Entries tagged with: Vampire Weekend
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
As predicted, Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend and Das Racist's Heems were both surprise guests at Small Black's mixtape release celebration at Glassands on 11/18 with Heavenly Beat. Download your copy of Small Black's Moon Killer FREE mixtape at their site. Check out Das Racist on Conan O'Brien tonight (11/28).
More pictures from the Glasslands record release show are below...
"Model Ann Kirsten Kennis asked a federal court in Los Angeles to dismiss the case, after she reached a settlement with Vampire Weekend and its label, XL Records. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. The case was dismissed yesterday by court order.The article goes on to say that the case between Vampire Weekend the photographer is still open.
Kennis sued in 2010 after photographer Tod Brody licensed a Polaroid image of Kennis for use on the cover of the band's Contra album. The band also used the image to promote its Contra tour.
Brody allegedly provided the image--which was shot in the 1980s-- to Vampire Weekend with a forged model release. According to court papers, he was paid $5,000 for the image license. It is unclear who shot the image, or how Brody obtained it." [Photo District News] (via)
The MTK: Music To Know Festival planned for Saturday - Sunday, August 13 - 14, in East Hampton, New York, is cancelled. A statement is as follows:Strangely Escape to NY, the other new Hamptons music festival, is going on as planned as we speak. Patti Smith and Best Coast played it last night.
"It is with heavy, heavy heart that we regret to inform you that the inaugural MTK: Music To Know Festival in East Hampton will not take place. Despite our unique vision and arranging a world-class line-up, ticket sales were not adequate to allow the event to continue. We wanted to let everyone know now before engaging more deeply.
Along with our ticket holders, vendors, sponsors, business associates, colleagues and friends in the community, we too are filled with deep disappointment. We pledge to endure during this difficult time with the same integrity and professionalism displayed throughout the creation of this event.
Ticket holders should check www.musictoknow.com next week for more information.
The MTK Fest's lineup included Vampire Weekend, Chromeo, Dawes, Bright Eyes, M Ward, Ra Ra Riot, Fitz and the Tantrums, Matt and Kim and more.
Truck America, another NY Festival, was cancelled last week (though no official announcement has been made about that yet).
As mentioned, Music to Know Fest makes its debut in East Hampton, NY over the weekend of August 13-14, and features artists such as Vampire Weekend, Bright Eyes, Matt & Kim, Ra Ra Riot, Dawes, and others. Set times have been announced for the festival, which you can check out below.
MTK, not to be confused with Escape to NY, have also teamed up with MTA Long Island Railroad (LIRR) to add an official westbound train for concertgoers:
The train, departing from the LIRR East Hampton station at 10:56 PM, is aptly timed to ensure concert goers will have sufficient time to enjoy the day's line-up and festivities and will be making all the local stops on Long Island into Brooklyn and Manhattan.For more fun, you can download the official MTK 2011 App for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad at the iTunes app store. The fest also features fashion tents. According to a press release:
The fashion pop-up tents will be set up in a "retail village" and the merchants are anything but your average festival brands. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were first to purchase pop-ups from MTK: Music To Know - planning to debut their much-anticipated website StyleMint and their successful contemporary line Elizabeth & James to the crowd of almost 10,000 people gathered at the event in the Hamptons during the height of the season.Hmmm... Tickets for the festival are still available. Set times and a list of the clothing brands that will be on display at the fest below...
alternate headline: Vampire Weekend headlining Hamptons Music Fest, go figure
Vampire Weekend @ Coachella 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
MTK: Music To Know Festival announces its inaugural line up headlined by Vampire Weekend on Saturday, August 13th and Bright Eyes on Sunday, August 14th. Other confirmed bands include Matt & Kim, Cold War Kids, Chromeo, Tame Impala, Ra Ra Riot, Fitz & The Tantrums, Tom Tom Club, Dawes, M Ward, We Are Scientists, The Limousines, Naked and Famous, Francis and the Lights, Suddyn, Nicos Gun and Young Empires -- 18 of today's most critically-acclaimed and successful new, emerging and well-known bands. The music begins at noon each day, ending at 10PM.Cheesy marketing and opinions of the ritzy location and potential crowd aside, I have to say that MTK did a pretty kick-ass job of curating a relevant indie rock lineup for an East Hampton crowd (filled with bands that do a good job of moving tickets, relatively speaking). Tickets are on sale now. Two-day passes start at $195 each+fees+parking if you need it. VIP tix will cost you much more.
According to Co-Founder Chris Jones "The Hamptons are a unique market to say the least -- full of decision makers, trend setters, and taste generators who have always been eager to embrace the best and the brightest in our culture -- whether that is in literature, film, fashion or music. We are excited to bring this collection of artists together in our community, and hope this is the first of many annual events."
Without knowing how willing people are to travel to the Hamptons, how many people are already in the Hamptons, and how many tickets they need to sell (possibly only "9,500 people over both days"), it's hard to guess how successful the fest will be (from a business/longevity point of view) (Bing is a sponsor so that probably helps), but it definitely beat expectations so far (relatively speaking). More details below...
Vampire Weekend's last release was an Apple iTunes session (recorded this past September at New York's Avatar Studios... "It includes a completely reworked rocksteady version of their hit "Holiday", plus "A-Punk", "Cousins" and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa". The session also includes two covers: Bruce Springsteen's "I'm Going Down" and The Honeycombs' "Have I The Right". Three horn players joined the band for the sessions".).
At Drom Saturday: BAIO (aka Chris Baio of Vampire weekend) DJs with Alex English.
Monday, March 07, 2011 at 7:00 PM: "Alela Diane & Wild Divine in a live charity performance for Housing Works. Special preview show of her new album and band Alela Diane & Wild Divine (produced by Scott Litt) out on Rough Trade 4/5."
That's a picture of Alela Diane's new album above. More about it below....
Check out the awesome video from last night's episode, below...
And the nominees for "Album of the Year" are:
* The Suburbs by Arcade FireCrazy.
* Recovery by Eminem
* Need You Now by Lady Antebellum
* The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga
* Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Also funny: Mumford & Sons are up for Best New Artist against Justin Bieber (and Drake, Florence & The Machine, and Esperanza Spalding)
Robyn is up for Best Dance Recording against Lady Gaga (and Goldfrapp, La Roux, and Rihanna).
Arcade Fire are also nominated for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals against Muse, Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, and... Jeff Beck & Joss Stone.
The Black Keys also landed in the "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" along with... Dave Matthews.
The Black Keys and Mumford & Sons and Kings of Leon and Muse are also all in the "Best Rock Song" category.
"Best Alternative Album" category:
* The Suburbs by Arcade FireSo they give that to Arcade Fire, since Lady Gaga will probably get Album of the Year, or maybe Arcade Fire will just get screwed and they'll give it to someone on a major.
* Infinite Arms by Band Of Horses
* Brothers by The Black Keys
* Broken Bells by Broken Bells
* Contra by Vampire Weekend
Other names that got nominated: Cee-Lo, Janelle Monae, Big Boi, John Legend & The Roots, Jay-Z, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Flight of the Conchords, Devendra Banhart (for "Best Recording Package"), Oh No Ono (ditto), Anais Mitchell (ditto), Danger Mouse, Gorillaz, and Carol Burnett. Full list at the Grammys site.
photos by Tim Griffin
""This festival is super-cool," said Strokes singer Julian Casablancas from the stage at Austin City Limits on Friday night. "Lotta stuff." It's true: The festival, now in its ninth year, packs 130 bands onto eight outdoor stages arranged around the 350-acre Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. The lineup is a mix of huge rock acts (the Eagles headline Sunday) and big-name indie bands, plus DJs, country singers and the occasional rapper. With an expected attendance of around 70,000 a day, the festival similar in size, if not in spirit, to Lollapalooza. "Lollapalooza has that city energy. It's like the hot girl you want to take home," one organizer, Lisa Hickey, said. "ACL is more laid-back -- it's like your best friend." And unlike South By Southwest, the music and film showcase that takes over the Texas town every spring, ACL doesn't have much of a music-industry angle -- it's almost strictly for fans.Of those big four, Tim managed to catch three, and a bit of Vampire Weekend's favorite band Phish from afar. Phish's set included a Velvet Underground and a Talking Heads cover. Full setlist at the end of this post.
