Category Archives: Awards

Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 38

Happy Native American Day fka Columbus Day.  Just got back last night from an incredible three days in Denver for the Durango Songwriters Expo.  What a wonderful time of reconnecting with old friends like Warren Sellers, Steve Garvan, Bobby Rymer, Richard Harris, Jim Attebery, Vince West, Jill Sobule and Scott Krippayne and meeting wonderful new friends like Elise Wunder, hit songwriter Chris Lindsley, budding superstars and twins Carly and Martina, Chloe Tang and others.  Got to  be a part of Steve’s DIY panel, as well as attend some amazing showcases, listening sessions and panels.  Watch for my review this week.

TVMAs HANDED OUT

Congratulations to Tim Moyer and the Temecula Valley Music Awards for another successful year.  We also congratulate all the winners which were announced over the weekend.  Here is a list of the winners:

Best Blues Out of Town – Sarah Rogo
Best Country – America’s Kountry
Best Cover Band – Endeavor
Best Jazz – David Maldonado 
Best Pop OOT – Dree Mon
Best R&B/Soul – Shea
Best Rock – Midnight Satellites
Best Rock OOT – The Crooked Stones
Best Singer/Songwriter OOT – Savannah Philyaw
Best Singer/Songwriter- Dulaney and Company
Best Youth Cover – Makayla Phillips
Best Youth Original – Minor Strut
People’s Choice – Minor Strut
Artist of The Year – Ben Allen

NEW SINGLES

We wanted to spotlight some new singles from performers we saw at Durango this weekend.  First up is Marion, who has an amazing new EDM single, “Electric Gold.”  If this one doesn’t get you up and dancing, then you need to wake up.

Next up is Gracie Day, whose new single is already getting rave reviews.  Check out “I Don’t Want Whiskey.”  The song starts at about 1:35.

Our third single is “Home” from Rachel Price.  She is an amazing singer songwriter that definitely has a huge future in music.  Check out this live recording from her performance at The Mint in Los Angeles.

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

First up today is a favorite of this blog, and many of you in addition.  Katie Costello is becoming the queen of DIY and is an extremely gifted artist.  Check out her video for her latest “Hearts on Fire.”

Next up is a lyric video from amazing UK artist Hannah Trigwell.  She has joined up with Captive on her song, “I Could be the One.”  This is another one that will make you want to get up and dance.

Last but not least this week is a live video from another of this blog’s favorite acts, Calico the Band.  Check out “The Leaving Kind.”

 

Announcement of LA Music Critic Award winners for first half of 2017

Wow.  Color us impressed.  The article revealing the nominations for the LA Music Critic Awards for the first half of 2017 has set records for Indie Voice Blog.  During the past two weeks, the article alone generated 3,706 views in 36 different countries, who left a staggering 526 comments.  Overall, our blog has seen 4,523 total views during the same two week period.  We thank you for your support of indie music.  Without further ado, here are the winners for the first half of 2017.  The winner’s name is indicated in bold type.

BEST EP (Male) – Joe Goodkin (Record of Loss); Ed Prosek (Flesh and Blood Part 1); Ian Mahan (Rockford); Ray Goren (Free)

BEST EP (Female) – Meresha (Enter the Dreamland); Carrie Lane (California Freaks); Kris Angeles (Heartbreak is Contagious)

BEST EP (Group) – Gold Casio (Fever Dreams); Stereo Off (EP III); Echo Underground (Vows); Rococode (Young Ones); The Wild Now (Afterglow)

BEST CD (Male) – Chris Shifflett (West Coast Tour); Rod Melancon (Southern Gothic); David Ryan Harrris (Songs for Other People); AJ Hobbs (Too Much is Never Enough); Jared Tyler (Dirt on Your Hands)

BEST CD (Female)Janey Street (In my Own Skin); Wendy Sweetlove (Dirty Sunday); Sara Petite (The Road Less Traveled); Jennifer Vazquez (Rediscovering Me); Amilia K. Spicer (Wow and Flutter)

