REVIEW & PHOTOS: Joshua Radin, Rachael Yamagata & Cary Brothers | The Fonda Theatre | 3/7/15

If there’s one thing I learned from going to Joshua Radin’s gig at The Fonda Theatre it’s that the next time I go to one of his concerts, I’m bringing a date. Period.

As I waited for my guest to arrive (a friend, not a date … unfortunately), I took notice of the line waiting to get in. 15 to 1, fellas. 15 gals to 1 guy. Most of the guys who came into the venue were coupled up, and the women came in small, excited packs yearning, I’m assuming, to have their hearts moved.

Opening for Josh were Cary Brothers and Rachael Yamagata. They all went to college with Josh, and they must have taken the same classes, because their music generally reflects that same kind of musical stylings and sentiment that Josh’s music does.

The first act opening for Josh was Cary Brothers. The name is somewhat misleading, because it’s just one guy. One guy, a guitar and his soulfully, emotional tunes. During his performance of a song titled “Blue Eyes” (which was used in the motion picture “Garden State”), I overheard and noticed a guy whisper to a girl I am assuming his was courting, “Oh wow, I didn’t know he sang this song,” as he wrapped one arm around her shoulder. It was that kind of show, and it was going to be like that the whole night. Mood music to make moves too.

Cary even joked about overall mood of the evening by asking the crowd, “How many guys are here cause your girlfriend made you come?” Amidst some of the masculine nervous laughter from the audience Cary added, “Good for you.” He acknowledged there would be a lot of “sad” songs sung throughout the evening, and hoping to change some of the mood, he announced, “Fuck sad songs,” and went into an upbeat number.

CLICK HERE to see Video Clips from Cary Brothers’ Performance The Fonda!!!

Rachel Yamagata took the stage next, and agreeing with Cary, noted that, “Cary was right, there’ll be a lot of sad tongs tonight.” Midway during her set, she even joked that she was working on a new album. “It’s happier … you’re going to hate it,” she laughed.

Rachel’s set was soft and delicate, and if there was any criticism I could pull from the evening, I’d say that it would have nothing to do with the music, but rather the venue. The Fonda is a gorgeous venue, but a solo, acoustic, singer-songwriter, is hard pressed to compete with grand space and the ambient noise of from the tipsy chit-chatter from the audience. She’s had residencies at the Hotel Cafe in the past, and for her sound, especially playing solo acoustic, smaller more intimate venues would be better suited.

My favorite part of her set was when she covered Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough”. A lovely, minimalist cover that I would certainly buy a copy of it were available on iTunes.

CLICK HERE to see Video Clips from Rachael Yamagata’s Performance at The Fonda!!!

Joshua Radin’s music … mellow, stripped down and emotionally exposed … makes women swoon. Where his past albums have been more moody, and often heartbreaking, his latest efforts, spawned from the joys of married life, is more upbeat and positive. Before jumping into his set, he assured the crowd that since it was a Saturday, “I won’t play too many sad songs … but this next one is sad one,” as he jumped into “You Got Growing Up To Do”.

Josh’s set continued and his audience was simply gazing upon the performance. The ambient noise that I heard during the opening acts had subsided, and each song performed by Josh was performed to totally engaged crowd. Seriously, you could hear a pin drop. Josh even acknowledges the audience’s respect for his music.

“Such a polite listening crowd. It usually doesn’t happen on a Saturday night.”

It was perhaps because the audience wanted to hear the story in the music. After all, Josh explained that the new record was written for a girl who he had feelings for, but was relegated to a “platonic relationship zone” because of  9 time zones. It all has a happy ending though, as he eventually married the once elusive catch.

Throughout the evening of beautiful, melodic music, we learned that “In Your Hands” was is wife’s favorite song. He recites the lyrics to “No Envy” before every show as it’s hit mantra. He finds joy in assisting the organization Little Kids Rock ( bringing music to underprivileged children, even bringing three of them on stage to perform “Beautiful Day”.

As the set continued, girls swooned more, and couples held each other closer. Though the show ended with a rousing covers “Don’t Think Twice” and “I Won’t Back Down”, if I had brought a date to the show, Josh could have been my modern day cupid. I’ll know better next time.

CLICK HERE to see Joshua Radin’s Setlist and Video Clips from his Performance from the Concert!!!



The War On Drugs | Fonda Theatre | 10/3/14 [Photos & Setlist]

THE ACT: The War On Drugs | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 


THOUGHTS: When people ask me what music has been turning me on lately, I usually rattle off a list new LP’s that I’ve purchased at the local record shop. The one album that hasn’t left that list? The War On Drugs’ “Lost In The Dream”.

