Shows I Attended: Mika @ The Roxy (4/15)

April 24, 2009

My life seems to be non-stop shows as of late… but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as I’m still having fun (right?).

Wednesday night I switched out of the hipster-scene and got to go see a semi-secret live performance by Mika. For those that aren’t familiar, Mika is…well extremely flamboyant. I might take some slack for this, but his record Life In Cartoon Motion was/is amazing. It was released in 2007 here in the States, and it quickly became one of my guilty-pleasure discs of the year. His range is reminscent of Freddie Mercury’s at times on that album. With a huge, amazing voice, and some catch-as-hell pop-tunes… Life In Cartoon Motion found plenty of spins in my car, with the windows rolled up.

Anyway, Wednesday night Mika’s agency put together a FREE show (on 3-days notice) and there were all kinds of people that showed up to watch Mika perform live.

His show was crazy. Although a few people weren’t necessarily impressed with his vocal abilities live-in-person, Mika knows how to entertain. Before his set, there was even a burlesque dancer. You can imagine how awkward that must’ve been for parents who had brought their little ones to the venue. His set was filled with plenty of dancin and great, catchy music. Hell, his set was ended with confetti being sprayed all over the stage and crowd. This artist definitely knows how to ham it up and get his fans excited.

Mika performed for close to an hour, and the crowd might as well have been on stage with him. It was amazing to see/hear how much of the audience knew the lyrics to songs such as “Grace Kelly”, “Big Girl”, “Love Today” and more. The biggest reaction definitely came from “Grace Kelly” which he began his set with, and with which he finished his encore.

He also performed a few new songs which went over well. Check out the video for his new song “Blame It On The Boys”.

This was definitely a fun event for fans, that caused a good amount of buzz for the artist as he preps his sophomore release. For more check out the MySpace page.


Shows I Attended: Rye Rye @ Cinespace (4/14)

April 24, 2009

So after dealing with a decent number of “hipsters” on Monday night, I decided to put myself through the ringer and head over to Cinespace the very next day.

“Why would I do that?” you ask?

Well, none other than MIA’s (dubbed) protege, Rye Rye happened to be performing.

The Baltimore scene has really started to blow-up as of late. Basically Baltimore has this up-tempo house / dance-rap that is starting to finally get some shine outside of the B-More area. Artists like Spank Rock, DJ Class, Rye Rye, etc. are really starting to get some light and collab with bigger artists, as well as land label deals.

Anyway, there were plenty of hipsters in the building to check-out Rye Rye’s set and she didn’t disappoint. Her set was filled with energy, with two back-up dancers rockin’ along with her awfully hard. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine moving that much in that crowded, hot-ass club.

I was standing literally 3 feet away from M.I.A the entire set, and there were rumors M.I.A was going to make her way to the stage to perform with her artist. Unfortunately she ended up just laying low and ducking out of the venue quickly and quietly after the performance.

Rye Rye is signed to M.I.A’s label N.E.E.T.

For more info, as well as to get an idea of some of Rye Rye’s original material, check out her MySpace Page.

Shows I Attended: Lykke Li “DJ Set” @ The Standard – Hollywood (4/13)

April 24, 2009

Okay so I apologize for the hiatus on the blog… Let’s just get right into it.

Last Monday I attended a “DJ set” by Lykke Li. I use the quotations because I’m using the term “DJ set” loosely here, particularly as I was informed by another DJ that she was going to use an iPod player plugged directly into the tables.

Note to “DJs”: using an iPod player to play music doesn’t make you a DJ.

Anyway, the Standard is a cool spot (I guess). The bar is back behind the diner-area, and as far as the Hollywood club-scene is concerned, I guess this place is relatively laid-back / chill.

Lykke Li’s DJ set was kind of strange, as she would play some great music, but then switch over to something else that had much of the crowd questioning what the hell she was playing.

With that said, the hipsters turned-out in force to check-out Lykke Li up-close and in-person… in all, it wasn’t an awulf time I suppose.

Despite being disappointed in her set, I’m still a fan of Lykke Li and her last album.

The thing that’s cool about an artist like Lykke Li is that she (and her music) transcends so many different genres. She’s not afraid to go out-of-the-box and try something different. Check out this video of her performing a bit of Tribe’s “Can I Kick It” live before leading into “I’m Good, I’m Gone”.

Check out the video for her single “I’m Good, I’m Gone” here.

For more information, check out Lykke Li’s MySpace Page.

Shows I Attended: Madcon @ Area (4/8)

April 10, 2009

Wow, so I worked a 7am-2am day on Wednesday…but it was worth it!

Madcon is a hip-hop duo out of Norway, signed to Universal Republic. I’ll repeat that, because I know it probably reads pretty ridiculous. Madcon is a hip-hop duo out of Norway.

In 2008, these guys had Europe’s 2nd biggest single, “Beggin'”. Selling 3x platinum in 3 days in Norway, they definitely have a large European fan-base, and after spending my entire day with the guys you can definitely see why. Yosef and Tshawe are two high-energy guys who are both hilarious and humble.

