Category Archives: Music

Rachel Mason’s ‘Heart Explodes’ Today

gia on the move musicLos Angeles-based Cleopatra Records and artist-run cassette label Practical Records present Rachel Mason’s new album ‘Das Ram’ LP, which is premieres today in Louder Than War.

Comprised of eight tracks, this album conveys the stories of specific characters, who define and delight in their own realities and cosmologies, and individuals who create their own world views, their own religions, and fantasy lives.

‘Das Ram’ is an inversion of the name of renowned healer Ram Dass, and also a play on Mason’s own initials, Rachel Ann Mason. The tracks were produced by renowned Los Angeles based writer, artist and musician Jeff Hassay.

‘Heart Explodes’ is a metaphor for allowing oneself the freedom to destroy one’s old identity and to find a new paradigm from which to dream.

”Women are often offered a set of limitations from an early age, and these restrictions determine so much of one’s destiny. Yet, there can be great things that arise from limitation, but controlling one’s own set of rules, one’s own box, one’s own destiny is the key,” explains Rachel Mason.

Mason wrote and directed the song’s video with Aksel Stasny, a cinematographer who shot her recent rock opera feature film The Lives of Hamilton Fish. The character in this new video references Edith Piaf, singing an art song in the blinding light of a single spotlight. The character morphs and eventually corrodes until she is splayed out and dissolves in a pile of flesh as her heart literally explodes.

The song begins “I made a box, just for dreams, to set ablaze and fly into” and then leaps finally and triumphantly into the end chorus “My heart explodes with too much love, and this love explodes with too much light”.

Until mid-December, Mason has a residency at Los Angeles’ world-renowned Hammer Museum, creating live performing arts pieces in real time (In Real Life: Studio 4-6pm). She is also currently co-directing a documentary feature on Circus of Books, the notorious adult bookstore chain, which played a critical role in the Silver Lake and Hollywood music scenes and gay culture.

The Cleopatra album release party takes place on November 27 at Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theater (2220 Beverly Blvd) with performances by Rachel Mason and The Starseeds, as well as beloved Los Angeles bands Egrets on Ergot and L.A.Drones. Ahead of that, on November 13, Practical Records hosts the cassette release at Human Resources Gallery, Los Angeles.

TRACK LIST (‘DAS RAM’ LP)
1. Roses
2. Heart Explodes
3. Sandstorm
4. Tigers In The Dark
5. Marry Me
6. Queen Bee
7. Cancer
8. Heaven

UPCOMING APPEARANCES
Nov. 27 Los Angeles, Bootleg Theater – ‘Das Ram’ CD Release (with L.A. Drones, Egrets on Ergot)
Dec. 2 Hammer Museum Residency (In Real Life: Studio 4-6pm)
Dec. 20 Hammer Museum Residency (In Real Life: Studio 4-6pm)
Dec. 22 Hammer Museum Residency (In Real Life: Studio 4-6pm)

Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass: A Very Real Fairy Tale

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
gia on the move fairy tales hansel & gretal

Angela Giarratana and Caleb Foote in Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass
Photo by Cooper Bates

Immediacy.  That is the first thing you get with 24th Street Theatre’s world premiere adaptation Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass, written by Bryan Davidson and directed by Debbie Devine.

Most recognized as the classic Grimm fairy tale, the story may have originated in the medieval period of the Great Famine (1315–1321), which caused desperate people to abandon young children to fend for themselves, even resort to cannibalism. Set here in depression-era Kentucky in the Appalachian coal mining town of Butcher Holler, Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass moves in a sort of other worldly story-telling realm but also has the fascinating element of being historically real.

Narrated by a local radio jockey as an on-air response to a write-in letter from a young boy who shares his private angst about his baby sister in a time of desperate hunger, the production is paired down to a gorgeous simplicity that needs no deep diving for meaning or explanation.

Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass hones in on the difficulties siblings have in their relationships with one another but even more, the co-dependencies, the frailties, the strengths and the resiliency to overcome those difficulties and in this case, extreme circumstance within which the unlikely orphans find themselves. The story is profound and sincere.

Hansel & Gretel Bluegrass is executive director Jay McAdams’ response in part, to the wave of South American children who immigrated parent-less across the U.S. Border several years ago – some of whom landed in the local North University Park neighborhood. And although it does not specifically address that politic, the story offers hints of insight into the reasoning for child abandonment without curing or apologizing for the motives of letting children “into the wild” alone.

