Of Note

Responsible to the blues

Janiva Magness: “I didn’t want to do it. What if I suck? What if I don’t suck?”

Readying to tour in support of her newest release, Love Is an Army, Janiva Magness checks in from her Culver City digs. We talk about artistic development. Magness is a blues singer. Electric blues at ...

Grails not nearly as shape-shifty as prog rock

Concert experience a bit like trying to learn a foreign language

Right about the point when you’re thinking this is a band that should have never left the garage, Grails delivers. The band has a sound that is its own: in this case, nuanced, shadowy, ominous ...

Pure Prairie League's pop-radio sugar

Cheery bluegrass contrast with hangdog vocals made "Amie" hit

Possibly the most baffling love song ever recorded comes out of Ohio. It was released sometime during the early 1970s, and just about anyone from back then will know these words: “I can see why ...

Each chord as delicate as a prayer

Pianist Mike Wofford's astonishing background

Your basic acoustic piano is a bunch of wires strung at varying degrees of tension across an iron frame sandwiched inside of a wooden box for resonation. One controls said machine via 88 keys laid ...

Kung Fu's new funk jam

Festival fave to bring the chops to Winstons

Live electro-fusion throwdown: in the band Kung Fu’s own words, they describe themselves as a part of the new-funk movement. Not that funk didn’t need revising — it did. Consider that the funk of old ...

Labels come and go, John Hiatt stays

Belly Up show with the Goners features Sonny Landreth

You can’t make this stuff up. John Hiatt, from Indianapolis, left home as a teen troublemaker in a rock band. He landed work in Nashville — not as a dishwasher or a grocery bagger, but ...

Anthony Smith eases up on piano, reinvents himself in New York

Deep into the vibes

No, not a CD-release party, although jazz music will be played live. It’s a book-signing party, the author of which is central to the band. Anthony Smith’s back in town after four years in New ...

Petty gig at Casbah

Local supergroup and guests pull together tribute show

It was a dark month, October. When reports of Tom Petty’s sudden death got leaked by the press, the loss felt personal. In the minutes and days and weeks to follow, Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s ...

The Croce vision

Stride-piano weaponry defines the man and his sound

Alas, the public imprint from having notable parents. I’d resolved not to make mention of mother Ingrid, the famous restaurateur, nor Jim, the famous singer who died in his prime. But in the end, I ...

L.A. Witch to fly in to the Casbah

Expect many, many minutes of reverb

“Expect 30-something minutes of reverb,” L.A. Witch frontwoman/guitarist Sade Sanchez has said of her band’s debut release. The L.A. music scene has long gone stale, but with this kind of raw music coming out today, ...

High-schooled Starcrawler

Arrow de Wilde’s a student of the craft of making frenzy

It’s almost as if Starcrawler read the list of how to be a ’60s American garage rock band. Loud-ass lead guitarist with much skill and many exciting poses? Check. Smokin’ rock and roll rhythm section ...

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