Comment

New Nemesis Media Booking Roster Bands

In the past three months, I have signed five new bands and artists to the Nemesis Media booking roster.  These are all musicians I've wanted to work with due to their talent, style of music, and personalities.  They each bring something exciting to our roster as we now have a sextet fusing rock, soul, funk, and jazz together beautifully, a young indie rock outfit similar to The Strokes, an ambient alt rock band fronted by a theatrical incarnation of Scott Weiland a pop punk trio with dueling vocals in the likes of Blink-182 meets Jimmy Eat World, and a singer/songwriter with the rawness and powerful lyrics of Michael Stipe and REM.  I'm very excited to have them on board and to have them believe in what I can do to help them.  Let  me introduce you to each of these bands:

The Gentlemen Amateurs
The Gentlemen Amateurs are a live wire, 6 piece band with onstage energy to spare. The Gents retain an organic musical aesthetic and a dogged do-it-yourself work ethic, opting for sweat and grit over the smoke and mirrors of modern production. Their songs are bright and upbeat, with soul-inflected hooks, tight grooves, and snappy brass. They have the raw energy of rock, the sweetness of soul, and the sophistication of jazz, all drizzled over a bed of funk. Fronted by the disarmingly talented Sam Jackson, the Gents present a sound that is fresh, funky, and frayed around the edges. 

Life Size Models
Life Size Models is an alternative rock outfit from San Jose, CA. LSM consists of Chris Seymour (vocals/rhythm guitar), Jon Sosa (lead guitar/vocals), Anthony Martos (bass/vocals), and Macks Edwards (percussion/vocals). Forming in late 2013 as an outlet for dealing with college hardships, anxiety, and growing pains, lead songwriter and singer (Chris Seymour) worked with various talented musicians in order to craft a substantial collection of songs. LSM subsequently released a uniquely self-confident, inviting, catchy debut EP titled "Burden of Youth" containing 5 songs ranging in diversity from a summertime drive down the coast to the last drive back home after a particularly painful break-up. Life Size Models has received a mention in CMJ.com new music discovery and landed in heavy rotation on 90.5 KSJS.

Skyway View
Skyway View is a six piece ambient alternative band out of San Jose, CA, whose sound has been compared to the likes of The Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Psychedelic Furs. A sound that is both melodic and aggressive at the same time, sonically reminiscent of decades past. Skyway View garnered a lot of notoriety from their debut record by touring all the San Francisco Bay Area Hot Topic stores in 2009, securing a growing fan base. Their 4th full length album "The Victoria Trap," which was successfully funded by a Kickstarter campaign, features passionate vocals, overmelodic guitars, atmospheric keys, driving bass lines, and stadium drums.

Till I Fall
Till i Fall is an Alternative/Pop-Rock band based out of San Jose, CA. Formed in 2011 by singer/songwriter Brandon Leland, Till i Fall has had the privilege of sharing the stage regionally and nationally supporting their independent releases, most recently their new single "Scarlet." 

Zack Freitas
Zack Freitas is singer/songwriter from Hollister, CA that has played with the Gilroy based band Kizmet and is known for his raw and expressive songs.  Zack likes to write honest music from his heart, drawing from experiences in his own life and covering themes from depression to social commentary, from angst and existentialism to love.  Zack finds songwriting to be his therapy and it shows in his lyrics and heart-felt performances.

Comment

Comment

Nemesis Media Opened Booking Roster With Eyes On The Shore!

A month late on announcing, but guess what?! Nemesis Media Inc. just opened it’s booking roster with Eyes on the Shore! Plan on seeing more of Eyes on the Shore in 2016 as the Nemesis Media team put the pedal to the metal and scour the earth for gigs and tours. As a group, "Eyes on the Shore is happy to be working with Nemesis for tour support and expanding our reach across the country!" If you love EOTS and Nemesis Media, and are as excited as we are to see more artists develop and grow with Nemesis then keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at www.nemesismediainc.com.

Eyes on the Shore recently announced their crowdfunding campaign to record and release their next EP... ON VINYL! Including their latest two singles “Washed Away” and “Starting Fires,” Eyes on the Shore will release a new song every month until August, at which point those songs will collectively become their 2016 EP “Maestranza” pressed to vinyl, and available online. NO CD’s! http://eyesontheshore.com/preorder

Comment

Comment

Austin Showcases for Nemesis Roster Bands

We are proud to announce that we have secured the following showcases for our Management and Booking Roster bands in Austin during SX week!

