From the Blog

  • Festival Watch: Our Picks From Culture Collide 10/10-10/12

    October 14, 2013   Here at Ones To Watch, nothing sets us off on happy life tangents more than discovering new music that rocks. Naturally, we jump at any opportunity to do so – which is how we found ourselves in L.A.’s Echo Park for this weekend’s Culture Collide Fest. The fourth annual arts festival thrown by FILTER Magazine featured a lineup of musicians from all around the globe and surprises along the way, including a creative panel kickoff featuring keynote speaker Moby (awesome) and tacos from Iceland (yum). Basically, we were blown away by the amount of talent the world brought. Below are a list of the acts that stood out to us the most. The Men (US)  [Photo: Kate Griffin] From Brooklyn, NY, the men of The Men won us over with their fuzzy, post-punk rock sounds they brought to the festival. Their new EP, Campfire Songs, is out today via Sacred Bones Records. The collection of five tracks was literally recorded around a burning fire during the band’s sessions for their 2013 album, New Moon.   The Raveonettes (Denmark)  [Photo: William Le] The Raveonettes proved they were just as good live as we hoped they’d be. That their latest album, Observator, was recorded in the same studio on Sunset where The Doors recorded many records came as no surprise – this bicoastal duo from Denmark are well on their way to making an even bigger name for themselves in American rock.   Bagheera (US) The beginning  of Friday night brought one of our earliest finds with Houston DJ, Aidan Kennedy. As Bagheera, his funky, upbeat mix of urban and primitive dance music had the crowd in high spirits for the rest of the evening.  Birth of Joy (The Netherlands) One of the buzzbands of Friday night was psychedelic rock trio, Birth of Joy. Their live set had the entire festival talking about the Dutch group, who self-classify as “Sixties on Steroids.”  Rhye (US, Denmark, Canada) [Photo: Live on Jimmy Kimmel] Rhye (pronounced like “rye”) has been quite the talk of town lately, and with every good reason. The sublime synthesis of Mike Milosh’s ethereal vocals and Robin Hannibal’s soulful blend of jazz and electronic instrumentals made for a positively cerebral live experience. Their new album, Woman, debuted in May via Republic Records. Kid Karate (Ireland) “Two Boys. Make Noise” reads Kid Karate’s Facebook About section. That is both a truth and an understatement for this rock duo from Dublin, who had the entire floor at The Echo floored from the first few notes of “Heart.”  Duologue (UK) Of course we had to make it out and support our favorite guys from the UK, Duologue. Finally having recouped from jetlag, they played a solid live set in the back of a cozy French restaurant which, by the looks of it, garnered a whole new room of fans just in time for the release of their new album, Song & Dance. 

  • Eye On Film: 'CBGB'

    October 13, 2013   New York’s infamous punk rock club CBGB may have been closed for years, but its grimy legacy lives on in the new feature film CBGB. Directed by Randall Miller (Bottle Shock), the movie pays tribute to the club and emerging New Wave and punk bands it lifted and abetted at the height of the hardcore punk culture of the 1970s and 1980s. CBGB follows the rise and fall of the original 315 Bowery and its notorious owner, the moody Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman), with an appetizing list of fictional portrayals including the Ramones, Talking Heads, Velvet Underground, and Iggy Pop. Sting’s daughter, Mickey Sumner, appears as Patti Smith while the Police too appear in fictionalized form. In celebration of the movie premiere, this weekend New York hosted the 2013 CBGB Music and Film Festival, which featured a free live concert in Times Square with headliners including My Morning Jacket, Grizzly Bear, Divine Fits and our friends Atlas Genius and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. [Watch this awesome cover of “Don’t Do It” by My Morning Jacket and Jakob Dylan.] And if you needed a different reason to go see the film, there’s a mini Harry Potter reunion as well. In addition to Alan Rickman (who played Professor Snape in the box-office crushing films) the film stars Rupert Grint, who played Harry’s sidekick Ron Weasley, as Cheetah Chrome, frontman of punk band the Dead Boys.

