Category Archives: Women in Entertainment

A series of articles on leading indie women

HFF 17 – see it or skip it (day 7)

Had a wonderful day yesterday.  After writing my reviews for Thursday’s shows, we lounged around our Airbnb most of the day.  Around 3 p.m. we both decided at the same time – “Let’s go to Margaritaville!”  So off we went to Universal City Walk and had dinner and drinks before heading out last night to hang with fringeships and see some shows.  We saw another three to bring our total to 28 shows.  Here are the reviews.

TITLE OF SHOWAscent

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  I would not have gone to see this show except that they applied for our Larry Cornwall Award.  To put it nicely, it was a hot mess.  Of course they waited until it was over to tell us “we’re a work in progress.”  Boy was that an understatement.  The concept is there but the show lacks structure.  The best part of it was when the two performers, Adam Kerbel and Shih-wei Willie Wu played the Taiko drum.  Other than that, as my wife says, “it reminded her of two boys playing outside during recess.”

RECOMMENDATION:  Not ready for viewing – skip it.

TITLE OF SHOWBilly . . . from Como to Homo

VENUE:  The Sheperd Theatre at the Complex

REVIEW:  In what has to be one of the most physically demanding of solo shows, 70 year old Lynne Jassem tap dances her way into our hearts in this amazing and brilliant production, directed by the solo queen herself, Jessica Lynn Johnson.  Had Jassem not been persistent in inviting me to her show, we might have missed this true gem of HFF 17.  We were fortunate to share the experience with Johnson and several of her other students, Sofie Khan (Mexistani!) and Gabriella DeMarco (Lovesick), and the show proved to be the highlight of our night.  Jassem is a natural storyteller and weaves her life story in such a way that it is ripe for a sequel.

RECOMMENDATION:  You simply MUST SEE this show.  The tap dancing alone is worth the price of admission, but the story will cheer you up and encourage you.  Her final show is June 24 at 8 p.m.

TITLE OF SHOWConfessions of an Arab Woman

VENUE:  Dorie Theater at the Complex

REVIEW:  We would definitely have to say that female empowerment is one of the themes of HFF 17, and this show was one of the strongest statements of that theme.  Joumana Haddad is considered to be one of the most powerful Arab women in the world today, and this insight into her was breathtakingly beautiful.  An amazing cast featuring Cynthia Yelle, Madia El-Tawansy, Gamon Quinn, Sandy Rather, Tiffany Badie, and Brenda Salas portrayed Haddad at various key times in her life, each delivering stellar performances.  They were aided by the truly supporting cast of Evan Langle as the Ringmaster/Marquis de Sade, Gilbert Reynoso as the Father and Alexandra Olson as the Journalist.  The imagery and staging were first rate, and the piece left us thinking long after the final bow.  This was a true work of art.

RECOMMENDATION:  Unfortunately, this was a limited three-performance run, and we got to see the final performance.  If this show gets extended, we highly recommend you taking the time to See it.

We were going to see another show afterwards, but we both hit a wall and couldn’t stay awake another minute.  Time to refresh and prepare for the final big day of Fringe on Saturday, when we are scheduled to see six shows.

HFF 17 – see it or skip it (day 6)

The 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival is rapidly coming to a close.  We attended two shows today, with three shows scheduled for Friday, six (or seven) on Saturday and two on Sunday before the awards are given out.  It’s been a wonderful run this year and we’re so glad we had the chance to come down.  We’re looking forward to handing out our first award on Sunday.  Hope you’re all there for that!

TITLE OF SHOWTough Brown Leather

VENUE:  Lounge Theatre 2

REVIEW:  We love that so many people have been able to tell their personal stories through the magic of Fringe solo shows.  This vehicle has allowed people like Tonya Jones the freedom to reveal her experiences with sexual abuse and to showcase her triumph over that event.  Her story is inspiring and her journey to acceptance and victory is a work of art.  It is a sad testament to our society that so many people have to go through this in silence because the justice system treats these victims as criminals, instead of making the perpetrators pay for their crimes.  Thank you Tonya for reminding us of those who suffered silently.  Thank you for being the voice that can help them unlock their past and move on with their lives.  We need more inspirational people like you, Diana Varco and Kimleigh Smith to continue sounding the alarm and showing other victims that they can have a full life again after sexual abuse.

RECOMMENDATION:  We highly recommend this show and urge you to See it.  Her final performance is June 24 at 6 p.m.  Don’t miss it.

