On The Rise: Alex Baird

The new breed of singer/songwriters are interesting. Instead of falling back into the comfort of classic influences, the youth of today have been stretching their wings and finding new outlets to be inspired by. I’d like to introduce you all to Alex Baird. Alex isn’t your typical singer songwriter. Following the lead from her late grandmother, Peggi Griffith, an acclaimed torch singer known as the ‘Seattle Darling,’ Alex’s debut is quite the collection of songs. The album is rounded out by new performances of tunes written and recorded in the ’60s by Alex’s late grandmother. And instead of the usual run of the mill type of album you think you’d get this is where it gets interesting. Taking cues from the pop world especially from the age of the 50’s & 60’s and then incorporating a bit of jazz standards into the songs, gives the album a whole new life on its own. Think of it in terms of if Norah Jones and Carole King combined forces, that’s what you get with up and comer Alex Baird. Her debut album, Lemon Tree, is out NOW!


Alex Baird- Lemon Tree:

Album Review: Cave In- Heavy Pendulum

Cave In are a band that have weathered every storm you can think of as a band. And no matter what is thrown at them, be it life lessons and tragedies, Cave In always comes out on top and armed with a sense of passion and delivery that most bands would and should be envious of. What Stephen Brodsky, Adam McGrath, JR Conners and Nate Newton have put together on their new album, Heavy Pendulum, they should not only be proud of but this album sets the band on a whole new journey of triumphs to be had and stages to rock.

Heavy Pendulum is an album that has one hell of an ebb and flow just like an album should. All the classic Cave In elements are here along with some new twists and turns. As the album begins with “New Reality” it’s obvious the guys are looking to move on from what they have been through and using this a new way to set forth a new path for the band. This track not only sets the tone for the album, the riffs attack with a sense of urgency similar to that of the Perfect Pitch Black era. The melodic leads provide the right amount of ear candy to wet your Brodsky/McGrath guitar appetite. The album continues at a pace that draws you in more and more with lush sound scapes, sick riffs, rhythms that will get you up rocking and maybe dancing a bit, top notch melodies not just vocally, lyrics that are reflective, deep and provide a bit more closure, and a sense that this album really just re-kickstarted a band that is just scratching the surface of where they can go now.

The 14 songs that make up Heavy Pendulum swing ferociously. From all the heavy riffs to the mid tempo drops and the more delicate moments, this album has most definitely earned its spot within the top 5 albums of 2022. I could go track by track which I did when I was listening to the album but, I really believe that takes away from your listening experience. Instead I will point out a few of my favorite tracks like “Blood Spiller,” “Floating Skulls,” “Heavy Pendulum,” “Amaranthine,” “Nightmare Eyes” and the closing song “Reckoning” which I must say Adam McGrath absolutely shines on this song.

The addition of Nate Newton to the band is very present throughout the album. His tone, style of play and passion for this band radiates through each song. After I heard the news of Caleb Scofield’s passing, I knew the only person that could ideally fill his shoes was Nate and not only has he honored Caleb but he’s continued on with same drive for the band that he had. When you hear the parts of the songs that would be “Caleb moments,” Nate drives those parts home with a sense of gusto that I’m sure would make Caleb smile.

Cave In has made an album that not only sums up their career but sets the foundation for where they can keep going. There isn’t one moment on this album that feels forced or makes you want to change a song. The whole album captures the listener like an album should. Heavy Pendulum isn’t just another Cave In album, this one is one that was destined to be made and the end result is something beyond tremendous. Personally, I can’t wait to hear these songs take on a new life when played live. Cheers to Stephen, Adam, JR, and Nate for creating one of the best albums of 2022 as well as one of the best albums in the Cave In catalog.