  • Weekend Fix: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

    October 12, 2013   What’s on your playlist this weekend? Here at Ones To Watch, we’ve got Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s new LP, The Speed of Things, soundtracking our festivities! This cheeky pair of Detroit natives took a minute from throwing high-energy, antic-filled live shows to piece together a followup to their irresistably dancey 2011 debut, It’s A Corporate World. If you’re a fan of buzzy, feel-good music, then we highly recommend you check out “Hiding” and “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t On The Dancefloor)” below. Catch these guys on tour with Atlas Genius and Family of the Year! Find tickets here: http://ones2wat.ch/atlasgeniusmain

  • Artist To Watch: Duologue Live at Bootleg Theater

    October 11, 2013   [Photo: John Gleeson] October 10, 2013 - What’s the formula for creating the next electronic-rock sensation? Of course there isn’t one, but going into hibernation and experimenting seems to have worked for many a band, the latest being London’s emerging electronic outfit, Duologue. For a winter, that’s what songwriter Tim Digby-Bell and fellow musician and programming beats-head Toby Leeming did in an isolated barn in Suffolk, when they first began playing music together. From these experimental beginnings, the duo garnered enough intention and material to round out its membership to a five-piece. This past summer, the band landed spots playing the dance stages at the internationally-renowned Reading and Leeds music festivals, and that was only the beginning. This week, Duologue traveled to the U.S. to promote the release of their debut album, Song & Dance (out this week via Killing Moon). The group is slated to headline tonight’s Culture Collide Festival in Los Angeles, which showcases emerging international musicians at various local venues in the eclectic music enclave of Echo Park. The following week, the group will travel to New York to play at the CMJ Music Marathon. Prior to their Culture Collide performance, Ones To Watch caught Duologue at a private showcase at the Bootleg Theater, where the London rockers unleashed an impressive set of rollicking techno beats and moody instrumental connections. Before the show, we sat down with singer and instrumentalist Tim Digby-Bell, who’d just hopped off a plane the day after the rest of the group arrived. The reason? Digby-Bell is also a playwright (he’s a big Samuel Beckett and Tennessee Williams fan) and was attending a reading for a play he’d written in London. Ones To Watch: How did you all meet each other and form Duologue? Digby-Bell:  We were all up in University of Edinburgh. Toby and I – the blonde Toby [there are two in the group] - started jamming together and kind of had a real shared taste in music and wanted to experiment playing with electronics. Toby was playing Detroit techno, I was singing in a pub, then we got together and started messing around. We set up in a barn in Suffolk and just spent a few months freezing our asses off and trying to write music. It was a really slow process and we eventually got material together that we felt was good. Then we felt that what we’d written was too big of a sound for the two of us to play, so that’s when we started thinking about getting other people on board. We got Seb and Ross and the other Toby slowly. We really wanted to take our time with it and make sure it was the best we could be. Ones To Watch: You mentioned you and Toby had similar tastes, so what kind of sound were you going for? Digby-Bell: Well I think the whole idea was we wanted to start with something without a drummer, Tobes is a massive techno head, and we’re both really into electronic and dance music and we wanted to make something that had all those elements – we wanted the energy and the sound palette that you can change up, but then also at the heart of it we wanted to have songs and songwriting and the singer and lyrics and everything like that. We just wanted to combine the two a bit – the bits we love from dance music and the bits we love from traditional songwriting. There were a lot of misses, a lot of things we tried and didn’t work, but it really opens up – you can explore any kind of genre, that’s the most exciting bit about being in this band. You can go anywhere you want – you’re not limited by the instruments you have on stage, you have an infinite choice of sounds and choice of vibe and atmospheres. The possibilities of electronic music are endless. Ones To Watch: So how would you describe where you ended up with Song & Dance? How did that concept come together? Digby-Bell:  Well the album is the product of years of work, and some of which was done just before the album session. I demo-ed “Underworld” two weeks before we went in and thankfully we all pushed it through. And there are other songs that we wrote years before. It’s really snapshots from all kinds of bits of our lives. “Push It“ is on there in the middle of the album, which is the first song we put together as a five-piece. We just put a four-four on loop and just jammed on that for literally weeks and then ended up with a seven minute song that sounded like it’s being jammed live. Then we wanted the album to have different moods and different characters to it: to be really lonely at times and be really content at times, then have moments of tension and release in them. Moments that were sumptuous. We got a wonderful string quartet to come play with us. I think the one thing we’re keen on is to have a real variety and breadth on an album.  We wanted an album that could have really small, intimate moments and sort of a much bigger electronic sound. So like any album, I think it’s got to have its various moods and peaks and drops that makes it a work as a whole rather than just a collection of songs. Ones To Watch: What’s your aim with your live shows?   Particularly playing with electronics, it’s hard for it to come across as particularly live sometimes. We’ve tried to make it as live and exciting as possible, and be kind of banding, do you know what I mean - and be more. Maybe on record it’s more a half and half thing, but certainly live we want it to feel like there’s a lot of synergy; we do a lot of live looping. Ones To Watch: So a lot of live collaborating. Digby-Bell: Yeah, and exploring bits of songs and taking it to different places you couldn’t on a record, and blending it together kind of like a DJ. Ones To Watch: Your voice has been compared to Thom Yorke’s a lot, which is obviously a compliment, but do you fear being pinned to just, say, Radiohead? Digby-Bell: We do get that a lot, and we can’t deny we’re fans… it’s only a compliment I guess. I sing, and that’s just the way I sing. So I can’t really help if people draw that comparison. And in general I suppose it’s not like we’re an indie band that sounds like so many other indie bands. It’s just our aim is trying to do something different if we can. I don’t really think about it much, to be honest. We’re just very keen to take our time. I think we’ve gotten to a place now where we can write really quickly and we feel our live show’s the best we’ve been. And I think it’s good to let it brew and ruminate. Ones To Watch: Are you excited for Culture Collide? Digby-Bell: So excited, I need to get over my jetlag. Looking forward to it.  For more on Duologue, we’ll be covering them and other new artists at this weekend’s Culture Collide Festival. Follow us @Onestowatch for live coverage and photos!