On Friday night, the packed lineup presented the crowd with a happy problem: Four big-name guitar bands -- Spoon, Sonic Youth, Vampire Weekend, and the Strokes -- all had sets starting within two hours of each other, and seeing each set in its entirety was impossible."
Kings Go Forth pictures are HERE. The rest of the pictures from the first day of the 2010 Austin City Limits Music Festival (where Ezra Koenig joined Miike Snow on stage), continue, with a bunch of setlists (including Spoon's which points out that Eleanor Friedberger played a Fiery Furnaces song with Spoon) (video proof too), below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
"Beach House killllllllllllled it, radio city music hall is gorgeous" - Luisa Opalesky
"So turns out that Beach House is an incredible live band - made braving the teen-prep vampire weekend crowds worthwhile~" - Sam Thurman
"Mom if you really love me you would let me go to the Vampire Weekend concert. Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease )':" - Tanya Ramos
Ezra and his unstoppable jazz hands
Us Weekly, with host Mary J. Blige, honored the 25 Most Stylish New Yorkers of 2010. The magazine says its list "celebrates the 25 quintessential New York celebs who make the city so uniquely chic."While the popped-collar-and-boat-shoe crew was being honored in one part of town, they were filling the hallowed halls of Radio City Music Hall with their African-inspired rhythms last night (9/15) as part one of a three night stay at the venue which continues tonight 9/16, and tomorrow, 9/17. Dum Dum Girls and Beach House had their backs last night, as they will for the next two. Tickets are still available to tonight's show.
Most Stylish New Yorker Mary J. Blige hosted the evening, which honored Katie Couric, Will Arnett, Olivia Munn, Rachael Ray, Iman, Kelly Rutherford, Kristin Chenoweth, Bethenny Frankel, George Stephanopoulos, Beth Ostrosky Stern, Scott Disick, Gail Simmons, Kelly Cutrone, MSNBC anchor and Today Show contributor Tamron Hall, Olivia Palermo, Alexis Bledel, Swizz Beatz, Yaya DaCosta, Simon Doonan, Jonathan Adler, Vampire Weekend, bloggers The Sartorialist Scott Schuman & Garance Doré, DJ Kiss, Lisa Capparelli, and club owners Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano. -[Fox]
In other news, Ezra of Vampire Weekend appears on a new iTunes-only track by Chromeo from their out-now Business Casual LP. Stream that track under the rest of the Radio City pictures, below.
Phish parking lot (more by Ryan Barkan)
"Vampire Weekend's Tomson is upfront about his jam band days but protects the identities of others. "I don't want to out anybody," he says.
But [Real Estate's Alex] Bleeker sees greater acceptance on the horizon. It will be a vibe-heavy, groovy new world, where nobody will be ashamed to let their songs soar past the seven-minute mark. "I don't want 'jam band' to be a dirty word in the indie-rock community anymore," he says." [Washington Post]
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Wes of Ra Ra Riot & Vampire Weekends question Rostam's song choice
Ra Ra Riot completed their invasion of NYC with two appearances yesterday (8/24) as part of a celebration of their new LP The Orchard, out now via Barsuk. Photos from their Sound Fix (live set) and Brooklyn Bowl (DJ) appearances continue below.
The Syracuse band will be back in NYC at the tail end of September for a string of four appearances that are part of a larger tour. The NYC shows are at Bowery Ballroom (on 9/21 & 9/22) and MHOW (on 9/23 & 9/24). Tickets are on sale for all four shows (9/21 tickets, 9/22 tickets with Lower Dens, 9/23 tickets with North Highlands & We Barbarians, and 9/24 tickets with Amanaguchi). More openers to be announced.
