Friday, February 12, 2010


It looks like Australian songstress Kate Miller-Heidke is about to kick-off a little U.S. invasion. Next month Kate will release her debut LP Curiouser, followed by a U.S. tour that takes her to SXSW, an opening spot for Ben Folds and to one of the biggest music festivals in the world, the Coachella Music Festival.

Last year I had the opportunity to see her in an intimate setting here in Los Angeles. I love the Australians, so I was excited to catch a glimspe of this upcoming talent. She is the cutest little thing with such a magical voice. She's definitely going to wow the crowds and build herself a nice little following here in the states. I'm looking forward to seeing her again at Coachella.

“We had no songs," she said. "What we had was a huge burst of inspiration. We went into this album with a vision. We mapped out how we wanted it to sound; the aesthetic, the spirit of it. Experimental, hooky, unashamedly pop . . . we wanted to exploit everything that's unique about my music.”

“We” includes Kate’s partner in life and music, husband/guitarist/collaborator Keir Nuttall.

Recording with Los Angeles producer Mickey Petralia (Beck, Peaches, eels, Dandy Warhols), who had the right mix of humor, enthusiasm and weird old electronic stuff to offer the new tunes, Miller-Heidke, Nuttall, bassist Ben McCarthy and drummer Steve Pope spent two months crafting Curiouser. With his strict 4pm to 4am shifts (with no days off), Petralia's studio wizardry turned out to be the perfect galvanising force for Miller-Heidke’s and and Nuttall’s carefully detailed home demos.

“To me,” she said, “it sounds like a modern album, a forward-looking album.” To everyone else, however, it sounds like one of the best Australian records in recent memory – a set embraced by an enthusiastic audience and one lauded with critical acclaim.

“Mickey thought Curiouser was a noun, something that made you more curious - that's what made up my mind about the title. Wouldn’t it be great if people listened to this album and it made them curiouser?”


March 15*Joe's Pub*7PM
SXSW - Austin, TX
March 17*Dakota Lounge*Manic Fest Destiny Party (afternoon)
March 18*Antone’s*SIN Sony Music International party
March 18*Hotel Café at The Parish*official SXSW showcase (evening)
March 19*Troubadour Saloon*All Together Now Showcase
March 20*Maggie Mae’s*Aussie BBQ/official SXSW showcase

April - opening for Ben Folds & playing Coachella!
April 6*Boston, MA*House of Blues
April 7*Bridgeport, CT*The Klein
April 9*Montclair, NJ*Wellmont Theatre
April 10*Hershey, PA*Hershey Theatre
April 12*New York, NY*Town Hall
April 13*New York, NY*Town Hall
April 16*Indio, CA*Coachella
April 18*Dayton OH*University of Dayton
April 19*Chicago, IL*Vic Theatre
April 20*Chicago, IL*Vic Theatre
April 21*Chicago, IL*Vic Theatre

Thursday, February 11, 2010


April Smith and the Great Picture Show dropped by the Daytrotter studios this past summer on their way home from Lollapalooza. While in the studio, the sassy pop group recorded 3 songs from their upcoming album Songs For A Sinking Ship as well as an unreleased track entitled "Maybe." Daytrotter's Sean Moeller describes the band in the studio, "[April] Smith seems to stomp, glare and wail with every single song that she lays on you, reaching for heavenly notes with a devilish grin." Songs For A Sinking ship is due out February 23rd. Preorder the record here.


The Who has just released their Greatest Hits Album and CBS Interactive is running a contest in support of it. They are giving away some amazing prize packs including a Gibson guitar!

The contest ends on February 12th, so be sure to enter before then.

The Who Giveaway:


Have you seen/heard the latest video/song from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's? I'm OBSESSED!!! It's probably one of my new favorite songs. It's called "Skeletons"...check it out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So many great artists stopped by KCRW to perform on Morning Becomes Eclectic while I was gone. Check out a performance from Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


UK artist, Findlay Brown, made his US debut with his new album Love Will Find You. You can listen to the entire album on!

The story of Love Will Find You, Findlay Brown's top-drawer US debut for Verve Forecast, begins with the 29-year-old Englishman finding himself on his sister's sofa after being struck by a cab, recuperating from a broken leg. For Brown, alone with a tune-challenged yet stubbornly magical heirloom guitar that had treated him well creatively in the past, this unlikely stretch of time occasioned research as pleasurable as it was enforced.

"I had none of my records with me," recalls the Yorkshire native, whose Separated by the Sea, his 2007 UK debut, met with highest praise from London critics. "I revisited and rediscovered do-wop, Elvis, Roy Orbison, as well as a lot of soul music like Motown and other '60s black music. I was really doing my homework. I would sit with that old guitar and my computer, downloading tracks off i-Tunes, whether it be vintage Phil Spector or whatever, literally studying the songs -- what the bass was doing, what the drums were doing. It was a good chance to be completely immersed, with no distractions, just laid on the sofa because of my broken leg. Pretty much nothing else to do."

