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Q&A: Eastern Conference Champions

17 Oct

Photo by Clay Patrick McBride

By Allison Flaker

To say that Eastern Conference Champions have had a busy and successful year would be an understatement. From touring to ditching their label to being on one of the most anticipated soundtracks of the year, this trio from Pennsylvania have created quite the dust cloud. With a new album ready for release, Speak-Ahh, they aren’t ready for it to settle. Their music is a combination of moody, conceptual vocals and folk instrumentation that produce songs like “Bloody Bells” and my favorite, the somewhat Radiohead-esque, “Common Sense.” Each song drips with a unique blend of irregular drum beats and guitar solos that don’t dominate but compliment lead singer Joshua Ostrander’s powerful voice. They also do a cover of Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” that restores my hope in modern music.

Another reason to like this band: they have a chick bassist. I am forever grateful to Smashing Pumpkins’ bassist D’Arcy Wretzky for this awesome, female-empowering phenomenon. But I digress. I got a chance to ask Melissa Dougherty about the band’s recent independence, the new album, and their inclusion on the Twilight soundtrack.

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Q&A: He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister

12 Oct
By Ashley Eliot
Two Sundays ago a folk band from LA celebrated their debut self-titled EP at the Bootleg Theater. Though the band has been together for almost two years and didn’t really pursue it until now, it makes sense why they wanted to wait. He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister wanted to save it all up for the big bang – a diverse and very lovable EP, and a tour with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. And if you’ve seen the band live then you know why Edward Sharpe chose them as the opening band. HMBSMS create a fun and friendly live show through amping up the crowd to yell, snap fingers and jump, plus each individual member is extremely talented with a natural stage presence. A highlight is definitely the adorable Lauren Brown on percussion, which is her intense tap dancing on a wooden block. Siblings Robert (vocals and guitar) and Rachel Kolar (vocals, tambourine and vibraslap) plus Satya Bhabha on cello and Brown make up the group, and occasional sit-in by Edward Sharpe’s drummer Orpheo McCord . With songs “Tales That I Tell,” “Lazy Daze” and “How’m I Gonna Get Back Home,”HMBSMS has the overall package – great songwriting and an amazing stage presence.

Q&A: Wires In The Walls

8 Oct

By Ashley Eliot

As hard as it is for OC bands to make the jump to LA, luckily, OC welcomes bands from all over with open arms. LA folk rock group Wires In The Walls is doing a mini-tour of OC starting next week. I saw the band perform with The Steelwells at Spaceland a couple months ago. Besides their awesome merch that I probably won’t ever get over, Wires In The Walls write compelling lyrics that tell stories you can really lose yourself in, of course in the best possible way. The power-driven raw vocals of Warren Sroka, the epic guitar riffs plus a variety of sounds from the accordion to banjo to euphonium produce a dynamic live show. Listen to “Take Care” and “Seen It Coming” off their most recent EP Calling Signs to hear what I mean.

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Q&A: Lesands

20 Sep

Photo by Emily Shaw

By Allison Flaker

Lesands, formely known as Arrowws, is music today: conceptual, progressive, synthesized and outstandingly creative. These boys from North San Diego, Austin Taylor Tirado, Joel Plotnik, Andy Briehan, and John Fredericks, have yet to release an EP but have been playing an abundance of shows from San Diego to LA. They frequently can be seen at the Bootleg Theater and a couple weeks ago played The Troubadour with Mississippi Man and Neverever. Music blogs by the dozens are praising them for their song “Pretenders,” due to it’s musical ingenuity and the band’s intoxicating synth-pop sound. If you haven’t heard it yet please do yourself a favor and put it on repeat. It never gets stale and it’s more difficult not to dance than bust a few moves.

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Q&A: Spirit Vine

16 Aug

By Allison Flaker

The hard rocking sound of LA’s Spirit Vine is captivating in a way that makes you turn up the volume to full capacity and air guitar around the house. Their volatile guitar solos, seven minute jams and seriously crazy vocals are a combination unable to be ignored.

Karri Bowan Photography

Though they have yet to release a full length album, their EP, Golden, has gotten plenty of buzz by fans and critics alike. Between writing new material and getting ready to headline a residency at Hear Gallery in Downtown LA, Spirit Vine have been keeping busy. As they spread their contagious sound through Southern California and prepare to record their album, they were also gracious enough to talk to us.

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