XPN Fest Recap: The Record Company shreds and then shreds some more

The Record Company | photo by Wendy McCardle for WXPN

In a weekend full of bands so big they were tough to stuff onto one stage, The Record Company broke the trend. The Los Angeles trio spaced out across the River stage Sunday evening with plenty of room. They needed every inch.

Unless he was forced to stay seated because of a lap steel guitar, Lead man Chris Vos was all over the place. He was like an animal out there, thrashing around with his guitar in a solo-flooded set, starting with the band’s latest single “Baby I’m Broken.” After that, the band’s only released LP Give It Back To You filled up the setlist. The vibe floated between rock in its truest and most mind-blowing form, with occasional drops of a country flavor seeping through the cracks. It was simple but in a good way. Between songs, Vos had plenty of positive messages — thanks to WXPN’s very own Bruce Warren for spinning a demo of theirs in 2012, news that they’re working on a new album we can expect next year, and notice that bassist Alex Stiff is a local boy who loves playing shows near home. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Courtney Marie Andrews at Boot & Saddle, The Record Company at Chameleon Club

courtney marie andrews
Courtney Marie Andrews | photo by Susy Sundborg | via artist’s Facebook

Courtney Marie Andrews brings her latest (and breakout) album Honest Life to Boot & Saddle tonight, a record whose first songs were written while the Seattle country musician was experiencing heartbreak and homesickness in Belgium. A collaborator of many and a longtime session player, Andrews recently teamed up with Bonnie “Prince” Billy for a duet of the classic gospel tune “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” – a track featured in this month’s Now Hear This installment. Watch “Put the Fire Out” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show with The Dove & The Wolf here.

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XPN Fest Recap: The Record Company remind us what rock is all about

The Record Company | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN
The Record Company | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

With an outage at the River Stage resulting in no internet or broadcasting, XPoNential Festival was lucky enough to have The Record Company push onward at the Marina Stage, where the band played with enough power and blues rock energy to amplify the audience. The band played to an absolutely monstrous crowd, which encircled them entirely around the stage. At one point, when frontman Chris Vos turned his back on the audience in front of him, he had a quick moment of surprise to see flocks of fans equally as eager watching the band from behind. Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: The Record Company get people “Off The Ground” with blues and soul

The Record Company | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
The Record Company | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Los Angeles blues rock trio The Record Company were next up on the PRX Stage. Their set kicked off from the start with “Off The Ground” from their debut album Give It Back To You, and immediately the entire crowd was dancing to the band’s brand of soulful blues and pedal steel guitar.

For the next song, vocalist Chris Vos got up from his pedal steel to play a killer harmonica solo while bassist Alex Stiff and drummer Marc Cazorla held down a tight groove. They followed up with the marching “On The Move” and the tense “Rita Mae Young.” Continue reading →


Listen to an exclusive new song, “Four Days Three Nights” by blues-roots-rockers The Record Company


Feels So Good is the recent (and second) EP from the Los Angeles blues-rock-roots trio, The Record Company. It’s their first release for Kill/Hurt records and is being treated to a very cool limited edition release on vinyl including the original 5 song EP and 3 extra tracks. The Record Company are Chris Vos (Vocals/Guitar), Alex Stiff (Bass/Vocals) and Marc Cazorla (Drums/Vocals). Stiff is formerly from the Philadelphia area, and grew up in Wayne. Since debuting, the band’s been ripping it up on the local music scene in LA; they’re a little bit Wood Brothers, a little bit Canned Heat, a little bit Morphine, and a lot of Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker. Below, listen to “Four Days Three Nights”

Feels So Good EP Track List
Side A:
01. Feels So Good (3:56)
02. Roll Bones (3:18)
03. Hard Day Coming Down (3:51)
04. Baby I’m Broken (3:37)
05. Darlin’ Jane (4:05)

Side B (previously unreleased):
01. Never Gonna Cry For Me (9:01)
02. Four Days Three Nights (3:27)
03. Superdead Sessions #4 (8:10)

Pre-order the Feels So Good EP here.


