An Interview with The Naked I: The Sound, the Scene & the Spin Doctors

The Naked I proudly call themselves “your mom’s favorite local band,” a label accurate in all the right ways. Ahead of this Saturday’s no-cover showcase at the Rush Bar in Lake Forest, we chatted with lead singer Dakota Ringer about the old-school rock sound they bring to the scene, the artistic music video they just filmed, and 1 very productive shower…

How do you like to describe The Naked I’s sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?
Dakota: We are a 5-piece rock band that all grew up on classic rock, blues and funk! Those genres are very apparent in our songs, but we like to give them a contemporary kick in order to make them more appealing to a larger audience!

What bands did you really feel the influence of while making your new EP Grin and Bear It?
Dakota: I wouldn’t say there was one band that influenced us in particular, but one band we get compared to a lot is the Spin Doctors. Aside from the 2 songs that everyone knows by them (“Two Princes” and “Little Miss Can’t be Wrong”), they are a RAD jam band with a lot of our same sound; Up-tempo blues rock with a funky rhythm section. We rely heavily on Sean and Alexander (bass and drums) to really spice up our tunes.

What track stands out as starting from an interesting place?
Dakota: One of our new songs “Sunglasses Song” definitely has a pretty cliché story attached. The main riff of the song came from a shameless shower-jam session, and as soon as I got out, I grabbed a guitar and wrote the whole song in about an hour or so. It’s a fun, upbeat, beer-drinkin’ party song that I wrote in the shower…


As a band originally from San Diego, playing both there and OC, what do you think makes each of these local scenes special?
Dakota: The music scene in Southern California is a tough ocean to wade through! There are so many good bands hidden within this place and you’ve gotta hustle extra hard in order to break through at all. The bands within the scene are so supportive though, no one would ever step on a smaller guy to gain success. They’d rather help the small guy try to grow to their level, because they deserve to be heard!

What do we have to look forward to from The Naked I in 2018?
Dakota: 2018 should be a good year for the band! We ended 2017 on a very high note, getting radio play on local stations like 91X and an on-air interview where we got to discuss our album release party at the Casbah on January 15th. We are starting the year off with a bang, releasing our first major EP!

And coming soon is a music video for our new song “Further from Freedom,” which we just wrapped the filming for. The local art scene in San Diego and LA came together to create a music video that would make people think we had a very high budget. We had top of the line cameras, lighting rigs, a professional film crew, and actors willing to work for food! The passion for creating amazing art down here in San Diego is sometimes overwhelming. We are so lucky to have everyone we had working on it and its gonna be a stellar release! Should be releasing within the next couple weeks we believe…

Catch The Naked I this Saturday, January 13th at the Rush Bar!

For more on the band, check out their website and Like them on Facebook.


Learn what it takes to be a hired musician in the music scene with John Tessin | OCML Podcast

Today we have John Tessin stop by and chat with us about the life of a hired musician. John works for bands that need a musician either on a live performance or in a studio. We talk about what it takes to to jump into a world where your income and your future is in your hands. 

On this Episode you will learn:
1. What it takes to be a hired gun (musician)
2. What state of mentality and awareness you need to succeed.
3. How to find gigs as a hired musician.

Thank you for stopping by and listening to the OCML Podcast! We are a group of promoters, artists, and fans that enjoy local music! This Podcast will help up the up and coming artist get to know the local music scene. You will gain a perspective and knowledge from us the promoters, fellow artists and fans that host this show. It will also help you get a better idea of the local music scene and how it works. If you like what you hear, subscribe using the links provided down below.

Special shout out to the song/band of the week: 
Make sure you follow them on their social media.
Facebook  | Instagram  |  Website 

Bristol To Memory- It’s Ok


Exclusive interview with Jack Underkofler from the band, Dead Poet Society

How do you like to describe Dead Poet Society’s sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?
Jack: Our band likes to aim our sound toward anything that inspires us. It changes constantly, especially with this new music we’re currently working on. Right now, I think we all listen to a bunch of different music. Frank Turner, Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, St. Vincent… the list goes on. Historical events and weird imagery also inspire our sound. There’s something so fascinating about writing a song based around something that actually happened, or creating a story for a character in a piece of art. Every song we write is for the sole purpose of taking you on a fucking ruthless, emotional sonic roller coaster.

What’s a recent case of a real event inspiring one of your songs that particularly stands out to you?
Jack: We have a new song that is based on a short story from H.P. Lovecraft called “The Color Out of Space.” We also wrote a song called “Van Gogh” about one of his paintings called Café Terrace at Night. There’s a woman in the painting dressed in white, who looks like she works at the café. We wrote the song based on her perspective and how she’s working a tough job and having a rough night, yet the painting looks so peaceful and pleasant.

The video for your recent single “Under My Skin” consisted of clips submitted by fans. What was your experience in looking through all these people singing/playing your song? Did anything surprise you?
Jack: It was kind of insane. We were kind of surprised people submitted at all. We were expecting maybe one person and then all these videos came pouring in the last few days. We watched through all of them and, not gonna lie, we were freaking out.

I’m sure. And with that excitement for the new material in mind, what are Dead Poet Society’s plans for 2018?
Jack: We are hard at work writing new music. That’s our top goal is just [to] make the best music we can, and then some. We’re looking at working with a producer for these new songs, which we haven’t done before, so that’s pretty exciting. We also have some big stuff we can’t quite talk about yet, but I can say we have tours in the works, many shows to play.

(answered by singer Jack Underkofler)
Make sure to follow the band on social media and stay up to date on their shows
Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Website 

5 Photographers to look out for in 2018

The Local Music Scene is more than just musicians on stage. It is comprised of Designers, Photographer, Promoters, Venues, Writers, Videographers etc. Today, we bring you the 5 Photographers to look out for in 2018. You might see them working at a EDM Show, House Show, Warped Tour, etc. These are the guys that make your local show look like the “place to be”
Major props to these guys and make sure to follow them on their respective social media. 

1. Zack Perez

Social Media Links:

Did you go to school for Photography?
I did not go to school for photography, I am self taught via Youtube University haha. 

What influenced you to get into photography?
Back in 2013 I started booking shows, at these shows a lot of my friends in the scene were getting into photography. Some of which were getting really great at their craft. I approached a couple and received some amazing advice, including the recommendation on what type of camera to pick up. Surprisingly I’m still using the first camera I ever bought, the Sony A6000. Huge thanks to my friend Johann Ramos aka The Work Of JAR for showing me the way and giving me a ton of tips starting out.

How would you describe your style?
I would say my style is very much so a strange mix of old school vintage film with a dreamy type saturated look that you’d see in a painting or abstract art. Many photographers put a lot of work into making their photos look “realistic” or “true to life”. My approach is completely opposite. I want to create art that is both detailed yet gives you an other worldly type vibe.

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
My best piece of advice would be to:
1. Do your research before buying gear. Everyone’s style is different and not every camera fits every type of work. Also remember that you can mostly teach yourself everything you’ll need to get into photographyvideography by doing research online. 
2. Don’t try to shoot/edit your photos/videos to look like everyone else’s. Your work stands out best when you do something completely unique. People will respect your individual style and gravitate towards it, as it is a fresh breath of air.

Lastly, download lightroom & learn to use it well. Color grading/science is possibly the most important thing to master in photography. Using good colors can completely transform an image/video. Don’t forget to have fun & experiment!

2. Kitty Catalino

Social Media Links:

Did you go to school for Photography?
Not a whole lot, but enough to get the grasp of it. I took a class my senior of high school where I learned to do both film and digital photography. I also took a semester in college as well while pursuing my Bachelors degree in Graphic and Multimedia Design at DeVry University. Besides from that, everything else I have learned was all done by trial and error.