Performances by Angela Giarratana as Gretel and Caleb Foote as Hansel are endowed with a naievity that is absolutely darling. Sarah Zinsser as the mountain woman (witch) layers a downright menacing dimension. Bradley Whitford as radio announcer “The Duke” rounds out this production with hillbilly levity that is pure fun, captivating and compassionate. Whiteford’s voice resonates empathy far beyond the structure.

The characters that play the standout roles in this imaginatively amalgamated production are the video, set, sound, lighting, costume and music, arranged respectively by Mathhew G. Hill, Keith Mitchell, Chris Moscatiello, Dan Weingarten, Michael Mullen and Megan Swan, topped off by featured music by The Get Down Boys (Mark Cassidy-banjo, Scott Gates-mandolin, Israel Parker-dobro, Evan Winsor-bass).

Hansel and Gretel Bluegrass is possibly an even-better version than the original.

Now Playing until December 11, 2017.  Check the listing for more information.

 

The British Beat Explosion: Rock ‘n’ Roll Island

gia on the move filmEveryone has heard of The Cavern Club in Liverpool, but few people know of the influence of a rundown hotel on Eel Pie Island, which was the London launch pad for many well-known musicians in the 60s including The Stones, The Who, The Yardbirds, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and Eric Clapton.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Island, a new award-winning indie film by co-producer/director Cheryl Robson, celebrates the musical history of Eel Pie Island, a small island in the Thames in South-West London which became the epicenter of rhythm and blues music in the 60s.

“There was definitely something in the water in South West London which affected all those who went, played, sang or danced at Eel Pie Island. The energy was infectious.” ~Project Director Cheryl Robson

The film offers exclusive interviews with rock musicians such as Rod Stewart and Steve Hackett (Genesis) plus Mick Avory from The Kinks, Top Topham from The Yardbirds,  Phil May from The Pretty Things, Geoff Cole from the Ken Colyer Bagia on the move music eel pie islandnd, Bob Dwyer from The Southern Stompers, Don Craine and Keith Grant from The Downliners Sect and Paul Stewart from The Others, as well as with fans who went to the Island and combines this with archive and newly-discovered stills. A local museum is being crowdfunded to celebrate the Island’s musical heritage.

Film screenings of Rock ‘n’ Roll Island are being shown at:

CARMEL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, October 20th and 22nd
INTERNATIONAL FAMILY FILM FESTIVAL (Hollywood) October 21st, 4.30pm
L.A. FEMMES FILM FESTIVAL (Los Angeles) October 22nd, 2-4pm

gia on the move music eel pie island gia on the move music eel pie island gia on the move music eel pie island

 

 

 

 

Scorsese – American Crime Requiem Explodes The Wallis Stage

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move scorsese musicals

“On every street in very city there’s a nobody who dreams of being a somebody.”

A robust mélange of dirty street slang, slut slink, curses, violence and sex took center stage at the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills last Thursday night, September 29, 2016, for the official opening of, For the Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem. But it was the set list, blazing concert light grid and hard, heavy, rock & roll belting that brought the house down with a WHAM, BAM!!!

Cramming filthy dialog, crass sketches and over-the-top bad boys and girls alike from Scorsese films – Casino, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and Taxi Driver, the immersive concert mash-up is a ‘revolutionizing’ live musical theater experience by acclaimed company, For The Record, currently returned to Los Angeles.

Step into Marty’s Place – a four tier venue (including  orchestra pit) that takes audiences from a Lower East Side dive bar to an Italian restaurant, a Las Vegas casino and a classic rock stage. More than a few miscreants – and all characters you will recognize – highlight 40 years of Scorsese storytelling on film.

There is absolutely nothing subtle about this production or a single moment of wistful pause. Forget about comic irony or any other literary device. And definitely don’t look for any feel-good Italian culture in any of this. The vignettes are cringe-worthy.  The bits almost extraneous to the music.  Much of the actual script reads incidental to the production really, with strung-together characters grinding through interchangeable story-lines that just happen to be Scorsese. But stylistically this deliciously excessive extravaganza is on the money from language, to costume to supernova vocals and a whole lot of attitude to go around. These peeps ‘put out’!

And although its difficult to tally the overwhelming number of  fucks that are uttered throughout the evening, they are most liberally spread (and…occasionally that’s not all).

Front to back, For The Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem knocks audiences up, down and around with salacious hilarity. The eye-popping, showstopping cast will blow you away.

