When You Awake is an ode to country life, celebrating everything from classic country and rock to the the current indie folk and roots scenes. The daily blog features music news, mixtapes, ticket giveaways, style finds and much more*. When You Awake also presents shows around town featuring musicians like Justin Townes Earle, Deer Tick and Langhorne Slim. We are based in Los Angeles, California and London, England with contributors hailing from Northern California, North Carolina, New York, Australia and Norway. Want to join the When You Awake team? Contact Jody at the email address below.
*Please note that we currently do not write album reviews, though feel free to send cool videos, style finds, etc our way.
Jody is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of When You Awake. She grew up in Nashville, TN and hated twangy music with a passion until she was stuck in her brother’s car with nothing but a Flying Burrito Brother’s compilation to keep her company. She begrudgingly listened to it and after suffering through it a couple of times, found herself strangely drawn back to it. She started sneaking country in whenever she could and a couple of years later, she finally decided to come out as a full on country lover and created this space to let other people know that it’s ok to like country too. She likes sunflowers, sing-a-longs and stiff drinks (whiskey, please). She is also the co-founder of The Backscratchers, a new skills swap website for the creative and entrepreneurial community that is set to launch early 2012.
Contact Jody/Official When You Awake Pages:
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Bryan Thomas / Assistant Editor
Los Angeles, CA
Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide and a dozen other websites and zines, most of them long gone. He’s also worked for over fifteen years at reissue record labels (Rhino / Rhino Handmade, and Del-Fi, mostly) and written lots of liner notes, and prior to that he had jobs as a buyer and clerk at bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl days. This “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy” is now somewhat reclusive and bides his time quietly in his dusty Miracle Mile hermitage, reading music blogs and listening to acid folk/downer psych folk, stoned country, bootcut and outlaw country-rock, mustache and beard rock, desert rock, denim pop, soft psych and much more. He can still occasionally be spotted at Grand Ole Echo shows and various other L.A. venues and parties, and he really appreciates it when someone buys him a bottle of cold Mexican beer. With a lime, please.
Stian Svehagen / Contributor
Stian is a record-collecting “professional” music-appreciator who works fulltime in a independent record store in Oslo, Norway. He is always looking for something new. Either a new band or some old band or artist to discover. Stian is especially enamored by the sounds of the folk/country/psychedelia heard in the late sixties/early seventies and all things that sounds like that era. He gave up on the term “guilty pleasure” a long time ago so don’t be surprised if you find him grooving to some teenage pop or cheesy powerballads either. Stian is dreaming of one day becoming a music journalist and list working for Rolling Stone Magazine as one of his dream jobs. THE all time dream job would be to go back in time and work for Rolling Stone in the years 1966 – 1976. Working in a record store has also always been one of his dreams. He is also a frequent list-maker and loves a good mix-tape.
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Nick Stahl / Contributor
Los Angeles, CA
Nick has loved country music since the day he first heard the golden tones of You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma by David Frizell and Shelly West blasting out of the speakers of his parents 1985 Dodge caravan. He currently host a classic country radio show (“Toe Tappin’ Music”) every Saturday night from 9-10:30 pm (pst) on KXLU Los Angeles 88.9 FM and www.kxlu.com. His hobbies include studying and patiently waiting for the Dodgers to win the World Series.
Contact Nick: Email
Mitra Khayyam / Arts and Style Editor
Los Angeles, CA
Mitra Khayyam is a native New Yorker who may as well consider herself an Angeleno at this point. Having spent the last 10 years in the art and fashion industries, Mitra’s taste leans towards Americana tinged with an appreciation for craftsmanship and story. When not acting as Owner and Curator of graphic tee shirt line, Blood is the New Black, she spends time singing Roger Miller songs to her dog Hud and writing for her blog Honky Tonk Hero.
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Breanna Murphy lives, “works,” and sometimes sleeps in Los Angeles. She spends her days with a red pen in hand, editing and writing various nonfiction projects, most often with a two-shot iced chai in arm’s length, and is pretty handy with an em dash—if she may say so herself. She also has a strange affinity for Cheez-Its, cats, Liz Lemon, Galaga, and walking around Downtown. Her biggest disappointment this year was when LOST ended because, frankly, she still has some questions she’d like answered. Her whiskey is Irish and her wine is red. Her favorite record into infinity forever and ever is The Glow Pt. 2, followed at dangerously close second by Crosby, Stills & Nash or Astral Weeks (depending on the time of day). Her favorite Beatle is, of course, George. She occasionally writes for FILTER magazine.
