FESTIVALS

We Had an Amazing Time at The Beehive SXSW with Aurora, PWR BTTM and More [Photos]

1 month ago by Hannah Angst

Photos by Kayla Willey

Sure, we may be a little biased, but the best party at SXSW this year was The Beehive. With our friends at Bumble and Verb, we took over The Swan Dive’s two stages for a day of music from some of our favorite artists playing the festival. It was incredible from start to finish, from the Austin Eastcider and much needed Bumble handheld fans to the Verb braid bar and most importantly, the amazing sets — the garage rock of PWR BTTM, the magic of Margaret Glaspy, the dulcet tones of Pure Bathing Culture and the mind [READ ON]

March 25, 2016 Hannah Angst SXSW 0

10 Breakout Artists of SXSW 2016

1 month ago by All Of Us

SXSW is a huge behemoth that attracts as many giant stars as it does up and comers. Any festival that can snag a surprise headline set by Drake is obviously as big as they come. While it’s true that there are larger artists playing Austin’s streets, it doesn’t mean that SXSW is any less of a necessity for newer artists. Whereas SXSW years ago was all about discovery, these days it’s more about solidification. Bands that already have buzz go down to Austin to prove definitively that they’re exactly as great [READ ON]

March 25, 2016 All Of Us SXSW 0

SXSW 2016 Photo Recap [Photos]

1 month ago by Hannah Angst

We can talk about SXSW until our faces turn blue, but there’s no way to describe the chaos better than showing it. With so many acts and shows at any given moment in Austin, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not even know where to start. Lucky for us, we had some incredible photographers to help document the wildness and show you the bands that we loved the most. It’s definitely just a taste of the [READ ON]

March 25, 2016 Hannah Angst SXSW Comments Off on SXSW 2016 Photo Recap [Photos]

SXSW 2016 Free Parties RSVP List

2 months ago by Lauren McKinney

March 17, 2016 Lauren McKinney SXSW 0

SXSW 2016 Artists to Watch

2 months ago by Lauren McKinney

March 9, 2016 Lauren McKinney SXSW 0

Ten Breakout Artists of CMJ 2015 [Photos]

6 months ago by Hannah Angst

Another year, another CMJ in the books. By now, you’ve hopefully recovered from your post-festival colds and sore feet and have all the memories of all the amazing bands to comfort you. It was a nice chill year for CMJ this year – it seemed like there was a little less of a crush on the city, with shows more spread out and fewer bands doing the 5-a-day sprint. It meant we could take in more shows and see more acts that completely blew us away. So many acts lived up to the hype this year that we were hard pressed to narrow it down to just ten – but we prevailed. Check out our ten favorite artists from CMJ as well as the pics from the plethora of amazing shows we witnessed.

Miya Folick

miya

To say we were excited for Miya Folick is probably an understatement and she certainly didn’t let us down. The Los Angeles singer songwriter dove deeply into the emotional vulnerability effervescing from her dark but hopeful melodies on stage. Balancing the heaviness of her powerful storytelling with a lighthearted, personal charisma, Miya was more than captivating from start to finish of her set at The Flat on Wednesday night. Her set seamlessly weaved in old songs and new with varying genres, all connected by her remarkable ability to feel every moment of a song while playing it.  She has that undeniable star quality that allows her to form lasting connections with an audience through song and we simply can’t wait to see her again. – Shana Hartzel

Mothers

mothers

Mothers are striking. On first listen of “No Crying in Baseball,” it’s easy to hear there is something special about the intricate way the band pieces together their uncertain and driven brand of indie rock. But, their live show is even better. Formerly the solo project of singer and guitarist Kristine Leschper, the now 4-piece from Athens, Georgia move amongst all manners of dynamics, tempos, and lyrical deliveries to put on a cohesively engaging performance. Leschper’s endearing warble artfully compliments the shifting layers of guitar as both a scream and a melodious whisper. Mothers have debut album set to be released next year that is not to be missed. – Shana Hartzel

