Gallery: FYF Fest 2017

Live photos from FYF Fest 2017

July 25th, 2017
David Valera

L.A.’s backyard festival FYF Fest took place July 21-23 at Exposition Park. The tightly curated festival featured a cross pollination of music to feed everyone’s soul. The 3-day festival featured performances by Frank Ocean, Missy Elliott, Nine Inch Nails, Björk, Anderson.Paak, & the Free Nationals, A Tribe Called Quest, Solange and Iggy Pop. The undercard was just as impressive as the headliners and not to be ignored.

Have a look at the festival photos and if you were there, tell us about your favorite moment from the “best weekend of summer”.

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Kendrick Lamar Announces Damn. Pop Up Shops

Awesome apparel coming to a city near you!

Zein Khleif
Category: News

Hate waiting in line for concert merchandise during an artist’s set? Me too. But looks like Kendrick Lamar has the perfect solution! The “Humble” rapper has decided to pair select shows on his current Damn. Tour with merchandise pop up shops in cities along his North American tour route.

His first pop up will accompany his Dallas, TX show on July 14th. As of now, 15 cities in total have been announced, including Los Angeles! As written by Rolling Stone, the pop ups will likely include “some of the Lamar-related apparel Top Dawg Entertainment has unveiled in recent weeks.”
 

 
Each city’s pop up will run for one day only, with the exception of New York City and Los Angeles (local fans, rejoice!). New York’s shop will be open from July 20th to July 23rd, while Lamar performs at the famed Barclays Center, and the Los Angeles pop up will run from August 6th until August 11th, during a three night run at the Staples Center.
 

 
Tickets to the Damn. Tour, which began on July 12th in Arizona, are available on Lamar’s website. The tour will run until September 2nd, ending in Miami.

For more information:

Kendrick Lamar 

Five Can’t-Miss Sets at FYF Fest 2017

We’ve whittled it down to the must-sees

July 10th, 2017
David Fisch
Category: Lead Story, News

This year, FYF is ramping up to be the festival to beat. Expanding from two days to a full-fledged weekend of three days, there is a whole extra day of sets, which also means a whole extra day of more of LA’s best food vendors, access to a new stage, and plenty more.

Tickets are still available for all three days of the festival – and we highly recommend it – but seeing as how the set times were revealed a few days ago, we’ve come to the conclusion that if we’re going to see a few select sets, we’re going to pick out the ones listed below.

1) Missy Elliot

All puns intended when we say “Get UR Freak On” with the only set by the Queen of Hip-Hop scheduled this year. Hot off a new single from an anticipated new record and an anniversary reissue of her debut LP Supa Dupa Fly, we’re expecting Missy to go all-out for this performance, performing new and old material but with the electrified kicks to make everything feel refreshed and alive once again. It will literally be seeing a legend on stage, and she will be headlining the first night of festivities. Speaking of legends…

2) A Tribe Called Quest

For the sake of music, or if you call yourself a fan of music, see A Tribe Called Quest at least once in your life. They’re back on tour after a years-long absence and bouncing after the surprise release of last year’s critically-acclaimed final album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, and most certainly riled-up in the wake of recent socio-political events and personal strifes with the death of essential founding member Phife Dawg. If their Grammy-award performance was any indication, their Saturday night set will be full of good energies – so really, just as if the band never left in the first place. Also, you can just stick around after their set for…

3) Frank Ocean

Though this article has been posted close to two weeks before he’s set to appear, we’re going to bet that Frank Ocean will indeed be performing. He had dropped out as headliner of FYF 2015 unexpectedly and was replaced with Kanye West (which no one in their right mind could complain about), but considering new material finally did drop last year in the form of the widely-praised Blonde and new collabs constantly appearing this year, we’re feeling confident that the new reigning prince of R&B will show and perform the swooning set we all were hoping for.

4) Cherry Glazerr

Get to Exposition Park early because we’re going with LA natives Cherry Glazerr to watch for their set kicking off Sunday. Quite literally, Cherry Glazerr kick so much ass on stage and on record, and with a record like this year’s Apocalipstick, expect vocalist Clementine Creevy to blow you away, but not before you start a rioting mosh in the sun as they go into overdrive. They should get you amped for another nine hours of music.

5) Moses Sumney

The heat-seeking singer-songwriter with an incredible falsetto, Moses Sumney will be at “The Club” stage Sunday evening for what will likely be a ruminative set. Having sold out The Echo in 2015 and right off the presses of a debut LP on Jagjaguwar Records called Aromanticism coming out this Fall, you might just witness the birth of a new star. We’d suggest you could almost end the festival with Moses’ allure, that you could potentially close yourselves in your bedroom with your experience as you listen to his EP and singles, but there’s so much more music happening afterwards that you’ll want to be there till the very end.

Which sets are you considering as your must-see sets? Let us know in the comments below!

FYF Fest will be held in Exposition Park July 21st-23rd. As previously stated, tickets are still available.

FESTIVAL REVIEW: EAUX CLAIRES 2017

Justin Vernon & co. return to the river

Kyle B. Smith
Category: Lead Story, Review

All photos by Kyle B. Smith unless otherwise noted

The third installment of the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival blossomed up in Wisconsin, once again finding its own special way of putting the heart in heartland.

Posted on the grounds of the festival was a copy of Bring Me a Unicorn: Diaries and Letters of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Opened to pages 260 and 261, it was screwed in to a makeshift wall at eye level.

Saw white birches on way to Deerfield. They have the same breathtaking whiteness that white dogwood has. I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.

Eaux Claires could also be dubbed a Collaboration, and Nature Festival. The gathering was comprised of myriad artful spaces in a natural setting each serving as a backdrop to what evolved in to a contagious form of artistic collaboration. All these elements, miracles like white dogwood.

From poetry slam interwoven with modern dance, to Twin Cities rapper Astronautalis free flowing rhymes backed by an orchestral ensemble, boundaries were defied in the name of a collective experience designed to reimagine what a music festival can be.

Friday headliner Chance the Rapper agreed: “This fest ain’t like no other fests.”


Photo by Kyle B. Smith

Festival co-founder Justin Vernon, a man who was nowhere to be found at Eaux Claires 2016 until debuting Bon Iver’s jaw dropper of a new album 22, A Million on a rainy Friday night, was ubiquitous this year. If not appearing at either his own or as a part of another act’s performance, he could be spotted darting between stages in a golf cart or on foot, in perpetual mad genius dishevelment.

At a kickoff block party Thursday night in “downtown” Eau Claire, Vernon and best pal Phil Cook got The Shouting Matches back together for a right-on-time set of swampy, blues rock. The Shouting Matches’ 2013 LP Grownass Man is painfully overlooked, and quite a counterpoint to the abstract direction Vernon and co. chose for 22, A Million.

The Shouting Matches’ punchy opener “Avery Hill” set an upbeat tone that never let up, and flaunted a tightness that belied the years since a proper live set from the group. In “Heaven Knows,” Cook’s harmonica solo served as a dirty slap in the face. With some locals watching from the roof of a nearby ice cream shop, jagged instrumental “Milkman” ultimately closed out the evening. It was followed by a sincere reminder from Justin: “be good hosts.”

A mere twelve hours later, Vernon opened the festival at noon on a creek side stage about the size of the Troubadour’s. The crowd assembled during an ad hoc soundcheck, providing the early birds their worm: an up-close glimpse behind the curtain, and even a little whimoweh from Wisconsin’s own Wizard of Oz; Vernon warmed up his voice with a bit of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

“The People’s Mixtape Vol. 1” unfolded as a sprawling jam session. Eaux Claires co-founder Aaron Dessner joined an ad hoc group, including Vernon, Francis and the Lights, and a wild-eyed Matt McCaughan on drums.

Glitchy sketches of songs were played that later reappeared elsewhere during the weekend, as when Dessner and Vernon revived their dormant side project Big Red Machine. “Over My Dead Body,” “More Time,” or “You Are Who You Are” could be a few of the working titles, the latter of which is an emotive and life-affirming battle cry.

Disparate musical moments ruled the weekend. Amidst a dancey banger set, Sylvan Esso slowed things down for “Slack Jaw,” a song of their newest LP, What Now. The colorfully clad Julieta Venegas (the other JV) strapped on an accordion during her bouncy, percussive set, then later rapped a verse in the choppy “Eres Para Mi.”

From the back of the field, it was easy to see how Perfume Genius and the lithe Michael Hadreas stunned the crowd from the get go with the opening bars of “Otherside,” a piece that pops early on with a vertical trajectory that recalls the beginning of The Cure’s similarly-titled “Plainsong.”

Kate Stables and This Is The Kit came from the UK to play a crystal clean set that included songs of their 2017 release, Moonshine Freeze. Unlike Perfume Genius, This Is The Kit saved their explosion for its coda, “Hotter Colder.” Guest collaborator Aaron Dessner tapped into his Eaux Claires 2016 Day of the Dead chops, helping to drive a huge groove that birthed a dance party pretty much out of nowhere.

Wisconsin’s own Collections of Colonies of Bees were a fantastic start to Saturday. Their expansively wide open songs played to a still emptyish field under a massive blue sky. Nearby, friendly locals taught patrons to play kubb, a Nordic lawn game that finds it’s official North American capital in Eau Claire.


Photo by David Szymansk

As for the avant-garde af element, Astronautalis’ improvisational rhyming enriched the s-t-a-r-g-a-z-e Mixtape Vol. 2 set, which also saw Romain Bly singing in to his French horn, and another participant tearing newspaper pages in front of her microphone.

The Oxbeau stage, a basic wooden platform and roof set off a path, hosted Mountain Man, a group of three women (including Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath) whose acapella harmonies sound as if they had been born in the woods. A rapt audience filled trails in front of the stage, and climbed trees for an elevated vantage point. All of this a few steps away from a box of amplified chirping crickets (no, really).


Photo by Scott Kunkel

While Jenny Lewis teamed up with Phil Cook and others to form a “Hawaiian psychedelic swing band from Mars,” in actuality, there was no better example of the cross-pollination of musicians than during “Bon Iver Presents John Prine and the American Songbook” set Friday evening. The performance, which included somewhere around 30 contributors, paid homage to John Prine, the mailman poet who has written songs that are found at the crossroads of humor and heart.

Host Justin Vernon started by himself, tackling “Sabu Visited the Twin Cities Alone.” Later, the ethereal layers that help define Bon Iver’s indefinable sound emerged ever so subtly during “Unwed Fathers.” Amanda Blank and Spank Rock led a spirited take on “In Spite of Ourselves,” an unmistakably John Prine tune.

The music paused so that local poet and author Michael Perry could recite an endearing letter to his friend, Justin Vernon. Perry’s annual reading as “festival narrator” has become a centerpiece moment of the wholesome, barn-raiser of a weekend.

Perry waxed about their shared love of John Prine’s music, how Justin explored Prine’s catalogue on “tiny foam headphones” in his father’s minivan, being careful to make sure that the Discman was held in a way so the songs wouldn’t skip.

“We’ve talked about this, you and me, how we like heroes who run close to the ground,” Perry intimated, and then went on to poignantly reference John Prine’s oeuvre: “I like songs written in the key of empathy.”


Photo by Graham Tolbert

The narrator stayed on to sing, “It’s a Big Old Goofy World.” Soon thereafter, the man of the hour, John Prine, ever the gentleman and dressed to the nines, came to the stage just about the time it started to rain cats and dogs.

Mr. Prine, now backed by Bon Iver(!), began with the impeccably titled “Storm Windows.” Later, the musicians battled the elements during “Hello in There” and “Paradise.” All the artists came out for the family-style sing-along finale.

Set in Wisconsin, “Lake Marie” was an a propos but bittersweet farewell. Now 71, John Prine’s dapper suit and gracious mannerisms spoke to the presence of a man from another time. His departure from the stage during the outro of “Lake Marie” conjured an acute awareness of the inevitability of the passage of time; his waves reached beyond the outer edges of the festival field.


Photo by Graham Tolbert

This year, the network of footpaths, microstages and art installations tucked away in wooded areas at the eastern end of the grounds were significantly expanded. The quiet space sits under a veritable canopy, and is blindingly lush to those attendees who ventured from the arid west.

But Eaux Claires’ naturalism was not confined to the forest. In a “is this really happening??” moment, a thunderstorm encroached during the Prine set as The Staves emerged to perform his larger than life crusher, “Angel from Montgomery.”

The lyrics, “If dreams were lightning, and thunder were desire, this old house would’ve burned down a long time ago,” had just bowled everyone over when actual lightning struck in the sky above the stage.

The surreal event was serendipitously reprised the next evening, as Paul Simon, backed by six-piece orchestral group yMusic, closed out their performance with a masterfully restrained version of “The Sound of Silence.”

After a vicious deluge delayed and nearly canceled the set, gun mental gray clouds hung low over the scene, creating a damp, austere light that illuminated a collective moment of solemnity. Another miracle like white dogwood.


Photo by Scott Kunkel


Photo by Graham Tolbert

Show Preview: The Cairo Gang @ Zebulon

with support from multi-talented garage-rocker CFM

July 7th, 2017
Jillian Goldfluss
Category: News

Photo by Mikel Avery

Emmett Kelly is perhaps one of the most devoted, multi-talented musicians working in rock music today. His repertoire includes stints with bands including Bonnie Prince Billy, Beth Orton, Joan of Arc, Angel Olsen, and Ty Segall. He has firmly and autonomously cemented himself in the American rock landscape, and that is because he is uncompromisingly a musician by trade. He grew up with music in Van Nuys, California, took it with him to Chicago, and landed back in LA, having released his fifth studio album this past March under The Cairo Gang moniker.

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Set Times Announced for FYF Fest 2017

LA music fest expands to three days

David Fisch
Category: Lead Story, News

In its 14th year, FYF Fest is looking to outdo every one of their previous iterations. Now spanning three days from July 21-23, the festival held at Exposition Park has landed insane headliners Missy Elliott (her only scheduled show this year), Frank Ocean (his first scheduled US show supporting Blond/Endless – following his cancellation of the other fests he was set to play prior), and
Nine Inch Nails (their first show since 2014). Speaking of “landed,” FYF has also added a sixth stage called “Outer Space” which will feature all day DJing.

With just a couple weeks out until the fest begins, FYF has announced the official set times for each artist, and as usually the case, there are some notable crossovers that you’ll need to figure out and maneuver carefully.

Unfortunate as it is trying to see Majid Jordan at the same time as Flying Lotus’ new 3D experience, Friday isn’t as complex as Saturday, which has artists like Perfume Genius, Built To Spill, King Krule, and Arca fighting for a prime spot while A Tribe Called Quest makes their storied return. Be advised, too, that some of these artists are playing full shows at venues before or after the weekend’s event, so I would research that first before feeling major FOMO at the Main Stage.

Sunday has an incredible wealth of heat-seeking indie acts between the 3PM-8PM hours like Cherry Glazer, Whitney, Andy Shauf, Chicano Batman, Moses Sumney, Nadia Rose, and Mac DeMarco, and they’re all playing on different stages, so you’ll have to utilize your time wisely and either catch a glimpse of each of these acts or commit to a stage or two and see their full performances. Based on previous experience, it would also be advisable to try and make it to Solange, Run The Jewels, and Nine Inch Nails in one go, as each of their sets are sure to be memorable.

The 2017 lineup might be the beefiest lineup in the fest’s history, for Los Angeles, and certainly that of 2017’s other festivals around the country, so make sure you’re a part of it. You can still get Single-Day, 3-Day GA and 3-Day VIP Passes at www.fyffest.com, and be sure to download the 2017 app on iOS or Android devices, as you can use it to explore the line up, see the site map, check out merch and vendors, and find your friends at the festival.

Sony to Start Making Vinyl Records Again In Japan

After a nearly 30 year hiatus, a vinyl revival

July 5th, 2017
Zein Khleif
Category: News
district. Demand for vinyl records is leading Sony to restart making vinyl records. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

It’s been nearly 30 years since Sony has pressed vinyl records in Japan, but as demand grows during the vinyl resurgence, “the company says it’s installing record-cutting equipment and enlisting the help of older engineers who know how to reproduce the best sound,” reports NPR. 

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ The Ace Hotel

A religious experience with the gothic rock legend

June 30th, 2017
David Fisch
Category: Lead Story, Review

I tried my damnedest to witness Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds when I headed to Texas for South by Southwest, back when the band had just released Push The Sky Away. Being the festival virgin I was and having the naiveté to show up to a concert on time, I was turned away at the door as Stubb’s was up to capacity for the evening. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed (SXSW had so much other music happening), but a little part of me really wanted to see the rock music legend in his intense glory. I wanted to be surrounded by people in a place so unfamiliar to me, to unleash myself into the hoards of attendees and be the freak I wanted to be with the gothic punk man and his bad seeds ready to treat me to a night of emotional fury.

Four years later, I see them at The Act Hotel downtown, and I’m immensely happy I waited. Their latest album, last year’s Skeleton Tree, is one of Nick Cave’s most lyrically heart-wrenching records to date in a songbook of so many heart-wrenching moments, and that this show featured such songs of overwhelming gravity gave me chills, in a way that existential realization might make you “see the light,” in fear and accepting of it. Fate had it for me to see him this very night instead of before this moment.

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