Many music fans won't even spend 99 cents on a download. So why do so many pay $3.99 to send Trey Songz a virtual bottle of champagne and some imaginary chocolates?
Photo courtesy of KWL Management Trey Songz
Santa Monica-based company Handmade Mobile Entertainment created an app called The Angel Network, an online fan club and social network for the R&B star. Since launching in December, the app (called TAN for short) is raking in over $50,000 a month from about 52,000 users. Songz's rabid fan base purchases credits to put towards virtual gifts, greater access to their idol, and pure bragging rights.More »
[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.]
After a month of living in Virginia and the D.C. area, we (myself, cameraman, producer and assistant producer) have made a company move to and are now living at the Pointe Plaza Hotel on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn.More »
[Editor's note: Soon-to-be-award-winning gonzo music journalist Danielle Bacher prowls the late late night scene for West Coast Sound. For this installment, she hits the town with LA-based soul-pop band Fitz and the Tantrums.]
Danielle Bacher Left to right: Jimmy Kimmel, James King, Joseph Karnes, Noelle Scaggs, Michael Fitzpatrick , Jeremy Ruzumna John Wicks
I should probably have dropped quarts of acid into the disgusting coconut water in the dressing room at Jimmy Kimmel Live! It's the perfect drink to fuck with since it tastes like dirty socks. Then again, drugging Fitz and the Tantrums would not have been the right thing to do.
5:20 p.m.: It's chilly outside as the band rehearses "Out of My League" for Kimmel. It's from their second album More Than Just a Dream, out earlier this month on Elektra Records. Did you know this band is kind of a big deal? They're getting radio play, and were even on the LL Cool J record!More »
Dear Willie D:
I'm in a long-distance relationship with a good man, but the miles are starting to wear on my patience -- not to mention my pocketbook. We met at a business seminar two years ago in Miami where he is an architect for a reputable firm. Since I live and work in L.A., we don't get to spend much time together.
I've been under a lot of stress lately with my job. When I come home it would be nice to actually see, touch and talk to the man I'm in love with about my issues and how my day went. I have wonderful friends, but it's depressing when I hang out with them and everybody is all snuggled up and smooching on their significant others. I don't want to break up with him and neither of us wants to move. Please advise?
You know Montell Jordan. But the "This Is How We Do It" singer has abandoned his familiar topics of women, partying and drinking and is now the worship pastor at a church in Atlanta. He uses his brand of pop-leaning contemporary Christian music to lead the multi-ethnic megachurch.
We meet up with him recently in L.A. Now 44, he looks like a soccer dad running Saturday morning errands in his powder blue shirt, grey zip-up hoodie, and matching flat cap. Joined by his wife Kristin, the father of four is not wearing sunglasses, as pop stars tend to do. This appears to be a changed man.More »
The metal community are a passionate bunch. Step out of line, and you'll get the horns. Just ask Deafheaven. The San Francisco natives turned heads with their 2011 debut LP Roads to Judah (released on Deathwish Inc), but not everyone was thrilled. Take, for example, YouTube member MorbidDaniel's comment, "LMAO! Emo/Hipster faggots attempting Black Metal amuses me. =D This band is an epic fail and the vocalist ought to be shot in between the eyes with an XM25."
Randi Sumner Deafheaven's George Clarke and Kerry McCoy
Indeed, the band angered many in the community by partnering black metal staples like machine gun drumming and shrieking vocals with uniquely personal, emo-tinged lyrics and a post-rock ambience that wouldn't be out of place on an Explosions in the Sky record. And as if those elements weren't enough to grind the gears of diehard purists, Deafheaven's sophomore LP Sunbather features eye-scorching hot pink album art designed by Nick Steinhardt, the lead guitarist of L.A.'s own similarly controversial hardcore act Touche Amore. We caught up with Deafheaven front man George Clarke to talk about haters and the wildest city on their recent Europe tour.More »
Credit: Claudia Lucia
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]
Until recently, it was tricky to quantify Alejandro Cohen's contributions to the L.A. underground-music world. He's a Swiss army knife of an artist -- the sort of indispensable but underpublicized figure who inevitably helps form the dorsal column of any vibrant art scene.
The Buenos Aires-raised Cohen is foremost a musician, initially as half of Languis, a fondly remembered Eastside band that toiled for a decade starting in the late '90s. He is the artist as selector: a DJ at online radio shrine Dublab (where he's also general manager), a curator of Argentine post-punk compilations and the creator of audiovisual tributes to Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. He's also a composer of original scores for PBS programs and documentaries, and a connector who is responsible for dozens of inspired interactions between seemingly far-flung music worlds.More »
On a Friday night, West Pico bar The Mint was host to a small, hardcore crowd of hip hop purists donning hi-top fades and African medallions. On stage, a woman dressed in a vintage Nike windbreaker, silver leggings, and gold bamboo earrings grabbed the mic and introduced herself to the crowd. "I like to get my aggressive rap shit out first." With no backing vocals, Inglewood-based emcee iLLCamille rhymed over West Coast influenced breakbeats and soulful arrangements. She carried herself with the professionalism of a headlining artist and the humility of a block party rapper.
[Editor's Note: Shea Serrano sometimes writes about Why This Song Sucks, and sometimes about his hilarious and poignant life and times. Better put your shoes on because your socks are about to be blown off.]
7:18 a.m.: I'm taking the boys fishing this morning. There's a serviceable little fishing peer about an hour from my doorstep so that's where we're heading. The plan is to just hang out with Boy A and Boy B for a bit, but also there's a secret plan: I've loaded my phone with a SUPER DUPER MR. HOOPER tough playlist that I want to listen to with the boys while we fish and talk and just exist as father and sons. Best case scenario: We get to experience at least one profound moment (hopefully it happens during the bridge of Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary"). Worst case scenario: I come back home with only one of them because I tossed the other into the ocean in a fit of rage. Fingers crossed.More »
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