concert recall

jacob-avanzato final global eclipse gathering photo web size

FULL POST

Oregon Eclipse

 

Play.

 

When 30,000 people from across the globe trek to a singular spot in Oregon for the purpose of being humbled by the Totality of our Cosmos, a game ensues. A game of patience, accents, endurance, festivity, intention, and organic connection. Over the course of August 16-23, Oregon Eclipse’s world-spanning hosts put on a week-long gathering that, at its heart, was a test of what humanity can strive to become. Big Summit Prairie in Oregon turned into a veritable “prairie of Babel” by which people could see, touch, hear, share, and deeply experience artistry and knowledge from all over the planet. With the abundance, subject, and quality of music, yoga, speaker series topics, art, workshops, it might as well have been a peace rally. The Gaslamp Killer’s rather political remarks sure made it feel that way.

 

 

 

 

 

With any global endeavour of cooperation, traditions, ethics, and work mentality always come into play. It was clear that Global Eclipse had to deal with the same. The event was still being built as we arrived on Wednesday and work continued throughout the week. It took us 8 hours to get in. (Burning Man waits, anyone?) Attractions like the MOVA and Eclipse stage were built during festival hours. But as with any experience like those our hosts put on, random pop-up attractions are the norm and so it quickly became passable considering the amount of enchantment already in place. One thing is for certain: the attention to detail at this festival remains unmatched. Affirmations, gift baskets, art pieces hidden about the festival, themed troupes (space fairies, sun-children, and swamp monsters!), and the delicate design from stages to booths to signage markers – color schemes and themes are important! – made it truly evident this was not some “Fyre-ready” excuse for not being fully up and running come showtime. Rather, a deep care for making sure things were experienced properly.
It bears repeating that this event was not backed by corporate sponsorship.

 

 

 

 

Nearly every other person we talked to came from a different corner of the world. Our camp of over 60 people represented 6 countries in itself. And the new friends we made inside the event made up for the rest. While the lack of cell service definitely added an aura of stress – it was a mission all its own to find people – it was refreshing to have so sharp a digital disconnect. Not being constantly bombarded with the trouble brewing around the world for a week really put life into perspective. At the same time, reducing the fest to its own human creativity efforts made for some resourcefully improvised message boards, meaningful chance encounters, and clever meet-up strategies. In this itself it is clear: people will always find a solution.

 

 

 

 

As far as music goes, there was something for everyone. Every act we saw had their own unique flavor and the top of their game in check. Standouts include Audley, The Polish Ambassador, Charlesthefirst, Machinedrum, STS9, Antibalas, Justin Martin (more Drum and Bass, please!), System 7, The String Cheese Incident, The Gaslamp Killer, OPIOU, Patrice Bäumel, Nico Stojan, CloZee, EPROM, LOUD, Nicola Cruz’s Sunrise, Mortisville, William Close, and Madmotormiquel. Even with the quality of the billed acts, music all about at the festival was a given – The Sym-bi-oat, the Guayaki Tent, the Traveling Bug Car, the Silk Road side stage, and the Astro-Slide had their own special following all week. There was music everywhere and that’s the way we like it (yes, even the endless Sun Stage Psytrance blasting into our campsite – what would we do without a beat to put us to sleep?). P.S. props to the people who by the end of the week had literally set up camp right at the Sun Stage.

 

 

 

 

And then there was everything else; which, while “everything else”, was definitely not to be taken lightly. From classes on googly-eyed booty twerking at the Dance Shala; to unleashing the kundalini serpent at the Yoga Shala; to walking the path of a healer at The Shrine of the Cosmos; to developments toward an environmentally stable world, edible landscaping, and free apple trees at The Permaculture Plaza; to Sensory Speed Dating with Guerrilla Science; to the Liminal Caravan full of mystic odds and ends and altars; to the Roadkill Saloon’s Westworld theatrics; to sound healing opportunities at the Wellness Oasis and throughout the festival; to family-friendly (and actually really fun) fun at Kidzbiosis, to chiropractor sessions, haircuts, and B12 shots outside The Silk Road; to learning how to eat for your soul at The Nourishment Lab; to native practices in sustainability with 1Nation Earth; to Android Jone’s 360-videography and VR Dome; to the most intricate and detailed art at the MOVA (with the added bonus of meeting and signing with The Greys); to Shamanic ceremony instructions with the Village Witches; to the Fringe Theater’s all-are-welcome talent shows; to martial arts and functional movement training at the Play Zone; to free drawing and unleashing creativity at the Art Temple; to poignant discussions of current paradigms at The Hub and The Parlor; to delectable and healthy treats from all the food vendors (shoutout Killa Dilla!); the organizers of Oregon Eclipse made sure there were ample offerings available for anyone looking for a respite from being caught up in the spontaneous dancing dust and fleet-footed spirits.

 

 

 

 

Yet, what truly stood out to us were the multiple talks we stepped in on that discussed giving up individual ownership and giving in to the sharing economy. Some highlighted simple topics from sharing wi-fi and cable with your neighbors (why not reduce everyone’s costs?) to complex topics of how a sense of individuality creates a need to defend “what is mine” and the anxiety, violence, and fear it creates. Instead, what would it take to truly understand we don’t bring any of it with us when we pass? As we have grown through the years of going to Transformational Gatherings, the talks and interactive art have taken more hold of our time. It has become evident that music is a leading complement to inspiring these deeper connections to community and what type of world we can create if we merely pay attention.

 

 

 

 

Lest we forget the Eclipse, those two minutes of totality were breathtaking to say in the least. Having an entire tribe of people gather at the Sun Temple was an experience in itself (music and art and festivities and “everything else” were just icing on the cake). Several marriage proposals beneath the diamond ring effect brought tears to our eyes. Or maybe it was being surrounded by a family of like-minded individuals whom we’d only ever probably meet a fraction of. Meeting under this cosmological rarity really brought home the idealization of what it is to be human – despite our distances and differences we are indeed “All One”, hurtling through space. The call for unity has long since passed. We sensed it in the prairie among us, and we sense it now at home; we are ready for change and Oregon Eclipse has stoked our fire to seek it out. Or rather, create it. Now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

crssd2016_1001_143106-2466_flg

FULL POST

Over the last few years, I’ve come to consider CRSSD Festival one of my most looked forward to events all year. The bi-annual San Diego shindig boasts one of the most unique festival atmospheres and music curations on the planet. The Waterfront Park is the perfect setting for the 2-day, 3-staged, 21+ weekend long event. Views of the water, gorgeous sunsets, pirate ships, and a smorgasbord of gourmet food and microbrews all combine to make one of the best music festivals in the country. Here’s my recounting of one of the best weekend I’ve had in a long while.

 

 

After entering the festival I bee-lined it straight to the City Steps stage to check out my man Brodinski; the hip-hop and techno don threw down a heavy set, weaving in and out of every transition from banging techno to dirty south hip-hop with ease and flair. Up next was San Francisco’s own Matrixxman who played a booming hard techno set that set my eardrums a blaze and had me headbanging harder than metalheads at a Pantera concert. After scarfing down some delicious tri-tip, I caught Louis the Child’s set at sunset. The young tikes did not disappoint as they perfectly captures the sunset’s balearic mood and then got much darker and heavy once night fell. It’s refreshing to know these two boys from Chicago are killing the game right now in an otherwise saturated future bass scene.

 

The illustrious DJ Harvey was up next. I did not know much about Harvey coming into Saturday but I left amazed at the man’s knack for finding obscure old school disco tracks that mix perfectly with his more modern house-y selections. The whole set was a unique experience of hearing records that haven’t been played anywhere else in decades. After Harvey’s very culturing set, it was time for the Dirtybird all-stars to get behind the decks. First up was Shiba-San who mixed in tech house, classic house, techno, and the dirtiest of Dirtybird tracks throughout his set. Justin Martin may have been the most disappointing set all weekend. His set lacked any dance-able cohesion and he kept getting on the mic a bit too much. All in all, Saturday was a great day for music.

 

 

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! I arrived a bit later in the day as I usually do on day 2 situations. I went to one of the after parties the night before and it’s safe to say I wanted to sleep in. The first artist I checked out was Lee Burridge. Lee put on a very groovy and smooth techno affair. Although I only caught the end of his set I really enjoyed it and definitely want to check him out at future events. Next up was Maya Jane Coles. Maya threw down a hard and banging techno set. She had the crowd hanging on every track and just embodied pure badassery. The rest of the evening I spent going back and forth between Kaytranada and Dubfire while making stops at the bar in between both stages. This is one of CRSSD Festival’s huge advantages; there are only 3 stages and they are all so close together that it makes it easy to take in as much music as possible. Kaytranada was certainly a treat. In the past, I wasn’t really a fan of his live sets, however, he changed my mind this time around with an amazing set that was very upbeat and fast paced. Dubfire’s set, though not the live Hybrid setup, was superb in progressive techno flare. His set was extremely packed and had great sound from front to back.

 

Time and time again, I’ve returned to the San Diego Waterfront for the biannual event. Good food, good drinks, great music, and amazing weather all combine to make one of the most well-organized and fun festivals in the United States. See you in March!

 

Kaytranada – Whateva U Want

 

21 Savage – No Target (Produced by Brodinski)

 

Louis the Child – Fire

 

Procedure – Matrixxman

symbiosis-2016-15

FULL POST

Symbiosis Gathering

Play. (right click-> open new)

Photos.

 

After it’s 11th installment, Symbiosis has cemented itself as one of the best music and art gatherings in the US. The hosts have perfected the art that goes into harboring the knowledge, wonder, and magic of what experimental pop-up communities have to offer. And, as always, the music and art are top notch no matter where a wandering heart may find itself. We were somewhat skeptical of how the increased attendance – 15,000 tickets sold – would mar the experience we had last year; loss of intimacy and the trouble that comes with it (crowds, crime, and irresponsibility) weighs heavy on the luster. Upon arrival, we found the pre-fest jitters to be just that: butterflies fluttering for a home to settle. And we were home.

 

(more…)

147130309819_CROWD_VICMENSA_DAYNNIGHT_CHRISTINACRAIG

FULL POST

Despite a brutal commute, scorching temperatures, and an adolescent population the size of Disneyland, I had an amazing time at this year’s Day N Night festival in Silverado, CA. Thrown by Santa Ana’s Observatory in the spacious Oak Canyon Park, Day N Night festival’s inaugural line-up was one for the ages; focusing mainly on up and coming hip-hop artists. Even before being dropped in that crowd, you can definitely see the appeal for students. From top to bottom, the inaugural line-up was a who’s who of 2016’s hottest acts from Flume down to 21 Savage. Concert bills like this prove that the need for a major label to shape and distribute your sound is nothing but a mere notion of yesteryear.

 

 

The two headliners A$AP Rocky and Flume played Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and each brought their own brand of flash and debonair to the main stage. A$AP Rocky closed out the Saturday mainstage which also featured high-energy performances from up and comers Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, and Post Malone. Each of these young guns played to massive crowds and brought their own brand of hip-hop for the kids. Though each artist is quite new school, there were a few cues from each set that hearkened back to the golden era with each performer having a real DJ behind them complete with a full entourage on stage with them at all times.

