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Rave's Faves

Interview: Micky James

Micky James arrived in LA, to open for The Struts, do some promotion, and do some writing. After shooting a video for BalconyTV on my rooftop, he and I sat down for a chat. Check out his “Give It to Me Straight” track. No surprise his influences include 70’s glam like T. Rex in addition to newer garage rock bands.

Hear Bruce Rave’s weekly new indie jams on three stations, with show announcements on his Go Deep With Bruce Rave facebook page. Archived shows available on the KX 93.5 site, where you can also subscribe to receiving the weekly two-hour version as an iTunes podcast at no charge.

Stream the best new songs in emerging music with our Top 12 of the Week playlist

reviewed by
06-01-18

Interview: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

Things are starting to break for Melbourne’s Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (think The Strokes and Parquet Courts). Sub Pop has signed them for the US and they just completed their successful run on the Laneway Festival tour that hit major cities in and around Australia. They’re Coachella-bound in April and will hit other US cities before heading to Europe for a trek that will include the Primavera Festival in Barcelona. Here was our chat prior to their successful hometown set at Laneway Melbourne.

Hear Bruce Rave’s weekly new indie jams on three stations, with show announcements on his Go Deep With Bruce Rave facebook page. Archived shows available on the KX 93.5 site, where you can also subscribe to receiving the weekly two-hour version as an iTunes podcast at no charge.

Stream the best new songs in emerging music with our Top 12 of the Week playlist

reviewed by
04-01-18

Interview: Spring King

Manchester, UK’s excellent guitar-driven Spring King gained notoriety as having the first song played on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station. We hung out prior to their first LA show the night before the election, talking about the worldwide response to that spin, their music, their take on UK and US politics, who in the band is most like the dad, and much more.

You can listen to Bruce’s interview with Spring King live on his Indie 103 show on December 9th at 11AM Pacific with further airings in the following days.

reviewed by
12-01-16

Rave’s Fave: The Record Company – Off the Ground

recordcompany

A well-deserving trio is starting to see the national light of day. The Record Company, headed up by Chris Vos, have become major players in the LA scene since their 2011 formation. Just back from a European trek, they’ve toured with such diverse luminaries as Brian Setzer, Buddy Guy, B. B. King, and Social Distortion. They sound fresh, and I think of it as hard, blusey roots-rock. They cite influences from John Lee Hooker to punk bands to the Rollling Stones. You’ve probably heard their tunes on TV over the years. “Off the Ground” is already getting radio love around the country. It’s a grimy mid-tempo track that features Chris’ smooth, deep pipes and slide guitar in front of a killer rhythm section as he prods himself to “pick myself up off the ground.” The Record Company can also rock it uptempo with the best of them and should definitely be seen live. Their Give It Back to You album is out February 12. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

The Record Company (Facebook)
Track Reviews
reviewed by
02-02-16

Rave’s Fave: Teleman – Fall in Time

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The UK band Teleman has returned with a track that portends potential major band status for them. This group has always had the ingredients in their melodies, arrangements, and overall skills. “Fall In Time” begins with vocalist Tom Sanders and his beautiful vocals over basically a piano before the rest of the band kicks in. The song builds into an accessible yet complex collaboration that should be magic to the ears of anyone listening closely. It has a rhythmic feel that provides a somewhat different sound for Teleman but we’ve seen indications in the past that the band has always had this kind of direction in them. Check this out and see them live. Label Moshi Moshi drops their Brilliant Sanity album April 8. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

Teleman (Facebook)

reviewed by
01-20-16

Rave’s Fave: The Last Shadow Puppets – Bad Habits

lastshadowpuppets

When the Coachella lineup was announced, a major highlight for me was that The Last Shadow Puppets would be part of the lineup. This of course is the collaboration of Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane. You aren’t onto Miles? The UK knows him real well from his solo and group work, and he’s under-appreciated here in the US. If you’ve heard the 2008 album The Age of the Understatement from these guys, “Bad Habits” will surprise you. It’s got a quirky groove, horns, and vocals not so much in the familiar style of either Alex or Miles. They were crushing it live last time they toured the US, so expect the same this time around. Their new full-length album is recorded and is expected to drop this spring. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