Cosmo Sheldrake

cosmo

You can certainly expect the unexpected from young vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Cosmo Sheldrake. But, you can also expect it to be packaged in perfectly timed aural smorgasbord that is both engaging and oddly addictive. His clever manipulation of unorthodox sounds made by one of the over 30 instruments he plays, an anthropologically or scientifically natural occurrence, and his own voice transcends novelty into a sonic symphony. Both a life long learner and a sampling savant, Sheldrake took time before each song to explain the intricacies of the samples he chose to use, including anything from the sun to the tearing of meat. While his lyrics are largely scientific or nonsense, his music is fresh, unique, and modern in both intricate composition and mesmerizing live performance. – Shana Hartzel 

Methyl Ethel

methyl

An unassuming trio from the far shores of Perth, Methyl Ethel have already been deemed by many as the next Tame Impala. While the similarities are undeniable, the group exude an effortlessly shimmering delicacy all their own. Their psychedelic pop blends nicely with some hints of progressive rock into a casually cool amalgamation they deliver so smoothly on stage. They put together a solid set of driving tunes that are relatable, accessible, and fully transportive even if you’ve never heard the band before. Touted audibly by their fellow Aussies during the Aussie BBQ and by anyone that saw one (or more) of their impressive ten performances during the week, their allure was undeniable even in a set-capping, 3-minute outro of the same whirling chord progression at Rough Trade on night one. – Shana Hartzel 

Satellite Stories

satellite storeis

Satellite Stories played an incredible show at Brooklyn Bowl as part of the Communion Showcase on Saturday. This Finnish band is surely going places –  with a sound is reminiscent of Two Door Cinema Club, soft and upbeat. They had the entire crowd dancing with them start to finish. – Makena Cummings

Broken Hands

broken hands

The UK band played a rocking set as part of the Communion Showcase. They have all the makings of an edgy British indie rock band with influences from Arctic Monkeys and Catfish & the Bottlemen. Their set was loud and full of head-banging – with energy pouring from them the whole time. Broken Hands proved that guitar rock is back and the most exciting it’s been in years. – Makena Cummings

Frankie Cosmos

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Frankie Cosmos rocked every one of the showcases they played – including The Beehive. Frontwoman Greta Kline is always a delight to see, with her refreshing quirkiness and the band’s honest and clean sound. The band was on the top of everyone’s list going into the festival and is sure to be on the top of most “rising star” lists coming out. At the show Kline revealed a new LP in the works, and if the shows are any indication – it’s going to be one for the ages. – Makena Cummings

Elohim

Pretty much the only reason we didn’t include Elohim on our recent “Femme-Pop” feature is we couldn’t decide which of the two tracks she’s released so far we liked better: the immediate, catchy “She Talks Too Much” or the hazy, drugged-out “Xanax”. Make no mistake though,  Thursday night’s performance at The Marlin Room at Webster Hall (part of Neon Gold’s New Shapes bonanza) proved Elohim is every bit on the vanguard of the form. Rather than witnessing another would-be diva belting over 90% prerecorded track and 10% live instrumentation, we were treated to an immersive, immaculately-conceived high-concept multimedia experience. Lights and projected visuals danced in time with the music, while the mystery woman at the center of it gradually shed her fashionable layers, sunglasses, and robo-voice interludes to reveal, of all things, a knowing smile. This was the abstract transforming into something altogether human, and we couldn’t keep our eyes (or ears) off of it. – Matthew Solarski

Mammút

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Invariably the name Björk will be invoked when discussing Mammút, and it’s a fair comparison given frontwoman Kata Mogensen’s commanding voice, impassioned delivery, and Icelandic heritage (not to mention the band’s ties to the Smekkleysa label). But the Reykjavík five-piece has much more to offer, particularly to folks who like their music heavy. At Wednesday’s Iceland Airwaves showcase at Black Bear Bar, drummer Andri Bjartur Jakobsson was a behemoth behind the kit, stomping out massive beats that helped the band more than earn its moniker. With Mogensen and her cathartic bellows front and center, the mighty Mammút served up music that was urgent and full of zeal, even if we often couldn’t understand just what exactly they were singing about. – Matthew Solarski

