According to Wikipedia, American rapper and hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg began his music career in 1992 when he debuted on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic album. Since then, Snoop Dogg has sold over thirty-five million albums worldwide. In 2015 he released his 13th studio album, BUSH, which was produced by Pharrell Williams. The album landed at the top of the hip-hop/R&B charts and 14 on the Billboard 200. His new album, Coolaid, came out in 2016 and was well received, according to biography.com. For more information visit http://snoopdogg.com.
Kaleo Wassman – Vocals/Guitar
Bret Bollinger – Vocals/Bass
Yesod Williams – Drums
“It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done as a band to make this record,” says guitarist/vocalist Kaleo Wassman of Pepper, in speaking on the recording process of their new self-titled album. “It speaks loudly and widely to a broader audience while maintaining everything good about the band, which, first of all, is our positive attitude.” After releasing five albums, Pepper has opened a new chapter in their storied career. Drummer Yesod Williams adds, “This record feels very cohesive in a way our past releases maybe didn’t. I think it’s an album that can appeal to everyone, as well. We’ve been pigeonholed in the past so this is an opportunity to transcend all that and spread our wings even wider.”
The trio, who formed in 1997 and moved to the mainland from their hometown of Kailua Kona, Hawaii in 1999, pressed pause after the release of their fifth album, Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations, in 2008. There was a sense of fatigue and disunity amongst the three musicians, who took some time off from music both apart and together before rejoining to create an EP, Stiches, in late 2010. The songs on that release re-energized the group, revealing an urgent desire to make a new album that reflected where they are in their lives and career now. After some tour dates in support of the EP, Pepper sat down and focused on their sixth album, a self-titled released that swings open the door on this new chapter.
The musicians went into the studio with Matt Wallace, a producer known for his work with Maroon 5, O.A.R. and Faith No More, in early 2012. Matt helped focus the group’s vision and expand their musical knowledge base, an experience the band members compare to being in their own version of college. The album was recorded in various studios over the course of a year, honing in on Pepper’s re-defined self-identity and how that focus was reflected in the songs.
“We learned so much,” Yesod says. “Matt help us really focus on the art of songwriting. He sat in the room with the three of us with a fine-tooth comb and went over every word, every melody, every sound. He showed us that it’s important what you do play as well as what you don’t play, creating both spaces in the songs. We learned how powerful simplicity can be. Plus, we had such a good time recording this album and I think that shows.”
The resulting album, self-titled to accentuate where the band feels they are presently, broadens Pepper’s style, veering into new sonic territory while still retaining all the fun elements that make the band so beloved by their fans. The ever-present sense of life surges through the tracks, bolstering the sense of optimism throughout. The party anthems, the beach hang melodies, and the boisterous rhythms are all there, each song carefully crafted to best express these sunny moments by the ocean.
“This album is basically 12 snapshots of where we are,” vocalist/bassist Bret Bollinger says. “There are songs that will remind you of your favorite Pepper songs, but by the end you’ll hear some unexpected things. You’ll realize that the songwriting is so much more refined. And there’s laughter in the background of the songs. That’s how good the vibe is on the record.”
Pepper has toured extensively with groups like 311, Slightly Stoopid, Flogging Molly and Sublime With Rome, and spent several summers on Warped Tour – and this live sensibility shows. You can almost feel the sand in your toes and the sun on your back as the album progresses, the musician’s amiable personalities palpable beneath the island rhythms and mellow tones. The band’s music – both live and on their releases – is really about enjoying life and being grateful for each experience, a sensibility that’s very familiar to the three musicians currently in their career. From their 1999 debut Give’n It to their 2006 standout album No Shame, which was recorded with 311’s Nick Hexum, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal and Butthole Surfers’ Paul Leary, Pepper has embodied not only a style of music but a lifestyle, one that’s most easily found on beaches across the world, but also one that’s relatable to anyone anywhere.
