Lana calls herself a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” defines her genre as “Hollywood pop/sadcore” and describes her look, as “Lolita got lost in the ’hood”—all of which makes sense when you know more about her.


Jesse Gives the Keys to Erica, Who Takes Us
for a Trip Into Unknown but Inviting Territory

Erica here again, spinning my Wheels before the tryptophan haze sets in next week with a jam-packed edition of tunes. Want something other than your homemade apple pie to brag about at this year’s turkey dinner? Be the first to tell your friends and family about these stars on the rise—and keep feeding Jesse’s inbox ([email protected]). He’ll be listening away long after we’ve all taken to the pillow.

Midnight Hour
(http://www.facebook.com/midnighthourmusic; @MHofficial): Blending strong lyrics, stellar vocals and a killer live performance, this pop/rock quintet has made a dent on the L.A. scene in a major way. We always hear that it takes years to become an overnight sensation, but this outfit has broken through with remarkable speed, gaining recent notoriety by way of KROQ and Sunday night’s Locals Only. Not only did Midnight Hour make it to #1 last weekend, but the station also debuted the video for their infectious single “Modern Love.” Lead singer Brad Lodge found his love for music in the California desert at age 10 when he discovered his mother’s Elvis record collection. Angst-ridden and driven by the usual teenage drama, Brad retreated to his room, where he would strum the guitar and scribble lyrics that expressed his hope for a brighter future. A mutual friend introduced Brad to Dan, James, Jared and Tim, and the five started working together under the stalwart guidance of Loren Israel and Brooke Heller. Late-night rehearsals in dark studios set the stage for what would become Midnight Hour. I’ve had some time to sit with this record and can say without equivocation that “Modern Love” is just the beginning. On an album full of potential hit singles, standout tracks like “Hostage,” “Aftermath” and “When Love Collides” have kept this record on repeat (in my car AND on my iPod) since I first got my hands on it. Visit their Facebook page for tour dates and music, and click the link here to see the video. You’ll be glad you got to know this band.

Lana Del Rey
(http://lanadelrey.com/ @LanaDelRey): Sometimes you hear a voice, read a lyric, and see a video clip and you’re instantly mesmerized. It would be cliché to throw Lana in the same category as Adele, Duffy and Amy Winehouse, but I can’t help but feel the same way I did when I first heard their voices, saw their videos and dove into those musical phenoms, whose gifts were defined by their uncommon depth and eloquence. It’s artists like Lana Del Rey who restore my faith in music’s transformative power and remind me that life’s obstacles and celebrations still drive the most memorable music. The New Yorker calls herself a “gangsta Nancy Sinatra,” defines her genre as “Hollywood pop/sadcore” and describes her look, as “Lolita got lost in the ’hood”—all of which makes sense when you know more about her. Carted off to boarding school at 15, and eager to escape the truths confined to those walls, she was off to New York City, a place she had always planned to conquer. Day one in N.Y. began the transformation of the 19- year old Lizzy Grant as she became Lana Del Rey and hit an open mic night in Williamsburg. Embarrassed and terrified, she played her set and darted out of the club, only to be stopped by someone running after inviting her to play again the following week. She credits that moment as the turning point, claiming, “I was afraid of everything. If they had laughed at me that night, I would never have come back onstage. Ever.” Now, just five years later, this press darling has released her debut EP Video Games (full album coming in 2012), inked a deal with Interscope in the U.S. and will play her first North American shows behind the EP in December, starting with sold out dates at N.Y.’s Bowery Ballroom and L.A.’s Troubadour. The coming year and full-length record will surely reveal more of this rising star’s talent and destiny to share her story with a far bigger crowd than the one she faced in that Williamsburg bar. Check out her video for “Video Games,” which is approaching 6.5 million views, here.

The Peach Kings started gaining momentum with the release of their debut EP, TRIP WOP. Thanks to Jason Bentley, TPK began getting airtime on MBE within a week after it dropped. The EP is still available for free on the band’s site: www.thepeachkings.com. KCRW will also be doing a Presents & Giveaways show with The Peach Kings on Dec. 14 at the Bootleg Theatre; 10 p.m. set time. The Peach Kings were the 2010 winners of Alternative Apparels’ new artist competition. Since winning the contest, they’ve been building a solid relationship with the company that includes, but is not limited to, TPK being the face of their 2012 fall campaign. To that end, Alternative Apparel hired director/videographer Ben Kutsko to shoot a new music video for the TPK track, "Little Things." The video was shot in 29 Palms earlier this month and will be released in conjunction with their fall campaign. TPK are also joining forces with AtomFactory licensing, co-owned by Paul Stewart, who co-manages the band with Tyler Ward. Due to a recent partnership with AtomFactory and Getty Images, they just got the news that Getty Images will be sending TPK to London to play a private showcase for them in February.


Wheels favorite Jenn Bostic (www.jennbostic.com) will be releasing her second album Monday (11/21), and the track “Jealous of the Angels” will be featured in an upcoming episode of the Syfy Channel's Being Human. If you haven’t already, check out her video for “Jealous of the Angels” here . And pre-order the album here.

Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
Season's bleatings (11/23a)
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
Olivia, the Biebs, H.E.R., Doja Cat, Billie and Jon Batiste lead the way. (11/24a)
Stuffing (in face).

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