Taylor Olson’s Birthday Concert at Bar Lubitsch feat. Taylor Jamison

Last night’s show was easily the most fun I’ve had at a show in a long time. Some of that has to do with the genre and the cool West Hollywood bar, but the majority of my enjoyment came from the energy of the two very powerful performances that commanded the night.

taylor jamisonTaylor Jamison opened the show with four of his original tracks from his upcoming EP. Partnering with his guitarist and background vocalist Manuel, Jamison took the stage like a pro. It was obvious that this was not just a hobby for Jamison, but that he had very specific, and very large goals in mind as he performed.

Jamison’s songs brought an honesty to the floor that is sometimes lost in pop music. In the acoustic setting, the strength and intimacy of his songwriting had the opportunity to truly shine. His voice brought me back to the days of beloved boy bands like Backstreet Boys, ‘NSync, and even Plus One. Mixing this nostalgia with an undeniable confidence and stage presence made this opening act impossible to forget.

Taylor Jamison’s memorably upbeat choruses and raw content were the perfect primer for
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‘s main set. The singer/songwriter/producer matched Jamison’s fearless and commanding persona, and added an extra feeling of prowess as he brought everyone into the fold of his musical world. Olson’s set, backed by original production, ranged from remixes of popular songs to original songs and raps, as well as songs he’s written for other artists.

With his heart-pounding beats and movingly relatable lyrics, Olson skillfully brought the audience from cheers and dancing to focused silence, as he lyrically navigated the waters of his life for us. From the losses he’s suffered deeply to the pride and defiance he feels in who he is and how people react to him, Olson’s music was relatable and elusive at the same time: something to hold on to, but also something one couldn’t hope to recreate themselves.

Between the two, these Taylors gave the audience brilliant and passionate performances, certainly a night for the books. We wish them both the best, and Taylor Olson a very happy birthday!

 

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA.

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Luci LIVE at Molly Malone’s

Christmas came early this year in the form of singer-songwriter trio Luci as they took the stage at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles last night.

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The reputable local venue was filled to the brim as McKail Seely, Ashley Maietta, and Ariana Tibi gave us the gift of their beautifully blended voices and thought provoking, and often sensual, writing. It isn’t every day you head to a live show and are happily knocked out of your chair by three part harmonies and boat loads of attitude. It’s enough to make a person fall in love.

From the first song, the Americana group was all smiles, perpetuating the joy they feel as musicians and performers. The first anthem, an ode to not making a lover wait, was met with applause by the second verse from an audience who couldn’t contain their excitement at hearing such tight harmonies and all around sexy lyrics. By the end of the show, the crowd was on their feet.

Luci took us on an emotional roller coaster with the help of drummer Justin Siegel, bassist Jamie Harmon III, and electric guitarist Mauricio Guerrero Jr. Seely and Tibi also armed themselves with acoustic guitars, while Maietta had the keys and a tambourine as her weapons of choice for the evening.

From playful sensuality to songs about being there for each other, as friends and as a world, back to the honest theme of sex with the first song they ever wrote together, “Can’t Be Alone With You“, the trio exemplified what it means to be true lovers of music. Their combined stage presence, songwriting chops, and powerful vocals makes for an irresistible combination. After all, what’s better than one extraordinarily talented singer-songwriter?

Three.

 

 

You can follow Luci across social media @lovelucimusic.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Damian Sage LIVE at Room 5 Lounge

In my little blogging world, I am most regularly invited to singer-songwritery events, filled with acoustic guitars or a lone keyboard, mournful relationship lyrics over major chords. But the bluesy sound of Damian Sage broke through the glass ceiling of singer-songwriterdom, proving you can make anything old, new.

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Backed by guitarist Brian Simpson, drummer Jamie Douglass, and bassist Ted Russel Kamp, Sage took the intimate, but enthusiastic audience on a journey back. With classic rock and bluesy sounds so familiar and comforting, yet flavored with Sage’s unique storytelling, his music is like an Old Fashioned laced with something unexpected and exciting.

The night was filled with Sage’s intense and surprising originals, stories pulled from his childhood in New York and past relationships, with the occasional nod to some of his favorite LA bands, The Doors and Guns N’ Roses. With the conclusion of each story, the crowd’s cheers grew louder, ebbing Sage on, begging for more of this rare, soulful sound the commercialized city is starving for.

In his cut up jeans and white t-shirt, Sage owned the crowd with his charming New York accent, pinot noir obsession, and self-deprecating humor, infiltrating a swanky Los Angeles neighborhood with the good time feels of your favorite hometown bar. As Sage brought the audience through relatable scenarios and extreme tempo changes, their emotions soared with their cheers. The roof almost came down with “Suitcase Full of Blues”, a masterfully crafted number about a woman he had known as a child who stood on her own two feet and powerfully cast a bad man out of her life with the words “I got some bad news, and here’s your suitcase full of blues.”

By the end of the too short set, the audience called for an encore, but were left with the bittersweet remnants of a powerful lesson in storytelling and staying true to yourself.

 

 

The video for Sage’s “Caught Between The Rhymes” will air on new reality series The Romance next month.

In the meantime, join 10s of thousands of fans and follow Damian Sage Music across social media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

And remember to stay bluesy.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“1000 Degrees of Separation” Single Release by Brandyn Burnette

You all remember Brandyn Burnette, pop darling of the West Coast, and my first interview at A2D.

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Well, we’ve been keeping up to date on BB, as in the last few months he’s branched off on a new DIY adventure which has reaped fantastic results. He blew us all away with his first self-produced single “I Wanna Be (Free)”, introducing a new song and epic music video to match.

But this new track, “1000 Degrees of Separation” is everything I have been asking for from indie artists trying to break into the mainstream. Under a genre Brandyn titles “progressive soul”, this track offers a new, distinctly “Brandyn” flavor, filled with technical sounds, scorching lyrics, and catchy pop melodies. It is a wonderful blend of the psychedelic, powerful, and popular.

Staying true to this new DIY sound, Brandyn’s vocal lines and effects nod to those in his most recent tracks, but also follow the lyrical hypnosis that brings a connectivity to Brandyn’s music that is instrumental in reaching a young and hungry audience.

Thanks to Brandyn for bringing us an exciting new sound, and allowing us to follow your journey as an indie artist in Los Angeles.

Be sure to check out Brandyn Burnette and singer/songwriter girlfriend Molly Moore as they play joint shows  in favorite venues around Los Angeles this summer.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Angela Mukul and Trishes LIVE at Lost Property Bar

As I walked into Lost Property Bar off Hollywood and Vine last night, I was hit with three pleasant “firsts”: my first time at the trendy new whiskey bar in Hollywood, and my first time hearing both Angela Mukul and Trishes live.

The showcase, trending on social media under the hashtag #HwoodSongwriters, was put on by Los Angeles marketing company Alternative Ent, who specializes in indie branding. Tonight, Alternative Ent brought together singer/songwriters Angela Mukul and Trishes for their special showcase.

 angela mukulUp first, Angela Mukul stepped behind her guitar and up to the plate, wearing a favorite wide brimmed hat and an even wider smile. The singer/songwriter from Orange County first gained attention with her thick voice and energetic melodies as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next” vocal competition. From there, she has released her debut EP “Free” and a single “I’d Rather Be Single”.

Last night, however, the audience was treated with several new songs from Mukul. Her soulful, yet hometown country vibes, soared over the simple acoustic accompaniment from chorus to chorus. Despite the loud room and difficult acoustics, Mukul didn’t sacrifice a single emotional dynamic, allowing her songs to ebb and flow as they were meant to. The songwriter further showcased her comfortable stage presence as she made an effort to connect with every member of the audience, drawing them in one by one. Saving her best song for last, “Bomb” left the audience in a rapture of cheers, and the gentleman next to me whistled the melody until Trishes took the stage.

trishesTrish Hosein performs under stage name Trishes, an allusion to her use of loops during her performances. As the artist settled in behind her keyboard in her signature facial war paint, it was clear we were in for a show. The Berklee grad started her set with a quick beatbox into the microphone, threw a loop on it, and continued to layer her first song before adding her full and practiced vocals. Between the layers, melodic choices, and fresh lyrics, Trishes transformed the bar into a one woman theater, showcasing her skills as a musical storyteller.

While the comparison to Imogen Heap could be made, Trishes moves away from the pop world and comes into her own in a theatrical element that is a unique and uncharted territory. From creating a song out of the year and month she was born to covering Sia’s “Elastic Heart”, bringing a new meaning and light to the already powerful lyrics, this young artist is primed for takeover.

Having already gained attention from around the world, I anticipate only great and innovative things from these two Los Angeles singer-songwriters.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Suddenly Boy N Girl LIVE at The Mint LA

The Mint served up a special treat on Wednesday night, with the indie pop duo Suddenly Boy N Girl.

Suddnely Boy N Girl

Comprised of Anthony Pepi and Candice Kelly, both graduates of the Berklee College of Music, the duo is an unlikely pair, to say the least. First, there’s Anthony, with his boy next door look and nostalgic vocals, reminiscent of the garage band front men who ruled the airwaves for the better part of the early 2000s. Beside him stands Candice, with her fearless punk rock princess attire and rich, tantalizing vocals. Together, they bring a musical balance so interesting, the audience can’t help but be enthralled.

