AM & Shawn Lee  "CD Release Show"

AM & Shawn Lee "CD Release Show" (10:00 PM)

Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn (9:15 PM)

Zak Waters (8:30 PM)

DJ Alfonso

Wed, September 28, 2011

8:00 pm

$10.00 - $12.00

This event is all ages

adv tix $10.00/dos tix $12.00

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AM & Shawn Lee "CD Release Show" - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
AM & Shawn Lee  "CD Release Show"
Celestial Electric finds L.A.-based indie-pop auteur AM and London-based groovemaster/experimentalist Lee pooling their talents to create a unique brand of electro-soul that achieves seamless pop perfection, while mining a startlingly broad array of stylistic influences. The resulting blend of heartfelt, warmly melodic songcraft and vivid, inventive soundscapes underlines the artists' abiding love for all manner of vintage genres, encompassing pop, soul, funk, jazz, Brazilian tropicalia, Turkish psychedelia, and soundtracks and library music from the '60s, '70s and '80s.

Celestial Electric's sleek, boundary-pushing approach is reflected on such uplifting tunes as the insightful generational anthem "Dark Into Light," the bittersweetly soulful "City Boy" and the hauntingly intimate "Can't Figure It Out," which merge irresistible melodicism with deeply distinctive grooves. Elsewhere, "The Signal" demonstrates the duo's penchant for exotic, eclectic arrangements, suggesting an '80s Bollywood synth-pop dance party, while the swaggeringly funky instrumental "Callahan" (named in honor of Clint Eastwood's '70s cop anti-hero Dirty Harry) conjures up a bracingly atmospheric vibe a la Lalo Schifrin, while adding a dollop of futuristic electronic melody. The twosome's irresistible pop sensibility also drives their effervescent reading of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' 1974 hit "Jackie Blue." U.K. DJ and tastemaker mixologist Andy Votel, of Finders Keepers/B-Music fame, provided the album’s cover design and liner notes.

New Orleans-bred, L.A.-based tunesmith AM has won widespread acclaim by merging pop, soul, folk, R&B and psychedelia into highly personalized songcraft. In addition to releasing several albums on various labels (including 2010's Future Sons & Daughters), he spent most of last year on the road supporting such diverse acts as AIR, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Josh Rouse and legendary Brazilian tropicalia icon Caetano Veloso.

Kansas-born, London-based composer/producer/instrumentalist Shawn Lee has established a reputation as a mischievous sonic innovator, releasing more than twenty genre-spanning albums of his original material, usually as Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra. He has worked on recording projects with Clutchy Hopkins, Saint Etienne, Arthur Verocai, Greyboy, Coldcut, Tony Joe White, Darondo, Money Mark and Tommy Guerrero and has toured with bands such as Phoenix and Sigur Ros.

The seeds for AM and Shawn Lee's collaboration on Celestial Electric were planted when AM heard Lee's Music and Rhythm album on L.A.'s KJazz, and was impressed enough to reach out to him online. The two met up in London, and later in L.A., where AM played guitar on a series of live gigs with Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra.

As Lee recalls, "During that L.A. trip, we listened to a lot of music together and bonded over our mutual love of vintage French and Italian library and film music and nuggets from the Finders Keepers record label. I suggested that we make an album together, and the rest is history."

AM and Lee worked on Celestial Electric from their respective hometowns, trading ideas and tracks via email. Lee, armed with an early-'80s four-track deck and other vintage tape machines in his London studio, began by creating beats and sending them to AM, who wrote songs and lyrics over Lee's grooves, added vocals, guitars, bass and synths, and emailed the tracks back to Lee, who then added keyboards, percussion and a variety of instruments and mixed the tracks. The two commented on each other's work via email until each was happy with the result.

"It was refreshing to work this way," AM says. "When we started, Shawn shot me a drum beat and I immediately wrote 'City Boy' over it. We both knew we had something pretty special, and it just took off from there.

"I really used Shawn's beats to help shape the songs, and I let the restrictions determine the outcome," AM continues. "If the beat changed or did something weird, then I wrote to it. The process was very quick, and every time I would get a file from Shawn, it was like Christmas morning. I couldn't wait to hear what he had come up with, and I think he felt the same way."