Released via their own label LAW Records, their universal appeal has led their music being placed in various movies and TV shows, including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Good Luck Chuck, as well as several video game soundtracks. The band’s story to date has been a prolific one. But as Pepper turns the page into a fresh chapter with this new album, it’s clear that the band’s passion for music and life will continue on for years to come.
“We’re so blessed to be in this position,” Kaleo says. “We want to do the best we can with it. We had humble beginnings in our small town in Hawaii and we’re still that same humble band. We don’t take any of this lightly. Every day I wake up and think about how I have the best job in the world. The level of gratitude and happiness I have that we’re able to do this is incredible and I hope people can hear that when they listen to our new songs.”
For eighteen years The Expendables have been bringing their perspective to the world of reggae rock. Instead of following the traditional cookie-cutter blend of reggae, punk, ska and hip-hop commonly replicated in the genre, The Expendables have perfected their own unique approach of face-melting solos, mind-bending jams and danceable grooves, blurring the lines of where one genre ends and another begins.
Hailing from shores of Santa Cruz, California, three quarters of this four piece met in the halls of Soquel High. After high school Adam Patterson (Drums/Vocals), Raul Bianchi (Lead Guitar/Keys) and Geoff Weers (Guitar/Vocals) would part ways from their high school bass player and in 1999 the band would enlist hometown native Ryan DeMars (Bass), bringing new influence to the band’s stage presence and their songwriting process.
Once the new line up was solidified, the band worked tirelessly playing shows regionally as well as recording and self-releasing three albums, No Time To Worry (2000), Open Container (2001) and Gettin’ Filthy (2004). This determined work ethic would capture the attention of Slightly Stoopid front men and Stoopid Records label owners Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald. Doughty and McDonald would take a strong interest in the band, first taking them on tour supporting Slightly Stoopid’s shows, then signing The Expendables to Stoopid Records, releasing the label’s first non Slightly Stoopid release, 2007s self-titled The Expendables. In 2010 the partnership would also produce Prove It, staking the bands claim as one of the genre’s heavy hitters.
Three years after Prove It the band would start tracking at JingleTown Recording, a bay area studio owned by the members Green Day. The beautiful studio would be used for two recording sessions, one in 2013 and one in 2014 setting the stage for the bands new release.
On January 13, 2015 The Expendables dropped Sand In the Sky to a hungry fan base excited for the bands new album. Fans immediately responded, loving the new tracks and gravitating toward the hypnotic Starry Night, dance-friendly jam Music Move Me as well as Nothing I Wouldn’t Do bringing a slight blend of the bands older sound back into the mix.
The band has taken no down time jumping straight out on 2015’s Winter Blackout Tour currently traveling across the country jamming to large crowds everywhere. With a date slated on this Summer’s Wakarusa festival and plenty of touring plans in the work this is going to be another great year for The Expendables.
Andy Frasco, the 27-year old Los Angeles, CA native singer / songwriter / band maestro / entrepreneur / party starter / everyday hustler, and his band of gypsies "The U.N." have been cited frequently as "Party Blues", but the band’s musical inspirations and influences run much deeper incorporating elements of Soul, Funk, and Rock as well as tones of Roots, and Americana, creating a much more diverse sound and style that is distinctly Andy Frasco & the U.N.
Frasco’s shows have been described as infectious, entertaining, and feel good. His performances are recognized as orchestrated chaos, inciting frenzied, undeniable good times, dancing, and perhaps even a good ole fashion freak out.
Touring independently across the U.S. and Europe since he was 18 years old, Frasco first got his taste of the music industry managing and promoting bands when he was 16 years old -booking bands like Hello Goodbye, and working with labels such as Drive Thru and Atlantic Records, as well as venues like The Key Club in Hollywood, CA.
Since his start, Frasco has embodied a DIY attitude and work ethic, making the road his home; averaging 200+ dates a year, trekking over 200,000 thousand miles spanning the country dozens of times over, blowing minds and building a loyal following everywhere he goes.
