Category: Music

MusicSister Act: Interview with Dog Party

Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles are a musical force to be reckoned with, as the Sacramento-based garage band Dog Party. These teenage sisters will surprise you with their raw talent, sweet looks and spicy fervor for hard-rockin’ music with songs like P.A.R.T.Y.  and the amazing Andy Wu. After being handed a copy of their newest album, P.A.R.T.Y., I was able to catch up with the sisters for an interview.
 
 
So, I think you are the youngest artists I have interviewed. How old are you currently?
Gwendolyn: 15
Lucy: 13
 
How did you get started in music?
We’ve always had music in our lives, and once we started playing instruments, a family friend, Zach Goodin (who was in an LA based band Bargin Music and now runs Half of Nothing Records) , had us play together instead of in our respective rooms.

Tell us about your first live show.
Our first live show was in June ’08 at the Fire Escape, and we opened for Agent Orange. We played a three song set with one encore. It was crazy and our first experience with moshing.

How many shows do you think you’ve played?
Over the last 4 years, we’ve played a little over 200 shows.

What about balancing music with school and your social lives. What is an average week like for you?

Gwendolyn: My average week day is school, track/cross-country practice, homework, dinner, homework, sleep, and repeat. My weekends in the winter are up in Tahoe because Lucy and I ski race for Squaw Valley. Any other weekend, we are playing shows.

Lucy: During the week I go to school, take pictures, draw, do homework, and play music. On Tuesdays I go to drum lessons, and on weekends I either ski or play shows.
 
So Gwendolyn plays guitar, Lucy plays drums and you both sing. Do you have any other instruments in your lives?

Gwendolyn: On both of our records, I play the bass tracks, and for one of Dog Party’s earliest songs, I played keyboard.

Lucy: For acoustic shows, I play the guitar and sometimes Gwennie and I swap instruments in electric sets.

I hear a lot of early 90′s Grunge/Garage Band in your music, but you two probably weren’t even born yet. Do you think that the 90′s have influenced your music?
We listen to a lot of different music old and new, but when it comes to song writing, we don’t try to make it have a certain sound. We just play and make it happen.

 
Who are your biggest musical influences overall?
Gwendolyn: I like Green Day, Kepi Ghoulie, Agent Ribbons, and Cage the Elephant.

Lucy
: RAMONES!!!!!!! Meg White, The Groovie Ghoulies and their female drummers- Scampi and Wendy.

Do you have other hobbies besides music?
Both: Sports are a big thing for us.

Gwendolyn: I like to make videos and take/edit photos. I also like fashion!
 
Lucy: I paint, draw, and make stencils a lot. I also like to take pictures and eat Mexican food.
 
 
Are there any current fashion trends that you’re into? We want to hear about your personal styles.
Gwendolyn: I’ve had a LOT of different looks for shows. Right now I am rolling a vintage look with my combat boots and an assortment of dresses.
 
Lucy: I’m in a Ramones phase at the moment so I wear a lot of black, stripes, studded belts, and leather jackets/jean vests.

What would you like to be doing in five years?
Gwendolyn: Rockin’ and a rollin’! I’m still going to college in a couple of years, but music will always play a huge roll in my life.

Lucy:
Playing music.

Any words of wisdom for young aspiring musicians?
Gwendolyn: Don’t try to sound like another band. Just play and let the music find you :)

Lucy: You can’t just sit in your room with your headphones on and play to yourself. Go out, start a band, and do something or else nothing is going to ever happen.

 
Listen to my personal favorite from the album, Andy Wu and check out Dog Party’s Facebook or tumblr to find out about the new album and upcoming shows!
 
<a href=”http://dogparty.bandcamp.com/track/andy-wu”>Andy Wu by Dog Party</a><br>

 

MusicArtist to Watch: Ski Lodge


Ski Lodge is the perfect band to be our last featured artist from the Digital Album. I mean, it’s winter and their name is Ski Lodge. Who doesn’t want to think about log cabins, snowmen, hot coco, and ski lifts? Hailing from Brooklyn, this fearsome foursome is coming up in the world of music, being featured at CMJ in October. Without futher ado, come join me for an interview with Andrew Marr. 

