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.
Recently voted the Best Open Mic in the Los Angeles area.
One little store front on Laurel Canyon Boulevard is home to one little funky music spot. Kulak’s Woodshed is a professional recording studio/listening room and one of the Valley’s best kept secrets. Its eclectic setting has a vibe that is all its own and is a great place to hear both up-and-coming artists as well as the music of seasoned professionals.
Jazz in the 21st Century is in an interesting time, not necessarily stuck in a rut, but no one really knows what exactly is the next big step is for jazz, or where it should be going.
Under the name Godson, Aaron Johnson’s new EP has already been seen in stores online and on radio stations all over the world since its official release on May 13th, 2014. The album ‘Chilled Coffee’ is an all digital, instrumental acid jazz/hip hop EP with 10 original songs. His current work has over 20k plays, 275+ fans in over 40 countries with a strong base primarily in Europe and South America on Soundcloud alone.
We’ve been talking about Silver Snakes for a few years now, and if you’re already familiar with what they do you’re ahead of the learning curve. Featuring members of Horse The Band, the SoCal rock group have made quite an impression on the music scene with the 90s-inspired jams captured on their latest album Year of The Snake.
In today's modern popular electronic music, musicality is thrown out the window and replaced with only how loud and aggressive a producer can make their track. It’s nice to know we still have producers trying to save and create electronic music with the intentions of actually making music.
Speaking to Rolling Stone Last year vocalist Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon explained that for this record the band started with nothing, no ideas, no vision, no plan. “We dove into different worlds and new spaces we haven’t been before”said Yukimi. And upon listening to this album what she says is true, they manage to bring in new flavors into the mix while still maintaining certain elements that make their music so great.
The NoHo art community is a creative hotbed filled with talented singers, musicians, actors, dancers and visual artists. Over 50% of the people living in the district are under 35 years old. Every month, nohoartsdistrict.com will be highlighting one or two NoHo artists. If you are an artist and live or work in NoHo, please submit your bio for consideration. Today, we interviewed Joe Little, one of the most multi-talented music professionals I have seen for a while.
Tell us about your experience at Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp?
Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp was one of those experiences where I was sitting there for a moment saying to myself, "I'm actually getting paid for this?" This was probably around the time I was asked to start a blues jam with Mark Farner, Gary Hoey, and Billy Sheehan or after I helped out Alan White and his band perform the song Dream On with Steven Tyler surrounded by news cameras. Although, there were many long days and always tons of obstacles to dance around I can defiantly say that my couple years with the camp was an amazing time.
The NoHo Arts Community has grown into a creative hotbed for musicians from around the world. Both new and established musicians frequent our 30+ recording studios with AMP Rehearsal & Recording Studios leading the way with clientele such as Prince, Katie Perry and Black Eyed Peas to name a few. Today, we are spotlighting a Canadian jazz saxophonist, Ben Henriques - Captain Awesome
‘Captain Awesome’ is the second studio album from Vancouver, BC based saxophonist Ben Henriques...one of the many rising stars in the Canadian jazz scene. Ben Henriques, composer and group leader puts a much needed spin to contemporary modern jazz with his own unique compositional voice.
Unlike most saxophone players who choose to play with a abrasive, screaming in your face, tear paint off the walls tone. Ben Henriques chooses to play with a soft, rich in dynamics tone. Not only does this make his solos more musical, it also helps bring out the most in his composition and create a organic liveliness within the music. The music is less fatiguing, easier to listen to and much more enjoyable. It feels less like a marathon of music that you force yourself to finish. Much like his tone, his compositions are created with the same ideas in mind. With the use of vibrant colorful melodies and fun playful rhythms, he provokes the imagination and takes you on a musical journey inspired by comics, movies, and imaginary worlds. Alongside Ben Henriques is the support of other great Canadian jazz musicians with Dave Liang on Drums, Josh Rager on Piano, Kenny Bibace on guitar and Fraser Hollins on Bass. Within the group they help aid Henriques in developing the musical storyline that is heard throughout the album.
If you would like to hear more from Ben Henriques you can purchase his album ‘Captain Awesome’ at http://www.chronographrecords.com/releases.php?album=36
-Written by Kaeman McDonald
Review by Kaeman McDonald,
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta , Canada. Kaeman McDonald is an aspiring musician who wants nothing more then to play, promote and support jazz around the world.
It’s hard to imagine that Deafheaven’s success all spawned off the release of their 2010 demo. Even frontman George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy are among the disbelievers, especially since they recorded the four-track effort out of boredom.
We fell head over heels for Johnny Booth when they put out their 2012 album Connections. You’ve heard their track “Ink And Sky” featuring Tommy Rogers of BTBAM, right? That album gave us so many chills that we put it as one of our favorite records of the year. The downside: it left us jonesin’ for more.
Have you ever wondered to yourself, "Self, what would a jazz infused classic Disney song with elements of pop music sound like?" Of course you've wondered this! The answer to your query is in the sounds of the pop-folk duo Rachel Lindley & Madison Johnson who play under the moniker Color Me Home. They are Republic of Pie's featured musicians who can be heard playing every Sunday at NOHO's hip coffee spot at 4:00 p.m.
Well folks, here we are at the closing of yet another year and with that I’d like to take the time to point out a few of my personal favorite albums and artists of the year. This list will include both newly released albums in 2013 as well as new re-releases that came out in 2013 as well. I collect a lot of vintage music from around the globe and there is no end to how deep one can dig especially with the wonderful amount of terrific re-release labels out there like Pressure Sounds Records, Numero Group Records, and Soul Jazz Records to name just a few. So, know my tastes are broad and eclectic, check these albums/artists out when you can, and here we go:
There is SO MUCH music out in the world, old and new, for anyone to discover around every corner of every day. This statement and reality is what keeps me personally Super Charged as an artist, musician, and producer. When you find a rare gem of an artist or album, hopefully it takes you (as it does for me) back to step one of why anyone cares about music – ‘cause You Love It Right?!?
““Sound City” and “Tom Dowd & The Language of Music” – 2 Documentary Movies That Inspire, Educate, & Entertain”
Recently I was very lucky to have been given a set of music documentaries to borrow from a very close musician friend of mine who knows my broad taste in music and music history. I personally fair to steer a bit all over the place in genre, history, and continent when it comes to my tastes (and career) in music and rightfully state this as I essentially love any and all good music (and creative art and culture) from just about anywhere from anytime from around the world. Now when a good story accompanies this music (or other creative format), I’m ALWAYS, like some many people, that much more drawn in. In the case of the two music documentaries “Sound City” and “Tom Dowd & The Language of Music”, the stories in both are COMPLETELY AMAZING and are literally two of the best music related movies I’ve personally seen in years. Both tales are COMPLETELY unique in that so much history, not just musically but socially and culturally, is inside each film. Anyone, musician or not, will walk away inspired and informed by the central figures and stories of these two films and, more than likely, will discover they have ALREADY been inspired as the history involved in each movie encompasses the very fabric of the entire span of American music and it’s intertwined affect on American society and pop culture as a whole.
This movie came out this year (via Roswell Films, 2013) and is directed by musician/rock icon Dave Grohl (of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame) and tells the story of San Fernando Valley-based recording studio Sound City. It has an all-star, who’s who of Rock and Pop icons who have recorded numerous classic albums each telling their own histories along side of Grohl’s incredibly detailed direction of the story of this legendary studio.
Dave Grohl with film crew on set.
Artists featured in the film who have recorded at Sound City include Fleetwood Mac (who were essentially created at Sound City!), Neil Young, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Rick Springfield, Pat Benatar, Barry Manilow, REO Speedwagon, Fear, Metallica, Slipknot, and Nirvana JUST TO NAME A FEW! Importantly here is Nirvana having recorded their then groundbreaking, now-classic album “Nevermind” as this was Dave Grohl induction into the walls of Sound City.
Dave Grohl (on the right) showing Lindsey Buckingham the Neve recording console.
As the story in the film plays out, it is Grohl’s idea behind the film to purchase the legendary, one-of-a-kind original Neve mixing board (originally designed by audio wizard Rupert Neve who’s interviewed in the film!) at Sound City that was behind the sound and the hits of the studio and re-unite an all-star cast of Sound City alumni to pay a musical tribute with new recordings done on this console that is relocated to Dave Grohl’s own personal studio.
Dave Grohl (on guitar) in his studio with drumming legend Jim Keltner and others.
“Sound City” is a tale of constant inspiration around every corner as the story unfolds in showcasing the music industry and it’s constant high’s and low’s, how music used to be made and how it’s made now (for both good and bad), all yielding top name performer after performer, both old and new, to guide the viewer through, as according to Dave Grohl, “the truth, the craft, and the integrity of Rock & Roll”.
For more info, insight, and where to purchase this movie go here.
See the trailer to “Sound City” here.
Recently the high-end audio equipment retailer Vintage King put up two YouTube videos of going into Fairfax Recording Studios (owned and operated by engineer/producer Kevin Augunas who is featured briefly in “Sound City”) that is now located at the original Sound City location. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (and free!) viewing here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).
This film came out in 2003 (via Language of Music Films, 2003) and is directed and produced by Mark Moormann and tells the incredibly amazing story of musician/engineer/producer Tom Dowd. Having started as an engineer in the early history of fabled record label Atlantic Records, Tom Dowd’s career in the music industry is truly one for the ages. He spanned, and helped pioneer, multiple genres of music from Jazz, R&B and Funk, to Classic Rock, Southern Rock, and Hard Rock, all the entire time staying utterly relevant to the constantly shifting music industry around him.
Tom Dowd (on left) with Rod Stewart.
The scope of artist featured and mentioned in this movie that Tom Dowd has either recorded or produced is a stunning who’s who of each musical genre they come from. Be it John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, or Ornette Coleman from Jazz, to Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Otis Redding from R&B, to Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Allman Brothers Band (this is literally only naming a FEW!), EVERYONE has only the highest praise for Tom Dowd and his personality and professionalism for his rolls in their lives and careers. This all simply comes down to the fact that the viewer of this film cannot miss Tom Dowd’s infectious personality, inspiring spirit, and brilliant intellectualism that all fully inform his incredible stories as he guides you through his career’s history.
Tom Dowd (on left) with Ray Charles.
As this film progresses, on top of the who’s who of artists that come forward about Tom’s history and importance in their lives and in the music industry, another side of what is showcased in this film are the numerous technical achievements Tom Dowd brought to recording technology as a whole (introducing faders instead of knobs to be used on a mixing console for instance!). His inventions and modifications to devices used throughout ALL recording studios around the world are priceless and only add to another layer of intrigue inside of this man’s incredible story.
Tom Dowd in the studio.
“Tom Dowd & The Language Of Music” is a film and story of the power of one person who can, and did, go on to inspire so many by being the best they could be at all times with anyone no matter the circumstances. Tom Dowd truly is a one-of-a-kind not only as the acclaimed musician/engineer/producer he would go on to be, but also as the person and human being he always naturally just was. His down-to-earth spirit will most certainly be inspiring to anyone, musician or not, in watching him tell in his own words “The Language Of Music”.
For more info, insight, and where to purchase this movie go here.
See the trailer to “Tom Dowd & The Language Of Music here.
Music is a burst of choices, not only what note to play when and with what instrument, but whether to play a note at all. Salvador Santana, the 29-year-old keyboardist, vocalist, composer and songwriter with strong Bay Area roots, knows what it means to navigate the infinite options of music.