Russell Elliot releases “I’ll Be Damned” Video

An emotionally charged single from Brooklyn singer

March 5th, 2018
Lex Voight
Category: Lead Story, News

“I’ll be Damned” is an exercise in tension. The Brooklyn-based r & b up and comer Russell Elliot weaves a self portrait of a man devastated and confused–and how often those feelings can commingle and morph into a seething, indignant anger. But more often than not, that anger is internalized–used as a means to guilt ourselves that spins us further into our heads. “I’ll be Damned” is an exorcism of these feelings, an airing-out if these grievances, both against self and a former lover but in such heartbreakingly specific ways.
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Belle Game live at Bardot

School Night gets set ablaze by “crush-pop” band

February 19th, 2018
Lex Voight
Category: Lead Story, Video

I had the luck to catch Belle Game the other week at School Night/Bardot amid a crazy couple weeks of work. The band specializes in a lush, sultry sound that reminds me of a little-known Boston band back in the day that I loved named Baby Boy H, where soundscapes and textures are mixed with darkly soaring vocals, cut with a definite edge by some excellent drumming and guitar work. They are going to for sure be a band to watch.
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LAMB Session: Michael Blume

Self care, self love, and self confidence

February 17th, 2018
Lex Voight
Category: Lead Story, Video

Michael Blume is looking to inspire. That much is clear from his gospel-infused pop sound, but his lyrical content and his statement of purpose make it clear that Michael Blume intends to make every last one of his listeners love themselves, so help him higher power. Having been featured in Time Magazine, Huffington post, Billboard, and numerous other publications, Blume and his band stopped by LAMB for a quick acoustic session, interview, and to lift some spirits. Check it out below.
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Night Lights @ The Regent

Indie pop rockers get crowd dancing

February 16th, 2018
Mary Bonney
Category: Lead Story, Review

After interviewing Night Lights at their Eat See Hear performance, I’ve been hooked on the LA-based internationally-bred indie pop band. Since that fateful summer day, these rockers recorded their latest EP Childish, released an energetic music video and kicked off a national tour with Mako and Caroline Pennell. Last Saturday, the band performed at downtown’s The Regent and got audiences dancing along to their infectious tunes.

All photos by Nathan Tecson

It was a hometown heroes welcome for these former Bostonians as they were met by enthusiastic cheers from fans and friends alike. Night Lights wonderfully balances their emotional lyrics with upbeat energy, as demonstrated by their video for the danceable earworm “Things That We Used To Know”.

Their hypnotic melodies intertwined with lush, swirling instrumentation. When the band swelled with energy, lead vocalist Mauricio Jimenez matched the crescendoes, going from belting on the floor to performing backflips.

This local group is quickly gaining momentum as their live performances match the energy captured on their recorded tracks. As they continue on their national tour, Night Lights are sure to hook audiences with their infectious pop bites and dreamy beats and ensuring 2018 will be their biggest year yet.

Check out the music video to “Childish” below.

For more info on Night Lights:
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Bandcamp

Festival Preview: Air + Style

Snow, skate, and music, music, music

February 15th, 2018
Lesley Park
Category: Lead Story, News

Olympic fever is running high in the SoCal thanks in part to the likes of locally grown American phenoms Chloe Kim and Shaun White and their astounding gold medal-winning performances in the Pyeongchang halfpipe. If you, like me, are still needing an extra dose of pow in your life, look no further than 2018’s Air + Style LA happening next month.

Founded by the aforementioned three-time gold medalist White, Air + Style sees LA’s own Exposition Park transformed into a wintery playground littered with jumps and jibs fit for an Olympian. The latest iteration of Air + Style LA also throws skateboarding into the mix following its the addition to the roster of Olympic sports in 2020 (White himself is also a decorated skateboarder, having medaled in both the Summer and Winter X-Games in years past).

And of course there’s the music. With a roster that boasts the likes of LAMB favorites Phoenix, Zedd, Phantogram, Cut Copy, Tinashe, and GRiZ, the musical lineup is nothing to scoff at.

Get your tickets while you still can.

Phoebe Bridgers @ The Natural History Museum

A hair-raising set surrounded by dead animals

February 13th, 2018
Kyle B. Smith

Phoebe Bridgers haunts me. Her songs tell tales like a series of sad Polaroids strung together. It’s a dose of reality heavy enough to legitimately scare the wits out of you. Delivered with precision and delicacy, the dead calm in her songs also conjures hair-raising moments in her live performances. Never mind that she usually plays in a jet black dress that is worn over a near-transparent complexion, all whilst touring a breakout album that has a spooky ghost on its cover.

Phoebe Bridgers appeared live at the Natural History Museum as part of their wintertime First Fridays series, surrounded by a room full of dead animals. While the lifeless creatures stood still in well-lit diorama scenes, Bridgers opening set stayed the steady course of 2017 LP, Stranger in the Alps – the eight songs in her abbreviated set carried the weight of a delicate thud.

The aptly-named Rob Moose (violin), and local whiz kid producer Ethan Gruska (keys) were Phoebe’s collaborators for the evening. As is usually the case at First Fridays, a chatty and upbeat weekend-ready crowd drowned things out towards the back of the room. But myriad textures came to life closer to the action. From Moose’s plucked violin and Gruska’s subtle ethereal sensibilities, to Bridgers’ own multidimensional vocal spectrum, many moments rang clear as a bell to those paying attention.

The trio took “Scott Street” for a walk early on. The song is about as close as Bridgers treads to euphoria, with a collective walk down that ushered in a heck of a tension and release moment towards the tune’s end. Rob Moose’s string contributions hinted at strains of southern rock, before Phoebe took over with some woo-hoo coo’ing.

An electronic, knob-turning cacophony from Gruska gave way to Bridgers’ stoic delivery of the brutally honest confessional of “Funeral.” More unexpected Dixie-flavored sounds snuck in to the wrenching piece, arguably the best cut off Stranger in the Alps.

Those who have seen Phoebe Bridgers perform over the past year or two may have been caught off guard by the execution of “Georgia.” Once (and perhaps still a little bit) timid, Bridgers can now sing with a newfound command, harnessing power from the depths of her vocal range. As the song kept growing bigger, her voice blossomed with similar gusto. The outro flaunted a masterful intertwining of violin and Phoebe’s confident vocal projection.

Standing perfectly upright, Bridgers sang “Killer” sans guitar, and with her hands held together behind her back. From there, she quietly fell to her knees to tune her guitar, while Gruska and Moose gently volleyed an earthy, ad hoc jam back and forth. This led in to the finale of “Motion Sickness,” and yet another glowing example of Phoebe Bridgers’ less-is-more approach to her art.

Discovered mid-set was a bit of indie rock’s own natural history. Leaning against the wall, engrossed in the performance of one of his de facto protégés, was none other than Bright Eyes himself. He did not come forth to provide vocals on “Would You Rather,” as he did on the album. Instead, Conor Oberst opted to hang quietly to the side of the room, taking a place between other taxidermied creatures of the past, like some sort of diorama of 2005.

Setlist

Smoke Signals
Scott Street
Funeral
Georgia
Would You Rather
Demi Moore
Killer
Motion Sickness

Hippo Campus @ Fonda Theatre

The Minnesota quartet continue to rise

January 30th, 2018
David Fisch

I would suggest that it’s just a matter of time before Minneapolis-based quartet Hippo Campus breaks out, but by the looks and vibes of Friday night’s audience at the Fonda Theatre, I could have mistaken them for already having done so.


Photos by David Fisch

With a full-length under their belt and a score of singles and EP’s in the last few years and, most importantly, a delectable sound that is indie pop at its grandest, they sold out the venue top to bottom and commanded the stage left to right with an energetic performance that could easily pull both adoring fans and newcomers alike.

The band played just over an hour, performing their most popular tracks like “Way It Goes,” “Suicide Saturday,” “Buttercup,” and “Little Grace.” They were also supporting their most recent release, the warm glow EP, performing its three tracks.

The band will be out on the road in the U.S. for the next few weeks, and you can find those tour dates here. Check out the music video to “Buttercup” below.

More info:

Hippos Campus

Preview: Dear Boy @ The Troubadour

The boys return to headline with a new single

January 25th, 2018
David Fisch
Category: Lead Story, News

Blog favorites Dear Boy have returned with a new single to kick off what looks to be a flourishing 2018, supporting it with a release show at The Troubadour on January 31st with Gothic Tropic and Pinky Pinky.

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Yung Lean @ Fonda Theatre

Cloud rap star and his Sad Boys stormed Hollywood

January 19th, 2018
David Fisch
Category: Lead Story, Review

Cloud rap is still an underground movement in the wider genre, but it’s appropriately hovering over the mainstream in its peripheral vision, grabbing attention of many young and up-and-coming rap listeners hoping to be swept in its narcotic beats and shrouded vocal effects. Swedish rapper Yung Lean, at just 21-years-old, is already a connoisseur of the craft, exploding on the scene when he was a teenager with sleeper hits “Kyoto” and “Ginseng Strip 2002,” raking up fans left and right, all who were likely in attendance at the Fonda Theatre Friday night, reveling in the guy’s moody raps and chanting in a sea of next-generation rave-makers.


Photos by David Fisch

Yung Lean performed in support of his latest full-length release, 2017’s Stranger, which makes the bold attempt at becoming the genre’s “concept” album. He appeared on a mostly empty stage, with just he and the mic dominating even as he barely appeared in the hazy and dark lighting. His face donning clown-like makeup and wearing all black, the audience ate all of it up.

His set was fairly straightforward, performing twenty-plus tracks for what seemed like forever given his music’s penchant to swallow you in its bass and encapsulate you in its hallucinatory mood. His DJs and touring rapper Thaiboy Digital, known as the Sad Boys, supported his performance as mostly background, allowing Yung Lean to enact his fairly new-found stardom on the masses of the venue’s floor.

Yung Lean hooks you in to his world and you have a tendency to stay there, which is why the crowd was eager to not be forced out by security to leave the venue when the show ended. Though he relishes in a subgenre that isn’t looking for big-time antics, Yung Lean makes the case that maybe you should take the deep dive into the thickness, and both myself and his devotees in attendance at the Fonda can get behind that artistic statement.

More info:

Yung Lean