BEST CD (Group) – The American West (The Soot Will Bring us Back Again); Jeffrey Halford and the Healers (Lo-fi Dreams); King Washington (Potential); The Dream Eaters (We are a Curse); The Show Ponies (How it all Goes Down); Breaking Grass (Warning Signs)

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Male) – Curtis Peoples (“Damage Control”); Dario (“Good Morning World”); Jared Tyler (“Dirt on Your Hands”); Rod Melancon (“Different Man”); Chris Shiflett (“Sticks and Stones”); Michael Hornbuckle (“Angel”)

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Female) – MILCK (“Quiet”); Alice Wallace (“The Same Old Song”); Shannon Hurley (“Someday”); See (“Green Line Killer”); Marina V (“Born to the Stars”); Cindy Alexander (“Deep Waters”)

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Group) – Backbone (“Supa Waz Guy”); The Wild Now (“Run for Your Life”); The Show Ponies (“Kalamazoo”); Halo Circus (“Band Aid”); King Washington (“My Reflection”)

BEST VIDEO (LIVE) – Jerad Finck (“Pieces of April”); The Spider Accomplice (“User”); Chelsea Williams (“Boomerang”); Gabe Dixon (Balcony TV) (“Holding Her Freedom”); Lucy and La Mer (Balcony TV) (“Honey, Put Your Weapons Down”)

BEST VIDEO (LYRIC)The Spider Accomplice (“Atmosphere”); Gerry Beckley (“Serious”); Jennifer Vazquez (“Rocked”); Jennifer Vazquez (“Worst Enemy”); Gigi Rich (“All in my Head”)

BEST VIDEO (COVER)Alexis Keegan (“When Doves Cry”/”Purple Rain”); The Daybreaks (“Nothing Compares 2 U”); Dave Yaden (“Humble”); Frank Shiner (“Rainy Night in Georgia”)

BEST VIDEO (COMEDY)Scout Durwood (“All the Pretty Bottles”); Scout Durwood (“Take One Thing Off”); Un5Gettable (“Honest Singing Telegrams – part 2”)

BEST VIDEO (COLLABORATION) – Curtis Peoples & Marie Digby (“Not Enough Drugs”); Frank and Lindsay Shiner (“When Something is Wrong With my Baby”); DJ Polique (ft. Snoop Dog, Follow Your Instinct and Jacob Luttrell) (“Dimes Only”)

BEST SINGLE (Male) – Curtis Peoples (“Damage Control”); Frank Shiner (“Rainy Night in Georgia”), Jerad Finck (“New Kids”)

BEST SINGLE (Female)Susan Calloway (“No Time for This”); Marina V (“Born to the Stars”), Kanisha K (“Bet on Me”); DANI Le Rose (“I’ve Told Lies”); Wendy Sweetlove (“Delilah”)

BEST SINGLE (Group) – Brit Royal (“Change”); Basement Revolver (“Tree Trunks”); FlecHaus (“What We’ve Got”); Breaking Grass (“Annie”); Birds and Arrows (“Stay Down”)

BEST COUNTRY ARTISTAlice Wallace, Jennifer Vazquez, Rod Melancon, AJ Hobbs, Warren Sellers, Tara Dente

BEST COUNTRY BAND – Calico the Band, Honey County

BEST BLUES ARTIST – Janiva Magness, Gina Sicilia

BEST BLUES BANDPolly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method, Papermoon Gypsys

BEST FUSION ARTIST/BAND – Mitre, Nancy Sanchez, San Miguel

BEST POP ARTIST – Shannon Hurley, David Ryan Harris, Wendy Sweetlove, Meresha, Ian Mahan

BEST POP BANDLovers and Poets, The Dream Eaters, The Wild Now, Rococode, Single by Sunday

BEST ROCK ARTISTJaney Street, Lizard McGee, Jack Spann

BEST ROCK BANDThe Spider Accomplice, Desert Culture, Husky, Hayride Casualties, Banditos

BEST R&B/SOUL ARTIST – Ray Goren, Derek Davis

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTISTAmilia K. Spicer, Sara Petite, Chris Shiflett, Jared Tyler, Pi Jacobs

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA BANDThe Show Ponies, The American West, Imaginary Friends, Jeffrey Halford and the Healers

