I'm a child of the 1980s, and still love just about every song from that decade....well, except "Shattered Dreams" by Johnny Hates Jazz. That said, since my teens, I've known full well that being a child of the 1960s and especially the 1970s was probably a much cooler and memorable experience. Back in those days, music changed lives and had the ability to change the world. Not to sound as old as Betty White, but you just don't get enough of that in this day and age. Thankfully, there's The Mowgli's, a newish band out of California who are making infectious music with substance that evokes the eras in which I wish I was born into. Blending the best of the 1960s and the 1970s with contemporary pop, rock, and folk, the band is bringing a refreshingly retro-cool sound to alt-rock radio. Specifically, their first single "San Francisco" gained traction during last October's SF Giants pennant run, and has carried over long after Marco Scutaro and Bruce Bochy's team won their second World Series in three years.
Last week, the band, which consists of five childhood friends from the San Fernando Valley and three mid-westerners, played Mercury Lounge in Manhattan, and rocked the crowd with their positive energy and good vibes. That evening, they also took part in an A-Sides session, performing their hit song, and talking about their evolution as a band. Watch it below - I promise you it'll bring you more joy than a Chunk Goonies T-Shirt.
Meet the Mowgli's
Dom La Nena is a totally different artist than The Mowgli's in every way, shape, and form. That said, like that Cali-based band, this Brazilian-born cellist, singer and songwriter's music transports you to an extreme happy place. La Nena, who was born Dominique Pinto, just released her US debut entitled Ela with tunes sung in Portuguese and Spanish, and right off the bat, it's resonated in the states - wowing critics, cynics, and placing atop CMJ's World Music Chart. In an exclusive performance filmed at the Primary Wave Music Listening Room in New York City, the multi-talented budding star performed two tracks and spoke about making music. Hermosa!
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. Support A-Sides' Kickstarter campaign here!