RockAngel goes to Coachella 2010…here are the bands you can’t miss

1 04 2010

That’s right!  This year I am going to Coachella and when I’m not dancing my butt off, or getting myself backstage (fingers crossed!), I’m hoping I can share some of the musical magic with you via super-advanced genius technology (otherwise known as my new HTC Droid smartphone) and my Social Networking sites…Twitter & Facebook.  If you haven’t connected with me yet, what are you waiting for?  It will be like you are right there with me…minus the thousands of screaming fans, extreme desert weather, and numerous adult beverages.

Until then…here’s a little preview of some of the lesser-known (maybe?) bands I’m really looking forward to seeing this year…

At the top of my list, there’s Florence & the Machine…my vote for the top album of 2009 and one of my favorite new artists.  New girlcrush?  Maybe…I’m a sucker for a girl in a sparkly dress who can sing her ass off (as I discovered watching Metric last weekend).

“You’ve Got the Love”…

Next up is the XX…I missed them when they came to The Casbah in San Diego and I was soooooo bummed!  At least I get to make up for it at Coachella.  I’m not usually big on minimalist simplicity but I find the seducing vocals impossible to resist.

Check out “Crystalised” below:

I’ve get a little 70’s chill in my bones when I hear Gossip and “Heavy Cross”.  The energy of this song and the band in general is undeniable.  I have a feeling I’m gonna be seriously rocking out to this one…

“Heavy Cross” – Gossip

Yes, I have already seen MuteMath, but that just makes me more excited to see them again.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a band put so much physical energy into a show (even AFI)…pretty sure their shows require months of physical training.  Another one of my favorite albums of 2009, they really lured me in with “Spotlight” (below), but the rest of the album is just as good (in case you were wondering).

If you haven’t jumped on the As Tall As Lions bandwagon, you better get with it!  I’ve heard nothing but good things about this band and I can’t wait to see them for myself.  I have a feeling that their song “In Case of Rapture” is going to be one of those songs that uses it’s live energy to unite the crowd…or that’s what I’m hoping at least.

Another band that’s gonna keep the crowds dancing is gonna be Hockey.  Their whole album is high energy and I’m hoping their live show will be too.  I can feel myself dancing already…

Here’s “Too Fake” from Hockey:

Recently I’ve just gotten into Portugal. the Man and their new album is caressing my eardrums in just the right way.  I have no idea what to expect from the show, but I am loooving their song “The Dead Dog” from American Ghetto.

If you’re going to Coachella this year, I hope the preview just added to the excitement.  For those of you that won’t be here, I’ll keep you posted via Twitter and Facebook, so add me 🙂

Oh, and it should go without saying that I’m super stoked to see the rest of the lineup like The Temper Trap, Jay-Z, Them Crooked Vultures, Muse, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Little Boots, White Rabbits, Iglu & Hartley, Camera Obscura & Matt & Kim…just to name a few.  I’m so excited I might pee (let’s hope not though, gross).

Until then…keep rockin’…


New music from Cold War Kids, Lupe Fiasco, The Temper Trap and more…

21 01 2010

Looking for a few new jams to tickle your musical taste buds?  Check out a few singles that I’ve been diggin’ lately.  No better birthday present than good music (that’s right, RockAngel is 28 today!)

Cold War Kids – Audience…If you’re a fan of Cold War Kids, this is sure to please.  Pretty catchy…they have that Indie vibe beatin’ hard in this one…

Next up…Lupe Fiasco with Solar Midnite from the Twilight New Moon soundtrack.  This hip-hop star brings his talents to a rock beat and he kills it!

