’m bringing all my stories back, erasing all the kinder versions of my past”) ❤ ❤ ❤ , ‘The Moon Will Never Turn On Me‘ (“I want to make this right but I don’t feel right, Cause sometimes life tries to eat us up… but then I take a look around and see how dust turns into gold and I embrace this world, embrace the world, embrace the world and I love it all”), and ‘Pray for Air‘ (“Taste the dirt of the water… you know you’ll never be pure.”) *Note: Air in water unfortunately would mean less blue ice when that water freezes!* Not only did National radio and television RÚV chose Kinder Version as the best album of 2017, but it was The Line of Best Fit selected it at #18 for 2017. Mammut was also awarded performers of the year (Krókurinn 2017, Menningarverðlaun Rásar) and selected to be on KEXP‘s top 10 list of the YEAR. They definitely had a REMARKABLE 2017! Can’t wait to post my review on them! I got some epic videos of their first set of Airwaves in Reykjavik, especially during ‘Kinder Version‘ when Kata pointed to me about a 1 min in and asked “Have you been excited?” with a gaze that stared into the depths of MY SOUL. If I wasn’t excited before, I certainly was after.:)
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Other sources of inspiration for this playlist were drawn from recent shows that I really enjoyed (see reviews by clicking on link) — Henry Jamison, Angus and Julia Stone, City of the Sun, Overcoats, Nick Mulvey, Jaws of Love. (Kelcey Ayer of Local Natives), Caroline Smith, Tune-Yards, Ben Sollee, Emily Scott Robinson, Luke Sital-Singh, Henry Jamison, Gracie and Rachel — as well as new releases by Geographer, The Boxer Rebellion, Trevor Hall, Caught a Ghost, Black Pistol Fire, The Oh Hellos, Sharon Van Etten, Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors), Cosmo Sheldrake, and Van William.
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City of the Sun was one of my TOP FIVE PICKS OF 2017, and their EXPLOSIVE, GENRE-BENDING sound (post-rock blended with and flamenco guitar and unique percussion) will SWEEP YOU TO THE SKY. It’s only a matter of time before these guys shine their vibrant tunes ‘To the Sun and All the Cites In Between‘ (name of debut album).
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Previous Playlists: Up All Night, Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, and more…

