2009 – First New Music Recommendations of the Year

16 01 2009

Simon Wilcox – The Charm and the Strange

Simon Wilcox - The Charm and the StrangeDon’t let the name fool you, this is one badass chick…This one’s thanks to Pandora…”Awful Badly” came up on my station and immediately I was struck. She lures you in with her soft seductive voice and there’s no turning back from there.  I was expecting that this was probably the one song on the album that would rock me, and the rest would probably be a bore, as many female songwriter’s albums are.  To my surprise, the rest of the album is just as good and not for a second was I bored…on the contrary, I was quite intrigued, and totally addicted.  Throughout the album, instead of getting sappy, she gets super sassy.  If this was 2007, this would be one of my top 10 for sure.

Check out the album here

The Charms – Pussycat

The Charms - PussycatSpeaking of chicks that rock…If you love female vocalists, but prefer them to rock out and sound a little more raunchy, The Charms are sure to satisfy your craving.  This is not pansy chick rock, but it is a hell of a good time.  If you like bands like Morningwood, you’ll like The Charms.   I really like all the tracks on this album, but “Losing My Addiction” is a standout for sure.  This is not something to throw on as background music…it’s best when served loud where there’s ample room for dancing around the room in your underwear with an air guitar (think Heidi Klum’s guitar hero commercial)..I mean, if you do that kind of thing (and who doesn’t?)

Check out the album here

Matt Costa – Unfamiliar Faces

Matt Costa - Unfamiliar FacesJack Johnson finds another golden jewel…Matt Costa’s been around for awhile now, but I just recently rediscovered his 2007 album.  I liked him before, but since his last album, I think he’s become less folky and took a few more chances making “Unfamiliar Faces” much more fun.  The lead track “Mr. Pitiful” is just one of those catchy singer/songwriter songs perfect for driving to work in the morning.  It has a catchy uptempo beat that just makes you want to smile.  Some of the songs are a little slow for my liking, but the ones that are good, are really good, like “Trying to Lose my Mind”.  This is a pretty laid back album that would be great for chillin’ out on the beach…or maybe even making out.  And who doesn’t need a good makeout CD?

Check out the album here

Koufax – Strugglers

Koufax - StrugglersLike you couldn’t see this coming…Appearing on my top 10 list out of the blue, I have to make sure every indie hipster I know listens to this.  The first verse of the first song “Any Moment Now” hits you with a sax and never lets go.  Their sound is somewhere between Cold War Kids and Spoon, with a splash of Margot.  If you’re tired of all of the bore-you-to-death digital crap that’s being passed off as “Indie” right now, check out Koufax for a breath of fresh air.  This CD is awesome from beginning to end.  If they don’t hit the scene hard and soon, I’m going to start doubting the musical tastes of everyone in life.  Yes, I think it’s that good.  Oh, and stay posted…interview with them coming soon to Rockangelmusic.com…because yes, I am that good.

Check out the album here

Company of Thieves – Ordinary Riches

company of ThievesAnother intoxicating female voice…What do you get when you take a voice like Feist/Tristan Prettyman, add a little rock, a little blues, and a little jazz?  You get a delectable little treat known as Company of Thieves.  “Past the Sleep” and “Around the Block” are two of my faves on here, but this album goes down smooth like a nice glass of Scotch…or for those of us who find Scotch disgusting, it’s like a well aged glass of Syrah.  Yeah, I’m getting a little soft on this one, but everyone needs to be serenaded once in awhile, ya know?  If you like Tristan Prettyman’s latest, you’ll like this for sure (and if you don’t, she doesn’t like you either).  Perfect relaxation music after a long stressful day.

Check out the album here

And that’ll do it!  Happy listening, and…keep rockin’…


Best Albums of 2008…RockAngel Style

12 01 2009

Yes…we are 12 days into 2009, but I wanted to give the music of 2008 all the credit it deserved…meaning I had a top 9 list forever and couldn’t find any CD deserving of being in my top albums of the year…until now.   I know there’s no such thing as “the best album”…music is subjective…but I judge based on two things.

