Day For Night Preview: X Versus Y

15156854_1835085233427368_2654722914580856930_oThe inevitable dilemma of the music festival, the Sophie’s Choice moments, what do you do, what do you do?

The full lineup has been out there for a hot minute, now we have the locations. You can download the festival map now. Biggest stage is Red, green a little smaller, blue goes indoors and yellow is outback, #thebackyard.

Saturday:

Chelsea Wolfe (Green – 4:10) Vs. Tobacco (Blue – 4:15) – Chelsea Wolfe wins for me on material. But Tobacco could be a multimedia dose of awesome. Hat on, head down, vocoder working overtime, Thomas Fec’s enigmatic stage presence is not the draw, but what will go along with that? Chelsea? I expect an overdose of fog. They are next to each other which will take the edge off my fest FOMO.

Tycho (Blue – 8:10) Vs. Daughters (Yellow – 8:20) – Look, that Daughters set could be a most nuts thing. This choice will likely depend on your intoxicant of choice.

The Run the Jewels incident – Look, RtJ is definitely a monster buzz draw at fests these days. If you are a super fan, this may end up being the smallest crowd they play in front of ever again. Why? Because they are up against Aphex Twin and John Carpenter. Yes, the movie director; he scored many of the movies he directed with synthy goodness and it is a pretty cool experience.

Sunday:

Blonde Redhead (Green – 6:10) Vs. Mykki Blanco (Blue – 6:00) – This is the old vs. new, indie vs. hip-hop’ish, nostalgia vs. witness scenario. There is a ton of buzz behind Mykki, rad minimalist electro beats, a back story of trans discovery. Seeing an artist grow and find themselves right in front of you is pretty cool. But “23” is an all-decade record. Deal with it.

Little Dragon (Red – 9:20) Vs. Butthole Surfers (Green – 9:40) – I’m having a great time listening to the first few from Little Dragon. Do I leave the known for the unknown? Do I leave to go see the Butthole Surfers? Can I recalibrate enough? I would have said no until a friend posted a video on bookface of the Surfers getting back up to speed, hard-edged and tight in a practice space by belting out “Who Was In My Room Last Night” and given the song’s flying intro, one would have to guess it will be the opener.

Day For Night Preview: Aphex Twin

aphex-twin-logoEvery music festival will have its share of legacy acts that are there for the nostalgia factor. It seems strange to say that any of the artists at Day for Night are a “legacy” act. When you are years ahead of the industry, how do you ever have the throwback tag? Indulge me as I wax poetic about the future past. Let’s start with the 800 lb. headliner, Aphex Twin.

In my eyes and ears, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 is a mandatory record to have in your collection. Fact: Die Antwoord’s Ninja has the Aphex Twin logo tattooed on his arm and they have recently sampled songs from the Selected Ambient Works 85-92, good enough for me. Elegant and grating, challenging and soothing, all at once a collection that utilizes textures and samples to accent the underlying melodies. One recently poignant sample is Gene Wilder’s line from Wonka, “We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dream.” Later records saw an evolution to harder edges with foundations of drum and bass beats. “Come to Daddy” and “Windowlicker” both cemented the permission slip from me for any future evolution Richard David James wants to undergo.

But with all of that aside, some of my favorite works by Mr. James is under his Polygon Window moniker. There was a compilation in 1992 curated by Warp Records that started the disc with a track called “Polygon Window” by The Dice Man. I loved it, read the liner notes and made the connection to Aphex Twin, cuz, yeah. A year later, I found an import of Surfing as Sine Waves BY Polygon Window during a browsing binge of a tiny record that I doubt exists anymore, can’t recall the name, used stuff only, on Parmer, not Buybacks, somebody help me remember. Anyway, this was recorded shortly after Ambient Works landed and it features another fave track “Quoth”.

The aforementioned compilation is called Artificial Intelligence and was re-released in 2005 so that is floating around and features one of my favorite songs ever, “The Egg” by Autechre. You should own it, too.

Probably one of the coolest aspects to his being at Day for Night is that we really have no idea what is on the agenda. He released Sygo in 2014 and the Cheetah EP mid-year, but never really was out in support. Aphex Twin is showing up on several Euro summer festivals lineups, so it seems we get the scoop. As a teaser, this showed up on the intarwebs a few weeks ago.

Day For Night Interview: Night Drive

Night DriveRegular readers know that we love the synth-pop jams from our friends at Night Drive. Day for Night will include the Austin/Houston based outfit and I figured I would do a little Q&A action to help preview the awesome festivities. Rodney and Brandon took some time to deal with the usual list of things about life, fests and jams.

Click through to read all about it including some tips for stuff to listen to and the story behind the band…

#confetti

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New Track From Elbow

Elbow c  Paul HusbandOne of my fondest festival memories ever is the time that Elbow played at sunset on one of the smaller stages at ACL. An overcast humid day had a front blow through mid-set. Wind gusts forced a stop in the action to lower a banner. As the hardware dropped, the band played a soundtrack and banter abounded. I will say that Elbow frontman Guy Garvey may possibly be the most charming person to front a band in the history of music. You ever get that fuzzy-eyed, smiling like an idiot zombie moment at a show? Everyone, old fans and new, delighted.

“Magnificient (She Says)” is the first song from the next album, Little Fictions, due on February 3rd. To say the least, I am delighted to report this is as good. This band will be on my festival season must-see list, but still hoping for an actual show here in Austin (ACL Live, please make that happen).