Overall Rating: A

Cave In- Heavy Pendulum:

By: Brian Lacy

New Release: Coheed and Cambria- Comatose

Over the last couple of years one band that I’ve really gotten into is Coheed and Cambria. When they first arrived on the scene I kinda wrote them off for whatever dumb reason I had at the time. But, like anything worth a damn, sometimes it takes time to really find the beauty in something, just like Coheed and Cambria. Since then, I’ve been enthralled by their albums, songs, concepts and live shows. And now we are starting to get closer to a new Coheed album and that’s quite exciting. Their new album Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind will be available June 24th. So far we’ve gotten a couple singles “Shoulders” and “The Liars Club,” and now here comes “Comatose.” This one is a catchy fun one that I’m sure when played live will be huge with that chorus!

Comatose:


Shoulders:

The Liars Club:

Live Review: The Smashing Pumpkins at Santa Barbara Bowl

There are some venues out there that are absolutely magical. When you get to see one of your favorite bands and one of “those” types of venues, don’t hesitate, go see them there. It will be one of those shows in your memory that will always live on and be played in your head. The Santa Barbara bowl is a mystical place. The way it’s nestled inside the hill and the fact that it feels so intimate even being 1/3 the size of the Hollywood Bowl is just icing on the cake. Not to mention the sound at the venue is impecable. I’ve had the pleasure to see a few of my favorite bands there like Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiciton, Stone Temple Pilots, Depeche Mode and now The Smashing Pumpkins.

Over the past few years (pre-pandemic) I rediscovered my love for The Smashing Pumpkins. I remember how it happened too. I was listening to the radio late at night after a long day and night, I couldn’t think of anything to put on so I just went with whatever the radio had on. At that moment, as soon as I turned to the pre-set on my car stereo, the beat for “1979” started and that was that. The song ended just as I got home and that set in motion what would make me fall in love with this band again.

Seeing The Smashing Pumpkins during their 2018 “reunion tour” was magical all on its own from the set list, the visuals, and then some. This night was different then that show. Not only did they pick one of the most absolutely perfect set lists, they were on fire all night long. Songs from the beginning till now made everyone in attendance singing along and dancing. It was amazing to look over the crowd and see how many people were enamored with the brilliance of The Smashing Pumpkins.

Starting off the set was “The Color Of Love” from their most recent and underrated albums in CYR (seriously, it will grow on you and the songs live sound amazing). Then they hit the crowd with “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” From that point, it was on, the next blast of songs included “Today,” “Ugly (which I’ve loved for years. Even had a few tears of joy drip from my eyes during that one),” “Drown” and “Quiet.” Now I don’t know about you but, what a way to kick off the show. Throughout the night even more great songs were played including “Eye,” “Ava Adore,” “Zero” “Cherub Rock,” Stand Inside Your Love” “1979” “Disarm” and one of the best performances of “Tonight, Tonight” I’ve ever seen with just Billy and James Iha playing. They even played their cover of The Talking Heads “Once In A Lifetime” and that was tremendous. Towards the end of the show two more surprise songs got me good though. “Telegenix” from CYR was played and that just happens to be my favorite song on that album and to close out the night (due to curfew) “X.Y.U.” One of the most fun moments during the show was when Billy put down his guitar to sing and his dance moves were a bit contagious as he had many in the crowd following his moves. Maybe one day we can get some Jimmy Shimmy like in the CYR video.

The Smashing Pumpkins are officially back. Sure they had their ups and downs over the years just like any band does (theirs was a bit more public) but, this renewed sense of the band has them on absolute fire. I highly recommend going through their catalog and the b-sides and discovering all the greatness that is The Smashing Pumpkins. It’s truly amazing that a band like this who has been around for over 30 years can still put out quality music, shows and still be inspired. When The Smashing Pumpkins come back to your town, don’t hesitate, GO SEE THEM LIVE!!!


Set List:

01) The Colour Of Love
02) Bullet With Butterfly Wings
03) Today
04) Ugly
05) Drown
06) Quiet
07) Cyr
08) Once In A Lifetime (Talking Heads Cover)
09) Solara
10) Eye
11) Ava Adore
12) Tonight, Tonight (Acoustic: Billy & James)
13) Stand Inside Your Love
14) Cherub Rock
15) Zero
16) Telegenix
17) FOL
18) 1979
19) Disarm
20) If There Is A God
21) X.Y.U.

