Diggin’ It – ROYAL BLOOD

Do you wanna hear ROCKIN’ riffs that ooze cool?

Shredding guitar with just enough of the blues to stay this side of metal?

Do you wanna feel like the coolest person on Earth while listening to a song? 
If you answered yes to any of the above, you should be listening to ROYAL BLOOD.
In this age of heavily produced EDM, it was so refreshing to experience how powerful some well played guitar and drums can be. From just a couple of guys! 
Testosterone laden riffs fueled with a sensitive side, these two handsome UK boys had me at the first chord last night at The Troubadour.  
Watch a performance of “Little Monster” at Reading:
I love this band and hope to hear a lot more from them in the future!  
Rock on!!  

LUCINDA WILLIAMS @ Way Over Yonder 9/26/14

The Way Over Yonder Fest is happening at the Santa Monica Pier for the second year this weekend.
It’s a unique environment for a festival – at the edge of the sea, cool ocean breezes in the air, volleyball players on the pier below, hard core music fans mixing with tourists and casual observers- and great music on a small, well curated main stage.

Last night, Lucinda Williams performed many songs off her upcoming new album – due 9/30, “Where The Spirit Meets The Bone”.  Pre-order it  HERE.

A talented song writer, her new material continues to support that accolade. She’s a seasoned story teller, and has a “devil may care” command of the stage that’s really fun to watch.
Her voice is equally weathered and powerful. She conveys credibility and experience.  There are a lot of singers that sing about frustration in love and life, but, when it comes from Lucinda, there’s an extra level of “yeah, she knows what she’s talking about”.  Her music combines the blues, country and rock in a seamless way.

Though it’s not a new song, I love “Righteously” – specifically the great line, “Be my lover, don’t play no game, just play me John Coltrane”.  A sentiment shared by lots of ladies, judging by the reaction by the crowd every time she sang it.

Her backing band was also impressive – Stuart Mathis on Guitar, David Sutton on Bass, and Butch Norton behind a huge drum kit.
You can catch her live at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco on October 3, and she’s out with a full tour starting in November.  
See her website for dates:  http://lucindawilliams.com

JOSE JAMES – Sonos Studio 9/15/14

Jose James is one talented cat…

Blending jazz, pop, hip-hop, electronic music and soul into a sound and a style that just grabs a hold of you from the inside whether you like it or not.
Last night at the cool performance space that is Sonos Studio in Los Angeles, Jose and his talented band and female vocalist Talia Billig took the small stage by storm.
Promoting his fifth album, “While You Were Sleeping”, he played a tight set to the crowd which was markedly quiet – but it was because we didn’t want to MISS A THING!

I loved everything Jose did, but, especially the seriously funky “U R The One”.
There’s an unresolved, sexy tension in this song – set up by Jose’s smooth vocals and cemented by the delayed, hesitant snare – it literally makes you lean forward, you WANT that beat to drop, and when it does it’s so satisfying.  It’s creative and effective!
Listen Here.

Jose is performing in Los Angeles at the Troubadour this Saturday night 9/20.  Highly recommended!   Tickets here
Jose James Website:  http://www.josejamesmusic.com
Get Jose’s new album, “While You Were Sleeping”  from iTunes.

DIGGIN’ IT – KAN WAKAN

Happy Friday! 
Time to plan the weekend.  Are you going to see any shows?  What music are you excited about?  Leave a comment or hit me up on Twitter.
Personally, I cannot wait to go see KAN WAKAN.  They’re playing a free show tomorrow night at the Getty Center here in LA.



This Los Angeles based band has their first full length EP out, “Moving On”, and they are, in fact, going places! 

Their sound is atmospheric and lush – thanks very much to the sexy voice of singer Kristianne Bautista.

They’ve been promoted via KCRW and the (very sync friendly) single “Like I Need You” has already been featured in a promo for HBO.I had a hard time picking which song from their “Moving On” EP to feature here- so many are great! But I think “Space Owl” is my favorite.  

If you’re in the LA area and want to see these guys tomorrow night – RSVP here: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/481137-saturdays-off-405-kan-wakan-los-angeles/

Kan Wakan’s website: Kan Wakan

MERCURY PRIZE SHORTLIST 2014

The shortlist for the 2014 Mercury Prize came out yesterday!  It’s Christmas for my ears!  I’ve heard most of these fantastic acts already, but, there are always a few that, before the Mercury list came out, I’d never heard of.
That happened this year for me with a band called POLAR BEAR.
After seeing the list, I listened to em yesterday, starting with their new album, “In Each And Every One”, and WOW!  Ears.Blown.
(note – Polar Bear was nominated for a Mercury Prize before, in 2005.  I obviously missed that year…)

This music is not for the faint of heart.
Let’s start with the obvious, if there even is such a thing with their stuff.  It’s jazz.  Experimental jazz.. But, it’s so much more than that –
It’s moody, it’s difficult, it’s tenuous, it’s electronic, it’s atmospheric, it’s profound, it’s rhythmical – and it’s WONDERFUL.

