Photo: Thomas Powers
Record Store Recs: Luna Shadows Invites Us Into Her Los Angeles Vinyl Daydream
For the latest Record Store Recs, the "malibu bb" artist takes us on a trip to her favorite vinyl shops across the globe, diving deep into the treasure trove of her two local L.A. digs
With the unprecedented global disruption of COVID-19, it's important to support the music community however we can. With Record Store Recs, GRAMMY.com checks in with vinyl-loving artists to learn more about their favorite record stores and the gems they've found there so that you can find some new favorite artists and shops.
L.A.-based alt-pop and visual artist Luna Shadows has contributed her creative energy to outside artists like The Naked And Famous, assisting with writing, producing, engineering, vocals, and visuals on their latest album, 2020's Recover. On Feb. 12, she'll share a project 100 percent of her own making—her debut full-length album, Digital Pacific.
She envisioned the 18-track project as a California road trip, beginning at her home in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, across the city toward the ocean, into the desert, and back home. Shadows has stated it "explores the impact of technology on relationships." The album's lead single, "nite swim," recontextualizes Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, placing the star-crossed lovers in modern times.
For the latest Record Store Recs, the "malibu bb" artist takes us on a trip to her favorite vinyl shops across the globe, diving deep into the treasure trove of her two local L.A. digs. Read on to learn about the records she's picked up there and her approach to crate-digging.
What are three to five record stores you love?
Amoeba Music in Los Angeles. It's the most iconic record store in LA. and my go-to spot.
Permanent Records in Los Angeles. My neighborhood record store.
Rough Trade in New York and London. Classic spots for indie records.
Real Groovy in Auckland, New Zealand. An international gem and the former employer of my sometimes bandmates Thom [Powers] and Alisa [X] of The Naked And Famous.
Record: Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumors' | Photo: Thomas Powers
Why do you love these shops? What goodies have you found there?
It's been a while since I've been to a record store in person due to COVID-19, but what I miss most is the flow-state that you can get into while looking through seas of titles. I have so many amazing memories of times I went to record stores with my friends. We all split up, didn't speak for hours, ended up together at the check-out counter, and finally spent the whole car ride home talking about our finds.
Permanent Records, which is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but taking online order, is my local record store in Echo Park. Previously, that space housed Origami Records. I go there all the time to buy records and buy supplies to ship my own records.
In non-pandemic times, I went there to see local artists perform. Additionally, the bar across the street, El Prado, used to host Origami's Record Store Night, which was always a blast. Past and present, the stores [Permanent and Origami] are both a staple of the Echo Park community and such sentimental spots for me personally that I included the store and a former employee in the lyrics of my song "Hallelujah California:" "Then we'll roll to Origami Record Night/ Talk about our vinyl lives/ Emily lends a beat…"
Records: Beach House's 'Teen Dream' & Vashti Bunyan's 'Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind' | Photo: Thomas Powers
Please share a recent record or two you bought at one of your favorite shops. What do you love about that record or artist?
When I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, I drove to the nearest Bed Bath and Beyond in Hollywood on a quest to get some sheets. While I was parking a few blocks away, I saw giant red letters lined with neon lights that read "Amoeba Music." It was one of my very first days in L.A., and totally by coincidence, I found myself—a musician—standing in front of what I now recognize as L.A.'s most iconic record store. Of course, I went inside and left with a bunch of records, posters, and other memorabilia. It was such a warm welcome to this city.
Over the years, Amoeba became my go-to spot whenever my favorite artists put out new records. Perhaps the most memorable day was when St. Vincent released Strange Mercy [in 2011]. I showed up at the store to buy the record, and the cashier handed me a ticket to a secret show down the street. This was pretty early on in her career, and I got to see her perform to a crowd of around 100 people or so.
It has always been a dream of mine to see my own vinyl in Amoeba. Sadly, the original iconic location just closed, but they plan to open a new Hollywood location, so perhaps my Amoeba dreams will live on.
Records: The Japanese House's 'Still,' Bon Iver's 'Blood Bank' | Photo: Thomas Powers
What upcoming or recent release you have your eye on?
Fenne Lily's Breach. I absolutely adore this record. She's an underrated, upcoming artist with a bright future. Her record has a warm, intimate sound that I know will sound beautiful on vinyl. Something I've noticed while collecting vinyl: my favorite music and my favorite records can be different. When it comes to vinyl, I tend to prefer warm, textured, and personal LPs. For "brighter" sounding records, I prefer digital listening. Fenne Lily is an example of where that Venn diagram overlaps: my favorite type of music and my favorite kind of vinyl.
