Review: Alex Clare @ Henry Fonda Theater Los Angeles, Ca. 11/29/12

We’re said it before and we’ll say it again, there’s little debate that Alex Clare is one of the dopest artists in any genre right now. This was no less present this past Thursday night when Alex and his 3 piece band came to the Henry Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. From the UK singer songwriter’s belting power vocals to his substantive and controlled melodies, he put on a show to remember. The artist’s loyal fan base surely played a major role in this sold out gig. And in fine fashion, Alex was at his best when he was armed with just him and his piano, and emotions a bounty of musical perspiration. Standout tracks that evening included his cover of the Etta James classic, “Damn Your Eyes” as was his commercial smash, “Too Close”.

In Alexander’s words, “I just got a massive smell up here on stage, and it was like, welcome to California”. Indeed welcome to California Alex, and we can’t wait to have you back!

Review and Photos by Russ Ramos

Alex Clare england (Official)

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Alex Clare – Damn Your Eyes


Alex Clare, one of the dopest artists in any genre right now, recently cut this gripping (and we don’t use that word lightly) cover of “Damn Your Eyes”, a tune made famous by the legendary Etta James. It’s rare to hear an Etta song done so well, let alone by a male voice. Do not miss this one.

Alex Clare england (Facebook)

Rating 8.3


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Alex Clare – Up All Night (Skream’s Behind Closed Doors Remix)


Alex Clare’s “Up All Night” is one of our fav songs thusfar of 2011. Here dub heavyweight Skream takes “Up All Night” to the coldest most remote reaches of the ice age; the darkest, furthest throws of deep space (basically somewhere really cold dark and remote lol). Listen.

Skream england (Facebook) (Soundcloud)

Rating 8.0


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Alex Clare – Too Close (Live Unplugged)



Alex Clare – Too Close (Live Unplugged)

Alex Clare england: (Official) (Myspace) (Facebook)

Rating: 9.1


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Alex Clare – Up All Night (Prod. Diplo & Switch)


The Major Lazer crew keeps it fresh on this track for “Up All Night”. We’re digging the rattles of the bass on the verse and that massive shout-it-out chorus. We’re thinking weekend soundtrack material. Let us know.

Alex Clare – Up All Night (Prod. Diplo & Switch)
Check Alex Clare here

rating: 8.1


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Review: John Newman w/ WE ARE TWIN at El Rey in Los Angeles on 1/15/2014

John Newman El Rey 2014 lead b3sci by russ ramos

Review By Brian Litwin.
Photos By Russ Ramos.

2013 was an incredible year for music, and 2014 is shaping up to be even better. Rising star John Newman has really hit the ground running in the new year. Having been a featured artist on 2 tracks in 2012 (Rudimental’s “Feel The Love” and “Not Giving In” with Alex Clare) and with the current radio hit “Love Me Again”, his recent live performance at the El Rey only added to the buzz surrounding the young John Newman.

To start the night off, Brooklyn based WE ARE TWIN hit the stage to an all white backdrop and eager crowd. Bringing their power pop sound to a music hungry crowd, they resonated well with the LA audience. Lead singer Gabi Christine, with her long braided hair and her school-girl-plaid skirt commanded the stage and navigated every inch of the space. Playing tracks off their self-titled major label EP release, the single “The Way We Touch” stood out as the star song from the set. The crowd vibed well to their shorter set and even Randy Jackson (music man, producer, former American Idol enthusiast and dance crew dude) was seen in the crowd digging the tunes.

John Newman next hit the stage with a big bang. A backing track played for a minute or so and then lights exploded on the stage as the giant white backdrop curtain fell to unveil a l6 piece band and John standing on a platform in the back, with his back to the crowd. Everyone on stage was in black and white suits and dancing in unison as Newman opened his set. The show was originally set to be played the Troubadour, but due to demand – was moved to the larger and more accommodating El Rey Theater. Still there was barely any room to stand, so it was a good thing this show got moved.

