When this world, this country we live in is going bat shit crazy, and it’s always going bat shit crazy, laughter is always the best medicine to balance it all out. It’s easy to throw on a TV show for comedic relief, but more and more people are getting their asses off the couch and making it down to their local comedy club. A good thing. Tonight is one occasion to make it out in Los Angeles on a Tuesday: Mike E. Winfield at Laugh Factory in Hollywood.
Capsula from Buenos Aires have become quite the regulars at SXSW, performing from 2008 to 2014, and now again in 2016. The band has their 11th album on the way this year, Santa Rosa.
Bleached may call Los Angeles home, but it doesn’t look like the four-piece will be spending much time in the sunny city in 2016. Jennifer Clavin (vocals, guitar), Jessica Clavin (guitar), Marc Jordan (drums) and Micayla Grace (bass), recently announced a new U.S. tour that starts on the west coast after SXSW and moves east, ending back in their home town on May 5 at the Telegram Ballroom.
Now seasoned veterans of SXSW, Sheffield’s The Crookes return to Austin with treasures in tow: ten brand new tracks that make up their 2016 full-length album, Lucky Ones, which follows Dreams of Another Day EP, released when the band first appeared at SXSW in 2010, Chasing After Ghosts (2011), Hold Fast (2012), and Soapbox (2014).
Conversations around how profitable the festival industry is, and certain festivals in particular, has been ongoing for some time. Yesterday the Las Vegas business publication, Review Journal, took a look at the financials of the Life is Beautiful (LIB) festival. It included a quote I provided business columnist Alan Snel on the commonality of festivals operating in the red, so to speak, in their first three to five years of existance. Life is Beautiful is no different.
There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a thought, an idea, become a thing, a reality. Tucker Gumber, The Festival Guy, has released his book, “The Festival Thrower’s Bible,” on Vendini Press, and I couldn’t be more excited. It was last June at Bonnaroo. Tucker and I were chatting at the Red Light Management party when he told me of this project: a guide to help festival throwers do what they do better. Did I want to contribute? Hell yeah!
Telegram - comprised of singer Matt Saunders, bassist Oli Paget-Moon, drummer Jordan Cook, and guitarist Matt Wood - hails from London, having played together since 2013. That year BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley’s debuted their first single, “Follow,” which quickly catapulted their sound and fan desire.
For a Monday night, the Echoplex in Los Angeles was quite packed out. SWIMM, Florida-to-Los Angeles transplants as of 2015, followed Andy Clockwise, aptly thanking him for the blast-happy performance. It was SWIMM's last night of their residency at the Echoplex, and the two-piece, now expanded to five performers, wrapped it in pure rock and roll style. Even some of the family were in attendance, including the proud mom of lead singer and guitarist, Chris Hess.
The world received a right blow to the soul today on the passing of David Bowie. Although we knew he had suffered from health problems over the years that caused the canceling of performance dates, we were shocked that he’d hidden his battle with cancer for the last eighteen months. That unto itself, that Bowie would choose to focus solely on writing, recording, and producing his last gift to the world in the form of the Blackstar album, versus letting us know of his terminal illness, is not shocking. It is true form Bowie.
Released late last month (November 19th, to be exact), David Bowie's single and accompanying video, "Blackstar," was yet another short story from his endless mind of creativity. The ten-minute journey is expectadly unexpected in story line, visuals, and musical expression; the title track providing an eerie yet exciting glimpse into the forthcoming album due out January 8, 2016.