 

So the band name begs the question, are you stoked on skiing or snowboarding? Or have a love of hot toddies at the lodge?
Ha, yeah I like both. Been snowboarding for a while but I’m thinkin about switching back to skiing. I always picture a certain scene when I hear the term “ski lodge.” People hangin around having a good time, by a fire, colorful/florescent one piece ski suits, bad sweaters… probably some hot toddies!
How do you hope to inspire your fans? What do you want fans to get out of your music, especially “I Would Die To Be?”
Umm, I guess if I inspire someone at all then that’s a win for me ha! I really just want the music to be something that makes fans happy or gives them something to relate to when they aren’t so happy… With this song specifically, I guess I just wanted it to express a level of frustration toward someone you like want to be with but things aren’t going the way you’d like them to. I think most fans would be able to relate to that.
What would you be doing if you weren’t (or when you’re not) making music?
When I’m not making music I like to eat/cook, watch movies, run, and play golf. If you’re asking what I’d be doing for a career, I’d probably choose being a chef or a pro golfer(even though I’m not that good at golf).
Fill in the blank, Ski Lodge is forever grateful for …
Bill Murray.
(Who doesn’t love them some Bill Murray? This picture doesn’t really have anything to do with Ski Lodge, it’s just awesome)
I know you guys are slated to play College Music Journal’s Music Marathon in October. Do you tour often?
Well “Ski Lodge” has only been around officially for about 4 months, so we just played our first 2 shows as a band at Cake Shop NYC this past month. We plan to try and do a bunch of touring once CMJ is over.
What have you learned about yourself in your musical evolution?
That I am very good at starting things but not always good at finishing them!
Do you have pre- or post-show rituals?
Nah I don’t think so. Recently I’ve been drinking lots of coffee before shows in order to get as anxious as possible, does that count?
Best show?
I’d have to say one of these recent shows at Cake Shop here in New York. I mean if I’m talking about “Ski Lodge shows” then I only have 2 experiences to go off of haha. But even counting shows from the past with other bands and stuff, these recent ones were really exciting, there was a sort of buzz surrounding them, at least from my point of view. And we had great audiences for both of them. That’s really what makes a show for me, it all depends on how the audience reacts to the music and if they are like dancing and stuff. 
 
Of course, then I need to ask … any disaster shows?
The closest thing to a disaster that I’ve experienced happened to me with my band down in Florida. Our bassist fell off the face of the earth the day before we were supposed to play our first show as a band. He decided to resurface, totally wasted (with none of his equipment), as we were doing a sound check. Then I think he got kicked out of the venue for bringing in his own bottle of whiskey. So we played without a bass player ha.. I guess it wasn’t a disaster per se, but definitely interesting and awkward.
How does fashion inspire you?
I think fashion is one of the best ways to express yourself. Fashion has inspired lyrics of mine in some instances… I’ve always appreciated certain trends and I feel like things are always better when people are dressed fashionably, not like totally crazy, but just enough to bring a certain vibe to a place. Does that make sense??
What else inspires you? Other artists?
There’s so much that inspires me! Other music is probably the main thing. There’s awesome music coming out every week, it’s so hard to keep up with. But the fact that bands and artists keep putting out great music helps me believe that I can also continue to make music that is somewhat authentic and fresh.
Favorite movie?
I don’t really have just one favorite. I love “Eyes Wide Shut” and “The Big Lebowski” to name a couple.

Favorite artist?
Always been a fan of Salvador Dali. I wish I was familiar with more artists than I am, that’s something I plan to do.
Favorite musician/band?
This changes so often. Right now it’s Beirut, maybe? It’s kind of just whatever album I’ve been listening to the most. Currently I’ve been loving Beirut’s “The Rip Tide.”
What’s next for Ski Lodge?
I think we will try and do some sort of touring for a little while, probably not long because I’m anxious to start recording the full length. So that’s the next big thing I guess – a full length record! 

