Alabama Shakes’ newest album “Color & Sound” is my go to record for the summer. Front woman Britney Howard is incredible with ferocious vocals, passionate lyrics and a dynamic presence. She has restored new life back into rock and blues. “Don’t Wanna Fight” is currently my favorite track with Howard’s powerful voice, the stuttering guitars, and thick, splashy bass completely driving the song. Check out the video from their most recent SNL performance below. Be sure to catch them on tour this Fall in other words, join me in Philadelphia at the Mann Center for Performing Arts on September 17th.
We’re looking forward to a new year and wanted to start it off right with warm sounds from Brooklyn band Florist. Although recorded in May of last year, 6 Days of Songs is bound to help you handle cold weather. The somber and gentle tracks seem to be sold-out on cassette but can be downloaded digitally here. Have a bowl of delicious tomato soup and makes cozy with Florist.
Last May, I headed to Randall’s Island for the Frieze Art Show. I was really only there for the Tom Tom Magazine Festival, which was a collaboration with artist Naama Tsabar. For those who do not know, Tom Tom Mag is a magazine dedicated to female drummers. Back in May, Tom Tom’s organizers found a slew of sweet bands (with female drummers too) to play their festival.
One band that I happened to see play was called Harsh Crowd. Their set included some super sweet sounds. They did covers of Le Tigre and Foster the People that sounded flawless, and their original material (which far outnumbered the covers) was brilliantly filled with energy as well as being pleasing to the ears.
Harsh Crowd is made up of Dea, Willow, Rihana, and Lena. The four met at Willie Mae Rock Camp in 2013. The camp was an experience they thoroughly enjoyed and the band felt very supported by Tom Tom Magazine, including their editor-in-chief Mindy Abovitz.
Each member of Harsh Crowd is 12 years old—a fact they don’t think people should focus on. They also don’t want to be called an all-girl band. The members expressed how people might say, “they’re pretty good for kids.” Just say they are musicians, musicians that don’t want it to matter whether they are young or girls.
The members feel like sisters. They also said they’re awesome.
As evident from their energy on and off stage (the interview kept getting interrupted by them running and dancing in the rain), Yes, I agree they are indeed awesome.
Above video: “Dirty Rotten Parents” at the Tom Tom Festival on May 10th, 2014.
Fettkakao has found a way to capture the cool kids of Vienna so gracefully in this 2014 released compilation. Reminding us that Austria is a good home for pop-punk and stand-out indie acts. A favorite on the release is Tirana’s, Window Shopper. It’s punk at a tea party. Well, the kind of tea party you actually want an invite to but you only know the host through a friend. Yes, it’s that cool.
Fettkakao has managed to create a well curated album that wraps you up and takes you away from work or wherever you are. Get to it!
We are… La Luz
We are from….Seattle
We sound like….let’s go with Surf Noir
We make our best music when…someone’s crowd surfing or doing the worm down a soul train line
We could never play a show without…reverb
Our album…our first full length album came out last October and it’s called “It’s Alive”
We just started…playing overseas
Our favorite city to play in is…..four way tie between our favorite party towns: Portland, Los Angeles/OC, Austin, and of course Seattle.
Our all-time favorite band from the Pacific Northwest is…. There are so many. We all agree on Rose Windows.
If we weren’t in a band we would be…not having as many sleepovers
The best food to bring on tour is….peanut butter pretzels
We hope our music….makes people happy or feel less alone or wanna party
La Luz // Image Courtesy of Hardly Art Records
Lorde – Pure Heroine
- I first heard Lorde in the summer, and by the fall she was everywhere. The minimal music and emphasis on vocals is refreshing to hear on popular radio. There’s a simple kind of beauty in that kind of music. Being only 17, it appears that age is just a number and that anyone can make songs that take the world by storm. We are super stoked to see what Lorde has up her sleeve in 2014.
