City Of Costa Mesa 60 and Fabulous

Eric Burdon & The Animals

Formed in Newcastle upon Tyne during 1962 and 1963 when Eric Burdon joined the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, the original line-up comprised Eric Burdon (vocals), Alan Price (organ and keyboards), Hilton Valentine (guitar), John Steel (drums), and Bryan "Chas" Chandler (bass). They were dubbed "animals" because of their wild stage act and the name stuck. The Animals' moderate success in their hometown and a connection with Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky motivated them to move to London in 1964, in time to be grouped with the British Invasion. They performed fiery versions of the staple rhythm and blues repertoire (Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Nina Simone, etc). Signed to the UK Columbia subsidiary of EMI, a rocking version of the standard "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" (retitled "Baby Let Me Take You Home") was their first single. It was followed in June 1964 by the transatlantic number one hit "House of the Rising Sun". Burdon's howling vocals and the dramatic arrangement created arguably the first folk rock hit. Whether the arrangement was inspired by Bob Dylan's version of the song (which in turn was inspired by folk singer Dave Van Ronk) or by blues singer Josh White's (who recorded it twice in 1944 and 1949) or by singer/pianist Nina Simone (who recorded it in 1962 on Nina at the Village Gate, predating Dylan's interpretation) remains a dispute, as does whether all five Animals deserved credit for the arrangement and not just Price. The Animals' two-year chart career, masterminded by producer Mickie Most, featured intense gritty pop-music covers such as Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me" and the Nina Simone number "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". In contrast, their album tracks stayed with rhythm and blues, with Hooker's "Boom Boom" and Ray Charles' "I Believe to My Soul" as notable examples. Burdon's powerful, deep voice and use of keyboards as much as or more than guitars were two elements that made The Animals' sound stand out from the rest. In November 1964, the group was poised to make their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show and began a short residency performing everyday in theatres across New York City. The group arrived at New York City's Kennedy Airport in a motorcade which featured each member of the band riding in the back seat of a Cadillac with a model. The group drove to their hotel with the occasional shriek of girls who realised who they were. The Animals sang "I'm Crying" and "The House of The Rising Sun" to a packed audience of hysterical girls screaming throughout both performances. By May 1965 the group was starting to feel internal pressures. Price left due to personal and musical differences as well as a fear of flying on tour; he went on to a successful career as a solo artist and with the Alan Price Set. Mick Gallagher filled in for him on keyboards for a short time until Dave Rowberry replaced him and was on hand for the hit working-class anthems "We Gotta Get out of This Place" and "It's My Life". Around that time, an Animals Big Band made a one-time appearance. Many of The Animals' hits had come from Brill Building songwriters recruited by Most; the group, and Burdon in particular, felt this too restrictive. As 1965 ended, the group switched to Decca Records and producer Tom Wilson, who gave them more artistic freedom. In early 1966 MGM Records, their American label, collected their hits on The Best of The Animals; it became their best-selling album in the US. In February 1966 Steel left and was replaced by Barry Jenkins; a leftover cover of Goffin-King's "Don't Bring Me Down" was the last hit as The Animals. For the single "See See Rider" they changed the name into Eric Burdon & The Animals. In September they disbanded and Burdon recorded a solo album, called Eric Is Here. By this time their business affairs "were in a total shambles" according to Chandler (who went on to manage Jimi Hendrix) and the group disbanded. Even by the standards of the day when artists tended to be financially naïve the Animals made very little money, eventually claiming mismanagement and theft on the part of their manager Michael Jeffery.

Chevy Metal

Chevy Metal is a 70s dirt rock cover band. We play deep cuts off albums by Sabbath, Van Halen, Queen and The Stones, to name a few. If you want us to play your party, we'll do it for a million dollars.

Adam Green & Binki Shapiro

Just one listen to Adam Green & Binki Shapiro is enough to become enchanted. With deceptively pretty arrangements that echo filigreed late-sixties folk-pop and an easygoing rapport between singers, this duets collaboration may seem like the perfect accompaniment to a sunny summer's day, Southern-California style. But it works even better as a comforting soundtrack at the end of a dark, lonely night in the big city. The atmosphere the pair conjures up with strummed guitars and discreet layers of synths indeed suggests romantic possibility, but the lyrics are more sweetly melancholic, gently but candidly addressing betrayal, incipient heartbreak, and conjugal discord. It's an approach that makes for compelling repeated listening, as the intimate dramas reveal themselves, and it's one that surprised even Green and Shapiro as their debut album together began to take shape.

