Jhené Aiko Isn't Letting Grammy Nods Go to To Her Head

Categories: interview

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Milimoto
Over the past year, Jhené Aiko moved from a local PBR&B favorite to headlining her own tour with appearances at major festivals in prime slots. The 26-year-old has been around music for a while, with her first opportunity to release music coming when she was just 15. Since then, she's gone through many ups and downs, including the death of her brother several years ago. But she says the journey was a part of allowing her to grow.

"It's about what you experience that make you more colorful and I take everything as being a good thing for me, even the tragedies," she explains before a show in the Bay Area. "When something bad happens, I always know something good is around the corner and I don't think that anyone deals with anything they can't handle in the grand scheme of things."

Though we saw her earlier this year at Coachella and at a pop up show at a medical marijuana dispensary in L.A., Aiko is more excited about her local shows. Before playing the Observatory tonight, we caught up with the singer where we discussed her first L.A. show, her feelings about her Grammy nods and what the immediate future has in-store for her.

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Speaking to The Voice Behind vōx

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Ax + Apple.
Vōx (pronounced wohks, and usually spelled all lowercase) is the new moniker of Los Angeles-based musician Sarah Winters, who possesses the vocal inflections of Imogen Heap with the quiet forcefulness of Lorde--minus the pseudo pop-goth vibe. Winters caught the internet's ear with her melodic covers of Kendrick Lamar's "Swimming Pools" and Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love."

"I've always felt like my music speaks for itself," Winters told us. "Either that, or it's the curse of a musician and you never really know how to sell yourself."

Winters must have been doing something right because her talent caught the ear of Yoni Wolf, the lead singer of Why?, which led to a year-long international tour with the band as their keyboardist and opening act.

Here's what the 23-year-old musician divulged about her forthcoming debut EP, Put The Poison In Me, and her mesmerizing NSFW music video for the EP's lead track, "Better".


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The Icarus Line Rise Again With One Hell of An Album

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Aric Lorton
The Icarus Line
When we talk about the dividing line between music and art, The Icarus Line's 2013 full-length Slave Vows and this year's follow-up Avowed Slavery are most definitely in the latter category. That said, these records ain't meant to be hoisted on a wall because the songs are present, immediate, primal and important.

And why shouldn't they be? Since 1998, the Los Angeles group has been creating a harmonious cacophony that would make Iggy and Nick Cave proud. You'd think being placed into that sort of rock royalty would render The Icarus Line a household name, but it hasn't. Instead, the band -- led by singer Joe Cardamone and featuring bassist Alvin DeGuzman, drummer Ben Hallett, keyboardist/saxophonist Jeremy Gill and guitarist John Bennett -- have been presumed dead by many since 2004's Penance Soiree, which might explain why Slave Vows sounds like a group with its back to the wall, swinging, not going down without a fight.

Slave Vows is a challenge, an artistic peak for a group uncomfortable with familiarity. You might love it or you might hate it, but you'll definitely have an opinion. And that's what makes for great art.

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How Dorian Wood Became a Frenzied, Soul Folk Preacher

Categories: interview

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Zoe-Ruth Erwin
Dorian Wood dust!
Described as a purveyor the dark, hybrid sounds of Soul Folk, Dorian Wood began experimenting with his haunting, pulsating concoction making the rounds performing at queer bars in Los Angeles. Before that, the Tico-Nico, born to Costa Rican and Nicaraguan parents, refined his music studies by going to Conservatorio de Castella in Costa Rica.

The traveling singer-songwriter is coming to OC for the first time fresh off a European tour. Wood's latest EP Down, The Dirty Roof released in September follows last year's inimitable full-length Rattle Rattle. His voice remains boisterous, charismatic and soulful as evidenced on the title track. A true tour de force, Wood's daring, rapturous arrangements are an experience to behold.

He's set to play the Orange County Center for Contemporary Arts (OCCCA) alongside French Blues singing phenom Edith Crash this Saturday, but the Weekly caught up with him to ask about his transformation from shy choir kid to frenzied Soul Folk preacher.

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Peter Hook's Tribute to Joy Division Trumps His Beef With New Order

Categories: interview

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Daniel Kohn
For the better part of the past decade, Peter Hook and his former bandmates in New Order have been at each other's throats over the details of the bassist's departure. In between arguments, both sides have been on the road, albeit in different forms.