Featuring all-stars, Tony Award-Winner John Lloyd Young, Tony Award-Nominee Carmen Cusack, Pia Toscano, Lindsey Gort and Grammy Award-Nominee B. Slade. Plus, For The Record Alums James Byous, Dionne Gipson, Olivia Harris, Doug Kreeger, Justin Mortelliti, Jason Paige and Zak Resnick.

Outrageous!

Beastie Boys ‘Re-Issued’ on Vinyl October 14th

Beastie Boys, LICENSED TO ILL, gia on the move, music

Beastie Boys, LICENSED TO ILL Special 30th Anniversary Edition Vinyl Reissue Available October 14, 2016 (PRNewsFoto/UMe)

The 30th Anniversary LP edition of Beastie Boys’ debut album Licensed To Ill will be released on October 14, 2016. This special reissue was cut from the original production masters and is presented on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl.

Produced by Rick Rubin and Beastie Boys, Licensed To Ill was originally released November 15, 1986–making the B Boys the fifth artist to release a full length album on the original Def Jam label after LL Cool J, Slayer, Tashan and Oran “Juice” Jones.  It was the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200 and has been certified RIAA Diamond in the U.S. in 2015 for more than 10 million album sales.

On the all-time greatest albums lists of Rolling Stone, Q, Pitchfork, and NME, virtually every track on the album was a hit single or fan favorite, including “Hold It Now, Hit It,” “The New Style,” “Paul Revere,” “Brass Monkey,” “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party),” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” and more.

TRACKLISTING

Rhymin & Stealin’
The New Style
She’s Crafty
Posse in Effect
Slow Ride
Girls
(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)
No Sleep till Brooklyn
Paul Revere
Hold It Now, Hit It
Brass Monkey
Slow and Low
Time to Get Ill

‘We Are LA Family’ on Saturday, September 17th

gia on the move music festivalsThis Saturday, September 17, 2016, the We Are LA Family Music Festival, a daylong celebration will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The festival will feature educational family activities representing major cities and cultures in SoCal and all net proceeds from the festival will benefit 7 Los Angeles children’s charities.

  • Play soccer with the LA Galaxy
  • Explore with Kidspace Children’s Museum
  • Kayak and fish with the National Park Service
  • Face-paint with Hollywood makeup artists
  • Visit with animals from STAR Eco Station
  • and much more.

Here’s who you’ll be supporting:

826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Ameri-I-Can is focused on enabling individuals to meet their academic potential, to conform their behavior to acceptable society standards, and to improve the quality of their lives by equipping them with the critical life management skills to confidently and successfully contribute to society.

CASA of Los Angeles dedicates resources to mobilize community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children.

Happy Trails for Kids provides enriching outdoor adventures, invaluable mentorships, and opportunities to develop leadership skills and prepare children for life after foster.

Junior Achievement of Southern California seeks to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business and economics to improve the quality of their lives.

Richstone Family Center is dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse and trauma, strengthening and educating families and decreasing violence in families, schools, and communities.

LA Galaxy Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to helping children through educational, health and soccer based initiatives and programs.

Musicians and other artists included in Saturday’s line up are:

  • Actor Kevin Costner
  • Modern West
  • YouTube sensation and America Idol contestant, Jessica Sanchez
  • Reluctant Apostles featuring Katey Sagal
  • Singer Rachel Platten
  • Ozokidz,
  • presented by Ozomatli
  • Lisa Loeb
  • Lucky Diaz and T
  • he Family Jam Band
  • Rhythm Child
  • Magician and comedian Justin Willman – the host of Cupcake Wars

William Gray ‘Seine’ Releases on October 1st

gia on the move music

William Gray was a founding member of The Smokestacks, who, despite national tours, BBC live sessions, radio airplay, two single releases and major label interest, disbanded in 2008 having never officially released an album.

May 2009 saw Gray’s first solo outing None of the Above. Reaction was extremely positive with reviewers drawing favorable comparisons with respected and renowned songwriters like Elliott Smith, Bon Iver, Badly Drawn Boy and Damon Albarn.

In 2015 Gray joined the roster of artists at Medic Independent Records, with the Hangzhou (China) label.

2016 has seen the release of new album Flounce back in March and EP Seine scheduled for an October 1st release.

Seine is underpinned by acoustic guitar and a more traditional approach to writing with overall sound somewhat lo-fi, with tinges of electronica and psychedelia.