On their own, Green and Shapiro have long been notable figures among indie-pop fans, cherished for their off-kilter sensibility (him) and elegantly quirky style (her). As part of New York City's "anti-folk" scene at the end of the nineties, Adam Green first came to prominence as one-half of Moldy Peaches, his duo with Kimya Dawson that enjoyed belated mainstream success via the Grammy-winning soundtrack of the 2007 indie film Juno. By the time the world had discovered Moldy Peaches, however, Green had already embarked on a solo career as a singer-songwriter, visual artist and filmmaker, enjoying chart success in Europe with idiosyncratic tunes like "Jessica" (a straight-faced lament for Ms. Simpson) and "Emily."

Shapiro was one-third of Little Joy, a breezy Brazilian-accented Los Angeles trio formed with Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes and Rodrigo Amarante of Brazilian combo Los Hermanos that enchanted both critics and listeners with its eponymous 2008 debut LP. Shapiro was already known among the cognoscenti through her video collaborations with Beck for his 2006 album The Information and on the lovely covers of Leonard Cohen songs Beck uploaded to his Record Club blog. Shapiro has also been spotlighted by fashion magazines for her charming retro-modern look as well as her vocal talent, and the Los Angeles Times recently named her one of "30 Under 30" artists to watch.

Green, who sang backup on Little Joy's album, became better acquainted with Shapiro when he opened for the trio on a Brazilian tour. He knew then that he wanted to work with her, even though he had no concept of what form a collaboration might take: "I really, really liked Binki's voice – it's just amazing—and she was the number-one person I wanted to collaborate with."

Spotlighted on "Casanova," Shapiro is alternately dreamy and torchy. She renders an acid-tinged love letter to a roué over a slow-dance tempo that will surely entice couples to sway extra-close together. In "Pity Love," she and Green vocalize as affably as Nancy and Frank Sinatra on "Something Stupid," while trading lyrics that are cheerily neurotic.

Though she is once again a Los Angeleno, Shapiro was living in New York when she and the Manhattan-based Green began to explore what they might create together. Their affinity was immediate. At Shapiro's apartment, they would scribble lyric ideas on index cards and spread them out on the floor. As Green recalls, "We found we were able to agree on what was good and what was bad and we were good critics of each other's sensibilities and taste. We were able to agree on how the songs should go."

Shapiro concurs: "It was a very vulnerable thing, sitting there and showing someone your lyrics, your words and ideas and opening yourself up to being critiqued. But it turned out to be very natural and easy. We pulled out certain things from each other that wouldn't have happened on our own."

The experience proved to be even more cathartic than they'd imagined. They were each going through their individual romantic travails at the time and their songwriting became a channel for their real-life emotions. They didn't so much decide simply to speak their minds but to read each other's thoughts, intuitively finding words for what the other might be feeling. That brought freedom as well as empathy to their enterprise, allowing the material to be surprisingly heartfelt and honest, even when one was mouthing the other's words.

"We were both going through transitional stuff, "Green admits, "romantic dysfunction type situations. There was something existential about it; two people who are singing together but who are very isolated. There is something kind of funny about me writing Binki's breakup record and she writing mine. I would write something down and think,'this is the perfect thing for Binki to say'. And I felt like she would have the same thoughts about me."

"It's interesting when you write and think about somebody else singing the words," Shapiro says. "You take all the vanity out of it. You say what you want to say. It created a freer space to write whatever we wanted." Continues Green, "We're both really romantic and we wanted to make this really romantic record, but it ends up being more reflective. I didn't picture this before we made it and I can't think of a reference point, another record that has this feeling."

A duets album has perhaps never sounded quite so harmonious yet so bittersweet. Green and Shapiro come across as confidantes, kindred spirits, translating difficult personal circumstances into beautifully crafted tunes, from the layered angelic voices at the top of opening track "Here I Am" to the psychedelic-pop sound of "I Never Found Out" and the surf-guitar interlude of "What's the Reward" to the elegant mournful closing waltz of " The Nighttime Stopped Bleeding." This intimacy can be explained by the writing process; the pair sequestered themselves whenever they got together, frequently flying between New York City and L.A to work on the songs. Once happy with their creations, Green and Shapiro cut tracks at a studio in Encino, California, along with musician-producer Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newson, Little Joy), multi-instrumentalist Josiah Steinbrick, drummer Jason Boesel and Todd Dahlhoff.

—Michael Hill (September 2012)

The White Buffalo

Jake Smith's "White Buffalo" conjures a mythic portrait of America. A country populated by outlaws, dreamers, drifters and fallen heroes. It imagines our small towns before the days of strip malls and chain restaurants. With a voice that seems to emanate from some ancient source, his dynamic performances range from a whisper to a scream. His herd boasts the talents of Matt Lynott on drums and Tommy Andrews on bass. Together, they put on a live show that builds and propels like a freight train shot out of hell with a pulsing energy that keeps audiences buzzing for days.

