Monday Mashup 2017: Vol 5

Wow – five weeks into 2017, and indie artists are really making noise.  Milck, an artist we introduced you to back on September 21, 2015, is truly blowing up!!!  In the past seven days, her official music video for “Quiet” has gone from just over 142,000 views to more than 400,000.  She has been featured in Billboard, Allure, ET Online, Twitter and Facebook, and made several appearances on national TV, including her appearance on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.  The YouTube video of that appearance has already drawn more than 75,000 views in less than three days.  We are so proud of you Connie Lim aka Milck.  Thank you for having the courage to bring your message of hope in a time of increased insanity.  We are proud to support you!!!  We are also proud of her PR effort, spearheaded by the Big Kahuna herself – Go Laura and Red Boot PR as you champion another worthy indie cause!!!!

KEATON SIMONS JOINS WITH BACKBONE POSSE

LA Music Critic Icon Keaton Simons has been busy, but not in the typical way.  Always a firm believer in collaboration, Simons has lent his talents to the Backbone Posse on their new music video for “Supawaz Gaz,” which also features the talents of Slimkid3 and Adam Vadel.  Please be warned this video is NSFW or young kids.  Enjoy.

GRAMMY NOMINEE PERFORMS AT THE TROUBADOUR

Indie artist Janiva Magness, nominated for Best Blues Album for Love Wins Again, is having a birthday today.  She recently performed before a packed house at the world famous Troubadour in Los Angeles, and posted several videos of her live performance.  Please enjoy this one and make sure to send her best wishes.

NEW MUSIC VIDEO

We are proud to spotlight this incredible new indie video.  Watch for us to review her new release soon.  Please give it up for Emily Zuzik from Los Angeles with the amazing release of “Alone,” which has garnered more than 25,000 views in the past four days.  We think this one is a definite keeper!!!

We look forward to chatting with you again next month.  Have a great week!

Montana Rep celebrates 50 years with a classic production

Besides MCT, Missoula is also home to another theater company with a long rich history.  The Montana Repertory Theatre is celebrating 50 years by delivering one of their finest productions and by doing it differently than they have in the past.

Neil Simon has generated some of the most comedic plays ever written, and Barefoot in the Park is definitely one of the best of his best.  It is perfect suited as the cornerstone for this Golden Anniversary celebration, and should contribute to making this year’s national tour a smashing success.

Normally the Montana Rep’s show features Actors’ Equity members in the lead roles, but director Greg Johnson turned that around when he cast UM students Whitney Miller and Hunter S. Hash in the roles of Corie and Paul Bratter, newlyweds moving into their first apartment in NYC in the 60’s.  Although they are not (yet) Actors’ Equity, they are no strangers to theater-goers in Missoula.  Miller just completed a run in the lead role of Elle in Legally Blonde the Musical, while Hash appeared in Dracula and A Christmas Carol.

As for the rest of the cast, all of them are veterans of previous Montana Rep productions.  Laurie Dawn portrayed Kate Keller in last year’s All My Sons, which also featured Colton Swibold as her son Chris.  Mark Kuntz starred as Jay Gatsby two years ago in The Great Gatsby, which also featured Swibold.

The set was a masterpiece of simplicity, perfectly created by Scenic Designer Joey Sarno and complemented by Props Artisan Jerry Goodwin.  The set was further brought to life by Lighting Designer Brian Hapcic and Audio Designer Timothy McHenry, while Costume Designer M L Hart provided the final touches that catapulted the stage into a true icon of the 60’s.

This production achieves its success through the overall direction of Montana Rep’s Artistic Director Johnson, while Stage Manager Hope Rose Kelly ensured that each performance was true to that direction.

Suffice it to say that this is one of the finest productions we have every witnessed, including off Broadway and national touring Broadway productions.  Every cast member left it all on the stage as they transported the audience back to the 1960’s in such a natural way that it felt like we had boarded a time machine and travelled there.  This is a true ensemble piece, and every actor had the chance to shine at some point in the show.  The pacing was brisk and moved the show along without ever dragging.