BEST BLUEGRASS BANDBreaking Grass

BEST JAZZ ARTIST – Dave Yaden, Irene Diaz

BEST REGGAE BANDRoots of Creation, 9 Mile Roots

BEST COMEDYScout Durwood, Jeff Simmermon, Un5Gettable

RISING STAR – Meresha, Jamey Geston, Bess, Kaylee Keller, Ray Goren

MOST SUPPORTIVE INDIE LABELBlue Élan Records

MEGHAN TRAINOR AWARD (Indie Artist Most Likely to Become a Household Name) – Jerad Finck

FAN FAVORITE – What a flurry of opinions for this year’s Fan Favorite artist.  In all 38 artists were nominated, but the focus seemed to be on five of them.  Honorable mention goes to Rod Melancon, Sara Petite, Breaking Grass, Pi Jacobs, Warren Sellers, The Spider Accomplice, Roots of Creation and DJ Polique, each of which garnered at least 10 votes.  When the smoke cleared, however, FlecHaus squeaked out a victory over Dario by only two votes, with Polly O’Keary and Janey Street tied for third and just six votes behind.  Wendy Sweetlove rounds out the Top Five vote getters.

Thanks again for all of your support of indie music.  Now it’s time to get back to reviewing the CDs submitted for the second  half of the year, along with live performance reviews and our weekly Monday Mashup column.

LA Music Critic Award nominations for first half of 2017

We are so proud to finally be able to present our nominations for the LA Music Critic Awards for the first half of 2017.  This year we wrote reviews on every CD/EP submitted for consideration, and we had nearly 100 submissions.  You can find those reviews on this blog under the tag “Get it or Forget it.”  We look forward to your comments on our nominations.

Here are the rules.  The public may only vote for the Fan Favorite award, and must do so by commenting on this article only – comments on social media posts will not count.  Any indie artist may be nominated (with the exception of past winners Papermoon Gypsys, Diane Rein, Zach Linley and Annette Conlon) and the winner will be the artist with the most votes.

The voting period will expire on July 25, with the winners in all categories announced on July 27.

We also encourage readers to comment on the other nominations, which will be considered by the awards panel members.  However, only the votes of the panel will determine who wins the award in all categories except Fan Favorite.

Speaking of the awards panel, thank you so much for all of your suggestions and help in compiling the nominations for this cycle.  The members are Jennifer Lyneis (Ue3 Promotions), Laura Goldfarb (Red Boot PR), Jennifer Allison (Jennifer Allison Publicity), Melissa Dragich-Cordero (MAD Ink PR), Doug Deutsch (Doug Deutsch Publicity Services), Michelle King (Noisy Ghost PR), Steve Belkin (Open All Nite Entertainment), Michelle Crispin (Music Supervisor), Kim Grant (KG Music Press), Patrick O’hefffernan (Musica LA), Heather Jacks (Author) and Rosine Avedissian Correa.

And here are the nominations:

BEST EP (Male) – Joe Goodkin (Record of Loss); Ed Prosek (Flesh and Blood Part 1); Ian Mahan (Rockford); Ray Goren (Free)

BEST EP (Female) – Meresha (Enter the Dreamland); Carrie Lane (California Freaks); Kris Angeles (Heartbreak is Contagious)

BEST EP (Group) – Gold Casio (Fever Dreams); Stereo Off (EP III); Echo Underground (Vows); Rococode (Young Ones); The Wild Now (Afterglow)

BEST CD (Male) – Chris Shifflett (West Coast Tour); Rod Melancon (Southern Gothic); David Ryan Harrris (Songs for Other People); AJ Hobbs (Too Much is Never Enough); Jared Tyler (Dirt on Your Hands)

BEST CD (Female) – Janey Street (In my Own Skin); Wendy Sweetlove (Dirty Sunday); Sara Petite (The Road Less Traveled); Jennifer Vazquez (Rediscovering Me); Amilia K. Spicer (Wow and Flutter)

