September 11, 2007

Hall & Oates: The Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA 9.8.07

So, this is it.  This is the culmination of what will be a memorable summer.  I am immensely grateful for this opportunity and want to thank Billboard for this chance.  I especially want to thank them for making this show possible for me to attend.


This was my first time at the historic Hollywood Bowl, the largest open-air amphitheatre I’ve ever visited.  Seated in a comfy terrace box seat with removable tables, I was surrounded by similar booths with couples and groups having an outdoor picnic under a cool Los Angeles night sky.  I look around and it’s just thousands upon thousands of people, all there for one reason, Hall and Oates.

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September 10, 2007

Goo Goo Dolls: The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA 9.6.07

It was a crisp and cool night and the Greek Theatre was filled once again for another great show.  I cannot get over the fact at what a great venue it is.  You’ve got the open air, a cool night, and great music to enjoy.  Coming into this show familiar mostly with the Goo Goo Dolls’ singles, I was curious what their stage show would have in store.


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September 02, 2007

MAE: The Roxy, Hollywood, CA 8.29.07

Being in the home stretch of my tenure at Billboard, it was a pleasure to take time to review one of my favorite bands, MAE. 


I will admit that I had mixed expectations about this show.  As a big fan of MAE and their unique brand of indie alternative rock since their first album (the 2003 release Destination: Beautiful) I was not as impressed with newer material off their latest release.  Their major label debut with Capitol, Singularity, had the band experimenting with “harder” songs.   This was a departure from their early lighter, piano driven tracks.

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August 27, 2007

You, Me, & Iowa: Safari Sam's, Hollywood, CA 8.24.07

Over the course of the summer writing for the LG Billboard Mobile Beat, I was reminded of how vast the music scene is in Los Angeles.  Yet, I had not taken the chance to fully explore yet. Enter You, Me, & Iowa.


Discovered from my other job moderating for interactive text and music video request show Havoc on the 101, You, Me, & Iowa’s video for “The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful” quickly became popular, being a regularly requested vide on the show and garnering new fans around the country.  When I heard they were performing at Safari Sam’s, I had to jump at the chance.

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August 17, 2007

Common: Boulevard3, Hollywood, CA 8.15.07

It’s not a surprise anymore to turn on the TV or radio and hear the terms “hip-hop” or “rap” represented by bling, wearing, rock star partying, crunk, shawty snappin, chopped and screwed rappers wearing grills, with cookie cutter beats and repetitive hooks chanting “Ay, Bay, Bay” over and over again. It’s a disappointment that turned the young hip-hop fan in me away from the genre in the last decade.  Sure the songs are catchy and fun to dance too, but hip-hop’s roots were all about bringing messages of social injustice and the struggle of the everyday man to the public in a unique voice.

As far as the mainstream goes, that spirit lives on in a handful of artists like The Roots, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Common.  The latter, I got to experience first hand last night.


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August 08, 2007

Boys Night Out: El Rey Theatre, Hollywood, CA 8.7.07


It seemed odd to see such a band of veterans like Boys Night Out as direct support on a tour.  Most of the other bands were probably still jamming in their garage when Boys Night Out released their 2003 debut Make Yourself Sick

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August 03, 2007

Reel Big Fish: The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA 8.2.07

Much like punk (real, original, good punk. Not the pop variety that has gained popularity in the last decade), ska has fallen to the background of the musical crowd.  There are few bands that have stuck around still making great ska.  Reel Big Fish are definitely one of the front runners of that group.  Known to most for their breakout 1997 hit “Sell Out” and great ska covers such as “Take On Me” and “Hungry Like A Wolf”, Reel Big Fish packed The Wiltern for what would be a huge party.


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July 20, 2007

The Working Title: the Knitting Factory, Hollywood, CA 7.18.07

Yes, I am taking the opportunity to review not one, but TWO bands from Wednesday night’s show at the Knitting Factory!  Headliners, The Working Title brought their great alternative rock sound from South Carolina back to Southern California for their first show back in over a year.


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July 19, 2007

Days Away: The Knitting Factory, Hollywood, CA 7.18.07

Being dropped by your label may not be the best way to start a year, but Pennsylvania band Days Away have shown that the music they make is not affected by who releases it. 


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July 12, 2007

Incubus: The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA 7.11.07

Last night at the Greek Theatre, the thought finally set in that this was such a special opportunity given from Billboard and how lucky I am to be here. 

It was Incubus’ second night in a row at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and the band put on an amazing, dare I say stellar performance.


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July 11, 2007

Motion City Soundtrack: The Roxy, West Hollywood, CA 7.10.07

On this night, Motion City Soundtrack showed that they were not only on fire, but more than ready to bust a move.



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July 02, 2007

The Donnas: Safari Sam's, Los Angeles, CA 6.30.07

The Donnas are good.  They’re not “good…for a bunch of girls,” or “good…for a chick band.”  They are just good.

The Billboard cover girls rocked out Safari Sam’s putting on a stellar performance that was a retrospective of their seven album catalog.  They even gave their fans a taste of new material from their yet-to-be-named September 2007 release.


Their sound that has evolved through the years from punk to rock n’ roll to glam attracts a crowd of different styles and ages.  Rocker dads and moms smiled in delight, living vicariously through their young children in leather jackets and studded belts by lifting and tossing them in the crowd for some surfing action.  Metal heads banged their heads, swinging their hair wildly to the screaming riffs.  Young teens jumped around, danced, and sang at the top of their lungs to every tune. That night, everyone, in their own way, got lost in a world of rock with The Donnas supplying the sounds.

Their first show back on stage in months, and one of their first since severing ties with former label Atlantic, the girls took the stage to wild cheers.  Lead singer Brett Anderson a.k.a. “Donna A.” was clad in a black tank top and zebra printed pants seemed touched, with the rest of the band, at the turnout of their hardcore fans who traveled from across the country for this one-off show.  They proceeded to jump into their first song, “Don’t Wait Up For Me”, from their forthcoming release. 

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