Category Archives: LA Music Critic Awards

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.

 

 

 

 

Get it or forget it: Janey Street, Meresha, Fallow Land, Shannon Hurley

Here it is, the last four reviews of the nearly 100 submissions we have received for the LA Music Critic Awards for the first half of 2017.  When we return from Los Angeles, we will be sorting through those reviews to select the nominees for the awards, which will be announced in early July.  Two of the artists reviewed today will be performing at the winner’s showcase on June 20th.  We hope to see you there.

Artist Name Janey Street

Album NameIn my own Skin

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Singer-songwriter/R&B/Pop/Blues

Track Listing: 1.  Wrap my Mind Around You; 2.  When you are Loved; 3.  In my own Skin; 4.  Guilty Pleasures; 5.  Undone; 6.  Sex is Easy Love is Hard; 7.  I Wanna Love you Deep; 8.  Mixed Up; 9.  Wreckage; 10.  Waiting in the Wings; 11.  Dignity; 12.  Under the Clock 

Publicist:  MAD Ink PR

Review:  Janey Street, once a protégé of the legendary Clive Davis, continues to shine with the release of her latest project, In my own Skin, on Blue Élan Records on June 23.   The combination of Street’s songwriting and her confident soaring voice make this album a musical treat.  It has a retro sound with equal parts pop and R&B/soul, and brings back memories of the days when radio stations just played songs, not genres.   Street has penned some of the best songs this reviewer has heard in quite a while, and we believe that any song on this album could be a monster hit on radio and deserves placement in television and film.  It is definitely the type of album you put on repeat and listen to from start to finish.  While every song is amazing, we particularly like the sounds of “Wrap my Mind Around You,” the title track, “Guilty Pleasures,” “Sex is Easy Love is Hard,” “I Wanna Love you Deep,” and “Wreckage.”

Recommendation:  Janey Street is an American icon and deserves the attention of every music lover.  We highly recommend that you preorder this album now so that you will be sure to Get it as soon as it is available.

Artist NameMeresha

Album NameEnter the Dreamland

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Dance

Track Listing: 1.  Enter the Dreamland; 2.  Stardust; 3.  Jungle Potion; 4.  Violet Night; 5.  Lights Out 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Meresha is a young up and coming artist with a firm grip on what makes great dance music, despite her young age.  Her sound is tight, with a great beat for dance, but with a groove that makes it perfect for radio as well.  She couples that with well made music videos that capture the spirit of the song as well as give you a visual treasure.  All five songs on this too short EP are wonderful, and you can throw this one on repeat and dance, dance, dance.  This young artist has captured our heart and imagination and we can’t wait to see how her career progresses.  She is a modern-day combination of Selena and Shakira, and ready to conquer the music world.

Recommendation:  We think this one is a true keeper, regardless of what genre is your favorite.  Her music transcends those boundaries.  We think you should definitely Get it.

Artist NameFallow Land

Album Name Pinscher

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Indie Rock

Track Listing:  1.  Yang; 2.  The Softboi Wields Guilt like a Floral Knife; 3.  Faux; 4.  410 S. Morgan 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  A creative project of Ann Arbor born musician Whit Fineberg, Fallow Land is the result of his coping with several major changes in his life – moving to Chicago, losing a friend, the end of his band and the closing of a relationship.  He brought in Evan Veasey to play guitar, added Chris Bathgate to do the producing and recorded his EP at High Bias Studios with Chris Koltay as audio engineer, Matt Bayles as mixer and mastering done by Ed Brooks (Death Cab for Cutie).  The resulting EP is a beacon of hope in the sometimes depressing world of indie music.  This band has the potential to take off and is already head and shoulders above its peers.  We think the future looks pretty good for Fallow Land.

Recommendation:  We think you should definitely get this EP when it is released on June 30.  Make a mental note to follow Fallow Land.  We think they will be around for a while.