They had a slew of radio interviews and meetings to attend between the couple things I was able to set-up for them…and they did everything without a complaint.

My day with Madcon began at the L.A Live Nation offices in Beverly Hills. The guys woo-ed and wow-ed the Live Nation staff by jumping on the conference table and doing an impromptu performance of their song “Beggin'” (samples The Four Season’s song of the same name).

Later in the afternoon the good folks at HardknockTV (Nick and Mark) did an extremely entertaining interview and one-song performance. Check out the performance here:

The last interview we were able to secure was with GoTV’s Hip Hop Official channel. Despite it being late in the day, Madcon had plenty of energy and really took over the interview portion of the taping with their humor and playing off each other exceptionally well. Props to Daylan and the entire Hip Hop Official crew for being so patient (we were a bit late) and running a dope interview and performance with the guys.

Despite being up since 7am, my day wasn’t over… Madcon still had to perform at the West Hollywood club, Area, down on La Cienega. Performing just before 1am, the guys jumped on stage and performed a couple songs for an excited club-hopping crowd.

Peep a short video recap I took of my day w/ Madcon:

Madcon’s U.S debut is slated for a September 2009 release. For more information, check out their myspace page.

Shows I Attended: Asher Roth @ Key Club (4/5)

April 10, 2009

Sunday ended up not being much of a “day of rest”.

I began my day running errands to set-up a listening session for Asher Roth’s (April 20th release) “Asleep In The Bread Aisle” at Turntable Lab down in L.A. Despite Asher not being able to show up at the event, plenty of Los Angeles’ tastemakers did make their way over to get their first listen of Asher’s debut release. Needless to say we set-up some beer pong tables, and Red Bull, Belvedere and Pabst Blue Ribbon (beer) all came out to support the event and get all the patrons a little tipsy on a Sunday afternoon. Props to the entire Turntable staff, as well as everybody who came out and supported the event.

After the listening session, I made my way over to the Key Club to see Asher Roth’s performance at the Key Club. Before Asher took the stage, I got the chance to see another up-and-comer that I’m really anticipating, B.o.B (aka Bobby Ray). B.o.B is an emcee out of Atlanta that has been cutting some amazing tracks as far as I’m concerned. HOWEVER, his live show left much to be desired. Performing with a DJ, guitarist and drummer, B.o.B’s presence onstage was cool, but he still has a ways to go as far as bringing it all together, and making sure his band sounds tight and together. Onto Asher…

For those that are going to hate anyway, let’s just get this out of the way: I’m a fan of Asher Roth. The inner frat-boy in me loves and misses college (read: drinking, women, smoking… “college” things), and Asher embodies plenty of my undergrad life-style.

Dude killed it. Asher performed with an incredibly dope DJ, as well as a band that definitely held their own also. Although he might have spoken a little much between songs, he rocked out! For a debut artist, and a 15 years and up show, Asher had the crowd eating out of his hands. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to “Asleep In The Bread Aisle” (even though I’ve been listening for a couple weeks now)… but Asher Roth’s live show definitely increased my anticipation of his debut.

Peep the video Nano and the homies at shot at the listening party and show:

Asher Roth Live @ The Key Club (04-05-09) from Section 8 Studios on Vimeo.

Shows I Attended: Zee Avi @ Hotel Cafe (3/27)

March 31, 2009

Last Friday night I made my way down to the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood to check-out one of Brushfire Records newest signings, Zee Avi.

For those not familiar with Brushfire Records, they are an amazing record label based out of Los Angeles, owned by singer-songwriter Jack Johnson. They are a phenomenal label that knows their niche, and please check out the amazing video below to see just how amazing of a group the Brushfire people are… Their offices are “GREEN”!!!

Back to Zee and her performance: Zee is a Malaysian singer-songwriter who makes some very chill and beautiful music. Despite starting early in the evening, Zee had an amazing crowd that attended her Friday night show, and she definitely seemed to impress quite a bit of the usually stagnant, Los Angeles group. In all I had a great night watching Zee Avi perform, before heading over to the Brushfire offices to hang with their staff for a bit.

Please check out her EPK below.

Shows I Attended: Blue October @ Hot Topic (3/24)

March 31, 2009

Blue October "Approaching Normal" CD cover

Okay, well, it wasn’t necessarily a show, per se. For work, I had to help set-up and run an in-store event with the amazing group, Blue October, at the Hot Topic store in Hollywood.

For those that aren’t aware of the group, check out the MySpace page link above. Blue October might be one of my favorite groups over the past few years. Their last release, Foiled, included the big hit “Hate Me” (video from the in-store below). We worked their last album extremely hard to make sure it eventually got to Platinum.

Stephanie Meyer, the author of the Twilight books, has also gone on record saying that Blue October, and their lead vocalist’s (Justin) lyrics have helped inspire her to write.

The in-store event went pretty well. We ended up selling 100+ units at the event to die-hard fans. Check out Blue October performing “Hate Me”, one of the three songs they performed for their stripped-down private set, below:

The new album “Approaching Normal” is available now!