The songs of Once Upon a Time in the West are rooted in everyday struggles, on both epic and personal scales, with elements of blues, country western, folk, and classic rock. The influences of story-tellers like Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, Elliot Smith, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Bad Religion shine through. The album ranges in themes from slices of life in the shadows ("The Bowery") to coming out of a battlefield ("Ballad of a Dead Man") to dark heroic fantasies ("The Pilot") from putting the concepts of family and country under the microscope ("I Wish It Was True") to etched childhood scenes ("BB Guns and Dirt Bikes," "The Witch").

"The whole point of songwriting is taking people on an emotional journey, like a mini-movie," says Smith. "Most of my songs capture moments in time, small snippets of life and some paint broader pictures. It's less about the Old West, than the new one I grew up in, with some politics and some nostalgic memories of my childhood in Southern California."

Born in Oregon and raised in Southern California, he moved to the Bay area from Huntington Beach to pursue college on an athletic scholarship. From the moment he learned his first three chords on a guitar he got in a pawn shop, Smith began writing songs, which came quick and easy, though he kept them to himself. "I don't analyze them as much as other people do," Smith insists. "I prefer the songs do the talking for me. I've always been isolated, outside the system, and done it on my own. If you're writing stuff that's real, emotional and you believe will resonate with people, that's what you have to do."

The White Buffalo's first full-length album, Hogtied Like a Rodeo, debuted in 2002, followed by The White Buffalo EP, produced by Eels' Koool G Murder, which Smith states is about "relationships, love, loss and booze with a little murder mixed in." In a friend's living room in 2008, he re-recorded his first album, only this time with more guts and less whiskey, dubbing it Hogtied Revisited. Combined, these independently released albums have sold over 20,000 units, as Jake toured Australia, Japan, Europe and the U.S. with acts like Donavan Frankenreiter, Gomez, Xavier Rudd, State Radio, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, among many others.

When a bootleg tape of Smith's music made it into the hands of pro surfer Chris Malloy, one of his songs, "Wrong," was featured in his popular surf movie, Shelter, and earned him a burgeoning fan base on his return to his roots in the Southern California surf community. It eventually led to further film scoring and composing work, with three of his songs featured in FX's hit show Sons of Anarchy and HBO's Californication.

In 2010, a second EP, Prepare for Black and Blue, was recorded in six days by producer Jimmy Messer [Kelly Clarkson] and released through Chad Stokes Ruffshod imprint via Nettwerk Records earlier this year. The music and the Artist captured the attention of Unison Music's Bruce Witkin and Ryan Dorn, who inked Smith and co-produced Once Upon a Time in the West. "When we sign someone, we look for someone who can play live and songs with longevity," says Dorn. "He's a terrific story teller and his performance is right in your face," adds label founder Witkin.

Accepting the help of major players wasn't easy for Smith, who prides himself on his self-reliant approach. Meanwhile, the buzz on The White Buffalo continues to grow, thanks to the intensity of the band's live shows, including a much-talked-about appearance at Bonnaroo this year.

"For a long time I was off the grid," he admits. "This is the first time I've had the luxury of going to the studio every day for two-three months. It was pretty focused. If I can do it my own way, write my songs, move people and have it be something I'm still proud of, I'm up for it. I don't know how to write songs that are not like that. I try to dig a little deeper, to express an emotional thought."

A family man with a wife and two kids, The White Buffalo has retained Jake Smith's DIY approach. Driving thousands of miles to dozens of cities, the band is a hard working, no frills outfit. They load their own gear, sell their own merchandise and pack it all up at the end of the night. From Bonnaroo to the smallest local neighborhood bar, The White Buffalo delivers its signature sound as if each show was its last.

If Once Upon a Time in the West is any indication, The White Buffalo will find itself on the grid for a long while.

He's My Brother She's My Sister

He's My Brother She's My Sister, the western-tinged, folk-rock ensemble, with a touch of vaudeville glamour, will be bringing their expanded (and slightly experimental) new show to the Troubadour in West Hollywood, on Friday, February 3. This will be the acclaimed band's first Los Angeles live performance of 2011 after coming off the road opening for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes last fall.

The Los Angeles band's mixture of colorful costumes, alleyway rhythms, and high energy entice audiences of all tastes and generations. The band will be testing new material for an album along with their fan favorites from their recent self-titled EP.