1-How much I want to listen to them.
2-  The level of skill, talent and creativity…but note this-creativity that you don’t want to listen to is wasted in my mind.

So here they are…my favorite albums of 2008…(if you click the albums, you can listen to them for free)

10: Girl Talk Feed the Animals
This is probably the most random appearance on my list, but I can’t get enough of this CD.  I’ve never heard mashups that are so original and flow so well.  While I’m not a huge fan of vulgar rap, the way it’s used here actually makes it bearable to listen to. If you’re looking for something to get the party started…or keep the party going…check out this CD…before this guy gets sued for stealing everyone’s music…and doing it so well.

9.  Counting Crows Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings
I know I’ll lose any indie or rock cred I have for this pick, but this was a great CD…well written, well executed, and it makes you want to party and cry all at the same time..which I wouldn’t suggest doing, because you don’t want to be that girl (or guy).  The point is, there’s a lot of emotion in this album and you can tell they took their time to make it right.

8.  Eric Hutchinson Sounds Like This
This was a pleasant unexpected surprise this year.  This guy’s opening for O.A.R., and his single “Rock & Roll” is hittin’ the airwaves everywhere, but who knew this guy could write such a rockin’ blues inspired record?

7.  The Raconteurs Consolers of the Lonely
My old roommate burned me a copy of their last album and I couldn’t even listen to it all, because I just didn’t care for it that much.  Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t take the new CD out of my car for weeks.  Jack White and the rest of the band really nailed it on this one.

6.  Koufax Strugglers
I know what you’re thinking…”who??But every top 10 list needs the random indie band that no one’s heard of (some have more than others).  I’ve combed multiple top ten lists and listened to tons of random indie crap that people thought was the best of the year, and I still couldn’t fill in the missing place of my top 10.  iTunes Genius sidebar actually turned out to be pretty awesome on this one…Koufax came out of nowhere and just blew me away. I knew I’d love this CD after the first 3 notes of the first song.  I’d describe Koufax as being somewhere between Spoon and Cold War Kids with a splash of Margot & TNS&S thrown in for good measure…give it a try, it’s some delicious indie goodness for your ears.

5.  TV on the Radio Dear Science
If Rolling Stone got one thing right this year, it was putting this album at the top of their list.  While it wasn’t my top favorite, there’s no denying the creativity on this album is pretty f’ing awesome.

4.  Michael Franti & Spearhead All Rebel Rockers
I saw these guys at Street Scene and was an immediate fan.  When I saw they had a new album on someone else’s top ten, I got as giddy as a 10 year old girl.  Once I heard this, I knew it was something that my ears have been missing for awhile.  If you’re a fan of Ben Harper, and you haven’t heard this guy, you’re gonna love him.  This music is fun, and still full of great messages and a lot of heart.

3.  People in Planes Beyond the Horizon
If you want to rock, but found this year a little disappointing, People in Planes are sure to fill in that gap.  Every time I hear this I want to jump around my car like some chick from an 80’s Motley Crue video…which is almost as entertaining as this CD.

2.  Santogold Santogold
This CD was amazing and anyone who’s been in my car in the last year has heard it, over and over.  Perfect CD for the summer especially, and something truly unique, but still catchy as hell.  If you haven’t heard this…wtf are you waiting for?

1.  Kings of Leon Only by the Night
It should be illegal to listen to this CD as much as I have.  You’d think I’d get sick of it, but every time I hear it, I just love it more.  Kings of Leon really got it this time.  There aren’t words to describe how amazing every song is on this album is…it truly is a musical orgasm…and the best one of the year…

My Friday night with Scott Russo…and the rest of Unwritten Law

8 01 2009

If you know me at all, you know the one band I’ve seen more than any other is Unwritten Law…and unless I am out of town, I will go anywhere, anytime they play.  Sure, the music is great, but I’m not gonna lie, there’s not much in life that beats watching Scott Russo perform on stage. I hadn’t been in awhile, so I was all about the all-local San Diego bands show at House of Blues on December 19th.

