Step Rockets Los Angeles Premiere

Minneapolis band Step Rockets made a splash this year with their indie hit “Kisser“, and it’s brought them all the way across the country to play their first show in Los Angeles this week. I had had the privilege of meeting the band during my time as co-host of TC Muzique on the Minneapolis Television Network, and was excited for the opportunity to see how far the band has come.

step rockets

The show, sponsored by the We Found New Music radio podcast in partnership with Blind Date LA and the Silverlake venue Bootleg, showcased fellow emerging bands Battle Tapes (Los Angeles), Public (Cincinnati), and Mexico City Blondes (Santa Barbara).

Performing third, Step Rockets received a special introduction from WFNM host Grant Owens, welcoming them to their debut show in the entertainment capitol of the world.

Donning his signature polka dot pants, front man Josh Von Mink graciously took the stage with fellow band members Brady Lillie, Anthony Schulz, and Johnny Syn, making Step Rockets the largest ensemble to hit the stage that night. The crowd, already revved up by Battle Tapes and Public, welcomed Step Rockets eagerly to the forefront of their attention, and, per usual, Step Rockets were not ones to disappoint.

Starting their set off with flying colors, the band won over the crowd with their enthusiastic stage presence, honed musical skill, and sultry hooks that truly did warrant the name – hooking in every audience member from the get-go. Von Mink made sure of this, as he made a point to personally connect with as many people in the room as possible during the 30 minute set.

What perhaps set Step Rockets apart was their expert blend of electronic and rock music, paired with their genius use of “the breakdown”. Every song featured a banging musical midsection that enticed the audience for more. When the crowd was primed and ready, Step Rockets burst forth with their indie hit “Kisser”, setting the crowd dancing and singing along. The showmanship of this band is something to behold, and they held nothing back from their Los Angeles debut.

After a week of touring the coast and making appearances on radio and TV shows, Step Rockets couldn’t have asked for a better reception for their Los Angeles premiere. Now heading back to snowy Minneapolis to work on new material, we hope this lively quartet will make their way back to the West Coast soon.

To learn more about Step Rockets and to follow their social media pages, head to www.steprockets.com

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.

“She’s A Devil” Music Video Release by La Madness

The newest video from Minneapolis band La Madness was leaked last night, to great response. “She’s A Devil” has already garnered almost 2,000 views in just a few short hours, and it’s no surprise: put great music together with a beautiful girl, add a few shots of something clear and dangerous, and you’ve got an addictive rock video.

la madness she's a devil

The video to a track from the band’s debut album, “Chances Are”, features 93X Girl Stephanie Bailey and over a year’s worth of footage from La Madness’ notoriously awesome live shows.

“Chances Are” was released to critical acclaim earlier this year, and the band is already recording music for their highly anticipated second EP.

We hope to see La Madness hit the streets of LA with their rock-induced party swag as soon as possible (Kurt, no more games).

You can learn more about La Madness at http://www.reverbnation.com/lamadness.

Warning: The below video may not be appropriate for viewers under 18, and will undoubtedly incite a strong craving for whiskey and/or tequila. Ye be warned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9cNw7Fl0LU&feature=youtu.be

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.

Andy Pratt LIVE at WitZend

When we arrived at WitZend Live last night in the heart of Venice, the place was alive with trendy teenagers whose plaid and floral print clothes hinted at the eccentric beach culture that often frequents this coast town listening room. A lively jazz ensemble was wrapping up their set, and conversations flowed on top of the lively music.

The tides turned, however, when singer/songwriter Andy Pratt moved to take over the stage. The scene transitioned from the colorful vibe of the West Coast to a wine glass-toting crowd dressed in blacks and grays, reminiscent of a more mature East Coast flavor.

andypratt

 

Pratt flew in from Boston for the two hour set at this unique listening room, which was founded by Jeb Milne, the owner of one of the most notorious live music shows in London, Singers. As Pratt took his place behind the piano in the corner of the intimate stage, it was clear how fortunate we were to be able to witness such a stripped down performance of someone who has been in the industry for decades, and has put out almost 30 albums in his lifetime.

The “Avenging Annie” artist brought musicianship, honesty, and confidence to the stage, all wrapped in a white satin suit jacket, over top a printed T-shirt, no less. In the many shows I’ve seen in LA, this one bared a stark difference in that Pratt was so at ease in his music, so effortlessly confident on stage, that one could not help but think that if he had played to a room of 10,000 or was alone in the studio, he would have put out the exact same performance. This level of professionalism exuded from Pratt simply loving the music he wrote and performed for us that evening.

The night was an excellent window into the life and work of a musician about whom Rolling Stone Magazine stated,”By reviving the dream of rock as an art and then re-inventing it, Pratt has forever changed the face of rock”. From piano, to guitar, and back, Pratt’s beautiful accompaniment, exciting key changes, and lyrical honesty (to the point of frankness) reminded the audience that once a musician is great, they never cease to be great.

For more on Andy Pratt, please listen to his various albums at www.andypratt.bandcamp.com. Closely associated with Reseda Ranch studios in Los Angeles, a new album is expected to drop from Pratt soon.

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.