TITLE OF SHOWNosferatu, a Symphony in Terror

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  In what has to be the most unique show we have ever seen at Fringe, Crown City Theatre Company brings us the stage version of the classic 1922 film, Nosferatu.  What makes it so unique is the complete lack of dialogue, other than what is projected on the back wall, and the amazing voice of the narrator.  The story is told through classical music, dance and the amazing dramatic movements of the cast, who all turned in stellar performances.  The cast included Michael J. Marchak as Thomas Hutter; Alina Bolshakova as Ellen Hutter, Michelle Holmes as Count Orlok, Amanda Walter as the Gypsy; Shayna Gabrielle as the Innkeeper’s Daughter; Renee Cohen as Sister Agatha, Rolando J. Vargas as Herr Doktor Schmidt; Kristian Steel as the evil Herr Knock and Matthew Campbell as the Postman.  Special kudos to Holmes, who braved three hours of makeup to create the diabolical Count Orlok.

Our only complaint was that the staging often prevented the audience from being able to read the written dialogue.

RECOMMENDATION:  You should definitely See this show.  Its uniqueness will give you a fuller Fringe experience.  Their final show is June 24 at 3:30 p.m.

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.

 

 

 

 

HFF17 – see it or skip it (day 4) part 2

Continuing on with Day 4 of our annual pilgrimage to the Hollywood Fringe Festival, part 2 will cover the two shows that took up our late afternoon.

TITLE OF SHOWSnatched . . . Stories from down there

VENUE:  Asylum @ Studio C

REVIEW:  I missed this show at last year’s Fringe.  Unfortunately, it was not worth the wait, and left us feeling quite a bit uncomfortable.  While we did enjoy the musical interludes in the story, over all it didn’t connect with us.  Loree Gold may be  a good storyteller, but after hearing her story, it didn’t leave us feeling challenged, or enlightened or even emphatic.  It simply left us feeling like we had sat through a painful vanity piece that was more for the benefit of the performer than the audience.

RECOMMENDATION:   This one is painful – Skip it.

TITLE OF SHOWConversations ‘Bout the Girls

VENUE:  Dorie Theatre at the Complex

REVIEW:  Everything that the previous show was not, this one was.  We loved that the story was set in a lingerie store, and told as if she was training a new employee on the different types of bras and the particular breasts they were made to fit.  Incorporating stories about various women that had breast cancer, and their choices for reconstruction or not struck a particular chord with us, as we have lost friends to this particularly hideous form of cancer, as well as have friends who have overcome it.  Sonia Jackson was a natural storyteller who has crafted a very personal while still universal piece about this disease.  It was wonderfully directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, the queen of Fringe solo shows.

RECOMMENDATION:  If you or a loved one have suffered from breast cancer, you owe it to yourself or to them to See it.  There is one remaining performance on June 24 at 1 p.m.  We definitely recommend that you catch this show.

HFF17 – see it or skip it (day 4) part 1

Sunday was our busiest Fringe day this year, with seven shows on our schedule, including a couple of shows we were dying to see, including Lyla, Turbulence and Buffy.

TITLE OF SHOWLights Camera Lyla! The Second Act

VENUE:  Sacred Fools Black Box Theatre

REVIEWJeffrey Wylie‘s Lyla has become a cultural icon at the Hollywood Fringe Festival,  By popular demand, Wylie has created a sequel that in many ways is even better than the first one.  In a true testament of life imitates art, Lyla signs with a major media outlet and moves to New York to start working on her own show.  However, she discovers that New York has even bigger bullies than Texas.  But have no fear, our heroine learns to stand up for herself and learns that all important lesson – life is easier to cope with if you just stay true to your self.  The show is funny and poignant while giving you even more reasons to love Lyla.

RECOMMENDATION:  You simply MUST See this show.  After a year without Lyla, it was so good to have her home again.  Don’t miss her final performance on June 22 at 5:30 p.m.

TITLE OF SHOW:  Loves Adventures

VENUE:  Dorie Theatre at the Complex

REVIEW:  After hanging with Esther Mira at Fringe Central, and talking about her show, we were looking forward to checking it out.  We were not prepared for how awesome it was.  We expected it to have an 80’s flavor, but we did not expect that the entire show would be done in Elizabethan English!  For a story written more than 400 years ago, it was wonderfully adapted by Mark Hein and Elissa Anne Polansky, who also directed this incredible work of art.  It was a true ensemble piece, with each actor contributing equally to make the show a success.  Hats off to Anagabriela Cordero, Tara Donovan, Chineze Enekwechi, Marian Gonzalez, John Hayden, Edward Hong, Faith Kearns, Marc Leclerc, Sylvia Loehndorf, Travis Moritz and Mira for a great collaborative effort.

RECOMMENDATION:  You should definitely See this show.  It is a hidden gem, but worthy of your attention.  Be sure to catch one of the three remaining shows on June 20 and 22 at 7 p.m. and on June 24 at 5 p.m.