Tim Marvin grew up in rural Western New York and planned on being a preacher until he discovered the devil’s music in the 6th grade. In an effort to be as close to as much sin as possible he moved to San Francisco in 2008 after stints in NYC and Portland, Ore. His first “proper” concert was The Oak Ridge Boys at the Erie County Fairgrounds in 1986 and still thinks that live music is about as close to a religious experience as he will ever need. Other than that he prefers his grass blue and his whiskey from a jar.
Contact Tim: Email l Blog
Sophie is in Sydney, Australia, waiting for the day when oversized jumpers with animals on them will go out of fashion again and she is once more left with nothing cool to wear. Until then, most of her time is spent planning the contents of the ultimate all-occasion adventure bag. Depending on the day and the mood, the bag may or may not include any combination of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Jeff Lang, Joni Mitchell, Chris Whitley and the Travelling Wilburys tapes as well as a few staples like her Peter Andre poster and her collection of beer coasters of the world. She’s currently a vegan, but a pretty lazy one at that, so don’t hold it against her.
TAB was reared in antiquity and classicism in the jewel of the South, Charleston, South Carolina, but earned his spurs roping four wheelers in southwest Arkansas. He currently calls Washington, DC home but has done stints across the country on political campaigns and in Scotland for his college learning. He is accused by the hipsters of being a preppy and accused by the preppies of being a hipster, but is registered to vote as a Springsteen Conservative. He plays a mean harmonica, enjoys a fifth of Jameson or a Gin Rickey and is always watching out with hard eyes toward the middle distance for Death with a six shooter.
Contact TAB: Email
Kandia Crazy Horse is a third generation (at least) country & western fanatic, with roots in Virginia and south Georgia. Influenced by her southern baptist preacher grandaddy, Rev, and the Afro-Kelt sublime of the Allman Brothers Band, this sometime singing cowgirl and former music editor / freelance culture scribe made her name covering the second wave of southern rock & the spaces where soul, cowpunk, folk, gospel, ‘world” sounds, hip-hop, and newgrass abide ‘neath the Americana tent. Raised in a transatlantic household where singing cowboys Sly Stone and Jim Ford loomed large beside them iconic Appalachian soul yodelers James Brown and Marvin Gaye, she discovered her path somewhere between Hee Haw, Chico and the Man, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s stardom on Sesame Street, the intersecting heights of southern rock and outlaw country, Tennessee-bred street bard Gil Scott-Heron, and the (faintly damning) iconicity of Charley Pride. After living as a child in Africa’s Niger Delta whence sprang the roots of the blues and string traditions that begat the banjo, she remains an advocate for acolytes of the so-called Black Banjo movement — thus anyone reppin’ for that and/or her heroes Stephen Stills, Leon Russell & Gene Clark will be sure to have her boots scootin’ along their trail. Kandia also loves mountain men, shacks, ole quilts, and eating bullets and grits. Meantime, she would appreciate the loan of a yurt in the LA-area desert so she could get her head & spirit together like her Ancestors did in Central Asia many moons ago.
Since graduating from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2007, India has shot in concert venues, on film sets and throughout the wild streets of Los Angeles. Her favorite artists include (but are not limited to) Ann Hamilton, Josef Koudelka, Tim Hawkinson, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard.
Contact India: Email l Blog
Hagop is a Los Angeles native that has lived and shot all over the world, with his camera, The Cyclopic Eye of Photausse (de Goppe). A musician and instrumentalist at heart, he rejects the notion of “everything but country.” Of the acts he has covered for When You Awake, his top picks are Breathe Owl Breathe, Hacienda, and Megafaun.
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James is from the Rubber Capital of the World, Akron, Ohio. He grew up riding to little league games with Blonde on Blonde and The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East playing on the Astro Van stereo. He now runs a folk/country imprint out of his Echo Park house called Trailer Fire records.
Patrick Gerrity is an artist and designer living in Echo Park. Patrick graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design in 1994 and meandered about for awhile before landing in LA in 2003. When he’s not straining his wrists drawing, designing or animating, he enjoys hiking, public radio and comparative mythology.
Contact Patrick: Email l Website
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