We got there in time to see the opener who I can’t remember because they were pretty much another generic punk band.  They were ok I guess, but it wasn’t really my thing, and one of the guys was sporting very unusual facial hair (one of those superlong skinny beard things that only old Asian masters can get away with) and I just couldn’t get past it.

The next band – Buckfast Superbee – is fronted by a friend of ours who also works at firehouse, so there was a great crowd there to support them.  I had never heard them live before, but after this show, I was really glad I was able to experience their music live.  They have a similar style to Unwritten Law, so of course I was all about the music, but on top of that, the energy and execution were amazing.  They really rocked the stage with a lot of passion, and it was the perfect appetizer for the upcoming delicious entree, aka-  Unwritten Law.  You can check out their newest CD here, or their myspace here.

We skipped out for Sprung Monkey for the sole fact that I’ve seen them before, and drinks at House of Blues were expensive, so we wanted to grab a couple at The Local before Unwritten Law took the stage.  We got back in just in time, and didn’t miss a beat.

Scott Russo, rockin the Fedora

Scott Russo, rockin' the Fedora

So here comes Unwritten Law and my biggest musical crush-Scott Russo. To my surprise, he’s rocking a much more laid back style.  I would normally object to my favorite rockstar giving up eyeliner, but if there’s one thing I love just as much as eyeliner on rockstars, it’s a well-worn Fedora hat.  And believe me, Scott wore it well.  But besides his style, the band really killed it (again) on stage.  They kept up the energy and the crowd sang along to pretty much everything.  I can always count on UL to rock from beginning to end, and tonight was no exception.  The highlights of the show included Scott ditching the guitar to work the mic and work me into a musical orgasm….and the adorable cameo by Scott’s son, who is the epitomy of a San Diego kid with his surfer-ish bleach blonde hair.  Is he a rockstar in the making?  Well, it’s probably a little too

Scott Russo and the soon to be rockstar

Father/Son Duet

early to tell, but seeing the father/son duo on stage was possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen at a rock concert.  Yeah Scott, you really know how to work the ladies.  And Unwritten Law…you’ll never get enough credit in the mainstream, but San Diego has nothin’ but love (and crazy fantasies) for you.

See all the pics HERE

Here’s a little taste of the Russoliciousness….

2008 Santa Ana Mix

8 01 2009

Technically I made this mix in the winter of 2008…however it was about 80 degrees outside when I made it, so “Winter Mix” just didn’t seem quite right.  For those of you not from San Diego, Santa Ana winds are these awesome winds that bring warm dry weather when the rest of the country is freezing it’s ass off.  Here’s the musical goodness for you… (there’s a link to listen to it under the track listing)

You Don’t Have To Believe Me    Eric Hutchinson
I Don’t Care                                      Fall Out Boy
Undead                                             Hollywood Undead
She’s Got It Going On                    last nights vice
Consoler of the Lonely                  The Raconteurs
Radio                                                Daniel Wesley Band
That Girl                                          Fundamental Elements
I’ve come a long way                     Endoxi
What Is Mine                                  O.A.R.
Lover’s Day                                     TV on the Radio
Losing Touch                                 The Killers
Know When to Walk Away         Jay Clifford
Trouble Is A Friend                      Lenka
Be Somebody                                 Kings Of Leon
Vampire                                          People In Planes
Ship Lost at Sea                             Phantom Planet
Film Noir                                        The Gaslight Anthem
Overture                                         Patrick Wolf
Streetlights                                    Kanye West
Breaking Inside                            Shinedown

For some reason lala took away the ability to embed a player here, but at least you can link to it and still listen.