Last Shadow Puppets (Youtube)
Track Reviews
reviewed by
01-19-16

Rave’s Fave: The Gods Themselves – Tangerines

thegodsthemselves

Here’s a Seattle 3-piece that’s hard rock, psychedelic, slightly retro, dancy, and much more. The Gods Themselves list their genre as Psychedelic Dance Music and the bottom line is they sound fresh as hell on “Tangerines” from their Pink Noise album. If you’re hooked on guitar hooks, this track will probably slay you. The tune launches with a winning riff that you’ll swear you’ve heard a million times–but it’s slightly bent. There are a few curve balls in this tune, such as the sudden synth solo that feels like a cool lemonade on a hot day. I find their music goes well with The Dead Weather, with Astra Elane’s raw rock guitars and vocals. They just completed a tour of the Pacific Northwest. No further dates are listed but let’s hope they hit some more distant destinations very soon. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

The Gods Themselves (Facebook)

reviewed by
11-11-15

Rave’s Fave: The Fratellis – Dogtown

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The Fratellis latest album Eyes Wide Tongue Tied probably hasn’t received its due here in the US. As usual for this band, the album’s packed with interesting tracks. Dogtown is a mid-tempo stomper with a catchy guitar hook and a somewhat surprising horn section that will probably hook you even harder. They’ve also included a keyboard part that sounds straight out of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. The Fratellis are best known for the huge UK #1 hit and Chicago Black Hawks theme song “Chelsea Dagger” and their biggest US hit “Flathead” that got its boost from an Apple commercial. The fact is that these guys have so much more to offer. If you’re in the US, see them on tour this month. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

The Fratellis (Official)

reviewed by
10-13-15

Rave’s Fave: Bloc Party – The Love Within

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Bloc Party are back and in a winning way. This new single doesn’t revert to their original post-punk ways, but it seems to be exactly where the band should be in 2015. The melodies are there, it’s got a groove that reminds slightly of singer Kele’s solo work, and there’s a strange, haunting organ that will likely stick to your ribs. Ace guitarist Russell Lissack remains in the fold, but their nearly irreplaceable rhythm section of old is now history. If “The Love Within” is any indication, this version of the band will be just fine. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

Bloc Party england (Official)

reviewed by
10-06-15

Rave’s Fave: Skinny Lister – Trouble On Oxford Street

Skinny Lister

If you’re a fan of The Pogues, you’ll probably be a fan of “Trouble On Oxford Street” by the UK band Skinny Lister. From the rapid drum intro to the end, it’s a fun track that allows pub rock to keep its good name. Yes this song sounds oh so British. The band is currently touring the US with Frank Turner. I’ll be at the October 22 show at LA’s Mayan Theater. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

Skinny Lister england (Soundcloud)

reviewed by
10-05-15

Rave’s Fave: The Struts – Where Did She Go

struts

As of late, a few bands have been adding some edge and energy to what has been a light and pop feel to American “alternative” radio. One of these bands is The Struts who have a national airplay hit with “Could Have Been Me”. They channel a heavy 70’s British glam feel, and singer Luke Spiller has made no bones about Queen being his favorite band. He sounds like Freddy Mercury much of the time and even has the early Mercury hairstyle. The band got its name because of Luke strutting around the stage even in rehearsals. A deeper track from them is the rollicking “Where Did She Go”, which reminds of monster 70’s Brit bands like Slade. They will be touring the US this fall. Check ‘em out. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

The Struts (Facebook)

reviewed by
09-21-15

Rave’s Fave: The Strypes – A Good Night’s Sleep and a Cab Fare Home

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Two years ago, The Strypes were one of the hottest new bands emerging from the UK. They were amazing live and released their stellar debut Snapshot that blended uptempo 60’s rock and r&b. US response was promising but they failed to quite get over the top, possibly due to their label being involved in a merger. With all their potential, the questions arose: What would they do for an encore? The Little Victories album has been out in the UK for over a month. It displays a real maturity for the band, as they take on a heavier sound and varying tempos. As of this writing, the band still doesn’t have a US release date despite this being a strong follow-up and them being killer live. I trust that in short time, a label will come forward because this band is simply too good. Here’s our “Fave” for first single “Scumbag City”. For a song that stretches out a little more, try “A Good Night’s Sleep and a Cab Fare Home”. These guys will be fine in the long run. There’s too much talent all around, and the time will probably come when guitarist Ross Farrelly gets his due as one of rock’s premier players. Reviewed by Bruce Rave.

Check out Bruce’s weekly “Go Deep” radio show; air dates and times for “Go Deep” as well archived past shows can be found on Bruce’sblog. Don’t forget to follow Bruce on Twitter too!

The Strypes ireland (Facebook)

reviewed by
09-17-15