BEST CD (Group) – The American West (The Soot Will Bring us Back Again); Jeffrey Halford and the Healers (Lo-fi Dreams); King Washington (Potential); The Dream Eaters (We are a Curse); The Show Ponies (How it all Goes Down); Breaking Grass (Warning Signs)

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Male) – Curtis Peoples (“Damage Control”); Dario (“Good Morning World”); Jared Tyler (“Dirt on Your Hands”); Rod Melancon (“Different Man”); Chris Shiflett (“Sticks and Stones”); Michael Hornbuckle (“Angel”)

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Female) – MILCK (“Quiet”); Alice Wallace (“The Same Old Song”); Shannon Hurley (“Someday”); See (“Green Line Killer”); Marina V (“Born to the Stars”); Cindy Alexander (“Deep Waters”)

BEST VIDEO (OFFICIAL) (Group) – Backbone (“Supa Waz Guy”); The Wild Now (“Run for Your Life”); The Show Ponies (“Kalamazoo”); Halo Circus (“Band Aid”); King Washington (“My Reflection”)

BEST VIDEO (LIVE) – Jerad Finck (“Pieces of April”); The Spider Accomplice (“User”); Chelsea Williams (“Boomerang”); Gabe Dixon (Balcony TV) (“Holding Her Freedom”); Lucy and La Mer (Balcony TV) (“Honey, Put Your Weapons Down”)

BEST VIDEO (LYRIC) – The Spider Accomplice (“Atmosphere”); Gerry Beckley (“Serious”); Jennifer Vazquez (“Rocked”); Jennifer Vazquez (“Worst Enemy”); Gigi Rich (“All in my Head”)

BEST VIDEO (COVER) – Alexis Keegan (“When Doves Cry”/”Purple Rain”); The Daybreaks (“Nothing Compares 2 U”); Dave Yaden (“Humble”); Frank Shiner (“Rainy Night in Georgia”)

BEST VIDEO (COMEDY) – Scout Durwood (“All the Pretty Bottles”); Scout Durwood (“Take One Thing Off”); Un5Gettable (“Honest Singing Telegrams – part 2”)

BEST VIDEO (COLLABORATION) – Curtis Peoples & Marie Digby (“Not Enough Drugs”); Frank and Lindsay Shiner (“When Something is Wrong With my Baby”); DJ Polique (ft. Snoop Dog, Follow Your Instinct and Jacob Luttrell) (“Dimes Only”)

BEST SINGLE (Male) – Curtis Peoples (“Damage Control”); Frank Shiner (“Rainy Night in Georgia”), Jerad Finck (“New Kids”)

BEST SINGLE (Female) – Susan Calloway (“No Time for This”); Marina V (“Born to the Stars”), Kanisha K (“Bet on Me”); DANI Le Rose (“I’ve Told Lies”); Wendy Sweetlove (“Delilah”)

BEST SINGLE (Group) – Brit Royal (“Change”); Basement Revolver (“Tree Trunks”); FlecHaus (“What We’ve Got”), Breaking Grass (“Annie”), Birds and Arrows (“Stay Down”)

BEST COUNTRY ARTIST – Alice Wallace, Jennifer Vazquez, Rod Melancon, AJ Hobbs, Warren Sellers, Tara Dente

BEST COUNTRY BAND – Calico the Band, Honey County

BEST BLUES ARTIST – Janiva Magness, Gina Sicilia

BEST BLUES BAND – Polly O’Keary & the Rhythm Method, Papermoon Gypsys

BEST FUSION ARTIST/BAND – Mitre, Nancy Sanchez, San Miguel

BEST POP ARTIST – Shannon Hurley, David Ryan Harris, Wendy Sweetlove, Meresha, Ian Mahan

BEST POP BAND – Lovers and Poets, The Dream Eaters, The Wild Now, Rococode, Single by Sunday

BEST ROCK ARTIST – Janey Street, Lizard McGee, Jack Spann

BEST ROCK BAND – The Spider Accomplice, Desert Culture, Husky, Hayride Casualties, Banditos

BEST R&B/SOUL ARTIST – Ray Goren, Derek Davis

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA ARTIST – Amilia K. Spicer, Sara Petite, Chris Shiflett, Jared Tyler, Pi Jacobs