What influenced you to get into photography?
As mentioned, I took a photography class my senior year of high school, but that was only because I needed an extra class to get the credits I needed to graduate. My parents had bought me a kit that came with a beginner level DSLR and 2 lenses. After that class I never really went back to it until I took a semester in college. I wanted to get back into it but I just wasn’t sure where to begin. It wasn’t until I walked into the back of a record store one day to see my cousins old band perform that I would start a new beginning for myself. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing at the time and that showed in my work. Pictures came out absolutely terrible. At the end of the show, the promoter running the event came up to me asking if I could come back to more of his shows to take pictures. I really did enjoy shooting that first show, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to shooting a few more. After doing a few more shows, I learned that music photography is where my heart lied. Wouldn’t have found my passion if I wasn’t for the promoter and my very good friend Nolan.

How would you describe your style?
Describing what my own style is kind of tough. I like to just tell myself to “Just go shoot.” When it comes down to it, I enjoy bringing things to life. I love making colors pop in my images and enjoy capturing raw emotions. I am someone who just wears black all the time so it is always funny to think that I enjoy viewing the world in color. 

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?   
Taking amazing pictures takes time. Photography is one of those things that requires a lot of patience whether you are trying to figure out the right settings or having to deal with the editing software. The more you go out and shoot, the more you are going to learn things. Sometimes you will even learn a thing or two on accident that becomes your go to technique. Things are not always going to go perfectly and there will be times that you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone and that is okay because you will be able to say that at least you tried. I have been doing this for a good while, and I am amazed to see how far I have come. There have been times that I just wanted to quit but I was able to keep going through the help of the people who have supported me. So if you are a photographer reading this, never give up. Keep at it and over time you will surely be rewarded.

3. James Gross 

Social Media Links:
Did you go to school for Photography?
No, I started off with very basic courses in high school and was self-taught afterwards. 

What influenced you to get into photography?
My father gave me my first camera when I was 15 and I ended up falling in love with the craft.

How would you describe your style?
Dark, moody, cinematic.

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?

Never ever give up on your craft. You can always improve, you can always learn. There will always be someone out there that is better than you at any given moment but it’s your job as an artist to adapt, and to improve on your short-comings. Experience is the best teacher and I always recommend just diving in the deep end and immersing yourself in it. Collab with other artists and shoot what you love and you will see your photos improve tenfold.

4. Gene Ramirez

Social Media Links:

Did you go to school for Photography? 
I never went to school for photography, I just kinda went on YouTube and read a lot about the terminology and how to adjust to each environment. I think I spent a whole two weeks locked up in my ex girlfriends room just reading and watching and learning everything inside and out before I actually went out and started shooting.

What influenced you to get into photography?

I guess I’ve watched so many bands and played so many shows that I always wanted to know what it would be like to capture those moments, and that energy of a band you know? So I picked up a camera in hopes of learning how to capture emotion and energy and really captivate a viewer and make them think about what they’re looking at.
How would you describe your style?
My style is I guess more old fashioned. I’m not super huge into editing like other photographers, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, however I think a photo should stand on its own and make a statement before you start adding presets or filters(for lack of a better term).
What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
A piece of advice I’d give newer photographers is to read a lot about the camera that you have. Learn the controls inside and out and make sure you understand most of the terminology. It’s over bearing at first and there’s a huge learning curve, but once you catch on, things get easier and you won’t spend too much time being frustrated at yourself (although that is definitely part of being an artist).


Social Media Links:

Did you go to school for photography? 
I actually did not! I originally went to university as an English major. The goal going into university was to land a job with Alternative Press as a music journalist. I originally decided to major in English because I wanted to keep my options open once I got my degree. After talking to my high school Journalism teacher, and a couple of mentors, I decided halfway through my education to go to the registrar’s office and officially swap my major to Communications with an Emphasis in Journalism. It was during that time that I met my good friend Corey who started He asked me to cover the inaugural Self Help Festival in San Bernardino for his publication. He was impressed with my writing and work ethic that he invited me to join his team.
I was the second member to join his publication and together we have grown that dream to a 32,000+ collective following on Facebook/Instagram as well as 3,200 unique monthly readers on the official site. I will say, however, I took two photo classes in university: Film Photography and Photojournalism. Both classes were mandated by the Communications department of my university so I had no choice in the matter. I had very little experience going into that class. Up until that point, I was still shooting on “Auto” on my family’s Canon PowerShot camera.
My professors was very critical as well. I didn’t like that aspect of my professor at first, however, because of her professionalism and her attention to detail, it helped me become a better photographer once I left her class. I started with Film Photography as my first class and I’m really glad I did because that forced me to shoot manual and learn how to operate the controls of the camera to get desired looks and exposures. Working hard to learn how to operate the manual controls of the camera helped me excel in my photojournalism class I took later on. It got to a point where I developed my skill set so well that friends and classmates were taking notice in my work and encouraging me to apply my photo skills outside of university. That push is what lead me to start shooting shows. Not only was I able to give back to my scene, but I was also able to live out both my passions at the same time.
What influences you to get into photography.
School, blogging and the music scene (primarily the pop punk scene of the early 2010s’.) When you follow certain bands on social media, you typically noticed someone who’s always tagged in their posts as the photographer. The repetition of these tags only promotes curiosity to learn more about these photographers. Artists that initially got my attention and kind of started the flames of my photo passion were Adam Elmakias, Kayla Surico, and Dan Bassini. I really like how intimate their shots were and how they portrayed the bands I was passionate about. I respected the art form, but at that time, never in a million years did I think I could do the things that they did. I initially shot shows because I had to and because being a music journalist means being as flexible with your craft as possible since press accommodates can be slim for independent publications. Fast forward to 2018 and I’m doing all the things I once thought that were impossible for a person such as myself. If there is anything to take away from this is that nothing is impossible if you apply yourself and there are many avenues to success. You don’t have to follow a certain path to achieve your dreams or live the life you always wanted to have. If anything, I encourage the people that follow my work and anyone reading this now to be a trailblazer this year. Dare to go against the grain and march to the beat of your own drum.
How would you describe your photography?
I would say late 80s’/90s’ film inspired. It’s changed over the years, but lately I have been trying really hard to emulate color grades that are reminiscent of different film rolls from that time era. I love nostalgic influences in art. In addition, trying to emulate that style takes me back to my childhood and that in itself makes me real happy. I’ll try to incorporate light streaks or digital textures into my work whenever I can and when it feels appropriate. I also like to put a cinematic feel to my work as well, however, I apply that style more to my video work more than my stills. When I say “cinematic,” I mean a teal/orange color grade combo, letter box cropping and smooth clips. I learned a lot about color grading, color correction and experimentation from my friend JAR (Johann Arteaga Ramos) and studying his work. Definitely check out him and his work out!
What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
As cliche as it is, my advice is to truly never give up. If you go down this path, you will eventually doubt yourself and become your worst enemy. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to other photographers I care about and I’m sure a lot of professionals go through the same valleys as well. In these times, you’ll find very reason to give up. However, if you truly love photography/videography and you really want to pursue you passion, I urge you in those trying moments to endure and to keep shooting despite how difficult it may be.
I also encourage aspiring photogs to always be hungry for knowledge. There is so much to be learned in this field, and the more you learn, the more skilled of an artist you’ll become. One of the best ways to learn is to find a mentor in your area and “shadow” them whenever possible. Most professional photogs will be open to helping you out because they too once were beginners and remember how hard it was as well. Aspiring photogs occasionally message me for advise and I always do my best to help in anyway I can. In addition, I encourage both bands and photogs to remember the ABCs’ of networking: Always Be Communicating. If you’re not taking every chance you get to market yourself and your craft, you’re slowly pushing yourself away from your goals.
Make it a constant goal to always network with industry professionals and to always put your craft/portfolio “out there.” We live in a very fast-paced and ever-changing world. If you’re not keeping up, you’re being left behind. It’s tough to say, but it is the unfortunate truth. My friend Chris Anderson of In Urgency once told me, “As long as you’re inching toward your goals each day, that’s all that matters. Even if it’s a small task like going to the store to buy gear, that will help your overall goals by being efficient with your time and being more prepared overall.” “There’s no such thing as ‘spare time,’ no such thing as ‘free time,’ no such thing as ‘down time.’ All you have is ‘life time.’ Go.” -Henry Rollins. Today’s your day. You have 24 hours. The question is, will you invest your time to get closer to your goals or will you waste the time you currently have? Rest is important and of course I advocate for a healthy balance of work and rest, however, even when you’re resting, I feel it’s critical to always be planning ahead so you can get to where you want to be.

The Difference between a Promoter, Manager, Booking Agent Tour Manager with Mike Brennan | OCML Podcast

Mike Brennan stops by and chats about his experience in the local music scene. His experience with the change of the industry. You will learn..
1. The Expectations of the Local Music Scene.
2. How the change of the industry changed the ways the local music works.
3. The Guidelines to Screwing up.
4.The Dissolution of the middle class (managers, local records labels etc)

Thank you for stopping by and listening to the OCML Podcast! We are a group of promoters, artists, and fans that enjoy local music! This Podcast will help up the up and coming artist get to know the local music scene. You will gain a perspective and knowledge from us the promoters, fellow artists and fans that host this show. It will also help you get a better idea of the local music scene and how it works. If you like what you hear, subscribe using the links provided down below.

Interview with Brian Krofchick from the band, Bad Reception

Before they take the stage at the House of Blues Anaheim at OCML DSCVR ThursdaysWe sat down and chatted with Brian Krofchick the co-lead signer and guitarist for the band Bad Reception.We chatted about the band’s influence, what inspires them and the future of band in 2018.,(click here to learn more about the show)

How do you like to describe Bad Reception’s overall sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?

Brian: I would describe our sound as alt-punk. We draw from a lot of influences, from bands like Alkaline Trio, Midtown, Rufio, and then to heavier bands like From Autumn to Ashes, Silverstein and Mastodon.

Kevin [Shannon, co-lead singer/guitarist] and I started this band when we were 13, and played all the way through high school. After that, we all kind of went our separate ways, and over the past year have worked on putting it together with a new drummer and bass player. We played the House of Blues [Anaheim] with Gravler for OCML this summer, and that was our first show back. Prior to getting Bad Reception back together, I was in a pop-punk band called Number One Champs with our current bass player Joshua Wayne.

With the dynamic of two lead vocalists in the band, and the range of influences you pointed out, what sensibilities do you find each one of you brings to the table?

Brian: Kevin is the choir boy and I’m more unrefined, haha. It’s always been a very natural process for us when writing to kind of see who fits well in the story. Kevin’s voice is very powerful, and great for punching up verses and choruses to give them more energy. Mine is a little more laid-back. And even with the differences in our voices, we’re suckers for harmonies and use them quite a bit. The dual lead always interested us from listening to bands like blink-182, Alkaline Trio and Midtown. You start to love those bands for each singer’s unique take on a song and the emotion they bring to it.

The term you used “alt-punk” is a pretty apt descriptor for your single “Rose Marie.” Can you talk about how that song came together & what inspired it?

Brian: “Rose Marie” comes from personal experiences and watching friends trapped in abusive relationships. Having that feeling that there’s no one else out there for you, and that you should just stick it out and hope it gets better. Just try to ignore the dysfunction and things will change. The name Rose Marie actually comes from an old 50’s song by Slim Whitman. He’s essentially singing about this girl named Rose Marie who he can’t live without and who every night he dreams about.  For some reason, it just stuck with me that this song is the follow up after his dream girl destroys his heart.

We chose to put the single out over the summer to give people a taste of what’s to come, and worked on it with the help of our good friend Nick MAC of Gravler.

How has forming those connections with artists in the local scene helped you guys so far?

Brian: Making connections in the local scene is the key to growing as a band.  I actually met the Gravler guys years ago in my last band.  We began to be paired up for shows and genuinely enjoyed spending time together.  A lot of the bands were too cool for school and left as soon as their set was over, [but] those dudes would stay and support us and vice versa. Flash forward to now, and they helped us set us up the opportunity to get Bad Reception back in front of an audience again with John [Safari] of OCML for their CD release. Setting up a local support system is essential if we want to succeed.

