Wednesday, February 23, 2011

John Blek & The Rats

When seeing my favorite artists live, I always  hope they bring great supportacts, wouldn't be the first time that a support act becomes one of my favorite artists. The same could have happened if I would go see Caitlin Rose in Germany in the next few days, with her supportact John Blek & The Rats. I really am thankful of Caitlin for mentioning them on her facebook, cause these guys are great! John Blek & The Rats are John (vocals, guitar, banjo), Niall (drums, harmonium), Luke (bass), Aisling (vocal, mandolin, harmonium) and for the Christmas tour Jack (electric guitar). Taking their inspiration from the revelry of music and friends, the bitter end of the bottle, the bruising passage of life and all that comes with it, John Blek and the Rats are a fresh folk outfit from Cork whose melancholy is tempered by a penchant for a good ol’ hodown and a hollerin’. Raised on a diet of the American folk and ballads of their fathers, John Blek and the Rats are a band whose main aspiration is the song. Currently set to release their third EP “A Long Way From Home”, they are on tour which with some international dates in London and Berlin as well. Don't forget to watch their latest music video for Take Me Home.

@ Cork, Ireland
♫ Folk, Pop

Monday, February 21, 2011

Little & Ashley

Tonight's feature is another artist I discovered through a commercial, LA based songwriting duo Little & Ashley was formed when they recorded “Fly Me Away” to accompany an Amazon commercial contest entry, which also starred Annie. Ultimately, the contest entry won both the Audience and the Amazon Jury prize and Little & Ashley, with the help of trombonist Alanna Vicente, finished recording a full-length version of the song which is included on the Stole My Heart EP. They also have completed a deal to compose additional material for Amazon’s Kindle commercial series. Their song, "C'mon Let's Go", "Fly Me Away" and “Stole My Heart”, featured in Amazon’s Kindle commercials for TV are available on Amazon’s music site.  Annie Little has starred in over 40 national commercials and hit TV shows including Mad Men, Scrubs, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Longtime musician Marcus Ashley writes and records with Los Angeles band American Weapon, and is currently completing a third release. In addition to music, Marcus has guest starred as an actor on numerous TV shows including Bones, CSI: NY, Scrubs and Ghost Whisperer. Additionally, he has starred in over 50 U.S. national and European commercials including Volkswagen, Heineken, Ford, Levi’s, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Budweiser, and Kodak. But with their first steps in the music business,  Little and Ashley hope to live up to earlier expectations: in high school, Marcus was voted Most Talented and Annie was voted Most Likely To Sing In The Metropolitan Opera.

@ Los Angeles, USA
♫ Indie, Pop

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Anticipated Upcoming Releases [Spring 2011] [II]

Helplessness Blues
Fleet Foxes
♫ Helplessness Blues (mp3)
May 4

Guide to an Escape
Rue Royale
March 3

I Already Love You
Sara Lov
♫ Just My Heart Talkin (mp3)
Feb 16
Time Travel
Alessi's Ark
April 25

Alela Diane & Wild Divine
Alela Diane
April 4

When You Grow Up
Priscilla Ahn
May 2

Let us know in a comment when there are other release we should know about!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Clara C

The world's most visited video website, YouTube already has brought us many musical talents. Today's featured artist, Clara C (short for Clara Chung) also seems to belong to that category of selfmade artists.. Unfortunately I only discovered Clara last week, which perhaps is due to lack of the very deserved media attention around this talented singer-songwriter. In my opinion Clara deserved at least as much attention as earlier discovered youtube stars like Esmee Denters, who are easily outshone by Clara's raw talent, originality and charming personality. Clara has been a closet musician most of her life, and has only recently revealed her talent to the world. In a short period of time, she has won prestigious competitions such as Kollaboration 10, ISA 09: Los Angeles and the KAC Media Creative Juice Night. Clara has just begun to capture the hearts and minds of the music community worldwide. Her quirky charm, creative ideas, unlimited instrumental and vocal talent has allowed people to see Clara as the next big singer/songwriter. Clara's music can best be described as a synergy of folk/pop/rock sound that when blended together creates a unique experience. She has performed at renowned venues such as The White House Dept. of Education, Hollywood Bowl, Shrine Auditorium and more where she performed for crowds of up to 18,000 people. Clara's debut album was released on September 24th to a sold out crowd at the Hotel Cafe venue. Look for Clara as she tours throughout the year promoting her debut album, The Art in My Heart.

@ Los Angeles, USA
♫ Folk, Pop

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Bony King of Nowhere

The Bony King of Nowhere is the project of 24-year-old Belgian composer Bram Vanparys. His honest music, characterized above all by Bram’s distinctive voice, claims your heart straight away. Songs are built on melodic backing vocals, guitars and sound layers, as well as the frequent use of unconventional percussion inspired by the Brazilian Tropicália Movement from the 1960s. His lyrics are often theatrical: the virgin Mary addressed by a dying man exalting death from his deathbed (“Maria”), the sunset pictured in a puppet’s world (“The Sunset”), the concept of despair painfully anatomized in the schizophrenia theme from the closing song “My Invasions”. Not your usual love-theme singer, that’s for sure. The universal, yet very wayward character of Bram’s music already perplexed both media and public in his own country, but also evoked international response. After his demo got selected in The Wire Magazine’s “Domino Festival” compilation, Bram immediately got called by Kieran Hebden (aka Fourtet), asking him if he could include some songs in the soundtrack of a film he’s working on (“Boy Meets Girl”, Wildebeest Productions, New York). Also, Devendra Banhart sang Bram’s praises in a personal letter after hearing the demo. And, last but not least, Jon Kelly (Paul McCartney, Kate Bush,…) expressed his interest in mixing the first album of The Bony King Of Nowhere, which was produced by European cultproducer Koen Gisen (An Pierlé&White Velvet) in his weird 1960’s studio. In 2009 The Bony King Of Nowhere released his first album “Alas My Love” on Helicopter Records. He now is finished with his second album ‘Eleonore’ and according to himself it sounds “more direct, more in-your-face, my only goal is authenticity: my work has to be genuine and credible. I feel increasingly attracted to the folk tradition, as it was documented in ‘American Folk Anthology’ by Harry Smith.” We can only agree. Bram Vanparys is a busy bee too. He's already half way through writing his third album and is currently working on the soundtrack for ‘Les Géants’, a film by Walloon film-maker Bouli Lanners. Please let 'em all come, very quickly, since I can not currently get enough of these beautiful sounds.

@ Ghent, Belgium
♫ Acoustic, Folk

Friday, February 4, 2011

Christina Perri

Not a lot of artist featured here on LMLI are already as succesful in the charts as today's feature. Despite her succes and big record label deal I still thinks she deserves your attention. And definitely should not be labeled as the standard pop artist because this girl shows real promise and authenticity. At just 23, Christina Perri has already lived a handful of lives. She's toured the world as an assistant to a rock band, spent a year at a prestigious university, became a wife and then an ex-wife, produced popular music videos, made olive oil in Italy and even served as a fashionista barrista in Beverly Hills. The whole while, music had been tapping her on the shoulder, trying to lead her down a path as a musician. It seems that fate grew tired of this shoulder-tapping approach as well and went for an old fashioned sucker punch. Last June her song when her song “Jar of Hearts” was featured in So You Think You Can Dance, and became a major hit song with the track sold 200,000 downloads in three weeks. Suddenly a hot property, Perri signed a record deal with Atlantic Records and is in the studio finishing up her debut album, with an eye toward a late fall release. Though she's a newcomer to the pop charts, Perri has actually been preparing for this moment since she was a child. Perri first sang in public at her Holy Communion at age six. Piano lessons began at age 8, followed by musical theater from age 11. At 9, her piano teacher "fired" her (as she puts it), because "I would change the endings to all the songs because I didn't like the way they were written. I liked my version better." Perri picked up a guitar and taught herself to play from watching VHS tapes of Blind Melon (whose guitarist, Christopher Thorn, recently sent her a congratulatory email via MySpace). The songs Perri is recording for her debut album are all about love. She excels at setting dark, tumultuous emotions to stunning, pretty melodies, something Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette excelled at back in the day. "I would love to bring that back for a younger generation," Perri says. "I had them to listen to when I was young, but girls today don't really have their Fiona or Alanis. And writing about love and heartbreak is just who I am. I've tried so hard to write about other things, but ultimately this is what comes out of me. I have zero capability to do anything that is inauthentic to who I am.

@ Hollywood, USA
♫ Folk Rock, Pop