Given the state of guns and violence in America, and how the unspeakable insanity of a few can ruin lives of many, I present the healing calm of "MMLJ" by the L.A.-based The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers. Heavenly Fire, their debut album, will be released on August 4th. Recorded with Matt Wignall (Cold War Kids, J. Roddy Walston and the Business) and led by the remarkable vocalist Kim Garcia, it won't be long before The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers become household names. You can catch them at upcoming festivals including Austin City Limits, the High Sierra Music Festival, and Pygmalion Music Festival.
I've seen so much music over the years it's often difficult for me to find much that is authentic. I have to get off the beaten track and lurk around the fringes of the music scene. Find those pockets of music where the authentic bubbles and boils. Where artists are making authentic art, for themselves, for their small stake in the world; hoping to get some response back from an audience or a scene, hoping to be noticed, hoping to share their art.
Here's one of my favorite new rock tunes, a quirky little ditty from East India Youth that you should buy and tell your friends to buy as well. Taken from the upcoming album Culture Of Volume out on the 7th of April. Look for this London-based artist's North American tour starting at SXSW. Remember, kiddies, there is no shame in sharing music as long as you don't rip off the artists who write, record, and release it. Long live rock!
Of all my friends, my mentor and dear friend Michael Butler has led one exceptional and interesting life. To the manor born is only part of his wonderful background. His stories are legendary and many a dinner party I will goad him into sharing some story about life on his farm in Oak Brook, IL or why he decided to produce Hair on Broadway or his glorious polo playing days or his friendship with politicians (The Kennedys) and movie stars (Rock Hudson, Tyrone Power) alike. He's the only individual to appear on Richard Nixon’s Enemies List... twice! Thankfully he's finally sharing his stories with the masses via his new podcast. These are perfect for consumption at any time of the day and worth sharing with your friends and family, too. Subscribe to Michael Butler's Memoirs on iTunes today.
Harry Shearer was recently in town promoting his new brilliantly acted and expertly executed web series -- Nixon's The One! -- about Richard Milhous Nixon. Recently, I had the chance to listen to him wax poetic about Nixon, the production challenges of the show, share clips, and ponder why only Sky TV in UK funded the series. Why no one in the US would distribute it is still mind-boggling. Shearer and his actors memorized the actually transcripts from the actual Nixon White House tapes that had been in storage in the National Archives for over 40 years. He and Nixon historian Stanley Kutler (both credited as the show's writers) poured over hundreds of hours of transcripts before committing the series to film. Thanks to our friends at My Damn Channel, here's the first episode of the six-part series co-created by and starring Mr. Shearer. In this episode, Nixon learns how the taping system works, receives some serious ass-kissing from his lapdog Henry Kissinger, lectures dairy lobbyists on how to sell milk, and orders the tapes destroyed. Not to be missed. Share it with your children. It's the history lesson that keeps on giving!