The Go Ahead

Mon March 14:
Red Gorilla Showcase
Rooftop Bar @ 8pm

Mon March 14:
Music Monger Showcase
Cheers Rooftop @ 11pm

Tues March 15:
Dirty Fest
Dirty Dog Bar @ 1:45pm

Wed March 16:
Music City SF presents Bay Area Showcase
The Jackalope @ 5pm

Wed March 16:
Red Gorilla Showcase
Dizzy Rooster @ 9pm
 
Thurs March 17:
Ugly Whale Showcase
Darwin's Pub @ 11pm

Sat March 19:
South x Big Bang
Big Bang @ 8pm


Citabria

Tues March 15:
Red Gorilla Showcase
HandleBar @ 5pm

Wed March 16:
Outdoor Stage
Rainey Street @ 6pm

Wed March 16:
113 Main Music Showcase
Cheers Rooftop @ Midnight

Thurs March 17:
Ugly Whale Showcase
Darwin's Pub @ 10pm

Fri March 18:
Red Gorilla Showcase
Darwin's Pub @ 9pm

Sat March 19:
SouthX Big Bang
Big Bang @ 4pm

Sat March 19:
Red Gorilla Showcase
Thirsty Nickel @ 9pm


Sit Kitty Sit

Tues March 15:
Music City SF presents Bay Area Showcase
The Jackalope @ 1pm

Tues March 15:
Red Gorilla Showcase
Blind Pig @ 4pm

Wed March 16:
SouthX Big Bang
Big Bang @ 8pm

Thurs March 17:
Aquarium Bar @ 5:45pm

Thurs March 17:
Ugly Whale Showcase
Darwin's Pub @ 9pm


Eyes on the Shore

Wed March 16:
Music City SF presents Bay Area Showcase
The Jackalope @ 4pm

Wed March 16:
113 Main Music Showcase
Cheers Rooftop @ 1am

Thurs March 17:
SouthX Big Bang
Big Bang @ 3pm

Thurs March 17:
Red Gorilla Showcase
HandleBar @ 10pm

Thurs March 17:
Ugly Whale Showcase
Darwin's Pub @ 12am

Fri March 18:
Outdoor Stage
Rainey Street @ 7pm

Sat March 19:
Red Gorilla Showcase
Craftsman Bar @ 9pm


Lucas Gordon

Fri March 18:
Blue Cat Cafe @ 5pm

Sat March 19:
Red Gorilla Showcase
HandleBar Rooftop @ 3pm

Comment

Comment

Citabria Inked Management Deal with Nemesis Media Inc.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2016
Contact: pr@nemesismediainc.com

Alternative rock four piece Citabria has just inked a management deal with Nemesis Media Inc. Their groovy rhythmic rock has been a hit at home in Northern California, as well as gaining popularity on the international market, including a performance in Açor Talentos, Portugal’s version of American Idol. Citabria recorded their most recent full length album Exit Reality at Jingletown Recording, famous for being owned by Green Day, which garnered some radio airplay and rave reviews. The band most recently played Santa Cruz Music Festival, supported legendary Campbell band Strata at prestigious concert venue The Ritz, and graced the stage at San Jose’s premiere Rockbar Theater.

With roots in San Jose and Austin, Nemesis Media has become known for producing high quality events and for their continued support of Balanced Breakfast, the music industry networking group. Nemesis Media recently signed a number of great regional acts from the San Francisco Bay Area after joining forces with fellow promoter and talent manager Barb Rocks.

Nemesis Media VP of Artists and Repertoire Barbara Wahli said of Citabria, "Having been a fan of Citabria's music for 7 years, I knew I wanted to work with this incredibly talented band for some time, especially when I heard their newest album "Exit Reality"! Nemesis Media is lucky to work with such a technically-savvy band that has a modern and mainstream edge, whose sound grabs a hold of the listener and doesn't let go. Each band member's integrity and love for what they are doing shines through their songs and live performances, which is refreshing in the music business."

Asked what their thoughts were, Citabria as a whole said "Citabria is stoked to be partnering with Barbara Wahli & Nemesis Media. We feel very positive and unified knowing that they will guide us on this path of progress. They are exceptionally knowledgeable and it gives us a sense of relief knowing they got our backs."

Both Citabria and Nemesis Media are excited for this union and what the future holds, confident that strategic business partnerships like this will lead to prosperous journeys ahead.

For all things Citabria and Nemesis, check out nemesismediainc.com, or like the band on Facebook. Citabria is releasing a bunch of new songs and videos in 2016, as well as a monthly touring schedule, so stay tuned for details on their social media!

Comment

Comment

Nemesis Media Welcomes Sit Kitty Sit to their Management Roster!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2015
Contact: pr@nemesismediainc.com

Nemesis Media Inc. announced the signing of San Francisco hard piano rock duo Sit Kitty Sit.  Without a string in sight, the band consists of Kat Downs on keys and pipes, while Mike Thompson sets the stage with his percussion.  Sit Kitty Sit possess a mind blowing sound that engulfs the audience with expert keystrokes and a powerful, driving drum beat, accomplishing more as two people than a full band on stage.  None of which is surprising considering the musical tutelage of both band members, whose backgrounds and experiences have lead to some admirable accomplishments.

Speaking of joining the Nemesis family, the duo Sit Kitty Sit said collectively, “Sit Kitty Sit is proud and excited to be joining Barbara Wahli & the awesome Nemesis Media team!  We are confident they can lead the way in expanding our growth and presence in the music industry and are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Nemesis Media’s own Vice President Barbara Wahli said of Sit Kitty Sit, “It's amazing to see what a duo on piano and drums can do to not only grab the audience's attention so fiercely, but keep them guessing as they switch from classical to metal influences in their music.  Sit Kitty Sit's stage presence is electrifying, engaging, and technically proficient, filled with raw emotion and beautifully written songs.  I'm looking forward to working with such a professional and fiery team that will continue to thrill audiences worldwide.”

Sit Kitty Sit are incredibly busy touring Europe right now and have many shows coming right around the corner! Keep an eye out for any and all news at their website, sitkittysit.com. For more on Nemesis Media Inc., check out nemesismediainc.com.

Comment

Comment

The Go Ahead added to Nemesis Media's Management Roster

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2015
Contact: pr@nemesismediainc.com

Nemesis Media Inc. announced today the signing of The Go Ahead from San Francisco, CA. The Go Ahead feature a soulful and rhythmic sound, with the wonderfully melodic vocalist Kyna Wise providing a serene singing style. Alex Mamelok on bass and backup vocals, Josh Hertz on guitar and backup vocals, as well as Chris Kelly on drums, round out a dynamic four piece that reminds of what great music San Francisco has to offer.  The Go Ahead recently remastered their self-released "Cycles" EP and are about the release 3 music videos in the up-coming months.

