DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist at the Hollywood Palladium, October 3rd

By Ms. Indigo Jones of OthermusiC (Tuesdays 10:00 pm - 12:00 am)

On October 3rd, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist honored Afrika Bambaataa’s legacy as a pioneer in Hip-Hop culture. The two artists performed at the Hollywood Palladium as a part of their Renegades of Rhythm tour. They emphasized Bambaataa’s impact in developing and spreading Hip-Hop worldwide.

The event showcased select records from Bambaataa’s vinyl collection that has been archived by Cornell University. In an interview conducted by WOLFshoes of OthermusiC, Cut Chemist compared experiencing their Renegades of Rhythm set to a “touring museum,” in which the records are the historical artifacts. In this regard, one could consider DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist the curators of this historic music collection. It was for this very reason that WOLFshoes and I felt it was an absolute necessity to provide coverage on this significant event.

When DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist first took the stage, they began with a short introduction. They explained the importance of understanding the foundation of today’s music as well as the impact Afrika Bambaataa had on music culture. Light-up cutouts of a cityscape surrounded the artists during their show, while a video consisting of screen shots and visuals played as the backdrop to their set. Musical equipment and vinyl surrounded the duo. In front of the artists were six turntables and to their left stood a drum machine from 1967. Bambaataa’s immense vinyl collection filled crates on stage.

As the set began the crowd was filled with excitement, ready to embark upon this musical journey. Shadow and Chemist played sounds ranging from West African drums to Miami bass, and explored genres from disco to break beat. The audience witnessed outstanding scratching and beat juggling techniques that nicely blended the set, musical timeline, and flow.

According to the duo the crowd looked like Planet Rock. The audience reflected the wide array of people Bambaataa introduced to Hip-Hop throughout the world. The crowd consisted of all ages, races, and musical lifestyles. It was reassuring to see one event unite people from such diverse backgrounds. While some audience members enjoyed the music deep in the crowd, others listened off to the sides as they huddled around break dancing circles and watched b-boys and b-girls flip in the air. At one point both Shadow and Chemist dedicated a part of their set to the break-dancers since they play such a vital role in the Hip-Hop culture. The duo asked all the b-boys and b-girls to take the middle of the dance floor and display their exceptional dance skills as a spotlight shined down on them as the music continued to play. 

As seamlessly as the show began, it ended. It was midnight and the journey through Hip-Hop and Afrika Bambaataa’s historic vinyl collection was over. It seemed like the set ended too soon and all the audience longed for was a second night, a second show, a second journey through time. The historical significance, musical selection, visuals, and crowd made this show a once in a lifetime experience. If given the opportunity to attend the Renegades of Rhythm tour, it is strongly recommended that you do so. The experience will leave you with a better understanding of the development of Hip-Hop culture and your soul will be inspired.

In the words of Cut Chemist “if you are into music and you want to be a DJ, if you don’t want to be a DJ and you still listen to music and you like Hip-Hop, if you don’t like Hip-Hop, it’s still a great show.”

 

 

Click here to listen to the Cut Chemist interview. 

Click here for more information regarding upcoming shows for the Renegades of Rhythm tour.

Click here for more pictures.

Surfer Blood at U Street Music Hall Friday, October 3rd

By Katrina Yentch (Low Tide on Tuesdays 12-2PM) 

Often time, when you think of the music hot spots in the U.S., Los Angeles and New York are the cities that immediately come to mind. Well, I’m in Washington D.C. for the next four months thanks to UCDC so I thought I’d shed a little bit of light on the music scene here, starting with a show at the U Street Music Hall, one of D.C.’s most frequented stops on East Coast tours for indie musicians.

The band keeps busy – according to frontman John Paul Pitts, they just finished recording their third album following summer 2014’s Pythons. They wasted no time in getting right back on the road, as this D.C. show was the second date off of their tour with pop rock band We Are Scientists and Kanine Records label mates Eternal Summers.

U Street is one amongst the many rows of bars and restaurants in the D.C. area, and Surfer Blood was all too familiar with the venue here themselves, having also played two other venues in the area. As a small, intimate venue, it’s incredibly easy to accidentally walk past U Street Music Hall without noticing it. Upon entering down a flight of stairs, you’re greeted with a set of black painted brick walls. A few red lanterns and stage lights keep the room dimly lit, and two bars are located at either end of the venue. It’s an honest venue that doesn’t “dress to impress.”

After a half-hearted opening performance from Eternal Summers (does making the volume unbearably loud mean a better show?), Surfer Blood took the stage, fittingly opening with “Floating Vibes,” the first track to the first album Astro Coast. The mellow, laid back yet chipper feel of the song somewhat predicted what the mood for most of the show would be…mellow.

I believe that a lot of a band’s performance depends on the vibe they get from their audiences, and Surfer Blood was certainly feeling the casual opener act temperament in this group. With bare head nods and casual feet tapping, the D.C. crowd kept it conservative for most of the show despite the upbeat, feel-good nature of Surfer Blood’s music. I’ve been at Surfer Blood shows before and seen fans go nuts there – uncharacteristic sweaty moshing, hands in the air, and of course, the occasional stage dive. This time, however, the band did what they could—John Paul Pitts made his (what seems to be) signature move now of walking casually into the audience (thrashing in the case of other shows) during “Take it Easy,” lending his mic to everyone to scream into. He was welcomed politely and cautiously. Amidst all of this, guitarist Thomas Fekete kept the hooks and riffs strong and catchy as hell, allowing heads to bob in unison.

Despite low sound problems in the first couple songs, Surfer Blood had a strong, clean set. They played the crowd pleasers like “Demon Dance” and “Swim,” threw in some oldies from the Tarot Classic EP like “Miranda.” and also gave some breaks in between with slower jams, closing the set with “Anchorage.”  It had the components of what every live performance tends to be in order to keep the crowd happy. In this case, however, the crowd seemed to be happy just standing there smiling – eh, I guess you can’t expect a rowdy performance from a show that wasn’t the headliner that night, not to mention it was also 8:30 PM at night. Although Pitts claimed it felt like 2 A.M., the crowd certainly didn’t feel this way. The venue had yet another show planned for 10 P.M. that night.

I guess I can’t complain that much about the D.C. crowd, considering that Surfer Blood’s “surf” pop rock music pretty much targets the West Coast and anyone who daydreams of the ocean in general. Where does the capitol of the nation fit into this equation, really? All in all, it was a good turnout, but I’m hoping the next set of shows in D.C. will leave me struggling to keep up with a crowd of people eager to dance like there’s no tomorrow.

KUCI Top 30
September 15-21

  1. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979    The Physical World    Warner Brothers
  2. APHEX TWIN    Syro    Warp
  3. ALLAH-LAS    Worship The Sun    Innovative Leisure
  4. DRUMS     Encyclopedia    Minor
  5. JULIAN CASABLANCAS AND THE VOIDZ    Tyranny    Cult
  6.  SHONEN KNIFE    Overdrive    Good Charamel
  7. FKA TWIGS    LP1    Young Turks
  8. KAREN O    Crush Songs    Cult
  9. FLYING LOTUS    “Never Catch Me” [Single]    Warp
  10. OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW    Remedy    ATO
  11. TY SEGALL    Manipulator    Drag City
  12. ALTER BILLIES    Head’n Out West   
  13. CAHALEN MORRISON  AND COUNTRY HAMMER    The Flower Of Muscle Shoals    Free Dirt
  14. WHITE FENCE    For The Recently Found Innocent    Drag City
  15. DAN MELCHIOR UND DAS MENACE     Hunger    Castle Face
  16. CAROLINE ROSE    I Will Not Be Afraid    Thirty Tigers-Little Hi!
  17. MUFFS    Whoop Dee Doo    Burger
  18. BIRTH OF JOY    Prisoner    Long Branch
  19. RAVEONETTES    Pe’ahi    Beat Dies
  20. J MASCIS    Tied To A Star    SUB POP
  21. MUSTERED COURAGE    Powerlines    Travianna
  22. GHOST OF A SABER TOOTH TIGER    Midnight Sun    Chimera
  23. CONTAMINATED INTELLIGENCE    Mental Fractures   
  24. GUIDED BY VOICES    Cool Planet    GBV
  25. SKINNY BONES    Noise Floor   
  26. SPOON    They Want My Soul    Loma Vista
  27. DEAP VALLY    Sistrionix    Cherry Tree-Interscope
  28. SLEEPY MAN BANJO BOYS    By My Side [EP]   
  29. THE BUG    Angels And Devils    Ninja Tune
  30. GOLD-BEARS    Dalliance    Slumberland

KUCI at Outside Lands – A Forest of Music, Dance and Fog

By: Rosario “DJ Chayo” of The Starlit Hour

Music, fog, forest, break dancing and sliced piggies – it’s either not what you’d expect from your average Music Festival or EVERYTHING you could want in a festival. I’m still debating which one, but what I do know for sure is that if I had a hat to tip to Another Planet Entertainment, I would- even knowing it’d be a gross form of repayment to San Francisco for putting on one hell of festival.
Still fairly new, Outside Lands has just finished it’s 7th annual festival at the Golden Gate Park and shows no sign of stopping as this year saw sold out tickets, a great lineup and a diverse range of names both big and small, ranging from local SF groups like The Districts to big names like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped foot into the forest grounds except that it’d probably be somewhat more chillier (an assumption that I paid for dearly once I felt the full extent of the chill and then realized that I had only a meager sweater and sandals to help me cope with the weather). By the night of the last act, however, I felt both relieved and saddened, by the fact that I’d be finally able to rest my feet, but that it’d be a full year until I could step back into the wonderful foresty realm that encompasses and makes up Outside Lands.

Highlights:
Chromeo

image

One of the best things about festivals is the various range of artist that are gathered in one spot, and even better than that is when you discoverer a love for a new band right as they’re playing right in front of you. Such was the experience with a lot of artist at Outside Lands, but this was especially true for Chromeo ‘s set. With a keyboard standing on a pair of lady legs, David Macklovitch and Patrick Gemayel delivered an explosion of funk and electronic as they played “Sexy Socialite,” “Don’t Turn the Lights On” and more to a roaring audience. 

Lucius 

image

Donning a greenish space-age looking dress and dark round shaped sunglasses over their eyes, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig looked like a couple of blonde alien woman from some unknown planet, come landed down to San Francisco to play for an Earthling crowd. As soon as the music started, they fortunately, sounded nothing at all like that. Instead their voices, meshing together so smoothly and yet so powerfully, made this photographer an instant fan with “Two of Us on the Run” and “Turn it Around.” 

Lykke Li

image

Having played Lykke Li several times while subbing shows for KUCI, I had made it a point to see them perform when I first got to the festival. I nearly didn’t even get the chance to do that, as the crowd that gathered before the stage extended way out across the entire Twin Peaks grounds, with some people even climbing trees just to see over the crowd.  Wading through a sea of shoulders ( I’d say heads if I was actually tall enough to see over them) was all worth it because as soon as I made it near the front, the soft playful tune of “Dance Dance Dance” started, making the audience transform from hundreds of separate individuals to an entire moving organism, united through music and dance.

Paolo Nutini

image

I arrived in front of the main stage to see Churches play, but due to a change in schedule (apparently they had missed their flight) the set was replaced by Paolo Nutini’s. Standing before his audience, Paolo ‘s set was backed by a vibrant mural frame that went only too well with the mix of soul and agony that came from his voice as he sang “Scream” and “Funk (My Life Up).”