I remember when I bought the LP. I was thumbing through some racks of LPs at Origami Vinyl, when the text of “Limited Edition” and “Purple Vinyl” on the sticker caught my eye: “. Silly as it may be, since I’m a collector, things like that always interest me. I asked the proprietor about the album, and he told me that it was a solid album, giving me the history behind the band (how founding member Kurt Vile left the band in 2011, leaving Adam Granduciel to helm the band) and suggesting that if I purchased it, he was pretty sure I wouldn’t be disappointed. He was correct. In fact, he had gotten me to purchase an album that I have very high on list of “best albums of the year”. Well done, Origami Vinyl.

The album is brilliant. It’s a cohesive masterpiece of brilliantly engaging, dreamy rock, melding understated synths with soaring guitar licks. The album is only 10 tracks deep, and runs slightly over an hour, but the listening experience seems to conclude too early, as if the “dream” is the music causing the listener to get “lost” in it. A dream that you simply don’t want to wake up from. The lyrics, honest and emotional, is Adam’s voice … but really, it’s the voice of the everyman. When he sings about that moment of realizing heartbreak or admitting depression, he’s really writing, whether he meant to or not, for everyone one who has been there.

The War On Drugs’ live show is just as amazing as their album. Pulling from the band’s entire catalog, their set, and pardon the pun, was like an ocean with waves (a song of theirs is titled “An Ocean Between The Waves”). From sublime smoothness, to relentless ardor, the room swelled with the kind of natural energy only great music can create; hitting the right peaks and valleys with an emotional fervor.

And the music was played to perfection. Though they may have jammed out, extending songs longer than what are on the album, I closed my eyes at times and couldn’t hear the difference. The musicianship, and the technicality with which they played, was effortless.

After their performance, I hung out a while to see if I could get Adam to sign the LP that I had lugged with me in my camera bag. As his band was on stage taking down their equipment, I asked a stage hand as to whether Adam would be cool signing the LP for me. He shouted up to Adam and he jumped from the stage to greet me. A very real, and modest man, he was happy to sign my LP and was genuinely pleased (I could see it in his eyes) when I told him that their performance blew my mind. I asked him some more questions about the rest of his tour, and then went on my way; but needless to say, knowing that the man behind the music was as genuine and modest as the other, looking me in the eyes and paying attention to me with my small talk, made me appreciate his art more than ever.


The War On Drugs | Fonda Theatre



Jill Scott | BET Experience | 6/27/14 [PHOTOS]



I have been a fan of Jill Scott since the first time I heard her track “Do You Remember?”. That song moved me like no other. Her incredible voice, together with lyrics that spoke to a love remembered, hit the money spot in my musical soul.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 5.38.46 PMSpeaking of money, money was kind of tight, and since I wasn’t approved for a media pass for this concert, it looked like I wouldn’t be able to attend the show. Desperate to find a way into the concert, I even tried to send Ms. Scott a letter over Twitter to see if she could get me in to the show.  She never responded to my tweet. Wishful thinking, I know.

Thinking that all hope was lost, I went as far as to register to win tickets through other venues.  I entered to win tickets through Complex Magazine, and as the fates would have it, I won. Lucky me.

Jill Scott’s set was everything that I had been waiting for since 2000. Her voice was as powerful and as delicate as ever, singing both classic tunes from her repertoire and a handful of new songs. I only wished that her set was an hour longer as she clearly couldn’t perform all of the songs that I loved in her hour long time slot.

I wasn’t able to find a setlist online, but you can CLICK THIS LINK to get directed to a collection of Instagram Videos with snippets of most, if not all, of the songs that were performed at this concert.

I wasn’t approved for a photo pass for this performance, so I was only armed with my trusty, pocket-sized point and shoot camera. Not the best, but not to shabby sitting several hundred fee away if you ask me.


Metronomy | The Fonda Theatre | 6/17/14 [PHOTOS & VIDEO]


When it comes to buying music, I’m old school. I like to sift through racks of CDs or vinyl records to discover music. As a vinyl collector/lover, I often find myself spending hours at local record stores looking for new albums to add to my collection.

One Saturday, I was over at Origami Vinyl to purchase concert tickets to see The War On Drugs. As per usual, I got sidetracked and started looking at some of the records that were on display.

Then, as if it were pulled from the scene in “High Fidelity” where John Cusack’s character plays the Beta Band single “Dry The Rain”, some music started playing out of the store speakers that caught my attention.Neil Schield, the owner of the echo park record store, was manning the register when I asked what album it was. He told me it was the Beta … Metronomy, and that he was spinning their latest album, “Love Letters”. I left the store two of Metronomy’s albums, and I’ll have to say that “Love Letters” is on my list of favorite albums of 2014 (so far). I had to get a ticket for their show at the Fonda when I found out about it.

