WILD TONIC

Refreshments for the ears

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: September 2014

leave a comment »

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: August 2014

leave a comment »

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: June 2011

leave a comment »

Last time I posted a mixtape, I mentioned that summer was on its way. And as I’m typing, I can say that it has certainly arrived. As soon as July sneaked up on us, the heat returned from its June gloom vacation and rushed back into Los Angeles at full strength. Oh, how I regret bad-mouthing the cool days of June.

Since June’s mixtape is surprisingly even heavier on local artists than April’s mixtape, I’m just going to skip to the good stuff now.

Here’s a quick rundown of the locals who earned a spot on the mixtape:

Computer Magic  – Because Goldfrapp’s latest album was a huge disappointment and Little Boots has been busy working with the Knocks on her new album, Danielle Johnson, aka Danz, aka Computer Magic has been filling the spacey-electronica void for me pretty well lately. Her sound ranges from disco to rock to pop, and you can hear all of this if you just go to her blog. She’s been releasing songs online for free since 2010, and her credibility was boosted in my book when her first physical release came out on White Iris Records during March.

Superhumanoids – This indie dream-pop quartet has been blowing up as of late. I’ve been a fan of this band since I saw them for the first time at an insanely early slot during Waved Out in 2010. I’ve featured them numerous times on Wild Tonic, so they shouldn’t be new to you either. But if they are, just know that Cameron an Sarah’s vocals are pure gold, and this band knows how to keep churning out the hits. The chorus in “Mikelah” is wonderfully addictive.

Vanaprasta - This guitar rock quintet also aren’t strangers to readers of Wild Tonic. I’ve raved about this band too many times, but they just keep getting better every time I see them. (In fact, the last time I saw them play a midnight set, the audience demanded an encore.) I’m not going to lie. I was pretty upset when they scrapped their almost-ready-to-release record to start all over again. However, they have me eating my words with new tunes like “Supernumerary.”

Foster the People – Oh, Foster the People. I’d be surprised if anyone hasn’t heard of these guys by now. Their track, “Pumped Up Kicks,” made the blog rounds for quite some time before it reached the mainstream masses, but as soon as it did, talk about Mark Foster and his band spread like wildfire. They acquired a late night slot at Coachella this year based on a 3-song EP, and their tent was overflowing. They’ve released their debut album “Torches” since then, and they’re still riding on the coat tails of that first single. This Milles remix puts a really great ’80s spin on their track, “Call It What You Want.”

Dawes – Dawes has come a long way from Simon Dawes. After one of their original members split, they decided to drop the first half of the band name and move toward an Americana sound. That was back in 2005. Flash forward six years later, and they’ve successfully released two great albums that have reignited the Laurel Canyon sound. In fact, they’re still doing so well they will be the backing band for Jackson Browne tonight at the Satellite. You can read more about them in my Dawes feature here.

Doom & Gloom - Sorry if I mislead you, but this band isn’t actually an L.A. band. However, if you were a big Castledoor fan, Doom & Gloom should make you very happy despite their ironic band name. Nate Cole and his wife Liska are now Brooklyn residents, but it would just seem wrong not to talk about them since the married couple contributed so much to the Silver Lake music scene during the last five years as members of Castledoor. Now a duo on the East coast, Dloom & Gloom totes those undeniably soaring vocals from Nate and Liska’s soft vocals lay a nice foundation on their new pop gems. “Jenny” showcases both new and old sounds from Nate as a songwriter and pretty much has me hoping Doom & Gloom grows successful enough to come back to L.A. to do a show.

Hanni El Khatib – Back when I still wrote for BeatCrave, I selected Hanni El Khatib as one of the artists to watch out for in 2011. My lists in the past have never been far off from what actually happens, and Hanni is proof that my hunches for this year are also correct. Not only has he gotten attention from label Stones Throw, but his cover of Funkadelics’ “I Got A Thing” is currently featured in the latest Nike campaign on TV. Oh, and his upcoming album, “Will the Guns Come Out,” is killer. Hanni will be performing July 14 at the Hammer Museum as part of the Also I Like To Rock series.