Artist NameShannon Hurley

Album NameNew Day

Label:  For Lenore Records

Genre:  Positive Pop

Track Listing: 1,  Make a Move; 2.  Number One; 3.  New Day; 4.  Who do you Think you Are?; 5.  Someday; 6.  Solitude (feat. Bissen); 7.  Soul; 8.  Stronger Still; 9.  Here I Am; 10.  Fairytale of New York (feat. Brandon Schott) 

Publicist:  None

Review:  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that Shannon Hurley is the voice of the DIY indie artist.  Besides her solo work, she has collaborated with her husband Ben Eisen to form Lovers & Poets, as well as with countless DJs on numerous remixes of her earlier work.  On this her fifth studio album, Hurley is just approaching her potential, creating positive pop music that stands out from her peers.  The positiveness flows through all 10 songs on the album, and provides the perfect soundtrack for reflection and introspection.  She also makes amazing music videos that bring her creative vision to light.  We love all of these songs, but were particularly attracted to “Number One,” the title track, “Solitude,” “Stronger Still,” and her amazing duet with Brandon Schott on her stirring cover of The Pogues feat. Kristy MacColl classic, “Fairytale of New York,” which was requested by her fans.  With the release of New Day on June 30, we believe that her fan base is about to grow larger still.

Recommendation:  This one is a definite no-brainer.  Preorder this CD now so you can Get it as soon as it is released.

 

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. 22

Happy Monday.  It was a busy week of reviewing, and we still have a few more to do.  We are also busy preparing for the Hollywood Fringe Festival and our winners showcase for the LA Music Critic Awards.  We’re happy to be able to share some news with you and kick off another week.

HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FESTIVAL KICKS OFF PREVIEW WEEK

The 8th Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival kicked off its preview week, and the majority of the previews were sold out.  According to my sources, the first four days of the week have been a huge success.  Not only that, but the Festival received a huge slice of press when the Los Angeles Daily News did a wonderful article on the Fringe.  Can’t wait until the 15th when our Fringe adventure begins.  #HFF17

CRIMSON CALAMITY FIGHTING FOR CHANCE TO OPEN

Our dear friends at Crimson Calamity have come a long way in the past year.  They are part of the 2017 Stadium of Fire competition and have managed to earn a spot in the Top 25.  If they reach the top 10, they will be considered for an opening spot for Little Big Town.  As of this morning, the band is at #11, and the contest ends tomorrow night.  Can you help them make it over the top?   By the way, the video they’re using is super hot.  Check it out when you vote.

NEW MUSIC

Check out “All About Love,” the new single from LA’s transplanted Danish artist Ronny Morris.  It has such a sweet dreamy feel that is perfect for your evening chill time.  What do you think?

MUSIC VIDEOS

Our first new video this week is from Superet.  With the return of Twin Peaks, it seems like the perfect fit.  Let us know what you think.

Los Angeles country sensations Honey County recently debuted their new song “Love Someone” on Radio Disney Country.  Here’s the music video of the song – we love it!

Another of our favorite indie bands, Fort Atlantic, has just released a lyric video for their single, “Just Hold On.”  We love the sound and believe these guys belong on the radio.

Closing out this Monday is “User,” the latest video from six-time winners of the LA Music Critic Awards, The Spider Accomplice.  The band will be performing on June 20 as part of the Winners Showcase on the Hotel Cafe’s Second Stage.  We strongly encourage you to attend.

Monday mashup 2017: Vol 21

Back home in Montana after a wonderful week spending time with my dad and sister-in-law in Oklahoma.  I drove 3100 miles through Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma, and enjoyed the trip.  Also got to stop in Denver and catch a performance of one of my best friends, Nina Storey, at The Soiled Dove Underground.

Speaking of the show, her opening act, Ian Mahan, was amazing.  The night was sheer perfection.  Loved the entire vibe of new songs, old songs, Beatles songs and the wit and wisdom of her brilliant on stage banter.  We have been friends for many years (won’t tell you how many but it’s more than 10), and this was the best show I have ever witnessed.  Be on the lookout for new material, as well as a new project that she shared with us.  If you loved her before, you will love her even more now.  If you haven’t discovered the magic that is Nina Storey, then now is the perfect time to come onboard.