Yup. It kinda happened just like that.

When the English band (Anna Prior, Gabriel Stebbing, Joseph Mount and Oscar Cash) too the stage, the audience erupted with an enthusiastic cheer. The men, dressed in their matching white suits, and the female drummer, in a similar white matching ensemble, jumped into a set of breezy synth pop that had the sold-out crowd dancing where space permitted.

Their music was extremely polished and on point. The mix at the Fonda was excellent, and the great sound of the venue definitely enhanced the band’s live performance. The played with joy and vigor, and it was clearly self evident with the steady smiles on their faces. They noted that this was their last performance on this particular tour and emphasized how much they were pleased to be playing the last gig of their current tour in Los Angeles.

I roamed the venue during their set to get an idea of whether their energy transferred up into the balcony. It did. Even in the balcony, fans were dancing the the isles. Even I couldn’t resist shaking my booting when I wasn’t trying to find a shot.

Metronomy is back in the United States for more touring in September and are back in Los Angeles October 21st at the Regent Theatre. I suggest you follow them on Facebook to know when they are back in your neck of the woods.

Getting a photo pass only allows photographers to take pictures during the first 3 songs of each set. I wish I had more time to take more pictures of Metronomy. Their stage set up allowed for great lighting at certain moments. I wish I had noticed the lighting patterns earlier. Oh well. Enjoy the pictures!

Cloud Control | The Fonda Theatre | 6/17/14 [PHOTOS]


Opening for Metronomy at The Fonda Theatre was an award-winning indie alternative rock band from Australia: Cloud Control.  This Aussie quartet consisting of Alister Wright, Heidi Lenffer, Ulrigh Lenffer and Jeremy Kelshaw, released their first album, “Bliss Release” to great regional praise. So much critical adoration, in fact, their debut was nominated for two ARIA awards in 2010 for Best Rock Album and Breakthrough Artist, and was the winner of the 6th annual Australian Music Prize, among other accolades. They released their sophomore album, “Cloud Control”, on September 17, 2013, and had been supporting its release with international tours.

As this was my introduction to their music, I went in with open ears and came out a fan. Their performance was solid and their music was rather good. I could definitely understand why they are popular in Australia. Their music definitely has a psychedelic vibe, but it’s more Tame Impala than The Dandy Warhols. Their set had both upbeat dance numbers and mellow “chill-out” cuts, and I found that it was a great setlist. So great, that I even purchased a copy of the their newest album on wax (and got it signed!) after the show.

I always find it interesting when  bands have great support in their home countries, but take a while to break out in other territories. I spoke briefly with Heidi (the keyboardist and vocalist) and asked her what her thoughts were about that point. She exclaimed that that’s exactly what they were aiming to impact during this last round international tour dates. She explained that she hoped that touring with Metronomy and sneaking in festival and other performance dates earned them new ears and fans.

I hope it worked for them. Hey, at least it worked for me. Follow them on Twitter (@Cloud_Control) or Facebook (CloudController) and make sure you catch them when they are in your neck of the woods.

The setlist for their performance is below:

  1. Dojo Rising
  2. The Smoke
  3. Moon Rabbit
  4. Promises
  5. Gold Canary
  6. Nothing In The Water
  7. Scar

I wasn’t able to find any video clips of their performance online, so enjoy a playlist from their Souncloud account below.

The lighting for their set was rather dim, so I had to set my ISO higher than normal. Still think I took a couple decent pics though.

Your Weekly Weekend Music Mix | 6/12/14 [NEWS]


She’s not even old enough to buy an alcoholic beverage yet, but 20 year old Ariana Grande gets my nod this week for Music’s Insta-Babe. This actress, singer-songwriter and philanthropist is wholesome beauty who’s artistic endeavors has already garnered her many awards: The People’s Choice Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, The American Music Awards Best New Artist Award, NAARM- Music Business Association’s Breakthrough Artist of the Year Awards, and the list goes on. If her very capable vocals don’t impress you enough, maybe her demure and classic looks will win the award of your heart. If have an Instagram account, why don’t you follow her @ArianaGrande

KILLER COVER: Dirty Loops Cover Adele

Dirty Loops is a band from Stockholm, Sweden, consisting of Jonah Nilsson ( vocals and piano), Henrik Linder (bass) and Aaron Mellergårdh (drums) whose “Classic Jazz-Jam” style of play is otherworldly. They are currently touring the U.S. in support of their debut album. Their cover of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” blew my mind last year, and still does today. If you are into their style of music, you NEED to see them on tour.


Speaking of covers, did you George Harrison’s chart topping hit from 1987, “Got My Mind Set On You” was a cover?!?!?  I sure didn’t until Gizmodo let me know. George Harrison’s covered James Ray’s 1963 recording “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You”, and personally, I like the original more. Take a listen to both versions below, and chime in.


