Randall’s Island in New York City rocks it with the Governors Ball annually. This year is no different. Outkast, Jack White, Vampire Weekend and The Strokes top the first tier of acts. Festival staples in 2014 Childish Gambino, Sleigh Bells. Chance The Rapper, The Naked And Famous and Foster The People can be seen along the likes of TV On The Radio, Skrillex, Interpol, Phoenix, Disclosure, Diarrhea Planet, Kurt Vile, Damon Albarn, Neko Case, along with the rap duo Run The Jewels (Big Mike/El-P).
It all goes down June 6th-8th in the greatest city in the world. Grab tickets when they’re on sale at www.GovBall.Com.
There’s a Festival Called “Free Press Summer Fest” that’s going to go down this year at Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston, Texas June 1st – 2nd, has just released it’s 2013 lineup.
The upper tier names on the bill are The Postal Service, Iggy And The Stooges (Featuring Mike Watt on Bass) and TV On The Radio but the undercard isn’t bad either. Bands that don’t suck on the lower half of the bill include Arctic Monkeys, Japandroids, Of Monsters Of Men, Baroness, Social D, The Bronx , Grace Potter And The Nocturnals and added as of hours ago, UME. Hell you could even catch 2 Chainz if that floats your boat. Sounds good to me, who has a couch for me to crash on in Texas? For Tickets, head to the official festival website by clicking here. Full lineup below.
New York City brace yourselves, we finally got ourselves a good festival. It’s called Catalpa , and taking place July 28th and 29th at Randall’s Island Park in NYC.
Who are the headliners you ask?
The Black Keys, TV On The Radio, and Snoop Dogg (Performing 1993’s Doggystyle in it’s entirety). With a full announcement of artists to come soon, I’m pretty sure this is one all of us in the New York City area need to check out.
Weekend Early Bird Passes start at $99. The festivals official website says there should be 50+ acts eventually making there way into this line-up, but as of now the only acts confirmed (and we’ll keep you updated as they break) are listed below:
Oh those crazy German’s. I truly assumed I would never catch these guys again after the Great White fiasco, but there I was on the floor of the sold out Forum watching the band’s first North American tour in nearly a decade. It was all you could want from a Rammstein show – pulverizing riffs, shock value galore and lots and lots of fire.
The only reason I went to Chris Cornell is so I wouldn’t have to sit home alone for another night. I really didn’t expect much and just assumed I was crossing another artist off the list (as you can see in the review, I had actually seen Cornell live and forgot all about it). As much fun as it was to get videos taped at a show where armed guards stood looking to shoot anyone with a phone or a camera, as it turns out the music was really amazing. Cornell’s voice sounded strong, he performed stripped down versions of songs that span his entire career and hell if the Rock and Roll career does not work out, the man is funny enough to be a stand-up comedian.
Truth be told, this wasn’t so much about the music as much as it was about the Experience. Traveling alone through the streets of New Orleans 2000 miles from home with a once in a lifetime chance to check out one of American’s premiere music festivals. Don’t get me wrong, Mastodon, Social D and Girl Talk all killed it up on stage. However, it was meeting a kid fifteen years younger than me from my home town. It was checking out a beautiful park in a beautiful city and taking in a culture very different from Los Angeles. It was the sweet Street Car driver who pointed out all the great spots to eat far from Bourbon Street. Just like the name said, it truly was an experience.
There is something truly special about Joseph Arthur in Venice in April. Even if I tried to explain it, it simply wouldn’t make sense. So when this last minute gig was announced the same weekend as Coachella, I got my ass down to Venice faster than you can say Milk truck. Having seen the man at three of his four shows at the Bootleg Theater earlier in the year, I didn’t know what to expect out in Venice. With less than two dozen people showing up to the last minute gig, it was more like Arthur was playing in your living room then your typical concert. Perhaps it was the dog running around the venue, perhaps it was the fact he was cool enough to play “Morning Cup” for me, whatever it was this performance brought out some of the best feelings I have ever felt.
When Oasis split, I found myself bummed I never made an effort to catch a proper show. I figured I may as well make the effort to catch the side projects till the day the Gallagher’s get back together. While we won’t mention the worst show we saw in 2011, Noel’s performance at UCLA’s Royce Hall was nothing short of exquisite. In between playing nearly the entire debut album, the man busted out some of Oasis’ biggest hits including “Wonderwall” and “Supersonic.” Oh and for the record it was not I who asked him to take off his shirt, but it was me who did request he play some Kasabian.