HOLLYWOOD FRINGE FESTIVAL OPENS FOR PREVIEWS ON JUNE 1

The Eighth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival opens for previews on Thursday, followed by the Opening Party on June 7.  We will be arriving on June 15, and will provide daily coverage through the awards show on June 25.  We are so excited to present our first award this year, the Larry Cornwall Award for Musical Excellence, in honor of our fallen friend, Larry Cornwall aka Alice in Cooperland.  Stay tuned for our list of the 10 most anticipated shows, which will be published later this week.

LA MUSIC CRITIC AWARD WINNERS SHOWCASE

The LA Music Critic Awards are celebrating five years of recognizing the indie music community with a showcase at the famed Hotel Café on June 20.  We will be honoring a special songwriter with the 2017 Icon Award, and will have performances by Wendy Sweetlove, Elyse Haren, Jon Mullane, Janey Street, Jerad Finck, Katie Costello, Lovers & Poets, The Spider Accomplice and Papermoon Gypsys.  Advance tickets are available on the Hotel Café website and are only $10 in advance and $12 at the door.  Come help us celebrate and support live indie music.

EMILY CLIBOURN DEBUTS ROCK-UMENTARY

Emily Clibourn has been a force in indie music for several years.  We are proud to announce the screening of her new rock-umentary, As the Wind Blows, the story of her recent cross-country tour.  The screening of the five part documentary will be on Saturday, June 3 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at 1340 E 6th Street, Suite 402, Los Angeles.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m., with live music playing from 8:30 until 10 p.m.  The screening will follow.  Afterwards, attendees are invited to the Villains Tavern for the after party.  The event is BYOB, and it is recommended that you also bring a pillow for your own seating.

Please click here to RSVP and here for more details.

NEW MUSIC

Speaking of Jerad Finck, he has recently released his new single, on the heels of the success of “Criminal.”  His tune is called “New Kids,” and we think you’ll love it.  Check it out.

NEW MUSIC VIDEOS

Check out this interesting video from Brooklyn based Onesie of their tune, “This Minstrel.”  Please let us know your thoughts.

We haven’t forgotten about you hip-hop fans.  Check out the recent music video from Australian band 27 seconds of their song, “Forever Learning.”

Last  but not least this week is the debut video of an amazing new band fronted by our friend, Justin Foutz.  Check out “American Sweetheart” by the Rye Brothers.

 

 

 

Monday mashup 2017: Vol. 19

Welcome to a new week.  Next month at this time we will be in Los Angeles for the final two weeks of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  We are pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring our first award this year, in honor of our friend Larry Cornwall, who passed away in March from brain cancer.  The Larry Cornwall Award for Musical Excellence will be given to a play that best incorporates music within its context.  We are also happy to announce that the uber-talented Alli Miller and Michael Shaw Fisher will be assisting us in determining the winner of the award.  Both of them are multi-winners at Fringe, and integral parts of their companies, Cherry Poppins Productions and Sacred Fools.  Come join us at the Fringe!

SHANNON HURLEY TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM

Shannon Hurley has launched a pre-sale for her new album, New Day, which will be released on June 30.  We will have a review of the album posted shortly.  In the meantime, check out her website and pre-order the album.  Based on what she has done in the past, we are sure this new album will be equally wonderful.

MUSIC VIDEOS

Our only new video this week comes from the Big Apple.  The New ResistANTS released their video for “Onny Swar” on May 11.  We kinda like this grunge-punk sound and think you will too.

NEW SINGLES

Toronto-based High Signs has released the first single, “A Much Larger Ocean,” from their forthcoming album If So, Then What?  This hard-driving rock song contains some powerful truth.  Let us know what you think.

For all you electronica fans, here’s the latest from Adrian Underhill.  He has asked Toronto-based producer Harrison to remix the song, and we like the results.  Let us know what you think.

