Alexandra & The Starlight Band
With her latest solo release, Alexandra & The Starlight Band, Alexandra Starlight has critics buzzing, hailing the gritty & sultry songstress as the new, 21st century Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Along with CD, Alexandra & The Starlight Band is being released in a never-before-made combination of clear vinyl/rainbow glitter, each painstakingly custom made & hand numbered. Entirely crowd-funded, the release garnered an overwhelming response on the creative platform Kickstarter—resulting in over 205% funding and the limited edition 7” being nearly sold out, months before its release.
For this recording, Alexandra Starlight worked at Henson Studios in Los Angeles alongside Bob Cutarella (Paul McCartney, Alice Cooper, Madonna, Joss Stone, Keith Richards), engineer Paul LaMalfa (Brian Wilson, Colbie Caillat, Sheryl Crow, Loretta Lynn, Mariah Carey), Kevin Mills (Michael Bublé, Tom Morello, Céline Dion, No Doubt, Bruce Springsteen, Velvet Revolver, Gwen Stefani) and Lena Horne’s former band leader, Lou Forestieri (Tori Amos).
Sonically, the 5 song EP presents a fresh spin on classic American music; hearkening back to the golden period in the 1970’s when rock ‘n’ rollers were looking to the sounds of Motown, R&B, funk and soul for inspiration. In the swinging “Without My Sunshine,” Starlight muses on the proverbial calm after navigating a stormy sea of heartache, with a bittersweet sense of gratitude, set to the sounds of gospel backing vocals and a classic Stax Records style horn section. Yet Starlight stands strong and never plays the victim; in the funky & heavy-hitting “T.T.M.F.” she trash-talks her two-timing ex-lover, positioning herself as the victor in her own superhero-esque survivor theme song. The result is a collection of songs that are at once triumphant and vulnerable, introspective and searching, strong and sassy.
Alexandra Starlight’s live show matches the intensity of the songs, earning her a reputation as an artist to watch. She has played alongside artists such as Dick Dale, Semi-Precious Weapons, Kate Nash, Trixie Whitley, Intronaut, Jhene Aiko, Vanaprasta, Harriet & Black Math Horseman, at notable LA venues such as The Troubadour, Hotel Café & The Satellite. Earlier this year, she performed at SXSW for a showcase curated by the Miles Davis family.
Zachary James & The All Seeing Eyes
Young rocker Zachary James, with his born-to-be-a-frontman, lanky, long-haired look, presents a fresh spin on classic rock ‘n’ roll, both sonically and visually. Towering from the stage at 6’7” (topping out quintessential spindly singer Joey Ramone by over an inch), James turns heads with his infectious good time rock ’n’ roll & his striking looks.
Now just 23, James has been hell-bent on a rock revival for nearly a decade. At the tender age of 15, James collaborated with Grammy-award winning producer Matt Hyde (Slayer, No Doubt, Monster Magnet, Sublime, Porno for Pyros). He released his first 7” vinyl single “Can’t Stop Drinkin’ ‘Bout You” before he graduated high school on acclaimed Gearhead Records. The label—responsible for launching the careers of The Hives & The Donnas, and home to rock royalty New Bomb Turks & The Hellacopters—also released James’ first full-length album,Thunderboys…are GO!.
Later that year, James independently released the full-length album All Seeing Eyes, with critics hailing it as an “inspired and masterful production.” In support of the album, Zachary James did a two week long tour of the west coast.
James went on to form his current solo project, Zachary James & The All Seeing Eyes, and is finalizing a new full length album inspired by James’ interstellar affection for cosmic rock ‘n’ roll. Addressing themes of space, specters and the supernatural with a playful synth-infused glam-rock twist, the album showcases James’ songwriting prowess. For this forthcoming release, Zachary James worked at renowned Henson Studios in Los Angeles alongside Kevin Mills (Michael Bublé, Tom Morello, Céline Dion, No Doubt, Bruce Springsteen, Velvet Revolver, Gwen Stefani).
Zachary James’ live show has earned him the reputation as an artist to watch. He has played alongside rock artists such as Prima Donna, Electric Eel Shock, GitoGito Hustler, Emily’s Army, Lord of Altamont, The Joneses, The Fucking Wrath and River City Rebels. He is endorsed by Fender, Orange & Homebrew Electronics.
Winnipeg indie pop outfit Boats makes impossibly hooky pop songs about death, being old, girls, glowing bears and escaping the spectral plane of existence and reappearing at a football game — all of which can be found on the band’s sparkling third album, A Fairway Full Of Miners, due out Feb. 5, 2013 via Kill Rock Stars (Corin Tucker Band, Elliott Smith, Decemberists, Deerhoof).
Recorded in the spring/summer of 2012 by Ryan McVeigh at Prairie Recording Studios/UMFM and mixed by David Carswell in Vancouver (Destroyer, New Pornographers), A Fairway Full Of Miners comes as the follow-up to Boats’ acclaimed 2010 sophomore album, Cannonballs, Cannonballs — named the No. 1 album of 2010 by Winnipeg college radio station 101.5 UMFM and hailed by critics for its inventiveness and mega-watt charm. But if Cannonballs, Cannonballs was all about giddy exuberance, A Fairway Full Of Miners is about growing up and finding yourself. There are still plenty of manic, sloppy-on-purpose junk-store pop tunes that burst with pop-rocks-and-Coke energy (O Telescope), but the new record also sees the band stretch out over more ambitious epics (Animated GIFs) and heartfelt ballads (Advice on Bears). It’s eclectic, but not unfocused; the whole thing is unified by frontman/band leader Mat Klachefsky’s helium-high yelp of a singing voice.
Maturity has become almost a cliché when it comes to describing albums — especially third albums — but A Fairway Full Of Miners has a focus to it that comes with relentless touring (Boats has done eight North American tours) and a sophistication that comes with refining a particular sound over the span of three albums). But don’t confuse mature with boring; Boats albums give you that thrilling feeling of being on the verge of spinning wildly, dizzingly out of control.
Look for A Fairway Full Of Miners in early February. A three-song cassette tape will be released this December.
Jon Scott http://jonscott.net
Jon Scott was born, raised, and currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Scott fell in love with music at a young age when he started learning to play the piano at 5. At 13, he began playing the guitar and never put it down again. Jon also plays the bass guitar, drums, and harmonica. He has spent time training with the Los Angeles Music Academy.
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