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

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  1. So Low- Geographer
  2. Love Yourself- The Boxer Rebellion
  3. Chateau- Angus & Julia Stone
  4. Moon / Sun- Trevor Hall
  5. Kinder Version-  Mammut
  6. Before The Hurting Lands.- Jaws Of Love.
  7. I Don’t Believe In Us- Overcoats
  8. Mountain To Move- Nick Mulvey
  9. Make It Out Alive- Angus & Julia Stone
  10. Chemistry- Kiriyama Family
  11. Second Sun- City of the Sun
  12. Right & Wrong- Caught a Ghost
  13. Trying Not to Love You- Caroline Smith
  14. Pray For Air- Mammut
  15. Speak Of The Devil- Black Pistol Fire
  16. Snow- Angus & Julia Stone
  17. The Wires- Ben Sollee
  18. Remembering- Nick Mulvey
  19. Wander- Trevor Hall
  20. Kai’s Song-  Overcoats
  21. Firefly- City of the Sun
  22. Blind Spots- Omotrack
  23. The Moon Will Never Turn On Me- Mammut
  24. 21st Century Heartbeat- Luke Sital-Singh
  25. Magazine- Caroline Smith
  26. Transform Your Game (We Remain)- Nick Mulvey
  27. Light Years Away- Kiriyama Family
  28. Fed All My Days- Mani Orrason
  29. Baudelaire- Angus & Julia Stone
  30. Torches- The Oh Hellos
  31. Dark Night- Amber Coffman
  32. Wake The Riot- Black Pistol Fire
  33. Love Me Like I’m Gone.- Jaws Of Love.
  34. I Can’t Quit- The Vaccines
  35. Bloodstyle- Caroline Smith
  36. Ekki Sleppa- Hórmónar
  37. Sahara- Songhoy Blues
  38. Time- City of the Sun
  39. Overalls (Live)- Emily Scott Robinson
  40. Imaginary Mountains- Omotrack
  41. We Tried Love- Mammut
  42. Mechanical Advantage- Ben Sollee
  43. Superstar- Keto
  44. Hawaiian License Plates.- Jaws Of Love.
  45. On the Mountain Tall-  The Oh Hellos
  46. Apart- Kiriyama Family
  47. Walls- Mammut
  48. City Dream- Axel Flovent
  49. Ódýr- Hatari
  50. Heart Attack- Tune-Yards
  51. Nothing Stays The Same- Luke Sital-Singh
  52. Up There- Trevor Hall
  53. In Your Hands- Nick Mulvey
  54. All To Myself- Amber Coffman (of Dirty Projectors)
  55. Come Along- Cosmo Sheldrake
  56. Where It Goes-  雞蛋蒸肉餅  GDJYB (Gai Dan Jane Yuk Bang)
  57. I Want You to Know- Rökkva
  58. Revolution (Ft. First Aid Kit)- Van William
  59. Læt Það Duga- Valdimar
  60. Mars- One Week Wonder
  61. Carrie Bell- Ben Sollee
  62. Blackened Pool- Keto
  63. Young Folks- City of the Sun
  64. Geiri á Sjoppunni- Captain Syrup
  65. Angel Eyes- One Week Wonder
  66. Soubour – Songhoy Blues
  67. Bed I Made (Bonus Track)- Allen Stone
  68. Ryðgaður Dans- Valdimar
  69. Time Is A Riddle- Luke Sital-Singh
  70. Traveling Mercies- Emily Scott Robinson
  71. What the Fuck- The Boxer Rebellion
  72. For You- Sharon Van Etten
  73. Peace Has a Pencil in Her Hair – Rythmatik
  74. Kynsvelt- Hórmónar
  75. Queen Of Queens – i Am Halo
  76. Crash- Hogni
  77. I Am You Are Me- Mosi Musik
  78. Trust- Asgeir
  79. The Start is a Finish Line- We Made God
  80. Sunlit Juice- Henry Jamison
  81. (Un)comfortable- Gracie and Rachel
  82. Goodbye- Mosi Musik

City of the Sun: “If you came here for a chill acoustic show, this ain’t it” – The Cornerstone in Berkeley (Nov 7, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SO STOKED to have met the TREMENDOUSLY TALENTED TRIO (John Pita, Avi Snow, Zach Para) that is City of the Sun after their MIND-NUMBING SHOW at the Cornerstone Brewery in Berkeley.  I may have been tired and jet-lagged from Iceland Airwaves music festival (for which I only just returned the day before), but that surely did NOT keep me from SEEING THE SUN, City of the Sun. This EXPLOSIVE, GENRE-BENDING band blends post-rock and flamenco style guitar with unique percussion (learned in Peru) to create soundscapes that SWEEP YOU TO THE SKY. I first discovered City of the Sun at BottleRock Napa back in May and remember my knees getting weak (yes, THAT GOOD) as I ran to the stage half-way into their first SONG. They reminded me a bit of both Explosions in the Sky and Rodrigo y Gabriela, two of my ALL TIME FAVORITE bands (but with very different styles). They also had a bit of a Vancouver Sleep Clinic vibe, which (oddly enough), they told me they met a few months back at a music festival in Vegas and considered Tim Bettinsons‘ vocals a great fit for their music.  🙂

Having honed their craft as buskers in NYC, their stage presence was pretty phenomenal for a band new to the festival circuit, and you could tell they were thirsty for a rowdy crowd. It’s pretty cool that they wrote a song (‘You and I… And New York‘) about the city that provided much of their influence and inspiration, as well as a platform to play to a world full of strangers. NYC pedestrians are def a tough crowd!

