The LA Times does a stand up job of covering the entertainment industry. It's got an Oscar blog, a TV blog, one about the business of entertainment. But for me, the best is it's music blog, Pop & Hiss.
It's very LA-centric mind you, so some of the posts revolve around performances out there. And I've always found Californian musical tastes to be mirrors of that 49er gold rush, free spirit, car centric western lifestyle. It doesn't really appeal to me on a whole, but nonetheless is fascinating.
All that said, Pop and Hiss ran a feature last week of 2009 artists to watch, and they run the gamut from hip hop, the roots rock, to world music. But I was most intrigued by a Boston band called Wild Light, a group that makes unapologetic big pop music. They've got a touring pedigree that's pretty certified: Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, on tour now with Tapes n Tapes. And they just won best Outstanding Rock Act of the Year from the Boston Music Awards.
I got their four song EP after reading the article, and it holds up well. It's full of those jangly guitars, driving drum beats, great harmony vocals. I found myself humming 'New Hampshire' all day. And their song "California On My Mind" off their yet to be released album is lyrically very simple, but has probably one of the best East Coast-Hates-West Coast refrains ever ("Fuck today/Fuck San Francisco/Fuck California"). I'm not sure how you can hear it and not love it.
They've got a pretty extensive tour coming up in support of their debut release "Adult Nights." Check them out.
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