My Morning Download: “Don’t Let Me Get Lonely” by The Record Company

The Record Company are a blues based trio from Los Angeles. The band includes vocalist Chris Vos who plays guitars, lap steel, pedal steel, harmonica; Marc Cazorla on drums, piano and vocals and Alex Wood on bass, guitars, piano and vocals. Wood has connections to the area, as he grew up in Wayne before heading West for the rock and roll life. The band’s debut album, Super Dead, is a collection of subtle, funky and well played blues music that hearkens the musical spirits of Morphine and John Lee Hooker. The charm of the band’s songs come from their raw and live in the studio recordings. Below, check out the video and download the song “Don’t Let Me Get Lonely.” To hear more songs from the band’s debut album go here.

Don’t Let Me Get Lonely by therecordcompany


Let The Record Play: Cold Fronts returns, wiser and more adventurous, on Fantasy Du Jour

Cold Fronts | photo by Dominic Episcopo | courtesy of the artist
Cold Fronts | photo by Dominic Episcopo | courtesy of the artist

When I first was introduced to Cold Fronts, it was undeniably a band – four young dudes making rock and roll in a West Philly basement they dubbed the Rathaus. It was 2010 and they had an impossibly catchy fuzzrock / power pop song called “Catch” that I’m pretty sure I first heard streaming on their MySpace page. The song fit nicely in an era of my listening where I missed The Strokes of the early aughts, and the LCD Soundsystem and Broken Social Scene records of the moment weren’t quite scratching that itch. I reviewed the track in City Paper, and the elated guys dropped off a couple soft pretzels as tokens of their appreciation. Technically I’m not supposed to accept thank you gifts, but I reasoned that – in addition to being a very Philly thing to do — two $0.79 soft pretzels are not going to sway me on a band I already liked.

Then things changed; Cold Fronts became less of a band, and more of a focus on singer-guitarist and primary songwriter Craig Almquist. It began when they signed a deal with Sire Records – my wife and I caught a Johnny Brenda’s gig where we turned around midway through their opening set to find legendary A&R guy Seymour Stein seated at a high-top table behind us, bobbing his head to the beat. The process of recording, then releasing the band’s debut album on the industry’s timetable was taxing for all involved. Band members quit; new players joined, and left. All the press imagery showed Almquist and Almquist alone. He estimates that over a dozen people have been involved in Cold Fronts over the years, with the most difficult of those years being the four that it took for Forever Whatever to ultimately see a release in 2015.

These days, though, they’re back to their roots, but significantly wiser for the wear. The band’s sophomore album, Fantasy Du Jour, is out on Friday via Sire. It has classic Cold Fronts rock-out moments like “Stayin’ In,” a rifftastic two-minute jam about getting stoned and ordering Indian food. But there are also moments of greater nuance, depth and maturity – the atmospheric dream-pop tones of “Let The Record Play”; the subdued Big Star-esque fingerpicked acoustic ballads “Lightning Storm” and “Back and Forth”; the uplifting vocal harmonies on “The World For Sale.”

Most significantly, Cold Fronts has gone from being a scatterbrained rotating cast project to a solidified unit once again, something we hear a nod to on the reflective title track, where Almquist sings “love’s no fun when you’re the only one.”

Below, we’re happy to give you a first listen to Fantasy Du Jour ahead of its April 20th release date, as well as the accompanying pop-up pop-up gig we hear the band is playing somewhere in Philly. (They also have an album release party that night at Mercury Lounge.) Take it for a spin as you read my interview with Almquist, who I caught up with on the phone on a sunny day last week. He was chillin in Rittenhouse Square on after getting done with his shift doing bike delivery, and we talked about the evolution of Cold Fronts, the making of the new album, his thoughst on the major label experience and how he wound up in a swimming pool canoe at SXSW. Continue reading →


Wrecking Crew’s Curly Castro and Zilla Rocca go rogue with new Grift Company single

Grift Company | via

Curly Castro and Zilla Rocca of Wrecking Crew have teamed up for their side project Grift Company, and released a new single called “Billy Batts,” produced by Zilla Rocca himself.

The title and the cover art, a screen cap from the 90s film Goodfellas, sets the stage for the vibe of the song. Continue reading →