The Go Ahead said of Nemesis Media, "Barbara has a true passion and love for finding great music. We are excited to be working with Barbara and the rest of the Nemesis team because we truly feel that they can push our music to new heights and help us share our music with a wider fan base. Managing multiple bands is more than a job for Barbara, she is a music lover and enthusiast at heart. We are honored to be added to the Nemesis roster and to have the opportunity to further build our relationship with Barbara."

Nemesis Media’s own Barbara Wahli said, "The Go Ahead caught my attention instantly with their high energy sound, mixing a variety of genres together, with the added bonus of sultry and soulful female vocals.  It's always a pleasure to work with a talented band that's not only proficient in their art, but also knows how to give that little bit extra to captivate the audience and leave them wanting more. Nemesis Media is excited about The Go Ahead's future as they continue to amaze audiences with their powerful hooks and formidable rock sound that's bound to get everyone dancing."

Right around the corner on Nov. 2nd, The Go Ahead will be playing at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco.  For more news and info on The Go Ahead, check them out at facebook.com/thegoaheadmusic, or their website thegoaheadmusic.com. For more related to Nemesis Media Inc. and other acts go to facebook.com/nmediainc, or their website

Comment

Comment

Barb Rocks Management Roster Picked Up The Go Ahead!

I am happy to announce that The Go Ahead from San Francisco are now part of my management roster!  This talented, high-energy bluesy-rock four piece is known for their incredibly unique sound, pulling from influences such as Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, Fiona Apple and many more.  They're a nice blend of powerhouse grooves, soul-shaking bass, jaw-dropping guitar lines, and melodies packed with sheer emotion, which makes this band an experience unlike any other.  Vocalist Kyna Wise is an excellent front-woman that really pulls the audience in with her "barefood" performance.

I first met The Go Ahead when they were known as Jesús and the Rabbis and they played Woodstock's Pizza stage at the debut Santa Cruz Music Festival.  They played right after Pounders, ending the night with a lovely soulful energy.  A year later, with a new band name, I ran into them again when they played with Fritz Montana, which turned out to be a wonderful reconnect leading to some awesome show collaborations between the two bands.  I've really gotten to know the band over the past year, bonding even more this past March in Austin at SXSW.  I know this collaboration which will lead to some promising things and am excited for our future endeavors together.

Please welcome The Go Ahead to the Barb Rocks family!

Check out their websites & music:
http://www.thegoaheadmusic.com
https://soundcloud.com/the-go-ahead
https://www.facebook.com/thegoaheadmusic
https://twitter.com/TheGoAhead
https://instagram.com/thegoahead

Comment

Comment

Austin Showcases for Eyes On The Shore & The Trims

I was able to secure a bunch of showcases for two talented Bay Area bands that I love working with!  Check out their schedules below.

Eyes on the Shore:
Tues March 17: RedGorilla Music Fest at HandleBar @ 1pm
Tues March 17: Cheers Shot Bar Rooftop @ 7:40pm
Wed March 18: Big Bang Bar @ 11:40pm
Thurs March 19: Ugly Whale Showcase at Darwin's Pub @ 10pm
Sat March 21: Loud Showcase at Chuggin Monkey @ 2pm
Sat March 21: Red Shed Tavern @ 7pm

The Trims:
Wed March 18: RedGorilla Music Fest at Blind Pig Pub @ 2pm
Wed March 18: Loud Showcase at Chuggin Monkey @ 5pm
Thurs March 19: Ugly Whale Showcase @ 12am
Fri March 20: Big Bang Bar @ 10:20pm

Plus check out RedGorilla Music Fest Schedule for complete line-up, which also features my Ugly Whale Showcase of Bay Area bands!

Comment

Comment

Best of 2014 List

Last year I posted my Top Five Albums of 2013, so this year I decided to do my favorite songs of 2014, plus my favorite concert experience.

Let's start with my Favorite Concert of 2014 as that's short and sweet.  I saw Twenty One Pilots for the third time this year, this time at the Fox Theater in Oakland.  As always, this eccentric and entertaining alternative hip hop/electropop duo blew me away!  Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn really know how to get an audience pumping, and with each show they keep raising the bar, adding more tricks, throwing in some interesting cover songs, and growing their showmanship.  It's incredible to see how much traction they've achieved and that their underground following is growing exponentially!  The venue was packed and I was brimming with happiness as I sang along and watched the high energy madness ensue.  The only downside was that I wasn't up front at the stage as I was last year at The Independent, which definitely adds to the connection with the band.  Last year I was holding Tyler up as he came into the audience, as well as during the drum-off encore, and those two moments were exhilarating and missing from this year's show.  Here's my favorite shot from the show:

 Favorite Concert of 2014 Runners Up:
1) Carnivores Tour with Linkin Park, 30 Seconds To Mars, AFI at Concord Pavilion
2) Foxy Shazam at Slim's


Top Five Favorite Songs of 2014

This year has been a great year musically for me!  I love so many bands that released songs this year, as well as learning about bands through my Pandora station.  Some notable mentions are The Jezabels, Haerts, Young Wonder, The New Division, The Knife, Zella Day, Depford Goth, Washed Out, Kitten, and Warpaint.

10) Augustines - "Nothing To Lose But Your Head"

I've been a fan of Augustines since their debut album while they were still known as We Are Augustines.  I was hooked the first time I heard "Chapel Song" and discovered this rockin' band.  I've seen them live a few times now, including this past summer at The Independent.  The new album Augustines is a bit harder than their debut, but I like it, especially this song!