"The whole thing really exceeded my expectations, and I think we really upped each other's game," Lee notes, adding, "The sound of this music is shaped by cheapo Casio and Yamaha synthesizers, and an old four-track cassette machine. All of the drums were recorded with one cheap plastic mic on the four-track. We used a lot of lo-fi gear, but the music we made sounds like much more than that."
Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn
The story begins in 1998 as budding hip-hop producer Adrian Younge finds himself confined by the limitations of the MPC. He begins teaching himself how to play various instruments so he can fully realize his vision. First it was keyboards, then drums, sax, guitar, and bass. Fascinated with the sounds of Italian soundtracks by the likes of Ennio Morricone, Younge begins work on the soundtrack to the fictional film Venice Dawn, recording the album intermittently over the course of the next year. What developed was a sound equal parts Morricone and Air. Self-released, the entire album was composed, arranged, and played by Younge. Only a thousand CDs were pressed, replete with faux soundtrack album art designed by Younge himself. Sold mostly in the L.A. area, the CD became collectable among those in the know.

Fast forward to 2008, and Younge finds himself at the center of the Black Dynamite zeitgeist. Instrumental in the film’s development, Younge not only edited the film, but composed the original score as well. Hailed as a modern blaxploitation masterpiece, the Black Dynamite score solidified Younge’s position as a force to be reckoned with on the new worldwide soul and funk scene.

Taking some time off after the success of Black Dynamite, Younge began revisiting some of his earlier work from Venice Dawn and envisioned a new sound that would take the blaxploitation of Black Dynamite and mesh it with the more left-field sounds of Venice Dawn, eventually deciding to bring everything full circle by releasing the material under the Venice Dawn moniker. This new LP, titled Something About April, will be released this fall on Wax Poetics Records, with the first single, “It’s Me,” coming in August.

In correlation with the release of the new LP, Wax Poetics Records is reissuing a digital-only EP version of the original Venice Dawn album for free. Its rerelease eleven years later connects the dots between Black Dynamite, Younge’s early work, and his newest album, Something About April.
Zak Waters - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Zak Waters
Triple threat Zak Waters always leaves a mark. Ever since he first formally began performing in high school, the Los Angeles singer, songwriter, and producer never failed to make a lasting impression on his audience, and it’s always three-pronged. Unlike his contemporaries. He can do it all from constructing a track to writing the lyrics to performing it live with his band or in a DJ set.
However, he's always been driving his own music. In 2011, he broke on to the scene with his independent debut EP, New Normal. He served as both the featured writer and singer on Madeon's hit dance single "The City," which hit #1 on Hype Machine and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Dance Chart, where it stayed for nine months. Meanwhile, his single with Candyland, "Not Coming Down," topped the Beatport charts as #1 track for two weeks. He's performed on AXS Live, Last Call With Carson Daly, and on KIIS FM. Meanwhile, he’s not only been personally sought out by Flo Rida and Benny Benassi for their upcoming 2014 tracks, but also by the likes of legendary songwriter Diane Warren and Atlantic Records artist Francisco for his production talents. He's produced official remixes alongside Benny Benassi, R3hab, Pharrel Williams for All-American Rejects, Adam Lambert, and Foxy Shazam Moreover, famed Los Angeles venue The Satellite in Silver L ake tapped him for a high-profile residency as well in September 2013.
His impact is about to expand immensely with the release of his forthcoming full-length debut album, Lip Service—available exclusively on Spotify via a unique deal in September 2013. Shimmying between soulful funk savoir faire and fresh dance floor-ready pop, he cultivates an immediately seductive, soaring, and shimmering style of his own.
He puts it best though, "My music is definitely meant to make people dance. I like to think of it as disco at its core. There are elements of EDM and R&B at the same time. You could call it neo-funk-pop. I'll take that as mine."
His personal panache punctuates the first single "Penelope." The song tells a cheeky little tale that's as vivid as it is vivacious.
" I kept listening to the track and going back to a vision of a young kid obsessed with his baby sitter and wondering where she's at now," he explains. "I think we all had that babysitter. My friend's sitter was so hot. She was 'Penelope' for me. Now, you wonder, 'Would she look at me differently now that I'm grown up?'"
Elsewhere, “Dear John” featuring Audra Mae is a smart rumination on breaking up, while “Over You” examines the some darker moments post-relationship. Waters tapes into real tangible emotion, extending beyond the feel good pop.”
There's one pervasive thread throughout. "It's all about wanting to have fun," he concludes. "The majority of my songs are upbeat. They're meant to be the soundtrack to somebody's wild night. I love when somebody tells me I made it onto their workout or sex mix. If I can encapsulate a time for the listener, I feel like I will never be forgotten.”
DJ Alfonso
DJ Alfonso
I am a DJ / promoter / musician / obsessed collector and fan of 60's & 70's cult films, soundtracks, library music, and odd bits of global psychsploitation. I run a monthly event at the Verdugo Bar in Los Angeles called RENDEZVOUS! Feel free to explore the music on this site and get in touch, if you feel inclined to do so.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change