BEST ROOTS/AMERICANA BAND – The Show Ponies, The American West, Imaginary Friends, Jeffrey Halford and the Healers

BEST BLUEGRASS BAND – Breaking Grass

BEST JAZZ ARTIST – Dave Yaden, Irene Diaz

BEST REGGAE BAND – Roots of Creation, 9 Mile Roots

BEST COMEDY – Scout Durwood, Jeff Simmermon, Un5Gettable

RISING STAR – Meresha, Jamey Geston, Bess, Kaylee Keller, Ray Goren

FAN FAVORITE – open for nominations

HFF 17 ends with presentation of awards

The 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival ran June 8-25, and included 375 shows and more than 2,000 performances.  The eighth annual Festival concluded with more than 800 in attendance at the awards show held at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, hosted by Festival Director Ben Hill and Communications Director Stacy Jones Hill.  The awards that were handed out came from two sources – the Fringe Freaks Community Awards, given by the Fringe staff and voted on by participants, industry and patrons, and the Sponsored Awards, given by various companies for a designated reason.  Here is the list of awards handed out.

Fringe Freaks (Community Awards):

Sponsored Awards:

ShoWorks Don’t Wait. Create! AwardChimpskin

The Screamiest:   A(partment 8)

The Spirit of the Fringe, Never in a Box Award: TOYS

The Duende Distinction:  Christina Evans – Choreography – TOYS

Tip Your 2Cents Award for Distinctive Voices:  Chimpskin

The Ripest Show:  Definition of Man

A Little New Music Award for Outstanding Songwriting: Turbulence!

Larry Cornwall Award:  Magic 8 Ball (My Life with Asperger’s)

Rogue Machine’s “Premiere” Award:  Urban Unrest – Urban Theatre Movement

Beyond Bechtel-Wallace Award: Thanksgiving

Diversity in American Theatre Award:  In the Valley of The Shadow

Soaring Solo Artist Award: Magic 8 Ball (My Life with Asperger’s)

The Inkwell Playwright’s Promise Award: In the Valley of The Shadow

Short and Sweet Award:  CHATTER

O-Face Award for Orgasmic Achievement (Most Orgasmic Performance):  Yozmit Walker – Do You: Migration of the Monarchs

Best Fringe Flyer:  An Evening With John Wilkes Booth

The Unleashed Award:  Thanksgiving

The LAFPI Most Wanted Award:  Actors Company, Art of Acting Studio,  Assistance League Playhouse, Epiphany Space, Complex Theatres, Hudson Theatres,  Los Angeles LGBT Center, Rogue Machine @ MET Theatre, studio/stage, The Loft, Theatre of NOTE, Three Clubs, Thymele Arts, Urban Social House, The New Collective

The Encore! Producers Award:

Complex Theatres Video Games, Narcissus and Echo, Trixie: The Musical, Human Hothouse: The Aftershow, 13th Grade, Desert Warrior, Claim Jumper, Even If It’s Wrong, Toys, Confessions of an Arab Woman, Incantessimo, Mistero Buffo, Too Many Hitlers, Ripley’s Dystopia, Broke and Ugly, Mary’s Medicine, Under the Jello Mold, Slashed, An Evening with John Wilkes Booth, Do You. Migration of the Monarchs

Lounge TheatreBitch Brow, I’m Too Fat For This Show, Just Like Life, NICAEA, Sapo Cancionero: Live Your Heart Out, Thanksgiving, The Girl Who Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign, Transmission – A One Tran Show

Sacred Fools TheatreQuantum Entanglement, Bono & the Edge Waiting for Godomino’s, Easy Targets, Definition of Man, Divorce: The Hip Hop Musical, The Joe & Joshua Show!, Why We Become Witches, Kinsherf’s Coat, A Harmony Boy’s Christmas, Charlie Moose Makes His Move, 12 Bars, Urban Theatre Movement presents: Urban Unrest, The King’s Language, High Rise, Orange Mango Cabaret

Three ClubsBuffy Kills Edward, Shakespeare and Chill, Hot Dates, Legends of the Hidden Three Clubs, Psychosical, Nights at the Algonquin Round Table

