Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keep Your Footwear Fly This Saturday with Sneaker Pimps

sp la

Attention sneakerheads, Jordan and SB collectors and hip-hop fans - the Sneaker Pimps are doing a national tour that kicks off this Saturday September 3rd in Los Angeles at Club Avalon Hollywood. Live performances by The Game, Rich Hil & The Dean's List along with live art, sneaker exhibits and buy-sell-trade kicks. You could find those coveted Jordan IIIs or VIs you wanted or those damn Crayola SB Dunks that I ruined at Lollapalooza (seriously - if you find those - holler!)

Not only should the sneakers be top notch, but it should be a dope show as well with The Game performing songs off his latest project, The R.E.D. Album (iTunes). Tommy Hilfiger's son, rapper Rich Hil, should be an interesting act to watch as Rich Hil recently signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records last month. Check out the youtube video of his signing. Lastly one of my favorite Boston hip-hop acts, The Dean's List, bring their unique genre-blending act to Los Angeles, performing for the 1st time out in the city of angels.

If you're not in LA, don't fret as Sneaker Pimps are doing shows in Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York City. Check out all the tour dates here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guetta's So Hot Right Now

David Guetta was hot in 2009, didn't cool off in 2010 and is basically boiling this week of 2011. He's got an album release, a film screening and a headlining spot on the first night of a young, emerging multi-day city based festival.

You could already cop his new release Nothing But The Beat on i-tunes, but tonight you can hear it at the Egyptian Theatre screening of his film and you'll definitely be able to see it live at this weekend's North Coast Music Festival in Chicago, IL.

Guetta headlines the late festival season event on Friday night, playing from 8:30-10:00 where he is more or less guaranteed to drop some of the fire he has been cooking up in his beat kitchen dance club in Ibiza. Some of the magic from that creation process is hopefully on display in the film screening for the record that takes place in Los Angeles tonight.

With two metropolis' getting a dosage of one of the more recognizable producer/DJs in the game right now - it should be an exciting week for Mr. Guetta (and us :D) Stay tuned to our twitter feed for info on the screening event and, if you're interested, check out Guetta's latest on his website.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Deadmau5 Makes History at Hollywood Palladium (post by ZSE)

Deadmau5 is making history at the Hollywood Palladium starting tonight as he performs four straight nights at the Hollywood, California venue. This should be an awesome weekend with killer performances from the eclectic-sounding Canadian DJ. The shows from August 25-27 are already sold out but hurry on over to ticketmaster to buy tickets for the Sunday August 28th show.

With new production on the tour - including an upgraded cube show - I'm truly excited to see Joel Zimmerman return to L.A.

Above is video of Deadmau5 performing "Sofi Needs A Ladder" live in London. Below are my five favorites from Deadmau5 including a song that came out a couple weeks ago ("Professional Griefers").

Deadmau5 - Professional Griefers

Deadmau5 - Alone With You

Deadmau5 - Raise Your Weapons

Deadmau5 - Some Chords

Deadmau5 - Maths

Here's the Deadmau5 tour schedule.

Post by ZSE

Sunset Strip Festival Revisited

Review by Rory Maloney

The Sunset Strip was in construction mode Friday night in preparation for what promised to be an eventful day at one of best music scenes on the planet. Concert-goers who seeked an early look filtered into The Roxy, Key Club, and Viper Room but most of the buzz surrounded a crowd flowing onto the street in front of Whiskey a Go Go. Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors were playing a show and despite having press passes we were kept out of the sold out venue. Even a desperate plea to the band’s manager yielded no sympathy. We walked down to The Roxy instead where we caught Buckcherry’s set and witnessed what would be the ongoing theme of the weekend: Older fans with ageless enthusiasm jammed and sang along to nearly every song in the surprisingly packed venue. True music lovers were out and regardless of stage, each band would have some of its most loyal fans on hand.