Comprehensive research by a self-described "musical obsessive," however, formed only the starting point for Love Will Find You , which has emerged as the richest of current sonic experiences. A life-long fan of '60s rock and the Beatles ("They're always there…"), Brown has managed to fuse the driven and searching qualities of music by late-'60s west coast American avatars such as Jimi Hendrix , Spirit, and Captain Beefheart with ostensibly more conservative songwriting styles rooted in the more compositionally succinct ways from the immediate eras before psychedelicism.

"Over the past few years," Brown says, "I've been really interested in the Brill Building crowd, you know, the old-school songwriters. When I'm writing music, I want to write hits. With my references from the '60s, it's the '60s pop music I'm aspiring to, and the best songwriters are the Bacharachs and the Davids, the Neil Diamonds, the Carole Kings. That was their job. Part of the charm of those kinds of songs is that they sound so simple, so poppy, so instant. But it's only a seeming simplicity; they are challenging indeed to write."

Aided by producer Bernard Butler, the Suede guitarist who lately has worked with the vintage-minded English singer Duffy, Brown on Love Will Find You achieves transporting music presented as ten songs all of which long to be free-standing aural events. The stroke of the collection is that, from the freshly reimagined Spectoresque beat of the title song to the poised Righteous Brothers operaticism of "I Had a Dream," the component pieces succeed as such.

"I wanted to make something completely unashamed of where it was comingfrom," says Brown. The pop maximalism of Love Will Find You is, after all, more consistent with his pop tastes and dreams than was his comparatively stripped-down debut, where he scaled back to concentrate on repairing an ailing romantic relationship. As a UK teen, for instance, Brown was unsold on Britpop but nuts about Elvis. "On this album we wanted to go with whatever felt necessary, without trying to put any sort of indie slant on it, without trying to be cool. It was like, 'This is a pop record done in a classic way: If we want a string or horn section, let's go for it.' I'd been listening to big production stuff, whether it is Matt Monroe or Serge Gainsbourg or Morricone or West Side Story. I wanted to have an experience."

Brown owns a fluent, flexible pop tenor tending toward heaven but that retains an earthbound familiarity. Songs like "Nobody Cared" and "Everybody Needs Love" makes easeful use of the grammar of love triumphant and/or distressed yet the net emotional effect of Brown's careful, involved, yet unfussy performances on these thrillingly well-engineered tracks make the pieces dart off in myriad different directions sometimes unpredictable. "People ask me," Brown mentions, "''What's this song about?' My first response is that, well, it's what it's about, it's there in the words, that I wrote this song about this thing so I don’t have to talk about it."

With Love Will Find You Brown takes a step further. This is music where research and historical information and style -- and the critical but ultimately limited allures of formalism itself -- bleed into things far more momentous than any of those concerns, all working together to portray places where sung words turn into ecstatic, often difficult states quite beyond themselves.

"Here," Brown believes, "what the song is about is actually the music: It's about the performance, the sort of spiritual act of both doing and, I hope, hearing it. I rather hate to say this about any lyric I would write, but the lyric is almost insignificant to what is behind the lyric. It's the point of departure. It's the point where you cannot intellectually go on. It's where you transcend into the experience of listening. It's the end of explanation."


Lucy Schwartz is home-made to the extreme. A true artist through and through, you can find her showcasing her talents in costuming, prop production, and choreography in her newest video for "Help Me! Help Me!". The video was directed by her brother, Ian Schwartz, and shot in the Schwartz home - which was cleared of all furniture to make space for the giant puppet stage.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Ingrid is out supporting her second full length, Everybody, which saw its release early last fall via her own Cabin 24 Records and OSR Music, while Mat released his latest record on Aware/Columbia records in May.

The slate of shows kicks off March 9 in Lancaster, PA, and winds down April 3 in Des Moines. If you're interested in attending a performance, please let me know and we'll coordinate! Also, if you've yet to hear Ingrid's new music we can fix that as well.

Ingrid recently performed her single "Maybe" on Ellen...check it out!


After a week long cruise around the Caribbean, I've finally made it back to L.A. I had such an amazing time with friends, seeing warm sandy beaches with crystal clear water. It was insane! It sucks having to leave, but It's time to get back to work. I'll post some pictures later, but in the meantime, check out a picture of "The Baths" in the British Virgin Islands. It was of my favorite stops on this trip.


On the heels of their debut release, LA art-rock trio, The Happy Hollows, have also premiered their latest video, "Death To Vivek Kemp"! Directed by Benjamin Hoste, the stop motion animation clip is accentuated by a barrage of random shapes, paint splatter and a simple water color palate throughout.

Spells is available now courtesy of Autumn Tone Records.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
2/18 Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
3/3 Washington, DC - Black Cat
3/4 Philadelphia, PA - The North Star
3/12 Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
3/13 Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
3/17 - 3/20 Austin, TX - SXSW