If you haven’t heard yet, Paper Tongues are making quite the splash and their song “Trinity” is one of those that just sounds like an instant classic.  Haven’t quite figured out their sound from their singles so far but this is one of those songs I could hear again and again and never get sick of…

Ready to get real indie-electro?  “I go I go I go” by the Wave Machines takes a minute to get to the chorus, but once it does, I love it.  Don’t be put off by the beginning, make it to the end and it gets pretty catchy…

By now I’m sure you’ve all heard “Sweet Disposition” by the Temper Trap (500 days of Summer and all the drama shows on ABC) but their song “Fader” is what’s been rocking my world lately.  I just can’t help but to smile and get pumped up when I hear this…another instant classic in my mind…

And to be sure not to let their treadmill video define them, Ok Go makes another visually stimulating video.  Warning-it might make you feel like you are on drugs…(and btw, the song is pretty kick ass too)

Live, Love, Laugh and Cry with Thao with The Get Down Stay Down

7 01 2010

A complicated web of human interaction and emotions has never sounded so fun and playful as it does with Thao with the Get Down Stay Down. Thao’s music is indie rock at it’s finest with elements of chamber pop and alternative folk.  It’s  catchy, quirky, and everything you’d expect from a band that sounds like they could be your best friends.  Thao’s voice and lyrics are laced with an innocent sexiness that enhances the fun and fresh melodies of the band while bringing the music to a balance of being relate-able and still danceable.

Their latest album release Know Better Learn Faster boasts songs like “When We Swam” that makes an audience instantly want to sing along as well as the title track which highlights their ability to produce an escalating progression of sound and emotions.  The music portrays a kind of human quality that lets us know that this is a band that has lived their lives like the rest of us…just trying to figure it out as we go along, but enjoying the ride the whole time.   Thao was gracious enough to take some time out during the current US tour to answer a few questions for us.

RA:  At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be a musician?

Thao:  I think i knew very young, around 13, that i wanted to be a musician. I didn’t fully commit to the idea until i the end of college when i intentionally left myself no other option. (by this i mean i refused to even consider going to grad. school  and did not have any other kind of job lined up.)

RA:  Along your journey, have you always felt supported and confident that you were on the right path or have you met with a lot of roadblocks along the way?

Thao:  I think in this realm i have walked a very charmed path and am incredibly grateful for how things have seemed to fall in place without much grief.

RA:  Your music has a very playful sound.  Will you tell me a little about your writing process?

Thao:  well first i like to have incredibly complicated interactions with humans and then i like to make questionable decisions and then it helps if they do too, and then i cry, and then i write a song.

RA:  Haha…very cleverly put.  I’ve always heard that being in a band is like having many relationships at
once, what is the group dynamic like with your band?

Thao:  Adam and Willis are dear friends of mine and we are very familiar with each other’s living habits. It’s like living with your co workers in a van on a weird extended business trip. we are a tight-knit bunch when we are together, which is very frequently, for what seems like unnatural amounts of time, in closed spaces. but off tour we try our best to tend to our regular lives. we’ve known each other for a few years now but in touring time that’s about 17 years.  We are a goofy bunch with very tame tendencies like watching the food network in hotel rooms after shows. and the discovery channel. we love Man vs. Wild. Do yall watch that in Montreal?

RA:  Actually, I live in San Diego, but I’ve seen the show a few times. It sounds like you guys have a lot of fun on the road, do you have any really great/funny stories that stand out?

Thao:  Once at a Super 8 (terrible hotel/motel chain) in the midwest, adam woke up and his leg was in what we thought was drying blood (not his own!)  and while he was in the shower trying to scorch off his skin i went to talk to the people at the desk and i said ‘um, we have blood on the sheets’ and the woman at the desk took it into the back room and then returned and said matter of factly:  ‘it’s not blood’ and i said : ‘what is it’ and she said: ‘ fecal matter.’

RA:  Wow, that is definitely memorable!  I was supposed to go to the San Diego show at the Casbah but ended up having to work that night and missed it;  I was so bummed.  What could we expect at a typical show?