John rolled through his set with class, showmanship, he had absolute control of the audience, and had dance moves that came way out of left field. His voice has a distinct nasally, raspyness to it, and some overall stylings similar to Otis Redding, which the LA crowd ate up. When Newman got to the second single off his 2013 debut full length release Tribute, the crowd really started to get into it. “Cheating” got the crowd jumping and he rolled into the slower, piano driven “Easy”. Right after that the drummer marched in to the third single of the album “Losing Sleep”. With a wall of applause, John seemed taken aback and truly humbled with the response right before he went into “Down On Life” and “Gold Dust” to close the set. The crowd wanted more and John came back out with just a piano player and drummer for a slowed-down version of the widely popular “Not Giving In” by Rudimental. The crowd heard the hook and responded immediately. Finally as the last song had to be the current hit in the US and star off Tribute. John and crew blazed through a mesmerizing version of “Love Me Again”. There is no denying that this 23 year old Brit has incredible talent, but this live show is what really sets him apart from other indie darlings of the same vein.

John Newman (Facebook)

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John Newman El Rey 2014 3 b3sci by russ ramos

John Newman El Rey 2014 4 b3sci by russ ramos

John Newman El Rey 2014 5 b3sci by russ ramos

Rating 8.6


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HAIM – Falling


It’s HAIM, so you know it’s awesome. The sultry layered pop of “Falling”, which was produced by the hot hand of Ariel Rechtshaid (he co-produced Usher’s “Climax”, Alex Clare’s The Lateness of the Hour, Sky Ferreira’s “Everything Is Embarrassing”, etc) is the title track on the LA-based band’s forthcoming EP of the same name. Consider us in love.

HAIM (Facebook)

Rating 8.2


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John Newman – Try (Demo Version)

john newman

UK upstart John Newman, whom you may recognize from his recent hit collaborations with electronic act Rudimental, brings his soul-driven vocal stylings and expert songwriting skills (our man co-wrote both Rudimental hit tracks “Feel the Love” and “Not Giving In”) on the very good visceral pop of “Try”. Is “Try” the stuff of a Alex Clare-esque breakout for John Newman? Stay tuned.

John Newman – Try (Demo Version)

John Newman (Facebook)

Rating 8.0


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Although we’ve come to the end of the road, still Adele we can’t let you go. We’ve reached 2011’s closing hour and now it is time: b3sci presents it’s Top 50 Albums of 2011. No one’s even come close to having the year Adele’s had. The most albums sold in a single year since 2004, two of the biggest singles of the year, etc, a truly international breakthrough both commercially and critically on a level we haven’t seen in a long time. Adele, our girl, the crown is yours. 21 is b3sci’s Album of the year.

So where the fuck is Adele on many of these respected-indie-press-dude best of lists? That period between Nov 2010 when “Rolling in the Deep” first broke and the lead up to the album’s release in late January, Adele ruled the blogosphere, the fold was united. Then “RITD” got overplayed to the point of absurdity, your mom bought the record, probably your grandma bought it too; those bros that listen to Foo Fighters and Deadmau5 started bumping “Someone Like You” out their trunk. Soon, the “wrong people” liked 21 and Adele’s brief moment atop the indiesphere was over. Right.

Thanks for reading this year, y’all. We’ve got some big plans for 2012. Stay tuned. Much love.

01. Adele – 21 (Buy It) (Read)

02. The Weeknd – House of Balloons (Buy It) (Read)

03. Drake – Take Care (Buy It) (Read)

04. James Blake – James Blake (Buy It) (Read)

05. Kendrick Lamar – Section.80 (Buy It) (Read)

06. Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – We’re New Here (Buy It) (Read)

07. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire on the Mountain (Buy It) (Read)

08. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne (Buy It) (Read)

09. The Horrors – Skying (Buy It) (Read)

10. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Buy It) (Read)

11. Wye Oak – Civilian (Buy It) (Read)

12. Girls – Father Son, Holy Ghost (Buy It) (Read)

13. Real Estate – Days (Buy It) (Read)

14. A$AP Rocky – Live Love A$AP (Buy It) (Read)

15. Sepalcure – Sepalcure (Buy It) (Read)

16. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (Buy It) (Read)

17. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient (Buy It) (Read)

18. Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming (Buy It) (Read)

19. Metronomy – The English Riviera (Buy It) (Read)

20. SBTRKT – SBTRKT (Buy It) (Read)

21. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica (Buy It) (Read)

22. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From the Vaccines (Buy It) (Read)

23. Destroyer – Kaputt (Buy It) (Read)

24. The Antlers – Burst Apart (Buy It) (Read)

25. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l (Buy It) (Read)