2014 marked a breakout year for Frasco, highlighted by the release of the band’s 3rd full-length studio album Half A Man, a host of high profile festival performances both domestically and overseas, and recognition from national press outlets such as Pollstar, Live For Live Music, and Relix.
Produced by Grammy Award Winning, Charles Goodan, Half A Man received warm praise from press and fans alike, charting in the top 10 of Relix/Jambands.com Radio Chart for nearly 6 months, while the road highlighted featured performances on festivals like Wakarusa, Electric Forrest, and YSMB’s Harvest Festival in the US, and festivals like Zwarte Cross (NL), King’s Day Festival (DE), Bamberg Jazz Festival (DE), Guezenpop Festival (NL), and the COTAI Jazz & Blues Festival in Macau, China.
To date, Andy has shared the stage and performed with artists such as Leon Russell, Galactic, Jackie Greene, Gary Clark Jr, Jakob Dylan, Butch Walker, Deer Tick, John Mayer, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Fishbone, Lukas Nelson, JJ Grey & Mofro, Lettuce and more.
Continuing to build off the success of 2014, Frasco & the U.N. continued to pick up momentum both at home and abroad in 2015 with featured performances at SXSW, Wakarusa, Phases of the Moon, and Backwoods Music Festival in the U.S., as well as Totaal Festival (NL), a return to Zwarte Cross (NL), Open Flair Festival (DE), and Open Air Gross Lindow (DE) overseas.
Amidst another heavy year of touring the band also recorded their 4th full-length studio album, "Happy Bastards", set for release by Ruf Records on February 26, 2016 with producer Rick Parker (Lord Huron, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sugarcult).
Hailing from Joshua Tree, deep in the heart of Southern California's Mojave Desert, Spankshaft is a five piece pop-ska-punkband, that seamlessly bends genres to create something uniquely Spankshaft.
Comprising of brothers, Brandon and Brent Simpson on Guitar and Bass, Drummer Russel Waldron, and a horn section of Clint Stoker and Scott ‘Drago’ Kisinger, spankshaft brings the energy every night, and is sure to make people move and shake. Formed in 2009, and with the current lineup set for years there is a camaraderie that makes Spankshaft a family.
Released in early 2013, the six-song EP, Great Job! captures the essence of the band and is available through CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon or at a live show.
Macho Combo consists of 3 of the desert's longtime true working musicians: Todd Ashley(guitar/vocals), Bert Vela(drums/vocals) and Rob Martinez(vocals/bass), all having played in various groups together and separately for nearly 20 yrs. Their passion and knowledge of many styles of music has culminated into a unique and special take on classic tunes from the past to the present. Their respect for all types of music is more than obvious. When you see them perform, you will truly see that they absolutely love what they do.
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The Casey Lee Ball Foundation is a nonprofit organization where 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to pediatric kidney research. There are over 50 terminal diseases, yet kidney research has no famous spokesperson, no glamour, and as a result, it is dramatically under-funded. Casey Lee Ball, third son of Sterling Ball, President of Ernie Ball, Inc., was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease at age two. At age five, while Casey and Sterling were recuperating from kidney transplant surgery at UCLA, they decided to create the Casey Lee Ball Foundation.
In the last six years over seven million dollars has been raised for the Casey Lee Ball Foundation. This is a true charity. No one will make any money from these auctions except pediatric kidney disease researchers dressed in white coats! Again, every dollar raised goes directly to research. There are no administrative fees, no overhead, and all management, accounting, and legal fees are done pro bono.
Our fundraising efforts help to pay for much needed research at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s hospital and the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. As a result of this research, several new medicines have made it to market in record time and are now helping to reduce the side effects of kidney transplant anti-rejection medicines. At present, a transplant is only a treatment, not a cure for kidney disease.
When you go to UCLA for Kidney disease treatment, you go to the the Casey Lee Ball Kidney Research Center, where we endowed a chair. This represents a million dollar contribution and one of only six chairs at UCLA that are endowed, ensuring kidney research will go on in perpetuity.