Entries tagged with: Major Lazer
photos by Tim Griffin
Spoon @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
Spoon had nothing to promote and no surplus of new songs to unveil. This was just an Austin band -- Austin's biggest indie band ever -- playing an Austin festival for their only major show of 2011 (at least so far). As a live unit, the four-piece that recorded Transmission (augmented here by an additional percussionist) is as precise as Spoon has ever been, cranking out savagely controlled, often slow-building versions of such songs as "Written in Reverse," "Delicate Places" and the instantaneously applauded "I Turn My Camera On." "We got horns!" frontman Britt Daniel proclaimed, bringing out a six-man section for "Cherry Bomb," "The Underdog" and "Jonathan Fisk." By the four-song encore, the crowd had both increased in enthusiasm and decreased in size -- no doubt some people had wandered to another stage to see the Damned, which Daniel himself had said he wished that he could do. [SPIN]Personally I started at the Damned (who were great) and finished Saturday with about 30 minutes of Spoon which felt like the perfect chill ending to a long first-two-days of the outdoor Austin fest (right after their set I went back to the hotel, skipped all afterparties and crashed for 12 hours straight which made Sunday great).
Our first set of pictures from Saturday, Damned included, are HERE. Our second set continues, more of Spoon included, below...
Slayer at Izod Center (photos by Samantha Marble)
Slayer, Thee Oh Sees, Public Enemy, Girls, Danzig Legacy, (Danzig + Doyle von Frankenstein playing Misfits, Samhain & Danzig), Hot Snakes, Diplo, Major Lazer, Henry Rollins, Ted Leo & The Phramacists, Spank Rock, Murder City Devils, Hum, Lykke Li, Passion Pit, Four Tet, Rakim, The Damned, Austra, Purity Ring, and Flynt Flossy are just a few of the acts announced today as part of the Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 lineup. Another amazing year! Check out the full lineup below and stay tuned for more announcements coming in August and September.
The new additions to the Austin, Texas festival, which takes place from 11/4 - 11/6, are in addition to the the previous "lineup leaks" that included Brian Posehn, Odd Future, Okkervil River, M83, X (performing "Los Angeles"), Reggie Watts, Flying Lotus, Tune-Yards, Ra Ra Riot, Kid Dynamite and others
2011 is the festival's sixth year, but first at its new home Auditorium Shores (no more Waterloo Park). Tickets are on sale now.
Fun Fun Fun 2011 flyer and almost-full lineup is below.
As promised, Mad Decent are presenting free, all ages Block Parties in NYC, Philly, Chicago, and LA this summer. Each party's lineup is different and will have surprise guest appearances, along with food and carnival games. The first party is in NYC on July 30 at South Street Seaport with Gang Gang Dance, Zeds Dead, Claude VonStroke, BAIO (Vampire Weekend DJ set), The Hood Internet, Bosco Delrey, and PO PO. Artists playing other cities include Diplo, Das Racist, Curren$y, Reptar, Major Lazer, Death Grips and more.
The NYC block party is 9 days after Gang Gang Dance conclude their tour with Nguzunguzu and Total Freedom by headlining Rocks Off Concert Cruise on July 21 (no opener), and a week after they DJ at Warm Up (7/23).
Full Block Party lineups and dates below...
Brian Wilson @ Hammerstein Ballroom in 2008 (more by Tim Griffin)
today in NYC
* Chola @ Barbes
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Lovely Liar @ Zebulon
* Chicha Libre @ Barbes
* Dave Brubeck @ Blue Note
* Brian Wilson @ Highline Ballroom
* Joseph Arthur @ The Living Room
* Zongo Junction, Turkuaz @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Hot Tub with Kurt and Kristen @ Littlefield
* Kinch, Hey Battlefield, Xylofaux @ Bowery Electric
* Golden Animals, Luis Le Hir @ Cameo
* George Wein & The Newport All-Stars @ Blue Note
* Kid Cudi, Aloe Blacc, DJ Irie, Tamara Sky @ Terminal 5
* Karl Berger's Stone Workshop Orchestra @ The Stone
* Natural Child, Liquor Store, Terrible Twos @ Death By Audio
* Carrie Rodriguez, Alana Amram & The Rough Gems @ Maxwell's
* Schwervon!, Moonmen On The Moon, Man, Tight Little Ship, Ala Muerte @ Bruar Falls
* Eastern Conference Champions, Archie Powell & The Exports, Fredrik @ Rock Shop
* Colin L. Orchestra (ex-USAISAMONSTER), Opsvik & Jennings, Alan Watts @ Cameo
* Silent Land Time Machine, La Big Vic, Nick Kuepfe, Khora @ Silent Barn
* Slothbear, Spirit People, Foam Lake, Shuyler Jansen, The Sounds That Machines Make @ Pianos
* Laetitia Sadier (of Stereolab), Erika Spring (of Au Revoir Simone), Arturo en el Barco @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Igmar Thomas & The Cypher, The Lee Morgan Story, The Lee Morgan Story, Mental Notes, Spokinn Movement @ Mercury Lounge
* Stevie Wonder event (with Melanie Fiona, Raphael Saadiq, Yolanda Adams, Take 6, Wyclef Jean) @ Apollo Theater
* Angels In America, Weyes Blood, Lame Drivers, PC Worship, Tickle Polyester @ Cake Shop
Diplo and Switch posted a preview of the new Major Lazer album they're making in Jamaica. Watch below...
The Outside Lands Festival, which runs from 8/12 - 8/14 in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, released their 2011 lineup in April (and now it's May, so consider this a catch up post). Tickets are on sale.
This year's fest will appearances from The Shins, Muse, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, Phish (two sets), !!!, Erykah Badu, Big Audio Dynamite (who played Coachella and are also playing Lollapalooza), Girl Talk and many more. The full lineup is below.
photos by Brook Bobbins
Like last year, Mad Decent will host a series of free outdoor dance party/concerts in select cities this summer. The "4th Annual Mad Decent Block Party" tour will bring Diplo and friends to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and possibly a 5th U.S. city. Without getting too specific, they're promising Rusko, Major Lazer, and many more. Exact dates and lineups TBA.
Last year's NYC event was a crowded one at South Street Seaport on Saturday, August 7th with an advertised lineup of Eli Escobar, Max Glazer, Janka Nabay, Ricky Blaze & Chelly, Maluca, PO PO, Bosco Delrey, DJ Sega, Bathroom Sexx and Paul Devro. And it looked like this...
Big names and regulars aside, there are a few bands I want to highlight on the just-announced Sasquatch lineup: Wolf Parade ("indefinite hiatus" rumors be damned), The Flaming Lips (performing "The Soft Bulletin"), Death From Above 1979 (now three reunion shows total), Guided By Voices (they're not done yet), and... Archers of Loaf (!). The full lineup of the fest that goes down in Gorge, Washington in May (Memorial Day Weekend), is below...
Miike Snow at Webster Hall (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Downtown Music, LLC is an independently owned company which operates Downtown Records, Downtown Music Publishing, Downtown Music Services (Licensing Group), RCRDLBL.com and Downtown Recording Studios. Downtown Records is comprised of its Downtown and Mercer Street imprints and joint venture partners Dim Mak, Fool's Gold, and Mad Decent Records.Downtown Records was founded in 2006 and they'll celebrate their fifth anniversary at Terminal 5 on March 5th by roping in some big names on their labels/imprints. Miike Snow will headline the show and will bring along Major Lazer with Santigold (who now has her own pair of Vans) and Ed Banger DJs Mehdi & So Me. Tickets are currently on AMEX presale and go on regular sale at noon tomorrow (1/28). The show marks four appearances in a row at Terminal 5 for Miike Snow, though the last was a DJ set.
The NYC date is one of two US dates scheduled for Major Lazer. They'll also take on Miami on March 12th as part of the 9 Mile Music Festival along with almost the entire Marley clan (Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Julian Marley, Kymani Marley) along with Inner Circle and many others. More details, including ticketing, can be found at the 9 Mile Music site.
Major Lazer and related tour dates and some videos below...
photos by Sharese Ann Frederick
Ed Banger's DJ Mehdi signs a fan
Bassnectar closes out the final day
"Bassnectar, arms flailing and Cousin It hair flying in all directions, brought the loudest set of the weekend, inspiring two concertgoers to scale a 30-foot support pole inside the tent." [NYU News]Fresh off a recent appearance at Electric Zoo 2010, Bassnectar will return to NYC to play Terminal 5 on Nov 6th with Beats Antique (DJ set) and Emancipator. Tickets are on sale. The show is part of a larger US trek for the electronic artist that extends until the middle of December (and that was previously listed without the NYC show). All dates below.
In terms of new material, he says:
This week i finished the latest Bassnectar EP, 'Wildstyle' which is the most bonkers collection of music i've ever created. Each song was crafted with you in mind, and how your body and soul will be affected when the waves of this music are crashing through your cells. We will have more info soon with regards to release, but it will definitely become centerpiece of the fall soundtrack.In the meantime, and as promised, we have our fourth and final set of 2010 Electric Zoo pictures in this post. You can also check out PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3, before continuing with PART 4 below...
words by Kon Glikos, photos by Zach Dilgard
Flying Lotus / ravers
As we were saying, This past Labor Day weekend saw the second installment of the Electric Zoo festival, taking place on Randall's Island. The two-day festival boasted a line up of over 70 artists on 4 stages, catering to most genres of electronic music. The line up ran the gamut. Commercial dance DJ's/acts such as: The Chemical Brothers, Moby, Armin Van Buuren, and house and techno staples the likes of: Richie Hawtin, Claude Von Stroke, and Steve Bug found themselves along side each other on the bill. In addition, artists such as Martyn, Erol Alkan, and Aeroplane represented genres like dubstep, electro, and nu-disco.
Highlights on Saturday included a blistering live techno set from Reboot, taking place in the Sunday School tent. In the evening, Major Lazer brought the crowd into a frenzy with their all-encompassing musical mash-ups. Over on the Red Bull Academy stage, Flying Lotus's much anticipated set had its moments of brilliance, namely a re-edit of Radiohead's Idioteque towards the end of his set. The Chemical Brothers closed out the night on the main stage, starting off with a string of new songs, signifying a musical directional change, giving way to older crowd favorites. Additionally, the visual production paired with their music, made their performance memorable for the thousands that listened in.
Day 2 started off on a high note, with Jon Hopkins's thoroughly original take of a live electronic set, which seemed largely improvisational. The next time slot called for witnessing a meeting of the techno minds back at the Sunday School tent. Techno heavy weights: Martin Buttrich, Mattias Tanzmann and Davide Squillace performed a track for track DJ set that was mainly composed of their favorite techno classics. It quickly became one of the highlights of the weekend. On the main stage, Moby played his DJ set to a sea of people in full on festival mode. His set was a retrospective, made up of tracks from dance eras gone by. What he played was a nice contrast to the seemingly endless stream of commercial trance and progressive house sounds coming from the main stage all day long. He was one of the top main stage performances all weekend.
While the aforementioned performances made up what I thought to be some of the most significant of the weekend, there was no shortage of cringe-worthy music being performed. For example, the countless musical crimes being committed in the Hilltop Arena tent (aptly re-named the Jersey Shore tent by many), aided in shedding some of the festival's musical credibility. Still, the premise of this festival seems to be that there is something for everyone because "you get what you pay for". Only time will tell if this is the electronic music festival that New York City deserves.
The Black Heart Procession share a moment....
The Black Heart Procession has been cranking out gothy folk-rock for more than a decade now, and will release their new mini-LP Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit on 10/12 via TRL. Featuring three new BHP tracks, the release spans 40 minutes and features a remix from Eluvium and a collabo with the legendary Lee "Scratch" Perry. Preorder the mini LP, and dig on the first track "Blank Page" available above. The band will tour off of Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit as well, playing LPR on 9/28 before embarking on a tour with The Books. Tickets are on sale for the NYC show. All BHP dates are below, and non-BHP Books dates which include Carnegie Hall, are HERE.
In related news, both members of BHP served time in Three Mile Pilot, and the band has returned from hiatus to release a new LP for TRL. The Inevitable Past Is The Future Forgotten features "What's In The Air" is the first Three Mile Pilot album in 13 years...
Formed in the early '90s, the group released a debut album to a fair amount of acclaim, followed by Chief Assassin To The Sinister, an album that garnered the attention of Geffen Records, with whom they signed for all of one album. After enduring the major label wringer, the group released Another Desert, their most emotionally resonant and commercially successful record to date. Shortly after, bassist Zach Smith formed Pinback with Rob Crow, and singer-guitarist Pall Jenkins began a new project with Three Mile Pilot keyboardist Tobias Nathaniel. Both projects were meant to coexist with 3MP, however, both Pinback and The Black Heart Procession became unexpectedly popular.Look for the new Three Mile Pilot via TRL on September 28, 2010.
Speaking of Lee "Scratch" Perry (who just played Highline Ballroom), BHP isn't the only band that the dub legend has collaborated with as of late. The mad professor has also lent his evil talents to a forthcoming recording with Major Lazer (aka Diplo and Switch) (!) more details are forthcoming.
Full BHP dates and a ton of video from a recent show is below...
"What began as a spontaneous event for friends and neighbors outside the label's Philadelphia headquarters and grew in 2 short years to the largest block party in city, the MAD DECENT BLOCK PARTY is nothing short of a legend. Now in the event's 3rd summer, Mad Decent has teamed with Diesel and JELLY to bring the MAD DECENT BLOCK PARTY magic across the country! Starting in Philadelphia and traveling to New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago over 4 consecutive Saturdays from July 31st to August 21st, the MAD DECENT BLOCK PARTY promises banging music, carnival games, yummy food, super secret guests and all for FREE!"The NYC show will take place at South Street Seaport. More details below...
photos by Kate Gardiner
Major Lazer @ Pitchfork Fest Sunday
"The tempo picked up again with Major Lazer at 6:15 p.m., and--hallelujah!--it stayed at a pretty high level through the end of Pitchfork 2010...The 2010 Pitchfork Festival has come to an end, and if you've been following along, you saw pictures from Day 1 & 2, pictures of LCD Soundsystem, and more pictures from Day 1 & 2. Now a set of pictures from the third and final day, with a bunch of setlists from all three days (including Pavement's), below...
...Though Young is missing from the [Pavement] reunion, Stephen Malkmus and his bandmates were musically concise, tight, and focused, and they delivered many of their best songs--"Range Life," "Frontwards," "Greenlander," and "Unfair" among them--in versions that were every bit as strong as they were back in the day, and better in some cases than that last stage of the group. Since the music always seemed timeless, there was less of a taint of nostalgia here then with, say, the Pixies reunion, though to be sure, the motivations probably were very much the same, and mostly colored green... [Jim DeRegatis]
DOWNLOAD: Flying Lotus - 3 non-album tracks (ZIP)
Electric Zoo 2009 (more by Zach Dilgard)
The lineup for this year's Electric Zoo, on Randall's Island September 4th and 5th, has been updated and now includes Major Lazer, Flying Lotus, Rusko, Steve Aoki and more, which are all listed below. The headliner for night one is Chemical Brothers; night two's is Armin van Buuren. Tickets are on sale.
Major Lazer, who put on a great show, have upcoming shows at Pitchfork Fest and Camp Bisco this summer, plus lots of festivals in Asia and Europe. They recently put out a mixtape with La Roux called LAZERPROOF, which you can get that for free here.
Electric Zoo lineup and Major Lazer tour dates are below...
photos by Rachel Carr
"An aggregate 225,000 people bought tickets to see a [Coachella] roster headlined by Jay-Z, Muse and Gorillaz during the April 16-18 event at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio.The 2010 edition of Coachella actually began excactly one week ago today, and we already posted full picture sets from: DAY ONE, DAY TWO and DAY THREE. Now here is one last group that contains unposted outtakes from all three...
The previous attendance record was set in 2007, when the headliners included a reunited Rage Against the Machine. Final figures are still being tallied, but AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips said the gross will exceed $20 million.
Phillips said the future looked bleak for AEG Live's nascent All Points West festival, which took place in 2008 and 2009 across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J.
"We're probably going to kill it," said Phillips. "As beautiful as (the site) is, it's very hard to get New Yorkers to cross that river. All Points West is an experiment that just didn't work." [Reuters]
photos by Rachel Carr, words by Daiana Feuer
"Wow. The Sahara is past capacity at Coachella for Die Antwoord. No midget. Waiting for the trainwreck but people dig it." - The Scenestar
"Seeing a shirtless Danny DeVito run across the stage while Faith No More played pretty much made my #coachella weekend." - stovn
Die Antwoord, Faith No More
Flopping phalluses are in this year according to Major Lazer and Die Antwoord. Each presented the intersection of beats, party-hyping, gross humor, and dancing in your underwear. Day 2 of the Coachella Music & Arts Festival had an overall far-out theme. Some with sexually explicit lunacy, others with psychedelic music. South Africa's Die Antwoord introduced zef-rap to the festival, South Africa's version of white trash hip hop-a bold, fearless expression of crazy stick a finger up your bum entertainment.
Before arriving at these culminating moments, the day progressed through a series of psychedelic and/or raunchy expressions. John Waters kicked things off with thoughts on crawling through pig poo, taking poppers, the pleasures of sploshing, and strange things he wants to do before he dies. Gossip's Beth Ditto hoped he was watching her blazing disco soul performance but was afraid to look backstage and see him smiling and waving at her. Gossip put on a set that inspired revelations on reality in the most self-empowering ways.
John Waters & Beth Ditto @ Coachella (this pics via Jermey Scott)
The day's best covers include Faith No More doing "Reunited" (they also covered Michael Jackson's "Ben"), Portugal, The Man's jamming Bowie's "Moonlight Daydream," and Girls' flawless "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers. The last was a most appropriate choice for the band with an Ariel Pink sensibility towards '50s ballads. MGMT brought the futuristic 1960s with songs from its new album. Many pointed out that the band didn't play "Kids", but that seems to miss the point that MGMT put on a pretty sophisticated, experimental live performance of the band's signature Indian headdress on Phil Spector Fraggle Rock sound.
The Raveonettes played as a duo and sans drum machine, adorably sharing a mic sometimes. The rest of the band remains trapped under lava in Iceland, figuratively speaking. Camera Obscura also shouted out bands stuck in the UK, dedicating "Let's Get Out Of This Country" to those who could not make it.
It seems almost every DJ this weekend has sampled Major Lazer's "Pon De Floor" except Flying Lotus, who took the stage all on his own (no Thom Yorke cameo included). After warming up the crowd with some first grade experimental hip hop, FlyLo brought out the big guns, sounds combined in layers and pitches that act like quaaludes on the light speed continuum. The Dirty Projectors girls evoked cool electronic birds and the Dezurik Sisters with their harmonizing powers. Beach House cooed the audience romantically as 50% of the band, Alex Scally, rubbed his slide up and down the frets.
Did that sound sexy? It's time to talk about sexy. The xx provided the mellow arousal Blonde Redhead and Portishead have given Coachella the last two years. People like The xx because they want sex that fits this soundtrack. They also want sex as excitingly goofy gross as Die Antwoord and to fall in love with a gal like Sia, all at the same time. Sia's beautiful voice closed the night in the Gobi tent, and though her accent rendered her side comments completely incomprehensible, everyone laughed and agreed with anything she said. On the other hand, as great and sexy as the Dead Weather sounded, I don't know if I want to bed someone who demands I treat her like my mother. Old Crow Medicine Show suggested letting a woman rule your mind leads to troubles during "Minglewood Blues." Instead, let her win your heart with country-fried dinner.
Faith No More's twelve-song set included a cameo by a semi-streaker who happened to be Coachella regular Danny Devito. You can see that happen in one of the videos below. Faith No More's whole setlist is down there too.
Porcupine Tree, Tokyo Police Club, Hot Chip, The Almighty Defenders, Les Claypool, Devo, and Muse were also on the bill Saturday. Our review, pictures and videos from Friday are HERE. Saturday continues below...
Modest Mouse @ Terminal 5 in March 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Modest Mouse will join Faith No More and Nas & Damian Marley (tickets) as one of the acts set to play at Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn this summer. Their Friday, July 23rd show will be ticketed/non-free (like the others mentioned). Tickets go on sale Friday at noon (which is when the just-added Faith no More show goes on sale too).
Modest Mouse's Brooklyn show is a week after they play the Pitchfork Festival which recently updated its lineup. New acts playing the Chicago fest include Big Boi, Major Lazer, Neon Indian, Beach House, Free Energy, Local Natives, Robyn & more. Check that out in full below. Single day tickets are still on sale.
UPDATE: Modest Mouse's Brooklyn show is one day after they play one in NJ.
Modest Mouse will be reissuing their third album, The Moon & Antarctica, on vinyl for its 10th anniversary, on Record Store Day - this Saturday, April 17th. "The album features restored original artwork and replicates the infinite lock groove found in the original vinyl pressings of 2000. The new vinyl reissue includes a download card for the album." All dates the the P4K Fest lineup, below...
photos by Zachary Alex Stern
"Major Lazer was wicked last night at Terminal 5. Made me act like a fool." - Jake Shears
HARD PACKED Terminal 5 full of sweaty bodies on Saturday night (4/3). Pacifiers, bright colors and eyes rolling back into people's heads were in abundance. Skimpily outfitted dancers often decorated the stage at what was otherwise mostly a DJ show. Destructo opened the night (but Zach missed them). Then came Russia's Proxy followed by Portugal's always-fun and lively (and mc-led) Buraka Som Sistema. Headliners of the night were Boys Noize who actually kept visuals to a minimum, and Major Lazer (aka Diplo and Switch) who, like at SXSW, kept things over the top. In Austin they had one kind of monster. In NYC there was a dragon.
HARD's next NYC party takes place in an even larger venue this summer...
Global trendsetter & cultural icon M.I.A. will make her 2010 national stage debut at HARD NYC on Saturday, July 24th at the South Island Field on Governors Island. In conjunction with M.I.A.'s NEET Recordings label, confirmed performers for this two-stage festival include Sleigh Bells, Theophilus London, Skream, Benga, Ninjasonik, 12th Planet, Nguzunguzu, Borgore, Destructo & much much more TBA.Tickets are still on sale. More pictures from Terminal 5 below...
tonight in NYC
* Justin Bond @ Joe's Pub
* Sam Buck Rosen @ Bruar Falls
* JG Thirlwell's Manorexia @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Vanilla Riot, Pure Horsehair, Wilds @ Zebulon
* Neoangin, Ava Luna, Xenia Rubinos @ Glasslands
* White Hills, Gunslingers, La Otracina @ Cake Shop
* Bonobo, The Invisible @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* The Pharmacy, The Babies, Wetdog, Weekend @ Don Pedro
* Tearing the Veil of Maya w/ Eugene Mirman @ Union Hall
* Future Islands, Boogie Boarder, Guardian Alien @ Glasslands
* Golden Error, LAMPS, Pop. 1280, K Holes @ Monster Island Basement
* Pacha Massive, Anita Tijoux, Maluca, Rebel Diaz @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
* Infinite Body, Silk Flowers, Coconuts, Earn, Driphouse @ Death By Audio
* Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra @ Highline Ballroom
* Smith Westerns, Male Bonding, So Cow, Gaming Commission @ Mercury Lounge
* Mutant Supremacy, Battlemaster, Bastard Sapling, Inter Arma @ The Charleston
* Hannibal Buress, Reggie Watts, Liam McEneaney, Baratunde Thurston, Derek Gaines, Chris Laker @ Knitting Factory
Justin Bond (Kiki) is currently in the midst of a residency at Joe's Pub. Tonight's special guest is Taylor Mac.
Castavet was scheduled to play the above-listed show at the Charletson too, but we just got word that they cancelled.
Video of Sleigh Bells performing at Carniville in Austin below....
Video of Major Lazer (who played last night at Terminal 5) from the same show, below...
Video of the Crayon Fields performing for KEXP below...
words & photos by Andrew Frisicano
Wednesday - The Middle East @ Club DeVille (more by Tim Griffin)
I started toward MtyMx about 4 hours after my last SXSW show, so I haven't had much time to reflect on what happened in Austin - but before they become too irrelevant, here are some quick pictures and words of my personal highlights at the fest.
The Middle East covered the stage with an arsenal of instruments and percussion, bringing out a flute, a banjo, keys, an accordion, and a rain stick covered in bottle caps. Their set kicked off with a wobbling country-western number. "The Darkest Part" was a solemn, two-member affair, with the others jumping in as it progressed. And the barn-burning jams that built up to their finale, "Blood," brought to mind the more unhinged tunes Mumford & Sons (it clicked a moment later that they're touring together this May). Overall: a tight, short set (with a few nervous slips) in front of Club DeVille's cave-wall backdrop, which hopefully will lead into an engaging debut and tour.
Thursday - Thee Oh Sees @ (Spider House &) Lamar Pedestrian Bridge
I caught Thee Oh Sees twice on Thursday - once on the gorgeously sunny garden stage of the Spider House; once on a footbridge over Austin's Lady Bird Lake at 2am - and they played other shows as well. On the bridge the band traded songs with Home Blitz, who looked not-exactly-pleased to be standing in the freezing wind at 3am. Amps, a PA and a few worklights ran through a generator, and the assembled equipment threatened to topple over from the surging crowd. The band stretched out into extended jams that made the bridge literally shake. After a more than generous set, the crowd still prodded Dwyer and Co. for more, which they gave.
Friday - Billy Bragg @ MWTX Festival
Billy Bragg's set, to the wristbandless masses of MWTX (formerly Mess with Texas) focused nearly as much on politics as it did on music. He buttered up the crowd with "Help Save the Youth of America" and "To Have and Have Not" before speaking about healthcare reform, defeating the BNP and the ubiquity of corporations at SXSW ("This set is brought to you by my sponsor: Woody Guthrie."). His inspiring asides were genuine and welcome, and they lead into the crowd-pleasing closer, "A New England." He played again later on Friday night with a ton of guests.
Friday - Man or Astroman? @ MWTX Festival
On a completely different note, Man or Astroman? (back after a bit of a hiatus) headlined MWTX's south stage in full space regalia, with video flashing in the background and a pre-recorded narrator between songs. Their short burst of mostly instrumental surf-rock was anything but boring, and they closed it out by flicking on a huge Tesla coil.
Saturday - Major Lazer @ Carniville
My expectations were pretty low for Major Lazer, who were playing to an iced-over crowd on the massive, corporated-out stage at the Mexican-American Cultural Center (aka the Mad Decent/Iheartcomix/Jelly-presented Carniville for the fest), but they proved me wrong. The antics of hypeman Skerrit Bwoy and dancer Mimi made the frozen crowd erupt (the free T-shirts and foam guns being thrown off the stage helped too) - they mounted and humped everything in sight including crowdmembers, the rigging for the lights, and a ladder, which they used to dive onto each other for more dryhumping. Diplo got through most of Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do, with a brief assist from Ninjasonik. Did I mention the huge pink, furry monster on stage? He got some too.
Saturday - The Very Best (and then Freddie Gibbs) @ Scoot Inn
At Scoot Inn, the frigid evening grew on and most of the crowd there for the Pitchfork showcase stayed huddled around a campfire or in the bar's sauna-like interior - until The Very Best (who I missed opening for Major Lazer a few hours earlier). Esau, with a huge grin on his face, his co-mic-man (whose name I can't remember), a pair of dancers and DJ Johan Hugo all made good use of the short set. Their energy passed through the mic into crowd members for songs like "Julia" and "Warm Heart of Africa," which finished with plenty of the crowd on stage.
Freddie Gibbs, who I had never really gotten into before, was up next and seemed similarly unfazed by the cold as he rapped confidently about gangsta life. A handful of friends passed around a blunt and ceded the floor to Gibbs, who cooly made converts with his laid-back approach.
Saturday - Sleigh Bells @ Scoot Inn
Sleigh Bells brought the energy back up for the last set of the night (and for some, of SXSW). Despite being a relatively new commodity, both the band's halves, Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller, are assured, polished performers, and they made their appreciation for the crowd clear with their faultless set.
My many other highlights (bands I'll definitely be catching again in the future) included Califone (in NYC 3/30 & 3/31), La Strada, The Sandwitches, Kid Congo Powers, Private Life/Katie Stelmanis, Happy Birthday, Avi Buffalo, Man Man (who I've seen before, but seem to have a new thing going on) and Think About Life.
More pictures from all the sets above (and a ML video), are below...
M.I.A. @ Outside Lands 2009 (more by Chris Graham)
M.I.A. will be playing "HARD Fest" shows in L.A. and NYC this July - her first scheduled US shows for 2010. The L.A. date is July 17th at the Los Angeles State Historic Park. NYC's is July 24th.
Tickets for L.A. go on sale Friday, March 26th. NYC ticket info TBA.
M.I.A. has a new record due this year (possibly in June). Her Neet Recordings will be putting out Treats, the debut record from Sleigh Bells (who play SXSW and have plenty of other shows coming up), in conjunction with (as previously mentioned) Mom + Pop Records on May 11th. Neet has also signed Blaqstarr.
A flyer for the L.A. show, the current Oya lineup, and a teaser video for an M.I.A. song called "THERES SPACE FOR OL DAT I SEE" is posted below...
DOWNLOAD: Major Lazer - Hold the Lines (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Major Lazer - Call Mi (Dave Kelly's Hold the Line) (MP3)
DJ duo Major Lazer will be down in SXSW for a set at Cedar Street Courtyard on Saturday, March 20th. They'll also be doing the just-announced Iheartcomix/Jelly/Mad Decent three-day day party at Austin's Mexican American Cultural Center.
After that, their shows include Camp Bisco and dates with Sleigh Bells and a number of summer fests around the world. They play NYC's Terminal 5 on April 3rd for HARD NYC, along with Boys Noize, Buraka Som Sistema (MC/DJ Set), Proxy, Destructo and others. Tickets are still on sale.
Sleigh Bells, who are also at SXSW, go on to tour with Yeasayer, who they play Webster Hall with on May 4th. They also have recently added a show at Market Hotel on May 11th. Sleigh Bells' Austin schedule (which includes the above-mentioned day party) is below.
Major Lazer's two halves - DJs Diplo and Switch - have sets of their own at SXSW. Diplo will be at the above-mentioned Mad Decent party, and will be putting on a gear demonstration at SXSW's Gear Alley Performance Stage at 2pm on Friday, March 19th (where he'll be showing off some Ableton, Korg and Audio-Technica gear). The stage is part of SXSW's new Gear Alley Expo in the Convention Center, which is open to all official showcasing bands and registrants. "Musicians can test out new gear there and it's next to our SXSW Showcasing Artist Lounge (where bands can get free chair massages, drinks, snacks, use a computer, or relax)."
Switch has a set at NYC's Webster Hall coming up on June 11th. Info TBA.
All tour dates and video of Major Lazer DJing at SXSW 2009's Fader Fort are below...
Camp Bisco 9, the three-day Upstate music fest put on by Disco Biscuits in its ninth year, will be happening July 15th-17th in Mariaville, NY, about 3 hours north of NYC. It's set to have two main stages, a DJ tent and a late night dance tent, and the initial lineup includes LCD Soundsystem, Ween, Girl Talk, Major Lazer, Diplo, Thievery Corporation, Gift of Gab and more. All of the currently announced acts are below.
Tickets are on sale now.
2009's fest included Nas, Chromeo, The Orb, Dr. Dog, Flying Lotus and Special Disco Version (LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy & Pat Mahoney)
Still waiting for the next LCD Soundystem NYC show announcement. Meanwhile they've already announced Coachella, Bonnaroo and other dates (along with a new album).
More Camp Bisco info and a flyer are below...
Sleigh Bells @ Under 100 in November (more by Lori Baily)
Sleigh Bells have been pretty quiet since their debut run last fall, when they opened for And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead..., did CMJ, and played LPR, Studio at Webster Hall, and Under 100 (the last three of which got captured in picture sets).
The duo, with their debut LP on the way (I hear they signed to Mom & Pop), have announced spring plans - they'll be opening select shows for Major Lazer on their upcoming tour. The closest they come to NYC together is Philadelphia's Starlite Ballroom on April 2nd. The next night (4/3) Major Lazer headlines HARD at Terminal 5.
Before that, Yeasayer plays Bowery and MHOW on February 8th and 9th (both sold out). Yeasayer's new record, Odd Blood, comes out February 9th on Secretly Canadian. They recently released the song "One" off that for free. It's available for download below with all dates...
Wow...Public Image Ltd, The Specials, Grizzly Bear, Passion Pit, Echo and the Bunnymen, Grace Jones, Fever Ray, Devo, Hot Chip, Phoenix, Orbital, Spoon, Sly and the Family Stone, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sunny Day Real Estate, Yo La Tengo, Mew, Camera Obscura, Gil Scott-Heron, The xx, John Waters, Dillinger Escape Plan, Deer Tick, Gary Numan... Full Coachella 2010 lineup below....