What can we look forward to from Bad Reception in 2018?

Brian: 2018 is gonna be a busy year for us. We’re currently writing new music and will be releasing our EP by spring.

(w/ Brian Krofchick, co-lead singer/guitarist)
Check out the band’s social media accounts  Facebook  |  Instagram | Website

The Best Albums of 2017, According to OCML Members


To put it simply, a lot of great records came out in 2017. Whether they were smartly-crafted critical darlings from the indie world, instant chart-toppers that soundtracked the whole world, or a rising OC favorite playing the club down the street next week, we left the year with some real potential classics in our libraries. So naturally, a handful of us at OCML want to go over the albums we obsessed over the most, locally or otherwise. We also included plugs to each team member’s socials or other projects, for if you really like what they had to say. Enjoy the lists, and here’s to an even better 2018!

Mark Berman
OCML Position: Digital Network Writer
Also Follow On: Twitter @MarkMadSounds / Bandcamp @fullyinvolvedmusic

5) ’68 – Two Parts Viper
Subverting everything you thought you knew about garage rock duos, frontman Josh Scogin screams his brains out with the same intensity and abandon as he did in his hardcore past, with some of the thickest, meatiest guitar tones you’ll hear all year. On this sophomore album though, it’s a tighter, more controlled chaos, balanced with subdued melodic moments that add an extra emotional weight. I already wrote about these guys’ live show for my first article on OCML, so you can get more details on what they’re all about there.

4) The Regrettes – Feel Your Feelings Fool!
I was pleasantly surprised to see more female-led acts in my year-end lists than usual, and none exemplify that ethos more potently than The Regrettes. It’s rare that a band establishes themselves this confidently on their debut outing, combining earworm hooks and harmonies reminiscent of 60’s girl groups with righteous punk fury in the tempos and messages. If I made a list of the Top 5 “Get the Hell Away from Me, You Creepy Condescending Dickwad” Anthems of 2017, selections from this record would take up at least 4 spots.

3) Jillette Johnson – All I Ever See in You Is Me
On the other side of the spectrum from the last pick, this is the best soundtrack for quiet introspection you’ll find all year. The organic, deceptively low-key sonic landscape (courtesy of producer Dave Cobb) lends it all the warmness of a timeless country/folk LP, only with more piano and absolutely none of the kitsch. The way she dissects disconnects in relationships with lovers & family members is sure to strike a chord in some way with anyone who listens to it.

2) Alvvays – Antisocialites
Reverb-soaked indie rock can be hard to make stand out track to track, but this Canadian group brings all the variety, songwriting chops and ear-grabbing melodies to pull it off fantastically. Whether sounding like a more energized Beach House or a more chilled-out Regrettes, frontwoman Molly Rankin ties it all together with a dreamy vocal presentation and a charmingly nuanced sense of storytelling. Also a big highlight of Long Beach’s Music Tastes Good festival in 2017.

1) Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life
Coincidentally, I’m bookending this list with garage rock duos, but comparatively Japandroids bring more motivation than madness. 5 years removed from Celebration Rock and these guys (also Canadian, also coincidence) pack that same earnest anthemic bombast into another 8 tracks and 35 minutes. This is music to take that next step and make a bold life decision to, only with a wider sonic palette to dissuade any detractor who called them one-note. Welcome back.

Nolan Davis
OCML Position: Talent Buyer
Also Check Out: Nolan’s booking/promotion company RAD Music

5) Ghost Key – If I Don’t Make It
One of post-hardcore’s best bands finally made a new album, and it couldn’t be any better. From chuggy hardcore riffs to incredibly sad lyrics, this is the album to listen to when depressed….or happy….or when driving…..basically whenever.

4) K.Flay – Every Where Is Some Where
K.Flay is an incredibly talented singer and rapper. This breakup record will hit you in the feels, and make you regret any bad thing you’ve ever done in a relationship. It’ll leave you texting your exes at 2:16 a.m. telling them you’re sorry for that one thing 6 years ago.