By: Brian Lacy

New Release: Cowboy Destroy- Dirty

One of my favorite new, up and coming LA bands, Cowboy Destroy just released one hell of a rockin new song in “Dirty.” If you haven’t had the chance to see Cowboy Destroy live yet, I highly suggest it. Their music is a blend of garage rock, indie rock and the right amount of the 90’s. Live they are one hell of a fun band. Their energy is contagious and throughout their set you will find yourself eventually singing along and compelled to start dancing a bit. The video for “Dirty” is an extension of the bands humor and personality. What a great combination. Be on the look out for Cowboy Destroy shows!


Cowboy Destroy- Dirty:

Anticipated Albums: Billy Howerdel- What Normal Was

Billy Howerdel best known for his work in A Perfect Circle is gearing up to drop his debut solo album, What Normal Was on June 10. Now, you might think “solo album?” wasn’t Ashes Divide his solo project? Well yes and no. This album was originally started as a follow up to the first Ashes Divide album but as time progressed and the songs began to continuously take shape, it just didn’t work in the realm that is/was Ashes Divide. This album is shaped quite differently. Billy mentioned about this album “This is me stepping back into my early teen self and making the record I would have made if I had the means and the knowledge when I first picked up a guitar—just in 2022. It’s that moment as a kid when you hear a record, close your eyes, and go somewhere else. That was the time I found my lane, so to speak. During the making of this album, a global pandemic’s chaos had a silver lining. It gave me time to tighten the songs into the place I’d hoped they could be. When I look back, I don’t think I’d change anything about it.” With that in mind, these songs pay homage and hark back to a time when music was making a huge impression on the life of Billy Howerdel.


Billy Howerdel- Free And Weightless:

Billy Howerdel- Poison Flowers:

Memorable TV Performances: Sunny Day Real Estate on The Jon Stewart Show

Back before he hosted The Daily Show, Jon Stewart had a really great talk show on MTV during the mid 90’s. His brand of humor was spot on for the times and one of the best parts of his show was the musical guests he’d have on. One of the most memorable ones that I remember was when Sunny Day Real Estate was on and performed “Seven” from their outstanding debut album, Diary. And now in 2022, it’s been announced, well it will be shortly, that Sunny Day Real Estate will be out on the road again. No word on if Nate Mendel will be joining Jeremy Enigk, Dan Hoerner and William Goldsmith on tour.

Sunny Day Real Estate- Seven (Live On The Jon Stewart Show):

Live Review: Audioeclectica’s Birthday Bash

Finding the right words to describe this show has been quite difficult. I could sit with a thesaurus for hours and think of different adjectives and descriptive words but instead I’m just gonna go with the night was FUCKING AWESOME! Everything about it from the venue, the bands, the people in attendance and the overall vibe was something truly memorable. For those that don’t know, in the past year I’ve partnered up with Cobalt Dave from the legendary Cobalt Cafe along with my own partner Jasan Radford from our company RMG to put on live shows again. We started in July 2021 right in the heart of the pandemic and we have been killing it since. This show though, was a true labor of love for me as I handpicked each band to be a part of this night and let me tell you, there was not one ounce of disappointment!

Kicking things off and setting the tone for the night was the mighty Fact Pattern. Their industrial doom style of music created the right attitude for the night and got it all started with one hell of a bang. Performing this night as a two piece the energy radiating off the stage and into the crowd was contagious. Fact Pattern is a band that does the industrial genre justice and beyond. Singer/guitarist Ian Flux and bassist Jack Lowd delivered a sonic pummeling to get the blood pumping for everyone this evening.

Next up was Don’t Panic from Arizona. This alternative rock band just released their stunning new single/video for their song “Time Machine.” Their set was one of those that not only rocked but was visually intriguing with the lights that hit with the beats. Their songs are full of life and vigor. Singer Dylan Rowe has a voice that stands out. Her vocal range is astounding and to have the music that Jeffy, Ryan and Mundo create makes the whole package something tremendous.