Vaults

vaults

In fairness, a band like Vaults isn’t really built for a festival like this. The London trio hails from a lineage of highly refined art-pop auteurs that stretches from Kate Bush to Bat For Lashes and beyond, and one imagines a great deal of thought goes into their creative choices.  Rather than simply relying on a sample — something we saw more than a few bands do at CMJ — bandmember Barney Freeman carts along and plays an aluphone (a rare, doubtless cumbersome percussion instrument) to produce the eerie, gamelan-like tones heard on tracks like “Cry No More”. Needless to say this doesn’t lend itself to the scrappy, 25- and 30-minute sets that make up the bedrock of CMJ. Both times we saw them, Vaults struggled through set-up and sound problems, and yet twice they emerged victorious, winning over the crowd with good humor, a little interpretive dance, and the sheer majesty of their music. Once this band has paid its dues, there will be no stopping them. – Matthew Solarski

photoscmj

Acid Dad

– Makena Cummings

Briana Marela

– Matthew Solarski

Broken Hands

– Makena Cummings

Buffalo Rodeo

– Makena Cummings

Catfish and the Bottlemen

– Makena Cummings

Cloud Castle Lake

– Matthew Solarski

Dent May

– Makena Cummings

Elohim

– Matthew Solarski

Emilie Nicolas

– Matthew Solarski

Empress Of

– Makena Cummings

Frankie Cosmos

– Makena Cummings

Fraser A Gorman

– Makena Cummings

Glass Animals

– Makena Cummings

Grace Mitchell

– Matthew Solarski

Holly Miranda

– Matthew Solarski

Idgy Dean

– Matthew Solarski

Jamie N Commons

– Makena Cummings

LazyEyes

– Makena Cummings

Lena Fayre

– Matthew Solarski

Mammut

– Matthew Solarski

Methyl Ethel

– Matthew Solarski

Miya Folick

– Matthew Solarski

Morgan Erina

– Matthew Solarski

Oscar

– Matthew Solarski

Outfit

– Matthew Solarski

Panda Bear

– Makena Cummings

Phony PPL

– Makena Cummings

Piers

-Makena Cummings

POWERS

– Makena Cummings

S

– Matthew Solarski

Sam Cohen

– Makena Cummings

Satellite Stories

– Makena Cummings

Stone Cold Fox

– Makena Cummings

Sye Elaine Spence

– Matthew Solarski

The Brittanys

– Makena Cummings

Vaults

– Matthew Solarski

October 27, 2015 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0

10 Artists to Watch CMJ 2015

7 months ago by Hannah Angst

Every fall thousands (literally) of bands come into NYC for CMJ, a five day festival that in it’s own way has started to rival SXSW for some incredible musical discoveries. With so many bands, it’s easy to not know exactly where to look, and while stumbling on something randomly is the best way to find your new favorite band, it’s always nice to have a little guidance. That’s why we’ve combed through all the bands coming into [READ ON]

October 12, 2015 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0

Top 20 Official Parties CMJ 2015

7 months ago by Hannah Angst

Graphics by Olivia Angst

So you have a CMJ badge — yay you! The entirety of NYC is your concert oyster. You don’t have to pay for any (CMJ related) shows, you get priority access (but not necessarily entry) to every show and you get to wear a sick badge that makes everyone know that you are the coolest person in town. Which you are! To make your life easier, we gathered some of the best official CMJ shows this year. But it’s not just for the badge holders — it’s for EVERYONE! These 20 shows all are ticketed for those who [READ ON]