Brother and sister, dueling lead singers and songwriters, Rob Kolar and Rachel Kolar, and tap-dancer Lauren Brown, will be joined on this special evening by an extended family of musical accompanists including the brilliant lap-slide player Aaron Robinson (Sea Wolf, The Hi-Ho's), Oliver Newell on upright bass (Amanda Jo Williams, Henry Wolfe), and Patrick Joseph on a non-traditional standing drum set up.

If you have yet to catch He's My Brother She's My Sister live, come see why they have been called "delightfully original" (Indieshuffle) "a time warp to the golden present" (LA Record) and "forward thinking folkies forging new ground"(New Times). "Rob and Rachel's voices mingle like glamour in the desert" and serve up "party music for coyotes drunk on champagne," (LA Weekly). "Their mojo (has) the power to heal the afflicted" (Deli Magazine) so "see them before your friends do." (Jambase)

Jacques Renault

Jacques Renault was a post-punk Washington, D.C. native who moved to Chicago in 1997 to continue his studies of viola, but in turn got an education in dance music. Tapping into the well-established Drum 'n' Bass scene, he held a residency at Smart Bar and became a buyer at the legendary Gramaphone Records. This broad, raw exposure to House lead him straight back to the classics of Disco and to its
heart, New York City, where he landed in 2002.

As a DJ, Jacques has held residencies at New York's famed venues Happy Endings, APT, Tribeca Grand and 205 Club, and has been a guest around the globe in venues like Tokyo's Womb, Rio's D-edge and London's Fabric and Plastic People. With his remixes, edits, original tracks and collaborative project Runaway, he has released music on internationally acclaimed New York labels DFA, Chinatown, RVNG INTL, Throne of Blood, Italians Do It Better, Editions Disco, and Wurst, as well as Tokyo's own Mule Musiq & Crue-L, Parisian imprint I'm A Cliché, Munich's Permanent Vacation, Sydney's Hole In The Sky & Future Classic and of course London/Berlin's Rekids.

Along with his Runaway partner Marcos Cabral, Jacques has launched the new label On The Prowl, and OTP Party Breaks featuring their own material as well as original and remix work from Andy Ash, Simoncino, Brennan Green, TBD, Cosmo Vitelli, The Revenge, Azari & III, Tensnake, Nicholas, Coyote, & Kaos to name a few. Jacques has also taken up production duties for a number of artists including Warp Records' the Hundred In the Hands, which also featured Richard X, Eric Broucek and Chris Zane.

After nearly a decade of playing for others in NYC, Jacques, along with good friend Nik Mercer, began producing his own series of events called Let's Play House. The duo has brought in guests from abroad like Horse Meat Disco, Mugwump, Mock n' Toof, Cosmo Vitelli, and Kaos as well as local talents DJ Spun, Morgan Geist, TBD, Beg to Differ, Brennan Green, Midnight Magic, and Dan Selzer to name a few. Let's Play House is a moving party that uses Brooklyn warehouses, Manhattan ballrooms, hotel lounges, and everything in between for its regular events.

DROOG is the DJ collective of Andrei Osyka, Brett Griffin and Justin Sloe. From their start 7 years ago, DROOG has steadily built a reputation as one of the leading purveyors of forward thinking dance music, in Los Angeles and beyond.

The collective have become known for their respected parties that through the years featured leading international house and techno talent, from Magda, Jamie Jones, Steve Bug and Martin Buttrich to Dixon, all four memebers of Visionquest, Nicolas Jaar, Dyed Soundorom, Shonky and beyond. Droog have also masterminded showcase parties at WMC, DEMF, BPM and Sonar festivals. Between 2007 and 2011, Droog had held down a residency at Avalon Hollywood, one of the biggest clubs in the US. At Avalon,they have had the chance to play alongside influences such as Richie Hawtin, Lee Burridge, Steve Lawler, Damian Lazarus, Tiefschwarz, Mr. C, Booka Shade, MANDY, Matthew Dear.

In 2009 the trio made a leap into a new territory by launching an LA-based record label, Culprit, which has built steady momentum with successful releases from Matt Tolfrey & Inxec, Hot Natured, Lee Foss, SECT (Soul Clap, Tanner Ross & Sergio Santos), Subb-an, M A N I K and others and joining the ranks of the leaders of the new school of underground dance music. Having toured the US and Mexico extensively, Droog have since expanded with European and South American shows. In October of 2010, Droog made a Fabric debut and since then have covered the globe, from Moscow to Lima, Ibiza to Costa Rica, Berlin and Paris. Recent new DJ debuts included Brazil, Tunisia and Portugal.

