Imagine if a band just set out to write and record a few great songs. No gimmicks. No frills. Almost a throwback, if you will, to before artists became slaves to genres, scenes and gimmicks. That is exactly what Thousand Oaks’ Goodnight Kiss accomplished with its debut EP, Abandon Ship. And for that reason alone it is one of the better local releases of the year. The EP’s opener, “River Bends,” is simply a straightforward rock song, and its simplicity is what makes it so good. It’s well-written, -performed and -recorded — not to mention that it has an...Read More
Author: Chris Jay
You know the scene in countless 1980s movies where a detective investigating a case has to visit a seedy punk rock club? You know how there’s always a house band and a bunch of actors, dressed like stereotypical punks, dancing in the audience? If they cast that band today, members of The Rouse were born to play the part. Sounding exactly like what would happen if a pissed-off Grace Slick fronted an ’80s-era Los Angeles punk band, if The Rouse’s full-length release proves anything, it’s that there’s a good chance one of the best female vocalists in the county...Read More
It’s hard to write a review of the new Chris Hillman album because it can quickly turn into a bio about the mind-blowing career that the man has had, from his time in The Byrds to the Flying Burrito Brothers to the Desert Rose Band. There’s also the fact that you can make a good argument that he helped birth country rock — the good country rock, by the way, not the commercial radio drivel. Hillman is a living legend and to top it off he’s basically a local. Hillman’s latest release, and first in 12 years, Bidin’ My...Read More
When the music industry as we once knew it took a turn for the worse and left artists scrambling to reinvent how they promoted, toured, recorded and released music, one of the more interesting results to come out of the chaos has been the rise of house concerts. A house concert is exactly what it sounds like, a full-fledged performance by an artist in someone’s private home. Once thought to be a rather desperate — if not downright creepy — proposition for an artist, the house concert has turned into a legitimate venue for artists, especially in the singer/songwriter...Read More
Colin Hay’s career is a rarity. As the singer and chief songwriter for Men at Work, the Australian band that burst onto the scene in 1982 with a debut album that spawned two iconic mega hits (“Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”), he and his bandmates looked to be poised for massive and long-term success. The band, however, seemed to fall apart just as quickly as its members became stars. Before the decade was over, Hay was left without a band, major label or even a fan base. What he did next — pre-Internet no less —...Read More
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