Do not miss this show.  Remaining performances in Missoula are scheduled for January 26 at 7:30 p.m., 27 (sold-out) and 28 (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.), as well as February 2 and 4 at 7:30 p.m.  Performances are held in the Montana Theater on the campus of the University of Montana.  Tickets are available at the UMArts Box Office or online at GrizTix.com.

 

Monday mashup 2017, vol 4

OMG what a weekend.  Were you as impressed with the million woman march as I was?  So many indie artists participated in the marches across the globe, but none of them had the impact of one young woman from Los Angeles.  Connie Lim, aka MilCk, has written an anthem that has become the voice of the Women’s March.  Her music video, which was released just one week ago, already has almost 142,000 views.  Check it out and see why this song has struck such a chord with people across the globe.  #ICANTKEEPQUIET.

NAMM ONCE AGAIN A SUCCESS

If you’re like me, then your Facebook was blowing up all weekend.  So many friends performing at NAMM, running into old friends at NAMM, running into new friends at NAMM, and witnessing those wonderful NAMM moments.  My long-time friend Tim Moyer, who helps schedule, host and maintain the nightly musical entertainment at the Marriott and Hilton Hotels during NAMM posted a video by a friend that captured one of those moments.  Check it out. Thanks to Marcy Kraft for the video.  Thanks to Rolling Stone for spreading the word.

THE SHOW PONIES CELEBRATE THEIR NEW CD

Tonight’s the night when The Show Ponies and special guest Freddy & Francine celebrate the release of the new album by the Ponies, How it All Goes Down.   Tonight’s show is at the world-famous Troubadour in West Hollywood.  If you are in LA, we highly advise you to get down there and enjoy the show.  Here’s the link for tickets.

SHANNON HURLEY ANNOUNCES NEW KICKSTARTER

Los Angeles Indie Music Queen Shannon Hurley announced this week that she has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund her fifth studio album.  She celebrated the moment by releasing a video of an acoustic version of her song “Number One,” which will be the first single released.  Check out the video and support indie music by contributing to the campaign.

Have a great week and we’ll catch you next Monday.  If you have anything coming up that you want to promote, please let us know.

 

 

MCT rises to new heights with its production of Urinetown the Musical

Community theatre, when it’s done well, can be a true blessing, and the community of Missoula is very fortunate to have MCT in its midst for the past 29 years since it opened its doors in 1988.

We have been lucky to have witnessed the past four seasons of MCT productions, and we can truly say that the work done on the 2016-2017 season is some of the best we have ever witnessed.  Case in point – the current production of Urinetown: the Musical is easily the best show to come out of MCT during its tenure.  We were so glad to be there on opening night on Friday to witness its greatness.

What sets this show apart is the fact that it does not take itself seriously, but from start to finish takes a tongue-in-check approach that truly endears the show to participants and audiences alike.

Reid Reimers as Officer Lockstock is the consummate narrator and a damn fine actor.  His portrayal is spot-on, and his interactions with Haley Court as Little Sally are among the many bright spots of this production.  Speaking of Court, and having performed with her in her first show (Spamalot) four years ago, her growth as an actress has been nothing short of remarkable.

But they were not the only stars of this remarkable show, which was brilliantly directed by Joseph Martinez, with choreography by Megan Wittshire, music direction by Scott Koljonen, Scenic Design by Theresa K. Jenson and J. Scott Reilly, Lighting Design by Daniel Norton, Props Design by Lesley Washburn, Costume Design by Linda Muth and Sound Design by Gregory Boris, all perfectly carried out by stage director Kera Rivera.

Rachel Shull, who recently returned to Missoula from Utah, is pivotal as Penelope Pennywise, the administrator of Public Amenity #9.  Her voice took her solos to new heights and her comedic timing was perfect as she brought this very interesting character to life.  Equally as compelling was the return of Tim Shonkwiler as Bobby Strong, who provided the perfect nemesis for Shull’s character and ultimately led to her redemption, and Taylor Caprara as Hope Cladwell, the naïve daughter of villain Caldwell B. Cladwell, owner of UGC, played by Kelly Cutler.  Caprara was perfectly cast in this role, and demonstrated immense talent in her portrayal of her character’s eye-opening experience and eventual rise to power.  On the other hand, Cutler’s performance brought forth the perfect villain in Cladwell, and gave the audience a character truly worthy of its animosity.