 

9) Glass Animals - "Gooey"

UK indie rockers Glass Animals came to me by accident.  I don't actually remember the first time I heard "Gooey" but I'll assume it was probably on Live 105's Soundcheck program.  It was one of those songs that creeps up on you, you're intrigued at first listen, and then all of a sudden you're hooked.  It's different, it's soothing, it's unusual, it's haunting, and it's relaxing, all at the same time.  Seeing them perform live at DNA Lounge in December was a treat; they really delivered live.

 

8) Semi Precious Weapons - "Aviation High"

I first heard of Semi Precious Weapons when they opened for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour.  I remember being amused by them, but nothing really stood out.  Then I heard "Aviation High" and I fell in love with the song instantly.  The lyrics are sexy, the song is flirty, and the melody makes you move.  All qualities I enjoy in songs.  I ended up meeting the band at Live 105's BFD after their set; they were just hanging out in the crowd watching the next band, so I approached the lead singer and told him how I love this song, especially how kinky it is, and Justin said that he meant for it to come across that way.  Then we took a selfie together.  Very cool, I respect any band that hangs out with the commoners at a show.

 

7) Goldroom - "Embrace"

Because I had not yet heard of Goldroom, I missed his headlining set at SXSW in The Green Room.  But then The Beautiful Buzzz used this song as the background tune in their SXSW recap video and I instantly knew I had to download it.  I love the ethereal quality to the song, plus the singers voice suits the melody excellently, especially in the chorus.  I've since downloaded the whole EP and thoroughly enjoy all five songs.  I also recommend you check out the single "Fifteen," which brought him his initial success with the top spot on the Hype Machine charts.

 

6) Phantogram - "Black Out Days"

NY electronic duo Phantogram is just phenomenal.  I love pretty much everything by them.  If you haven't downloaded Voices yet, it's a must-have!  Not only does it feature the first single "Fall In Love" that drew people in and blew up so quickly that everyone was eager for the full album, but it also features 10 other amazing songs, including this hard-hitting jewel.  There's something beautiful and haunting about the song, the triggers deep in my soul.  I don't think I'll ever get sick of this song.

 

5) Broods - "Mother & Father"

New Zealand siblings Broods were one of those accidental discoveries.  I heard "Bridges" and enjoyed it so much that I downloaded their whole first EP Evergreen without even listening to it first.  I never regretted that decision and was happy to see they finally released their full-length self-titled album, produced by Joel Little, known for his work with Lorde.  "Mother & Father" is their best work so far and I'm excited to hear what else this band will deliver in the future. 

 

4) Banks - "Beggin For Thread"

I first heard of LA singer/songwriter Jillian Rose Banks in 2013 when she released "Waiting Game."  I was instantly drawn in by her haunting vocals and lyrics.  I heard the melodic songs "Brain" and "Change" in early 2014, which also struck my fancy.  Then I heard "Beggin For Thread" and I was blown away -- what a powerful and beautiful song!  It's such a hard-hitting dance song with angst-ridden lyrics any female can relate to.  Plus we all wanted to know why anyone would want to beg for thread, and then you hear why and it strikes a chord, deep down inside. The bridge is my favorite part: "hold it out, whoa, try to hide it out, but my tracks are better" -- it just hits you like a punch!  I should add that I really enjoyed her performance at Treasure Island Music Festival.

 

3) CHVRCHES - "Dead Air"

I've been a fan of CHVRCHES since their Recover EP, and all I can say is that "Dead Air" is their best song to date.  I thoroughly enjoyed their set at Coachella, probably one of my highlights of the festival, and to hear them release such a perfectly composed song like this just made me incredibly happy.  Not only is it perfect for the Mockingjay movie, but it just proves that these Scotts are improving musically exponentially.  If this song is any indication of what we can expect from them in the future, then we are in for a treat.  Trust me.

 

2) Lorde - "Yellow Flicker Beat"

What can I say about Ella Yelich-O'Connor that you haven't already heard?  Lorde is the voice of this generation and she's the force to reckon with these days.  I probably heard "Royals" about 6 months before most people, all due to a small blog I read.  That was before anyone knew what she looked like, we only knew she was 16 years old.  That song became my anthem and I posted about it on my Facebook to deaf ears.  Then the song blew up, and I mean really blew up!  For once the music industry was rocked by an unknown teen from New Zealand, with her unique sound that didn't conform to the the standard songs shoved down our throats by terrestrial radio.  It's artists like Lorde that gain international stardom organically that give me hope in the music business.  By 18, not only did she release 2013 acclaimed album Pure Heroine and won some Grammy's, but she's asked to put together a whole soundtrack for the third installment of the box office smash "Hunger Games" movies.  Not only does she rise to the challenge delivering a phenomenal assortment of songs, including my #3 song above, but she also writes an incredible hit song!  "Yellow Flicker Beat" is a beautifully written gem -- it's the perfect anthem for this trilogy that captures the essence of Katniss flawlessly.  All I can say is that Lorde continues to amaze me and I look forward to what she has in store for us next.

 

1) The War On Drugs - "Red Eyes"

I struggled a bit in choosing "Red Eyes" by The War On Drugs as my #1 song.  Not because it doesn't doesn't deserve it, it really does, but more because I'm such an electro-pop junkie that it seems more like me to choose Lorde instead.  But The War on Drugs album Lost In A Dream made such a huge impact on me this year that they deserve top honors.  It's seriously an amazing work of art that has been on repeat so much that my best friend Eric requested me to take a break before we got sick of it (like that's even possible!).  "Red Eyes" is a gorgeously composed song from beginning to end; it's upbeat with a hint of melancholy, with a driving beat that takes you for an exciting ride.  It's a beautiful journey that I enjoy taking as often as possible.  Every substantial music blog has listed this album high up in their best of 2014, and that alone should tell you that it's worth the buzz.

