Finally listening to the new Arcade Fire album

13 08 2010

And this is definitely one of my fave tracks so far! This is not what I was expecting, but I think I might dig it. What are your thoughts on the album? I still need a few more listens…


Remember “Young Folks” being the sweet summer jam? This is next…

12 08 2010

Infectiously catchy…perfect summer whistle-along song…Free download on the auditor site! This just inspired me to make Summer Mix, round 2.

Edwarde Sharpe and The Whigs at the 94/9 Independence Jam? Yes please! Who’s with me?

10 08 2010

Awesome lineup. This is going to sell out for sure. Definitely worth making a trip up north for…

Who wants to see these guys in San Diego? Pretty sure they would totally ROCK!

10 08 2010

Let’s make it happen! Tell me what you think. I’m trying to get together a show in PB.

Coachella…ella…ella…the 2010 festival review – Day Three

29 04 2010

Sunday morning…here it is, the last and final day of the Coachella music festival. The one band I had been looking forward to more than any other was playing that day, and that was Florence & the Machine.  But before that, was Mute Math, who (if you’ve never seen them) puts on one hell of a show.  3:15 shouldn’t be hard to make it to right?  Especially since I was up before 10 am…something about good music just gives me energy.

So we make breakfast, pile into two cars, and make our way down to the site.  Remembering lesson #6 (do not park in the lot closest to the site), we park on the street just under a mile away.  After a few drinks in the car, we are picked up by a very nice local who drives us up to the site entrance and we give the guy like $10…totally worth it.  The first lines were quick, but the second round of lines (where they check our bags again?) took a little longer than expected.  At this point, we can still catch over half of Mute Math though, so I’m ok.

We run (literally) over to the Mojave tent and manage to squeeze our way somewhere about halfway back.  The lovely people who decide to sit in the tents while everyone else is standing around them are kind of a pain in the ass, so we just walk over them.  Today by far was the most crowded and the hottest, but hearing the first sounds of the electronic alt rock band made us forget about all of that.  The energy was just as I remembered it from House of Blues.  The drums were going strong, everyone was dancing, and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, Paul Meany (vox) makes his way on some kind of platform off the stage (hard to see from where we, were, kinda looked like he was floating), then takes a dive into the audience who holds him up for awhile before propelling him back on stage.

There he goes!

His voice was crystal clear and all the instrumentals were on point and the crowd was singing and clapping along as they mad their way through most of Armistice and even a songs from their older album.  We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start day 3.

Ok…time for the band of the weekend!  Or so we thought.  We grabbed what we thought would be a quick beer (did everyone turn 21 today?) in the beer garden then made our way over to the Gobi tent.  We got there before it started but still weren’t even in the tent.  Lesson #7…if there is a band you really want to see (especially one that just got raves at SXSW), get there right after the last band ends…or watch the band before.  As Florence took the stage and her angelic voice broke out, the crowd went crazy, but we could barely hear it, and seeing anything was impossible.  Why don’t they just raise the stage a few feet taller?  I’ll always wonder.

We slowly are able to maneuver our way up and actually into the tent, thankfully, where we could hear the music much better.  They started off a little shaky (from where we were standing at least), but by song 3, they were killing it!  Florence belted out all the good ones from “Cosmic Love” to “The Drumming Song”.  When we finally got a few glimpses of the band, she was using her whole body to sing every song and the result was nothing short of magnificent.  If only I was a foot taller and could have seen this the whole time.

Florence and the Machine...from our camera's POV

So was she everything I’d hope she’d be?  I’d like to believe yes, I just couldn’t see it.  The band really brought the songs to life though and I’m pretty sure I have a new girl crush.

The next couple hours before Thom Yorke were kind of up in the air.  Sure, we wanted to see Spoon & Phoenix, but I’ve seen them.  Julian Casablancas might be good, but I heard he does most of his songs drunk off of his mind, and not usually in a good way. Miike Snow?  That might be fun.  I know A song.  So we end up in the beer garden again after two back to back great performances, and then opt to go check out Miike Snow.

