Monday, May 30, 2016

[PHOTOS] Dave Matthews Band at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Maryland Heights, Missouri

ALL PHOTOS BY TIM BOTTCHEN
Dave Matthews Band played its, I don't know, 500th show in the St. Louis area last night -- I think they've managed to play the same venue through all its name changes. And if that isn't staying power, I don't know what is. Please enjoy these photos by Tim Bottchen.









Friday, May 27, 2016

Hangovers and Hangouts: 2016’s Music Festival on the Beach



Written by Elisa Regulski

Growing up in southern Alabama, the smell of boiled peanuts and fried poboys greeted me everywhere I went. Auburn University’s blue and orange flags waved proudly over sandy driveways, and honey-coated drawls often had a twinge of passive aggressive bitterness slip in. Gulf Shores, not surprisingly, mixed up a sentimental cocktail of childhood memories for me. Of course this time my drink included copious amounts of Jack Daniels and Tecate. I was here for Hangout Fest, after all, and this glorified spring break trip included all of the stereotypical party tropes.

The pre-party kicked off with jiggling thighs and bouncing butts at Big Freedia’s ass-worshiping dance party. Maybe it was the sheer adrenaline (or maybe I’ve been slacking on my yoga), but this booteylicious celebration left me drenched in sweat. My reflexes weren’t swift enough to join the stampede of twerkers piling onto the stage, and that’s probably okay. After one fan took off his belt and embarked on a strip tease, I realized that I probably had the better view.

The next day began with the words, “Jason Isbell? Is he some new EDM artist?”

Instead of punching this frat boy in the face, I flashed an insincere smile and whipped out the ultimate Alabama insult: “Oh honey, bless your heart.”

As the aggressive hordes of bachelor parties bumbled their way towards the bass-thumping electronica, the crowds by the surf stage pulled back like low tide. It was their loss, though, because Isbell’s "Cover Me Up" hung in the muggy air as a sobering reminder of what passionate music can do. The woman next to me embraced the emotional deluge and let her salty tears flow.

I sobered up/ I swore off that stuff/ forever this time

The wild cheers that accompanied this line could hardly compete with the raging beat-dropping a few stages over.

Coated in a comforting haze of Americana melodies, I drifted back to my condo for some sweet relaxation. My bed hugged me as I slipped under the clean covers, free from any sand. My midsummer slumber was short-lived, however, when I was awoken by a friend urgently tickling my foot. Eyes groggy and unfocused, I stumbled into the living room to see steaming vomit and blood-soaked sheets. Unsure where he was and what was going on, my friend Andrew sat huddled around trash can, spewing incoherent mumblings.

The ER wasn’t equipped to handle the influx of patients from this weekend. Sick, dehydrated festivalgoers sat in hallways hooked up to IVs. Doctors loudly shouted from rooms about how “all the idiot drunks will be coming this weekend.” Nurses shot judgmental glances at the worried faces that came to check in on their friends.

When Andrew was discharged from his hospital room, he was only greeted with a massive medical bill and a hangover something fierce. No irreparable damage or worrisome medical issues accompanied, thankfully, and he still made it out to see Foals that evening.

Sunday’s massive crowds didn’t bother me, but the parade of misogynistic chanting roaring behind me did. Maybe I’m confused, but I always thought music festivals were a mecca for love, positivity, and acceptance. My exhausted and emotionally drained body couldn’t handle any more negativity, so I spent some quiet hours among the waves and desperately tried to shake it off.

Thankfully, Florence and the Machine are experts in the art of shaking it off, and after this set, my weekend ended with fireworks. Taking advantage of my press pass, I weaved my way to the VIP pool and graciously accepted the beer handed to me. As I danced in the sand and hugged strangers, the entire festival shifted.

People looked each other in the eye and shared brief and intense interactions. I met Carly, who brazenly snuck into the VIP area by carrying a four-foot tall trash can and walking with confidence. I met Steve, a forty-year-old retiree, who, through some insanely lucky connections, manages to score free wristbands to festivals in order to relish in the people-watching. And finally, I met Paul, who works at the Gulf Shores Emergency Room with his husband. From the exhausted and overworked nurses to the facility’s lack of funding, I garnered a newfound respect for those who took care of my friend the day before.

As the song says, the dog days were over, but so was my weekend. A symphony of splashing water erupted in the pool as the fireworks blared. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s anthem gave us our cue to leave, and we reluctantly obliged. So goodbye, sweet home Alabama. I’ll see you next year.

Neil Young Talks Pono, Trump, and GMOs on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert



Never thought I would see a man dressed up in GMO corn telling Neil Young, "old man take a look at your life," but hey, stranger things have happened. Enjoy these clips!





Thursday, May 26, 2016

[Festival Review] Moogfest 2016 in Durham, NC

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Moog Like Rogue, Fest
Words & Photos by James Gilstrap


How many conversations have I had revolving around how to pronounce "Moog"?  Thanks to Moogfest FAQs, I have the knowledge to not sound like a fool.  So begins, the first step in entering my fest of Moog. Let me tell you the rest.


Thursday 19 May, 2016


8PM Dawn of Midi at Carolina Theatre

I couldn't think of a better way to start my festival.  Listening to Dawn of Midi felt like standing on a open field watching an approaching thunderstorm.  Not afraid, you stand there letting the rain piano, thunder bass, and lighting drums wash over you.  At that moment, I knew that Moogfest was going to be dope!


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9PM Julia Holter at Carolina Theatre

There is still a dark cloudy sky left by the last performance.  Not problem for Julia Holter.  Her music punching progressively larger holes filled with golden light.  Endless smiles are what is left.


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10PM Blood Orange at Motorco Park

I didn't know much about Blood Orange other than a few popular tracks from their latest album.  I was definitely excited about seeing them, but never thought it would be the best performance of the entire festival.  Even with a top notch band, Dev Hynes stands out as a true sex god.  The culmination of him ripping on the guitar, breaking out some perfect dance moves, and releasing his smooth voice; had the entire place grinding privates to ass.  I'm pretty sure many babies were made that night.


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11:30PM Miike Snow at Motorco Park

I just want to dance!  Miike Snow let me. They brought this high energy electro pop rock that just took over my body. Many calories were burned during their set.



Friday 20 May, 2016


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1:00 AM Ryan Hemsworth at The Armory

What an incredible DJ set!  The man masterfully controlled wide ranges of tempos across genres -- keeping everyone anxiously on their toes for what was next. NOTE:  Dude markets himself in a perfect manner.  His back drop projection was constant artistic representations of himself or his name.


2:00 PM

Give the non-performance festival activities the ole college try.  This lasts for about 10 minutes before I'm off to pound beers.  LIttle do I know,  drinking was a grave mistake.


4:00 PM

Pounding of beers continue.


6:40 PM

Getting tipsy.


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7:00 PM Professor Toon at Motorco Music Hall

My hip hop side loves a bomb ass beat that moves your body. This was not Professor Toon.  Intelligent deep lyrics perfectly flow with the beat in the back seat just filling gaps.  He had my ear the entire set. Keep an eye on this fella.


7:30 PM

Head to The Pit rooftop for $10 buffet; and proceed to stuff my face with 2 plates of Carolina BBQ with vineagar sauce, BBQ Chicken, and green beans.  Thus begins, the great downward spiral.


8:50 PM Grimes at Motorco Park

I'm 35 and chubby.  Day drinking always wrecks me, but I always seem to forget.  Plus add on 2 pounds of food in my stomach, you do the math. Trying to muster up energy but having difficulty.  Ask anyone, Grimes put on a good show.  You can see this by just looking at the crowd move during her set.  But unfortunately, I had no energy to enjoy her show.  Must keep going.


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10:15PM ODESZA at Motorco Park

The entire crowd is just jumping all around me matching the same high energy of ODESZA's performance as I make errrr sounds.  All energy has completely left the body.  I have become a zombie.


10:45 PM

I raise enough courage to call it quits and head home.  I vow again, to never day drink at a festival.



Saturday 21 May 2016


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3:00 PM Daniel Bachman at First Presbyterian Church

Moogfest picked a perfect venue to hold this man and his gang.  Epic western guitar stories with a perfect back drop of dark wood paneling, large organ pipes, and the holy cross.  I anticipated a rugged cowboy kicking open the doors, shining six shooter hanging loosely at his hip, slowly walking down the center isle, boots clopping on the hard woods with a sharp ding of spurs, stopping in the middle of the church, and saying "Someone owes me 10 thousand pesos."  Daniel barking "I got your money, son" and starts wailing on his guitar.  The cowboy immediately starts doing a two step smiling the entire time.


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4:00 PM Mac McCaughan at Durham Arts Council PSI Theatre

Not reading anything Moogfest wrote about his planned performance, I was caught completely off guard.  My only research was listening to his solo work on Spotify which was completely opposite of this set.  He synthesized an entire slow burn score while strangely costumed dancers moved in odd patterns with props.  Once I relaxed and just let it soak in, my enjoyment increased every minute.  The most unique performance of my Moogfest.


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5:00 PM Julianna Barwick at First Presbyterian Church

Covered in warm stained glass light, standing at the focal point of spiritual energy; Julianna Barwick brought the Holy Spirit to Moogfest.  Everyone perfectly still absorbing her angelic music.  I was very surprised not to see hands raise in praise.


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7:30 PM Gary Numan at Carolina Theatre

Only knowing a few tracks by Gary Numan, I was expecting a very chill and relaxed performance.  Boy was I wrong.  I would have never guessed this man screams electro Rock N Roll.  From the amazing light show, rock god poses, relentless band; I can see why there was a HUGE line. Gary Numan is the total package.


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9:15 PM Son Lux at Motorco Music Hall

Each time Son Lux played a song the masses rejoiced.  Their style pretty much made it impossible not to enjoy.   It reminded me of dubstep mashed with rock.  Entire songs speckled with wonderfully synthesized sounds brief moments of dropping pure crazy.  They definitely kept you on your toes.


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10:15 PM YACHT at Motorco Music Hall

YACHT's pumping 80s electronic dance set the packed Motorco into a frenzy.   Plus Claire L. Evans added stage energy, speaker standing antics, and not to mention her jacket disrobe; add anymore to this pot and risk spontaneous combustion all over the place.  Last thing I wanted to was pick pieces of smelly hipster off my Cole Haan shoes.


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10:00 AM Explosion in the Sky at Carolina Theatre

Every since seeing Explosion in the Sky on Austin City Limits aired on 13 October 2007, I have been a fan in waiting for a chance to see them live.  Finally, the time has come to fulfill a life dream.  I arrived a hour and 30 minutes early to ensure my dream comes true.  Tied with Sigur Rós, there is not one band that can top their ability to create such epic stories minus a vocalist.  You just have to close your eyes and let your imagination create your own vision of the song.  I couldn't have asked for a better set to close my Moogfest.


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Despite some issues, my first Moogfest was amazing.  On top of the fantastic performances, I met a lot of interesting people and had wonderful conversations.  In the end, this is the goal of any festival. Bring all styles of people together to share art.


I've lived in North Carolina since '86 and experienced its slow transition from a quiet to lively character.
Lets hope that Moogfest will continue to grow as a beacon not just for Durham, but North Carolina.

[EXCLUSIVE STREAM] Listen To Joshua Winstead's Solo Debut, 'MMXX'

Photo by Anton Lombardi

You got to believe that love can set you free, baby
You got to believe in love

Today, we're excited to share an exclusive stream of Joshua Winstead's solo debut, MMXX. You can listen to the full album below.

MMXX is an impressive, soulful solo debut for Winstead, who plays bass for the critically-lauded Metric. "One Heart," "Beautiful Prison," and "Games" highlight what is obvious: the 11 songs on MMXX are rich and powerful. It will be available to purchase here on June 3rd.

Listen to MMXX below after you read our interview with Josh.

First -- you have a great voice. How long have you been singing? And who are your favorite singers and songwriters?

First -- Thank you for the compliment.  I have been singing all of my life or at least as long as I can remember.   My family is quite musical and singing was part of my upbringing. I actually think having a good voice starts with the confidence it takes to sing. Most people can sing, very few people are actually "tone deaf”.  Most people aren't comfortable singing in front of other people and that tension can be heard.  It is understandable though singing is a very personal art form, you are literally vibrating your body for others to hear.  You become the song.

Because there have been many great singers, my list could go on for quite a long time. So here is a short list, as quickly as I can think of them, and in no particular order.

Sam Cooke
Nina Simone
Sting
Lauryn Hill
John Lee Hooker
Frank Ocean
Leslie Feist
James Blake
Chan Marshall
David Bowie
Marvin Gaye
Michael Kiwanuka

There is a political component, as you have mentioned, to this album, and, frankly, I love it. What were you thinking about when writing these songs? 

I'm glad you like the political side of the album.  My lyrical thought process tends to revolve around certain points of interest, such as human rights, love, equality and our own attitudes towards these subjects. But I try to include them in stories, I want to shy away from being preachy and stay more to the reflective side.  I understand why and how people can get lost in things like greed, fame, and ego, I’m not perfect and don’t claim to be.  But I do feel like I have an worked on and continue to work on being the best person I can be.  I only want to inspire others to try and do the same.  I was also thinking that my first album needs to concise and in tune with personal beliefs and later I can explore more topics lyrically.

I have read that Metric often likes to take time off between albums/tours (ie, for each band member to have time to reflect). How and when did these songs start to form? Did you talk to Jimmy, Emily, and Joules at all while you were getting ready to record?

The beginnings how and when for each song really depends on which song. Some songs "The Streets" for example is one of the oldest songs written quite a while ago while "A Poison Cup" was written after I considered the album finished.  Music is a nonstop process for me, songs are constantly gestating.  This album isn’t even released and I'm already working on new music.

I definitely talked to Emily, Jimmy and Joules while I was writing and recording. We were all together, some of the recordings were done while we were on tour.  Joules plays on the album, and I did some tracking at our studio in Toronto.  We weren’t necessarily discussing the music itself, but we were always in contact.

Listen to MMXX