#forgivetheuglyspotifyembed

Rise And Fall With New Night Drive

Night DriveI have a festival hangover. After seeing hundreds of bands in just a few months, it gets hard to get up for going out to hit shows, especially when living the photo guy festival life is so not like the real world. It is an alternate universe that is easy to get used to, the rhythm of shoot band, run into friends, get supplies, rinse, repeat. With an approval for Day for Night already in hand, festival season isn’t over yet. But Aphex Twin! I know you all feel very sympathetic for our struggle.

One of the Austin bands making the run to DfN is Night Drive. They are an Austin favorite and go-to dance party for the ATH team. Rodney and Brandon love all the things we love about dark dance-pop, from pulsating beats to grainy synths and brooding chords living underneath the plinks and big beats. They will release a full-length in February, self-titled, that has a few new songs, a few re-recorded hits and they are using this jam as the lead single. I’ve heard this gem live a few times. It is so good.

Show Pics: Mean Jolene Record Release

mean-jolene-release-03Just before the madness of Sound on Sound Fest (roundup and galleries coming soon), ATH records hosted a little get together at Cheer Up for Mean Jolene’s Salty.

Half of the band, Jolie and Adam, were still on a Cubs related high. What better way to celebrate a historic World Series win than by releasing a record? Will and Ben may or may not have been hungover. The band had too many friends and too much fun. Tiger tall boys. Tater tots. Satin jackets. Flying earrings.

Joining in on the festivities were Talkies, The Bond Twins, HeyBaby and Summer Salt, so pics after the break. Sorry to Summer Salt for hitting the wall after a long day.

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ACL WE2 Sunday in Photos

acl-we2-3021Hi.

Austin just went through another “festival” with what appears to have been a rather successful Formula One race weekend. I am an F1 fan and the three days out at the circuit are treated as a staycation for the wife and I. Why am I telling you this? I do not know.

Back on topic, The final batch of photos from ACL are ready for your consumption. Sunday was a sleeper day. The fest was sneeky-fun and I had a great day with my photo friends. The weather was amazing again and we had some big WE2 exclusives.

First, I did not go anywhere near that crowd for Willie. It was INSANE!!! A friend went up in a cherry picker and took twenty some-odd wide angle photos and stitched them together into an impressive panorama. Instead, I watched the set via festival TV and relaxed. Ra Ra Riot, on the other hand, was an early in the day highlight of festival hits. Amasa Hines was the surprise, think blues guys doing Interpol covers. Also on the BMI stage, Atlas Genius drew the biggest crowd I have ever seen at our favorite stage at ACL. NF did an Eminem impression, just grabbed photos on the way to Pete Yorn. Local Natives ooh-ahh’ed straight into our hearts. St. Paul and The Broken Bones brought the soul review to life, though I was concerned the Saint’s jaw would unhinge and swallow one of us whole. Miike Snow filled a gap; too much fog. Young the Giant got sexy and dirty to a fanatical crowd obsessed by frontman Sameer Gadhia while the band seemingly went through the motions.

And finally the second bucket-list shoot, LCD Soundsystem gave us the end-of-the-fest dance party. Seeing their set two weekends in a row, you realize that it is scripted and I guess that is understandable given the number of synth, percussion and instrument changes required. Didn’t stop WE2’s dance party from being any less awesome…

Click through for the pretty photos.

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ACL WE2 – Saturday in Photos

acl-we2-2060Saturday may not have been the strongest lineup, but it was awfully photogenic.

Slaves was a pure musical highlight for me; British punk rock from two individuals that believe in the songs and enjoy what they do. More on that after the break. JR JR was the surprise set of the day, far more fun than I imagined it would be, shiny things. Saint Motel has left the ATH behind, now a solid fest headliner after we spring-boarded the band with a Stubb’s Inside booking, sarcasm. Andra Day is terribly talented, but not my jam. LL Cool J was the throwback performance we deserved. The Naked and Famous used black and white outfits and high energy from the crowd to fill a memory card. #jumpshot Blue Healer won the day for the locals, strong set getting the crowd to stop and listen. Two Door Cinema Club put down the best festival set, admitting the crowd, in spite of how favorably they responded to the new songs, wanted bangers. Finally, I finished with a little Connor Oberst before heading out.

Read on past the break and then look at the pretty pictures.

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ACL WE2 – Friday In Photos

acl-we2-121aAre you ready to reminisce?

Let’s kick off more photos from the front for Austin City Limits on Weekend Two. Friday was the day. Let’s name drop – Radiohead, Die Antwoord, M83, Foals and more. A whole day of headliners for me and I was super excited. I had one “break” where I decided to get photos of Banks and Steelz to fill in the gap. Oofah. Do I have a story.

How about you read past the break? I had to suffer for my art. Heh.

#pukeandrally #radiohead #cantstopmenow

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ACL 2016: Weekend One From The Crowd

nd4_0348Kicking off some official ACL coverage beyond our social media blitzes from the world. Weekend One was the version of ACL where we get to see bands, spend time with friends and get snarky about the future of America and the music industry.

This gallery will feature some artists, mostly crowd related action and some highlights, calling out Lucy Dacus. Lucy’s set at the BMI stage was great. She and the band were sweet people and we’re fans.

Click through for the shots and a couple of random notes…

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