The duo started their set with an original, “Beautiful Strangers”, which had been penned for a documentary. Anthony stood on keys, with both Anthony and Candice on vocals; an excellent guitarist brought the percussive elements to the acoustic set.

As Suddenly Boy N Girl reeled us in further to their set, it became clear that the two made a powerful songwriting team, with catchy and unique melodies filling the ears and hearts of the show attendees. From the stunning acoustic cover of Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” to the performance of their debut single “Something More”, the pair proved they were worth their salt.

The juxtaposition between Anthony’s flawless falsetto and Candice’s irresistible vocal additions made for an intriguing and balanced composition. Anthony brought color where Candice brought class; both brought their own excellent skill set to the table, and revealed their hand to be a royal flush.

The duo has hit the ground running in 2015, with a performance at Hollywood’s Pour Vous, now the Mint LA, and an upcoming performance at House of Blues Anaheim at Downtown Disney on February 22nd.

Keep an eye out for this eccentric and talented indie pop duo, as they continue to pound the pavement in the top Los Angeles venues.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

 

ASTR Live at The Troubadour

It is always a pleasure to be asked to cover a sold out show: the energy is guaranteed to be high, and in a place like The Troubadour in West Hollywood, the night will undoubtedly be a success. The Troubadour is known as one of the rare venues who truly makes a point to honor the musicians it headlines as well as the audience it draws. Subsequently, loyal music fans from across the metro and even out of state flock to the historic venue to see some of the best shows in LA, set on a small, intimate stage that makes the experience all the more memorable.

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Saturday night’s show was started off by DJ Grant Owens, most  popularly known as the producer and host of We Found New Music, a  radio show on Laguna’s KX 93.5 which tackles the important  task of bringing those new and promising acts to the forefront of  its listeners’ radar. Owens, who also works at major record label  Universal Music Group, began the night playing alternative,  electro-pop favorites from bands like The Knocks, and nodded  to upcoming act ASTR by playing their ever popular cover of  Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home”. The DJ’s debut at Troubadour was a hit, and the perfect primer  to the next act, The Black and The White.

The three man show, made up of frontman and lead guitarist Juilio Tavarez, bassist Mario Gonzalez, and longtime drummer Cliff Sarcona, stormed the stage with their incredibly playful and exuberant presence. Tavarez matched his impossibly tight pants with even tighter vocals, dancing easily between his passionate baritone and a surprisingly powerful falsetto. The band carried the energy of ensembles much larger, and louder, proving that three was all that was needed to bring an already eager audience to their feet. Backed by a psychedelic video display and surrounded by an increasingly enthusiastic audience, The Black and The White doled out a welcome overdose of music that can only be created by those who still remember and respect the art form that is musical expression. Between the three band members and the brilliant addition of backtracks towards the middle of the set, The Black and The White reminded Troubadour goers why they flock to the venue in the first place: to hear unique, powerful, and eclectic music from seasoned performers who are hungry to share their craft and create an experience with their audience.

Up next came the headlining duo from New York City, ASTR. The crowd went wild as stunning redhead and lead vocalist Zoe Silverman and producer, percussionist, and keyboardist Adam Pallin hit the stage. From the bass drop of their first song “Razor”, the crowd was screaming their appreciation and singing along. Silverman kept the crowd moving as she demonstrated her theatrical dance and performance skills, as Pallin kept the show going by captaining his production machines and electronic drum set. A dramatic duo to be sure, ASTR filled the stage with their explosive presence and heart-pumping music that bled lyrical finesse. Their visuals emphasized the retro foundation of their music, which, paired with galactic production, makes for an irresistible and addictive combination. ASTR premiered a new song at Troubadour that night, which could easily catapult the duo into mainstream success. With its catchy lyrics, use of pop and hip hop beats, and something that is undeniably ASTR, the song has all the makings of a hit. The band finished their set with their lead single “Operate”, off their debut 2014 EP “Varsity”. The crowd, already whistling and screaming at the end of every song, including a performance of the Drake cover already teased by DJ Grant Owens earlier that night, offered an uproar of applause when the duo closed on “Operate”. As DJ Pleasure Principle ascended the stairs to bring the night to a close, there was no doubt the audience had witnessed performance greatness that night.

From DJs Grant Owen and Pleasure Principle, to three-man band The Black and The White, to powerhouse duo ASTR, this night at the Troubadour proved that it doesn’t take large numbers to make a wave: a few can accomplish much when they have the passion and vision to do what the majority would never dare to do. Here’s to the few, with big dreams and bigger voices, and to the venues and organizations like Troubadour and We Found New Music who support them along their way.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music enthusiast living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.