More recently the Los Angeles collective has been focusing on production work, with original material for Crosstown Rebels (released in September 2011 to wide acclaim) and Supernature, remixes for Culprit, NOICE, Murmur, My Favorite Robot , Adjunct Audio, Noir Music and Get Physical Other high profile projects include mixing the second installment of the Rebel Rave mix CD for Crosstown Rebels, released in November 2011 and Droog’s first appearance at the premier US dance music festival, Movement Detroit in 2012

"The Soft Pack? Like, cigarettes?"

Well, no…not quite. The Soft Pack are a group of Southern Californian gentlemen looking to make a racket that lies somewhere in-between post-punk and post-Warren Zevon. How would you describe their music? Ask the guys themselves, and they might have simply said "rock 'n roll" at the time. Labels are boring though; onto the good stuff:

Starting in 2007, with Matt Lamkin (guitar/lead vox) and Matty McLoughlin (lead guitar) taking the helm, the band started a buzz early on while playing house parties, dive bars, and anywhere else possible in San Diego. By the following year, David Lantzman (Bass), and Brian Hill (Drums) had joined, rounding out the line-up and keeping things tidy. The guys spent a lot of time hanging out in the van that year, listening to way too much Steely Dan when nobody else at the party would hang out with them. In search of day jobs and a change of scenery, they moved to Los Angeles. Then things started picking up more and more. Plans were hatched, records were pressed, many tours were played, band names were switched, and their lives got quite busy for quite a while.

2010 was the group's last major statement, with the release of The Soft Pack (Kemado, produced by Eli Janney) full-length. Singles like "Answer to Yourself" and "C'mon" helped them gain wider attention. They spent much of that year on tour, playing with Kurt Vile & the Violaters, Male Bonding, Nodzzz, just to name a few. They appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman–followed by many enthusiastic phone calls to parents. A handful of trips overseas to Europe and Australia happened. Then they came home…life had become a blur. It was time to slow down a bit. They started working out, going to bed earlier, eating their vegetables, and now here they stand…a little older, with a few more wrinkles on the brain.

Since that time, they have been locked away without much sunlight, toiling and writing, and doing their damnedest to focus on writing the best follow-up they can. Choosing to travel down the self-produced road this time around, they are determined more than ever to create exactly the sort of record that they would buy themselves. This is indeed good news. While tinges of the fuzzy, garage-y element remains, the overall sound has expanded to "practice the weird", as Lamkin once said. Their collection of guitar pedals has grown. They like to switch instruments. They like to buy drum machines and listen to disco. They really like Funkadelic and Sly Stone. Only some of them still like to work out though.

The new album, Strapped, is due in September, 2012 on Mexican Summer. Things have been quiet for the time being, but for The Soft Pack, this feels like a new beginning. They can hardly wait to make a racket; get quite busy again.

Moonsville Collective

Moonsville Collective is an Old-Time band whose sound is rooted in the various American musical styles found, and often left behind, in Pre-War (WWII) America. The various songwriters in the group work independently and collectively to create a unique batch of String Band, Folk, Country, Dixie and New Orleans Rag music that is sure to warm the soul and induce a jig good as any Cat Daddy batch on the market could. Each member of Moonsville has firm roots in this musical tradition and aim not to reproduce nostalgia of a time forgotten, but rather ressurect the ghost of America's rich musical cultural history, which most importantly is rooted in community. Moonsville Collective plays community music. The table is large, the harvest is plenty and the drink is ripe. Break bread with us. Everyone is invited.

All American Boys Chorus

The All-American Boys Chorus . . . happy youngsters from more than thirty cities in Southern California.
Forty-four concert tours to Europe, Asia, Canada and throughout the USA make The All-American Boys Chorus one of the most widely traveled boy’s choirs in the world.

More than one million people have been included in the boys’ live audiences—in addition to the many millions who have seen and heard them on television and radio. The boys have performed before a Pope and dignitaries of many ranks. They’ve been made honorary citizens of a Canadian provincial capital and been commended by its mayor for their kindness to that city’s handicapped children. The boys have performed with glittering celebrities, among them John Williams, Josh Groban, Bob Hope, Victor Borge, Steve Allen, Della Reese, Melissa Manchester, and John Schneider.

Such adventures speak for themselves, but a boy’s life in the AABC’s acclaimed program also furnishes him with unparalleled training in self-discipline, a spirit of responsibility, unselfish cooperation, and personal poise, coupled with the taste of successes—all of these producing not merely a professionally trained boy singer, but also a leader who understands the real work that is the road to accomplishment.



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