Of the remaining cast members, all 17 turned in outstanding performances, but one truly shone in her role as one of Bobby Strong’s followers.  Carlyn Runnels, who portrayed Tiny Tom in the cop ensemble, was a singing and dancing machine, and stole the scene with her brilliance and award-worthy skills.

If you are a true musical theatre nerd, MCT is having a contest to see how many of the many musical references contained in this production can be identified by the audience.   Some of them are quite obvious to even the casual theater lover, while others will only be apparent to the true connoisseur of musical theater.   Regardless of which category you fit, it is fun to try and find them, sort of like the theatre’s version of Pokémon Go!

You should definitely make plans to attend this show, which continues today with performances at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., followed by 7:30 p.m. performances on January 25-28, 6:30 p.m. performance on January 29, and 2 p.m. matinees on January 28 and 29.  Call the box office at 728-7529 to inquire about the availability of tickets.   Friday’s opening night was sold out.

 

Announcement of LA Music Critic Award winners for second half of 2016

If we haven’t said this enough, 2016 was a banner year for indie music.  Indie artists were recognized for Grammy nominations and wins, as well as crashing into the Billboard Top 40 charts.  In addition, 2017 is looking like a continuation of this indie tide.

Save the date of June 21, 2017 for the first LIVE awards show celebrating the best of the LA Music Critic Awards, to be held in Los Angeles.  We’ll have performances by some of your favorites as well as give out awards reflecting the best of the best.  More details will be available as the event is finalized.

Back to the present, where we are so thrilled to finally be able to announce to  you the winners of the second half of 2016 for the LA Music Critic Awards.

Here we go . . .

Best EP Female: Katie Costello (From the Vault), Amie Miriello (Seeya When I Seeya), Gina Sicilia (Sunset Avenue)

Best EP Male:  McDougall (Reaching for Some Light), Year of Suns (Songs for Silence)

Best EP Band:  Stereo Off (EP III), The Spider Accomplice (LA:  The Abduction), JERK (Jerk)

Best CD Female:  Camille Bloom (Pieces of Me), Lauren Adams (Somewhere Else), Sonia Rao (Meet Them at the Door), Janey Street (Janey Street), Cindy Alexander (Deep Waters), Kari Kimmel (Poppyfields)

Best CD Male:  Sharif (Tangled Dreams and Empty Bottles), Bobbo Byrnes (Motel Americana), Patrick Joseph (Hindsight), Josh Farrow (Trouble Walks With Me), Michael Hornbuckle (Soul Repo)

Best CD Band: Streets of Laredo (Wild), Spiritual Rez (Setting in the West), The Congress (The Game), Spelling Reform (No One’s Ever Changed), Daddy Issues (Handle It)

Best Christmas Single:  Shannon Hurley ft. Brandon Schott (“Fairytale of New York”), Cindy Alexander (“Christmas Song”), Katie Garibaldi (“Tomorrow is Christmas Morning”), Frank Shiner (“Please Come Home for Christmas”), Kaylee Keller (“Christmas in Your Arms”)

Best Video (Holiday):  Katie Garibaldi (“Tomorrow is Christmas Morning”), Redhead Express (“Away in a Manger”), Frank Shiner (“Please Come Home for Christmas”)

Best Video (cover):  No Small Children (“Ghostbusters”), Redhead Express (“Chocolate on my Tongue”), Redhead Express (“Clean”)

Best Video (live):  Patrick Joseph (“Piece of Your Love”), India Carney (“You”), Mitch Hayes (“All Fall Down”), The Congress (“Oh Babe”)

Best Video (lyric):  Jess Penner (“Together”), War and Pierce (“On and On”), Mikey Wax (“Helium”)

Best Video (official) Female:   Lucy Woodward (“Live Live Live”), Alexis Keegan (“Empty Heart”), Camille Bloom (“Pieces of Me”), Caitlin Eadie (“Don’t Want to Be”), Alyssa Jacey (“I Want it to Rain”), Shannon Hurley (“Heartbeat on the Radio”), Katie Garibaldi (“Delightful”)

Best Video (official) Male:   Jon Mullane (“Born Beautiful”), Dan Franklin (“Live to Dream Again”), Brian Travis (“Shipwreck”)