Last, but not least, we present 19-year old Kylie Odetta with the first single, “Stress,” from her new EP, Undertow, set to be released on May 19.  We think her vocals are dreamy and look forward to hearing more from this up and coming artist.

Monday mashup 2017: Vol 13

Welcome to April.  We had three snow events yesterday to remind us that Mother Nature is still in charge.  Looking forward to warmer weather and our annual trip down to Los Angeles.  Hope to catch some great indie music while we’re in town June 14-27, as well as the eighth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival.  In the meantime, let’s check out some of the latest news and releases by and from indie artists.

ALICE WALLACE MAKES SEMI-FINAL ROUND

LA Music Critic Award winner Alice Wallace has achieved the semi-final round in the annual Songwriter Serenade competition in Moravia, Texas.  She is one of 15 who will compete on May 6 for a chance at $7,000 in prize money.  The contestants will each play two songs at the morning showcase.  Seven of those contestants will then play one additional song after lunch before the afternoon awards show.  The winner will then open a concert featuring Susan Gibson, Carrie Rodriguez and Walt Wilkins that night at the Bugle Boy in La Grange, Texas.  We will keep you updated on Wallace as she attempts to win the competition.  Tickets for the competition are available online, and for the Bugle Boy concert here.

SEE DEBUTS NEW MUSIC VIDEO

Blue Élan Records artist See has released a music video for her song “Green Line Killer,” from her upcoming debut EP Ties.  Check out this multi-talented young artist and pre-order your copy today.

THE SHOW PONIES DEBUT NEW VIDEO ON FEATURING EVERYBODY

Rising Americana band The Show Ponies have released the second video from their critically acclaimed album How it all Goes Down through Featuring Everybody.   Check out the video and see why critics and fans alike are clamoring for more from these future Grammy winners.

KING WASHINGTON RELEASES MUSIC VIDEOS

LA-based band King Washington recently signed with The End Records and will be releasing their album Potential on May 19.  In the meantime, they have released a music video for their song “My Reflection” as well as their new single “Superman.”  Check them out below and let us know what you think about the future of one of LA’s premier bands.

JERAD FINCK RELEASES LYRIC VIDEO FOR ‘TAKE ME WITH YOU’

Jerad Finck continues his torrid climb to the top of the pop charts with the release of his latest lyric video.  We think you’ll agree that this indie artist is definitely on his way and will soon become a household name.

That’s it for this week.  Catch you next week, same bat time, same bat channel.

 

Getting to know the 2016 LA Music Critic Award winners – Allison Iraheta

Over the past few years, we have had the chance to see quite a few of our indie music friends take the national stage on American Idol and The Voice, including Brooke White, Tony Lucca, Katrina Parker, and Justin Hopkins, to name a few.  However, this is the first time that we have become friends with an artist who has gone indie after appearing on one of those shows.  Thanks to Patrick O’Heffernan for introducing us.

We had a delightful time interviewing Allison Iraheta, who appeared on season 8 of American Idol and was originally signed to Jive Records.  Many of her greatest achievements, though, have been accomplished after she became an indie artist.  Iraheta was the winner of the Best Pop/Rock Female Artist for the first half of 2016, primarily on the strength of her band’s single, “Desire (Lo Que Vale La Pena).”  Iraheta and Halo Circus also finished second in the Fan Favorite category.

IVB:  How long have you been performing?

AI:  Since I was six years old when I got my first gig at an opening for a department store.  I sang a ranchera song.  I was also a big fan of Selena, but unlike her, I grew up in South Central Los Angeles, and primarily spoke Spanish, being the child of Salvadorian parents.  We were surrounded by a true cultural mix of music.  I loved the emotion behind rancheras music, which in turn became the inspiration for our current music.  I recently turned 24.

IVB:   Who are your influences?