Studio/StageBlamed: An Established Fiction, Nothing Bad: A Werewolf Rock Musical, Here Comes, Rutherford, Herpes: A Love Story, The Tempest: All Women Cast, So You Want to be a Vampire, The Spidey Project, Three Can Keep A Secret, MEXISTANI! Growing up Mexican and Pakistani in America, Gamers
 
The New CollectiveJust Sayin, Got A Minute, I Do … Do You?, Life, Death and … Entertainment

Actors CompanyA Void, Bravo 25, Dead Boys, Dying City, missmatch, Pagliaccis, Songs of the Fall, The Complete History of Drag in a Few Mo-mo, Trump in Space

Asylum6 Figures, 86’d, Andy: The Red Nosed Warhola, CHATTER, Cheek (and other stories), Chemo Barbie, CringeFest: An Uncomfortable Anthology, Devadasi, A Story of Sex, Power and Devotion, Hello Again! The Songs of Allan Sherman, Homebody/ The Anxiety Cure, Just Old Woman from Old Country, Save Me a Spot!, Scarlet Pimpernel, SECRET IDENTITY CRISIS, Secure Storage, SNATCHED…Stories From Down There, Solomon: King Poet &, Lover – A Tale of One Man & 700 Wives, Space Play or The Number of Nothing, Terror on The High Seas, The Amitycode, The Brick – A One Man Musical, The Motherfucker With The Hat, The Rise and Fall of Dracula, The Sacred Beasts, The Second Coming of Klaus Kinski, This Our Now, Two Motherfuckers on a Ledge, Willy’s Lil Virgin Queen

 

HFF 17 – see it or skip it (day 8) part 1

What a Fringe experience we have had.  We saw six  shows on Saturday and plan to see three more today, bringing our total to 37 shows in 9 days.  Quite a run.  Saturday was one of the most diverse days of Fringe we have ever experienced, and we are happy to share our reviews with you.

But before that, here are our nominees for the first Larry Cornwall Award for Musical Excellence, which will be handed out today at the Fringe Awards show at 6 p.m. at the Montalban Theatre:

Under the Jello Mold

Nosferatu

The Girl who Jumped off the Hollywood Sign

Lights Camera Lyla: The Second Act

Magic 8 Ball (My Life with Asperger’s)

TITLE OF SHOWMiddleschoolandia

VENUE:  Sacred Fools Main Stage

REVIEW:  An interesting musical, written by a 12 year old girl and her mother, based on her journal about the trauma caused by attending middle school.  The entire cast, with the exception of the Dad, Teacher and Advisor, were children, and they taught the adults how to do a show.  It was cute, like Alanis Morissette on steroids, full of angst and satire, but not quite as tight as it could be.  Some of the songs were too basic, but the overall gist was that the three years of middle school were a rite of passage that every child must endure.  As Dad says in closing, “There are scarier things in life than Middleschoolandia, like Trumperica!”  It was a worthy effort and several of the kids were outstanding, both in the vocal deliveries and their characterizations.  Hats off to Carson Goring, who wrote the show and portrayed Ashley, Mia Ruhman, Cheyenne Rimando, Lilly Mae Stewart, Veronica McFarlane, Jacob Accardo, Kai Johnson, Jacob Smith and Lily Hightower who portrayed the children; Carlos Chavez, Amsara Holly, and Nikki Lewis, who portrayed the Wild Teens, and to Steven Bray for his portrayal of Dad.

RECOMMENDATION:  It was an interesting show that has the potential to become something even better.

TITLE OF SHOWChemo Barbie:  My Lady Bits’ Journey Through Breast Cancer

VENUE:  Asylum @ Studio C

REVIEW:  If there were an award for the most tender, emotional and inspirational show at Fringe, then Chemo Barbie would win hands down.  I have personally never cried so much during a Fringe show as I did at this show, which tugged at my heart and connected with my past experiences with friends and family.  As a cancer survivor myself, this show hit me like a ton of bricks, giving me new found courage to live even stronger than before.  Heather Keller is a powerful actress with the emotional strength to make her journey relatable to her audience as well as inspire them to live.  The show was wonderfully directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, who squeezed out an amazing story of triumph and hope from the tragedy that could have been Keller’s life.  Believe me when I tell you that seeing Chemo Barbie is a life-changing experience I will cherish forever.

RECOMMENDATION:  This show is a MUST SEE and truly worthy of an extension.  Don’t miss your opportunity to be inspired.

TITLE OF SHOWAn Evening with John Wilkes Booth

VENUE:  The Flight Theatre at the Complex

REVIEW:  History has always told us about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln from the victim’s side.  This show explored it from the view of the assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth, exploring his reasons and frame of mind in creating and carrying out his conspiracy to kill Lincoln, General Grant and Secretary of State Seward.  It was an insightful journey through the mind of a killer, and Stephen Spiegel was excellent in bringing the audience along.  The show was wonderfully written and directed by Lloyd J. Schwartz.  Although it did drag at times, the overall pacing was good and the acting was well done, resulting in an interesting show.

RECOMMENDATION:  This show is worthy of your attention, and we recommend that you See it if it returns for an extension.

 

HFF17 – see it or skip it (day 5) part 1

After two days of clearing out our storage unit, we hosted the LA Music Critic Awards winners showcase on the Second Stage at the world-famous Hotel Café on Tuesday night.  During that amazing night of indie music, we were treated to performances by Wendy Sweetlove, Elyse Haren, Jon Mullane, Janey Street, Jerad Finck, Lovers & Poets, Katie Costello, The Spider Accomplice and Papermoon Gypsys.   In addition, Janey Street was awarded the 2017 Icon Award.  Kudos to her team at Blue Élan Records, who showed up in force, led by label owner Kirk Pasich, label-mate Cindy Alexander and their publicist, Melissa Dragich-Cordero of MAD Ink PR.  Other notables in attendance included Alexis Keagan, Aleksey Zharinov of Sika, Kris Angelis, Alisha Zalkin and Dan Kalisher of Sleep Machine, Jennifer Lyneis of Ue3 Promotions and Patrick O’Hefferan of LA Musica Radio.  Thanks to everyone who attended.

Moving on to Wednesday, it was time to get fringing again, and we took in three plays which are reviewed below, and topped it off with the Cherry Poppins production of Shakeslesque, which we will review in part 2.

TITLE OF SHOWMagic 8 Ball (My Life with Asperger’s)

VENUE:  Sacred Fools Black Box

REVIEW:  We first learned about this show when he submitted for our Larry Cornwall Award, and we are so thankful he reached out.  This show has got to be one of the hidden gems of HFF 17.  Wonderfully directed by first time directorial team Penni and Crystal Wilson, the show was written and performed by George Steeves, who is also a singer-songwriter with songs available on iTunes.  Needless to say, this was one of the best shows we have seen at Fringe this year.  It is a very personal story of triumph over adversity that was also educational in understanding the struggles of people living on the autism spectrum.

RECOMMENDATION:  If you only have time for a few shows at Fringe, this is a MUST SEE!  We are proud to give Magic 8 Ball one of our highest recommendations.  He still has shows available on June 24 at 4:30 p.m. and June 25 at 2:30 p.m.

TITLE OF SHOW“Lovesick” The Misadventures of a Love-Crazed Maniac

VENUE:  Sacred Fools Black Box

REVIEW:  Lovesick is another show wonderfully directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, and amazingly written and performed by Gabriella DeMarco.  Told through a host of characters, including cats, the story was funny, uplifting and all too universal.    What made it all the more special was that DeMarco has had some personal losses while preparing for Fringe that would have driven most people into a deep state of inactivity and depression.  The fact that she was performing during this turmoil goes to the true professionalism she displayed in her acting, and in sharing her story with the Fringe.

RECOMMENDATION:  This was her final show, but hopefully Combined Artform will pick her up for an extension.  If they do, we highly recommend that you See her show.