Best Video (official) Band:   The Spider Accomplice (“You Still Lie”), The Show Ponies (“The Time it Takes”), Spiritual Rez ft. Hirie (“Together Always”), The Congress (“Home Again”), Roots of Creation (“Struggle”), Sleep Machine (“Animal High”)

Best Video (Collaboration):  Earwig and Lydia Loveless (“Wasted on You”)

Best Rock Band:  The Spider Accomplice, Daddy Issues, Pollen Rx, Sleep Machine

Best Pop Band:  Lovers and Poets, Foxtraxx, The Congress, Ray and Remora, No Nets

Best Country/Americana Band:  Elouise Deep Water, The Show Ponies, Riddle and the Stars, Honey County

Best Reggae Band:  Roots of Creation, Spiritual Rez

Best Pop/Rock Male Artist: Patrick Joseph, Year of Suns, McDougall, Mikey Wax

Best Pop/Rock Female Artist:  Jess Penner, Katie Costello, Cindy Alexander, Janey Street, Camille Bloom

Best Blues Artist:  Peach & the Almost Blues Band, The King Brothers, Papermoon Gypsys, Michael Hornbuckle

Best Country/Americana Artist:  Alice Wallace, Lauren Adams, Brian Travis, Katie Garibaldi, Mitch Hayes

Best Jazz Artist:  Lucy Woodward, Nancy Sanchez

Rising Star:  Juliana Wilson, Meresha, Kaylee Keller, Rachel Brett

Fan Favorite:  Once again the fans were very vocal in support of their favorite artist.  Early indications were that it would be a landslide for Eloise Black Water, but she and her band were overtaken by the rabid fans of Janey Street and Papermoon Gypsys.  Cindy Alexander fans even made a dark horse attempt, but they were unable to overcome the previous three.  When the dust cleared, Papermoon Gypsys rose to the top, followed by Janey Street, Eloise Black Water and Cindy Alexander.  Other artists nominated included Michael Hornbuckle, Mitch Hayes, Peach, Daddy Issues, and Jon Mullane.

Icon Award:  This award did not draw much attention this year, so it was left to the committee to pick a winner.  Looking back on the past few years, one name kept coming to the top for their ardent support of their clients, their clear presence in the world, their drive and their diligence to their craft.  This year’s Icon Award winner is Laura Goldfarb of Red Boot PR.

Most Supportive PR Firm:  Doug Deutsch Publicity Services

Most Supportive Indie Label:  Blue Élan Records

Most Impressive Crowdfunding Campaign:  Clare Means

Best Use of Patreon Platform:  Marina V

Most Likely to go Mainstream:  Jerad Finck

Most Deserving of Indie Music Hall of Fame:  Janey Street

Monday Mashup 2017: Vol 3

Happy Monday.  So good of you to join us again, just a few hours before the winners of the LA Music Critic Awards are announced.

There’s been a lot happening to indie artists lately.  Among the latest is Jerad Finck continuing to move up on the Billboard Top 40 charts with the stripped down acoustic version of his mega-hit “Criminal.”  Congrats to Finck and to his promotional team at Ue3 Promotions.  Keep up the great work.

KELLY McGRATH DEBUTS NEW VIDEO ON CMT

Back in October we told you about the new video by indie country star Kelly McGrath of her song “You and Me Today.”  Well, it finally premiered on CMT on January 10, and the fan response was intense.  In fact, it became the #1 video on their 12-pack Countdown of the week’s hottest videos.  The video airs every day at 10:38 am, 5:37 pm and 10:37 pm (all times ET).  If you like it, you can vote for it multiple times by clicking on this link.   Simply put a mark in the box by Kelly’s name, click on vote, refresh your page and do it again to your heart’s content.  Congrats Kelly!

NEW VIDEO RELEASES

Speaking of video releases, check out these new ones by indie artists:


We love this new video, especially the incredible violin work by Annette Homann.  Thanks to Rachel Sage for this great way to kick off 2017.

Although this was technically uploaded in December, we just discovered it and think you will be amazed at the amazing lyrics and the simple arrangement of this beautiful tribute to a fallen friend.  Thanks Elyse Haren for sharing from your heart and for the work you do with the West Coast Songwriters showcase in LA.