Ra Ra Riot at BAM (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Ra Ra Riot will be making even more appearances in NYC in the coming month. The Syracuse band's onslaught begins on August 24th (Tuesday) when the band celebrates the release of it's new LP The Orchard (via Barsuk) with a FREE acoustic set at Soundfix Records at 6PM. Later that night, the band will be at a second FREE event, a 21+ DJ party at Brooklyn Bowl featuring the band and Vampire Weekend swapping turns on the wheels of steel (neither band is scheduled to play live music).
Less than one month after the band blesses NYC with those gratis events, Ra Ra Riot will play a two night stint at Bowery Ballroom (on 9/21 and 9/22) followed by another two night stint at MHOW (on 9/23 and 9/24). 9/21's support at Bowery has yet to be announced (tickets), but 9/22 at Bowery will feature Lower Dens (tickets), 9/23 at MHOW will feature North Highlands and We Barbarians (tickets), and 9/24 at MHOW will feature Amanaguchi (tickets). If each date will have two openers, then there's still a lot to be announced too.
As previously mentioned, the dates are part of a much larger tour that will see Ra Ra Riot play from sea to shining sea (and Bumbershoot) as part of a full US campaign towards total da-da-domination.
We Barbarians open much of the tour. Other tour openers and updated tour dates, and a video, below....
photos by Alex Reside
Pictures and video from last night's Converse party at Music Hall of Williamsburg continue below...
As you probably know, Vampire Weekend's record label XL Recordings is being sued along with the band and a photographer for the use of a photo on the cover of Vampire Weekend's new album Contra. The label just issued the following statement:
"As is standard practice, Vampire Weekend and XL Recordings licensed the rights to use the photo on the cover of Contra pursuant to a license agreement that contains representations and warranties authorizing this use of the photo. Now that a lawsuit has been filed, we look forward to having the matter resolved in Court. We will be filing our response after we have had an opportunity to review the allegations. Consistent with our practice, we will not be commenting further about the pending litigation at this time."A few more details on the former model doing the suing, including her opinion on why the photographer didn't take the photo. below...
You may have heard by now that Vampire Weekend, XL Recordings and a photographer named Tod Brody are being sued for 2 million dollars by Contra cover model Kirsten Kennis. She claims that she never gave permission for them to use a picture that was taken of her in 1983 (back when she was actually a model), and that the photographer basically tricked the band and label into thinking they were buying it legally. She says the band and label are also at fault for not doing due diligence when they paid $5000 for the picture from Tod. She thinks she deserves 2 million because her picture was obviously the reason the band's album was so successful... That's basically the info that most sites are posting, but I obtained a copy of the court documents and there's more...
First of all, her full name is Ann Kirsten Kennis, though when she was a model she just went by "Kirsten". She was a "high-fashion model under contract with prestigious agencies in New York City" in the 80's and early 90's. Her picture has appeared in clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and automobile ads, and for that she was "highly compensated" and "enjoyed numerous assignments".
She lives in Fairfield, CT, and most interestingly, she claims Tod didn't even take the picture. Her real last name doesn't even appear in the contract Vampire Weekend signed when they bought it. The allegedly forged/fake contract is with "Kirsten Johnsen" and signed by "Kirsten Johnson" (yes, the document has the last name spelled two different ways).
If Tod didn't take the picture, I'm not sure how he thought he would get away with it since she would obviously eventually see it. Whether he took it or not, it's still displayed in his portfolio (with "kirsten" in the file name), though his page that displayed the Vampire Weekend album cover is now gone.
Not content with all that, I went on a search for another picture of Kirsten, but unfortunately I came up dry though I do think I found a picture of her dog, and what might be her not-quite-operational "Cosmic Cubs" teddy bear website (which would be consistent with the possibility that her family is in the toy business). It's also possible that back before she was married, her name may have been Ann Klendshoj which is the name of someone who had a nasty run in with a creepy doctor in 1994. Speaking of creepy, I'll end this paragraph here.
Rostam from Vampire Weekend, Kid Cudi & Bethany of Best Coast made a new song for Converse. The video for that track, "All Summer", is below...
photos by Chris Graham
"At the sold-out Sasquatch, bands holding down the headliner spots haven't necessarily turned out to be the biggest draws. Sure, My Morning Jacket played to a mostly packed house on Saturday, and Massive Attack was overwhelmingly solid on Sunday despite a not-so-full amphitheater floor, but the band drawing the most populous, most stoked, most deserved gathering was unquestionably Vampire Weekend." [SPIN]Pictures of Vampire Weekend, My Morning Jacket, and the rest of Day One of this year's Sasquatch Festival (which just went down over Memorial Day Weekend), below...
Conan O'Brien & Vampire Weekend @ Radio City Music Hall (TomChau)
"Conan O'Brien brought The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour to Radio City Music Hall Tuesday night for the first of two performances. By far, the evening's highlight was the surprise appearance of Stephen Colbert, who came out onstage to rib O'Brien for leaving New York to do The Tonight Show in Hollywood...Conan O'Brien was also joined by Vampire Weekend (good practice), Paul Rudd, and Bill Hadar at last night's show which was opened by Reggie Watts. Conan encouraged audience members to live tweet the show. Videos, including of the Colbert part, below...
...Their verbal tiff quickly escalated: "We're at Radio City, there's only one possible way to fight here," Colbert said with his face literally in O'Brien's face. "Anything that gets us to separate our noses and lips," O'Brien answered. "How about a good old-fashioned dance-off?" Colbert suggested. Cue "Pour Some Sugar on Me."
I would say Colbert was winning until he ruptured his hamstring. He was about to admit defeat when -- "Don't you dare, Stephen Colbert! Don't you dare! Don't you dare!" It was the voice of Jon Stewart booming from the back of the theater. (Even those of us in the last row of the second mezzanine who couldn't see him knew it immediately.) Stewart walked down an aisle to the stage -- wearing a red satin shirt, black pants, and a gold cummerbund -- as the audience exploded into a standing ovation. The fan reaction caught on the video says it best: "Holy f--ing s--!"... [EW]
Land of Talk @ Masonic Temple in 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
tonight in NYC
* Jello Biafra on a boat
* Michale Graves @ Europa
* Grant Hart, The Octagon @ 92YTribeca
* Peter Wolf, Kenny White @ The Bell House
* Holy Fuck, Nice Nice @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
* Rooftop Films w/ Braids @ Open Road Rooftop
* Ken Mode, My America, Engineer, Rosetta @ Union Pool
* The Needy Visions, Mmoss, Andy & Zeus @ Party Expo
* Curren$y, Vado, Rich Hil, Sean Price @ Public Assembly
* Twin Sister, Lost Boy, Data Dog @ Glasslands
* Fitz & The Tantrums, Cheap Seats @ Mercury Lounge
* Beige, Translations, Rewards, Picture Picture @ The Cameo
* The Besnard Lakes, Land of Talk, Holopaw @ Bowery Ballroom
* Chrome Cranks, K-Holes, Electroputas, Hollerado @ Cake Shop
* Reverend Horton Heat, Cracker, Miss Derringer @ Highline Ballroom
* The So So Glos, Grooms, Yvette, Fiasco, Ava Luna @ Monster Island Basement
* Junk Science, Tone Tank & Scott Thorough, Das Racist, Cavalier @ Knitting Factory
* Ninjasonik, Liquor Store, Unstoppable Death Machines, Fuck School, Ghost Mall @ Don Pedro
* Streetlab, Will Tendy, Free Blood, Psychobuildings, Warm Ghost @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* The Tony Castles, Darlings, Boogie Boarder, Snakes Say Hiss, Tough Knuckles @ Death By Audio
* Blissed Out, Prince Rama, Quiet Hooves, Total Slacker, Bubbly Mommy Gun, Perfect Bitch @ Silent Barn
The Whitney is open till midnight.
Check out This Week in Indie
The Primavera Sound Festival is happening in Spain.
Maryland Death Fest kicks off in Maryland.
the Bushwick Rooftop Festival kicks off at 3pm on Saturday.
Sodom isn't play tonight since they canceled their US tour.
The Gossip played "Heavy Cross" on some show at Cannes. Video below...
The Juan MacLean's video for "Feel So Good" is below.
New Vampire Weekend video for "Holiday" below...
Yim Yames perormed with John Prine on Letterman on 5/26. Video below...
Dum Dum Girls @ SXSW 2010 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Dum Dum Girls are touring with their very good friends Crocodiles in June and July along the West Coast (Dum Dum frontwoman Dee Dee is married to Brandon from Crocs, who played as part of the band at their first show in 2009 and on their LP).
After that, Dum Dum Girls go on tour with Beach House and Vampire Weekend beginning in the end of August. That includes the three-night Radio City run. Both bands open on all three days from September 15th-September 17th. Tickets for all of those are still on sale. All dates listed below.
Beach House's summer shows also include another NYC gig - Prospect Park with the National on July 27th (that is currently sold out).
You can download two Dum Dum Girls songs - (via their label Sub Pop, "the first, 'Bhang, Bhang, I'm a Burnout,' is the second song from their Sub Pop debut, I Will Be...the second is 'Pay for Me,' which was previously only available on their Record Store Day split with Male Bonding") - here. You can download two more above.
Dum Dum Girls playing "Bhang Bhang" live, other videos, plus all Dum Dum Girls & Beach House tour dates (including the stops on DDG's current European tour), are below...
ACL 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
October 8-10, 2010 | Zilker Park, Austin, TXTickets go on sale today. The 2010 ACL lineup is below...
"The Austin City Limits Music Festival began as a modest, two-day event and now, as it enters it's 9th year, has become a perennial American music experience. Taking place at the heart of Austin, Texas in the legendary Zilker Park, ACL Festival has grown to 3 days, 8 stages and over 130 bands."
photos by Bao Nguyen
"Agh. Free Black Keys concert tonight at the Classic Car Club but lines were CRAZY!" - quiet soliloquy
"Fans have overwhelmingly expressed, in 354+ comments on The Black Keys Facebook page, that the band has "sold out" following an announcement that a new song, "Chop And Change", will be a part of the soundtrack for the third installment of extremely popular vampire movie franchise "Twilight".The Black Keys, who are opening or Pearl Jam at MSG this week (and playing a benefit at Housing Works that will also be a temporary Black Keys pop up shop), and whose sole SXSW show this year was a T-Mobile-sponsored Mog show, played a Microsoft/Verizon Kin show in NYC last night (5/15). The show took place at the Classic Car Club in Tribeca, just like the Passion Pit one did one night earlier. A free Kin Ting Tings show also happened last night at a different venue.
The Black Keys' have sold out? Yeah, sure. If anything, they've finally just sold in on their own terms.
In most cases, the term "sold out" would be fantastic news to artists in regards to shows, books, CDs, etc. It simply claims that the artist/event is doing so well that they have run out of space or items and that it is pretty much exclusive and rare - a privilege, really. It's heartbreaking to the people who did not get a chance to be a part of it, but it does hint at success, which can obviously be rendered in many different ways. For people who appreciate "underground" or lesser-known works or talents, however, "selling out" is the worst possible brand that you can get from a fan - it pretty much means that you are now not good enough to be appreciated anymore, and that you are now "mainstream" or "too trendy."" [The Black Keys Fan Lounge]
No more Kin shows in NYC, but Chicago has one by The Dead Weather coming up. The Dead Weather (who also opened a pop up shop in NYC when their last record came out), along with Metric (who play NYC tonight/Sunday), Muse (who are taking Metric on tour), Band of Horses (who also open for Pearl Jam at MSG this week), Vampire Weekend and others, also appear on the new Twilight soundtrack. The full tracklisting and more pictures from the Kin show below...
Rodrigo y Gabriela
Rodrigo y Gabriela are probably excited right now. Their first-ever headlining show at NYC's Radio City Music Hall happens tonight (4/29). Tickets are still on sale if you want to go. At some point, Rod and Gab also added a May 1st show in Atlantic City, but that has been cancelled, as has a May 1st show at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans. Don't ask me.
Their tour continues at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA on May 4th, includes a slew of European festival dates this summer, and a return trip to the United States for some more concerts in August (Boston Opera House on August 26th included) (another NYC date TBA announced around then too?).
Not counting "Glee Live In Concert!" (but counting New Kids on the Block who have the same amount of shows coming up there as Vampire Weekend) (three), the full list of currently announced Radio City Music Hall concerts is below...
photos by Rachel Carr, words by Daiana Feuer
Jay-Z, Beyonce & Johnny Rotten
This year, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival reveals that tattoos are more ubiquitous among social scenes than ever before. A walking museum of quotes and legendary faces from Jesus to Michael Jackson decorates the backs, shoulders, calves and fingers of people fashionably reliving their favorite historical decades at this heat-stroke inducing music marathon.
I thought Wale didn't show up, but later found out that he showed up late. Baroness demonstrated the art of rocking out at least three to five times before each song reached a satisfied climax. Metal can be a real turn on, especially surrounded by sweaty good-looking people. Deer Tick performed an R+B version of "Ashamed" followed by John McCauley caressing his nipples. LA band Iglu and Hartly had enthusiasm, but is this Mickey Avalon without the drugs and prostitutes? Which leaves what? Sleigh Bells began with a booty melting bass line palpable from the VIP section across the field, soon overtaken by hipster hop metal pop for people that like beaches and children. The Avett Brothers made an exciting second Coachella appearance on the Outdoor Stage. Two years ago, the band played Sunday gospel time, all manners and simplicity, but the Bros returned with a full band, and a few thousand people singing every word, stomping to the banjo, and hugging during the sweet parts. The banjo will take over America. Just wait. Country music is infiltrating avant-garde and above ground indie worlds alike.
Standing midway between the big stages, just a few feet from yet another girl with the words "Have u seen my friend Molly?" scrawled on her back, the Avett Brothers' heart-wrenching "January Wedding" got a reggaeton remix from Calle 13 booming on the Main Stage. This Puerto Rican dancefloor marvel used a tea kettle for a mic effect, and taught the audience to say "No me jodas las pelotas" against negativity ("Don't fuck my balls"). Speaking of balls, Yeasayer's crowd went absolutely nuts screaming, but the guys barely seemed aware, transported as they were to some space station cloud. The harmonies rocked like angelic aliens-but, smile, guys. Hockey demonstrated a genuine interest in moving indie rock standards forward, especially attracting the PG-13 festival contingency. M. ward raspy singing "Roll Over Beethoven" during She & Him's set delivered tingly shivers, but Zooey Deschanel's approach to "I Put A Spell On You" did not crumble souls. Her jazzy voice and bouncy energy otherwise made for a good time that elicited repetitive shouts of "I Love You!" from the first row.
Music should be at least marginally weird or infinitely classic, but Tom Morello's band, Street Sweeper Social Club, brings nothing new to either category and so seems a waste of great musicians. Get weird or the future will never arrive. That being said, the musicians Coachella digs up from history often present the most exciting moments. Rock steady ska pioneers The Specials sent a crispy, warm message to Rudy that every witness appreciated immensely, but it was outrageous that barely any photographers showed up for Gil Scott-Heron's smooth, soulful set [editor's note: ours did!]. The man is partly responsible for getting Martin Luther King, Jr. a holiday, godfathered hip hop, and that doesn't merit attention? A large crowd attended his every word, but the photos won't show it. Later on, James Murphy screamed Gil Scott-Heron's name during "Losing My Edge" as if it were the name of God. Glad he gets it. LCD Soundsystem's first single in 2002, "Losing My Edge" is a historical document worth preserving for the ages, an essence that speaks to what Coachella seems bent on capturing and rewriting every year. Echo & The Bunnymen rode the high-hat zealously-as many have copied since-giving chapped lips sugar kisses. Public Image, Ltd., could not take Jay-Z's audience away from him nor unglue Fever Ray fans from Karin Dreijer Andersson's encompassing fog spell, but I'll be damned if PiL wasn't the best show all day. John Lydon's hair stood on edge and he rolled his rrrr's heroically. His gang of old men put the good junk in post-punk.
As this first 12 hour music summary comes to a close, a few acts remain worth giving a hoot about. Grizzly Bear's hypnotic power hardly needs mentioning and Vampire Weekend knows you love "Horchata." New cool La Roux magnetizes with a disco flavor that Anita Ward might approve. As hoped, Little Dragon's gentle fire breathing soul pop fronted by Yukimi's sexy voice and adorable stage presence comes in as Friday's second favorite. The music's weird enough, bent on discovering surprises. One-woman band Imogen Heap, as well, is the queen of surprises. She moves around her instruments, looping this and dubbing that as if casually mixing a magic potion or prepping a sandwich. Jay-Z's "On To The Next One" is an appropriate theme song for the attention span needed to get your money's worth at Coachella. And then Beyonce came out. We all bowed down before her short shorts.
Them Crooked Vultures, Passion Pit, Dillinger Escape Plan, Yo Gabba Gabba, and The Whitest Boy Alive also played sets on Friday. The Cribs were among those who could not. Coachella continues for a second day today/Saturday (Record Store Day). More pictures and videos and stuff from the first day, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
this post concludes our Big Ears 2010 Festival coverage. links to the first two posts are also below...
"When people ask what my favorite place to play is, I tell them about this place. It's like playing inside an Easter egg," quipped My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, gazing at the deep-sea blue dome overhead at Knoxville's Tennessee Theater. The psychedelic cavern, a mish-mash of decorative styles and colors, served as the home to the Big Ears festival's largest shows, and its final act on Sunday night, with headliner the National.
The National's presence was felt long before they took the stage - in the hand of guitarist Bryce Dessner, who co-curated the fest, in the National members' supporting gigs, playing behind Doveman, Clogs and others, and in the abundance of friends and fellow Brooklyn-ites in the Big Ears lineup. Of course, those are all connected. One look at the stage during the first song of the National's encore - "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" off their forthcoming High Violet - revealed a selection of Big Ears' top acts - Nico Muhly, St. Vincent, Shara Worden and sometimes-National members Padma Newsome and Thomas Bartlett (Sufjan came out for a song, but not during the encore), all of whom performed earlier in the weekend on their own. (Read here about days one and two)
Attendees also had the chance to opt for music outside of that circle. At Big Ears Annex, Tim Hecker and Ben Frost collaborated for a set of fragile, icy noise (they both played on their own earlier too - Hecker opened for Bang on a Can All-Stars' performance of Music For Aiports and the Books at the TN Theater). Trio Konk Pack took the same stage later for improvised noises, pops and whirs - like the soundtrack to an invisible film. The night before, one could choose between Liturgy and Gang Gang Dance - two bands at the top of their respective genres - while Terry Riley's In C filled the Tennessee Theater to its elliptical rafters.
Around the corner from the Annex at the Pilot Light, KnoEars, an unaffiliated, somewhat anti-Big Ears DIY Fest, hosted an all-day lineup that included homemade noise, Replacements-style punk and more emanating into Sunday's rainy street.
Terry Riley, selected to be this year's resident guide, performed four times over the three days - all in different settings. Other repeat acts like Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), who played with Sam Amidon, the fest's first act (interviewed here), and The National, its last, were frequent Knoxville fixtures for the three-day fest, running to their own gigs or enjoying others'.
"Mr. Riley also enjoyed a fair number of other people's shows, especially the art-song band Clogs. ("They were the hit for me," he said, beaming over breakfast on Monday morning. "Great performers, great writing. I'm going to buy their CD when I get home.")" [NY Times]Doveman and Nico Muhly both played earlier Sunday in a set that included material from their recent Peter Pears project, the Footloose soundtrack, and their 802 tour partner Sam Amidon (who had to catch a flight to Germany). That show's headliner, St. Vincent, provided a counterpoint to their pianos with a set of songs steeped in squealing noise and leveling distortion.
More pictures and videos from the fest are below...