Saturday night I saw one of the best performances of a DJ singing ever in Brooklyn’s Chris Glover aka Penguin Prison performing live at Echoplex. The only other DJ who also sang that possibly rivals how awesome of a performance I saw Saturday night might be that of Mystery Skulls back in October at Culture Collide Festival. (more…)
This past Friday, I was given the ultimate Echo Park music fan hall pass, I got all-access into two venues in one night, enjoying Scavenger Hunt upstairs at The Echo and Mt. Ossa, Body Parts, and Wildcat! Wildcat! downstairs at Echoplex. It was quite the night of good alternative dance pop music and I’ll try to recap what I enjoyed most below. (more…)
Last Wednesday I saw an incredible indie/alternative band that is quite hard to fit into a specific genre in Grizfolk. This band has an upcoming debut EP, From The Spark, dropping through Virgin Records on February 25th and headlined a SOLD-OUT show at Troubadour that was well worth checking out.
I’m very happy I attended this show as I’ve been intrigued by Grizfolk ever since I heard “The Struggle” last summer and have been craving new tunes from them! Their set went by fast as they never stopped playing the music, only stopping once to congratulate a friend on their wedding engagement. Other than that, this band went from song to song as a set that felt like 30 minutes actually went well over an hour at The Troubadour!
I was recommended this band by a few friends and I’m so happy to have seen them live as they got the crowd singing with their alternative Americana-rock vibe that is easy and fun to sing along to and yet can get the hipsters moving a bit. I was disappointed by the crowd in not everybody clapping at the last song when the band encouraged everybody to clap but other than that, this was a very pleasant show and I can’t wait to hear their debut EP which I’m guessing was heavily featured in their set last week.
It’s hard to describe their music because at times it felt country folk rock while other times more electro-pop and I highly encourage everybody to check them out because their music feels so unique yet seeing them you eel you are seeing a band that will headline a worldwide tour and perform at festivals all over the world in the near future, Grizfolk is that good live!
Watch Grizfolk‘s latest video release for “The Struggle” below. (more…)
Late last month, Red Bull Sound Select and Filter Magazine came together to curate a fantastic hip-hop show featuring El-P with a special guest appearance from Killer Mike. What I thought would be a 30 minute set from headliner El-P turned into a 45 minute to 1 hour set of Run The Jewels the collaborative alternative hip-hop duo of El-P and Killer Mike, two super talented and super underrated rappers who came up big that night with impeccable flow, dope production that might be some of the best in hip-hop in 2013 and overall pleasing the crowd with their antics and high energy set.
Run The Jewels put out one of the most impressive free albums of 2013 with their self-titled debut and I sure hope El-P and Killer Mike jump back into the studio to work on some more cuts together while they are on tour (schedule below) as Run The Jewels as they bring two sorta different hip-hop audiences together with El-P one of the old school alternative hip-hop acts and founder of Definitive Jux label (signing Murs and Aesop Rock) while Killer Mike is on the cusp of mainstream attention, with features on some of the top acts like Big Sean, Kanye West, Mike Posner and much more. In fact, some details have surfaced regarding Run The Jewels 2.
Anyways, I loved the show and want to give a shout out to @Lauralista for hooking me up with tickets. Stream and download (FREE) the full Run The Jewels album below, my favorite tracks are “Run The Jewels” and “Sea Legs”.
Here’s the upcoming tour dates for Run The Jewels:
Mon, Jan 27 – Laneway Festival – Auckland, NZ
Tues, Jan 28 – Laneway Festival (Side Show) – Wellington, NZ
Fri, Jan 31 – Laneway Festival – Brisbane, AUS
Feb 1 – Laneway Festival – Melbourne, AUS
Feb 2 – Laneway Festival – Sydney, AUS
Tues, Feb 4 – Laneway Festival (Side Show) – Sydney, AUS
Thurs, Feb 6 – Laneway Festival (Side Show) – Melbourne, AUS
Fri, Feb 7 – Laneway Festival – Adelaide, AUS
Sat, Feb 8 – Laneway Festival – Freemantle, AUS
Fri, April 25 – Counterpoint Festival – Kingston Downs, GA
A week and a half ago I saw emerging electronic pop/rock act Basic Vacation. Based on what I heard in their 5-track debut EP and their intimate performance at Bardot for the KCRW curated It’s a School Night, they will become a huge mainstream act in the realm of Imagine Dragons mixed with Fun. I repeat, this group will become a huge mainstream act!
I actually dug almost everything they performed including their hit, “I Believe”, “It’s All Happening” (probably their next single), “You’re In My Head” and “Worlds Collide”. These 4 tracks are on their 5 track EP which I highly recommend listening to below. Their live set was fun alternative pop rock with many people singing the oohs and other words that are easy to sing along to. I also enjoyed when Basic Vacation covered “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears, thanks @JakeCraney for the reminder of that classic gem getting cover treatment.
Actually Bardot didn’t do this band justice, they deserve to play in front of way larger crowds and I feel very lucky to get to see them free on a Monday night in Hollywood at a venue that holds no more than 200 people. Stream the Basic Vacation EP (iTunes) below and watch their video for “I Believe”.
I highly recommend attending It’s A School Night, it was my first time there and I had a nice time getting to see a band that wouldn’t normally be free to see. They usually curate shows getting artists before they blow up, I wish I had KCRW’s resources to do something like that.
Last Saturday I witnessed one of the best hip-hop producers of all time, Pete Rock, reunite with CL Smooth to perform many of their classic hits as well as hear Camp Lo perform some oldies but goodies in hip-hop. It was a show with people of all ages and colors, mostly dudes and latin folk but overall a good sold-out vibe that was impossible not to sweat in the cosy confines of The Roxy in West Hollywood.
Overall it was a fun show but I’ve learned that I will never love a hip-hop show over other genres if I can’t rattle off most of hte lyrics to most of the songs. It’s why I’ve never become a big fan of Busta Rhymes or Twista, their dialect is just too quick in rapping for me to repeat and follow along. However the production behind the old school hip-hop acts I saw, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and before them Camp Lo, really made me appreciate how the older hip-hop acts sampled quality old school jazz, soul and blues rhythms to create the songs that made them special.
It’s hard for me to quite remember my favorites that I didn’t already enjoy because like I said earlier, for me it’s tough to rap along to lyrics I hadn’t previously heard. Below is my favorites from the acts I saw last Saturday at The Roxy. (more…)