THEATRE IN MISSOULA

It’s a great week for theatre in Missoula, MT, with the opening of two new shows this week.  MCT will open their production of Urinetown:  The Musical on Thursday, January 19 (which we will review on January 20), while the Montana Rep will debut their 2017 touring show of the classic Neil Simon comedy Barefoot in the Park on January 20 (and we’ll review it on January 21).  Watch for these reviews next week on Indie Voice Blog.

LA MUSIC CRITIC AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT

The list of winners will be published at 6 a.m. MST TOMORROW.  Don’t miss it!

See you all next week.

Monday Mashup 2017: Vol. 2

Welcome to week two of 2017!  We’ve gotten almost a foot of snow in the past 24 hours, but at least the thermometer has returned to positive numbers.  Hope you’re all ready to get out and support indie music.  Here’s the latest news:

NAMM INVADES SOCAL

The NAMM Show invades Anaheim for its annual January visit, opening to the press on January 18 and to the attendees January 19-22.  The event is NOT open to the public, but thanks to the hotels outside the Anaheim Convention Center, the public can attend some of the musical performances put on by attendees.  For a look at this year’s schedule, click here.  If you are an indie musician and are playing at NAMM, please let us know so we can publish your schedule next Monday.  We attended the convention for many years until we moved to Montana, and hope to get back there soon.

THE WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL MUSIC NETWORK PRESENT THEIR ANNUAL SHE ROCKS AWARDS

This year’s She Rocks Awards will be handed out in a ceremony on January 20 at this year’s NAMM Show.    This is the fifth year of the awards, and this year’s recipients will include  Lita Ford, Shirley Manson, Esperanza Spaulding, Monique Boyer of M.A.C Cosmetics, Rebecca Eaddy of Roland Corporation, Beverly Fowler of PRS Guitars, LA radio personality Lisa Foxx, Charyn Harris of A Place Called Home, Karrie Keyes of Soundgirls & sound engineer for Pearl Jam, Tracy Leenman of Musical Innovations, Dani Markman of Disney Music Group, and Leanne Summers of Los Angeles Women in Music.   The event will be hosted by KTTV Fox 11’s own Christine Devine.

JAMEY GESTON TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE

Speaking of NAMM, Geston has been playing NAMM since she was a teenager, and is releasing her new single, “Malibu,” to coincide with next week’s convention.  We have previewed the single, and it is HOT.  We think you’ll like it a lot.

BLUE ÉLAN RECORDS ARTISTS TO PLAY AT HOTEL CAFE

On January 22, the Hotel Café will play host to two of the premiere artists from Blue Élan Records:  former Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin and Cindy Alexander, who will open with a solo acoustic show at 7 p.m.  Tempchin is performing a residency on the intimate Second Stage, and had Grammy-nominee Janiva Magness as well as Chelsea Williams open for him last night.  Don’t miss this opportunity to see and hear some of the best music LA has to offer, and catch the rest of Tempchin’s January residency at Hotel Café.

Have a wonderful week.  We can’t wait to announce the winners of the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2016, and be ready for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT in the very near future about a special event happening in LA in June.  Until then . . .

Best Indie Albums of 2016 (an unbiased opinion)

Happy new year.  While you’re all chomping at the bit to find out who won the LA Music Critic Awards for the second half of 2016, we thought we would give you our take on the best indie albums of 2016.  The list is in alphabetical order, as we could not rank them otherwise.  Each of these albums has been reviewed by Indie Voice Blog (except for one), so we are providing the link so you can check out the full review.  Here we go . . .

Camile Bloom – Pieces of Me

We have been fans of Bloom for many years, and her latest masterpiece is also one of her best ever.  You cannot go wrong in adding this one to your musical collection.

Chely Wright – I am the Rain

This is the one album we have not previously reviewed.  Wright was a huge country star 20 years ago when she was signed to MCA Nashville.  I discovered her talent in the late 90’s when she and another “unknown,” Kenny Chesney, opened a show for Confederate Railroad at the Date Festival in Indio, California.  Since MCA stupidly dropped her, Wright has continued making music, as well as being the first country artist to come out.  We were privileged to have been a supporter of her crowd-funding campaign for this album, which is one of her most intimate and profound projects to date.  Needless to say that most people will be deeply touched by the music on this album, and we highly recommend it to all our readers.

