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SHOW REVIEW: Blind Pilot and Dan Mangan at El Rey

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Photo by Rachel Fidler.
I started off October right this year. My suitemates and I headed out to Santa Ana on a whim on the 1st, having found out about this concert only days before, but it was the best decision we could’ve made. My new favorite singer, Dan Mangan, referred to on his website as a “fresh-faced folk singer from Vancouver, Canada”, was opening for Blind Pilot at the Galaxy Theater.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Dig On by She Keeps Bees

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She Keeps Bees plays smoldering, gorgeous, alt-folk rock with a bluesy, rhythmic feel. This powerful, Brooklyn-based duo creates an incredibly resonant, full sound with only guitar, drums and vocals. Jessica Larrabee’s raw, beautiful voice emotes plaintive bitterness, and echoes in aching harmonies across the methodical roll of Andy LaPlant’s drums.

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KSPC Charts 9.19.11 – 9.25.11

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Mikal Cronin’s new, self-titled album (out now on Trouble In Mind Records) was the #1 played album on KSPC last week. It’s the young garage-rocker’s first album! Find out what else was being played on KSPC here!

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SHOW REVIEW: James Blake at the LA Music Box

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Photo by Rachel Davidson.
Sunday, September 18, 2011. It would have been a mind-addling, homework-inundated kind of Sunday for me, just like any other… if I had not decided to throw caution to the wind and escape the real world for the night. This otherworldly trip began with an eventful drive on the I-10/101 in a crowded Scripps van with seven of my friends, and after more than an hour and a half of patient waiting, I came face-to-face with my favorite musician, James Blake. Glorious.

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SHOW REVIEW: Watkins Family Hour with Jackson Browne and Fiona Apple

Why is Largo the best thing all of the time?
That, of course, is a rhetorical question. Any venue that can collect the Watkins siblings, Jackson Browne, Benmont Tench, Sebastian Steinburg, Blake Miller, Joe Purdy, and Fiona Apple onto a single stage deserves all the praise that it can receive. The Watkins Family Hour is a Largo tradition, and its most recent edition was a typically stellar showing. The only complaint that one could possibly make about the night was that it ended far too quickly, with barely enough time to bring all the guests onstage, much less let Sara and Sean Watkins really stretch out into some epic fiddle-and-guitar bluegrass breakdowns. (Having seen the Watkins Family Hour perform for more than two hours last year in the intimate Little Room of the Largo is probably a critical bias.) Which is not to say that there was a deficit of pickin’.

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SHOW REVIEW: The National, Neko Case and Sharon van Etten

For a certain kind of person, it was a star-studded night last Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to the names on the marquee, there were such luminous guests as T-Bone Burnett and St. Vincent, not to mention Neko Case’s fellow New Pornographer Kurt Dahle and the lost Wainwright half-sibling, Lucy Roche. Although none of these artists have achieved mainstream success (notwithstanding The National’s gold plaque for High Violet), anyone with an interest in Americana-inflected rock ‘n’ roll could not help but marvel at the array of musical talent brought to bear underneath the full Los Angeles moon.

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ART REVIEW: Picasso & Woody Allen

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DE YOUNG MUSEUM San Francisco

I went to see the PICASSO MASTERPIECES FROM THE MUSEE NATIONAL PICASSO, PARIS collection at the DE YOUNG MUSEUM in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Woody Allen’s new movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS renewed my interest in Picasso because of the time travel sequences to Paris in the 1920’s. The film also included guest appearances by actors playing the roles of Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein, Degas and many more. The music was also tasteful and fit that bohemian period. You can read my blog review of Janet Klein And Her Parlor Boys’ performance at the Coffee Gallery Backstage. Her recreation of the music of the 1920’s is very accurate. Being involved in the arts, I have seen many works by Picasso. He’s not one of my favorites but he created such a diverse collection of works during his lifetime that many of them are striking and well thought out.

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