TITLE OF SHOWUnder the Jello Mold

VENUE:  Ruby Theatre at the Complex

REVIEW:  What more can be said about a show that has already won Pick of the Fringe, and is consistently sold out – only that the hype is true – Jennie Fahn has captured the heart and soul of HFF 17 in a way no one has in several years.  This masterpiece was directed by Tom Cavanaugh and written and performed by Fahn.  Her characterizations are truly memorable and heart-pulling, while her message is crystal clear – love your family and spend as much time with them as you can, because all too soon they are gone.  Don’t be surprised to hear Fahn’s name called a few times at next Sunday’s Fringe Awards.  She deserves nothing less.

RECOMMENDATION:  Do whatever it takes to See this show.  It is one of the best productions at HFF 17.  Tickets are available for June 21 and 24 at 7 p.m., but are sold out for June 22.

 

HFF17 – see it or skip it (day 3) part 2

We continue on with reviews of our final two shows of the day.  Both shows were at the incredible Studio/Stage space.  We are so impressed with the work done there by Gregory Crafts and Jenn Scuderi Crafts.  They have crafted a wonderful performance venue that makes the Fringe even better.

TITLE OF SHOWBlamed:  An Established Fiction

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  We were unprepared for the breathtaking beauty of this production, which was a true work of art.  The La Habra Theater Guild has brought serious culture to the Fringe, with an amazing collection of stories about women, dating from the beginning of man to the present.  The stories are told through spoken word, dance and visual arts presentations, and were like manna from heaven in their sheer beauty.  Not only was the ensemble amazing, but they were accompanied by a superb group of musicians, featuring Brian Johnson, Gina Romantini, Trey Everett and Wesley Chavez.  The show was wonderfully written by Callie Prendiville, with choreography by Annie Lavin and music by Wesley Chavez.  Our hats off to the incredible ensemble:  Alanna Bledman, Alissa Schoeman, Annie Lavin, Callie Prendiville, Camille Durgas, Emily Taylor, Erika Schindele, Justine Sombilon, Lillie Muir, Norma Mendoza, Renee Curtis, Rian Dixon and Zoya Martin.

RECOMMENDATION:  You should definitely See this show if you love culture and the arts, especially the sheer beauty of dance.  There are still three shows remaining on June 18 at 9 p.m., June 21 at 6 p.m. and June 22 at 6:30 p.m.

TITLE OF SHOWArt & Abolition

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  Fringe shows have never strayed from being advocates for causes or a reflection of the social mores of the day, but Art & Abolition goes beyond simple advocacy to actually taking action.  First-time fringer Brittanie Richardson, with the help of the solo show master director Jessica Lynn Johnson, has created a masterpiece of storytelling that is a call to action to help stop the exploitation of child sex slaves in countries like Kenya and instead help heal these victims through the arts.  It is lovingly told and beautifully acted.  Even though the material is harsh, Richardson has a way to presenting it so that you leave encouraged instead of ashamed.  It was a stirring show and worthy of attention, and we accept the challenge to do our part to help these young girls in need.

RECOMMENDATION:  By all means, See it, but don’t treat it as entertainment.  It is truly a call to action.  The final performance is scheduled for June 18 at 4 p.m.

HFF17 – see it or skip it (day 3) part 1

We were supposed to see seven shows yesterday, but ended up missing the first and the last ones due to tiredness for the former and sickness for the latter.  It was a great day to run into old friends and catch up, especially Cynthia Holloway from the Goddess Freak Ensemble, a band I used to follow in Los Angeles and Theatre Unleashed company member Mandy Muenzer.  We also spent some time reconnecting with Lesley Asistio and getting to know our new friend Sofie Khan.  After a rough start it proved to be a great day of fringing.

TITLE OF SHOWDomino is Down

VENUE:  Lounge 1 Theatre

REVIEW:  Not the best show to start our day.  Although the venue was packed with friends and fans of writer/performer Mitchell Reiter, there was a noticeable lack of energy in the space, and that was before the show started.  The show had a good premise, but it did not pan out because the pacing was too slow.  The best part of the show were the interactions between Domino and the bartender, played by Blue Bloods‘ veteran Staci RodriguesTeresa Yates also turned in a brilliant performance as Domino’s cop friend Tommi.

RECOMMENDATION:  There are still two more performances of this show on June 21 and 23, both at 8 p.m.  Hopefully those performances will be tighter and have more energy.  Unfortunately, based on our experience, we think you should just Skip it.

TITLE OF SHOWThree can Keep a Secret

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  This show was the polar opposite of the previous show, with enough energy to take care of Los Angeles for decades.  Wonderfully written by Gregory Crafts and skillfully directed by Jacob Smith, Three can Keep a Secret delivered like only a Theatre Unleased production can.  This company has consistently delivered amazing Fringe performances year after year, and this year was no different.  If we could only see their two productions, it would still be worth the 2,800 mile round trip from Montana.