I smiled SO FREAKING WIDE when John Pita (lead guitar) stuck his head over the crowd and shouted “LET ME SEE ALL YOUR FUCKING EYES!” Haha. YAAAAAS. You better believe I took that command to heart and waved my big-eyed puppet face his way the entire set. Whelp, he must have liked the puppet participation, cause during the encore (‘Everything‘), he launched toward me at 2 min in and yelled “HEY!” as if to raise the roof of the joint! That song is EVERYTHING I could ever want and need! So FREAKING SICK; a true TIMELESS, UNIVERSAL TRACK that will have EVERYONE and EVERYTHING moving their bodies in ways they never knew how! It’s only a matter of time before these guys shine their vibrant tunes ‘To the Sun and All the Cites In Between.’ (name of their debut album).

Another standout track (but let’s get real they are all amazing) is ‘Explosions.’ (video below) If this song does not make you FEEL EXPLOSIONS all over, I am concerned for you. It’s seriously one of the most beautiful instrumental tracks I’ve heard in a long, long time. ‘Brothers‘ (video below) is another track that has my heart, for when is hits, I simply “feel no pain” (and I’m pretty sure Bob Marley would agree). It’s probably not a coincidence then that they kick off their album with this one. The build-up is so damn gorgeous. What a slayer.

Lucky for us they happened to perform two amazing covers: (1) Santana‘s ‘Jingo‘ and (2) The xx‘s ‘Intro.’ WHAT A TREAT to hear City of the Sun brand this XX masterpiece with heir own unique flamenco guitar/post-rock signature. SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD.

They also treated us to a new song called ‘Firefly‘ (which def flew right into my heart and lit it up) as well as an unreleased song with no title (video below).

I will never forget John Pita’s last words to the crowd: “If you can here for a chill acoustic show, this ain’t it.”  DAMN STRAIGHT. You came for something that words simply cannot describe. You just gotta show up and see for yourself. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Videos from their set at BottleRock Napa:

 

 

 

 

Caroline Smith: “If you gotta guy like mine then read the signs don’t lose your mind make the drive to Jefferson”” – Live at the Independent in SF (Dec 9, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi


I had no idea that walking into the Independent early to check out the opener for Overcoats would have me walking out with a new favorite artist: Caroline Smith, a neo-soul, R&B singer with indie-folk roots who formerly released two albums with her band Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps before putting out a solo debut album back in 2013 called ‘Half About Being a Woman.

What hooked me right away with Caroline, beside her stunning vocals, was her radical candor and sassy songwriting, eminent in the first new track she played (video below) which unfortunately  I did not catch the name of:

“I will not pretend, I will not put on a smile, I will say I’m alright for you, when all I wanted was to be good, to do everything in truth…
You bloody mother fucking asshole
You bloody mother fucking asshole
You bloody mother fucking asshole
You bloody mother fucking asshole”

I thoroughly enjoyed this super-cathartic, super-sassy “ode to asshole” and could not stop smiling at the thought of this petite, innocent-looking lil’ lady shocking an ex-lover with her spunky, sassafras anthems. I couldn’t get enough of her spitfire lyrics and was super excited when she continued to breathe fire with a track called ‘Jefferson‘ (video below) — one that definitely puts fire under the ass!

“Chewing on some gum walking home and feeling dumb for giving into him another night
God damn it’s the way he stays just far enough away to waste my time   
I coulda told you I was only setting up the deck against myself, again.
If you gotta guy like mine then read the signs don’t lose your mind make the drive to Jefferson”

Such a sassy, witty, FEEL GOOD JAM that I could listen to OVER AND OVER. Sooooo good.

Caroline then treated us to a few new tracks (videos below),  ‘Animal‘ (“You’re an animal, you’re an animal, you’re an animal I’m the CRIMINAL… cause I’m one too”) and ‘Bad habit‘ (“I gotta bad habit of living rich on minimum wage .. I gotta bad habit for loving you… is the worst one.. the worst one”), both of which I can’t wait to be released.

Check out her track ‘Bloodstyle‘ — also so freaking good!
Tagline: MISTER SISTER // MINNEAPOLIS OUTLAW // WOMAN IN THE INDUSTRY