26. Beyonce – 4 (Buy It) (Read)

27. Wild Flag – Wild Flag (Buy It) (Read)

28. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Buy It) (Read)

29. Big K.R.I.T. – Return of 4eva (Buy It) (Read)

30. Clams Casino – Instrumentals (Buy It) (Read)

31. Gillian Welch – The Harrow and the Harvest (Buy It) (Read)

32. Low Roar – Low Roar (Buy It) (Read)

33. AraabMUZIK – Electronic Dream (Buy It) (Read)

34. Active Child – You Are All I See (Buy It) (Read)

35. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues (Buy It) (Read)

36. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’ (Buy It) (Read)

37. Cults – Cults (Buy It) (Read)

38. Radiohead – The King of Limbs (Buy It) (Read)

39. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials (Buy It) (Read)

40. Alex Clare – The Lateness of the Hour (Buy It) (Read)

41. Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise (Buy It) (Read)

42. Jhene Aiko – Sailing Soul(s) (Buy It) (Read)

43. The Stepkids – The Stepkids (Buy It) (Read)

44. Freddie Gibbs – Cold Day in Hell (Buy It) (Read)

45. Gardens & Villa – Gardens & Villa (Buy It) (Read)

46. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know (Buy It) (Read)

47. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo (Buy It) (Read)

48. Foster the People – Torches (Buy It) (Read)

49. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care (Buy It) (Read)

50. Friendly Fires – Pala (Buy It) (Read)

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B3SCI STAFF PICKS: Top 10 Albums of 2011


2011, it’s been real! To kick off our b3sci 2011 year end coverage, we start with Top 10 albums lists from each of b3science’s seven contributors. (We’ll detail our overall site picks in the next few days). 2011.



01. Drake – Take Care
02. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
03. M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
04. Metronomy – The English Riviera
05. A$AP Rocky – Live Love A$AP
06. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
07. James Blake – James Blake
08. Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
10. Active Child – You Are All I See



01. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
02. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From…
03. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
04. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
05. Low Roar – Low Roar
06. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
07. Wye Oak – Civilian
08. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
09. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
10. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’



01. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain
02. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
03. Giraffage – Comfort
04. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From..
05. Washed Out – Within and Without
06. James Blake – James Blake
07. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
08. The Postelles – The Postelles
09. Harrison Hudson – American Thunder
10. Caveman – CoCo Beware



01. James Blake – James Blake
02. A$AP Rocky – Live Love A$AP
03. Wale – Ambition
04. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’
05. Harrison Hudson – American Thunder
06. Fiore – Fiore
07. Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm
08. M83 – Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
09. Mike Higbee – Secret Life
10. Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves – Chris Wollard & The Ship Thieves



Let’s be honest. I probably didn’t listen to ten complete LPs this year that I would somehow deem “best” – it just isn’t in me anymore, maybe. I did, however, have enough musical bests paired with actual full records I loved to complete a top ten. Let’s review my 2011 faves: there are ten, they are not ranked.

tUnE – yArDs, W H O K I L L (4AD)
If someone forced me to name my best record of the year, I’d bet this would be it. While I’ll never get over the late 90s stylization of her musical pseudonym, Merrill Garbus made songs that said things I wanted to hear couched in melodies and harmonies that push me from Africa to doo-wop to “America.” There is true joy in the music she makes, even if she’s talking about eating disorders or inner-city violence. High up on the “things I danced to alone in my room” list of this year.
While I’d consider mostly dead in my day to day life, it ruled my world for a few weeks over the summer. I heard more great stuff I know I would’ve never come upon on my own, but I guarantee you it wasn’t in dubstep rooms. I spent time chatting and playing jams with friends I wouldn’t see for months. Turntable gave me all of the plus factors of a 1996 chatroom backed with a way better soundtrack than I would’ve had then. Spotify swooped in a few weeks later, and now I find myself listening to nearly anything I want at any time while creating playlists with friends throughout the day. Not as immediate as turntable, but somehow less of a time suck. I don’t love the ads, but I know I can get rid of them if I want.

PJ Harvey, Let England Shake (Island/Vagrant)
Overwrought concept albums can be a drag. (Confessional: I am a long-time PJ Harvey fan, guilty of knowing all of the words to “Rid of Me” by heart at a very young age.) If someone had told me a concept album by Harvey about England, bloodshed and warfare would be one of my favorite releases this year, I might have been a bit perplexed. The melodies, language, and instrumentation around this record, however, do more to transport listeners rather than alienate them. “Inaccessible” is a word often used to describe records, and I could see how some of Harvey’s records may be that way. This, however, works magic.