The five member cast was perfectly suited for the “choose your own adventure” format, and the audience had a blast being involved in the direction the show took.  Each of the actors deserves kudos for their performance, and we are proud to recognize Graydon Schlicter as Moose, Jim Martyka as Sonny, Carey Mathews as Mason, Mandy Muenzer as Denise and Heather Lynn Smith as Heidi.

RECOMMENDATION:  If you don’t already have tickets to their final performance on June 24 at 6:30 p.m., we strongly encourage you to get on the waiting list and See this show.  You won’t be sorry.

TITLE OF SHOWMexistani!  Growing up Mexican & Pakistani in America

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  Behold our recommendation for Top of the Fringe!  Sofie Khan delivers one of the best performances we have ever seen at the Fringe.  She is a fireball of energy as she commanded the stage, bringing to life each and every character that has shaped her journey.  The show was everything you want in a Fringe show – great story, amazing acting and memorable characters – with just the right amount of political commentary.  We laughed until our sides hurt, while also learning about some of the hazards of being gay in today’s volatile world.  We salute Khan for speaking out and for delivering such an impressive performance.  By the end of the show, we felt like we had been best friends since childhood.  We are so fortunate we got to see this amazing closing performance.  Please come back to Fringe next year Sofie!

RECOMMENDATION:  If this hadn’t been her final performance, we would have demanded that you go See her show.  Guess you’ll have to wait until next year.

HFF17 – see it or skip it (day 2) part 1

Friday was such a wonderful day.  Got up early to work on my first reviews and to tell our story about our journey down to the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  Afterwards, we headed out for lunch and then drove around and visited some of our old haunts, like Fry’s Electronics, before heading down to the Fringe for the first of five shows.  Three of the shows on our evening schedule were included in our Ten Most Anticipated Shows at HFF17.

TITLE OF SHOWQuantum Entanglement

VENUE:  Sacred Fools Black Box

REVIEW:   Katelyn Schiller blew us away with her amazing How to be a Virgin (in 12 morally ambiguous steps) last year, so we were really looking forward to her new show Quantum Entanglement.  Unfortunately, it was not what we expected.  In a way, that is good, because the show was beautiful.  The problem was we’re not sure what it is.  To quote Schiller’s character Andromeda, “(we) wanted to give the gift of understanding, but we couldn’t.”  We talked to several other attendees afterwards, and none of them could put a finger on just what we had experienced.  It was a beautiful show, but what was it trying to say?  The best we could come up with was that it was about relationships, and that everyone who sees it will take from it what they need, based on their own experiences with relationships.  That being said, it was definitely one of the most different Fringe shows we have ever encountered, and for that we were fortunate to have seen it.  We would love to hear your take on this show.

RECOMMENDATION:  If you love the unexpected and exciting aspect of Fringe, then this is the perfect show for you.  Remaining performances include June 17 at 2:30 p.m. and June 23 at 6 p.m.  On the other hand, if you only like typical theatrical performances, then you may want to skip this one.

TITLE OF SHOWHot Dates

VENUE:  The Three Clubs

REVIEW:   The title of the show doesn’t really convey the story, but it is definitely a good marketing ploy.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend some quality time with a babe as hot as Shiragirl?  She takes us on a time trip through her life, spouting off those dates like they were page markers in the story of her journey.  What makes it even better is that she can sing and dance, as well as act, and she uses all of these things to describe her life.  This is another show that used the creative skills of Deana Barone, while at the same time using brilliant Natalie Mitchell to direct this amazing show.  It also came in at #10 on our “most anticipated” list.  Needless to say you will not leave this show unentertained.  We also encourage you to click the link above and check out Shiragirl’s Facebook page to find out more about the incredible life of Shira Leigh.

RECOMMENDATION:  We think you should definitely See it.  She still has one more performance on June 24 at 6:30 p.m.  It’s definitely worth attending.

TITLE OF SHOWThe Girl who Jumped off the Hollywood Sign

VENUE:  Lounge 2 Theatre

REVIEWJoanne Hartstone comes to us from her native Australia, where she has already won two awards at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe.  This show was #5 on our list of “most anticipated” shows at HFF17, and it definitely did not disappoint.  We have always been fans of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and it became quickly obvious that Hartstone had done her research in crafting this timeless story.  This show was also the first one we reviewed that had submitted to be considered for our first Larry Cornwall Award for best use of music in a non-musical show.  Hartstone set the bar for the competition quite high.  In the words made famous in the “Men on Film” skits from In Living Color, it earned “two snaps and a trip around the world.”  Hartstone’s voice is amazing as she performs songs by Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, The Andrew Sisters and Jean Harlow, to name a few.  Hartstone would have been a star with them had she lived back then.  We are thankful she decided to bring us this amazing show from down under.

RECOMMENDATION:  You simply must See it.  Hartstone has several remaining shows on June 17 at 6 p.m., June 18 at 4 p.m. and June 22 at  8 p.m.  Don’t miss it.

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.