Beyonce- Self-Titled Visual Album - Okay, Beyonce is the hero of the year. Her video just explaining the new visual album makes me want to dance with joy even though it’s a video with no music. There is no hype, focusing on the music and the story behind it, letting a whole picture combine for every song. She didn’t want the press to tell her when the album would be released and she didn’t let naysayers stop her from making a video for every song. The self-titled visual album is truly a work of art.
La Luz - It’s Alive! - I discovered this band while visiting friends in Seattle. They put on the record, and I was hooked to the surfer vibes. La Luz is quickly rising onto everyone’s radar. They suffered a terrible car accident in November, but fortunately they are now doing well and are now back to playing shows. The band recently opened for Built to Spill. We expect to hear even more about them in 2014!
Gretchen Lohse – Primal Rumble - Gretchen Lohse is our absolute favorite over here at LBB. How could we not write about her soft and brave folk songs. Lohse’s new album Primal Rumble is, like much of her work, an easy grab for tea with honey and a warm fire. We look forward to visual compliments and components to her work in 2014. Here’s hoping!
A 90s vibe and Sleater-kinney-esque tremolos. That’s probably the best way in a nutshell to describe the Shondes new LP The Garden.
The Brooklyn quartet just released their second full-length album The Garden in September. They’re embarking on a national tour this month.The Shondes state that Judaism and political activity are greatly put into their music.
The title track, “The Garden”, opens the album to the energy and violin riffs that is to follow. The violin swings in for a surprise at the end. Throughout every song, there is that sense of urgency and a calling to speak out for your political beliefs.
For me, the standout track of the entire album was “Running In My Sleep.” The second track of the album with the word “running” in it. The other being “Running Out of Time” with the violin riffing through it all. Usually, the top songs or hit songs are within the first three or four tracks. Why I like “Running in My Sleep” is because it’s surprising. It comes as a nice gem towards the end of the album and the back-up vocals add softness to the overall sound.
I would enjoy hearing more diversity between songs. They stick closely to the traditional rock set up, but they do experiment with other sounds like the melodica in “Nights Like These.” One thing they do well is remain consistent in each track. The lead vocals never lose their power or fade. Each song comes with energy. In the Riot Grrrl era, no doubt The Shondes would be a major contender and favorite in the field.
words by Maura Filoromo
Well I’ve made my way back east. I was so hoping to update more but my lack of a smartphone/internet access really put a damper in my plans. I have many stories to tell and photos to share! There are some more photos up on the blog now. Also, keep your eye out on Baa Ram Ewe’s Facebook page and our tumblr for even more photos.
The drive from San Francisco to L.A. was beautiful…..but long. We drove down the Pacific Coast highway through Big Sur. One thing I would do differently is spend a little less time in the car. Seriously every part of that road is gorgeous. It was amazing to drive through most of California. The landscapes are so different from each other. One minutes it’s towering Redwoods, the next jaw-dropping cliffs, and the next beautiful sunny beaches!
We finally got to southern California on Saturday. First stop of course was my favorite gluten-free, vegan bakery Babycakes. Basically if my brain was in the form of a bakery, it would be this place. So delicious!
The Long Beach show went well! Thank you to the Long Beach Riot Grrrls! A lot of talented ladies performed! You should definitely check out all the bands that played: Ingenue, Iris , Potential Lunatics , and The Aquadolls. Ingenue was awesome and so kind to let us borrow their drum set.
Going down the West Coast will always be an amazing memory. The scenery is breathtaking pretty much the whole way down. I’ve been asked which of the cities was my favorite. As my sister said, it is hard because each city is so different. If I were to pick, it is between Seattle and San Francisco. I really wish I could have spent more time in SF because there is so much to explore! Much to my sister’s dismay I kept singing the Full House theme whilst in the city but not the part with actual words. Oh no, I couldn’t resist the boo da bop ba badow (or something like that).
Anyways, the Pacific side of the country is one to be seen for sure! I’m so grateful to all my friends and family that helped me to travel west and have a wonderful tourcation! Thanks everybody!!