The Moog – ‘The Moog’ EP (2016, MuSick Recordings)

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The Moog hails from Budapest, and there’s really no mistaking it. In a manner quintessentially Hungarian, the indie pop quintet encapsulates their hometown’s dichotomy of old and new, hard and soft, dark and light. Just as the resplendent beauty of Buda provides a refreshing contrast to the bustling vitality of Pest, the band’s rock, new wave and dark wave influences offset modern indie-pop sensibilities to create a sound at once familiar and altogether new. Continue reading

LA Loves Prince

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A sea of purple descends upon City Hall for an epic live concert tribute

Los Angeles City Hall was awash in shades of purple the evening of May 6 when the city held a Memorial Tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson honoring the iconic artist’s legacy in music and philanthropy.

Thousands of fans wearing Prince’s signature color descended upon the grassy lawn in front of the City Hall steps to celebrate the artist, who died on April 21 at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota. Continue reading

From TV screen to concert hall, Score! celebrates music made for television

Courtesy of the Television Academy

Courtesy of the Television Academy

Composers of today’s hottest TV shows lead a full L.A. orchestra and choir in an unprecedented Television Academy celebration

by Linda A. Rapka

Today’s hottest TV music came to life at Royce Hall May 21 with the Score! concert, presented by the Television Academy in its first live showcase of television music as performed by a full  orchestra and choir led by the composers themselves.

The unprecedented musical event boasted an orchestra of more than 70 of Los Angeles’s top musicians, contracted by David Low and featuring many of the same musicians who originally recorded the scores. Sharing the stage was the 40-voice LA Chorus directed by Steve Lively, and conducting the performances of today’s iconic television themes were the very composers who wrote them.

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Oscar music comes alive at Motion Picture Academy’s debut Oscar concert

Photo by Aaron Poole/© A.M.P.A.S.

Photo by Aaron Poole/© A.M.P.A.S.

by Linda A. Rapka

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the first live concert of the year’s Oscar-nominated music at UCLA’s Royce Hall Feb. 27, three days before the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

Alternating between performances of the year’s nominees for best original score and best original song, the historic concert featured the 80-piece Academy Symphony Orchestra comprising some of Los Angeles’s finest studio musicians.

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Varèse Sarabande Makes Holiday Magic With the Golden State Pops

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Varèse Sarabande executive producer Robert Townson on stage with Maestro Steven Allen Fox, the orchestra, the evening’s featured performer vocalists, and flute soloist Sara Andon. (Photo by Linda A. Rapka)

Varèse Sarabande Records closed out its yearlong 35th anniversary celebration with the Golden State Pops Orchestra with a heartwarming holiday concert at the Warner Grand Theatre Dec. 21. Continue reading

Deap Valley – Sistrionix

Deap Vally
Sistrionix
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Nevermind they met in crochet class. Guttural blues rock duo Deap Vally emotes anything but tender things warm and fuzzy. Envisage Janis Joplin backed by a White Stripes/Zeppelin hybrid, and you begin to scratch at the tip of the voracious musical hybrid that is Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards. Hot off a stint at Coachella the L.A. natives continue to make molten splashes both here at home and abroad. Keeping busy all over Europe, Deap Vally shares stages with the likes of Mumford & Sons and Iggy Pop, hobnobs with Robert Plant and recently rocked out on the BBC’s ever-popular Later… with Jools Holland. Their debut full-length, Sistrionix, opens with “End of the World” pairing alarm-inducing guitar tones with a pulsating beat that gloriously won’t relent. With this kind of intro, you immediately know what you’re getting into: a distortion-fueled journey of angst, frustration and fuck-all attitude of two very strong and independent women. Fending off sexism with precipitous kickdrum beats and addictive guitar riff, “Gonna Make My Own Money” sees Troy frothing. “You say marry a rich man … Daddy, don’t you understand?/I’m gonna make my own money/Gonna buy my own land.” On the driving “Baby I Call Hell,” they demand with purpose and power: “If you wanna serve me/Show me you deserve me … No you don’t get this if you don’t treat me well.” This brand of no-nonsense lyrics abounds on this record, as do Edward’s red-hot drumming and Troy’s delightfully cathartic vocal purging. “If our mothers only knew the trouble that we get into,” Troy delights on “Bad for My Body.” If the music is any indication, we can’t even begin to imagine.

Originally published by L.A. RECORD

Strunz & Farah @ Catalina’s

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It’s not every night you hear a beatboxing flutist, but with international instrumental guitar duo Strunz & Farah one can’t expect a typical concert experience. Acclaimed as much for their international virtuosity as for their dazzling eclectic live performances, Middle Eastern-flavored jazz/flamenco duo Costa Rican Jorge Strunz and Iranian Ardeshir Farah are credited for pioneering guitar-focused world music before the term even existed. The Grammy-nominated pair shares a prolific partnership spanning more than three decades, meeting in 1979 and learned of their shared ability to play mind-blowing instrumental guitar improvisations at lightning speed. Continue reading