Thao:  thank you for even considering coming.

you could expect a lot of dancing around and hair and me almost falling over too much (because of the moving around and the cables, not because i am drunk) and willis wearing this necklace full of tiny plastic and rubber animal toys that he made himself and adam wearing this necklace with just ONE rubber horse head from the same place and us succintly recapping events of the day/ week FOR INSTANCE on that drive to san diego I was very concerned that an SUV ahead of us had a part of itself dragging on the ground but we got closer and it was just a black pair of those plastic balls hanging from the hitch. you know what i’m talking about? the ball-sac ornaments? i think they are called truck nutz or some such. terrible. those things are terrible.

RA: I have actually never seen those…I will consider myself fortunate.  What’s coming up in the near future for you guys that you’d like to share with the readers of RockAngel Music?

Thao:  well we are all flying to Tokyo tomorrow because our new record is being released over there. and then we are going to Europe in jan for tour. and then we are going on a west coast tour with the Thermals in feb. and then we are going to sleep.

RA: Sleep that I am sure will be much needed!  Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Thao.  I expect that you guys are going to make a big splash in the music world and we are very grateful for getting a chance to get a little peek behind the scenes.

Thao on Lala

Thao on Myspace

The Official Website

RockAngel’s Radar brings you…The Temper Trap’s latest “Conditions”

3 11 2009

Heard of a little band called Phoenix lately? Even if it doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve definitely heard the song 1901 in a car commercial, a TV show, or just turning on the radio. Well that band is great…and now commercially popular obviously. But that’s old news, and now I’m on to the next big thing that Glassnote Records is bringing to the masses, and that’s The Temper Trap.

Hailing from Australia, The Temper Trap has already caught the ears of BBC’s Radio 1 and countless SXSW critics and bloggers, and now it’s time that The Rock and Roll Report gets a taste of their newest album Conditions. These emotion driven melodies can transport you to an inner reflection and still manage to keep your toes tapping. You may not know it yet, but these guys are the soundtrack to your future.

There’s not a detail missed in these meticulously crafted tracks from the heart pounding “Sweet Disposition” (recently featured in Indie film “500 Days of Summer”) to the anthem-like “Fader” and the electronic-experimentation “Science of Fear”. “Drum Song” really showcases how the percussion of this band keeps you on your toes, and acts as the epitome of their instrumental capabilities (I’m not even usually an instrumental fan).

Every time I listen to this album, I hear something new, and fall in love over and over again. Not since the Killers “Hot Fuss” album have I heard something so refreshing yet so instantly classic. If you can catch these guys at a small venue, do it now, because if they stay on this creative track, they’re gonna be up in the ranks with bands like Radiohead. This band deserves everything that comes their way and I truly believe this is one of the best albums of the year by far.

The Temper Trap Official Website

The Temper Trap Myspace

Conditions on Lala

Want to listen to the new Muse album “Resistance” but can’t wait until tomorrow?

14 09 2009
Just can't resist it

Just can't resist it

If you sign up to be a member on their website, you can stream the whole album free…

Once you sign up, go to the media player and click “play”…yes, it’s that simple

I’m so excited, I couldn’t wait another day.  Muse is an amazing band, and I only expect more amazing music from Resistance.

“Get on your Boots”…U2 gives us a preview of their new album due out in March

2 02 2009

There’s no denying that U2 is one of the biggest bands in the world…and they’re up to some new music making for 2009. By now, they pretty much can poop out a hot single. They’ve been putting out hit songs for so long that Billboard may as well just reserve a spot in the top 40 for their new single “Get on your Boots”.

So what’s my take on the new single? (you can listen here) After first listen, it’s catchy as hell, after the third listen, I’m still liking it (who listens to songs 3 times in a row? Um, yeah, that’s me). Just when you think you’re bored, they switch it up, and then bring back in the crunchy guitars and switch it back. I can definitely rock out to this one for awhile.

Since it’s U2, and it’s such a big time in politics right now, you’d think it would be a song that’s making a politically charged statement right? Wrong. This is the song we all need right now…a fun little jam that doesn’t make you think too much.  Check it out. What are your thoughts?

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…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’…