Active Child – Leave it to a former choir boy and harpist to surprise people with some new, heavy, R&B vibes. I always knew Active Child seemed a little out of our world, but as that feeling about Pat Grossi grows stronger, I also grow more excited. I love how his gothic romance is crossing over into a genre that has unfortunately turned out to be quite flat during the last decade.  Sing it, Harp Boy, and save R&B while you’re at it.

Capital Cities  – Need more proof that Cragislist actually works for finding band members? Well, new electro-pop band Capital Cities can testify. Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant may have been gotten together to write jingles, but that initial collaboration led to some new music that has just as much pep. “Safe and Sound” is clean, catchy and bubbly, and I find absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Chelsea Wolfe – Is Chelsea Wolfe the Stevie Nicks of our generation? Maybe. Maybe not. She’s got this mysterious, supernatural vibe going on, but this is pop noir without the pretense. Her album “Ἀποκάλυψις” (pronounced Apokalypsis) comes out Aug. 23 and I highly recommend picking it up. This version of “Moses” is off her last album, “The Grime and the Glow,” but the new record will also have a new version of this track.

Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Seraphina L.

July 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

June Recommendations

leave a comment »

What? I actually made a show calendar? Yes, friends. I am finally getting back on track. It only took me a few of months … but I’m just glad I’m getting the chance to give you guys some recommendations again.

It’s getting warmer,  so that means more shows every night – outdoors and indoors. Wherever the location may be, there will be plenty of tunes played and probably many cold beverages consumed to gel all your summer nights together. We’ve got a just a few weeks before the Lollapalooza craze begins, so we can concentrate on the shows happening in town for now, and man – are there tons of options for us in June. The Greek Theatre and Hollywood Bowl will be opening its doors to the mass amounts of people, and touring bands are eager to make their time on the road as memorable as possible.

The list of my recommendations are after the jump, but first — Here’s a quick rundown of the folks who have residencies (free weekly shows) in all your local hot spots:

  • East side darlings The Californian have a residency over at the Satellite. If you’re looking for some unpretentious folk-tinged indie rock with butter-smooth vocals, great harmonies and sticky melodies, this is your band to check out on Monday nights.
  • If you enjoying being on the edge of your seat (or I guess on your toes) from suspense, I highly recommend checking out Dante vs. Zombies out on Monday nights at the Echo. I once watched a set of theirs where Dante changed into a different long tunic before every song. There are no zombies or monster-like aesthetics going on. Instead this group (which also consists members from Jail Weddings), is one big chaotic party which usually involves costumes, make-up and theatrical antics. Oh, and their retro-pop songs? Solid.
  • Over at Silverlake Lounge on Mondays, we have Duniven – the new band from the Capshun’s Patrick Thomas. Unlike his former band’s knack for Britpop, Duniven’s sound will please fans of Tom Petty. These guys will be your choice for a nice serving of Americana.
  • The Bootleg will be hosting Henry Wolfe‘s residency on Mondays, and if you’ve ever seen him, you may find a strong resemblance between him and his mother Meryl Streep. however, Wolfe isn’t just the new kid on the block trying music out just to do something. He’s released two very nice EPs in the past and his latest album, “Linda Vista,” is absolutely charming. There’s everything from pop to folk to blues, and every song showcases his ability to write songs that are immediately hummable.
  • If you’ve ever been to Bardot on Monday nights, you might already know that the Hollywood club has a very different vibe at the beginning of the week. That’s because MFG has successfully pulled their “It’s A School Night” residency off for a handful of months now. High Highs have already been featured this month and the upcoming weeks offer live sets from Fiction Family, Telepathe and Rickie Lee Jones. These nights usually have some cool DJ sets going on afterward as well. Admission is free with an RSVP each week.
  • Last but not least, the Santa Monica’s Central S.A.P.C. has re-opened the building that was formerly called 14 Below. Since then, they’ve brought in a bunch of great indie acts to the West Side. Last month’s residency featured The Lonely Wild and this month will be spotlighting up and coming band Incan Abraham. If you like Animal Collective and Local Natives, the drive out there will be worth it.

Check June  out below for plenty more shows to kick start a great summer of music!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Seraphina L.

June 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Show Calendar

Tagged with , ,

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: May 2011

leave a comment »

Summer is almost here. I can tell. All the tunes I’ve compiled for May’s mixtape have melodies that are as sticky as we will be this coming season. Plus, that electro touch on a handful of these tracks make a nice cool splash in my music library.

Whereas last month’s mixtape was heavy on the indie rock jams, this round of songs are especially for those who enjoy some major synth candy, along with remixes that either touch on chillwave or call out to the people on the dance floor. Of course, I’ve thrown in some great new local tunes in the bunch as well.

Here’s a quick rundown of the locals who earned a spot on the mixtape:

yOya – Alex Pfender and Noah Dietterich are taking a slightly different approach to “folk-tronica” than Ellie Goulding. They’re going for more intricate and less flashy. I’m a sucker for harmonies in falsetto and yOya pushes all the right buttons when it comes to accenting their guitar-centered songs.

Fol Chen – To this day, I still consider Fol Chen to be one of the most eccentric bands from L.A. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: They’ve stuck with me ever since I saw them perform a cover of Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” at the Echo just after they got signed to Asthmatic Kitty. Their songs always have a fun, playful bounce to them and even after recruiting the very shy singer-songwriter Simone White, their take on the Sufjan Stevens song sounds like something Freezepop could have released in 2006.

Big Black Delta – I’m amazed at how different solo projects can sound from a band’s body of work, and Mellowdrone’s Jonathan Bates continues this trend for me. The first two words in his new moniker seem appropriate with songs such as “Huggin & A Kissin,” because his sound is both dark and marvelous. I saw him perform with his two drummers at the Satellite during the holiday weekend, and I was completely blown away by how much star power the guy had. Big Black Delta is highly recommended for those craving a fresh take on electro-rock.

Skull Tape – This group, who first made my radar because of their cover of Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” has finally put out some music (along with another fun music video). If the vocals on “Crop Circle” sounds familiar, it’s because this is the new project of The Mae Shi’s Brad Breeck. He’s still spazzing out, but most importantly, he’s still writing great hooks.

Fool’s Gold – The most eclectic supergroup to recently form in L.A. will return with a new album in August. Although they’ve shed a few members and decided to sing all their songs in English this time around, they’ve still maintained that world music flavor with new track “Street Clothes.” It’s a major jam but “Surprise Hotel” will continue to be up there for me in regards to my favorite summer tracks courtesy of Fool’s Gold.

Love Grenades – Elizabeth Wight looks like the model who broke free from a tasteful, vintage, pin-up poster, and started singing electro-pop tunes with a sultry voice to boot. I have nothing but props to give this woman. She’s one gorgeous gal who knows how to throw a dance party.

Walter Meego – Former Chicagoans are back at it with new album “Wondervalley,” and after seeing them headline the Bootleg this past weekend, I’m wondering why they aren’t bigger than they currently are. Justin Sconza’s got a peculiarly distinct bright tone that darts in and out of the heavy synth lines he concocts – and these electronic components are not for the faint of ear either. Some of the riffs in these Walter Meego songs are a bit out of this world – tempo and rhythmic wise. After taking in a show from these guys, you fall deep in to a synth coma from taking in too much of a good thing.

Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Seraphina L.

June 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: April 2011

leave a comment »

Ready for the new mixtape? Good, because I sure had a lot of fun making this one.

