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#BIEBZ4EVAR – Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 Day 3

April 14th, 2014
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The first weekend of Coachella 2014 is done. What did we learn? As we discussed at length yesterday in our day 2 review, the festival has truly gone mainstream. On the third and final day, even Justin Bieber made a guest appearance. That’s not a typo, or a delusional freak-out following a cocktail of narcotics. Justin. Bieber. Has. Played. Coachella. Yup, the one and only Biebz joined rising star Chance the Rapper on the main stage today in the middle of the afternoon to perform the song “Confident.” We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. While day 3 lacked the knockout succession of soon-to-be-star acts day 2 featured, there were still a few standout performances worthy of the festival’s name and prestige.

All photos by Sharon Alagna
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

The Great Equalizer – Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 Day 2

April 13th, 2014
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Day one of Coachella 2014 was filled with a bevy of music’s best, brightest and most revered. Day two of the grand champion of American music festivals surpassed the first day in every way save the spectacle that was OutKast’s first concert in 13 years. This day’s bill was packed. Packed on the level of where it was almost impossible to see the heavy hitters without literally running around for seven hours straight without stopping for a dinner break. The talent quality was as high as it could be hoped for, but unlike the sweltering heat of day one, day two had a unique problem seldom seen in all of Coachella’s history: extreme wind. As those who drive east from Los Angeles know seeing the windmill fields, much of the high desert around the Coachella Valley has a propensity for powerful windy spurts. This day was pleasantly cooler than yesterday, but the wind not only rocked every standing piece of architecture; it also kicked up enough dust to choke the audience into submission.

All photos by Sharon Alagna
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

Planned Scarcity – Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 Day 1

April 12th, 2014
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It’s hard to fathom, but mxdwn has been attending and covering the Coachella Music Festival for over ten years. Yes, in the days of way, way back when, we camped, came in at 11:55 a.m., and phoned in our reports to writers standing by nationwide. I’m not joking. Back in those days, this festival was only two days, and somehow felt a little bit smaller, a lot more personal and a lot less overwhelming. It’s fitting as an epochal moment, as it was the one-two punch of Radiohead and the (at the time) recently reunited Pixies that drew the largest crowd we’ve ever seen on the massive field apparently also used for the sport Polo. Until tonight that is.
All photos by Sharon Alagna
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

Dave Brockie (A.K.A. GWAR Frontman Oderus Urungus) Dead at 50

March 24th, 2014
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It is with heavy hearts, at a seriously late hour, that we report to you that Dave Brockie–who the world has known as Oderus Urungus the lead singer of GWAR–has died. Reports and rumors have been circling around the Internet today that Brockie was found in his apartment by his roommates yesterday, March 23rd sometime in the afternoon. The news was broke initially by Style Magazine from their source Chris Bopst, a former bassist for the band himself. The news has also been picked up by Blabbermouth and Punk News, both outlets citing Style Magazine and social media updates from members of Lamb of God and Municipal Waste apparently confirming the news as well.

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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Top Story ,

Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express Live at the Walt Disney Concert Hall

March 20th, 2014
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It’s true. Your grandfather’s favorite electro act is better than your favorite electro act. This is exactly the case with German pioneers Kraftwerk. Nobody does it better. Even forty-five years after their inception Kraftwerk are the founding fathers of all that we consider electronic music. They manage to bring the aesthetic and inherent quality of their medium to its utter peak, without ever veering towards the clichés that have marred nearly ever subgenre they have inspired: big beat, EDM, techno and dubstep included. Performing a historic eight consecutive shows in four nights at LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall for the LA Phil’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival, each show was billed as Kraftwerk playing one of their eight seminal albums in its entirety. This particular early evening show was advertised as the night for Trans-Europe Express. Those lucky enough to attend this show, however, got way more than they bargained for.
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

SXSW 2014 Day 4: Phantogram, Iron Reagan, Royal Blood and More

March 15th, 2014
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On our last day, we chose to take things a little easier. The insane overabundance of quality over the last three days having taken its toll on us, we opted for covering only four shows today.
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

SXSW Day 3: Sleigh Bells, Soundgarden, Damon Albarn and More

March 15th, 2014
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Do you ever have an experience where you’re truly at a loss for words? Where the accumulation of events leaves you a little shy of utterly speechless? This can happen at South by Southwest. In fact, annually, it pretty much does happen. Today, day 3 of the festival was more or less ridiculous. An off-the-charts amalgamation of top-notch talent from every corner of the music map. From the highest profile mega stars, to forward-thinking next generation innovators, this is why the eyes of the world are literally on Austin and this festival every year.
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

SXSW 2014 Day 2: Wye Oak, Ex Hex, Hospitality and More

March 14th, 2014
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After a solid indie afternoon with the Under the Radar folks, we moved on to the proverbial branding juggernaut that is the Fader Fort. True to the Fader magazine’s general philosophy, the bill is a mix of super hipster indie/dance and truly beloved modern hip-hop. Tonight, we aimed for the headliner Chromeo. True to form, the duo of Dave 1 and P-Thugg mugged and posed behind an elaborate keyboard rig mounted on Robert Palmer-eseque legs. They put on a hell of a fun show though.
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

SXSW 2014 Day 2 Thursday: We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Mary Onettes, Painted Palms and More

March 13th, 2014
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Following the calamity of late last night, the day began slowly. The only real change was Stereogum’s day party at The Mohawk was fully canceled, with the evening’s showcases there remaining in doubt. We traveled to one of our favorite annual haunts, Under the Radar magazine’s yearly day party. In day 2 of the 3-day event, this bill boasted no less than six stellar indie bands on the rise.
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

SXSW 2014: Against Me!, Dum, Dum Girls, Deap Vally, Ume and More

March 13th, 2014
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March 12th, 2014 will be a day that will live in infamy in the annals of SXSW history. We’ll refrain from going into detail here as the facts are still rolling out, but a tragic event occurred not far from where some of what you’re about to read took place. We’ll come back to that, but for now, let us just convey with all the sincerity we can muster, our hearts go out to the family and friends of anyone effected by this tragic auto accident. To everyone else here in Austin, please, stay safe. Care for those around you and in spite of all the celebrating/rejoicing, make sure you make safety—the safety of you and yours and all those around you—your top priority.
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By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews