For any music fan, a song, a melody, a lyrical line captures a personal moment in time. Generationally, music through the ages is also a time capsule of the human condition, our tragedies and triumphs, the bullshit and the heroism. Instant Empire has captured many woes and wiles, bursting out with 10 storyfied songs on Lamplight Lost; moments in melodies that relate to the state of today, some touching on timeless subjects, but all of which was celebrated at the new-and-improved Marquis Theatre on Thursday, July 2.
I went back and watched a video from Cyberfest 2000 yesterday before setting out to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, remembering how taken back I was of that Fresno festival’s eye candy in comparison to the raves I’d attended in San Francisco, from Toon Town and Community in the early 90s until that ‘welcome to the millennium’ party. What was considered a spectacle then seems like strung popcorn on a Christmas tree now in comparison to the sheer awe you experience as the visual landscape of Electric Daisy Carnival’s (EDC) Las Vegas unfolds before your eyes.
It was the the second night of Bonnaroo, and as the sun dipped down the coolness rose, bringing a layer of happiness over the already gitty crowd awaiting Tears for Fears. As the legendary duo and backing band took the stage, shrieks rang through the men and women, young and old, all the way to the back crowd where we were.
When I hear that a band has Britpop leanings, I can’t help but perk up my ears like my dog Sam does when he hears the crackling of a chip bag. It’s the instinctive sound known to deliver the most scrumptious of treats. The DMA’s have indeed lived up to the high bar previously set by Britpop greats before them, including Ride that I saw earlier in the week, and Noel Gallagher, whom I was immensely excited to see at Governors Ball.
Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher in the UK’s Royal Blood were making quite a stir in their home country, but it didn’t take long for their reputation for heavy riffs and larger-than-life live sets to penetrate the states, especially after their shows at SXSW 2014.
The excitement was palpable as fans anticipated Björk's arrival. Conversations in the crowd swirled, "We've actually been to Iceland and been to her house. She wasn't there but her son was," said a guy standing next to me. I had to ask if he'd seen Björk live. "No, this is the first time." As her orchestra took their seats, we all knew it would a mere minute until the Icelandic queen would take the stage. And a conquering command she did take, transformed into a swallowtail butterfly effect of rich velvet and a kaleidoscope of colors that quivered even while she was standing still.
To attend a Palma Violets show is liken to sticking yourself in a large coin-operated clothes dryer along with some random shoes, a few beer cans, some whiskey mixed with a pint of saliva, and pressing ’Start’. It’s quite the ride, and you’ll come out if it disheveled yet blissful and happy (just not Downey fresh). Having heard some of the new songs from Palma Violets third album, Danger In The Club (Rough Trade), back in March at SXSW, this third endeavor follows suit with their previous two releases, being the on-demand version of their live performances.
Wild. An appropriate, one-word review of a Twin Peaks show. Could just leave it at that and let you learn from experience, which I hope you do soon, but feel the need to elaborate just a bit more.
When Django Django first begin to penetrate the earbuds and radio airwaves in 2012 with their debut Default, they did so by storm due to a truly unique twist on song production, style and song. The four-piece’s approach of kitchen sink concepts stirs together tropic urban jungle aesthetics with holiday-on-the-beach ethics, but with the expertise of a seasoned symphony. The result was a massive, halo effect that seemed to come from another planet, figuratively and literally.
It was great to have Carl Barât back in Austin for SXSW, this time with this three bandmates to make up and The Jackals, shooting a firehose of rock and roll over the Latitude 30 crowd. It had been many years since Barât made another Sx appearance with Dirty Pretty Things. On this night the band came through to deliver on the eagerness of their fans, much in the way they did when I caught The Jackals Coventry gig towards the end of last year.