It is hard not to listen to Melbourne-born singer/songwriter James Keogh and be pulled into his music; his songs play the cords of the archetypal yearning and broken-hearted but with a positivity lost by others. Better known by his stage name, Vance Joy, Keogh has been making waves (zing!) and enjoying some well-deserved success after only releasing his EP, God Loves You When You’re Dancing, back in March 2013 and his debut studio album, Dream Your Life Away, early last month . If you have yet to get acquainted with his music, I highly suggest you take a listen as you will undoubtedly be delighted by his up-beat tunes that can be paired with any occasion. Still growing into the scene, the 6’5” artist has a promising career ahead of him.
With ukulele strumming in the background, his first single, ‘Riptide’, sparks memories from an unforgettable summer, with nights spent dancing barefoot with friends and days lounging, care-free in the sun and sand down the beach. Discovering his music shortly after attending Firefly Music Festival, having not caught him live there was one of my few regrets from that incredible experience. As luck would have it I would redeem myself by catching him perform at the last Radio 104.5 Free Summer Block Party. Although I was enthralled by the other artists that would be performing that day [Grouplove, Sir Sly, Wolf Gang and Brick+Mortar], it was Vance Joy who I was the most excited about. Needless to say, he did not disappoint in any way. Dancing with my festival family to songs like ‘First Time’, ‘Play With Fire’, ‘Mess is Mine’, and ‘Riptide’, I don’t think I ever stopped smiling that night. I am excited for my future experiences enjoying Vance Joy live, as well as seeing his career blossom and where it will lead.
Check out his infectious tunes for yourself:
Okay so I have neglected this long enough. Music and art are my two biggest passions in life and I want to share the amazing creations of those who inspire me. Stay tuned for some interviews, reviews of shows and more! Love, Light & Respect <3
(I don’t know what happened below but some of The Shakers posts got bumped up… check beginning of blog for more on that talented group of LA rockers!)
"The Hold’ by The Shakers at Sunset Strip Market
(Interview with guitarist Chris Lee at beginning of blog
The Shakers bring new meaning to Rock & Roll. Lead singer Jodie Schnell has a presence on the stage that leaves her audience in awe, guitarist Chris Lee shreds it like the best of them (yes, I’ll even dare say he’s nearing Clapton status), Nick Woods plays the drums like an animal or shall I say like Animal, and Blane Barker ties this quartet of cool together with some pretty unreal bass playing. Luckily, I have been able to call guitarist Chris Lee a friend for quite a few years now. Once in the 7th grade, my future High School’s choir came to my middle school, pulled me up on stage and Chris played his guitar/sang while the other guys were crooning a Beatles song; he even gave me his guitar pick. Now that was a great moment, but it didn’t hold a candle to what was to come, catching The Shakers live in all their glory. First time my ears enjoyed them live was at an Irish pub in New Jersey and their energy on stage was tremendously refreshing. My music taste may be eclectic, but my heart belongs to Classic Rock, and boy do The Shakers know how to bring that good ‘ol Rock and Roll to life! When I moved out to LA, well wouldn’t you have it, The Shakers play(ed) every second Friday at Irish Times… a pub just a mile from my place in Culver City. Though that was my favorite place to catch them, because it was so close and intimate, there was nothing like seeing them rock the house at the iconic Viper Room and The Roxy. Do yourself a favor and go to see The Shakers, believe me, you won’t stop dancing the whole night!
Blane Barker - bass guitar
Chris Lee - lead guitar/vocals
Jodie Schell - lead vocals
Nick Woods - drums
Recently, I was introduced to and inspired by the works of Matt Tomczyk & his brand Visual Fiber. His colorful and intricate custom hats left me bewildered and his ease at creating them, well, jealous. The lids he creates have so much personality, my mouth dropped when he told me how much he was charging… I wasn’t catching flies because he over-charges (no such thing with these beauties) but because he was charging the bare minimum. Hours of back-numbing work and love go into each custom job he paints up and each is unique and special in its own way. Being an under-paid artist I can sympathize, but this fella deserves a lot more and I think once you see his craftsmanship, you’ll agree. Oh and he not only does lids but can lay down a sick design on a variety of surfaces, like boards & guitars. Put a little more psychedelic persuasion back in your life; pick up some rad art by Matt Tomczyk.