After what seemed like a drought as long as the one we're experiencing in rain-challenged Southern California, there's finally a crop of new music worth listening to and artists worth seeing, which I'm hoping to do in the next several months. Here's some of them:
MAYER HAWTHORNE "Strange Arrangement"
A throw-back to my days growing up listening to 1580 KDAY and KJLH, part Motown, part Philly Sound with inflections of the Stylistics and Blue Magic. Heard him last month on KCRW and wondered first, "Is this KCRW?" and then, "What old school group is this?" Find out it's a White dude in Los Angeles via Michigan. Planning to see him next Thursday at the Roxy. Track recommendation: "Maybe So, Maybe No", "Strange Arrangement"
WEATHER PENDING "And How!"
Another find from KCRW. Got a kick out the fact that the band actually tweeted me back after I gave them some props, couldn't believe it! A San Fransisco-based trio of very cool, groovy, electronica, with dreamy vocals. Hoping they make a stop in LA sometime. Track recommendation: "Complicated Two", "Electricity"
KATE EARL "Kate Earl"
Prized her debut album, and the follow up features her lovely voice couched in a more produced, poppy sound with the hope, I imagine, of reaching a broader audience. Got to see her twice at the Hotel Cafe a few years back and actually got to chat with her, a really sweet person. Happy to see her doing so well, Single of the Week and Top Ten on iTunes last week. Track recommendation: "Jump", "Melody"
FRIENDLY FIRES "Friendly Fires"
The record has been out for awhile now, but loved listening to this UK band during the summer (esp. "Paris"), and they're touring now. Can't help but listening and being transported to another place, usually some sweaty disco somewhere. Track recommendation: "Jump In the Pool", "Paris"
PHOENIX "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix"
Another album in rotation for summer, especially after seeing them at the Wiltern in June. Rick and I had a blast! More synth-based, catchy pop from these Frenchmen. Track recommendation: "Lasso", "Listomania"
Also Zee Avi, Artic Monkeys, Metric