Modern Sky Festival NYC Live Show Review: A East-West Merge

Started in Beijing seven years ago, the Modern Sky Festival is now one of many big music festivals that take place across China put on by its namesake company, Modern Sky Entertainment. On the weekend of October 4th and 5th, Modern Sky took the plunge into the US market, starting in New York City, where you can’t throw a rock on any given day without hitting some kind of festival.

MORE »

Decibel Festival 2014 Live Show Review: Natasha Kmeto, Rrose, Max Cooper, Richie Hawtin & More

A Decibel Festival 2014 live show review, featuring Natasha Kmeto with Effixx, Max Cooper with dance performances by The Pendleton House Collective, Richie Hawtin, Rrose, Lusine, Soul Clap, Rone, Wolf + Lamb, Steffi, and more from the Pacific Northwest and beyond!

MORE »

Pickathon Festival 2014 Live Show Review (w/ Mac DeMarco, Diarrhea Planet, Parquet Courts & More)

Although bands like Nickel Creek, The Barr Brothers, Shakey Graves and Della Mae hearkened back to the Pickathon Festival’s old style, a surprisingly rock-heavy lineup was the face of the festival’s 2014 version. Bands like The War on Drugs, Foxygen, Mac DeMarco and Brownout/Brown Sabbath were the big draws — but looking back at it, you couldn’t really tell much of a difference in the end. The 2014 version of Pickathon was still the excellently curated, family-friendly (and even more adult friendly) affair that the 2013 Pickathon, and every year before that, was.

MORE »

Northside Festival 2014 Recap: The War On Drugs, Woods, Vulture Shit, Juan Wauters, More!

2014 marks the sixth year of Northside Festival, which is a three-day barrage of shows, both free and pay, across Brooklyn venues. On an annual basis, Northside does a nice job of including a range of up-and-coming bands across all genres in addition to the heavy hitters. Our favorites this year include some bands that are popular names on the indie tip right now, along with some garage rock staples.

MORE »

GOAT Live Show Review (Neumo’s, Seattle)

Here is a quick summary of GOAT, and the story is meant to be taken with as many grains of salt as possible. GOAT originally hail from Korpilombo, Sweden, from a community that has a history of voodoo worship. At various times, the incarnation of GOAT has lived on for 30 or 40 years amongst members of this village, and now, the current incarnation of GOAT contains three members from Korpilombo, augmented by a few folks from Gothenburg. All bands need good stories, and GOAT’s is one of the better ones. A quick Google search of Korpilombo and voodoo yields nothing but GOAT-related results. Combine this wonky backstory with the fact that live, the members of GOAT all wear cloaks

MORE »

La Femme Live Show Review (Austin, TX & Portland, OR)

Lucky me; I’ve managed to see the French electro-surf-punk band La Femme twice in the past month! Touring the States following the release of their insane new 15-track deluxe album, Psycho Tropical Berlin, La Femme are a Parisian six-piece that encompass the city’s stereotypes in a most playful manner, while riffing equally off other cultural stereotypes. One finds this most apparent in their fashion sense, which sometimes includes the donning of cowboy hats and American flags right alongside dainty neck scarves and tourist t-shirts of Paris. When I caught them in Austin during SXSW 2014, La Femme were exceptionally stylish and fresh-faced, rocking a 1:00am slot at The Iron Bear, a gay bar for bears. That particular set was almost

MORE »

Golden Retriever, Litanic Mask, Valet, Pinhead in Fantasia Live Show Review

There has always been a divide between the daytime and the night — a war between Saturday night and the Sunday morning penitents. Since the beginning of time, people have gathered in caves and juke joints and space stations to dance and dream and make believe in dim light. It makes it hard to wake up in the morning, and do what we’re told, but it’s important. We can’t ALL fall in line — what a boring, beige reality! On this Sunday night, near the bowels of industrial SE Portland, four very different and special noisemakers gathered to lead a black-clad audience into four very different worlds. From tropical fantasy, to a tent in Marco Polo’s desert, to a freeway

MORE »

Wire, Helmet Live Show Review (Portland, OR)

This evening, the spirit of the ’60s seems alive and thriving in the Crystal Ballroom. You can sense the remnants of bands like New Riders Of The Purple Sage or The Byrds, as you set foot upon the legendary bouncing dancefloor. It is a grand West Coast ballroom, in the tradition of the Fillmores; there’s an epic chandelier, worthy of the Phantom Of The Opera, and Renaissance paintings al fresco on the walls. It’s a classy place to see a real rock n’ roll show. I don’t know what it is about these ballrooms, but they always seem primed to go off. Maybe it’s because they were designed for getting down, with wide open wooden dancefloors and killer sound systems.

MORE »

Austra Live Show Review (Berlin, Germany)

Austra’s two sold out shows in Berlin are expressive of the band’s massive appeal in a city that thrives upon innovative music programming, anachronisms of the 1980s, and advocation for LGBT acceptance. Touring behind the sophomore album Olympia, an effort that features all of the aforementioned three, Katie Stelmanis and company delivered a set of darkly emotional synthpop that did not disappoint either night.

MORE »

Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit 2013 Festival Live Show Review (Asheville, NC)

Moogfest took a break this year in order to regroup, change promoters and pick itself up out of the brisk air of autumn and move itself to the promising days of spring (it will be held April 25-27 in 2014). Into its silent void flowed Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, a three-day electronicaganza (promoted by Bonaroo-bringers, AC Entertainment) that delivered a variety of both big-name acts and up-and-comers. The gigs were held in various venues throughout the city, which helped create different pools of mood you could dive into and out of throughout the weekend, from the stadium-like Exploreasheville.com Arena (formerly the Civic Center) and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium (both of which comprise the US Cellular Center—confused yet?) to the intimate and indie-feeling Asheville Music Hall.

MORE »

CMJ Music Marathon 2013 Live Show Review & Festival Recap: Caveman, Grandchildren, Porcelain Raft, Speedy Ortiz, More

CMJ Music Marathon 2013 yet again saw a convergence of hundreds of bands and thousands of fans on the clubs of the Lower East Side, East Village, and Williamsburg in New York City. Coincidentally, many of the bands we were most looking forward to were female-fronted (Speedy Ortiz, Eternal Summers, Hunters), and they did not disappoint. While times have certainly progressed, female-fronted bands still have something to prove, and it was good to see several super-talented guitar players and songwriters, as well as singers and performers, show themselves to be just as good as their male counterparts. All-dude groups Caveman and Grandchildren both had solid performances that left me with a good “I-discovered-something-cool-at-CMJ” feeling as well, and electropop groups were

MORE »

Symbiosis Gathering 2013 Live Show Review: The Coup, Mount Kimbie, Lynx & More

With an emphasis on the magic of transformation, Symbiosis Gathering 2013 provided an enchanted space of bio-psycho-spiritual healing, environmental and sociocultural conscious learning, and a unique source of musical inspiration. Among the many loved and soon-to-be loved artists was the powerful voice of Lynx, the free-flowing explorations of Mount Kimbie, and the ever-passionate words of The Coup.

MORE »