So how did he sound?  Well, good from what I could hear.  We got about halfway up through the tent (again, lots of awesome people laying on the ground) and still couldn’t hear his voice that well.  Soundcheck anyone?  Either way, it was pretty catch so we just danced anyways.  Nothing that blew  my mind, but not a bad way to spend part of my afternoon.  Soon after we headed over to the beer tent by Phoenix on the Outdoor Theatre stage.  We realized, that you can’t really hear that stage very well from here (we could however, hear the bass from Pavement pulsing on the other side of the field).  It was good enough though.  We danced a little, drank a little, and enjoyed the lightheartedness of the music.

Next up was bathroom time before some camping out for Thom Yorke.  Totally necessary…and of course, the friends we were trying to meet all day just happened to be by the bathroom, go figure.  We follow them to somewhere center stage, waaaaay in the back to check out a living legend.  To preface, I am not a huge Radiohead fan, nor do I think I have listened to much of Thom Yorke besides what I’ve heard on the radio, but I’ve always respected his musical genius.

Nothing could have prepared me for what we were about to experience.  Now granted, I was definitely feeling pretty good by this point, but I like to think the music had more to do with it than anything else.  Thom made his way through Eraser with exact precision and was soon joined on stage by someone…who?  Well, we couldn’t tell from where we were, but we soon found out it was Flea (from RHCP) and he continued to rocked out with him the rest of the set.  Although I remember a few Radiohead songs in there, he didn’t go too heavy in that direction.  He just did what he does best…make amazingly creative music that is as artistic as it is beautiful.  You know those groups of people who are all dancing like crazy spiritual hippies because they are so into the music?  Yup, that was us. So yes, I’m transformed. I’m now a believer.  Thank you Thom Yorke for one of the best musical memories I have so far.

After that, Gorillaz seemed pale in comparison and we somehow found the other half of our car so it was go-time.  It was a little sad, looking back…but honestly, I was on such a high from the last performance that I felt like I was dancing on air (I think I was at some point?).

After a few more drinks at the house, we got to bed at the earliest we had so far, 1:30.  Awaking the next day, I felt like I was still living in my desert dream, only this time there was no music. There was, however, a very hot sun and pool nearby.  We were planning to leave that night.  But for now, we needed to lay down, soak up the rays, and give our feet a break.  We were soon joined by some random group of people who decided to sunbathe topless and performed stunts that were reminiscent of Jackass…but that’s a whole different story.

Heading home that night, I just wanted to enjoy the last of the musical afterglow I was experiencing before reality would come back and slap me in the face.  I even wrote a few songs, which I haven’t done in years.  What can I say? Coachella inspired me…in more ways than one.  After all the rough spots, what really stuck with me was the energy of the music and the feeling that the 9-5 grind we face everyday can somehow be justified as long as you have experiences like Coachella every now and then.  Until the next festival….keep rockin…

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Coachella…ella…ella…the 2010 festival review – Day Two

26 04 2010

Coachella…day two.  Ouch.  Despite the aches running from my feet into my calves from standing and walking entirely too far, I am up bright and early.  Something about good live music gives me unexplainable energy.  Portugal. The Man was on at 2:15, but I would be delusional to think we would be able to rally the group to get there on time to see it.  Coachella lesson #4: Bring bikes.  That is the best way to travel, hands down, as long as you can physically ride the bike at the end of the night (which is sometimes questionable).

The girls decided we wanted to get there earlier anyways, so we aimed for The Temper Trap at 4.  I was NOT going to miss this.  We headed out early, and luckily for us, they had fixed the line situation and we were there in plenty of time to see the Temper Trap (and even grab a beer beforehand).

The girls at the Temper Trap

So the Temper Trap comes on…and they sound pretty much exactly like their album.  It was a pretty perfect way to start the Saturday (much better than Friday).  It wasn’t anything mind-blowing, but they sounded good, the sun was shining, and I was on my way to a great night of music.

The girls made their way over to White Rabbits, but I opted to stay (alone) since I had seen them.  I felt ok about this.  After making their way through all my faves, including Fader (this song just makes my heart dance), I couldn’t be happier, so I headed over to check out the White Rabbits just in time to see them do about 3 songs, including “Percussion Gun” which they just kill on the live stage.  I must say though…I did enjoy them a lot more from the dark small room at the Casbah in SD, where their energy pretty much overtook everything.  The daylight had a bit of a dimming effect I think.

White Rabbits on the Coachella Stage

So far, Saturday is winning.  We have time to grab a few more beers before heading over to the tents to check out Gossip.  I wish I could have seen Edward Sharpe or Band of Skulls, but when everything is going on at the same time, you’re forced to pick and choose…you just have to know you can’t see everything (bummer).

If there is one band I wish I would have stayed longer for…it’s Gossip. That girl can sing!  And the energy was just fantastic!  We rocked out for a few songs and then learned lesson #5…at some point, you must sit down, or your feet will fall off.

Sitting seemed to fit right in with the XX so we walked over to the grass and sat nicely by the fence with some random famous people that I didn’t recognize but someone else did.  Have I mentioned that the weather was perfect?  And the band was perfect for relaxing in the grass…definitely a pretty chill sound, but the downtime was needed.  I wandered around the area for a bit looking for friends until I gave up and decided that sitting on the grass for an hour was all I was going to do and the XX was the perfect music for that.  We were happy, and we loved Coachella.  And we were feeling pretty good, so we started to reeeeeaaaly love Coachella.

Our friends ended up running into us just in time to chill for a minute before Hot Chip came on and got our dance party started!  Not usually my kind of music, I must say, I was pleasantly blown away.  The sun had started to set and we started off the night dance-party style, rocking our way from “Over and Over” to “Ready for the Floor”.  I’m not sure we stopped once.  Maybe once.  But maybe not.  I am a new Hot Chip fan.  Who knew?

Next up on the Coachella stage was Muse.  But for now, it was Faith No More…so we opted to grab a few beers before heading out to center stage to catch what we were sure was to be a good show.  And yes, it definitely was!  Muse will never disappoint. They play every song like it’s their finale…seriously.  I thought it was the last song like 5 times, then realized they just played FOREVER.  Ok, not forever, but for a long time…and we were all pretty stoked about it.  The intensity in Matthew Bellamy’s voice is nothing less of an emotionally moving experience.   Muse’s albums are great. Their lives shows are ridiculously fantastic, I think we were close to music OD for the day.

Muse on the Coachella Stage

But we perservered on…or tried to.  We walked over to the Z-trip tent…but were somehow distracted and confused by a big light structure which we sat and looked at for awhile, and complained about not hearing any actual Z-trip.  Oh wait…so you have to go IN the tent to hear it?  Ah, I see…ooops.  After being split up, our friends found us again.  I probably should have opted for Dead Weather, but was kinda feeling some DJ music by this point.

As we tried to make it to the last of the shows, the boys we were staying with decided that we needed to hurry or we were going to be left behind. Not wanting a repeat of the previous night, we booked it out of there.  Definitely wishing we had bikes at this point as when we got back to the car (bitter from being torn away from  music) we discovered our boys had invited some very unattractive girls to hang out in the car and there was not room for us (we are missing 2 many DJ’s & Tiesto for this???).

F them.  We found our girl friend and drank in the car for over an hour until we made our way out of the parking lot.  It sucked, but at least we got the liquor, and more importantly–the chips–from the boys before we left them.  Lesson #6…do not park in the parking lot if you drive.  Park half a mile away in the would literally have saved us 2 hours of waiting.

Finally back at the house…maybe around 3 am?  We were pretty annoyed at the boys, but nothing that a few beers couldn’t fix.  And then it was to bed…in preparation of Day 3…the final day of the festival…ahhh…Coachella…

Coachella…ella…ella…the 2010 festival review – Day One

21 04 2010

So my first year of Coachella has come and gone, leaving me in a state of musical-withdrawal.  There were definitely some organizational issues, and some moments of serious frustration, but in the end, the negative energy falls away and I take with me the memories of amazing music, amazing friends, and an experience that I will never forget. Here’s a rundown of Day 1…

View from the poolThe first thing I learned was…getting there a day early is perfect.  The calm before the storm is absolutely necessary.  Just make sure you don’t party too hard before the festival. Luckily, the thought of music is an instant hangover cure for me and I rallied to the cause nice and early.  The weather outside was perfect..not too hot, and the view is absolutely amazing for a music festival…or just a nice weekend getaway in general.  The mountains…the palm trees…the sunsets…now we just need the music…

So then we all pile into the car and find a back way into the festival.  Parking was easy, we’ve got 30 minutes before the first band we want to see, so we should be set right?  Wrong.  The second (and most important thing I learned)…Get there early the first day… or you might be stuck in line for 2 hours and miss the first 3 bands you planned to see, including Hockey…only to walk in and hear your friends say “Wow, we just randomly walked by this band Hockey and had to stop because they were SOOOOO AWESOME!  We’ve never heard of them, but what a great show”.  Thanks…please add some salt to my wounds. At this point I was thinking “I am never coming back here.  I want to cry…”  But I don’t give up.

So after a throwing a few back (as my previous shots of Jameson were rendered useless after the line incident),  my musical experience started with Passion Pit, who I’m not an insanely huge fan of, but at that point, hearing any music was pretty awesome.  They did put on a good show and I have to give the singer props for reaching such high notes.  I’m thinking they may have been better in a tent instead of on the Outdoor Theatre stage, but I was already starting to feel the music curing my bitterness.

After Passion Pit, it was back to the beer garden. This time we went to the one between the two big outdoor stages (Coachella & Outdoor) and wandered over–margaritas in hand– to see Them Crooked Vultures from inside the garden.  This supergroup is definitely deserving of the title as they pretty much killed it.  Yes! Finally rocking out!  Although at this point the group was split up and no one’s phone was working but mine (yay Sprint) so meeting up with anyone was nearly impossible.

Next it was back for more margaritas and then back to Coachella stage to watch LCD Soundsystem…of which I know maybe 1 song?  By this time, it didn’t matter.  The lights were crazy, the crowd was dancing, and their energy was so amazing, I was oblivious to anything else.  I could feel magic of the festival setting in and the more I danced, the less I cared about anything other than the music.  We had some fun people dancing around us and I remembered why I love live music so much.

Yes…more margaritas, and now heading over to Vampire Weekend at the Outdoor stage, where we made some friends and chilled out for a moment.  I noticed immediately that the sound from the beer garden was terrible for this stage.  VW was pretty good, but Jay-Z was almost on and by this time, we were ready for some Jigga…

After 2 steps we lost our new friends, but somehow found our other ones in the Sailor Jerry Beer Garden, plus even more new ones (Coachella is a great place to meet people, then lose them 30 minutes after).  The crowd was ridiculous by this time and if you weren’t literally holding on to your friends, they disappeared.  By this time I was tired of the beer gardens and wanted to be in the crowd so I made my way out with a new friend into the massive crowd and didn’t think twice about leaving my ride home…ooops.  What can I say?  I heard Jay-Z come out and memories of the last 10 years of my life pulled me out to the sea of people.

Now Jay-Z is pretty badass…he’s definitely been around for awhile, but he’s a hip-hop artist and, well, I honestly didn’t expect that much, as I don’t think most people did.  He didn’t have to get through 2 songs for me to realize that this was going to be one of the best performances of the weekend.  He didn’t need a huge posse on the stage to show us that he really is a musical legend of our generation.  He did what he does best, which is to simply be badass, and everyone loved him for it.  Everyone was dancing, everyone was singing, and no one wanted it to end…which is probably why he just kept on going.  And I really don’t think anyone minded.

Beyonce Singing "Forever Young" with Jay-Z

Just when we thought he was done, a very familiar voice walked on stage in jeans and a hat singing “Forever Young”.  Who is that anyways?  Oh, shit, it’s Beyonce!  Love her or hate her, it was a pretty awesome surprise and just the icing on the cake to an already amazing performance.  What better way to end the night than to a crowd singing “Forever Young” with Beyonce and Jay-Z?  After being thoroughly danced out, I decided it was probably a good idea to walk back over and try to find my friends.  Amazingly, they appeared in front of me as we walked away…sweet!

So now that we had all long forgotten about the hassle of getting in and ended up having a pretty awesome first day at Coachella, it was time to head back to the house.  It’s too bad that our friend who had the keys already took off home in a cab.  25 calls to her phone didn’t wake her up.  FML.  We honestly had no idea where we were going. Plan of action…walk towards the house until we can find a cab.

Important lesson #3-cabs only pick up from selected areas of the festival, and none that were en route to our house.  FML…again.

3 miles later, after walking back around the entire festival and then towards our house, the bitterness had returned.  Thank God some random local picked us up and drove us the last 2 miles.  At this point, my calves were going to fall off and I had grown extra skin to shield me from the chilly wind.  Beer in hand as soon as we walked into the house…check.  Finally making it to bed at 4:30 AM…guess we are going to have to learn to live without sleep for the next 2 days…