October 11, 2012
This will in no way be an impartial, objective preview.
I was ready to name Grimes‘ latest effort Visions the “Best Album of 2012″ after I heard it for the first time. I was ready to bestow the title of “Best Music Video of 2012″ on her video for Visions stand-out cut “Oblivion”.
For my money, Grimes is making some of the most intriguing music today.
Seriously, just watch the “Oblivion” video, below. I’ve showed it to at least 20 people at this point, and they’re all massive Grimes fans now. So I’m doing the same for you.
Grimes performs at the Treasure Island Music Festival this Saturday, October 13th at 2:15pm on the Tunnel Stage.
October 10, 2012
There aren’t many new adjectives to assign or much more praise to give when discussing dapper DJ/producer/front man Matthew Dear. Since his beginnings as co-founder of multi-level curator Ghostly International and its sister platform Spectral Sound, Dear has released four full-length albums, DJ’d and performed across the globe, and maintained a sleek performance style now synonymous with the musician’s brand.
When positioned at the DJ booth Dear is a force, but accompanied by a live band and microphone is where the talent comes full circle. Each release has seen an exploration of new sounds – everything from deep house to goth-funk – but the one constant has been Dear’s voice. His deep, concise, near-gentlemanly delivery adds an intense layer that’s omitted when he’s simply spinning on the decks (though we recognize this job isn’t “simple” by any stretch). Saturday provides the opportunity to see Dear front and center, full band in tow, with voice at the ready, making his Treasure Island performance a can’t-miss.
Matthew Dear plays the Treasure Island Music Festival on Saturday, October 13th from 3:00 – 3:45pm on the Bridge Stage.
Following the Treasure Island Music Festival, Dear sets out on a massive tour in support of his fantastic new release, Beams. View all the dates here, and check out the well-groomed video centered around the creation of Beams‘ bad-ass cover art below. [More...]
October 9, 2012
This year’s Treasure Island Musical Festival is right around the corner – this Saturday and Sunday to be exact. As usual, Saturday features more electronic acts such as Girl Talk, Grimes, and hip-hop legends Public Enemy, while Sunday provides an eclectic range of indie rock. One act to look out for on Sunday is Youth Lagoon, the introspective bedroom-pop project of Boise’s Trevor Powers.
His honest, emotional debut The Year of Hibernation still resonates within the hearts of indie fans after it was released last year. While some might not expect his subtle production style to be suitable for a large festival crowd, Youth Lagoon proved otherwise at SXSW this year. Powers carries every ounce of conviction with him on stage, building up deep emotional energy which carries over into the crowd in an unexpectedly uplifting fashion. Watch the video for album highlight “Montana” below.
We haven’t heard from Youth Lagoon in awhile, so it is unclear whether he will be performing any new material or sticking to songs from The Year of Hibernation. On August 20th, Powers tweeted about delving into the writing process:
taking time off from this interwebs thing for a bit.getting weird, writing, and reclusing.c u on the other side
— Trevor Powers (@youthlagoon) August 21, 2012
Whether he plays new or older material, crowds will find it difficult to turn their backs on this fragile, magnetic performer. Can’t wait to see what he has in store for San Francisco.
Youth Lagoon’s Treasure Island Music Festival performance is on the Bridge Stage from 2:50 to 3:35 pm on Sunday, October 14th.
October 8, 2012
Though they’ve been brewing for a few years now, 2012 has been a banner year for L.A.’s Best Coast. Since the release of The Only Place, their long-playing love letter to the Golden State, earlier this year, Best Coast has been snagging mag covers across the nation, teaming up with teen stars for videos, and singer Bethany Cosentino designing a line for Urban Outfitters.
As a band, they hearken back to the innocent era of ’60s surf pop; a sweetly-harmonized, echoing arrangement of both sheer joy and utter heartbreak. Though they’re vocal about their pride in the West coast as a whole, Best Coast seem to lean more toward the sunny, skinny, California stereotype, in both their lyrics and in the stunning, sun-drenched panoramas that populate their videos. On one of their latest tracks, Cosentino sings, “We’ve got the ocean / got the babes / got the sun / we’ve got the waves” . . . let’s see how that statement holds up in a San Francisco October.
October 5, 2012
Allyson Baker may have black hair, play guitar and wear leather jackets and black clothes, but she doesn’t own any Joan Jett albums. Instead, she looks for inspiration to albums like Captain Beefheart’s Mirror Man, Chrome’s Red Exposure and Duran Duran’s self-titled debut.
The San Francisco resident wants to make an album that people will listen to over and over – like those albums that inspire her. Yet her band, Dirty Ghosts, is often compared to Jett.
“I think that it’s easy for people to look at me, and say, ‘She’s short, she has dark hair and plays guitar, and sings a certain way,’” Baker said recently.
At the Treasure Island Music Festival on Oct. 13, Dirty Ghosts will get a chance to make a statement regarding Baker’s muddy-guitar and ‘70s rock-influenced stylings.
It took Baker more than five years to release Dirty Ghosts’ debut album, Metal Moon, largely because the ground kept shifting beneath her feet.
Baker moved to San Francisco from Toronto in 2000 at age 22, after her previous hardcore and punk bands disintegrated.
“I wanted to tour and put out records and do all that kind of stuff,” she said. “It got to a point where I was the only one in the band who really felt that way, and had the crazy drive to do all that stuff.”
She moved to San Francisco even though she knew no one there or anything about the musical climate at the time. All she believed was that she had outgrown Toronto.
“In my mind, I had this idea of San Francisco being this city where there was a lot of music and a lot of musicians,” she said, “It seemed like a major city for the arts and whatnot.”
Baker had high hopes for a career in America, but initially, those also fizzled. After she moved to the City, she spent two years trying to get sludge-blues band Parchman Farm off the ground, along with fellow Toronto native Carson Binks.
“I kind of was done; I think I was really burnt out, and I was sort of tired from trying to make Parchman Farm happen,” she said. “I actually got to a point where I didn’t enjoy it.”
October 2, 2012
When Public Enemy burst onto the music scene in 1987, helping to popularize rap (along with the Beastie Boys and Run DMC), socio-politically conscious co-founder and MC Chuck D polarized the country with lyrics that criticized the justice system and the media.
White Middle America was put off by songs such as “My Uzi Weighs a Ton,” “911 is a Joke” and ubiquitous anthem “Fight the Power,” which highlighted the frustrations of African Americans. Perhaps the only ones who foresaw Public Enemy having a lengthy lifespan were Chuck (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) and the rest of the group, which includes hype man Flavor Flav, Khari Wynn, DJ Lord and Professor Griff.
“When I decided, agreed, to doing records, I had the Rolling Stones of rap music in mind,” Chuck said in a phone interview one recent evening, a couple of weeks prior to the group’s performance at next weekend’s Treasure Island Music Festival.
Roughly 25 years and several platinum albums later, Public Enemy has its music stored by the Library of Congress (1990’s Fear of a Black Planet) and included in numerous “top albums” lists (1988’s It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back). The group also led the revolution in online and peer-to-peer music when it divorced Def Jam Records in 1998 and walked away from a guaranteed paycheck into the unknown.
Now 52, Chuck is still speaking out about the injustices he sees, be they political, financial or social.
“I want to fight against the anti-immigration attitude going on in the United States,” he said. “I’m a culturist. I know that you got to to be a realist to deal with the system that you’re in. I get political as far as understanding the necessities and the basic minimums. Other than that, I just try to be practical.”
He is also advocating for rap and hip hop to break new ground, as it did with “Fight the Power.” There are more barriers the genre can break through, such as the depiction of the treatment of women and homosexuality in lyrics. Chuck said he’s not sure whether the majority of MCs still speak for the people they write for.
Treasure Island Music Festival 2012 is just around the corner – latest updates from this year’s festival
October 1, 2012
The 2012 Treasure Island Music Festival is less than two weeks away! We’ll be providing a variety of festival coverage as we do every year – for today, here is a round-up of latest updates from this year’s festival in the bay:
- *Artist additions*
This is actually old news by now, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock – Joanna Newsom and Wild Belle were added to Sunday’s lineup.
- *Set times revealed*
Speaking of daily lineups, the festival set times have been revealed. As per usual (one of the best aspects about the Treasure Island Music Festival), there are no overlaps, so there’s no risk of missing any band at any given time . . . unless you wait too long to arrive to the island, so plan accordingly!
- *Transportation updates*
On that note – there have been some changes to the transportation options to this year’s festival. As in years’ past, all general admission and VIP tickets include complimentary parking and bus pick-up from Lot A at AT&T Park in San Francisco to and from the festival site. However, festival goers also have the option this year to purchase parking passes in addition to purchasing festival tickets. For those who don’t want to utilize the shuttles but also want to save money on gas and tolls as well as help out our dear Mother Earth: this year, the Treasure Island Music Festival has partnered with amovens to offer a rideshare/carpool option for festival attendees. To help reduce the festival’s carbon footprint and to meet some new friends, visit the festival Transportion page to search for carpool options.
- *Poster design contest*
Ex’pression College for Digital Arts and Creative Allies are putting on a contest to design a poster for this year’s festival. The winner will receive $1,000, VIP tickets, and distribution to all the bands performing at the festival. The contest closes on October 8th!
- *TI artists love San Francisco*
The Treasure Island festival organizers have been asking some of this year’s performing artists what they love the most about the city of San Francisco. Check out interviews with Brian Betancourt of Hospitality, K.Flay, and Britt Daniel of Divine Fits.
- *Night shows*
Last but not least, the Treasure Island Music Festival lineup of Night Shows has been revealed, including the Presents, K. Flay, SBTRKT and more.
So there’s the latest. The 2012 Treasure Island Music Festival takes place October 13th and 14th, and tickets are on sale now.
September 25, 2012
The Treasure Island Music Festival quickly became one of the most reliable heights of festival season, and the sixth installment features the return of Bay Area favorites like M83 and Girl Talk as well as the local debut of Divine Fits (the supergroup featuring members of Spoon/Wolf Parade) and a headlining slot for The xx, following the release of Coexist earlier this month. Like any great fest, though, some of the biggest potential highlights lie further down the bill, among the many locals and former locals (Toro Y Moi, Tycho, Ty Segall, The Coup, Dirty Ghosts, and more), as well as bands like Grimes, Youth Lagoon and The War on Drugs, who broke through with acclaimed records over the past year.
This hour-long mix includes songs from fifteen TIMF 2012 performers. It’s a diverse collection that makes as a compelling case to return to the island this October.