The Congress – The Game

Thanks to our friendship with the Big Kahuna, Laura Goldfarb, of Red Boot PR, we discovered this gem in September.  It has all the right elements to propel this band into the spotlight.  Grab it while you can.

Daddy Issues – Handle It

This band took us by storm after Jennifer Allison introduced them to us.  They are gorgeous and even more talented, and are taking the rock world by the sheer force of their music.  This is a band that will only get better as they mature.  Check them out now – you won’t be sorry.

Earwig –  Pause for the Jets

We must admit, what first caught our attention about this band was their collaboration with Lydia Loveless on “Wasted on You.”  However, once we had a chance to hear their CD, we were equally impressed by them.  We think you’ll be hearing about them for years to come.  Thanks to Michelle King for introducing them to us.

Janey Street – My Side of Paradise

Janey Street has been writing great songs for as long as Janice Ian, but has remained relatively obscure, until now.  Her latest on Blue Élan Records is amazing, and truly deserving of recognition and industry attention.  Definitely add this one to your collection.

Sharif – Tangled Dreams and Empty Bottles

Sharif is another artist we have followed for years while we were in Los Angeles.  He has since returned to college for his Masters degree in music.  While there he discovered Middle Eastern music, and incorporated it into his style as part of his thesis.  The resulting album is by far one of his best.  Check it out and we think you’ll agree.

Sonia Rao – Meet Them at the Door

Another artist who reached out to her fans for crowd-funding help, Sonia Rao is just becoming known outside of the indie music scene.  Her recent tour in support of this album was a rousing success.  Take a listen to these tunes and we think you’ll understand why.

The Spider Accomplice – Los Angeles:  The Abduction

We have followed the work of VK Lynne, lead singer for The Spider Accomplice through her journey from singer-songwriter, country, pop, rock, and metal to her rightful place as the voice of indie music.  This EP is the second in their Los Angeles trilogy, and solidifies their place as one of the premiere indie rock bands in the world.

Spiritual Rez – Setting in the West

We at Indie Voice Blog have always been fans of reggae music, and no one did it better in 2016 than Spiritual Rez.  Not only are their tunes impossible to sit still through, they have also incorporated and featured other amazing artists into their groove, including Daddy B of Dirty Heads, HIRIE and Billy Kottage of Reel Big Fish.  In addition, their music videos are ‘off the hook’ wicked.  Thanks again to Laura Goldfarb for introducing them to us.

Looking forward to revealing the LA Music Critic Award winners on January 17.

Monday Mash-up 2017, Vol. 1

Happy new year – so glad you made it through 2016.  Here’s hoping that 2017 will be your best year yet.  If you believe in the power of indie music, it should be a great one 🙂

LA Music Critic Awards

The nominations for the second half of 2016 for the LA Music Critic Awards were announced last week.  Already almost 300 people have voted on their Fan Favorite or suggested nominees for the Icon Award.  There’s still time to vote.  Simply click here to review the nominations, go to the bottom of the article and add a comment about your favorite artist.  The winners will be announced on January 17.

K-Syran to perform first American show

European dance-pop artist K-Syran will perform her first show in the United States this year.  The event is scheduled for Monday, January 9 at the world-famous Los Angeles venue, The Mint.  The show is one of the monthly events for local promoter Hunnypot.  K-Syran will perform at 8:45pm.   The Mint is located at 6010 West Pico Boulevard.

2016 Best Of Lists

You’ve probably seen them everywhere by now, this penchance for always making a “Best of” list for every category every year.  What’s been nice about this year’s music “Best of” lists is how many indie artists are being included among their mainstream peers.  It’s a good sign that indie music is finally making it on to the radar of the general public.  Congratulations to all the indie artists that have made these lists, including The Spider Accomplice, Jerad Finck and Janiva Magness, who by the way is up for a GRAMMY.  Keep spreading the message of indie music until we conquer the world!

Have a wonderful day and we’ll be back soon with more reviews and news.