I can't wait to see what 2015 brings, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my songs.  Would love to hear what you have on your list, so let me know!

Comment

Comment

My #UnforgettableGig

Being the music junkie that I am, I go to a lot of shows, mostly considering I book shows and manage bands as a side business.  I could tell you about the first concert I ever went to, which was Neil Diamond with my Mom when I was 12 and how amazing that experience was, but it wasn't the most life changing experience.  I wasn't really aware of what music meant to me at that age.  It wasn't until I was older that I realized how vivid music was in my life and that it burned deep in my soul, impacting me in ways I never knew.

Obviously U2 was one of the first bands that brought me to that new level of appreciation of music.  I remember listening to "Unforgettable Fire" and "War" over and over again in the early 80's; "Bad" will probably be my favorite song of all time until I die!  By the time "Joshua Tree" came out in 1987, U2 was my favorite band and they've kept that status ever since.

I didn't see U2 live until the early 90's when they went big with their Zoo TV tour.  I was in college at that time attending University of Colorado at Boulder, so I saw them in Denver with my college best friend Lisa, also a huge U2 fan.  We were both members of Propaganda, so we got our tickets early and were close to the stage.  That was the first time I was blown away by a band; it was such a wonderful show with so many props and such high energy.  I had never seen a frontman demand your attention like Bono does, it's almost like a religious experience the way he draws you in and preaches to your soul!  I have seen every U2 tour since then, most of the time up close due to early presales and waiting at venues all day, and the band never disappoints.  I was even at the historic Rose Bowl show for U2 360° Tour, which was the largest attended concert I've ever been to.

My favorite time was probably when I got into the heart for Elevation Tour, enjoying the show from right up front against the railing -- making eye contact and seeing everything so close was unbelievable!  The girl next to me was selected to get on stage and dance with Bono during "Mysterious Ways" and I will admit, I was a bit jealous (too bad Bono doesn't like blondes lol).  I had the pleasure of meeting Bono and The Edge when they were in San Jose, CA, for the U2 Special Edition iPod launch with Apple.  Bono was so gracious and sweet when I told him I've been a life-long fan, cupping my hand in both of his the whole time we talked.  The Edge was also very sweet, though so soft spoken and shy I almost couldn't hear him.  Meeting your idols is such a surreal experience, there's something magical and unforgettable about that moment.  To this day I regret not taking a picture with them. *sigh*

Despite my many amazing U2 experiences, the moment I've been most inspired by a band and their live show has actually been more recent and by a band not as well known called Foxy Shazam.  I was told about Foxy Shazam by chance by a local musician and was instantly curious when I saw their video for "Oh Lord."  They're like a cross between Queen and The Darkness with a bit more R&B soul flavor to them.  I happened to attend SXSW in March 2012 and while hanging out in a small dive bar venue called Rusty's, I see the lead singer walk by me.  It was one of those double-take moments because you're not sure you really saw what you did.  But there he was, and there was the rest of Foxy Shazam, just hanging out at the bar.  Turns out they were playing next and all I can tell you is that after seeing Foxy Shazam live, no band has ever compared with the absolute craziness that ensues on stage during their set!

Sky, Shannon, Pablo & me

Sky, Shannon, Pablo & me

The on-stage chemistry between lead singer Eric Nally, guitarist Loren Turner, pianist Sky White, bass player Daisy, trumpeter and back-up vocalist Alex Nauth, and drummer Aaron McVeigh is electric, plus the way they integrate with the audience is mind-blowing to watch.  Sky literally jumps on and over his keyboard to get closer to the audience, making the most ridiculous and fun faces that it's hard to keep your eyes off him.  Alex and Eric have these interesting choreographed routines, they even slide between each other legs, all while hitting high notes, then dancing and running around, it's almost exhausting to watch.  At one point, Eric jumped onto Loren's shoulders, who just hangs his head down and doesn't miss one note on his guitar, then while sitting up there comfortably, Eric asked the audience to give him cigarettes, proceeds to stuff about 10 of them in his mouth, lights them all up with a lighter thrown to him, takes two drags, takes them all with one hand and puts them out on his tongue, chews them up and spits them out, then dives right into some faced-paced lyrics and the audience is just going crazy!! When you think it can't get any crazier, Daisy decides to swing the rafters, hanging on with one hand, playing his bass with the other.  There was more, but I honestly can't remember because I was so caught up in the moment, my eyes and ears constantly bombarded with stimuli.  I walked away from that show in awe and joy; I had never seen anything like it.  It was insanity, it was exhilarating, and it left the biggest impression ever.  Seeing them at such a small venue in such close proximity just made the whole experience more intimate, more satisfying.

Pablo, Shannon, me & Alex

Pablo, Shannon, me & Alex

Since that SXSW trip, I've introduced everyone I possibly could to Foxy Shazam.  I've brought various friends to their shows and each of them have walked away with that same love and awe for the band as me.  I saw Foxy Shazam at Slim's in San Francisco back in August and as always, they didn't disappoint.  They are even better and crazier now and that show was just as exhilarating as the one in Austin.  The best part.....we got to go back stage after and hang out with the band!!  Thanks to my friend Brandon who knows drummer Aaron from his younger days, we got introduced and they invited us to stay after the show.  What an absolutely amazing time, talking to really down-to-earth musicians who appreciate what they do and their fans!  Alex (my favorite) was super friendly and sweet, Sky has this huge personality and so much fun to listen to, and Eric with his soft-spoken voice is just too adorable, mostly when he was learning how to whistle from my friend Pablo.  I will never forget how genuinely inviting the band was, wanting to get to know us and include us.