3) Bleep Bloop – The Fifth Pupil EP
One of the most disgusting bass producers out there. Santa Cruz’s Bleep Bloop produced this EP that will take you straight to bass hell and leave you ghost rolling for days. If you want to know what a dark acid trip feels like, listen to this EP.

2) IDK – IWasVeryBad
This is THE rap/hip-hop record of 2017. He used to go by Jay IDK, but shortened it to just IDK when he released this album. One of the most heartfelt stories you’ll hear in any rap album this year. Some songs are hip-hop, some songs are a little more R&B, and some are just straight trap.

1) Fit for an Autopsy – The Great Collapse
By far the best heavy record of the year. Fit for an Autopsy have always been a great deathcore band, but with this record, they matured into one of the best metal bands in the U.S. If you’re a fan of heavy music, you’re a fan of this record.

Oscar Dotson
OCML Position: Media/Interviewer
Also Follow On: Instagram @Otyme / KTST FM – Anaheim

5) 2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
This album takes the new age beats and puts context to the trap music scene. Overlooked for not being heavy melody driven, and repetitive with the lyrics.

4) Aminé – Good for You
Great original artist and humble performer. His style and delivery remind me of 90’s hip-hop. For that reason, he was overlooked and only known for his single “Caroline.” Saw him live at The Observatory, and he wasn’t singing over vocals, which is sadly rare with new rappers.

3) Khalid – American Teen
This Canadian rapper is affiliated with Lorde and shows that young men aspire for more than sex, money, and women. American Teen is a refreshing album from a new generation that is looking for love.

2) Kelela – Take Me Apart
This woman brings back the true style of R&B. Smooth beat with powerful words is what she presents. A great album for a date night, and for when you end up back at the house. One of the new R&B artists of the year that big things should be coming from.

1) Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
This album has set a standard to the hip-hop music scene that many choose not to acknowledge. The album tells two different stories that can only be heard listening to it forward and backwards. Lyrically amazing album with rap DJ icon Kid Capri laying vocal intros. Great album if you’re looking to find some conscious hip-hop music in a day of mundane lyricists.

Evelyn Lee
OCML Position: PR Coordinator
Also Check Out: Evelyn’s website

5) AJR – The Click
The Click is an incredibly impressive feat when you consider that the entire album has been written, arranged, composed, and produced by three brothers in their twenties. The opening track “Overture” beautifully sets up the mood of the entire album by mixing every song on the album onto one track. Though the album does suffer from a few what I presume to be “filler” songs, every subsequent song feels new, exciting, and refreshing. I can only hope that AJR continues to successfully combine orchestral grandiosity to the modern electropop times.

4) Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy
Tyler has finally created an album where every song feels purposeful and so incredibly personal to him as an artist. Whereas in albums past, Tyler has brought his “fuck it” persona forward, Flower Boy feels so intimate and raw. From the hard hitting “Who Dat Boy” to the softness of “See You Again,” Tyler shows us we’ve still got so much to learn about him.

3) Daniel Caesar – Freudian
If butter spread thinly onto a just-out-of-the-oven loaf of bread was transposed into music, the result would be Daniel Caesar’s Freudian. There seems to be a very thin line for R&B artists to walk across to keep their work from sounding “cheesy”; Daniel Ceasar has managed to pole-jump the line altogether. Each song dumps onto the next in smooth transition, and I found myself not even realizing when the next song began. So the next time you find yourself overlooking the ocean, or passing by buildings on the train as the sun sets, pop in this album and you’ll be sure to end up feeling at peace.

2) Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
There is no other album that has made me want to dance, belt out, groove, and plain old have a good time like Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic. Bruno Mars has ushered funk back into pop, and I for one am so here for it. He already showed us he’s got the voice in his past work in power ballads, but 24K Magic cemented that he’s got the rhythm and energy to be the next Pop God.

1) Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
What can I say about Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album that hasn’t been said ad nauseum already? When you’re at the top of your game, there seems to be nowhere to go but down (see Drake’s More Life), but Kendrick has managed to beat the odds and reminds us why he’s “king.” DAMN. has the ebb and flow in the arrangement that lets you belt out hard-hitters like “HUMBLE.” and take a breather for softer songs like “LOVE.” He takes subjects like “LUST.” and “PRIDE.” and tells us what they mean to him. Just like the finality of the period and the intensity of the capitalization, DAMN. is a masterpiece of lyricism, production, and composition.

Chad Martini
OCML Position: Booking Agent/Resident Artist
Also Follow On: Facebook / Instagram @chadmartiniocml

5) The Shins – Heartworms
A band that I can recognize by just the tone. They continue to do so with this album, and brought a little extra in the background when it came to the music.

4) The XX – I See You
From the songwriting to the vocal melodies, this album really brings you in as a relatable character.

3) Depeche Mode – Spirit
The tone of this album really set it in for me. It’s different and really shows the talent from all parts of the band. Great lyrics as always and really keeps the listener thinking.

2) Tycho – Epoch
This album is beautiful, as its filled with uplifting tracks and can bring a deep connection. You can truly feel the emotion in every track.

1) Bonobo – Migration
A very nostalgic album that really hits your inner soul and puts you in a daze. From the live instruments to the guest vocals, this amazing downtempo/worldly album really shows Bonobo’s talent following all his other albums.

John Safari
OCML Position: President/Co-Founder
Also Follow On: Instagram @ocml_safari
(Note: List is in no particular order.)

August Burns Red – Phantom Anthem
It goes without saying that one of my favorites was from my favorite band. This is angry music for happy people at its finest.

Gravler – Give Up the Ghost
Close to home because it was the first official OCML Records release. They helped us sell out our first show at the House of Blues Anaheim in The Parish. It’s a perfect mix of modern pop-punk with an old Rise Against feel.

Incubus – 8
Incubus has been a favorite of mine since I was in middle school, and Brandon is one of my favorite lyricists. The lyrical poetry of Incubus is a large part of what inspired me to start writing my own poetry. I finally got to see them at the Hollywood Bowl, and that was a highlight of the year, ending the night hanging with Brandon at the after party.

In Urgency – Painting Parallels
This is one of my favorite local bands by far. This album was stuck on my playlist for most of the fall. If you haven’t heard of them, show some urgency and check this album out on Spotify!

Obey the Brave – Mad Season
I’ve been hooked on OTB for a few years. I can’t deny my love for driving hardcore with good chants and heavy breakdowns. If you’re into that, this is an album for you!

Honorable Mention: MyChildren MyBride – Vicious World

How to Build a Community in the Local Music Scene with Jonathan Ogden | OCML Podcast

This week Jonathan Ogden stops by and chats to the team about how to build a strong community in the local music scene. 

Thank you for stopping by and listening to the OCML Podcast! We are a group of promoters, artists, and fans that enjoy local music! This Podcast will help up the up and coming artist get to know the local music scene. You will gain a perspective and knowledge from us the promoters, fellow artists and fans that host this show. It will also help you get a better idea of the local music scene and how it works. If you like what you hear, subscribe using the links provided down below.

Check out the song of this week brought to you by Them Evils -Untold
Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Website

Get to know the man behind the band S.S Odyssey

His band’s name is inspired by the late great artist David Bowie and his track “Space Odyssey”.The lead singer of S.S Odyssey will be performing this Thursday at the House of Blues at OCML’s DSCVR Thursdays. (Click here for more info) But before you bounce to the show, here some knowledge about this great and humble singer named Scott Brazee.

As a young kid he was an avid music fan. His first instrument introduced by his mother was the piano which he kept practicing for awhile but later decided to play the guitar which he received as a gift on Christmas. Inspired by Johnny Cash and David Bowie one thing that attracts him to the stage is having the ability to express himself and tell a story using music.  Check out the interview we had with Scott on a previous OCML Artist Spotlight get to know him more and we can’t wait to see you this Thursday at the House of Blues!