  • Watch Twenty One Pilots Channel The Walking Dead

    October 11, 2013   Missing some drama in your life ever since Breaking Bad ended? Then watch Twenty One Pilots in their new music video for “House of Gold.” Needless to say, it could double as a warped crossover episode between The Walking Dead and something you see on ABC Family. Enjoy.

  • Watch The Video Premiere Of "If So" By Atlas Genius

    October 10, 2013   If you’ve ever done long distance or were a fan of that infamous expectations vs. reality scene in 500 Days of Summer (you know the one), you’ll relate to the new music video for “If So” by Atlas Genius. Directed by Änders Rostad and starring actress Sofia Black D’Elia of MTV Skins and Gossip Girl fame, this bi-coastal story swiftly collages the urban backdrops of Los Angeles and New York until they’re hardly distinguishable. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy to switch between the two cities in real life.  Catch Atlas Genius on their Ones To Watch Tour with Family of the Year and Dale Earnhardt JR JR for $15 this week only at http://ones2wat.ch/15tmblr

  • Haim Reminds Us Why We Loved The 90s

    October 10, 2013   Lifting Haim out of the case is like taking ten years off your life.

  • When Did You Fall?

    October 9, 2013   Some people discover their favorite artists later in life, but we started falling for music pretty early on. What was the first album you remember listening to? #OnesToWatch

  • Get Your Live Music Fix For $15

    October 9, 2013   Discover the hottest emerging artists and get concert tickets for $15 this week only at www.onestowatch.com  You know there’s nothing on earth like it, and there’s only one place to find it. Don’t fight the feeling - grab tickets to select tours including Portugal. The Man, Atlas Genius, Jessie Ware and more! Discover the hottest emerging artists with Ones To Watch.

  • Enter "Stateless" With Lovelife

    October 8, 2013   In the mood for some sulky Brit rock? Check out Lovelife’s (LVLF) debut EP, Stateless, out now! Better yet, take a listen to our favorite tracks in our SoundCloud setlist below! More on LVLF at ones2wat.ch/lvlf

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