Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:17

Sing Street, Disc Makers, Kongos and more

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The film SING STREET offers its viewers a quixotic romp into the mercurial world of 5 Irish lads in 1985 Dublin.

In the mix is a mysterious model who lures the aspiring “Cosmo” into forming a band to win the model, hence the band “Sing Street” first effort is “Riddle Of The Model”. This tune is fun and reminds me a bit of the Arctic Monkeys’ “Bet You Look Good On The Dance floor.”

Ferida Walsh-Peelo is Director/Screenwriter John Carney’s alter ego “Cosmo” the hapless 16-year-old who has a fixation on 16-year-old Raphina the “model” acted wonderfully well by Lucy Boynton.

The antics of this group of lads is funny and will have you laughing a lot and crying a bit while viewing this well written and well acted script.

In addition to “Riddle Of The Model” Sing Street,the band, also perform “To Find You” and “Drive It Like you Stole It.” A stand out song in this film is “Go Now” which was written and performed by Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. Not to be confused with the Moody Blues’ “Go Now” this song provides a lovely closing ballad about taking a leap of faith. Is there nothing that Levine can’t do? This man continues to impress me as his talent matures.

Among the performers whose music is featured in SING STREET are The Jam, The Cure and Hall & Oates.

One of the best lines in the film is said by “Cosmo’s” out of work brother “Rock n’ Roll is a risk. You risk being ridiculed.” Another line that pretty much sums up the film is “It’s about getting the girl.” The solution is to create a band to get the girl…a quaint, simple love story under the aegis of Rock.

This indie film impressed viewers at the Sundance film Festival and has earned 5.5 million dollars in the US. It has a PG 13 rating and is still playing around Los Angeles. Check Fandango for locations and check out the 497 reviews with 4 1/2 of 5 star ratings. And while you are at it check out the wonderful trailers.

I would give this film 5 stars of 5 because it is believable where most films that involve Rock are not…”Ricki and The Flash” comes to mind.

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Went to LACMA to see the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit “The Perfect Medium” primarily because of his alliance with the East Coast Punk Legend PATTI SMITH. Mapplethorpe shot the cover for Smith’s 1975 debut LP “Horses.” The cover is considered in some circles to be the greatest LP cover ever. The exhibit included several shots of SMITH dressed and undressed and displayed the strength of a Comanche Indian with a resolve to Rock our worlds.

SMITH’s LP “Easter” is my favorite effort by her and is where she announces her Native American heritage on “Babelogue.”

Mapplethorpe also shot the cover of “Morrison Hotel” for THE DOORS, but I did not see that photo there. This show runs through July 31 and has a companion show at The Getty which also runs through July 31.

While at this show, I decided to view the other exhibit that was going on at The Broad section…Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear.

I found the bulk of it entertaining, but there were two parts that captured my musical attention.

“The Pearly Kings and Queens” had attire completely covered in Mother-Of-Pearl buttons and were members of London’s working classes' charitable organizations. The late sixties band TRAFFIC had a song titled “Pearly Queen” and now the song makes sense to me. Now I knew where the title came from.

At the end was the “Punk” exhibit which included a leather motorcycle jacked adorned with all kinds of pins, spikes and whatnots and on the back was the emblem of one of my favorite “Punk” bands…THE RAMONES. My favorite songs by them are “We Want The Airwaves” and “I Wanna Be Sedated.”

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When I first began working at Universal Studios in 2010, I met a lovely man named Sydney Alston. I never did know what he did at the studio until we ran into each other at one of Tess Taylor’s music industry mixers. Taylor is the president of NARIP (National Association of Recording Industry Professionals) and LAMN (Los angels Music Network), which sponsors LAMN Jam that has been staged at NoHo hotspot Skinny’s Lounge where I ran into Alston. He has since been a judge for the LAMN Jam.

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A while ago I received an invitation from Alston to attend a record label showcase at Club Los Globos in Silver Lake where one of his clients, Disc Makers, wanted to bring industry people together to network and become familiar with one another.

Club Los Globos was packed and everyone enjoyed themselves, but more importantly I saw many well known talents in the room from NARIP as well as Grammy winners.

For those that haven’t heard of Disc Makers before, they are a stand alone leader in their industry of optical disc manufacturing for indie artists, filmmakers and businesses, and have been around since 1946.

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Disc Makers are currently running a Studio Life Sweepstakes and are offering over $5,000 in prizes. You may checkout their website @ www.discmakers.com or call them @1-880-468-9353 for more info on this indie label. Alston has a vision of bringing industry people together to these showcases to help develop the acts.

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Two years ago a dear friend and I went to The Troubadour to see an up-and-coming band that called themselves The KONGOS and felt as if I was watching history being made. I rarely get that kind of goosebumps, but I got them that night. Multifaceted and multitalented, The KONGOS are an alternative rock band that have a unique sound that is pulled together with the amazing sounds of an accordion. At the time they were promoting their LP “Lunatic” which was quickly loaded onto my iPod…yep, iPod worthy. Their song from that LP “Come With Me Now” was picked up for a Universal Orlando theme park commercial.

The KONGOS are signed to indie label Epic Records which is owned by Sony Music Entertainment and are going to be touring in the US to promote their new LP “Egomaniac.” The LP showcases a more mature and seasoned version of The KONGOS. This LP is sure to offer up several singles from this well crafted LP. Among my faves are “Take It From Me” which has the four brothers’ heads enlarged in their video for the song and “I Want It Free,” which is a politically charged ditty about the one percenters here in America.

The Wiltern Theater will host The KONGOS on October 28. Buy a ticket if there are any left because this band has no where else to go but up. This might be one of the few smaller venue shows they’ll be playing here this year because next year it may be impossible to see them in a venue of this size. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their website www.kongos.com.
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Back in my youth there was a cool band that rose to fame named LOVE. This band had a groovy sound that was fun to dance to. From “Hey Joe,” “Signed DC,” “My Flash On You,” “Alone Again Or” to “You I’ll Be Following” they knocked me out.

Almost six years ago LOVE member Johnny Echols and music scene gad about Georgiana Steele-Waller decided to host a Love-In in Griffith Park by the Merry-Go-Round and it has grown bit by bit over the years and is how I met this charming couple. I’ve done a few stories on this fascinating couple because of their cool stories about the scene here in LA and in London. Steele-Waller has written one book and another one is in the works. Echols writes a blog.

Turns out that LOVE has quite a following in the UK and will be leaving LA on June 20 to do a tour in the UK to accommodate their fans across the pond…WHEE! They’ll be there June 23 to July 4 wooing their fans with their LOVE Revisited repertoire.

On August 7 there will be another LOVE sponsored Love-In at Griffith Park by the historic Merry-Go-Round. While this isn’t the proportions of the love-Ins that I used to attend there, it is a lot of fun with guitars playing, voices singing and people grooving to the vibes.

Read 3462 times Last modified on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 18:00
Caroline McElroy

The muse struck at a young age and began with Ernie's Record Shop on Lankershim Blvd. In North Hollywood where I purchased my first Beatle record "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and a record by Major Lance titled "Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um". From there I saw the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and I was hooked...on Rock N' Roll. At the age of 13 it seems as if the magical world of Rock N' Roll opened up and welcomed me. A trip to Indio with Frank Zappa and possee, and subsequent gigs as a dancer at The Teen Fairs at the Hollywood Palladium sealed the deal. As a trained journalist, I've written for magazines, newsletters,newspapers and blogs. In addition, I have run a nightclub by the name of The Cave. Music is the thread that weaves a patchwork quilt of genres, venues and experience out of my life and in the process have introduced many fine acts to my followers.

For the rest of my story dear readers, read my articles and it will unfold like the petals of a lotus flower. 

 

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