Monthly Archives: August 2014

Get ready for The Chew Toys to put the bite on you (video, SoundCloud)

Jay Tag and Kevin Dickson are The Chew Toys. (Photo by Dave Ehrlich)

Jay Tag and Kevin Dickson are The Chew Toys. (Photo by Dave Ehrlich)

Northeast LA duo unleashing self-titled debut album on Sept. 2

The Chew Toys debut album coverThe infectious sound of The Chew Toys makes them one of the most entertaining new bands in Los Angeles these days.

The self-proclaimed queercore duo comprises married couple Jay Tag and Kevin Dickson, who have been polishing — maybe refining is a better word — their punk sound with dozens of live shows around Northeast LA since 2012.

On Sept. 2, this local legend will take break out of LA and take on the unsuspecting world with their first album, a self-titled collection of 13 songs — 11 of which clock in at well under 3 minutes — that are sure to become earworms.

Check out a video and a SoundCloud song sample after the jump.

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Kristin Mueller steps into the spotlight tonight (video)

Kristin Mueller is serious locked in with her bandmates in Lucinda Black Bear. (© 2010, Steven P. Marsh/www.willyoumissme.com)

Kristin Mueller is serious locked in with her bandmates in Lucinda Black Bear. (© 2010 Steven P. Marsh/www.willyoumissme.com)

In-demand freelance drummer celebrates her move to Brooklyn with a set of her own songs at Park Slope’s Union Hall

You know Kristin Mueller‘s name. You’ve seen her name on this blog, and have read about her elsewhere. You’ve almost surely seen her behind the drum kit in many great local, national, and international acts — from Lucinda Black Bear and Gloria Deluxe to Dan Zanes and DBR (Daniel Bernard Roumain), along with some of Cynthia Hopkins’ stage shows.

What you may not realize is that she’s an accomplished singer-songwriter, too. But she’s so busy drumming for others that her own work has taken a  back seat. (It’s hard to believe, but it looks like she hadn’t released anything under her name before this year’s Deserts & Long Trails — which you can buy on Bandcamp by tapping or clicking here — since Ports of Call in 2006.)

Here’s a video of “Fault” from Deserts & Long Trails:

If you’ve seen her play, her percussion skills aren’t even slightly in doubt. She’s an energetic drummer who is always laser-focused and locked in on her bandmates. But she’s no slouch as a songwriter, either. While her songs exhibit the colors of indie country and pop rock,  like many of the bands she works with. But she’s followed her own path, resulting in a distinctive, personal take on the genres.

After the jump, read more about where and when Mueller is playing tonight, along with ticket info and links. Continue reading

The road goes on forever in push to make ‘Roadrunner’ Massachusetts’ official rock song (poll, video)

Boston music maven and mayoral adviser Joyce Linehan promises to continue her fight

Jonathan Richman (pictured above on Instagram with Lil BUB, the rockin’  Internet cat) says “Roadrunner,” the iconic Massachusetts anthem that may be the Modern Lovers founder’s best-known song, isn’t good enough be an official song of any kind for the Bay State.

And since the state legislature ended its session last Friday without taking action on a bill to make it the state’s official rock song, it looks like he’ll get his way — for now, at least.

But Joyce Linehan, policy adviser to Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, vows that the fight’s not over.

“Roadrunner might not be the official rock song of the Commonwealth, but it’s certainly the unofficial,” Linehan posted to her Facebook page Tuesday. 

But she followed up Wednesday morning with a stronger statement in response to a tweet from comedian John Hodgman, who has supported the “Roadrunner” effort.

“John Hodgman has spoken. I will fight on,” she posted.

 

Walsh introduced the  bill to make “Roadrunner” the state rock song back in February 2013, before he won the mayoralty in Beantown and gave up his legislative seat.

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Stew & Heidi Rodewald’s ‘Family Album’ conquers Oregon Shakespeare Festival (video)

Family_746x420If you find yourself in Oregon before the end of August, be sure to set aside a few hours to check out the world premiere of the latest musical play by Stew and Heidi Rodewald of The Negro Problem at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

For fans, “Family Album” will seem familiar, as they’ve incorporated songs fans have heard TNP play in concert or in other, less-structured, theater pieces over the years. And charismatic guitarist Christian Gibbs, who was a linchpin in Stew and Heidi’s breakthrough show, “Passing Strange,” steps forward to take a larger role in this show.

You’ll see what I mean by the familiarity when you watch the show’s video trailer and read the review in the Los Angeles Times. After you’ve had a look, go here for more information and  to buy tickets.

The show was created with director Joanna Settle, a longtime Stew-and-Heidi collaborator who now heads the theater school at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts.

Tickets have been selling well, but as of today, there are 16 performance dates for which seats are still available. Prices range from $25 to $99. Go here now for more information and tickets. The run ends Aug. 31.