Me, Eric, Pablo & Shannon

Me, Eric, Pablo & Shannon

Seeing a band surprise me with their stage presence and drawing me in so deeply that I can't get enough of them is rare, and Foxy Shazam did just that.  It's the closest I've ever come to experiencing that same feeling I did the first time I saw U2.  I was mesmerized then by U2, I am mesmerized now by Foxy Shazam.  These two bands are the ones that make me appreciate music and a live performance more than any other band, and they are the reason that I work with bands that I believe in, that I hope impact others the way that I've been impacted.  Music truly is the meaning of life to me, and there is always a song that comes to mind behind every emotion I've experienced.

Comment

Comment

Australian pop-inclined rockers The Jezabels

The first time I heard "Catch Me" by The Jezabels I was hooked!  This Australian 4-piece captured my heart with sultry vocals and pop-influenced melodies.  "A Little Piece" (off their EP Dark Storm) was the next song I discovered, based on a recommendation from a Turntable app user, which may be my favorite track due to it's climactic build-up.  Shortly after these two treasured revelations, I downloaded their debut studio album Prisoner and became the ultimate fan.

Last year The Wild Honey Pie posted about this lovely band, featuring two videos of their Buzzsession performances that I encourage you to watch.  Not only is Hayley Mary's voice perfection in each song, but you get an overall idea of how talented the whole band is.  "City Girl" flows beautifully into your ears, with the soft vocals building beautifully into Hayley's signature high-pitch drawls, and "Endless Summer" shows off the band's more energetic side.

The Jezabels ended up doing another Buzzsession after CMJ, in which they performance an acoustic version of "Mace Spray" with only a guitar, a shaker, and their voices, filmed in Stuy Town, Manhattan.

Earlier this  year, The Jezabels released their sophomore album The Brink, which is a gem from beginning to end.  I'm so addicted to this album that I stream it almost daily while getting ready in the morning -- it's my favorite album in 2014 so far!  All the tracks blend perfectly together with some upliftings anthems off-set by some incredible ballads.  Generally I could list two songs that really stick out, but in the case of The Brink, all the tracks hold their own.  You can stream the full album on their Soundcloud, which you can reach through this great article from Esquire.

Comment

Comment

Barb Rocks Bands Playing Austin!

Barb Rocks Presents is sponsoring both Fritz Montana and The Trash*Pop Icons playing Austin in March!  We can't wait to go to SXSW and experience the musical madness that makes up this greatest music festival in the world.  This will be the first time for both bands, plus David from The Livewires is joining me in this south by journey.  2.5 weeks to go...

Fritz Montana Showcases:
Tues March 11 at 2:00pm-3:00pm at Shotguns on 6th
Tues March 11 at 4:30pm-5:00pm at Dirty Dog Bar (Dirty Fest)
Tues March 11 at 8:00pm-8:30pm at Shiner's Saloon (Texas Rockfest)
Wed March 12 at 11:00pm-11:40pm at Bourbon Girl (Red Gorilla)
Thurs March 13 at 2:15pm-2:45pm at LOT323's The L8 Show Showcase (Colorado&4th)
Thurs March 13 at 4:00pm-4:30pm at Chuggin' Monkey (Red Gorilla)
Thurs March 13 at 6:30pm-7:00pm at Texas Rockfest Outdoor Stage (7th&Neches)

The Trash*Pop Icons Showcases:
Wed March 12 at 12:00pm-12:20pm at Thirsty Nickel (Big Picture Media)
Wed March 12 at 3:20pm-3:50pm at Shiner's Saloon (Texas Rockfest)
Thurs March 13 at 6:00pm-6:45pm at Blue Moon (Texas Rockfest)
Fri March 14 at 7:45pm-8:15pm at LOT323's The L8 Show Showcase (Colorado&4th)
Sat March 15 at 5:00pm-5:45pm at Shotguns on 6th

Comment

Comment

My Top Five Albums of 2013

2013 has been a crazy year for me, lots of ups and downs, especially in my personal life.  But it has also been a great year for music!  Here is my list of Top 5 Albums of 2013:

5) CHVRCHES - The Bones Of What You Believe

"The Mother We Share" was a song that needed to grow on me.  Not sure why, as I find it brilliant now, but the first few months, I was skeptical.  But then I discovered their Recover EP with "Now Is Not The Time" and that solidified my new found love for this Scottish band.  Seeing them live on Jimmy Kimmel confirmed my new obsession and I found vocalist Lauren Mayberry a great female role model when she posted her public letter that she will not accept online misogyny.  After hearing "Tether" and "Gun,"  I rushed to download their full studio album and now it's my getting-ready-to-go-out soundtrack.

4)  The Naked And Famous - In Rolling Waves

I have been a fan of this NZ band since I first heard their single "Young Blood"; I even had the chance to see them do a few songs acoustic at The Blank Club and was blown away by them.  "Punching In A Dream" came out next and it had the same power as the first single, so I knew this band was going places.  Anxious to hear more music, I was stoked when they released Passive Me, Aggressive You, especially diggin' the songs "No Way" and "Girls Like You."  When I heard they were releasing a new album this year, I was ecstatic and their first single "Hearts Like Ours" did not disappoint.  "The Mess" and "I Kill Giants" are two of my favorite tracks on the album.  Thom and Alisa's chemistry on stage is undeniable, plus I love how they harmonize and play off each other's lines.