Since 2010, Hook and his band, The Light, started playing Joy Division material to pay tribute to the 30th anniversary since the band's demise after singer Ian Curtis' death. Those performances gave fans a chance to hear classic Joy Division material live by one of its members for the first time since then. At his shows, the bassist tapped into the itch for nostalgia by playing the Manchester band's two albums in their entirety. On his current run, Hook has taken that a step further by including several of New Order's biggest albums. Estranged from his former band, Hook isn't afraid to take a jab at his long time collaborators. Before he played a show in Chicago that saw Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder of Smashing Pumpkins join Hook for "Love Will Tear Us Apart," and ahead of his upcoming show at the Glass House next Monday, we spoke to the bassist about his current tour, his on-going feud with Bernard Sumner and the odds of a New Order reunion.


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Meet Skittles, the Master of Gloving

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Courtesy of Plurlife.com
Davis Duong aka Skittles at the first IGC
Originating in the early rave days, the first well known instance of gloving could be credited to Hermes who put 10 Rav'n lights into a pair of white gloves. Few could've guessed that the simple act of making his fingers dance in the darkness would be the beginning of an entire scene in today's EDM culture. Today, companies like EmazingLights sell millions of gloves, orbits, poi and other light show related items in a plethora of colors with much more advanced variations and modes. Aside from bringing gloving in the hands of consumers, Brian Lim (EmazingLight's CEO) and his company are pioneering the gloving movement into the skillful expression of art and dance that it is becoming today.

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Dr. Katz Professional Therapist Turns 20!

Categories: interview

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Comedy Dynamics
Dr./Jonathan Katz
One of the most cherished cult classics in Comedy Central history, Dr. Katz Professional Therapist is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Comedy Dynamics is releasing a recording of a rare live performance of the show featuring the original voices playing their characters, as well as BJ Novak, Eugene Mirman, and Andy Kindler appearing as the guest-star patients. We spoke to Jonathan "Dr." Katz himself about the new release, as well as two decades of Dr. Katz.

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Yvonne Gage's Halloween Classic "Doin' It In a Haunted House" Turns 30!

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CBS Records, Scan Courtesy of Popdose.com
Yvonne Gage Has a Song For You...

Yvonne Gage is a Chicago-based singer who is best known for the '80s funk and R&B favorites "Garden of Eve" and "Lover of My Dreams." She's also known for being both a prolific session musician, singing for everyone from Celine Dion to R. Kelly. But this time of year, to a very loyal cult following she's known as the voice behind the Halloween playlist essential, "Doin' It In a Haunted House."

Released in 1984, the response record to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and third single from her album Virginity has had quite a tumultuous legacy. We spoke to Gage about the song's history, looking back on it after three decades of demonic decadence.

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The Growlers' Hype Act Drag Queen DMTina is "Like American Idol on Acid"

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Instagram/@losgrowlers


By: Isis Madrid

Heading to Beach Goth this weekend? Been a while since you've caught the Growlers live? Well, brace yourselves because everyone's favorite jangly psych punk cowboys have a new hype act in tow and she's a full on tornado.

Read more: The Growlers and the Rise of Beach Goth

I was fortunate enough to see the already fabled DMTina in action this fall, and let me tell you, she is nothing short of a sloppy good time. Being in DMTina's presence feels something like swimming in a used ashtray full of whiskey; like barrel rolling down a beautiful green hill strewn with crushed beer cans; like picking the lint out between your toes and finding a five dollar bill.

We spoke to Alex Mars--the man behind the drag queen--about his stage persona, life on the road with the Growlers and what Beach Goth go-ers can expect this weekend.

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Mark McGrath is Happy to Wash the Stink Off '90s Nostalgia

Categories: interview

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For a guy whose better years are admittedly behind him, Mark McGrath isn't ready to leave the '90s behind just yet. For the past three years, he's spent his summers on the road taking advantage of the thirst for nostalgia with his Under the Sun tour. Playing with his hits with his contemporaries is a far cry from what Sugar Ray was at its inception.

"We started as a cover band/party band playing Run DMC, Blondie, Motorhead and Zodiac Mindwarp," the singer says. "We maintained that spirit and that's who I am." His solo project that has been in the works, has purposely been worked on at a deliberate pace. That's partially due to his schedule, and the lack of pressure from external sources for a new record.

"No one is waiting for the new Mark McGrath record," he explains. "Which is the good news, since there's no pressure to release anything, but it's also the bad news." The EP, which McGrath optimistically prognosticates, is thinking for a tentative release during the first quarter of next year.

On Saturday at the Huntington Beach Food, Art and Music Festival (Sep. 5-7), the band will stick to its greatest hits, with maybe a few solo songs sprinkled in for good measure. We caught up with the singer who was at home in Studio City, who has taken his talents to the small screen including Sharknado 2, to talk about nostalgia, the '90s and the biggest differences between hosting and being a frontman.


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