The Woodstock 50 lineup is here!

woodstock50 poster

The much hyped Woodstock 50 lineup is finally out and overall, it’s not too bad. There are actually a few bands that I would love to see including Miley Cyrus (yes, really!), Santana, Portugal the Man, Soccer Mommy, Jay Z, Courtney Barnett, Earl Sweatshirt, Cherry Glazerr, and The Zombies, who absolutely killed it when I saw them at Austin Psych Fest in 2014!! But uhh…eff Imagine Dragons and their giant drum.

I’m really giving some serious thought to going, but it’s suddenly becoming tough to decide on which festivals to go to this year.

Woodstock 50 takes place at Watkins Glen, NY on August 16, 17, and 18th. Tickets go on sale on 4/22/19.

Review: Gravel, Kal Marks, CreaturoS, Nice Guys at the Middle East Upstairs 1-28-2016

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It has been a while since I’ve gone out to a show, and after what can only be described as a shitty week (avoid working for big pharma if you can!), I really needed this. So it was off to Alewife where I caught the red line to the Middle East Upstairs in Central Square. I got there kind of early and the place already had a pretty big crowd, especially for a weeknight show. Gravel were up first.

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Gravel

Gravel are from Salem, MA and have a riot grrrl/punk rock sound. They seemed to be having fun on stage, with the lead singer jumping down into the crowd a couple of times and creating a mini mosh pit. I really liked this band a lot!

After their set, I went over to the bar to get a Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, which tasted amazingly awesome!

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Kal Marks

Kal Marks were up next as more and more people filtered in. It has been a while since I’ve seen these guys and they didn’t disappoint. After a broken guitar string during the first song, the band played some cool funk jams. Once the string was replaced, the band played an intense set of music that at times, built up into a frenzy of noise and screaming then come right back down again.

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CreaturoS

With another Hoponius Union in hand, I made my way back through a pretty large crowd and found a spot off to the side to see CreaturoS. They played a really good set of psychedelic garage rock and everyone around me was really into it.

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Nice Guys

Nice Guys were the final band of the night. They started off by playing songs from their new WSM EP cassette, which is really good, as well as some of their older stuff. Things got pretty insane during the set with a few mosh pits breaking out and a few people braver than me crowd surfing. Beers and cups were thrown at the band (in a good way as the band said it only made them stronger), but I’d like to thank the douchebag standing in front of me for covering me in beer when he thought that throwing a full can at the band would be a good idea. Regardless, this was a really fun, crazy set!

This was a much needed night out and a really fun show despite getting covered in beer. All of the bands were great and I had a pretty good time. I stopped by Falafel Palace for a delicious falafel wrap, then caught the train back to Alewife, and called it a night.

Review: Typical Girls, Zettajoule, Esposa at Empire Control Room in Austin 12-13-2015

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Since I was visiting Austin to do some apartment hunting for a possible move, but feeling kind of burnt out on it, I decided to go out to a random show and see some bands while I was there. After finding a parking spot and walking about 3 blocks, I ended up at Empire Control Room in the Red River district for a free local show. I had been here before, but never for a show. The layout is pretty cool, with a bar in one room, the stage in another smallish room, and an outdoor area with picnic tables to hang out and get some air. I got there too late to see Concrete Shoes and Typical Girls were already well into their set.

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Typical Girls

I only caught the last three songs Typical Girls set but I really liked them. This 5 piece band is from San Marcos, Texas had a really nice dream pop sound and reminded me a bit of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness. I really wished I had gotten there earlier to see their whole set because the two EP’s they have up on Bandcamp are really good!

I went over to the bar and ordered a Live Oak Hefeweizen, which I really enjoyed, and took a seat at a picnic table in the outside area for a while as Zettajoule was getting set up.

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Zettajoule

Zettajoule are a quartet from Austin. With singer Meggan Carney up front and center on the keyboards, the band sounded great! It’s a little hard to pinpoint their sound exactly, with some songs having shrieks, the music was a little poppy, a little indie rock, but they were definitely fun and very appreciative of the crowd that ventured out on a Sunday night to see a show. At one point, there were lasers that seemed to hug everyone in the crowd, with more than a few people reaching out to try to touch them. It was very trippy and really cool! They also have a couple of tracks on Bandcamp that are definitely worth checking out.

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Esposa

With a table full of drum machines and other equipment set up on the stage, Esposa were the final band of the night. I’m not really sure how to describe this duo’s sound other than they had a mellow electronic R&B kind of sound and reminded me a little bit of Grimes. It was a pretty chilled out way to end the night.

It’s always fun to go out to a random show in a different city. There were some really good local bands playing this show and I had a good time. If I end up moving to Austin, I will definitely try to see any of these bands again.

Austin Psych Fest – Day One – 4-26-2013

After about 4 hours of sleep, I got up and made my way to the Starbucks next door for some much needed caffeine. There was a cool little Mexican place next to the Starbucks where I grabbed some lunch as well (it was really good). After eating, I made my way over to the Hampton Inn next door to catch the festival shuttle to Carson Creek Ranch. Running this shuttle was, for the most part, one of the best ideas of the weekend. There were quite a few people waiting to get on, but the majority of us made it. I ended up standing next to Josh from Flavor Crystals, a band I kept inadvertently running into from the airport, to their show at Red 7, and now. We chatted for a bit as we walked into the festival grounds, where you could hear music playing in the distance.

Walking through the parking lot.The Reverberation Stage

Walking through the parking lot and the Reverberation Stage

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Ride into the Sun

After showing my wristband and walking in, the first thing I noticed was the Reverberation Stage, which is also the main stage and largest at the festival. Ride Into The Sun were already playing and their music was more like 60’s rock than psychedelic, at least to me, but was really good. I watched them for a bit, then moved on to get a mental map of where everything was. Walking straight across the field, there was a large tent set up near the camping area, which was called the Levitation Stage and was the only covered area for seeing bands. This was also the smallest of the three stages. Inside the tent, Gary War was playing, which was just one guy shredding on a guitar and creating a lot of loud noise to a curious crowd.

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Gary War

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Bass Drum of Death

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Tjutjuna

I went over to one of the drink tents to grab a Dos Equis beer. Unfortunately, this was the only beer being served all weekend, so that kind of sucked (and I overheard many people complaining about it). Cold beverage in hand, I went back to the Reverberation Stage and watched Bass Drum of Death for a little bit, who were kind of garage rock. From there, it was off to the Elevation Ampitheatre, which had a pretty cool location right on the Colorado River and made for a great backdrop with the river and trees behind it. The only downside was that a lot of the bands would end up getting blown out from the much louder Reverberation stage where the sound would come right down to this stage. When I got there, Tjutjuna were playing droning music and had 2 drummers on stage. They were actually pretty cool.

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Besnard Lakes

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Vietnam

As I wandered by the main stage again, Besnard Lakes were now playing. They sounded pretty good, so I watched them for a little bit. I grabbed another beer as I made my way back down to the Elevation stage to see Vietnam, whose 70’s rock sound was a bit different than the other bands I already saw. A couple of people decided to go swimming in the river behind the stage, and who could blame them, it was pretty hot out. After hanging out in this area for a while, I moved back to the Levitation tent, which was really packed, to check out Lumerians who had some cool visuals behind them. On my way out of the tent, I was kind of creeped out by an old guy sitting with his legs wide open, in shorts, off to the side in the back of the tent…gross.

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Tinariwen

Up next were Tinariwen, who come from desert area of northern Mail and were one of the bands that I really wanted to see. Dressed in traditional Middle Eastern robes and playing music to match, this was one of the more interesting bands of the weekend and they definitely lived up to my expectations based on everything I’ve head about them. The fairly large crowd was really into it as well. I then went over to check out Suuns, but I wasn’t really feeling the music. I guess they were just a bit too experimental for my tastes, but there was a huge crowd packed into the tent.

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Tamaryn

As the sun was going down, I went back to the Elevation stage to see Tamaryn, another band I had been wanting to see for a while. With pink hair that could be seen from wherever you stood, Tamaryn played their sort of mellow shoegaze with the river behind the stage making for nice scenery to go with the music.

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Warpaint

The night sky had taken over Carson Creek as Warpaint took to the main stage. This a band I first saw AS220’s Foo Fest in 2010 and one of my indie music crushes. I don’t know if it was because of more touring experience or the bigger stage and louder speakers or perhaps, just the atmosphere of the festival, but they sounded soo much more powerful than the last time I saw them and seemed to have a great stage presence. They ended with Emily Kokal doing a solo song on the massive stage, which was pretty amazing!

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The Soft Moon

I went over to see some of The Soft Moon‘s set who were playing in the nearby Levitation tent. They seemed to have more energy than when I saw them in Cambridge a few months ago. Lead singer/guitarist Luis Vasquez looked like he was having a good time, moving around the stage and rocking out with the guitar while playing their dark and noisy electronic music.