MusicArtist to Watch: The Make

 
The Make is pretty much a Chico legend in the making.  Jeff Schneeweis & Trevor Sellers both come from the former local legend band Number One Gun, and Aaron Rodgers (oh, you know, just the QB of the Green Bay Packers and Superbowl champ) sought them out to be on his new record label. Add super hot Sarah Ann (See You Soon) into the mix, and you have music gold. And believe me, there is nothing not to love about these guys. 
 

We caught up with Sarah Ann to get some quality girl time and catch up on the deets about touring with the boys, video blogs, and being the only girl in the band. Check out her interview below!
 
How’d you end up hooking up with the guys [Jeff Schneeweis & Trevor Sellers]?
 
Last year Jeff produced a CD for me, I had a solo project I was doing, so I met him that way. He had his wife let me stay with them for a month [Sarah’s from Fresno] so I got to know the family pretty well and just stayed in touch since then.
 
The Make seems to really take advantage of social media. Why do you think it’s important to connect with your fans through these avenues?
 
There’s so many ways you can reach out to people online and contact people, it’s so easy now-a-days. That’s one of the things touring was really good for back in the day before you had all these ways to get out there and talk to your fans. That’s just one of the main parts of this band – we want to be connected to people who like our music and what we do because they are the ones that allow us to do it…. So we take full advantage of the Internet so everyone can see what we’re doing all the time. We are always videoing funny things, hilarious things seem to happen all the time.
 
What kind of funny things can we see in the future of your video blog?
 
Well, Jeff is a big coffee lover – he has it morning, noon and night – and the other night we were going to have some, it was all rainy … Jeff realized he didn’t have any more coffee filters … so he went into the trash and got out an old one and rinsed it off. This had to be documented, so I grabbed my phone. He’s really that much of a fan of coffee. I’m sure that’ll be one of the future videos we make.
 
How do you hope to inspire your fans? What do you want fans to get out of your music?
 
We just really like writing really fun music, it’s one of the things we’ve done a long time and we enjoy it, so we hope our fans can hear that in our music. And coming up on our tour, seeing us playing live onstage, we’re just so excited to see everyone. We are flattered they let us do what we love to do and we hope it inspires them to do something they love to do.
 
What would you be doing if you weren’t (or when you’re not) making music?
 
Lately I’ve been in Chico, hanging out and we’ve been staying really busy [with music]. On downtime, I would be back home in Fresno, mostly hanging out with my mom and friends and helping my mom, which is always fun. But right now music is keeping me pretty busy, it’s like 24/7.
 
Fill in the blank, The Make is forever grateful for …
 
… Fans. That’s our main priority with everything we do. We really do take everybody’s opinions and comments and when they give us awesome reviews – we thrive on that. If we didn’t have any fans, then we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. That’s what we’re most grateful for.
 
What’s it like being the only girl in the band? Nervous about touring with all boys?
 
I’m not really nervous. I’m around these guys all the time …. I guess you have to have a little bit of a thick skin because guys are just goofy and think they’re funny a lot of the times, so you have to remember to laugh! It’ll be fun, we’re all really close and pretty much best friends.
 

 
How are you touring? Flying, then driving? Driving only?
Driving. From here to New York. The other day we asked, “Who came up with this idea?”
 
How does fashion inspire you?
 
Oh man, I‘m the first to say I’m not the greatest with fashion, but I love shopping and I like finding different looking things and things that kind of try to start trends, even if it might look funky. It definitely inspires me a lot. You can tell a lot about someone by clothes, like telling whether somebody is in a band or not. I hope we have awesome stage outfits, so kids offstage will know, “hey they are in a band.” LuLu*s has awesome clothes that I’ve seen…. I’m excited to be able to work with them.
 
