Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sasquatch 2011 Post-Mortem Part I

Holy fucking shit that was amazing.

It can’t get much better than that, can it? Coachella’s spreading out to two weekends next year, though it’s the same acts playing both weekends. Lolla’s in Chicago, which, while beautiful, is no Gorge, and seems to get more poppy every year. Bonnaroo? It’s in Tennessee. Come on.

Sasquatch is the Northwest music scene almost perfectly personified, and always seems to find acts that are awesome just before they become huge (Zach Galifiniakis was in a comedy tent in 2000, Mumford & Sons played last year, Fleet Foxes stopped by in 2008, Brandi Carlile came by in 2003, as did Death Cab for Cutie, the list goes on…). It’s eclectic and awesome. And that’s why it works.

So with that, here are the artists I saw:

FRIDAY

Rival Schools

  • Location: Standing Second Row Center, Left Side, Bigfoot Stage
  • Time: Around 4:00 PM
  • Performance: This was the first time I had heard Rival Schools’ music, much less seen them play, and I was quite impressed, despite the lead guitarist’s heavy emphasis on a chorus pedal that mostly fits, but at times is intrusive. Their stage presence was passable. However, there were some issues with their mix (the rhythm guitar was drastically lower than it should have been) and the singer seemed to tire over time.
  • Overall: B — No major fuckups, good guitar work, decent stage presence (the singer/rhythm guitarist really kicked ass up there), and good songs. Solid start to the festival.
  • Song to listen to (SoundCloud): Rival Schools – “Wring It Out”

Biffy Clyro

  • Location: Standing Front Row Center, Left Side, Bigfoot Stage
  • Time: Approx. 5:10
  • Performance: I was hooked on the banner. Before anything, their banner that backed the stage was full of graphic design minimalist awesomeness. Then they came out and played songs. Wow. Like Rival Schools, I had never heard (or even heard of) them before this show, and the Scottish bastards blew me away. Shirtless, tattooed, and ridiculously tight, their music knew exactly how to push every dynamic button. When they slowed down, it was awesome, when they sped up, it was glorious. Heavy to light and back again, UK rock vets Biffy Clyro blew me away. Even their harmonies were pitch-perfect (being a choir nerd who SO APPRECIATES THESE THINGS), which is unusual for such a loud, heavy band. That’s what comes from 15 years of playing clubs in the UK. You really learn how to listen. The songs were well-written and the stage presence was almost perfect. They could compete with the best on any stage.
  • Overall: A- — I would give them an A here, but there was just something missing. That one epic moment that defines their music. Maybe that was due to the fact that I didn’t know them all that well, but even so. Still an awesome act.
  • Song to Download: Who’s Got A Match: iTunes

Against Me!

  • Location: Standing, Outskirts Left Side, Bigfoot Stage
  • Time: Approx. 6:15
  • Performance: They were very good. Tough to follow Biffy Clyro and be very good, but they were. However, their set seemed to drag on and the songs started to run together a bit, with many of the same themes running through their songs (mostly about youth and anarchy), and again, being unfamiliar with their music might be deterring me here, but I just couldn’t get into them as much as Biffy.
  • Overall: B+ — Great energy on stage, some really excellent songs (see below), but just not where Biffy was in terms of tightness and precision.
  • Song to download: Against Me! – I Was A Teenage Anarchist (iTunes)

Death From Above 1979


  • Location: Standing, Right Outskirts Floor, Mainstage
  • Time: Approx. 8:05
  • Performance: I was really looking forward to this show, as DFA 1979 holds the claim to fame of being, well, a really excellent Drum & Bass band that set up the opportunities that bands like Japandroids (who are much better musically than some people give them credit for) have today. However, their show was just OK. Nothing special. No great stage presence, and the vocalist/drummer seemed as if he was just going through the motions.
  • Overall: B- — While I’m sure it would still appeal to hardcore DFA fans, it just didn’t click for me.

Foo Fighters

  • Location: Standing, Middle-Right Floor, Mainstage
  • Time: Approx. 9:30 PM
  • Performance: Well, they’re the Foo Fighters. You expect greatness, and greatness is what you get, even if every song has endless solos and false endings and unpredictable dynamic fluctuations worthy of a seismograph. At any other show, this would be intolerable. But the Foo Fighters are just too ridiculously good. You can’t stop paying attention because the second you do, they’ll blow your mind again. I found THAT out when I looked up at the woman flashing her boobs behind me in the crowd (though, to be fair, my mind was exploding either way). Dave Grohl is funny and perfect with a Washington crowd (he made a point of mentioning that all but the drummer, the ridiculously impressive Taylor Hawkins, wore flannel).
  • Overall: A- — Dave Grohl, along with his spectacular crew, including outstanding drummer Taylor Hawkins, delivered a night to remember. Nothing short of excellence, as is to be expected.
  • Song to download: Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench (iTunes)

That was Friday, I’ll have Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for you soon.


Spread the Loudness: Fresh video!

Behold the power of dubstep. It’s the Friday before a holiday weekend, and most folks are preparing to have a good time.

“Louder” – DJ Fresh (Doctor P & Flux Pavilion Remix)


“I’ll Be Yours”- Those Dancing Days

There’s nothing groundbreaking or unique about their music, but that doesn’t meant they can’t make some of the best Danceabilly-Indie-Pop on the planet, and they do it in bountiful amounts. For their second album “Daydreams & Nightmares” they still maintain that optimistic and upbeat approach to their music, filling nearby air with colours and shapes and twirly synths and all things smiley. One day, I’ll have to come visit Sweden and just track all these foreign bands down and thank them for providing my senior year with a tremendous amount of music to dance and sing along to (with hopes of many more of those moments to come in the future).

As much as I would love to provide a link to download the song, I can’t help but rebuff that notion. This song is absolutely worth dropping 99 cents on itunes for. It’s a kind of song to get you started for the day, listen to on a late summer night, and everything in between!


“Always Spring”- I’m from Barcelona

I'm from Barcelona

I have a habit of posting about artists that appear to be from country A but in reality is actually from country B (Example: https://lifeafternirvana.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/introducing-high-highs/ ) . Old habits die hard, so imagine the big surprise when I looked up the band I’m from Barcelona, who I’ve come to realize is not from Barcelona. They formed in Sweden. This band is a BIG band, not in terms of popularity, but due to the sheer size of members in the band. Take a look for yourself: http://www.imfrombarcelona.com/?page_id=25. My relationship with this band is a little mixed, as I enjoy their songs like “Get in Line”, but I can not fully embrace them because of the content of their lyrics lack muster. With their recent release “Always Spring”, the band doesn’t exactly solve that quibble,  with stanzas like –I wanna be yes, I wanna be no, I want it all ya know. However, this doesn’t downgrade the quality of this song too much, because the instrumental sound evokes a glorious sense of joyful abandonment, especially with the combination of handclaps, piano, and xylophones (?).

Check out their soundcloud to get this download for free!

http://soundcloud.com/imfrombarcelona/im-from-barcelona-always


Introducing – Mathieu Santos

No, not this guy:

(feat. Matthew Santos)

And no, not this guy either:

From "The West Wing"

THIS Mathieu Santos is the bassist for Ra Ra Riot. And his solo stuff has just hit the blogosphere. This is the first single from his debut album (to be released on vinyl[!] in addition to the usual stuff on Barsuk Records).

It has a bouncy, bass-driven feel, as it should. I like the production–hi-fi and unapologetically so, with loads of neat, experimental Matrix-esque loops–and the well-dynamicized percussion elements that Santos inserts. Santos’ voice is also nothing to scoff at; and the reverb effect, while annoying at times, really does fit the track. The organ helps create an underlying connecting thread that lasts throughout the piece. It’s short and sweet, running about 2:36, and could be a good dance floor tune at a hipster party. Enjoy!

Mathieu Santos – “I Can Hear The Trains Coming”


In Which I’m Pretty Sure There’s A Switch That Turns His Balls On And Off

If you don’t scream “Holy Shit!” out loud, in front of your mother, at 1:01, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

I know I’m 4 years late to the party, with almost 24 million views tallied up. But still, for a live take, it’s TREMENDOUS how on pitch this guy is.


“Success”- Cookin Soul

presskit

Welcome, welcome ladies and gents! It has come to my attention that there has been a considerable gap of time since I last posted, and so I have come to rectify this wrong with the presentation with an absolutely killer track. I’ve always been a big mash-up fan, and I have stocked up some wonderful songs from the best mash-ups. Let’s start with the first one, shall we? In this track by producer Cookin Soul, we got a collaboration between two kings of music. We got the King of Rock, Elvis, laying down a classy, rocking beat while the King of Hip-Hop, Jay-Z evokes endless amounts of swag (It’s overused I know, but please allow me to use it once. Call it my quota for the month) with his lyrics. In case you ever wondered what Jay-Z sounds like on top of Elvis Presley, here it is. And might I just say, damn, I’ve never loved music so much.

Note: Ignore the background of the video, focus on the music baby!

Hit up this link to find the download for this song http://www.earmilk.com/2011/05/16/mashup-monday-week-24/