October 12, 2015 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0

Top 20 Free Parties CMJ 2015

7 months ago by Hannah Angst

Graphics by Olivia Angst

CMJ brings some of the most interesting emerging bands into NYC, and unlike most other weeks in the city, a ton of the shows are free! There are so many free shows that it’s very, very easy to get overwhelmed and even shut down. But don’t worry, we’re here for you. We chose the 20 best free shows happening all around the city this CMJ, and boy there are some doozys. Check out our picks below and have an amazing [READ ON]

October 12, 2015 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0

Hopscotch Festival 2015 Recap

8 months ago by Makena Cummings

This past weekend the annual Hopscotch Music Festival took place city-wide in Raleigh, North Carolina. Since it’s inception in 2010, this festival has continued to grow exponentially. The organizers lean towards a horizontal approach, striving to reach a larger area of the city with more music, rather than big-ticket artists and larger venues–though they’ve hosted some very strong headliners such as Spoon, St. Vincent, The War on Drugs, and Thee Oh Sees in past years. Because of this unique set-up, fans are able to move about the city freely, take part in dozens of free day parties, and continue on into the night listening to artists at their local bars and music halls. This year, 140 bands played in 12 venues across the heart of the southern city and fans came from across the state and southeast to take part in the excitement.

hopscotch06

Day 1 began with some strong day parties. Deep South hosted artists like JKutchma and She Returns from War who played emotional and moving acoustic sets. Scheduled headliner Deerhunter unfortunately canceled their performance a few weeks before the festival, so Ought kicked off the night with a fun and upbeat show at City Plaza. They were followed by the fantastical sounds of main headliner, Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The best show of the night, though, was Bully’s performance at Slim’s. Despite the small venue and stage, the sound was incredible and Alicia Bognanno’s screams sent the best kind of chills down everyone’s spine. It was perhaps one of the most thrilling shows I saw all weekend and I hope next time they get a bigger stage to really showcase their energy.

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Day 2 began again with some excellent day party lineups. Tír na nÓg in particular showcased some strong talent with performances by Echo Courts and Breathers. Tycho then kicked off the night with their smooth sounds and despite some frustrating technical difficulties, they maintained a positive attitude. TV on the Radio then gave an incredible set, showcasing songs largely from their new album Seeds, in addition to old favorites. Later in the night, Leapling gave an awesome performance at Tír na nÓg.

hopscotch08

Day 3 perhaps had one of the strongest schedules all around. Day parties showcased excellent performances by Tuskha and Made of Oak at Pour House. Headliners took a bit of a country turn with captivating performances by American Aquarium, X, and Dwight Yoakum. And then it was back to the bars. Oulipo played some of their first songs at Neptune’s under their new name, Hotline. The performance was complete with a cover of Adele’s of “To Make You Feel My Love”. Following that show, it was time for one of my most favorite folk performers of the weekend, River Whyless at Tír na nÓg. To top it all off, three incredible rock performers closed out the night at Pour House. Birds of Avalon blew me away with their incredible female vocalists. Zack Mexico smashed guitars and left us all feeling like we survived something spectacularly crazy. And finally, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard played with some of the most incredible energy and charisma I’ve ever seen. I can’t get enough of their live performances. The drums are still beating in my head.

Hopscotch is really unlike any other festival taking place right now, and that’s one of the things that makes it special. It’s an experience in itself, and an opportunity to hear an incredible array of talented artists. It’s really exciting to see it grow in its unique way.

hopscotch09

American Aquarium

Birds of Avalon

Bully

JKutchma

King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard

Laney Jones and the Spirits

Leapling

Mac McCaughan

Made of Oak

Mitski

Must Be a Holy Ghost

Nots

Ought

Oulipo (Hotline)

Patois Counselors

River Whyless

She Returns from War

Some Army

The Antique Hearts

Tuskhua

TV on the Radio

 

Tycho

Zack Mexico

 