So let me get this right, I get to leave Easter dinner early to watch Amon Amarth perform two sets of music? Oh and of those two sets of music, one of them is the bands’ latest release Surtur Rising from front to back? With no support, the mighty men from Scandinavia played almost three hours of music to a blood hungry crowd of sweaty men young and old. Much like an Easter Sunday service, the crowd sang along to every word worshiping the band and their every command. My only regret was the fact I was unable to experience it all over again when the group hit Anaheim in August.
When 2011 started, I just assumed TV on the Radio was some over-blown hipster bullshit from Brooklyn. While that is totally correct, that didn’t stop me from falling in love with the group. As I mentioned in the original review, I didn’t even want to go to this show, but the lady had already purchased me a ticket. Then the group became unavoidable. Phish was covering Golden Age and someone I really respect kept posting Will Doto their Facebook wall. By the time I walked into the Bowl, I had not only owned TVOTR on vinyl, but was pumped for the gig. Grouped with other up and coming acts including Warpaint and Arctic Monkey’s – TVOTR’s headline set was a fierce hour of post punk/post hardcore/post indie yet totally original melodies and madness. Your new favorite band of 2005 is my new favorite band of 2011.
I am not a huge Prince fan. Don’t get me wrong the man has some great songs but it’s not something I listen too very often. Yet with 21 shows with most tickets priced at $25 there was no way in hell I was going to miss one of the greatest performers of the last 100 years in my back yard. As much fun as my birthday was with The Purple One in May, when it comes to music this show was one of the greatest I have ever seen no matter what the year is. He played the hits, he got funky with Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham, he performed encores nearly twenty minutes after the house lights came up. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If you live in Southern California and missed this run – shame on you.
It was late 2010 when my pal James and I made plans to have a mini Ween California tour. I would fly to the Bay Area to get brown in Oaktown and he would come back with me to see the brothers Boognish in Los Angeles. From sneaking onto the floor to the sweet mini acoustic set there are just too many high water marks to mention. So instead we will just give a shout out to the hood rat who threatened to kill me on BART after I informed her I was not a drunk, but a drug addict.
As I said last year, as long as I see Phish I will always know what my top show of any given year is. This year I was not only fortunate enough to catch the band four times (so really, the top four shows of 2011 were all Phish), I finally got to see the boys live at The Gorge. It has been a dream of mine to do such a thing since the summer of 1997 and what a magical weekend it was. I could write a novel about the inside jokes of the weekend. From Eel attacks to me learning to open a bottle of beer with a lighter, it truly was one of the best weekends of my life. Oh and the music? All I have to say is Rock and Roll>Meatstick>Boogie On Reggae Woman.
TV on the Radio/Arctic Monkeys/Panda Bear/Warpaint/Smith Westerns 09/25/11
Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
A few months ago my wife called and informed me she had purchased tickets for some hipster-fest at the Hollywood Bowl. As she read the initial lineup, I was forced to swallow down my own vomit. Really, you want me to sit through TV on the Radio, Smith Westerns and someone with Panda in the name who doesn’t play for the San Francisco Giants? To make things worse, I would be surrounded by a bunch of stupid drunk white people with unfortunate upper lip hair and jeggings instead of enjoying week three of NFL action. Then I went on Phish tour and my attitude towards this mini-festival changed faster than you could say Coming At You Like A Ghetto Blaster. In fact dare I say walking into the venue I was as excited for a show as I have been in years.
I wish I could say these Chicago indie rockers brought the roof down, but we all know that would not only be dishonest; it would be in poor taste. Taking the stage at 6pm, the best part of this up and coming bands set was the fact they only played for 15 minutes. Their blend of indie rock meets 1960’s California surf pop was unoriginal and downright dreadful. When you add the fact that they were lost in the empty cavernous venue and drowned out by the sounds of wine corks popping and heated debates over Middle East politics it was the logical time to say hello to friends in other sections and empty the bladder.
You could imagine my shock when I was walking out of the bathroom at 6:20pm and Warpaint was already onstage opening with the song that shares the name of their band. I went running back to my seat as this was the only band that didn’t make me want to vomit when I heard the initial lineup. Where Smith Westerns got lost in the venue, a full year of touring helped the ladies of Warpaint rise to the occasion as their sound filled the hillside venue. Add the fact the hometown crowd was going crazy for songs like “Bees” and “Undertow” and one had to ponder why they were playing before Panda Bear. The four piece closed their oh to brief four song set with a massive run on “Elephants.” The band stretched the number past the ten minute mark and featured a nice jam that would have made Phish proud with its peaks and valleys both in sound and volume. With a huge buzz and touring behind last years The Fool now complete, it seems rather clear that the groups third studio release will blast Warpaint right into the mainstream.
Noah Benjamin Lennox (aka Panda Bear) once told Má Fama radio “I get impatient writing songs, I can’t spend more than a couple of hours before I get frustrated. So I got to kind of spit it out real fast. My favorite songs are the ones where I worked really really fast on, when it comes all out in like two hours or something.” Having sat through 40 minutes of Panda Bear (ok, fine I did make one quick trip to the bathroom) I can tell you this is very true. It would be very easy for me to bash the “experimental” artist (who was joined by Sonic Boom’s Peter Kember) onslaught of noise. Instead I will just say this. Some of the noises created by Panda Bear were pretty damn cool, some of the noises not so much. Check out the clip below (pay close attention as I managed to choke on a chunk of sandwich at one point) and judge for yourself.
I swear to God, I really want to like the Arctic Monkeys. I enjoy the songs “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” and “Fake Tales of San Francisco” from their debut album. I actually purchased their third album Humbug based off the fact that Josh Homme produced it. Yet no matter how hard I try, I become bored after about 30 minutes of Monkey onslaught. Having enjoyed what I was able to hear at Outside Lands earlier this year, I was heading in with an open mind in hopes that this would be the moment where the band would finally win me over. However that was not the case.
Don’t get me wrong, the band sounded tight playing a mix of songs from their four disc catalogue. New numbers like “Brick By Brick” and “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair” sounded great as did classics like “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” and “Crying Lightning.” Some may tell you that Arctic Monkeys stole the show, and judging by the reaction of many in the crowd they may very well be correct. Personally I was bored by the 45 minute mark of the 70 minute set. I give the indie garage band credit for taking a basic sound and adding layers of quirky de-tuned melodies over it. It’s great for a bit, but the simplicity is just not enough to keep me entertained. I still want to like them though, maybe one day that will be the case.
TV On The Radio
We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. TV on the Radio has taught me that you should not judge an indie band from Brooklyn based on the massive amounts of fellatio from critics and hipsters. Fact is I ignored this band for years because they couldn’t be as great as everyone claimed. Then on the evening of August 6th 2011 I stood 15 feet away from my favorite band Phish whose cover of “Golden Age” was one of the highlights of two nights at The Gorge. I quickly realized that the despite the massive chemistry experiment going on within my body that this was a bad ass mamba jamb of a jam and that perhaps the earlier mentioned fellatio for TV on the Radio was well deserved. I came home, began checking out various TV on the Radio tracks and over the course of six weeks became the bands biggest fan.
The group hit the stage at 9pm and opened their brief co-headline set with “Young Liars.” The energy from the band was at 11, which was a shame as the crowds energy was about a 3. That didn’t stop the six men on stage from giving it their all while blessing us with a set heavy on material from their recently released record Nine Types Of Light. “Second Song”, “Will Do” and “New Cannonball Blues” all sounded amazing under the historic band shell. Speaking of the band shell, having watched Phish light guru Chris Kuroda have a blastwith the white walls earlier this summer, it was interesting that TV on the Radio lighting director first used the band shell backdrop to its fullest during “Golden Age.”
It wasn’t just new material that rocked the final non-lease event of 2011 at the Hollywood Bowl. Had it not been for box mates who were rude and angry the entire night, my ass would have been up and dancing for songs like “Dancing Choose” and the eventual set closing “Wolf Like Me.” Punk, dance, world music and funk are just a few of the sounds that encompass the unique sounds of TV On The Radio. While the music truly moved me in more ways than one, it was the message front man Babatunde Omoroga “Tunde” Adebimpe shared during the song “Repetition” As if he was preaching from the pulpit; he stressed the importance of blocking out the darkness that can consume us with light. An important message that sometimes we all need a reminder of, Lord knows I sure did.
Leaving the Bowl on the bus back to Santa Monica, the proper words to describe TV on the Radio live simply were not there. I need to see this band again in a smaller venue with a crowd who truly appreciate what they are capable of bringing to the stage. A truly amazing way to close out what ended up being a rather solid night from some of the brightest rock and roll bands of the last five years.