What else inspires you? Other artists?
 
I go through musical phases; I’ll get super into country or slow, indie stuff. I’m a big ballad person myself so a lot of my music is acoustic and slow with romancy ballads. I’m not a daily inspired person; I can’t just sit down and … write 10 songs in one day. Life basically is what inspires me – something happens, good or bad, it’s really just things in my own life. Sometimes it’ll last longer than others, sometimes for one song or sometimes I can write a whole record. It’s the ups and downs of life.
 
Aaron Rodgers, QB for Packers, owns the label you’re on. Are you a football fan, or are you now?
 
I’m trying.
 
Favorite movie? 
 
I like when I can watch movies over and over again. I’d say one is “Finding Nemo.” On the other end of the spectrum, I really like “Braveheart.”
 
Favorite musician/band?
 
I really like Miranda Lambert. I like all her music, every album has been consistently good. I really like Rascal Flatts. I love them live. I’m a big country person I guess.
 
What’s next for The Make?
 
We have that tour coming up…. We are trying to think about getting a tour going on the West Coast, to Seattle and Oregon – a kind of mini-tour. We don’t get up to Seatlle on this tour and we have a lot of friends up there. After that, just working on our new album.
 
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You can hear more about The Make over at their website, as well as being on our Digital Album, free with every order!!

MusicLuLu*s Presents: The Digital Album!



Here at LuLu*s we have three major loves: fashion, our customers, and music. Because we love you guys so very, very much, we decided to mix all three of those things together to make one amazing deal. May we present our first Digital Album!
 
 
Here’s the scoop: we compiled eight ah-mazing up-and-coming bands for you to download and to complement your badass fashion self in your new LuLu*s duds. So when you order from us you get this Digital Album sampler card FREE! We hand picked all the artists on the album to complement our wardrobe and yours. Check out each artist on the sampler below. 
 
There’s more: each week on the blog, we will be featuring interviews and more from each artist on the album so you can learn more about these amazing musicians and songs. And just remember ladies, in the end this is all for you guys. Without you, we would be nothing, and we just want to say we’ll love you until infinity. Hope you enjoy our gift to you!
xoxo

MusicLil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” Goes Platinum

 

 
Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV sold 964,000 in its first week, the second largest opening sales week of the year. By now, it has already sold more than a million copies and set a record for the most iTunes digital albums sold in its first four days! With a music career already spanning two decades, Wayne has already scored a reputation as one of the biggest moguls of our time. Featured on the album are his two smash-hit singles “6 Foot 7 Foot” and “How to Love.”
 
I couldn’t wait to purchase Tha Carter III‘s proper follow-up, Tha Carter IV, but the album surprised me by being one of my least favorite Weezy albums. Don’t get me wrong; there are a couple amazing songs, like “John” featuring Rick Ross, and “She Will” featuring Drake. What turned me off, however, was that at least two-thirds of the songs on the album were slow, including “How to Love,” “How to Hate” featuring T-Pain, “Nightmares of the Bottom,” and “So Slow” featuring John Legend. The album isn’t bad – I just prefer a more fast-paced Lil Wayne sound to dance to.
 
 
There are a lot of great features from artists like Rick Ross, André 3000, Drake, John Legend, and T-Pain; and even if you’re not keen on the pace (like me), these guest appearances make the album worth listening to.
 
“Thanks for giving us a whole ‘nother classic with Tha Carter IV,” huffs Busta Rhymes. “It’s important that you are more than welcome to Tha Carter IV, and y’all enjoy it,” advises André 3000. 
 
 
Shockingly, the 28-year-old artist has hinted at retirement and that this “may be the last album Wayne releases.” If this is true, then I had higher hopes for this album. Regardless, nothing will make this girl stop loving Lil Wayne, and I look forward to see how the rest of his musical career will evolve. 

Hear it for yourself! You can listen to the entire album here
 
(photos courtesy of rollingstone.com