I wasn’t able to get tickets to either of Jack White’s concerts in Los Angeles, but God bless NPR (National Public Radio) because they taped the show at the Fonda Theatre and have it streaming on their website. If you were as unfortunate as I was, and aren’t able to score tickets to any of the shows he has coming up in the city you live in, CLICK THIS LINK TO WATCH JACK WHITE’S CONCERT AT THE FONDA THEATER IN ITS ENTIRETY!


It may have taken over 40 years to get there, but The Ramones’ debut album finally goes gold (sold 500,000 copies). About damn time, if you ask me.

There’s a Kickstarter campaign to win the auction for The Wu-Tang Clan’s latest album. For what you may ask? To destroy it. Kindly silly (and pointless) if you ask me.

Death Grips latest EP (below) “features” Bjork. I dunno … I think I heard her vocals in a few spots here and there. Can you? It’s like an auditory “Where’s Waldo”. LOL.

Chad Smith (drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Will Farrell challenged Lars Ulrich (drummer for Mettallica) to a drum-off challenge … and the battle was accepted!!! This should make for some hilarious television.

Most people aren’t aware that prior to becoming an acclaimed soul/funk singer, Sharon Jones worked as a corrections officer at Rikers Island back in the 90s. Rolling Stone Magazine asked her to weigh in on the authenticity of the new Netflix show “Orange Is The New Black”, and she had some interesting things to say. Personally, I thought this article was a great read.

A band outsmarted Spotify for $20,000 to give their fans free concerts. This was an awesome story. More power to them.


It was released less than a week ago (June 8, 2014), and as of 6/12/14, Snoop’s and PSY’s video for their collaboration, “Hangover”, already has over 47,000,000 views … 47,000,000 VIEWS, people!!!! Mind Blown. You can criticize the track as much as you want. Criticize K-Pop. Criticize Snoop. Criticize music, generally. Let’s just say, everyone behind this collaboration knew what was up. For better or for worse, this track isn’t going away anytime soon, and Snoop and Psy will reap the rewards (translation = $$$).

UPDATE: 6/13/14: The video now has over 52,000,000 views…

Charles Bradley | The Fonda Theatre | 5/17/14 [PHOTOS]


Charles Bradley is living proof that the American Dream is still alive.  After learning about his life from the documentary “Soul of America”, I made an effort to catch his afternoon set at FYF Fest in 2013. His performance was a highlight of that day. When I heard that he was to perform at the Fonda Theatre, I knew that it was a show that I couldn’t miss, so I bought myself some tickets, knowing that it would be a show that would ultimately leave a smile on my face, and put a groove in my step.

I’d been dreaming about seeing Mr. Bradley perform in a club venue since the first time I saw him perform. His performance at FYF Fest opened my ears to his music, but it was talking to him at the festival that really left an impression on me. He specifically told me that if I loved his show, that I should catch him in a more intimate venue. With a photo pass in hand, in a venue like The Fonda, I figured that this would be about as imitate as it would get for me.

Mr. Bradley’s performance was otherworldly. Watching him perform though the lens of my camera, I could see the all of the emotion emoting from his soul. The intense emotions expressed while singing “Why Is It So Hard” to the wild dance moves he bust out throughout the set, amazed me that a man at 65 could perform with such fervor. His voice, weathered by the rough life he has lived, covered the entire emotional spectrum, from passionate moans, to indignant rebellion, to tender cooing. It was all there.

Perhaps the most impressive thing to me was the love he openly expressed: his love for his band (the Extraordinaires), his love for the music, his love for the opportunity to perform … but most importantly, his love for his fans. It was a sentiment that was echoed by him throughout the evening.

“I love you!” he shouted out to the audience, “I love you so much. If it wasn’t for you,” he said pointing to the audience, “I,” moving his hands over his heart, “wouldn’t be here, singing for you all.”

His love was infectious. So much so, that he even had me yelling from the photo pit, “I love you, Mr. Bradley!” He glanced down in my direction after I yelled like a child, so I think he may have heard me.

But I wasn’t the only one reciprocating the love back to the stage. For as much as Mr. Bradley gave to the audience, the audience gave it right back to him tenfold. After finishing up his encore, he jumped off the stage to hug fans who were lined up at the front; each fan giving Mr. Bradley a tight embrace. A fitting conclusion, to a concert that was all about … love.

I couldn’t find a setlist online, so if anybody has it, or knows what it was, please let me know in the comments so I can add it to this post.

Charles Bradley is scheduled to perform a FREE concert on the Santa Monica Pier on September 11, 2014. I suggest you schedule your plans accordingly and attend that show.