3) Bastille - Bad Blood

"Pompeii" is one of those songs that sticks in her head the first time you hear it.  The chanting hymns grab your attention and then Dan's heavenly voice comes in and you're hooked.  I couldn't get enough of it and went searching for more songs online, which led me to find their a capella version at the British Museum, as well as a capella version of "Overjoyed" at the gardens of Copped Hall.  Both of these blew me away; they really show off how talented each member of this fabulous band is!  With only the single and it's b-side "Poet" to keep me occupied for many months, I eagerly anticipated their full album, and now I can't stop listening to it.  Plus I had the pleasure of seeing them live twice, and they are amazing, really capturing their talent, essence, and musicianship!

2) Lorde - Pure Heroine

Sometime in February I read about five artists under 18 to look out for and Lorde was on that list.  I remember listening to "Royals" and finding it the most unique, brilliant song I've heard in a long time.  I just loved her voice and the lyrics were right up my alley.  I started posting about the song regularly, calling it my anthem due to the line "you can call me queen b" -- yet is seemed like no one was paying attention.  I appreciated the mystery behind her as there were no photos, just some cartoon with The Love Club EP on Soundcloud, a sign that it was about the music, not the image.  All of a sudden this summer, the song was everywhere, even on every type of radio station, and people were taking about this 16-year old from New Zealand (finally!).  Then she released her follow-up single "Team," proving she wasn't a one hit wonder.  Ella Yelish-O'Connor is just amazing, a true artist with a unique blend of haunting vocals over electro-pop beats, that's full of teen angst, but with a sense of maturity.  Her studio album is phenomenal and thought-provoking, from the beginning notes of "Tennis Court" to the dramatic end with "A World Alone."  I'm not surprised she's the youngest act to top the Billboard Hot 100 as it's well deserved.  I wish there were more artists and success stories in the music industry like this!

1) Imagine Dragons - Night Visions

This was the band that took my heart by storm last year when I heard "It's Time" on the radio.  Right away I knew this band and I would have a long relationship, they were right up the lines of my 80's new wave passion, yet with a modern twist.  When they opened Live105's BFD, I was in awe; Dan Reynolds is the quintessential frontman, which is rare for such a young band.  I loved his energy and how he had his own big bass drum to pummel on, adding to the dynamic and sound.  A few weeks later the band blew up on radio and their Continued Silence EP came out, which played repeatedly in my car.  Hits like "Radioactive," "Demons" and "On Top Of The World" warmed my heart and I couldn't wait to see them live again.  My dream came true last Fall, with a tremendous performance at the Great American Music Hall; the whole audience connected with this talented Las Vegas band.  Night Visions technically came out Sept 2012, but it's the album that's had the most play in my life this year.  Songs like "Bleeding Out" and "Nothing Left To Say" just convey so much emotion, I feel what they feel and they get me through the hard times.  I even went on an extensive search for their previous EP's after seeing a live version of "Cover Up" on Bronson Island, which is still one of my favorite songs by them, plus I discovered "I Need A Minute" on their 2009 self-titled EP.  And let's not forget their incredible show at America's Cup Pavilion -- one of the BEST concerts I've ever seen!

Comment

Comment

Bringing on the Funk with Music Bingo

discobingo.png

There is a variant of bingo where songs are called up instead of bingo balls for players to daub their cards. Called “music bingo,” the cells in the grid are either song titles or the music artists themselves. It’s a rather interesting variant that mixes a “Name That Tune” vibe to the traditional bingo game, which translates to an activity rife not only with the thrill of the prize chase, but also with great music. 

If you decide to hold a music bingo party of your own, one of the better themes to go with is that age of true funk: the disco era. Jumpsuits, bellbottoms, huge fros, and the occasional roller skates should be the fashion-of-choice for this party to be blessed by bingogodz.com’s disco-lovin’ Afro-Dity; but more than that, the music has to steer clear of the usual Bee Gees staples that everyone and their mothers are already very familiar with. 

For the game to really present a challenge, the track list should comprise of songs that sound awfully familiar, but whose titles are just at the tips of your tongues. As an added twist, said familiarity may be attributed to the fact that the songs may have been sampled on – or at the very least directly influenced – more recent hits. Not only will this ignite bouts of nostalgia in the older players, but the young ones may even get a few lessons in pop music history. 

For instance, there’s Donna Summer’s concept of “future sound,” I Feel Love. If the song sounds like something you’ve heard before, it’s probably because it was the one that led to the development of techno. Everyone from Daft Punk to Moby owes their existence to this synthesizer-based track with a disco beat. There’s also Manu Dibango’s Soul Makossa, whose chants of “ma-mako, ma-masa, mama-makossa” should be recognizable to Rihanna, Kanye West, and Michael Jackson fans. 

And then there’s the legendary Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up. This percussion-and-bass-heavy number was sited by Robin Thicke as his most favorite song, leading to the composition of his international breakout (and quasi-infamous) hit Blurred Lines, complete with falsetto vocals. 

These are but a few examples of the many more songs of the ‘70s that have survived in some form or another today. With songs like these in your music bingo session, the groovy vibe is sure to keep the party going to the max! 

Comment

Comment

New Indie Blues band Fritz Montana signed with Barb Rocks!

Formed in early 2013, new blues/indie rock trio Fritz Montana have already been making waves and getting noticed by industry folks.  Due to a connection through a photography friend, the band met Kirk Harding from Crowd Control Management, manager of The Neighborhood and Little Daylight, who was very impressed with their sound and gave them some guidance on what his label is looking for.  The band is a cross between The Black Keys and The Strokes, with a noticeable Jack White feel in the vocals; some even throw Atlas Genius in the mix.