April’s mixtape is heavy on local artists and I couldn’t be happier about it. Although last month had its Coachella highlights thanks to great sets by Robyn, Suede, Lauryn Hill, The Joy Formidable, Kanye West and more (read our full coverage here), my inbox was especially flooding with new worthy material from Los Angeles bands.

Here’s a quick rundown of the locals who earned a spot on the mixtape:

Milo Greene – The gorgeous track “1957″ basically went viral after Buzz Bands tweeted thoughts on it, and for a brand new group who has only a few shows under their belts, Milo Greene’s folk harmonies and melodies have done wonders. I highly suggest going to their bandcamp page to stream “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” which also made my heart flutter upon first listen.

Superhumanoids – These guys are no strangers to my mixtapes. They’re also no strangers to great remixes. Whereas the remix for “Malta” took on a new wave vibe courtesy of their friends, Lesands, this Captain Cuts remix of “Mirrors” is definitely more of a club banger.

Light FM – Josiah Mazzaschi has been releasing music with his band and producing albums for other local artists (including William Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain) for a really long time. Considering the fact that his work has spanned across 10 years, it’s nice to hear he’s getting even better with each new project.

Hot As Sun – A duo comprised of  the talented multi-instrumentalist Jamie Jackson and writer Deborah Stoll. Hazy, sexy, and absolutely spellbinding. They’re also a fairly new band but has already wowed crowds at most shows.

Races – Formerly called Black Jesus, this new young band is currently collecting comparisons to Arcade Fire with the amount of members crammed on stage and their melancholic yet sweeping arrangements. The word on the street is that there are some great labels currently paying close attention to them.

Coyol – Two voices (Céleigh Chapman and John Isaac Watters) that couldn’t differ more from each other but work pretty well together for the energetic folk-rock songs they sing. It’s juxtaposition that is wonderfully infectious.

Thurlow – Jacqueline Caruso and Augustus Green are a husband-wife duo who we luckily got here after they moved from the Washington D.C. area. They dabble in a bit of every genre but never sound forceful. Songs on their “Spokes” EP range from light-hearted electro-pop to lush gems with r&b undertones.

White Sea – If you haven’t seen Morgan Kibby (of M83) yet, I am begging you… DO IT. Not only can the girl reach the most angelic notes but she can bust out some mean (fantastic) remixes! Her take on the Naked & the Famous’ “Young Blood” is a case in point.

Soft Pipes – Anthony Polcino, formerly of Low Vs. Diamonds, recently put out “When You’re Done Here You Get to Go Home,” and it stayed in my car for weeks on repeat. It’s dreamy pop music, heavy on the both vocal and guitar melody, and dipped in a little reverb. It’s just lovely and “Golden Grace” is a perfect closer to the track list.

Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Seraphina L.

May 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: March 2011

leave a comment »

Hi, everyone. March has quickly passed by, so that means you are a few days overdue for a brand new mixtape!

My apologies for no March Recommendations in addition to the lack of posts last month. I unfortunately got an awful virus upon my return from SXSW and have basically been ill for the past three weeks. However, now that I’m beginning to feel human again, I’m going to come back in full force to give you some new tunes.

Although being sick is never fun, romping through Austin for four days straight (from noon til 2 am every day) was completely worth it again. SXSW is such a hectic festival but it certainly has its perks when it comes to discovering new music. I got to see some pretty great bands I hadn’t gotten a chance to see in L.A. yet. With that note, I found myself digging into some older tunes from bands that were still new to me.

This month’s mixtape reflects much of the music I’ve heard during SXSW – Royal Bangs, Tristen, The Stepkids, Twin Shadow, The Jezabels, Jamie Woon, Austra and more. Since I try to see non-local bands in Austin, this mixtape is also a little light on local artists but no worries. L.A. artists on this mixtape include Eastern Conference Champions, Walking Sleep and Letting Up Despite Great Faults. Now, instead of giving my usual long spiel, I’m going to let the music speak for itself.

Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Seraphina L.

April 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: