Archive

Author Archive

Gregg Allman and Sturgill Simpson Live at KCRW’s Country in the City

July 21st, 2014
Comments Off

In Los Angeles we have almost too many concert venues. Some months it seems as if there are two more opening and two more closing forever. It’s hard to imagine there being any more places that could reasonably fit a show, but deep in the center of the otherwise business- and skyscraper-filled Century City the descending garden terrace adjacent the Annenberg Space for Photography makes for a picturesque setting. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

Peanut Butter and Jelly – Royksopp and Robyn Live at the Hollywood Bowl

June 30th, 2014
Comments Off

Every once in a while we get a chance to experience an incredible dance event at the Hollywood Bowl. Some years back, Thievery Corporation practically burned the place down with world-infused downtempo jams. More recently, The Chemical Brothers delivered their unparalleled knack for full-bodied 4-to-the-floor mania. This week, we get the extra special treat of not only electro titans Royksopp, but also dance pop megastar Robyn. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough both Royksopp and Robyn are performing together, playing collaborative songs from their recently released Do It Again EP. It’s a night filled with immensely talented Swedes and Norwegians and there would be no better venue to bring a historic show like this to the fold than the Hollywood Bowl. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

The Heritage of Soul – Janelle Monae, Sean Kuti and Egypt 80, Roman GianArthur Live at the Hollywood Bowl

June 23rd, 2014
Comments Off

At mxdwn, we consider the Hollywood Bowl our unofficial home away from home. Last year ended with a bang, The xx deftly demonstrating the eye-opening power of precision simplicity. This year’s season of shows (and the first of the annual KCRW sponsored World Music Festival shows here) opened with a headlining set from Janelle Monae. We previously saw Janelle Monae practically steal the show at a star-studded soul event headlined by Stevie Wonder. Not surprisingly, Monae has only grown in popularity since that show, largely on the strength of her recent album The Electric Lady. This is without a doubt, her single biggest headlining show in the USA to date in her career. Could Monae live up to the pressure and deliver on a performance fitting the stature, acclaim and legendary status of the venue?
Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

mxdwn Best of SXSW 2014

June 1st, 2014
Comments Off

For a change of pace in 2014, we decided to take a little time and to ponder on who our favorite acts at SXSW were. Generally, we run this piece no later than two days after the festival. This time, we wanted to truly ponder on how the acts we saw at this year’s festival measured up. For those keeping score, in 2013 we picked Haim as Best New Artist. In 2012 it was Santigold. In 2011 it was Odd Future. The Sleepy Sun took top honors in 2010. And going all the way back to 2009 Akron/Family were the knockdown favorite. Without further delay, here are the Top 5 Best New Artists and Top 5 Best Established Artists of SXSW 2014. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Features , ,

Country, Crown and Throne – Cinquanta: A Perfect Circle, Puscifer and Failure Live at the Greek Theatre

May 11th, 2014
Comments Off

There was a time not that long ago when the world was just becoming familiar with a little band called Tool. Los Angeles residents and show attendees of the time were already clued in to what was happening, but most in the U.S. and the world at large were just getting exposed to the band and its singer with the sharp, haunting voice, Maynard James Keenan, through the band’s claymation videos regularly played on MTV. Twenty years on, Tool is a musical juggernaut. One of the top grossing touring rock bands in all of the world, and one of the most respected and beloved bands heavy music has ever known. Capable of rocking with the hardest of metallic crunch, but still accessible enough that those that struggle with metal’s often guttural, monster truck vocals aren’t dissuaded.

All photos by Marv Watson
Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , ,

#BIEBZ4EVAR – Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 Day 3

April 14th, 2014
Comments Off

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
Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

The Great Equalizer – Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 Day 2

April 13th, 2014
Comments Off

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
Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

Planned Scarcity – Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 Day 1

April 12th, 2014
Comments Off

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
Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

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

March 24th, 2014
Comments Off

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.

Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Top Story ,

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

March 20th, 2014
Comments Off

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.
Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews