Beck is an artist that has surpassed any and all expectations placed on him. Starting auspiciously with an explosive hit in the form of indie-folk-rap mega hit “Loser,” he incisively chopped up every genre imaginable, reinventing his sound with every progressive release. Along with Radiohead, he quickly attained a paragon status, managing to eschew both the limitations of conventional style, as well as any need to be concerned with protecting his “sound.” Now, almost twenty years from the point that the U.S.A. first became aware of him, he’s taken another courageous leap forward. Having almost a year ago released his massive Song Reader book, he has now plunged head first into encouraging an eager world of performers to cover his content. Read more…
Happy Thursday hard rock fans. mxdwn is proud to present to you a premiere from one of our favorite bands of the last decade. Today, feast your ears on the razor-sharp, punch-you-in-the-face kiss-off of A Perfect Circle’s “Passive.” Many of you know lead singer Maynard James Keenan from his other bands Tool and Puscifer. Guitarist Billy Howerdel you also may know from Ashes Divide and James Iha is famously the ex-guitarist for The Smashing Pumpkins during their prime in their 90’s. This live track–taken from their epic four disc + DVD box set A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo–features Puscifer/Ashes Divide members Jeff Friedl on drums and Matt McJunkins on bass. Read more…
Posted in News
Surprise! Happy Friday. The good folks at Austin City Limits have just made available a 2-channel live stream webcast of the majority of the fest’s second weekend acts’ performances. The live stream starts right now. Scroll below the channel 1 and 2 viewers below and find the entire schedule for this weekend’s webcast. Tonight, you’ll be able to watch full sets from Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Muse and Depeche Mode. Saturday features Kings of Leon, Wilco and The Cure. Sunday is capped off by The National and Thom Yorke’s Atoms for Peace. Stick with us all weekend for this amazing lineup.
Posted in News
Is it almost October already? Hard to believe that yet again, we find ourselves at the end of another season at the Hollywood Bowl. Like each year before, this year was filled with impressive highlights. M83, Vampire Weekend, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Rodrigo y Gabriela all powerfully delivered stellar headlining sets, and for the final night in this year’s season, the minimalist trio The xx were the final act. Like M83 last week, this was easily the single biggest show of the band’s career. Both vocalists Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim said as much numerous times throughout the show, indicating the enormity of the experience was not lost on them. Seventeen thousand strong cheered and shouted for the world’s most exciting quiet band, and it was a well deserved fanfare for a band that took everyone—including this publication—a few year’s back by surprise and became a breakout star.
M83 has built a groundswell audience slowly over the last ten years. Percolating up from the earliest buzz-driven hype from the first generation of online music rags, the band almost entirely driven by Anthony Gonzalez has grown into a juggernaut. The key: the band’s swirling double-album masterpiece, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, explosively now in its second year of success. Gonzalez teamed with up with mxdwn favorite, longtime Beck bassist/producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen as the album’s co-producer and co-writer. The two created a masterpiece of soulful rumination that has connect with fans both for it’s lively danceable fun, and it’s epic, beautiful sonic experimentations. Tonight, the album’s cycle comes to a spiritual conclusion of sorts at the Hollywood Bowl with the world-famous Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Choir. It was a fitting stage for what arguably may be the biggest show of M83’s career, and the most important one they’ve ever done. The crowd was elated for every moment and the band’s sound never seemed crisper.
Day two of FYF Fest 2013 faired far better than day one did. Much like an NBA team, one star player can be enough to make the whole team win. And today, there were two. Was it the overwhelming wall of sound of the reclusive My Bloody Valentine delivered? Was it the crowd-favorite hits of MGMT? Was the dance party vibe of returning heavyweights !!! or young guns Poolside? No. It was the intelligent, inspiring and fearless hard rock renderings of Baroness and the now thirty years running grunge originators The Melvins. Yes folks, the best music in a festival overrun with popular and hip bands were a pair of bands determined to reinvent the world’s endless whipping boy for an uncool genre, heavy metal.
All photos by Owen Ela
In the world of informed music fans, bands like TV on the Radio and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have been heralded as the beginning sparks of a second coming of alternative talent for over ten years. These bands are not new in the indie rock world, and have each amassed a massive canon of material in the years since their auspicious beginnings. However, in the world of serious music business, the genre of indie rock has been considered an inaccurate measuring stick of new, bonafide or rising stars. More often than not, the voluminous hype far from equals explosive revenue. Normally, the acclaim never flips into the success predicted, the hype devolving into a trickle of “oh yeah, remember when everyone was excited about?” muttering. If you’re searching for proof, look no further than Bloc Party, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or Fleet Foxes as just a handful of bands that the internet and its associated hype machines trumpeted as new champions of the medium. Usually, the hype is merely just that hype.
All photos by Owen Ela
mxdwn.com is proud to announce that we are the official media sponsor of Los Angeles band Cotillon’s August residency at The Echo. Cotillon is performing in support of their recently released White Roses EP. If you’re a music fan in Los Angeles, this is where you need to be in the month of August. Cotillon is a four-piece that make poppy and dance-inducing indie rock. Don’t believe us? Check out their White Roses EP below. You can also buy it for a mere $5 over on their Bandcamp.
If that’s not enough, the band is backed up by a slew of stellar new bands, each week a different set. Just to name a few, the band will be joined by the likes of Tropical Popsicle, Knesset, The Dead Ships, Incan Abraham (DJ set) and The Shivers. Each event is *free* with RSVP. Come on out. It’s going to be a blast. Follow Cotillon on Facebook and Twitter, and check out the full details of each night after each flyer image below. We’ll see you at The Echo.
Week 1: 8/5/13
Free with RSVP
DJ Emily Twombly (Origami Vinyl)
Week 2: 8/12/13
Free with RSVP
DJ Incan Abraham
Week 3: 8/19/13
Free with RSVP
Dj Anthony Giancola (What Cheer?)
Week 4: 8/26/13
Free with RSVP
The Dead Ships
Brown and Blue
DJ Dale Stepp & DJ Rianbow Jackson
Posted in Los Angeles
Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos Conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra Performing the Rite of Spring Live at the Hollywood Bowl
For those of you that read mxdwn avidly, you’ve most likely noticed that we generally don’t cover classical or orchestral music on the site. Certainly we’ve covered plenty of bands, shows and albums where an orchestra (or at least a portion of one) was present, but generally speaking we’ve always veered away from purely symphonic fare. No, it isn’t based on any myopic age discrimination-based rhetoric that classical music is a genre for old folks. The simple truth is it’s a genre far too vast and complex to cover without deep knowledge of what makes the style great. We don’t believe in covering something on mxdwn, unless we can do it justice on par with its own quality. Read more…
Could it be that it’s been nine months since we last covered an event at the Hollywood Bowl? Time surely flies in the Los Angeles music scene. It’s summer again and that mean’s another season of quality package shows in KCRW’s annual World Music Festival. This time, the show was centered on the return of virtuoso duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. The big difference this time was that the incredibly talented band would not be backed up by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Would they need the orchestra to captivate the packed capacity crowd? No.