Entries tagged with: Mac Demarco

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Montreal duo The Muscadettes are currently holed up working on their debut album but while we wait for news on that, they've offered up holiday treat in the form of new song, "Christmas Kitty." With a twangy, B-52's lead, its a bouncy little stocking stuffer that makes its premiere in this post. You can stream it below.

The Muscadettes, who were last in NYC for CMJ, have also been making a list and checking it twice, in this case their Top 10 LPs of 2014 which they've shared with us as well. You can check that out below too.

Continue reading "The Muscadettes made a holiday song, "Christmas Kitty" (stream it), list their Top 10 LPs of 2014"

Pitchfork

First tracks, then honorable mentions, and now Pitchfork has put out their Top 50 Albums of 2014. There's nothing entirely out of left field, but there's definitely some surprises here. Taylor Swift, whose album was not reviewed at all (I guess it was a pretty obscure one), comes in at #31 with her album, 1989. Sun Kil Moon, which was the only 2014 album in their Top 10 Albums of the Decade So Far this past August (and seemed like a sure bet for #1) dropped down to #7 and was beaten out by his enemies The War on Drugs. TWOD actually came in at #3 themselves, and the two ahead of them are two you may not have seen coming.

We already knew that Pallbearer, the only Best New Music metal album of 2014, was an honorable mention, which unsurprisingly left zero metal albums on this list. No other BNM album got snubbed (save for a Hyperdub compilation and the Beyonce album, but that was probably because it was technically a 2013 release), and there's not really any glaring omissions in terms of what Pitchfork appeared to champion this year.

See the list for yourself below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2014"

Pitchfork

Pitchfork have begun rolling out their year-end coverage, and today they posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2014. Like every year, it's a very diverse list, with songs from Taylor Swift, The New Pornographers, iLoveMakonnen, Protomartyr, Cloud Nothings, Rae Sreummurd, Makthaverskan, Ty Segall, Parquet Courts, Azealia Banks, White Lung, Perfect Pussy, Dej Loaf, Migos, Alvvays, Against Me!, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Bobby Shmurda, Charli XCX, Grouper, Beyonce, Perfume Genius, Shamir, Michael Jackson, Tinashe and more. And their #1 seems to be the most ubiquitous #1 of 2014.

Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks of 2014"

Sleaford Mods at their US debut (more by PSquared)
Sleafords

The Guardian has been sloooowwwlllyyyy revealing their Top 40 Albums of 2014, having rolled out the top 10 one by one over the past 10 days. If you've been following along, you probably already guessed their #1 by now, but if not you can browse their full list of 40 below. It's got a lot of this year's list regulars, and like many of the British publications have, it gives some major love to Sleaford Mods (maybe you caught their US debut in NYC?). Also The War On Drugs shuts out Sun Kil Moon once again (they're not #1 but close). Sorry Koz.

Check out the full list below...

Continue reading "The Guardian's Top 40 Albums of 2014"

SPIN

SPIN returned with their Top Albums of 2014 list today. It's got a lot of the indie albums that usually show up on these lists (Caribou, Future Islands, FKA twigs, Parquet Courts, Cloud Nothings, How to Dress Well, Swans, St. Vincent, Real Estate, etc), a handful of rap albums (YG, Young Thug, Shabazz Palaces, Run the Jewels, Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, etc), metal (Pallbearer), punk (Against Me!, Joyce Manor), mainstream pop (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert), and a couple headscratchers (Betty Who at #11?). You-know-who scores the #1 slot once again here. Check it out for yourself below.

Continue reading "SPIN's Top 50 Albums of 2014"

AV ClubAV ClubAV Club
AV ClubAV ClubAV Club

Best of Lists Season continues, here with AV Club's favorite records of 2014. As it's a cumulative list with ballots from the site's music writers (most of whom are in their 30s), you get a pretty typical list but we'll leave the suspense of whether The War on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten or St. Vincent landed at #1 for you to check out below.

For a little more flavor you can check out the individual ballots and AV Club's annual "Least Essential Albums" list which is always entertaining.

Continue reading "AV Club's Top 20 Albums of 2014"

Austin Psych Fest 2014 (more by Tim Griffin)
APF

The annual Austin Psych Fest, which they've renamed "Austin Psych Fest presents Levitation" (more on that below), happens this year from May 8-10 at the Carson Creek Ranch. The initial lineup was just revealed and it's looking pretty crazy. There's The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, The Jesus and Mary Chain (performing Psychocandy), Spiritualized, Primal Scream, The Black Angels, Thee Oh Sees, Mac DeMarco, Melody's Echo Chamber, Lightning Bolt, The Sword, Earth, A Place to Bury Strangers, Fuzz, The Soft Moon, Metz, White Fence, Fat White Family, Nothing and still plenty more. Weekend passes are on sale now and check out the full initial lineup below.

As for the name change of the fest to Levitation:

Over the years, countless other "psych fest" events have popped up around the globe - music communities all over the world are gathering together and celebrating music and art together. This is an amazing thing and we are proud to be a part of it.

In 2015 we are redefining what we're doing with a renewed focus on the music we love, and to mark that change the festival is taking on a new name: LEVITATION. The title comes from one of our favorite tracks from Austin legends The 13th Floor Elevators, who have provided us with endless inspiration. Their music and message transcended genre - they were true innovators.

The APF folks have been doing a sister festival in France called "Levitation" since 2013.

Lineup, poster and announcement video for Austin Psych Fest presents Levitation, below...

Continue reading "Austin Psych Fest now called 'Levitation': 2015 initial lineup / tix (Flaming Lips, JAMC doing 'Psychocandy,' Spiritualized, Primal Scream, Tame Impala, Oh Sees, Mac DeMarco, more)"

by Andrew Sacher

Rolling Stone

The Best Albums of 2014 lists keep coming, and now Rolling Stone's is out. It's hard to imagine anyone else picking the #1 and #2 they did, but that's Rolling Stone for you. It's also hard to imagine a list placing the new albums from Weezer and the Foo Fighters so high, but smacking buzz band Ought right in between them. And it seems random that YOB comes in at #50 when no other metal album makes the list, not even the critically acclaimed one by Pallbearer or any of the hugely acclaimed returns from veteran bands like At the Gates, Godflesh and Electric Wizard. Also, don't tell Jack White how much higher The Black Keys placed than him.

Check out their top 50 picks for yourself, below...

Continue reading "Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2014"

NME

It's the last week of November and we've hit Best-of List Season. Especially in the UK where we've already seen album lists from Rough Trade, MOJO, Q, and Uncut. Now here's long-running UK weekly NME with their LPs and tracks of the year. Topping the lists are St. Vincent's self-titled album, and Future Islands' omnipresent "Seasons." (Sorry, The War on Drugs, you're slightly lower on the list here.) And just to remind you they are British music magazine, Kasabian figure into both lists. Check out NME's full Top 50 LPs/Tracks of 2014 lists below...

Continue reading "NME's Top 50 albums & tracks of 2014"

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We just posted Q Magazine's Best of 2014 albums list and now here's the same from sister publication MOJO. Not only do they share a publisher, but also more than half of same albums appear on both lists. The War on Drugs was #2 here, making war for Beck's Morning Phase in the top spot. Check out the whole list below.

While MOJO is seen as a safe haven for "heritage" acts, there are some records in their Top 10 that don't prominently feature acoustic guitars: coming in at #3 is Sleaford Mods' Divide and Exit. You can catch the Mods' North American live debut this Saturday (11/29) at The Wick with The Gotobeds, The Rogers Sisters and "very special guests" who will be announced closer to the show. Tickets are still available.

MOJO's full Top 50 LPs of 2014 list below...

Continue reading "MOJO's Top 50 LPs of 2014"

Rough Trade NYC on Record Store Day 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
RT

As they usually are, Rough Trade Shops are one of the first this year to post their favorite albums of 2014 list. It's 100 albums long and mostly filled with the bigger indie and indie-related releases of the year, but there's a few surprises in there too. Mark Kozelek will not be happy to see that The War On Drugs placed #2, 8 higher than the Sun Kil Moon record. Mark should be proud that he made the list not once, but TWICE though. His Christmas album landed at #84. Run the Jewels, who are not on it all, have started a "Suck My Dick Rough Trade" chant. Check out their full list below and see more on each album here.

Meanwhile, Rough Trade the NYC venue is open this weekend with Sallie Ford / Crooked Fingers tonight, followed by two shows from The Dream Syndicate.

List below...

Continue reading "Rough Trade's favorite albums of 2014"

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Mac DeMarco didn't play any shows during CMJ but was around the whole week, whether it was DJing at Baby's All Right for Captured Tracks' day party, or as guest selector at Jonathan Toubin's Soul Clap & Dance Off at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday (10/25). He was also generally out and about -- though there are a lot of guys Brooklyn who've copped Mac's style lately. Maybe they were just lookalikes.

The real Mac DeMarco stars in a new short film by Cole Kush titled BACKER. In the faux documentary, he plays Dave Fuck, a professional "backer," who helps people park their cars. The pitched-down voice over has things on a surreal vibe to start and then a dream sequence takes it into Adult Swim territory. Watch it below.

Meawhile, DeMarco will play his biggest NYC show yet next week (11/4) at Terminal 5 with mischief-maker Connan Mockasin, and CMJ overachievers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. That should be a fun, crazy show. Tickets are still available and if you'd like to go for free, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show. Details on that, along with the BACKER film, below...

Continue reading "Mac DeMarco stars in mockumentary short (watch) ++ win tix to his Terminal 5 show w/ Connan Mockasin & King Gizzard"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Widowspeak / Homeshake / Dinner / Megabog
Captured Tracks CMJ Day Party
Captured Tracks CMJ Day Party
Captured Tracks CMJ Day Party
Captured Tracks CMJ Day Party

Captured Tracks threw a CMJ week day party at Baby's All Right on Thursday (10/23) with some of their newer signings, plus the only show this week from Widowspeak. The day featured LA band Girl Tears, Seattle's scrappy pop band Megabog, Mac DeMarco cohorts Homeshake, the part-guided-meditation-part-dance-party that is Dinner. Pictures from those sets are in this post -- we missed opener Juan Wauters (sorry, Juan).

Meanwhile, in the front room, Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy and Mac DeMarco were spinning tunes. A couple shots of them, and lots more pics of the bands are below...

Continue reading "Widowspeak, Megabog, Homeshake, Girl Tears, Dinner & more played Captured Tracks' day party at Baby's (pics)"

Connan

Williamsburg venue Baby's All Right continued their one year birthday celebrations last night with a packed night of shows starting with a triple Mexican Summer-signed bill (part of a two-day celebration for the label that started Wednesday at Glasslands) that began with sets by Weyes Blood (whose new album The Innocents comes out Tuesday, and is streaming below) and Quilt who were one of the first (non-CMJ) bands to play Baby's when it opened last year (they were terrific as usual). The show tripled as a benefit for Shoe4Africa, a charity that promotes health, physical fitness and education in Africa.

The venue was decked out with party store birthday party decorations including balloons, streamers, and piles of glittery confetti. There was also someone dressed up like a baby who was giving out shots. Before Connan Mockasin's set the venue space went dark and stuff was loaded on to the stage. Something was up.

A little after 11 PM, the lights came back on and there was a giant (cardboard) cake on stage. Connan came on stage, as did Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves who was holding an actual cake that she baked, which was a replica of the giant one. The real cake had a lit "1" candle on it. Connan and Meredith then led a crowd sing-a-long of "Happy Birthday", and then a shirtless Mac DeMarco (who has also played Baby's, but whose next show is at Terminal 5 with Connan) popped out of the giant cake, cigarette dangling off his lip, mic in hand to finish up the song and blow out the candle. Mac and the giant cake were then flung into the audience.

Connan

Headlining the "early show" (the "late" Ryn Weaver show started after 1am) was the free-spirited, wavy blond haired Connan Mockasin (not to be confused with Ariel Pink who also recently played an after-midnight show at Baby's). Connan warned the crowd that they hadn't played in two months and the set might be rough, but it was a typical loose, wild set from the New Zealander and his talented band (which included Ariel Pink guitarist Tim Koh for much of it), with as much between-song banter as there was music with friends -- not to mention the Big Baby coming and going, joining the band here and there.

At one point Connan said their last NYC show, which was at MHOW, had  30% of the crowd get naked and asked what we thought of that. At least a few folks, including two girls in front of us, thought that was their cue to whip off their shirts. (They then put them back on, at least for the moment.) Connan also sang happy birthday to Baby's again at midnight before closing with an extended version of "Forever Dolphin Love." (The song is 10 minutes as it is.) For the encore, Connan brought his whole band back on stage, plus good friend Liam Finn and most of his band, plus Mac DeMarco and Kiki of course. Things quickly turned even more interesting as a shirtless Connan, still stuck on besting the 30% naked average, kept encouraging everyone to take their clothes off. All the male members of Connan's band obliged, as did many men in the crowd, and many women as well. Those near the front who weren't sure at first, were urged along by Conanan's keyboardist Sofia Karchi, who jumped into the crowd to help shirts over people's heads. After an improvised cover of "Tutti Fruity," it was back to banter mode. He encouraged the now at least 10% topless room to sit down, where Connan told the still-shirted members of the audience he didn't hold it against them, sheepishly admitting that if he was at a show where the singer was asking folks to get naked, he wouldn't do it. The night ended around 1 AM with a loose take on "Megumi the Milkyway Above." What was supposed to be a 30-minute set hit an hour-and-a-half.

We didn't stick around, but as mentioned, wannabe pop star Ryn Weaver (whose next show is at Bowery Ballroom during CMJ) played her 2nd ever show even later (her first show was at Baby's two nights earlier).

More pictures, videos, songs and tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Who got naked for Connan Mockasin at Baby's All Right's 1st birthday party?"

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Jonathan Toubin, who was just named Best Club DJ New York 2014 by The Village Voice, is taking his Soul Clap & Dance-Off party on the road again, intenterspersed with monthly NYC editions at Brooklyn Bowl on October 25, November 15, December 20, January 17, February 28 and March 28. This month's is a CMJ edition with Mac DeMarco as guest selector and a panel of indie rockers (TBA) as judges. Tickets for Soul Clap that (and November and December editions) are on sale now.

Mac DeMarco plays Terminal 5 next month with Connan Mockasin (who plays Baby's this week) and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (who'll be here for CMJ). All Jonathan Toubin Soul Clap tour dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Jonathan Toubin named Best DJ in NYC by Village Voice, touring Soul Clap including CMJ w/ Mac DeMarco (dates)"

photos by Tim Griffin

Mac DeMarco / Polica / Major Lazer fans
ACL Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 2 - Saturday - 10/11/2014
ACL Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 2 - Saturday - 10/11/2014
ACL Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 2 - Saturday - 10/11/2014

ACL Fest Weekend 2 continued on Saturday (10/11) after kicking off a day earlier. We caught sets from Eminem, Skrillex, Broken Bells, Major Lazer, Lana Del Rey, Icona Pop, The Head and the Heart, My Brightest Diamond, Interpol, Polica, Mac DeMarco and a few others, and pictures of those are in this post. There was a short rain delay with anything before 12:30 getting cancelled, but otherwise the second Saturday of the fest went off without a hitch.

Stay tuned for pictures of weekend 2 day 3. Check out weekend 2 day 1 pictures HERE and all three days of weekend 1 pictures HERE. More of weekend 2 day 2, below...

Continue reading "ACL Fest 2014 weekend 2 day 2 pics (Broken Bells, Interpol, Polica, Mac DeMarco, Icona Pop, Lana Del Rey & more)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"Young men other than the band are ripping their shirts off at Webster Hall for @foxygentheband" - @aplombtomato

Foxygen @ Webster Hall 10/9/2014
Foxygen
Foxygen
Foxygen

Foxygen celebrated the impending release of their new double album, ...And Star Power, with two NYC shows this week, playing Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (10/8) and Thursday (10/9) at Webster Hall. Despite problems with overdoing it while touring the last album, Sam France and Jonathan Rado have not toned down this time out: Sam was striking poses, leaping in the air and falling all over the place the whole, and the crowds ate it up. Also adding to fun was a trio of backup singers/dancers. Though the new album clocks in at 24 tracks in 80 minutes, sets have not been quite as epic, usually around a dozen songs or so. Pictures from Webster Hall are in this post, and we'll have MHOW pics soon as well. Meanwhile, Foxygen's tour rolls on, hitting Philadelphia tonight (10/10).

Before Foxygen at the Webster show was Juan Waters who brought out Mac DeMarco on drums (and Tall Juan on guitar). The Lemon Twigs opened the night. More pictures below...

Continue reading "Foxygen played two NYC shows -- pics from Webster Hall with Juan Wauters (Mac DeMarco on drums) & The Lemon Twigs"

photos by Sarah Frankie Linder & Tim Griffin

Eminem / tUnE-yArDs / fans
ACL Festival Day 2 - Weekend 1 - 10/4/2014
ACL Festival Day 2 - Weekend 1 - 10/4/2014
ACL Festival Day 2 - 10/4/2014

...but then crowd density reared its ugly head again with the battle of the headliners: EDM master Skrillex and established rapper Eminem. From the midway point of the festival grounds, dozens of teens were spotted running full tilt in the direction of Skrillex from Major Lazer's set, while older generations seemed to migrate toward Eminem. Skrillex kicked off his bass-heavy dubstep right on time, dousing the electric crowd with lasers. In the meantime, Slim Shady got a slower start, getting underway nearly 10 minutes late and with a video intro that was lost on tens of thousands who just weren't close enough to hear. Including this one, who instead threw in the towel and headed for home. [Sound Spike]
The first weekend of 2014's Austin City Limits Festival is now over, with the city gearing back up for a second round this weekend. Although the festival's second day was marred by some intermittent showers, killer sets were still plentiful from Eminem, Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, Major Lazer, Interpol, Broken Bells, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Polica, My Brightest Diamond, The Rosebuds and plenty more. Pictures from those sets and more are in this post.

Check out pics from Day 1 and pics from Day 3. More of Day 2 below...

Continue reading "ACL Fest 2014 weekend 1 day 2 pics (Eminem, Skrillex, Lana Del Rey, Interpol, tUnE-yArDs, Mac DeMarco, Polica, more)"

Dr. Dog @ Mann Center - 9/13/14 (via @jool_ee)
Dr. Dog

On Saturday night, Dr. Dog treated us to an all-night party at the Mann Skyline Stage sharing the spotlight with Hop Along, The Front Bottoms, and Mac DeMarco. At first glance, this line-up sounds like it might not work but as proven by the end of the night, Dr. Dog is open to many sonic adventures, so it only makes sense that in their hometown, they took a chance and exposed their fan base to some music that may go against your average tour promoter's instincts.

As soon as the gates opened, many a hoodied 20-something rushed towards the front of the stage to get a good spot for the openers. Hop Along played for only 30 minutes but they made it count. The band played favorites from their last album, the amazing Get Disowned, the Shaking Through single "Sister Cities," and played two new songs that continue their trajectory to the greatest band I've heard since Throwing Muses blew my mind in the late-80's. No matter how many times I hear "Tibetan Pop Stars," it remains to me one of the most beautiful rock songs of the 2010's. [The Key]

Pennsylvania rock shapeshifters Dr. Dog are fresh off an epic show in their home state that they played this past Saturday (9/13) at Philly's Mann Center with a seemingly weird but impressive lineup of guitar pop goofball Mac DeMarco, lyrical folk/pop punks The Front Bottoms, and Philly's own indie rock crew Hop Along. (Not to mention it was the second epic bill in a row at the Mann Center that weekend.) Anyone go? How was it?

Now that that's behind them, Dr. Dog have announced an EIGHT night run happening in NYC this January before they play My Morning Jacket's One Big Holiday in Mexico. The shows happen January 9-12 at Music Hall of Williamsburg and January 14-17 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (9/19) at noon with AmEx and artist presales starting Wednesday (9/17) at noon. That run and the MMJ show are their only announced dates at the moment.

Flyer for the NYC shows, with videos of all four artists from the Philly show, below...

Continue reading "Dr. Dog announce EIGHT NYC shows, played epic show with Mac DeMarco, Front Bottoms & Hop Along (videos)"

Swans @ Lincoln Hall (more by Brigid Gallagher)
swans-31

From the Very Interesting Press Release Department:

Le Guess Who? Festival (The Netherlands) is extremely proud to announce two special projects for 2014: a 3-day program curated by Swans/Michael Gira, and the world premiere of 24-Hour Dronefest. Le Guess Who? 2014 takes place November 20-23 in Utrecht, NL. Previously announced acts include Dr. John & The Nite Trippers, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Selda feat. Boom Pam, St. Vincent and Einstürzende Neubauten.

Michael Gira, the main force behind the mighty Swans, will curate a three-day program for the project Mouth To Mouth. This is the second installment of Mouth To Mouth, and the first spanning multiple days and venues. The curated line-up includes Swans, legendary UK post-punk band Wire, New York psychedelic/electronic pioneers Silver Apples, Dominick Fernow's Prurient, Carla Bozulich (Evangelista), Xiu Xiu, Baby Dee, Jenny Hval and noise tyrant Ben Frost.

The Mouth To Mouth-project will also feature a special performance of the London based post-punk group Savages, together with Japanese avant-rock band Bo Ningen, entitled 'Words To The Blind'. Inspired by the surrealist, early DADA concept of simultaneous poetry, the group experiments with improvisation and noise. Le Guess Who? will be the first time this performance of all new material will be seen and heard outside of London.

This year, Le Guess Who? will host the world premiere of 24-Hour Drone Fest, initiated together with New York's Basilica Hudson. Beginning at midnight on Saturday, November 22, this project will cover the entire spectrum of drone during 24 non-stop hours of live performances and installations. First acts confirmed for this project are avant-gardistic producer/composer William Basinski (amongst others known for his four-part The Disintegration Loops), guitarist/producer/composer Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O)))), Tim Hecker, London-based duo Raime, and Steve Hauschildt (formerly of Emeralds). More acts for 24-Hour Dronefest will be added soon.

24 non stop hours of drone. We can't wait!!

As the release says, the 24 hours of drone thing is a collaboration with New York's own Basilica Hudson where Swans and Tim Hecker are also playing as part of Basilica SoundScape in September. As previously mentioned, that NY fest will also play the Scott Walker / Sunn O))) album that comes out ten days later, every hour from 2-9 PM on Saturday of the fest at Future Past Studio, which is located near Basilica.

Catch Bo Ningen back in the USA when they tour with Kasabian this fall.

The Europe festival won't be the first time Bo Ningen and Savages have collaborated.

Unlike Savages, Swans appear on the recently released "Best Albums of the Decade So Far" list from Pitchfork.

The full line-up for Mouth To Mouth, curated by Swans/Michael Gira, is listed with more Netherlands fest info below.

Continue reading "Swans/Michael Gira curating 3-day program in Netherlands; Savages & Bo Ningen collaborating +++ 24 NON-STOP HOURS OF DRONE"

by Andrew Sacher

Pitchfork

Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.

You can check out the full list below...

Continue reading "Pitchfork's Top 100 Albums of the Decade So Far (2010-2014)"

by Dominick Mastrangelo

Helsinki has some nice architecture...
Finland

After spending three days shooting portraits and other SoundWave tent activities for us at Lollapalooza in Chicago, BrooklynVegan photographer Dominick Mastrangelo took off to Finland for this year's Flow Festival. Keep checking back for his coverage from the fest throughout the weekend, starting now...

With Lollapalooza in the books for another year, this weekend's summer festivals look west to San Francisco for Outside Lands. And they also look east, way east, across the pond to the Scandinavian and Nordic countries whom are all holding their own festivals. Norway's Oya Festival is up and running while Sweden's Way Out West and Flow Festival in Finland take place Friday through Sunday. At the time of this writing, I'm 31,000 feet over Iceland and bound for the beautiful seaport city of Helsinki for Flow. The lineup is a healthy mix of heavy hitters, indie-popular bands as well as Finnish talent.

Last week's Lollapalooza headliners, Skrillex and OutKast, are headlining on Friday (8/8) and Sunday (8/10)respectively. The National, whose seemingly endless tour in support of last year's Trouble Will Find Me, roll in to town after playing Oya and Way Out West to headline on Saturday.

In addition to the headliners, the fest also features Röyksopp & Robyn, Polica, Little Dragon, Marissa Nadler, The Horrors, Darkside, Bill Callahan and Janelle Monae are also performing. And a handful of artists who performed at Pitchfork a few weeks ago will be making their way to Helsinki as well including Slowdive, Real Estate and Neneh Cherry.

Flow also gives a nod toward festivals like SXSW and CMJ with a host of talks on tech and music as well as a screening over 40 short films. The National will also feature on the film side with a screening of the documentary Mistaken For Strangers.

Update: Being seven hours ahead of New York, I've been out and about in Helsinki today. Posters for Flow are everywhere, the weather was gorgeous and I spent most of my afternoon out on Suomenlinna, a fortress built on six islands in the Gulf of Finland. (That beautiful weather disappeared in less than an hour as it's presently pouring outside.) Some photos from my afternoon jaunt, plus the full Flow lineup, below...

Continue reading "Flow Festival this weekend in Finland (w/ Royksopp & Robyn, The National, Darkside, Slint, Slowdive, Outkast, more)"

photos by Ellie Pritts

Outkast / Nick Cave / Modest Mouse
2014 Osheaga Festival
2014 Osheaga Festival
2014 Osheaga Festival

Headliner OutKast took the stage with a more pertinent query: "Are you ready for the greatest rap group of all time?" It was classic rap hype, and yet as the ensuing 90 minutes proved, the recently reunited duo of Big Boi and Andre 3000 has earned the right to include itself in the ranks of the hip hop elite. Not only did these guys show no rust, they reminded us what made them great since their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmusik, was released 20 years ago: a dynamic and utterly complementary MC team blessed with rare musicality, lyrical ingenuity and stylistic audacity. From frenetic opener Bombs Over Baghdad to the understatedly anthemic Wheelz of Steel, civil rights party jam Rosa Parks and the song that made them a household name, Ms. Jackson, they were at once authoritatively engaging and sonically adventurous. Sure, there were hits, lots - including irresistible genre-bender Hey Ya! (delivered by André 3000 with a line of female fans dancing on stage - cheesy, but effective), sly boast So Fresh, So Clean, and the beautifully sleepy Elevators - but it's all relative. At its best, OutKast mixed cool and creativity like nobody's business. [Montreal Gazette]
Taking place over the same weekend as Lollapalooza, and boasting a similarly huge lineup, Montreal's annual music festival Osheaga went down over this past weekend (August 1-3). The stacked festival included sets from Outkast, Jack White, The Replacements (with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong), Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse, Danny Brown, Mac Demarco, Against Me!, The Dismemberment Plan, Haim and many more. Pictures of some of those artists, and a bunch of others, are in this post.

They continue below...

Continue reading "Osheaga 2014 in pics (Outkast, Nick Cave, Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys, Mac DeMarco, Replacements, more)"

photos by Chris La Putt

Mac DeMarco @ 2014 4Knots Fest
2014 4Knots Festival
2014 4Knots Festival

Polaris Prize shortlist nominee Mac DeMarco (does he have a chance?) just played one of his biggest NYC shows to date at this past weekend's 4Knots Music Festival. We already published a full set of pics from the fest, and now we've got a second set (and video) from Mac's performance in this post.

His 4Knots appearances was just part of his nonstop 2014 tour which has him on the road around the world till basically the end of the year. Those fall dates include another NYC show, his biggest ticketed one yet: Terminal 5 on November 4. That show is also with Connan Mockasin, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard which could be a very wild night. Tickets for the T5 show go on sale Friday (7/18) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (7/16) at noon.

All tour dates are listed, along with more pics and video from Mac's 4Knots set, below...

Continue reading "Mac DeMarco expands tour, playing T5 w/ Connan Mockasin and King Gizzard (dates ++ more 4Knots pics & video)"

Polaris

The short list for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been announced. It includes Arcade Fire, Drake, Mac DeMarco, Chromeo, Owen Pallett, Tim Hecker, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Timber Timbre, Tanya Tagaq, Shad, Jessy Lanza and Basia Bulat.

The winner will be announced at a gala on September 22. Who do you think it will be? Who should win? Last year it was Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Full list below...

Continue reading "2014 Polaris Music Prize Short List revealed (Arcade Fire, Mac DeMarco, Drake, Owen Pallett, Tim Hecker, more)"

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