Following that was my homies in Centershift. This night was not only my birthday bash but a celebration for them as they just put out their debut EP, A Different Shade. From the moment they stepped on stage, there was no stopping the guys in Centershift from giving their all. It’s been a pleasure to see the progression of this band and on this night, perhaps there was something in the air but, this is exactly how I have heard this band in my head since the inception. Songs like “Dry Well,” “9” and “Kingdoms” were stellar as well as new single “And So.” The new song they brought out for the night kicked some major ass and shows where the band is headed with their writing. Centershift is on their way to making a name for themselves and quick!

Royalty Kult was next up and the delivered their blend of melodic metal. They are one of my favorite up and coming bands in Los Angeles. Since their beginning they have been honing their craft by writing songs that really hit at your heartstrings and delve deep into your feels. Their song “Enjoying The End” with Doc Coyle of Bad Wolves/God Forbid is a banger and the new material they have been working on like the song “Peacemaker” have the hooks that will stick in your head for days. Performance wise, they kept the energy going and delivered just as I knew they would.

Closing out the night was the live debut of Alphamega. I personally couldn’t be more stoked to have them on the show. In the past couple months they have dropped 3 banging singles in “No Longer Broken,” “Annihilator,” and “Pariah” and those 3 songs were definite highlights of their set along with the very first track they ever released “Lords Of The Flies.” Alphamega has a melodic metal sensibility with a bit of a harder edge that is reminiscent of the Swedish Death Metal style of classic In Flames and Soilwork. The stage presence of singer Adam Ryan is commanding but it’s his voice that shines. Guitarist Mike Muenzer adds the perfect tone of distorted and brightness that fits the pocket as drummer Chrissy Warner sends his drums to purgatory with his hard hitting and swing.

All in all, this show was not only memorable for myself but for the scene that we are bringing back. If you were in attendance you could really sense that this was a night that brought many people together and felt like a classic show back in the heyday of live music in Los Angeles. I can’t thank every band enough for being a part of this night. You all killed it! Thank you to everyone that came, bought a ticket, and had a blast! Special thanks to my partners Dave and Jasan. Thank you guys for entrusting me to be a part of this with you and letting me put together a show that rocked! This is only the beginning, stay tuned for more!

PHOTOS COMING SOON!!!

By: Brian Lacy

SHOWS: Audioeclectica’s Birthday Bash

All week I’ve been featuring the bands that are playing TONIGHT, May 6, 2022 at The Federal in North Hollywood, CA! I couldn’t be more stoked on the lineup and how it all came together! We’ve got one hell of a ECLECTIC lineup for you featuring the debut performance of Alphamega, up and comers Royalty Kult, the EP release party for Centershift and their debut release, Don’t Panic from Arizona is coming in to celebrate their new single/video for the song “Time Machine” and Fact Pattern is here to open up a can of whoop ass with their signature industrial doom style! Don’t Miss Out On This Show! Tickets are $20 at the door!!

See you later!

Brian

New Release: Alphamega- Pariah

This is exciting!! Alphamega has released a new single and it’s a banger! “Pariah” is a melodic metal jam for sure. The soaring vocal melodies, deep personal lyrics, hard charging riffs, and banging drums make this one hell of a track. Their first two songs released “No Longer Broken” and “Annhilator” are more heavy, this one is a bit more mid tempo but it shows their ability as songwriters to be dynamic and explore different sounds and ideas, while still holding down their roots! Alphamega is about to leave their mark on the rock world! Take notice!

On Friday May 6, Alphamega will be playing at The Federal in North Hollywood as part of Audioeclectica’s Birthday Bash. So make sure you come out and see what all the fuss is about! Tickets HERE!!!!!!!


Alphamega-Pariah:


Alphamega- No Longer Broken:

Alphamega- Annihilator: