RockAngel gets a facelift…and syndicates to

15 05 2009

No…not really a facelift, but I did add a new header!  That way, no matter where you are, you can see me and my crazy Halloween costume.  If I could wear a costume every weekend, I totally would, but unfortunately, that kind of thing is usually frowned upon.

So anyways, onto the big news for me!  After this week I’m going to start writing for  I’ll still be writing on this one, because they specialize in mostly unsigned and indie bands, and I pretty much love it all…big names and all.  But I’m thinking it will force me to keep up with this a lot more than I have lately and at least give you guys one more band a week to check out.  You should definitely head over to the website and check out what they have going on. There’s a lot of great lesser-known artists they feature, you could spend hours there!

This is also going to allow me to help spread the word about a lot of the music I feel so passionately about, so I am really excited! Hopefully we can help build more of a fanbase for those bands that remain under the radar.

I’ve been checking out a lot of new artists lately too, so be sure to check out RockAngel’s Rotation..put a handful of new songs up and you can listen to the full version of them.   I’m still working on trying to figure out how to get a good widget in here that I can add live music dates and album releases; hopefully I’ll figure out something soon.

So much great music is coming to SD this summer and I’ll make sure to give reviews for all of them.  Iglu and Hartley are playing at 710 tonight and Stroke 9 is playing there next Saturday.  I’m also hoping to catch The Riverboat Gamblers on the 28th at the Casbah and have plans to see Unwritten Law, Incubus, Kings of Leon and Bedouin Soundclash…I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.

I should have a fresh set of recommendations by next week.  Lots of musical treats coming your way!  …and you don’t even have to beg for them 🙂

…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…

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.

You think Britney Spears music is torture?

17 12 2008

Surprisingly, it’s not, but NIN, AC/DC and Eminem all are.  Who would have thought? What on earth am I referring to?

The Associated Press reported last week that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were being tortured by being forced to listen to the same music at insanely loud levels for 16 hours straight a day.  This forced many of them to go mad and literally lose their minds.

This has come to light now because musicians are banding together to demand that torture using their music be stopped.  Can you blame them?  I’m not one to get political, but what the F**K is our government/military thinking?  What musician would be okay knowing that their music is being used to TORTURE people?  Not only that, but our military is literally ruining perfectly good music…way to take the brilliance of an artist like Trent Reznor and tarnish it by driving people mad.

Now I understand these prisoners are not innocent bystanders…obviously…they were detained for a reason.  But why use something that is the heart and soul of so many people for something so terrible?  No wonder these artists are banding together.  This is probably the worst news that any artist could get.  Can you imagine?  “Hey Trent, I was in Guantanamo Bay and we used your music to drive people insane and cause them to smash their head against the wall until they knocked themselves out so they wouldn’t have to listen to them anymore.”  That’s gotta hit you where it hurts.

I don’t think it’s arguable that the artists are absolutely in line for demanding that this be stopped.  But what I’m wondering is why did they have to use music that would otherwise be good?  I would think they’d have better luck forcing someone to listen to Pussycat Dolls or Lil Jon for hours on end…that would drive me crazy for sure…

…kidding.  I think this is extremely sad news for the music community and I hope this sort of torture (and all others for that matter) are shut down now that the public is getting wind of it. I’m behind our troops 100%, but whoever is responsible for this kind of behavior needs to be forced to listen to the new Hillary Duff album until they drive their head into a pretty little pink wall.

(Full Story Here)

Best Albums of 2008…the insanity begins

13 12 2008

So here we go again…2008 is not over yet, but the “Best of” lists have already started popping up everywhere, including in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine.  Again, I’m still confused as to why I even bother reading this magazine, but my subscription hasn’t run out yet, so until then, I will continue to read, and continue to rant, because this magazine is proving to have the music taste of a 14 year old girl.

First of all, how can you make a “Best of 2008” list when the year isn’t over?  I’m guessing they got the advance copy, but Fall Out Boy’s new album hasn’t even come out yet…seems like a pretty big omission.  Not that I expect Fall Out Boy to top my list this year, but I don’t think it’s arguable to say that their album will probably be better than the Jonas Brothers, who come in at #40…I mean, seriously?  I don’t listen to their music, but did anyone watch their halftime show during the Thanksgiving football game?  It was the most awkward, uncomfortable and talentless performance I’ve ever seen…that alone was enough for me to not need to listen to the album…ever.

But back to the list…I am happy to see Santogold at #6, but to see Guns n’ Roses at #12– ahead of Kings of Leon who is only #20–confuses the hell out of me.  Anyone who doesn’t put “Only by the Night” in their top 10 this year does not have music taste that I think is worthy of any sort of publication, and if you are my friend, and don’t agree, I may have to re-evaluate our friendship.

Here’s the rest of Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 20 list:
1.  TV on the Radio “Dear Science”
2.  Bob Dylan “Tell Tale Signs – The Bootleg Series”
3.  Lil Wayne “The Carter II”
4.  My Morning Jacket “Evil Urges”
5.  John Mellencamp “Life, Death, Love and Freedom”
6.  Santogold “Santogold”
7.  Coldplay “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends”
8.  Beck “Modern Guilt”
9.  Metallica “Death Magnetic”
10.  Vampire Weekend “Vampire Weekend”
11. Fleet Foxes “Fleet Foxes”
12.  Guns n’ Roses “Chinese Democracy
13.  Blitzen Trapper “Furr”
14.  Ryan Adams and the Cardinals “Cardinology”
15.  The Black Keys “Attack and Release”
16.  Randy Newman “Harps and Angels”
17.  B.B. King “One Kind Favor”
18.  Lucinda Williams “Little Honey”
19.  Erykah Badu “New Amerykah: Part 1 (4th World War)”
20.  Kings of Leon “Only by the Night”

I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t even heard all those albums, nor have I heard nearly close to all the albums that were released, but I’ve heard some darn good ones, that I guarantee are better than Lil Wayne.  I’ll say it again, seriously?! Number 3?  The chorus of his hit song is “She she  licked me like a lollipop (yeah)”, repeated 4 times.  That’s deserving of #3??  That song is everything that’s wrong with hip hop.  I understand they want to cover all the genres, but they didn’t think T.I.’s “Paper Trails” might be more deserving of a spot?

As always, they still gave their number one spot to weird experimental music, in this case–TV on the Radio. It’s not a bad choice for number one…”Dear Science” is a good album…I’m not sure it’s deserving of #1 though…but it’s a much more respectable option than their #1 spot for top singles, which went to Beyonce for “Single Ladies”…

Don’t get me wrong, I love Beyonce and admire her for her talent, ambition and class, but this is the song of the year?  If any of her songs should have made the list, it should have been the more thoughtful song “If I Were a Boy”.  The rest of their top 10 is actually respectable…except of course, #5 which is none other than “Lollipop”…

The rest of Rolling Stone’s top 10 best singles of the year:
1.  Beyonce “Single Ladies”
2.  Santogold “LES Artistes”
3.  MGMT “Time to Pretend”
4.  Blitzen Trapper “Furr”
5.  Lil Wayne “Lollipop”
6.  Beck “Gamma Ray”
7.  Estelle Ft. Kanye West “American Boy”
8.  My Morning Jacket “I’m Amazed”
9.  Coldplay “Viva la Vida”
10.  T.I. “No Matter What”

Another year has almost gone by, and another bad list has been made by Rolling Stone.  Their bad judgment of hip hop music and token experimental music overtaking good rock and roll has yet again produced two “Best of 2008” lists that breaks any true rockers heart.

My best of 2008 list is in the works and will be out soon…but not before the last New Music Tuesday of the year.  And you better bet that there won’t be any Lil Wayne or Beyonce, but there will be plenty of Indie gems that might have slipped under your radar.

…keep rockin…

Let’s Ride It…My Pony, Sorry Daniel Wesley Band, Far beat you to it

9 12 2008

It was only a matter of time before a good rock band came along and remade Ginuwine’s “My Pony”. Well, after a surprisingly good act at 710 Beach Club in San Diego, I came home with a CD from Daniel Wesley Band with just that. It wasn’t the song exactly, but they covered the good parts, and filled in the rest with some musical sexiness.

So imagine my surprise when I turn on the radio and hear another cover of that song…but not by the little Indie Canadian band that I love, by another old highly influential band–Far. I’m not going to argue with their influence on the music world, but I was a little sad that they had to come back with this song, and steal any glory I think DWB could have had from its popularity. Far deserves the attention, but at this point, I think they could have covered Brittany Spears and people would love it because they are just so happy to have them back in the music scene.

Far’s version is good, I suppose….although I’m quite biased due to my original obsession with Daniel Wesley Band. Here are both of them for you, what do you think?

If you like Daniel Wesley’s version, check out the rest of their tracks below. I’m thinking these guys would be a huge hit in the San Diego music scene.

RockAngel Rants…get with it Music Biz

21 11 2008

What do  AC/DC, Police, Christina Aguilera and the Eagles all have in common?  They would all like us to waste a little gas, just to listen to their music.  In other words, if you want any of the new releases from the artists above, you’ll have to drive your ass down to a Wal-mart, Target, or Best Buy as they all have exclusive deals with the big box stores.  Why would they do this?  Well, in exchange for exclusivity, the artist/band gets HUGE promotion in the stores.  So anyone walking into one of those stores, may come out with an impulse purchase of a Christina Aguilera CD…or not.

Will the music industry please move completely into the 21st century already?  The future of music is digital.  Period.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to love the old neighborhood music stores and actually owning the CD, artwork, etc, but let’s face it, all of those stores are out of business…for a reason.  When faced with the choice of driving to a store, or clicking a button, consumers chose to click a button, and own the music instantaneously. Those who want to own the CD now buy it online at Amazon.  The iPod and other portable music devices only furthers the need for digital downloads as buying a CD requires the extra step to actually upload it digitally before it can be transferred to the device.

So what’s up with this new wave of artists who think they are so big, and people love them so much, that they can make it MORE difficult to give them money.  Seems a little backwards if you ask me.  I suppose you could say a true fan would drive anywhere to get their hands on the latest release from their favorite artist.  Well you know what?  I wouldn’t…just for the principle of it.  You think you are so great that I don’t want to listen to the CD before I buy it?  You think people should have to drive to give you money for your music?  Fuck that!  I’m a big supporter of buying music, but illegal downloads haven’t gone away, and I think artists are going to lose a lot of money to that if they don’t make it available legally online.

Yes, I’m very aware that AC/DC has sold a shit-ton of albums already using this model.  But has anyone thought about how many more they would have sold if we could just click “buy” in the iTunes store?  And I’d be very curious to know how many people have, and will opt to get the music illegally since they can’t access it on their computer.  In fact, I encourage this, who do these artists think they are?  Does anyone else see how f’ing backwards this is?

Yes, I’m a little angry, not because I was planning on buying any of those albums, but at the audacity of artists and labels so caught up in retail commercialism that they are forsaking spreading their music to as many ears as possible.  In a time when the music industry is struggling to keep up with technology, I see this as a huge step backwards that may work for a few big names, but is ultimately bad for their bottom line, and just plain annoying for their fans.

Hey, I’d really like you to pay me $10 to read my blog, but I have much better visibility at my house so I’m not going to post it digitally anymore.  Why don’t get in your car and drive over and read the handwritten version?  Thanks.