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The Raveonettes

Next were The Raveonettes, who I finally got to see live and they did not disappoint with their fuzzy 60’s style rock! I still need to see them in a smaller venue at some point though. I went over to the Levitation tent to check out the Silver Apples and uh…yeah…no. Were those kids songs? What the hell was that? Songs about “magic fingers”? Meh. Off to wander around for a bit until Black Rebel Motorcycle Club go on.

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club finally went on at the main stage. This was my first time seeing these guys and they were great! With guitars blaring through the speakers, you could hear them pretty much anywhere you went at the ranch. Starting right off with their excellent cover of The Call’s “Let the Day Begin”, the energy level never went down. Wearing a hoodie with a leather jacket over it, singer Peter Hayes sounded good!

At this point I was pretty tired and ready to call it a night, but first I went over to the tent to see Acid Mothers Temple for a couple of songs, because I had always wanted to see them.

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Acid Mothers Temple

Acid Mothers Temple played weird, chaotic and droning music. I thought I’d be more into them, but maybe I was just beat, so I started to make my way back to the shuttle during their set. I walked by the main stage just as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were finishing up, hoping to catch the shuttle back to my hotel before the crowds got there. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I arrived to a very long line of people who were waiting. This actually turned out to be a good chance to meet some people. There was the crazy dude who doesn’t hold back from Tuscon, a couple from Denver, and 2 girls from Vancouver. There is nothing like an event to bring people together and give you all something in common to talk/bitch about. At least we kept each other entertained while waiting for close to an hour and a half for the shuttle. Some people were resorting to thumbing a ride back. I really hope next year that the Psych Fest runs more shuttles.

The night ended with me bypassing the Waffle House next to the hotel and grabbing some junk food at 7-11, where there was a lady laying in the parking lot and an ambulance was just arriving. I’m not sure what happened there, but this was definitely a long, crazy, and eventful day. I’m wondering how I’m going to make it through this weekend, but it was a great first day.

Boston Finally Gets A Music Festival Of Its Own…Boston Calling!

Boston Calling 2013 Poster

It’s about time Boston got a music festival of its own. Boston Calling is a brand new festival that will take place at Boston City Hall Plaza on May 25 and 26th. The lineup looks pretty decent with The Shins, Matt and Kim, Cults, MS MR, The National, Young The Giant, Youth Lagoon, and Caspian. The only downside is that the god awful and extremely boring fun. are headlining.

It does bring up the question of why are there only 2 Boston based bands on the lineup though. Maybe next year, there can be a second stage featuring more local bands.

Early bird tickets are on sale now for $120 for a weekend pass when using the code BOSTON.

Boston Calling 2013 lineup:

Saturday, May 25

Fun.
The Shins
Marina and the Diamonds
Matt and Kim
Portugal. The Man
Cults
MS MR
St. Lucia
Bad Rabbits

Sunday, May 26

The National
Of Monsters and Men
Young the Giant
Andrew Bird
The Dirty Projectors
Ra Ra Riot
The Walkmen
Youth Lagoon
Caspian

Hullabalou what??

After much anticipation and attempting to make my summer 2010 festival plans, I took a look at the lineup for the 1st annual Hullabalou Music Festival which will be at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY from July 23rd – 25th. Only a few days into 2010 yet and this very well may be the worst festival lineup of the year. Let’s take a look at what the $165 3 day pass will get you (keeping in mind that more bands are to be announced):

Day 1:
Bon Jovi – That’s your big headliner?
The B52’s should at least be up there in a headlining spot.
Richard Marx – Didn’t he die a couple of years ago? Oh wait, that was Robert Palmer. I always get those two mixed up.

Day 2:
Kenny Chesney – The big headliner of the day. I guess I can understand this as Louisville seems more of a country kind of region and he plays to that.
Michael McDonald – One of two reasons I would actually go. Gotta love What a Fool Believes!
War – The second reason I would go to this festival.
Joan Osborne – Why?

Day 3:
Dave Matthews Band – Headliner of day 3. The question here is…which festivals are they *not* playing?
Zac Brown Band – Listed as another headliner…umm…who???
Steve Miller Band – Is this “let’s only have bands with the word “band” in their name” day?
Kansas and 38 Special – I think these two bands tour together like, always.

Here are some reason why one would actually attend this:

It’s going to be absolutely crap-tac-ular!
The abundance of overweight, 40 year old women with big hair and stretch marks longer than the track at Churchill Downs.
You really dig the smell of horse.

I think it will be interesting to see how this festival ends up doing and hope for an even more hilarious lineup for 2011.