The songs on this album could be at home on a spacey, sy-fy soundtrack, as could they underscore the quirky dramatic turns of a Quentin Tarantino film.  This music is both incredibly commercial and NOT commercial at the same time.  In the right hands, it could make an amazing statement!

While everyone else is shoving their ears full with songs like “All About The Bass”, I’ll be over here, with my headphones on, listening to this complicated, intricate, focused, artistic, creative, beautiful music.
I’m rooting for you guys to win, and thank you, Mercury Prize judges, for another year of amazing selections!

LISTEN:
Here’s a link to Polar Bear’s Soundcloud, with 3 songs from the new album, “In Each And Every One”
Polar Bear

See the entire Mercury Prize 2014 Shortlist here:  Mercury Prize

DIGGIN IT.. The Parrots "I Am A Man"

I’m BACK!!
Sorry – it’s been a long time.  Any readers I once had are gone, so, I see this as a rebirth, a relaunch, a FRESH START!
What better way to come back than to intro a new “feature” to this little blog..  I’ll call it “Diggin It”.
Every time I post at “Diggin It”, you’ll get a new, fresh, fun track that I’m diggin’.  Easy, right?

Here’s “Diggin It” entry # 1!

It’s from THE PARROTS, a three piece from Madrid – and it jangles along and has me chair dancing at my desk, picturing a big party and wishing I was watching them on the pier in Santa Monica.
They just released a video for this song.  Check it out here:  The Parrots “I Am A Man”

Doesn’t this song sound like it should be in a commercial?!  
Here’s their sound cloud page – lots of great stuff.  The Parrots Soundcloud

The Line Of Best Fit reports that The Parrots are working on a new EP, and touring in Europe in the near future.  Looking forward to seeing these boys in the USA soon!

By the way, if you want more installments of “Diggin It” without any commentary, check out my Spotify playlist, “New Stuff I Like 2014”.  I’ve been keeping that for the whole year and I update it often.   New Stuff I Like 2014

How Spotify is like a pair of boots…

Spotify. How many discussions have been had about this already?!  Too many.  But here’s my take:

I’ve been using Spotify for a few months now, and I liken the experience to that of buying new fall boots.  All the fashion mags start writing about the “must have boot for fall!”  Ohh!  I want those! I see them in the store, and I have em cuz, you know, “must have!”  I already have boots kinda like em, but, those are old.  These are NEW!
So I get the new boots and wear them and think, “hmm..maybe they don’t really look good on MY feet.” And then as they start to break in and become mine, I realize I’m probably gonna love em for a long time.

So it’s been with Spotify – only I’m cheap and haven’t paid anything for it yet.. So, admittedly, maybe I’m not getting the full experience. I still like my old “boots”, known as MOG, and am not quite ready to part with it.

My favorite use of Spotify is in creating a list of new stuff I like and bands that I want to keep an eye on.  I’m not too sure about most of these bands yet, I haven’t seen most of them live, but there’s something that gets my attention and I want to be able to revisit them easily.
I’ve created a playlist- I call it, “New Stuff I Like”.   How original is that?!

I’ll be updating this as often as I stumble on something interesting.  Stay tuned..
Here’s the link: Follow me on Spotify

Would love to hear your thoughts, feelings, reflections on Spotify too.  Share any feedback in the comments section.
Till next time,
ATR

The Dead Weather

I saw the Dead Weather at the Hollywood Palladium last night – WOOOOOOOWWW..
Jack White and his crew of sexy beasts have launched up to the TOP of my list of the most entertaining acts out there right now.  

The Dead Weather at Outside Lands Festival, 2009. L-R: Dean Fertita, Jack White, Alison Mosshart and Jack Lawrence.

Front-woman Alison Mosshart is insane in the best possible way. She was born to do this.  I love watching her – she’s powerful, commanding, intimidating yet vulnerable, out of control while master of her domain, and feminine and sexy – all at the same time. She’s a hot mess, and she commands just as much if not more attention than the master Jack White.. (Don’t even get me started on how much I love Jack..  That warrants a separate post.)

The Dead Weather – Outside Lands Festival 2009

The chemistry between Jack and Alison is palpable – when they duet on “Will There Be Enough Water”, the crowd can’t contain themselves – people hoot and holler – I tend to think to myself, “wow, this seems like such a private moment for them and I can’t stop watching!”

Jack and Alison performing “Will There Be Enough Water” Outside Lands, 2009.

The music is a thrilling and unique combo of rock, jazz, blues, punk – each member of TDW brings a unique skill set and flavor and they come together to create bone rattling and spine tingling magic.  It’s just SO good, and not for the faint of heart. 

I do have one minor complaint about last night – the lighting design.  Using a combination of harsh and frantic spotlights, smoke and shadow, the object was clearly drama and intensity, and that did come thru.   But, unfortunately, the band was often in the dark, and I wish I could have seen them better for more of the show. 
But, they’re AWESOME and if you haven’t seen them or heard them, check em out! (Especially calling all Led Zepplin, Raconteurs, Kills, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Doors fans..)  TDW has 2 albums out and are on tour now.
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/thedeadweather

Here’s a clip from last night of “Hang You From The Heavens”: