The Universal Bar and Grill is a well-known, family owned business established over twenty years ago in North Hollywood. It has a reputation as a wonderful place to relax, enjoy good food, a full bar and great service.
While rifling through a box of music publications from the 60’s recently, I struck gold! The “gold” in question is a bunch of “Rhythm ’N’ News” issues stamped Ernie’s Record Shop, 5314 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. This find transported me back to the time when Ernie’s Record Shop was the hip hub in NoHo.
Shonda Rhimes Does It Again.
If you don’t know that name then chances are you may have lived under a rock for the past few years or simply don't watch TV. But in case you don't know, Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, director and producer extraordinaire most known for highly rated shows such as medical drama series “Grey’s Anatomy” and breakthrough political thriller “Scandal.” Her unique brand of storytelling has made her a television force unable to be reckoned with. Rhimes’ newest endeavor, “whodunit” mystery “How to Get Away With Murder,” presses new boundaries, giving us that familiar Shonda “OMG” factor we’ve come to love, while still showing us something entirely new. It’s edgier, sexier, and darker compared to most criminal law shows on network television, making it stand out amidst the pack.
I first heard The Chimpz at a house party in LA and was hooked! Their mixture of intense energy and catchy lyrics never fail to put a smile on my face and get me grooving to the beat.
The Door’s have a line in a song that states “When the music’s over turn out the lights” which is what Oscar winning director John Ridley should have done with his “All Is Right By My Side.” This Jimi Hendrix inspired film hints at Hendrix being a musician, but never delivers a whole song except for The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s version of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
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.
Few would argue that in American popular culture, New York dominates theater, and Los Angeles dominates film, despite the rise in runaway production.
But not so with rock music from the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, for which several cities can make a claim for No. 1. In Detroit, they will boast that you can’t do much better than the Contours — the greatest pure rock and roll band on Motown — Mitch Ryder, the MC5, Bob Seger, and, yes, Grand Funk Railroad.
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.
When Paul McCartney first noticed John Lennon and Mick Jagger first ran into Keith Richards, these chance encounters changed pop music and popular culture. When Steve Boone first met John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, it was like the rock and roll version of eharmony.com.
‘Last Dance’, depending on the time you decided to sit down and listen to this album, it was either a joyous occasion to hear two great jazz masters put their heart and soul into rejuvenating old jazz standards and bringing them back to life. Or it was an album of mourning when you realise that this was Charlie Haden's last recording before his untimely death, July 11, 2014.
In mid-August 1965, while thousands of young black people, tired of being harassed by the Los Angeles Police Department, staged a rebellion in the southern part of the city, a song written by a white, Jewish folk/rock and roll performer started its unlikely ascent to number one on the Hot 100 charts.
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.
Among Baby Boomers, Bob Dylan occupies a position not unlike that of Ronald Reagan with conservatives. The singer is not only admired by his original fan base, but revered, to the point where his defects, artistic and personal, are either dismissed or ignored. This attitude brings to mind the millions of Reagan lovers of all ages who conveniently forget that their political hero increased taxes and grew the deficit.
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 first section of Robert Greenfield’s short, engaging book about the Rolling Stones, “Ain’t It Time We Said Goodbye,” feels like a mistake. The author, who during the early 1970s worked in the London bureau of Rolling Stone magazine, provides readers with a day-by-day account of the Stones’ March 1971 tour of their native England.
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.
I would strongly recommend that you watch VH1’s 2010 documentary on “Soul Train,” called “The Hippest Trip in America,” before reading the new book by Nelson George of the same title. George, a longtime pop music critic who has written histories of Motown and rhythm ‘n’ blues, does his best to convey through words the dance moves made famous by the program—waacking, popping, the boogaloo—but visualizing is not nearly as compelling as is actually seeing.
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.
Like heaven and like hell, pop music is well-stocked with angels and devils. From “Devil or Angel,” the magnificent mid-1950s ballad by the Clovers, through Bobby Helms (“My Special Angel”), Elvis Presley (“The Devil in Disguise”), the Beatles (“Devil in Her Heart”), the Rolling Stones (“Sympathy for the Devil”), and many more, lyricists have found these mythical figures apt symbols for good and bad.
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.
By titling its new release “Fragile,” the Alan Parsons Project has developed a partial solution to the problem that confronts still-active classic rock performers: how to remain relevant. That single word is quite fitting for the modern age, which has added to the history of the world cyber-terrorism, climate change, widespread government surveillance of personal phone calls and e-mails, and predator drones.
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.
Midway through his new book “Beatles vs. Stones,” (Simon and Schuster) author John McMillian takes a short break from pages and pages of interview excerpts and second-hand anecdotes, some of which learned rock and roll fans will have read before, to refresh his analysis:
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:
Concord Music Group, based in Beverly Hills, recently issued a 6-CD box set of the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival, which is a remastered version of the same package that came out in 2001. Not having heard the first collection, I’m in no position to make a definitive judgment on whether the new one is superior. But I have sufficient faith in recording engineers and modern technology to believe that this is, in fact, the case.
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?!?
For the Richard Nixon administration and for rock music, 1973 was a grim year. The president spent most of it in a desperate campaign to move past Watergate, including firing Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and Attorney General Elliot Richardson in October during the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre.”