I'm truly excited to be working with Fritz Montana and feel this young band has a lot of potential to make it big.  Live 105 Music Director Aaron Axelsen debut their song "Say It So" last Sunday on Soundcheck and received a lot of texts from listeners diggin' it.   Fritz Montana is currently in 4th place in Live 105's Favorite Local Band Poll!

I encourage you to check them out and see what everyone's talking about.  Plus they're playing The Blank Club on Friday, November 1st, with Kiwi Time and All City Elite, which is a great time to see their live set!

Did I mention you can download their EP for FREE right now on their FB page?  Go "Like" them and check it out:
https://www.facebook.com/fritzmontanaband

Comment

Comment

Power-Pop Sister Duo The Trash*Pop Icons Partner With Barb Rocks!

In my first few years putting on Barb Rocks shows, I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Letters Make Words, a pop rock band featuring the Zep sisters. We instantly bonded and they trusted the 'less experienced' me to manage for a few years with the additional help of A Kid At Heart Management.  We had some good times together, learned a lot about the local music scene, and had a nice stint of shows, radio play, press, etc., plus the sisters won 2nd and 3rd place in the Your Music Magazine San Jose Olympicks vocalist contest.  Let's just say a lot has changed since then.....for the better!  These lovely sisters rebranded themselves under a new band name, The Trash*Pop Icons, found a label to record an amazing album (which they released on my birthday July 2 a month ago), and now they are ready to take over the world, with the help of the 'more experienced' me, and it's starting right here in the Bay Area!

I highly encourage you to download their debut record "A Way With Words" on iTunes, which features my favorite song "The Shame," as well as the hits "Love/Hate," "Stupid Love" and "Screaming Your Name."  You can also stream the album on Spotify and check out the songs on SoundCloud.

The Trash Pop Icons are sisters Naomi and Nadia Zep.  This power-pop duo have been making music together for over a decade and have established quite a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area. When fronting their previous band, Letters Make Words, the sisters earned themselves a spot on the Vans Warped Tour, playing the Kevin Say Stage and were named one of the Top 10 Bands in the Bay Area multiple times by local DJ Aaron Axelson of Live105 radio.  In addition, they won the first annual Whole Foods Market and VH1 'Raw and Unprocessed' Team Member Music Project last year, which gave them the opportunity to play Live In The Vineyard music festival in Napa Valley.  The girls are proud to release their first full length album "A Way With Words" and are looking forward to touring to support their record.

https://www.facebook.com/TrashPopIcons
https://soundcloud.com/trashpopicons
http://open.spotify.com/artist/4BDyGCPbpetDSODorVhcRc

Comment

Comment

Live105 NSSN local band winners Our Vinyl Vows added to Barb Rocks management roster!

I'm proud to announce that Our Vinyl Vows are now under Barb Rocks management!  These awesome ska-based rockers from Petaluma are already a "sister" band to Pounders, as well as a band I love, so it seemed natural for us to work together professionally since we're already family.  :-)

Our Vinyl Vows thrive off making personal connections with people and defying general classifications by blending elements of surf rock, stand up comedy, indie rock, R&B, dance pop, and funk.  A culmination of experienced musicians, Our Vinyl Vows, which consists of Brandon Hall (lead vox), Nick Kopan (lead guitar/vox), Colin Goheen (bass/vox), Mat Fleisch (keys/sax), Eric Peters II (brass/vox), and Nick McNair (drums), have spent a good deal of time honing their craft, figuring out what really gets a crowd moving.  Packed with danceable anthems and high energy, Our Vinyl Vows are known for their live shows, making that direct connection with each audience member that resonates deep in the soul. Their passion for the stage and strong work ethic have landed them spots to play with national acts, as well as ruling the airwaves; two of their songs have been retired after receiving 20 weeks as the number 1 most requested band on 101.7 The Fox.  OVV also won the Live105 NSSN Local Band Contest in 2012, which led to them opening for Jack White, The Shins, Metric, Of Monsters And Men, Gaslight Anthem, and Two Door Cinema Club!

It will be my pleasure to work with such a talented band that's already close to my heart, and I look forward to big things together!  I highly recommend you check out their debut album "You, Me and Einstein," produced and mixed by the famed bay area producer, Scott Llamas.

http://ourvinylvows.com
https://www.facebook.com/ourvinylvows
http://www.twitter.com/ourvinylvows

Comment

Comment

UK alt-rockers Bastille at Popscene

UK chart-toppers Bastille might just be the freshest "new" band of 2013, that hopefully will become a household name.  Formed in 2010, Bastille began as a solo project by singer-songwriter Dan Smith, who later decided to form a band. The band's name derives from Bastille Day, an event that recognizes the Storming of the Bastille in Paris, which happens to be the same date (July 14) that lead vocalist Dan Smith was born.

If you can imagine Coldplay, Keane, and Glee's The Warblers having a baby, then Bastille would be that super-talented offspring.  Smith, known for his gravity-defying hairstyle, is still humbled by the reception of their album and hitting #1.

Their first studio album Bad Blood was released in March and features triumphant melancholic anthems, including their hit song "Pompeii," as well as their debut single "Overjoyed," amongst others.  Personally, I'm a huge fan of "Poet" from Pompeii Remixes EP, which I encourage you to check out.

I can't wait to see this talented band on Mon July 22 at Rickshaw Stop in SF, a week after Bastille Day!  If you want to see an amazing show with a truly talented band, then get your tickets now before this show sells out!

Just to see how amazing this band is, I encourage you to see them perform "Overjoyed" Acapella below.  Be even more impressed watching Acapella version of "Pompeii" in British Museum -- the building echoing acoustics just add to the song!

Comment