 

 

Seasoned veteran and Compton’s own, YG stole the show Saturday performing hits like “Twist My Fingaz,” “Why You Always Hatin’?”, and “Who Do You Love”. He had the crowd hanging onto every lyric, every quip, as the stage lit up bright for his hour long set. After YG, I went to go check out Metro Boomin’s DJ Set. Being the self-proclaimed Future Stan that I am, I’ve been following Metro for a minute. I was not disappointed as Metro spun his self-produced Future tracks back to back to back and even brought out T-Pain as a special guest to perform “Buy U a Drank”. Saturday closed out in the utmost style as A$AP Rocky took to the main stage and kicked his set off with “L$D”. Moments later he brought out A$AP Nast, Ant, and Twelvy to run through all the hits and even do some tracks off their previous mix tapes.

 

 

Getting into the festival on Sunday was a grueling journey; but once I got inside, Flume’s DJ Set did not disappoint. Slightly more on the hard side than his live shows Flume dropped banger after hit after banger to the massive crowd who never seemed to mind that the temperatures were over 95 degrees. Curiously, the Australian super-producer’s set started at 5:00pm, a bit early than most expected however he more than made up with it by bringing out Vince Staples for “Smoke & Retribution” and Vic Mensa for “Lose It”. After Flume the Soulection crew ripped the Weedmaps stage. The trio of Andre Power, SoSuperSam, and Esta each played their own brand of electronic blended hip-hop and old school r&b favorites. 21 Savage was easily the biggest surprise of the weekend. His cool and calm demeanor on stage in addition to his neo-gangster rap persona made for a heavy set as he performed tracks like “Savage Mode” and “No Heart”. At one point there was even a girl holding a french bull dog puppy on stage just chilling with the rest of his crew.

 

 

At the end of the day, Day N Night’s talent made up for the the difficulties with the logistics. If the Observatory continue to consolidate Hip-Hop’s rising stars, hit-makers, and mix in some electronic acts for good measure, there’s no question we will be returning year upon year. After all we do this for the music right?

 

Sebastian – H.A.L.

 

King Krule – Octopus

 

RL Grime – Aurora

 

Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun

woogie-weekend-lead-juliana bernstein

FULL POST

Woogie Weekend

 

Play.

 

From July 8th through the 10th, a steady techno drone settled over Oak Canyon Park. It marked the second coming of Woogie Weekend. If Lightning in a Bottle is the well traveled eco-conscious older sister with worldy experience, then Woogie Weekend is the laid back little brother with really good music taste.

 

While LIB seeks to educate and inspire, Do Lab’s Summer campout instead focuses on calming and inviting atmospheres. Think grass, shade, fair weather, water sports, mini golf, hammocks, room for plenty of activities, and colorful decor to ease the eyes. Leisurely strolls and plenty of comfy seating set the tone for the camp-out chilling.

 

(more…)

pc: Pablo Frisk

FULL POST

| Further Future | Photos |

 

Play.

 

40 miles beyond Las Vegas sits a martian landscape. The Moapa Indian Reservation. Last weekend, its red sands – and Mother Nature – played host to the second installment of Burning Man veterans Robot Heart’s fledgling gathering of music, technology, sustainability, gastronomy, and wellness: Further Future.

 

Every few years, it seems like new gatherings pop up in an attempt to carve out their own piece of the pie. Some falter, some fail. Further Future has seen its fair share of struggle from a last minute venue cancellation and scramble to stay afloat last year to inclement weather, afterthought logistics, and salty press this year. Yet, despite it all, the Further Future crew have impressed upon us with FF002 exactly what we believe the future of the music industry, and more specifically the festival engine, can really become and influence. Here’s to hoping FF003 hashes out all the kinks.

 

(more…)

holyship-cover

FULL POST

HOLY SHIP

 

The short: cult-like organized chaos.

 

 

The long: What if the first day of college was on a cruise ship with all of your favorite electronic artists and lasted three days? If that’s something that sounds like a swashbuckling good time to you then welcome aboard Holy Ship! With five stages of music and a magical menagerie of a line-up, I would say that Holy Ship! is the closest to perfect medium to consume electronic music.

 

(more…)