Alexa LIVE at Station Unplugged (The W Hollywood)

The singer from rock band Oversoul hit the stage in an acoustic set last night to promote her upcoming solo EP at Station Unplugged, courtesy of the W hotel in Hollywood.

alexavilla

Based in San Diego, Alexa Villa, known on the music scene as “Alexa”, is a singer-songwriter, talented pianist, and model. The young artist spends her time between San Diego, where her band Oversoul is based, and LA where she ventures for meetings, shows, and model calls (LA Fashion Week and the spread of Women’s Wear Daily, to name a few).

Last night, Alexa left her band at home, calling only on the guitar and background vocal talents of her brother, Ryan, also a member of Oversoul, to accompany her in her first solo show in Los Angeles in a while.

Promoting her upcoming EP (release date TBA), Alexa appeared behind a full weighted keyboard, armed with black leather and spidery fish-netted legs that mean business.

Her rock background was apparent, but if the audience thought her looks were stunning, they soon found that there is more to Alexa than meets the eye. The moment Alexa starts singing, the world stops to listen. The 20 year old’s wailing, powerhouse vocals, perfect for the rock scene, are surprisingly well-suited for her own compositions, which detail the power struggle in relationships and the sometimes difficult task of accepting things the way they are. Alexa’s chant sections bring the listener to the party, while her chromatic melodies catch us off-guard, showcasing her musical expertise.

Alexa highlighted the show with the leaked track from her upcoming EP, “Do What You Do To Me” – a playful number, if not somewhat masochistic, as love almost always is. Joining the ranks of popular rock voices Amy Lee (Evanescence) and Hayley Williams (Paramore), Alexa’s vocals soared from rock party song to the intense solo ballad, “Hope”, which was recently recorded at the legendary Jungle Room studios in LA.

With a voice built to fill out larger venues, it is no wonder Alexa is finding success in the rock world as front woman of Oversoul, but she also has the important ability to stand alone, without the support of a rock band behind her. As her vocals brought people pouring into the popular night spot from the train station and the street, catching mere musical phrases and wanting more,  it became clear that Alexa’s solo venture has just as much promise as her rock career, if not more.

This young lady has it all – the look, the voice, the writing ability, the musical talent. The only way to describe Alexa: simply stunning.

Alexa’s new track “Picture Perfect” has gained critical acclaim and airplay in San Diego. You can catch Alexa at a free show at The House of Blues – San Diego on August 5th, at 8pm. 

For more on Alexa, and to stay up to date on her solo EP release and shows in Los Angeles, follow her on instagram and twitter @thealexavilla, find her on Facebookand listen to her music on soundcloud.

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.

“Halo” Music Video Release by SIKORA

Remember SIKORA? The Los Angeles duo launched their debut EP “Ecliptic” last month, and this morning, they surprised us all by dropping their beautifully visualized video for one of the songs off their EP, “Halo”.

halo mv

The video stars Matthew Sikora and Liz Forde in a glamorous take of what could easily be mistaken for a set from the hit show “Breaking Bad”. While Sikora belts out emotionally charged phrases from behind his flashing electric guitar, Forde sparkles in front of the camera with her refreshing vocals and equally stunning appearance on screen.

The music video takes us on a journey of the artists looking for their “halos”, from desert to ocean. The entire video is expertly conceptualized and woven together by director Dima Otvertchenko. From the broader story line to the minute details, this video was a great success in bringing the song “Halo” to life.

You can watch the video, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QFzgFrGNNU&feature=youtu.be

For more on SIKORA and to purchase “Ecliptic”, visit www.sikoraband.com.

You can read about the SIKORA EP release, here: https://according2drea.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/ecliptic-ep-release-by-sikora/

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.

“Ecliptic” EP Release by SIKORA

sikora

This morning I bought the recently released EP by the male-female duo SIKORA, and I have had their catchy hooks happily stuck in my head all day. SIKORA launched their debut EP “Ecliptic” last week, hitting the digital world with four original tracks loaded with bluesy guitar riffs and sultry vocal harmonies.

Self-described as a “pop/alt rock outfit”, the Los Angeles based duo of Matthew Sikora (vocals, guitar, bass) and Liz Forde (vocals, percussion, keyboard) have been collaborating since 2011, and have recently released their newest music under the guidance of LA producer Dean Dichoso.

Their single “Halo”, the second track on the EP, was released as a teaser in March, and boasts the duo’s love for the California rock sound. Liz Forde’s vocals shine with breathtaking precision as she takes on the harmonies and verses of this track.

Another song from the EP, “Comic Book Hero”, brings intense energy through Matthew Sikora’s enthusiastic guitar riffs, layered vocals, and sing-a-long lyrics. The song has been chosen to appear in the USC Thesis Film “O-Star”, directed by Dima Otvertchenko. 

Both “West Coast” and the final track of the EP, “Souldier Boy (Soldier Boy)”, bring a delightful, playful blues sound to the table, which invites the audience to join in with the talented duo until the end. On the whole, I find “Ecliptic” to be a wonderfully relatable, and also diverse album in the four tracks included on the release. From rock, to blues, to pop, SIKORA brings a little something for everyone.

For more on SIKORA and to listen to/purchase “Ecliptic”, visit www.sikoraband.com.
For more on producer Dean Dichoso, visit www.deandichoso.com.

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.