Saturday felt like a lot more of a festival as people eagerly made their way into the venue which consisted of a stretch on Sunset Strip with two stages on opposite ends. Smaller bands earning their keep and hoping to catch eyes rotated throughout the small venues while the likes of Matt and Kim, Public Enemy, Bush, and Motley Crue took to the main stages. One of the most unorthodox lineups of all-time promised to entertain a vast range of people from Hollywood hipsters to diehard Motley Crue fans. Everyone embraced the atmosphere, and collectively they handed the Strip an entertaining and unforgettable evening.

Matt and Kim’s energy was evident from the second they took the stage as Kim jumped on her drum set and began dancing before sitting down and playing a cover of Let Me Clear My Throat to get the crowd warmed up.

The duo bantered back and forth and played their hits including Good Old Fashion Nightmare and Daylight to enthusiastic and energized onlookers. They were the catalyst to the evening energy and through their music they injected Redbull into the vein of the show. By looking around it was hard to tell who was there to see what, but at each main stage the feel-good vibe flowed as Kim’s personality exploded on stage. By the look on her face it was hard to tell if anyone could possibly be that into their music, but it was easy to tell that the edgy duo felt honored to play with the likes of living legends. At one point Kim ran around handing out balloons with the duos’ faces on them and got the crowd involved, asking them to blow them up and throw them in the air.

Towards the end of the set Kim promised to show a below the belt tattoo if they participated in a sing-along, and after she got what she asked for she stood on a drum and showed a small tattoo below the belt line. It was a bit awkward, but everyone appreciated the heart and love that more or less kicked off the evening. As they closed their set, people began to rush toward the other stage where Gavin Rossdale and Bush prepared to re-introduce themselves to the Hollywood scene that once embraced them and made them stars.

As Gavin Rossdale and Bush took the stage and a curious crowd edged closer only one fan didn’t want to hear a show that was long overdue from a band that never should have never stopped making music.

Gavin and the boys opened with Machinehead, one of the songs that but Bush on the map in the nineties. His voice still carries beautifully and his tone hasn’t faltered but has in fact grown more soulful with age. It’s the kind of music that makes you remember exactly where you were when they put out their debut album Sixteen Stone. I remember buying that and Oasis’s Definitely Maybe with my allowance in sixth grade and I was glad to look around at age twenty-eight and notice that I was on the younger side of the audience.

They rolled through most of their catalog including a few new hits from their first album in a decade. As Gavin cascades through Glycerine and sings “Don’t Let the Days Go By” I can’t help but think it’s a little bit ironic given the career path they’ve gone down. But they make unique choices and switch up lyrics and verses and play the meat of their hits from Everything Zen to Comedown. They even play a charismatic cover of The Beatles’ Come Together and get the crowd involved. I can’t help but wish they’d continued to put out music over the last decade but after powering through an impressive set, it’s evident that the British boys from Bush aren’t done yet. As the sun goes down on the west stage the band bids the crowd a thank you and a farewell, and leaves with hope of returning to the spotlight.

As the sun fell in the sky the crowd began to get weirder. People from all walks of life inter-mingled and despite the occasional obliterated drunk the random assortment of music fanatics co-existed fairly peacefully.

Diehard fans put on their best concert attire and as we made our way toward the Public Enemy stage the most out-there act of the night rocked the mic and got the heads on Sunset bobbing. Given that most of the people surrounding the stage only know of Flava Flav for his TV persona, Chuck D rocked and the duo pleased as they rolled through their hits. Scott Ian from Anthrax picked up his guitar and joined them on stage, and they hit their high point when they got down to Bring the Noise. Flav is an entertainer and I couldn’t help but smile as his muscle memory kicked in and threw him in a time machine, bringing him to the point in his life when he was actually coherent. As the set wound down, we turned around to a sea of people migrating back toward the other end. Motley Crue, legends of the ground we were walking on were preparing to take the stage.

As we took higher ground hoping to find a better camera angle people edged in every way they possibly could to catch a glimpse of the stage. After what seemed like hours, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee and the boys emerged amidst a cloud of smoke and rocked out to Wild Side.

By looking around it was clear that the Motley Crue faithful was representing proudly as people wore original concert shirts ranging across decades. It felt like I woke up in a different decade and I stepped out of my musical comfort zone to appreciate a band that has puked on, pissed on, and dominated the Sunset Strip scene for the past thirty years. The performance matched the get-ups and the band seemed at home as they played effortlessly yet emotionally. They were there to put on a show, and Tommy Lee played the drums upside down as his drum set took off on track into a mini-roller coaster. As they neared the end of their set they rocked out some of their greatest hits including Dr. Feelgood and Girls, Girls, Girls.

It’s amazing that they’re all alive and in-tact and even they admit it’s a miracle that they’re standing where it all began today. And as they say their thanks and head off into the night, we slink away into the crowd exhausted and enamored by what we’d just witnessed.

Only in LA can such a diverse lineup be assembled and work in unison. Only in LA can you see living legends play their original stomping grounds. As we head out into the night and smoke filters off of Sunset, only one thing comes to mind. God Damn I love the music scene in LA.

Post by Rory

Dysfunction Junction

(image from Downtown Lobby)

Sunset Junction Street Fair officially got the kabosh put on them this morning when their appeal to obtain the permit was denied. The two day event which was going to take place this weekend is officially cancelled.

After a meeting earlier this week confirmed that the three decade running community event did not have the city's permission due to an outstanding $400,000 bill to the city, festival organizers were told an immediate payment of $142,000 might save the event. Despite allegedly raising $152,000, the cash was not in hand as of this morning (according to festival organizers - they'd "hoped" to have it tomorrow) and the demonstrations of anti-Junction sentiment, mostly from letters from community members, indicated the community festival had lost some of its local supporters.

Those that opposed the festival were aptly prepared to argue why the Junction should be cancelled and the festival's organizers and supporters simply did not have enough ammunition for a counter attack. With a huge debt, a nearly non-existent clean up attempt last year, and Hanson and Butthole Surfers as headliners - I'm not that surprised that the Silverlake Counsel told the fest to take a hike.

While the absence of Junction is certainly a disappointment - the city shouldn't be stuck with the festival organizers' bills. The same festival organizer who had already advanced a bunch of talent for the event didn't even pony up to pay the city and that is just insulting. If I was sitting on that council - it would be hard for me to respect the position of the festival organizer who essentially didn't pay for the mess they created (and charged people to create).

And now there is a whole new mess - a cancelled event. Not only does that bring up a handful of potentially breached contracts and creditors. But with many artists not booking local gigs to respect the festival's radius clause - there is suddenly an explosion of quality acts looking for places to play not just this weekend, but all through out September. Keep your eyes peeled for wild impromptu indie BBQs this weekend as well as updates to local venues calendars in September.

The fate and future of Sunset Junction is not fully told yet as Live Nation was one of the main parties to step up to make the event actually occur this year. A rumored $100,000 donation from the event beast put Junction in a position to pay down some of their debt - but it was unfortunately too little too late. The city might change their tune to the festival in the future with a backer like Live Nation though - who could clearly support clean up efforts. Whether or not Live Nation can resurrect the event - stay tuned to other local blogs and tweeters, eastside streetpoles and lightposts and random bands facebook accounts to find out about all the renegade Junction shows that are sure to occur.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Strange Talk - "Climbing Walls" - A REWARDING WATCh

This video from Strange Talk has embedded reward opportunities...not to mention that it and the song are dope. Apparently they are claiming it is the first of its kind and they chose North America as the launch point. That has some of their Australian fans literally 'climbing walls'

On top of music video releases, these boys really just need to come to the United States, specifically Los Angeles, and rock my socks off.

For now, this video will have to do....

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pacific Festival Post Fact - Part 2 (recap by ZSE)

Part 1 of my Pacific Festival review
consisted of acts that performed during the day. Part 2 below consists of acts that performed at night.

After Calvin Harris got the party starting on the main stage, Steve Aoki continued the party with his bangers ranging from "Turbulence" to his stellar remix of "Pursuit of Happiness." He had by far the greatest stage presence. Here's my favorite song he did, his remix to Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness".

Pursuit of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix)

After seeing Aoki, I scrambled over to see Aussie house duo Bag Raiders. They were one of the up-and-coming acts I was most excited to see. What I didn't expect was that their sound would be so exceptional, not only with the instrumentals but the vocals as well. "Way Back Home" appeared to pump the crowd up the most as the duo both were banging on drums and the catchy chorus was hot and dope!

Bag Raiders - Way Back Home

After Bag Raiders, we went back to the main stage to see Ghostland Observatory. If you're looking for a group that not only sounds good but has amazing visual effects as well, look no further than Ghostland Observatory. While I don't remember all the songs they performed, I won't forget the amazing light show and lasers during their performance, which made their set pretty much amazing. Here's my favorite song I heard from them live, "Midnight Voyage".

Midnight Voyage - Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland was a great pick me up act for west coast hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg. Even though we had to wait over 30 minutes for Snoop to get on stage, his performance was off the chain. Seriously Snoop Dogg is a legend and if you're a fan of hip-hop, you must respect Snoop's music, his swagger and his status. He played mostly his older tracks, which I personally loved and while there was a couple older tracks he didn't play ("Deep Cover" and "Gz and Hustlers"), he still was great. Here's video we got of his performance:

Lastly Australian act Cut Copy came to the stage as headliners of the festival. I was surprised as anybody why Snoop Dogg wasn't the closer, but after seeing Cut Copy jam out with the energy they had, I left with a great appreciation for Pacific Festival and their scheduling. I enjoyed almost every song Cut Copy did and really absorbed the energy from lead vocalist Dan Whitford. Here's my favorite song from Cut Copy, "Take Me Over", just a great song for a road trip or any other adventure you embark on.

Cut Copy - "Take Me Over"

Review Post by Zach Siegal Eisman (BeforeTheBigs)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Donald Trump Digs "Donald Trump"

Donald Trump cosigns Mac Miller's song of the same name. Kind of funny. But the "New Eminem"??? I don't know if Donald Trump is the guy you want making that comparison for you....

We've enjoyed the song for a while and I'm not letting Mr. Trump's endorsement rain down on that because the song is, in fact, ill. That's why people like Neon Hitch are covering it AND making videos for the cover. Peep her video and the original below...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pacific Festival Post Fact - Part 1 (recap by ZSE)

After being anointed with my VIP Press/Media pass courtesy from the organizers of Pacific Festival, I proceeded into the festival and went to see Hanni El Khatib on the Pacific stage. I'd intended on listening to him perform a few songs from his set as I wanted to walk around the festival and get an idea of where I would be spending most of the day. I was struck by the first song I heard, which was his best, the rocking "Build. Destroy. Rebuild." Here's "Build. Destroy. Rebuild".

Hanni El Khatib- Build. Destroy. Rebuild.

After Khatib and orienting myself to the festival grounds, I saw !!! (chk chk chk), a dance-punk group whose lead singer had incredible stage presence. He connected with the crowd and elevated the energy by getting off the stage and dancing/walking his way to the first 75-100 fans in the front rows. Their energetic and animated performance definitely earned my respect.

AM / FM by ChkChkChk

Disco-house duo Poolside were still dropping beats after !!! finished, so I jogged and caught the last song of their set. Although I don't remember what that song was, here's "Do You Believe" which I assume they played.

Poolside - Do You Believe

Poolside overflowed into The C90s - who performed on top of the shagedelica bus, that was covered with white fur on nearly all of the interior and exterior of the bus. It was an interesting site to see and getting access to dance on top the bus while The C90s performed Disco/Electronica/Dance was a unique experience! Here's "Shine A Light".

Shine A Light by TheC90s

Read more for my review of three of my favorite acts during the day, Fred Falke, Phantogram and Calvin Harris.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Outside Lands Feedback

Outside Lands Festival capped off what has easily been the best festival season of my SUPERGOOD career. While there are actually a few local (Sunset Strip Music Festival, Sunset Junction) and a few more destination (North Coast Music Festival, De Luna Music Festival or Treasure Island Festival, VooDoo Fest) – after the huge Deadmau5 and Arcade Fire closing sets, it may as well have been the end because I’m satisfied.

Exiting to people’s claims of “receiving their money’s worth,” I can only confirm why they might have felt that way.

From the opening day’s very first acts – New Orelans Klezmer Allstars, Release The Sunbird, Marky and Arann Harris & The Farm Band each who started at noon on Friday (my personal first was Phantogram) to the final note of Arcade Fire – there was a little sample of almost every musical genre and a concentration on all flavors of rock and roll. As far as rock goes – Outside Lands really brought the heat this year with Grammy award winning Arcade Fire, Muse, Phish, The Shins, The Black Keys, The Decemberists, Arctic Monkeys, Beirut, OK Go, Warren Haynes Band and more.

With only few disappointments (Big Boi did not really perform due to technical difficulty; I missed K. Flay, Charles Bradley and Tune-Yards) and lots of high lights – the 4th Outside Lands and the return to a three-day festival was a big success in my opinion. Given that the event pretty much sold out - I’d say it was a success by the organizer’s standards too.

After a 24 hour decompression here are a few takeaways:

· The Stone Foxes are the next Black Keys. While the San Francisco based quartet are noticeably and understandably different, they both embrace the same bad ass bluesy and gritty rock and roll. No wonder both of their music has been on Sons of Anarchy and they’ve already played a show together in Arizona. I can only hope that trend continues and they are doing a run f dates together. Sign me up for a spot trailing that tour. With some attendees claiming the Foxes Saturday afternoon throwdown as the best show of the festival, they might be willing to join that caravan too. For the uninitiated I’d definitely advise checking out the free download of their song “Psycho” on their website and hit up El Cid on August 28th when they close out Sunset Junction. Its part of the package for Junction attendees, but I think access can also be purchased separately.

· People on the lawn in San Francisco can really get down to some funk music, the people in the press tent…not so much. The Original Meters and The Greyboy Allstars turned out good sets on the mainstage and Phish dropped a version of “Funky Bitch” as well as “Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove.” Sunday didn’t have as much funky music – although I missed Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band, whom I’m guessing held it down.

· Phish isn’t slowing down. They didn’t blow my socks off – but I wouldn’t be sad to see them again either. While I’m certainly no roadie or a Phishhead – the guys can certainly still play “Rock and Roll” in their elder (and sober?) state. With a substantial catalogue to choose from, they managed to play some new songs I’m definitely not familiar with as well as a half dozen covers (“2001”, “Roses Are Free”, “Rock and Roll”, “Peaches En Regalia” “Life on Mars?” and “Funky Bitch”) and fan favorites (“Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove” and “Tweezer”).

· The Roots should put out an album called “Greatest Wedding Band of All Time” and do all covers that people love to get down to. They docovers at their concerts – it used to be hip-hop medleys, but now it has turned into full blown rock and roll, funk and hip-hop covers. I was particularly impressed with their rendition of Gil Scott Heron’s “The Bottle.” No disrespect – they are amazing at doing it, but they are also an exceptional band and also have their own great original material. Nonetheless, they get the biggest rise from the crowd doing covers and “Here I Come” – the Jimmy Fallon theme song. The covers seemed to get even more fan fare than “If You Got Me”, the groups biggest hit to date. All that said, despite crushing other people’s songs sometimes better than the originals themselves, they are much more than the greatest wedding band of all time. Bonus - someone whipped out one of the parachutes we all used to played with in phys ed class in kindergarten and 1st grade

· Watching Girl Talk and the crowd at Girl Talk is fun…being in the middle of a Girl Talk crowd is a recipe for getting touched by strangers. It is really cool to look over a crowd from a perch (which you can find at OLF) and see how certain songs resonate (or don’t) with a majority of the crowd. A surprisingly popular drop was “Got Your Money” by Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

· Erykah Badu is a force. Her energy pulled me away from Phish and I was sad I hadn’t seen more of her set. Her voice is beautiful, her band was kicking it and her soul is undeniable.

* Big Boi not playing was disappointing – but Dave Chapelle appearing and doing some comedy was DOPE.

* Big Hassle does a great job coordinating press and providing for a good experience for people covering the festival.

* Deadmau5 new cubes are a new experience. Don't miss his tour!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Found my way downstairs and wrote a blog about who to go see on the first day of OUTSIDE LANDS FESTIVAL 2011.

Yes. I'm that excited that I'm quoting Beatles and not sleeping before I go. Returning a third day for the festival - the event brings legendary acts like Phish and The Original Meters into a festival environment that is also peppered with lesser known acts that, while they've been in the game, are still hoping to have careers that endure nearly as long as either one of the above.

I fully intend to indulge myself in those artists still seemingly hungry for growth. I'm not talking about the chart toppers that people might flock to, but the ones I wish were chart toppers - like K. Flay. She's got swag. I think she's talented (and intelligent). And she's down with real hip-hop. This video's got breakers, Converse and tap dancing - all which get props in my book. She plays at 12:45.

Or Toro Y Moi - the ambient chillwave masterchild of Chazwick Bundick responsible for a sexy remix of Tyler, The Creator's "French!" and releases a new EP (Freaking Out) in just over a month. Doing duty at two California festivals this weekend (Saturday at Pacific Festival in OC) - the San Francisco crowd is lucky to get him to get the party started at 3:50 at the Twin Peaks stage.

"Still Sound" is a more recent offering from the second album, Underneath The Pine. It was recently featured on an episode of Entourage, which probably propelled the visibility of the Bull and I into new places.

"Talamak" is from Toro Y Moi's first album - released on Carpark Records in 2010. Also a gem.

For those who want to see Foster The People and Toro Y Moi - they'll have a tough decision to make. I'm sticking with Toro, who has played less festivals than the People.

I'll be throwing my love for Los Angeles behind a different home grown act - the funk masters that are Orgone. I really hope Fanny Franklin is there rocking with them. She has a killer voice that crushes it over the Stewart Killen led rhythm section. They have a healthy library of originals (at least four albums) and also do killer covers of songs like "Ain't No Use" and - "Brothers On The Slide"

Orgone is one of those bands that doesn't have "official" music videos - just dirty nasty funky ass jams that make you want to get down live. Certainly will be much more of a throw down than MGMT - who still haven't earned back my respect from previous poor performances. If you dig our recommendations - please just trust me, and peep Orgone.

While I'd love to catch a little of Ellie Goulding or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or even Miguel Migs, I'm going to squat by Panhandle for The Limousines at 6:15.

I've actually never seen the recent Dangerbird Records signees and clever minds behind "Internet Killed The Video Star" - so I'll be losing my virginity so to speak.

Checking them out means missing out on most of Big Boi - who has been doing great all festival season. If you love Outkast, love to see black men in track suits or just want to get down with daddy fat sacks - check him out at Sutro Stage starting at 6:20 p.m.

It also means missing the beginning of Phish, who take stage at 6:30 p.m., and have also allegedly been having a great summer season. Here is a video of them performing Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" at Hollywood Bowl on Monday for the first time. It takes a few minutes for it to get going - but it is kind of cool to watch a band that has toured for close to 30 years play a song they've never played before.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Stone Foxes: Representing San Fran at Outside Lands Festival

Homegrown Bay Area residents The Stone Foxes are gearing up for their first ever Outside Lands performance and first official after party (they're playing The Independent with Warren Haynes Band) at just the right time.

The band has rekindled label interest and industry buzz with their late festival season push and opening spots on tours with acts like George Thorogood & The Destroyers. With promo releases of gritty and crunchy bartime tunes like "Psycho" coming out this week - the band continues to reinvent what it means to play modern day blues rock. You can acquire the aforementioned track on their website as well as contribute to their music video for the song. I love it, in part, because it has the same lo-fi appeal that "Mr. Hangman" does. It also has pretty funny lyrics too.

Speaking of Hangman, you can be certain that Shannon will be nearly swallowing his harmonica on Saturday August 13th in the fields of Golden Gate Park - kind of like he does in these videos.