Records: Broken Social Scene's 'You Forgot It In People,' SOMBEAR's 'Love You In The Dark' | Photo: Thomas Powers
What's your approach to crate-digging? Is it the cover that grabs you, or do you shop for specific artists?
It really depends! In the past, I spent more time just browsing—in that case, yes, cool cover art would have major sway over me. I used this method in the classical section in Amoeba. All the classical records are a few bucks each, so sometimes I would choose the ones with the most exciting cover art. I found some beautiful music that way.
As an artist, I often spend just as much time creating visuals as I do music, so I really appreciate when vinyl art goes this extra mile. I feel like half the experience of a great record is going through all the liner notes and finding all the Easter eggs.
These days, I tend to know what I want. I am definitely on a mission when I go into a record store; my dust allergy can't take hours of crate digging anymore. I get too sneezy! I also often enjoy ordering directly from artists when that's the best way to support them.
GRAMMY SoundChecks With Gavin DeGraw
On Aug. 28 Nashville Chapter GRAMMY U members took part in GRAMMY SoundChecks with Gavin DeGraw. Approximately 30 students gathered at music venue City Hall and watched DeGraw play through some of the singles from earlier in his career along with "Cheated On Me" from his latest self-titled album.
In between songs, DeGraw conducted a question-and-answer session and inquired about the talents and goals of the students in attendance. He gave inside tips to the musicians present on how to make it in the industry and made sure that every question was answered before moving onto the next song.
Juan Gabriel named 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year
Annual star-studded gala slated for Nov. 4 in Las Vegas during 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Week celebration
Internationally renowned singer/songwriter/performer Juan Gabriel will be celebrated as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, it was announced today by The Latin Recording Academy. Juan Gabriel, chosen for his professional accomplishments as well as his commitment to philanthropic efforts, will be recognized at a star-studded concert and black tie dinner on Nov. 4 at the
The "Celebration with Juan Gabriel" gala will be one of the most prestigious events held during Latin GRAMMY week, a celebration that culminates with the 10th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony. The milestone telecast will be held at
"As we celebrate this momentous decade of the Latin GRAMMYs, The Latin Recording Academy and its Board of Trustees take great pride in recognizing Juan Gabriel as an extraordinary entertainer who never has forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact," said Latin Recording Academy President Gabriel Abaroa. "His influence on the music and culture of our era has been tremendous, and we welcome this opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to a voice that strongly resonates within our community."
Over the course of his 30-year career, Juan Gabriel has sold more than 100 million albums and has performed to sold-out audiences throughout the world. He has produced more than 100 albums for more than 50 artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran, Rocío Dúrcal, and Lucha Villa among many others. Additionally, Juan Gabriel has written more than 1,500 songs, which have been covered by such artists as Marc Anthony, Raúl Di Blasio, Ana Gabriel, Angelica María, Lucia Mendez, Estela Nuñez, and Son Del Son. In 1986, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley declared Oct. 5 "The Day of Juan Gabriel." The '90s saw his induction into Billboard's Latin Music Hall of Fame and he joined La Opinion's Tributo Nacional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients list.
At the age of 13, Juan Gabriel was already writing his own songs and in 1971 recorded his first hit, "No Tengo Dinero," which landed him a recording contract with RCA. Over the next 14 years, he established himself as Mexico's leading singer/songwriter, composing in diverse styles such as rancheras, ballads, pop, disco, and mariachi, which resulted in an incredible list of hits ("Hasta Que Te Conocí," "Siempre En Mi Mente," "Querida," "Inocente Pobre Amigo," "Abrázame Muy Fuerte," "Amor Eterno," "El Noa Noa," and "Insensible") not only for himself but for many leading Latin artists. In 1990, Juan Gabriel became the only non-classical singer/songwriter to perform at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in
After a hiatus from recording, Juan Gabriel released such albums as Gracias Por Esperar, Juntos Otra Vez, Abrázame Muy Fuerte, Los Gabriel…Para Ti, Juan Gabriel Con La Banda…El Recodo, and El Mexico Que Se Nos Fue, which were all certified gold and/or platinum by the RIAA. In 1996, to commemorate his 25th anniversary in the music industry, BMG released a retrospective set of CDs entitled 25 Aniversario, Solos, Duetos, y Versiones Especiales, comprised appropriately of 25 discs.
In addition to his numerous accolades and career successes, Juan Gabriel has been a compassionate and generous philanthropist. He has donated all proceeds from approximately 10 performances a year to his favorite children's foster homes, and proceeds from fan photo-ops go to support Mexican orphans. In 1987, he founded Semjase, an orphanage for approximately 120 children, which also serves as a music school with music, recreation and video game rooms. Today, he continues to personally fund the school he opened more than 22 years ago.