TITLE OF SHOWShattered

VENUE:  Sacred Fools Black Box

REVIEW:  Our final drama and one-person show of the day turned out to be Diana Varco‘s amazing production of Shattered, which was also wonderfully directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson.  Not since 2010, when Kimleigh Smith rocked the Fringe with her dramatic tale in T-O-T-A-L-L-Y, has such a powerful piece about sexual abuse and its aftermath rocked my Fringe world.   Told through 35 characters, which included many of the emotions that haunt most of us, this show made its mark and earned the distinction of being among our favorite shows of HFF 17.  It was funny, sad, heart-wrenching and hopeful, and left us with a true sense of purpose to becoming the person we were meant to be.  Kudos to Ms. Varco for a true Fringe work of art.

RECOMMENDATION:  We strongly advise you to See the final performance of this show on June 24 at 9:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 23

Happy Monday.  It’s time again for our Monday Mashup, our final one before embarking on two weeks of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  We are leaving tomorrow for California, where we will be attending 40+ shows at #HFF17 before presenting our first annual Larry Cornwall Award at the Fringe Awards show on June 25.

In addition to two weeks of the Fringe, we will be having our first winners showcase for the LA Music Critic Awards on June 20.  The show will be held on the Second Stage of the Hotel Café, and will feature nine previous and future winners of LAMCA, including Wendy Sweetlove, Elyse Haren, Jon Mullane, Janey Street, Jerad Finck, Lovers and Poets, Katie Costello, The Spider Accomplice and Papermoon Gypsys.  We will also be presenting a special award to one of the performers that night.  Tickets are available in advance through the venue’s website, as well as at the door.  We encourage you to buy your tickets in advance, as we expect the evening to sell out.

NEW MUSIC

Check out this cool tune from Dylyn, “American Nightmare.”  It’s got a great beat and should keep your body dancing all night.  We think she just might be on to something.

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

First up this week is the latest from Jared Tyler, who we recently reviewed in Get it or Forget it.  This is the title cut to his new album.  It’s definitely worth a listen.  And since it’s a lyric video, you get to learn the words as you watch.

Next for you this week is the latest from Rococode, another of our recent reviews.  We really dig this band, and think you will too.  Check out “Is it Real” and let us know your thoughts.

And now for our comedy spotlight, check out the latest video from Blue Élan artist Scout Durwood.  The song is called “All the Pretty Bottles.”  We think it will get your new week off to a great start.

Last but not least this week is the latest from Brooklyn’s own Jennifer Vazquez, now based in Nashville.  Check out this amazing lyric video for her song, “Rocked,” from her latest album, Rediscovering Me.

Monday Mashup 2017: Vol 7

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone in love.  Thought we ‘d kick off this week’s Monday Mashup with the latest music video from our friends at Redhead Express.  This original song was written by lead singer Kendra and features her husband Kelly and their son in a simply beautiful homage to love.  Check it out and share it.  If you love what they’re doing, please consider becoming one of their Patreon supporters.

INDIE ARTIST MAKES HISTORY AT GRAMMY AWARDS

Chance the Rapper, an unsigned independent artist who has never recorded a physical album, took home three Grammys last night from his seven nominations.  He won for best rap album for Coloring Book, best rap performance for “No Problem,” and best new artist.  What sets him further apart is the fact that this award winning album is only available through streaming.  Way to set the bar high, Chance.  Here’s to the future of the music industry!

Speaking of the Grammys – huge shout out to a couple of indie artists who performed at the show.  Adrienne Woods played her cello during John Legend’s performance, while indie triple threat actress Tiffany Phillips was a part of the Beyoncé performance.  Way to go!

BALCONY TV HOSTS STREETS OF LAREDO

We introduced you to the amazing sound of Streets of Laredo back in October 2016.  Balcony TV recently hosted them and filmed a music video for their hit single “99.9%,” which they released today.  Check it out.

MORE MUSIC VIDEOS

Two more indie artists recently released music videos.  First up is the amazing Shannon Hurley, who released a stunning Max Headroom-esq video of her forthcoming single “Someday.”

Our second video is a premiere from a new artist we were recently introduced to.  We like what we see so far – please let us know your opinion.  His name is Dario and his tune is called “Good Morning World.”

Enjoy your week!

 

 

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

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.