September 18, 2015 Makena Cummings FESTIVALS 0

Bumbershoot 2015 Recap

8 months ago by Eric Tra

Photos by Eric Tra, Graphics by Brandt Imhoff

Held every year on Labor Day weekend, Bumbershoot has long been a celebration for Seattle’s diverse art and music scene. This past weekend marked Seattle’s 44th Bumbershoot festival to date and despite a poorly timed rainstorm on the first day, festival still managed to be a success. While it may not be as hip as the infamous Capitol Hill Block Party, Bumbershoot still offers an array of fantastic music –  from Brand New to Bassnectar this festival had something for everyone.

bumbershoot06

Saturday kicked of the weekend’s events with a great lineup of artists including such acts as  Elle King, Cake, and the highly anticipated R&B star The Weeknd. However, to say it went without a hitch would have definitely been an understatement. While the music was great the weather was not. In true Seattle fashion, the weather turned what was going to be light showers to a full on deluge complete with thunder and lightning. Fans at the main stage at Memorial Stadium were stuck in the pit as escape proved to be almost impossible. Organizers put a halt to the music and advised people who could to seek shelter until the rain let up.

Despite the setback from the weather Jhene Aiko was still able to bring a little musical relief to fans at the mainstage who had been stuck in the downpour. Although the rain had not stopped, conditions were decent enough to continue with the festival. The evening was capped off by The Weeknd and Chance The Rapper. Judging from the response from the fans as The Weeknd took the stage, it was clear that despite all of the weather complications the crowd’s spirit had not been broken. He went on and put on an outstanding performance. 

bumbershoot07

Despite forecasts, Sunday proved to be much drier, making for an actually pleasant day for the outdoor shows. Sunday’s music performances featured a variety of different genres from hip-hop to folk-rock. Nikki Lane, and The Cave Singers gave some of the most incredible performances of the day. Nikki Lane in particular gave a great show bringing the warmth of the South with country-esque songs off her latest album, All or Nothin’

Sunday’s mainstage acts featured heavy hitting lineup of throwback bands such as The Melvins, Social Distortion, and Faith No More. While there seemed to be an obvious generational gap amongst the crowd, there was still something for everyone reminisce about. One of the most notable included New York alt-rockers, Brand New. While they have since moved away from their former emo roots, it is safe to say that the nostalgia was very much palpable. The night closed out with a mix bag of performers including Faith No More on the main stage and ZEDD and Neko Case on the Key Arena and Never Tamed stages — a genre mash-up indeed. 

bumbershoot08

The final day of the festival definitely delivered in terms of both weather and performances. The day was filled with great acts such as Robert Delong, local band The Grizzled Mighty and some of the weekend’s biggest stars, Hozier and Ellie Goulding. Aside from the main acts, there were also a handful of fantastic performances from bands like Minus the Bear and Devotchka that, due to scheduling conflicts, made it difficult to see each band separately.

The finale performances on the mainstage consisted of back-to-back sets from two of the UK’s finest, Hozier and Ellie Goulding. As expected, Ellie put on a fantastic show. After speaking to a few first-time viewers it was evident the level of showmanship of her performance was much more dynamic than anticipated. Between her skills on the drums, singing, and overall stage presence it is no question why she has garnered so many fans worldwide. Sure she might be a top 40 kind of artist, but there’s definitely something magical about her show.

bumbershoot04

bumbershoot09

Atmosphere

Brand New

Ellie Goulding

Faith No More

Festival

Fitz and the Tantrums

Hozier

Jhene Aiko

Melvins

Nikki Lane

Robert Delong

Social Distortion

The Cave Singers

The Weeknd

September 10, 2015 Eric Tra FESTIVALS 0

FYF Fest 2015 Preview

9 months ago by Christine Cook

Graphics by Olivia Angst

If you’re looking for the festival deal of the year, you will most certainly find it in FYF — the Los Angeles mega-monster of music events. This lineup is the best of it’s kind with heavy hitting headliners as well as the best mid-level acts and rising stars. LA has really outdone itself this time, luring New Yorkers, Midwesterners and [READ ON]

August 20, 2015 Christine Cook FESTIVALS 0