Juan Gabriel will have the distinction of becoming the 10th Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree, and joins a list of artists such as Gloria Estefan, Gilberto Gil, Juan Luis Guerra, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Carlos Santana among others who have been recognized.
For information on purchasing tickets or tables to The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute to Juan Gabriel, please contact The Latin Recording Academy ticketing office at 310.314.8281 or email@example.com.
Photo: The Recording Academy
Set List Bonus: Bumbershoot 2013
Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Alexa Zaske
This past Labor Day weekend meant one thing for many folks in Seattle: Bumbershoot, a three-decade-old music and arts event that consumed the area surrounding the Space Needle from Aug. 31–Sept. 2. Amid attendees wandering around dressed as zombies and participating in festival-planned flash mobs to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," this year the focus was on music from the Pacific Northwest region — from the soulful sounds of Allen Stone and legendary female rockers Heart, to the highly-awaited return of Death Cab For Cutie performing their 2003 hit album Transatlanticism in its entirety.
The festival started off on day one with performances by synth-pop group the Flavr Blue, hip-hop artist Grynch, rapper Nacho Picasso, psychedelic pop group Beat Connection, lively rapper/writer George Watsky, hip-hop group the Physics, and (my personal favorite), punk/dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk). Also performing on day one was Seattle folk singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, who was accompanied by the Passenger String Quartet. As always, Orlowski's songs were catchy and endearing yet brilliant and honest.
Day one came to a scorching finale with a full set from GRAMMY-nominated rock group Heart. Kicking off with their Top 20 hit "Barracuda," the set spanned three decades of songs, including "Heartless," "Magic Man" and "What About Love?" It became a gathering of Seattle rock greats when, during Heart's final song, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready joined for 1976's "Crazy On You."
Day two got off to an early start with performances from eccentric Seattle group Kithkin and Seattle ladies Mary Lambert and Shelby Earl, who were accompanied by the band Le Wrens. My highlight of the day was the Grizzled Mighty — a duo with a bigger sound than most family sized bands. Drummer Whitney Petty, whose stage presence and skills make for an exciting performance, was balanced out by the easy listening of guitarist and lead singer Ryan Granger.
Then the long-awaited moment finally fell upon Seattle when, after wrapping a long-awaited tour with the Postal Service, singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard returned to Seattle to represent another great success of the Pacific Northwest — Death Cab For Cutie. The band celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their album Transatlanticism by performing it from front to back. While a majority of attendees opted to watch the set from an air-conditioned arena, some of us recognized the uniqueness of this experience and enjoyed the entire set lying in the grass where the entire performance was streamed.
Monday was the day for soul and folk. Local blues/R&B group Hot Bodies In Motion have been making their way through the Seattle scene with songs such as "Old Habits," "That Darkness" and "The Pulse." Their set was lively and enticing to people who have seen them multiple times or never at all.
My other highlights of the festival included the Maldives, who delivered a fun performance with the perfect amount of satirical humor and folk. They represent the increasing number of Pacific Northwest bands who consist of many members playing different sounds while still managing to stay cohesive and simple. I embraced the return of folk/pop duo Ivan & Alyosha with open arms and later closed my festival experience with local favorite Stone.
For music fans in Seattle and beyond, the annual Bumbershoot festival is a must-attend.
(Alexa Zaske is the Chapter Assistant for The Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter. She's a music enthusiast and obsessed with the local Seattle scene.)
Neil Portnow and Jimmy Jam
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images
Neil Portnow Addresses Diversity & Inclusion, Looks Ahead During Speech At 2019 GRAMMYs
Jimmy Jam helps celebrate the outgoing President/CEO of the Recording Academy on the 61st GRAMMY Awards
As Neil Portnow's tenure as Recording Academy President/CEO draws to its end, five-time GRAMMY winner Jimmy Jam paid tribute to his friend and walked us through a brief overview of some of the Academy's major recent achievements, including the invaluable work of MusiCares, the GRAMMY Museum, Advocacy and more.
Portnow delivered a brief speech, acknowledging the need to continue to focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in the music industry. He also seized the golden opportunity to say the words he's always wanted to say on the GRAMMY stage, saying, "I'd like to thank the Academy," showing his gratitude and respect for the staff, elected leaders and music community he's worked with during his career at the Recording Academy. "We can be so proud of what we’ve all accomplished together," Portnow added.
"As I finish out my term leading this great organization, my heart and soul are filled with gratitude, pride, for the opportunity and unequal experience," he continued. "Please know that my commitment to all the good that we do will carry on as we turn the page on the next chapter of the storied history of this phenomenal institution."