AI:  My first big influence was Linda Ronstadt, especially her album “Canciones de mi Padre.”  My dad also turned me on to Paul Williams.  Other artists that inspired me included Amy Winehouse, Roy Orbison, Brenda Lee, PJ Harvey, and Radiohead  This definitely led to our music being very diverse.  We didn’t have to be stuck with one sound but were able to show a myriad of colors.

IVB:   What made you decide to DIY?

AI:  I didn’t really have much of a choice.  As you know, I was signed to Jive Records just as the old music business began to fall apart.  There were lots of job upheavals and a change in the rules, affecting the whole industry.  I was actually dropped by Jive in the middle of my tour and found out about it via Twitter.  I was only 18, but decided to finish out the tour.  It was in shock, having gone from nothing to successful and then back again.  Once I got back from tour, I didn’t know where I was musically, and felt lost, not sure what to do anymore.  I did a few demos to make money and was very close to giving up on the industry.  I felt betrayed and injured and was not yet aware of the DIY side of the industry.  However, I don’t hold any resentments and am still friends with some of those same industry people.

I met Matthew (Hager) when I was doing a demo for a song he was pitching to Carrie Underwood.  We started writing together and I returned to my roots to find inspiration.  Everything we were doing sounded like it needed to be done by a band, which led to the formation of Halo Circus in 2013.  The support we have received is what has propelled us to where we are now, and new opportunities are happening all the time.  Everyone in the band is a veteran musician.  Matthew was a No. 1 Billboard multi-platinum producer who crossed multiple genres working with the likes of Duran Duran, Scott Weiland, Mindi Abair, and Mandy Moore.  Brian Stead was and is a relentless guitar aficionado who evokes energy and charisma.  In addition to being an accomplished Cantonese and orchestral drummer, Veronica Bellino worked with Jeff Beck and DMC of Run DMC before leaving Halo Circus.  She was replaced by Stead’s friend, Matteo Eyia.  

Magic happens in this band.  It happened when we were writing, when we were recording, and when we were failing.  The only thing that mattered was keeping it honest and getting it right, whatever that meant. We may be inconvenient, but we continue to attract believers.

IVB:  Do you want to go back to being a mainstream artist?

AI:  There is a balance to moving on from the previous level of exposure to the creative freedom we have now.  We believe we can return to that level, but on our own terms.  We are doing it through the back channel and believe that is a better way for us to return.  We love what is happening in the indie scene.

Last February, we shocked the music industry when we announced in Billboard Magazine that we would be embarking on the first fully crowd-sourced American tour ever to be attempted on such a large scale.  With the help of our fans and Road Nation, the program that allowed this format, we reached full funding just nine weeks later, and confirmed a tour of 30 cities.

IVB:  What are your future plans? 

AI:  We are definitely going back on tour in the not too distant future.  We would love to revisit some of the places where we played on our last tour.  We have some new stuff on the horizon and are so proud of those who have supported us from the beginning.  There will be surprises and thank you’s and fun stuff for everyone.

IVB:   Any good stories from touring/recording/performing?

AI.  During the tour we were scheduled to play a show in Orlando during Hurricane Matthew.  We played the show despite the weather.  When we got to the venue under very gray clouds, there were about 30 of our fans waiting for us with signs proclaiming “End of the World” show.  We lost our AirBnB reservation for the night due to the storm, and had no place to stay after the show.  Consequently, we started heading out of Orlando, but couldn’t find anyplace open that had gas or water.  We did finally find some gas, and just kept driving until we found a hotel where we could stay.  It was a scary time and we saw cars driving on the wrong side of the road, trying to get away from the storm.

IVB:  What is the significance of the rabbit?

AI:  It represented humans for me during the writing of our first album Bunny.  I seemed to notice them everywhere.  The totem for bunny meant prey, with their fluffy tails for hawks to see, but they are also very cute, adorable and fast.  I came to the conclusion that the prettier you are, the more different you are, the more likely you are to become prey.

IVB:  What social media do you use?

AI:  I have a Facebook page with a link to the band’s website.  I also use Twitter and Instagram, and of course we have a channel on YouTube, all of which our fans can subscribe to or follow.

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