Jay-Z & Kanye West, “Why I Love You” (Roc-A-Fella/Roc Nation/Def Jam)
I know this record is on everyone else’s list, and that’s fine, but only one of its tracks got repeat plays with me. The production on Watch The Throne is amazing, I can’t deny it, but nearly nothing about that record sticks for me. I revisited it months after it leaked and I still couldn’t get into it as a whole. Jay-Z and Kanye West are two of my all-time favorites and I thought this record would be my dream. It wasn’t. “Why I Love You”, though, is a jam. Great sample, great chorus, okay-enough rapping.

Iceage, New Brigade (What’s Your Rupture?)
There will never be a time in life that I don’t like channeling my inner teenage dude. I know he’s there, just waiting for me to listen to the Stooges for another few hours or cackle while watching episodes of Beavis & Butt-head. 24-ish minutes of gothy punk energy (the longest track at 3:08), Iceage are my Ramones for 2011.

Drake, Take Care (Young Money/Cash Money)
I can’t stop playing this record. Merrill Garbus and Drake might have to duke it out. I thought Thank Me Later was lackluster – too much bravado and cameo, not enough actual persona. With Take Care, though, I feel like Drake is getting back to a place where he’s comfortable: an introspective, lonely look in the mirror at fame and alienation from where he thought he was a few years ago to now. On hip-hop records I’m usually disappointed if they’re not full of bangers but this one tempers enough production with the same amount of restraint.

Willie Mae Rock Camp & Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone” (RCA)
Over the summer, I volunteered for the first time at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in Brooklyn. I spent an exhausting and fulfilling week making sure a bunch of 8 & 9 year olds made it to their instrument class, ate their lunches, and sort-of listened during workshops about the blues, gender, and other topics regarding women in music. Every counselor had her musical kryptonite and everyone very quickly found out Kelly’s jam was mine. I danced & sang to it all week when it played during various end-of-day dance parties, and one of the campers and I shared it as our best memory of the week from songwriting class. At the showcase wrapping up camp, the volunteer band played it as their song for soundcheck. I belted it just as I had every other day.

Party of Helicopters at Death By Audio, Williamsburg, February 13, 2011
I got my knees slammed into the stage all night long at this show, with terrible bruises to show the next day, but it was well worth it. They are my favorite band from my most formative years, the one whose album art my body will carry to my grave; every opportunity to relive that time while seeing them live is worth it. Even though they’ll never play “A New Kind of Power” for me no matter how many times I request it, I don’t care. I love them. Forever.

Björk, Biophilia (One Little Indian/Polydor)
There was a time growing up that I spent most hours lying on the floor in my room listening to records. Bjork was always a part of this ritual, and listening to this record sends me back to that time in my life (I am full of memories this year). “Crystalline” is a perfect hybrid of Telegram-style remixes and Vespertine vocals. “Cosmogony” hearkens back to the antics of Medulla. Everything is nostalgic, but everything is new. The David Attenborough-narrated companion iPhone app is an excellent companion if you can’t make up your own visuals in your mind.

Sharon Van Etten, “Serpents” (Jagjaguwar)
Seeing her play this live last Tuesday only further got me stoked for her record next year. Her voice is the most haunting to me, and this is that quality at its finest. Percussion and expansion of her sound into what it is on this track alone (I hear you, Aaron Dessner) bode well for the rest of Tramp. Can’t wait.



01. The Kills – Blood Pressures
02. Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys
03. The Airborne Toxic Event – All At Once
04. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect…
05. Foster The People – Torches
06. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
07. The Black Keys – El Camino
08. Sleeper Agent – Celabrasion
09. The Rapture – In The Grace Of Your Love
10. The Wombats – This Modern Glitch

11. Honorable mention to My Morning Jacket and Teddybears



01. Alex Clare – The Lateness of the Hour
02. Nero – Welcome Reality
03. Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear
05. Tyler, the Creator – Goblin
06. Bassnectar – Divergent Spectrum
07. Dave Nada – Blow Your Head Presents: Moombahton
08. James Blake – James Blake
09. M83 – Hurry up, We’re Dreaming
10. Crookers – Dr. Gonzo

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