News bits: Leslie & the Badgers, Gulf Coast Benefits, Foster the People, Jane’s Addiction, Sunset Junction



Here’s an encouraging note for the bands around town who try and try and try some more: Leslie & the Badgers’ self-released album “Roomful of Smoke” (which we loved when it came out last year) has been picked up by Nashville-based label Thirty Tiger (home to Elizabeth Cook, Justin Townes Earle, Jim Lauderdale and Those Darlins). A slimmed-down, re-sequenced version will be out on Aug. 17. Heck, the press release even called Leslie Stevens a “starlet.”

‣ More than 25 venues across the country – four in L.A. – will be hosting Gulf Coast Benefit shows on Thursday, with proceeds going to the Gulf Restoration Network to help those affected by the oil spill. The L.A. talent lineup is formidable. At the Mint: Kaki King, Ben Lee, Carina Round, Rachael Cantu and the Silverlake Chorus. At the Roxy: Rebelution, Cisco, Shwayze, Yeti Beats and Fat Lip. At the Viper Room: Mickey Avalon, Beardo and others. At Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach: Iglu & Hartly. Can’t make a show? Donate here.

‣ Speaking of the Roxy, Jane’s Addiction will film a show there on Friday night. It’s a fans thing; details on Dave Navarro’s website.

‣ Does this happen anymore? Foster the People – they of the irresistible song “Pumped Up Kicks” – signed to Columbia for big money (the figure I heard from multiple sources was $400,000; I’m sure I’ll hear from somebody official if that is way off). Look for an EP this fall via an independent label, perhaps Startime International.

‣ This year’s “Music in the Zoo” series at the L.A. Zoo includes a “local scene” night with a lineup of indie-rockers near and dear to our heart: The Happy Hollows, Voxhaul Broadcast, Useless Keys, the Lonely Wild, Walking Sleep and Slang Chickens. That’ll happen beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6.

‣ The Sunset Junction lineup is shaping up. Music highlights for the Aug. 21-22 street fair, according the event’s website, include: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Mayer Hawthorne,  Meshell Ndegeocello, Fitz & the Tantrums, Bad Brains, Ghostland Observatory, the Ohio Players, Shiny Toy Guns, Saint Motel and Big Daddy Kane.

‣ Randy Randall of No Age (who performed at the L.A. Record 100 party over the weekend as “Unavoidable Prostration”) curated a mixtape for Artist Advocacy. Nick Lowe and Black Flag.

‣ And if this lineup is for real, book me a room, will ya?


Leslie & the Badgers photo by Laurie Scavo