The Flaming Lips

image

Having sealed their name in fame, it was no surprise to anyone that The Flaming Lips would draw one of the biggest crowds in Outside Lands. Deep in the thick of this monster of a crowd is where you can feel the energy the most, and it was absolutely pulsating in anticipation of The Flaming Lips. The music came on and the energy exploded as front man Wayne Coyne took the stage, wearing a muscle suit (the first of many suits) and flanked by men and women inside inflatable mushroom, rainbow, and alien costumes. Singing “Do You Realize” and other favorites, he came out crooning a baby doll in his arms and presented himself to the audience before disappearing inside his signature Bubble Ball and letting the audience take him.

Patrick Stewart and the Improvised Shakespeare Company

image

One of the things that separated Outside Lands from other festivals I’ve been to or heard about is their stage attractions. Aside from several different music stages, there was The Barbary Tent, which was a stage set up for stand up, improve groups and other comedy groups. I decided to check out Saturday’s 4 o clock show to see the Improvised Shakespeare Company and was surprised to see that Patrick Stewart would be performing alongside the group (meanwhile Craig Robinson was sitting off in the reserved part of the audience). An improv group dedicated to performing improvised plays based entirely off of Shakespearean work and language, we saw the company put on a spectacular one time showing of “A Midsummer Night’s Shish-kabob” (as suggested by an audience member). With such made-up-on-the-spot “Turkish” names like Abdragul, Abdagzul, Abddasomethingorother fighting against Theseus (Stewart) and the rest of the Grecians, the company had the audience in tears and on their feet and cheering.
These were just a few among many awesome events that took place at Outside Lands (I stumbled upon a breakdancing/food-fight stage at one point), so if you’d like to get a taste of it, you’d better mark this down on your calendar for next year. In the meantime, keep on listening to KUCI for the next up and coming artists. You never know- maybe you can see some of them live onstage at the next festival.

image

Additional Photos:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Photos Taken By Rosario Diaz

LAMC Day One, Part Two

LAMC Day 1 Part 2: Indie Showcase

After escaping the rain from Central Park we headed downtown to the Mercury Lounge, a night life hot spot in the Lower East Side. Although I consider myself a pretty decent city navigator, we missed our metro stop and decided to walk the rest of the way to the venue. Our train delay meant we missed the first act, (me llamo) Sebastian, a Chilean artist who I’m told was one of the evening’s


highlights and after checking out his Soundcloud page, I’m pretty bummed I missed out.

The evening however included one of the artists who I was most excited to see. Caloncho, a native of Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, dazed the crowd with his unassuming good looks, his tender voice, and romantic lyrics. Playing songs from his FRUTA EP, I’m sure all the girls (myself included) were swooning over lyrics like “y quiero rozarte, acariciarte con mis labios…” ( I want to touch and caress you with my lips..). His set ended much too quickly but the banana costumed bassist and the pineapples on the drummer’s headphones definitely won the chatty crowd over.

Caloncho+Bananas+Pineapples

El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado roughly translates to He Killed A Motorized Cop

The next and last performer I got to see was El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado, a hard-working psychedelic lo-fi fuzz band from La Plata, Argentina. Making their U.S. debut after touring all over South America and Europe for the last nine years, El Mato were right at home on a NY


C stage. After blasting through highlights of their long career with songs like “Mujeres Bellas y Fuertes” and “Mi Proximo Moviemiento,” El Mato were awarded the LAMC Discovery Award. This well -deserved award hints at the bright future of this band, which has their long awaited US debut album slated for release on July 29th.

LAMC Day 2 coming up soon…

This is the second part of Cindy’s LAMC Diary. To hear artists interviews and live sets from New York tune in this Saturday to AlternLatino, 2-4PM. For more info on the LAMC and AlternLatino, follow Cindy on Twitter @Cindy_Ly and AlternLatino.tumblr.com

LAMC: Day One, Part One

Cindy’s DIY KUCI signage

The LAMC, the Latin Alternative Music Conference, is an annual gathering of the brightest Latin Alternative artists. Set in Manhattan over the course of 4 days, the conference is celebrating its 15th year as the go-to event for established artists as well as up and coming acts.

With concerts, panels, and press days, Cindy Ly will be representing KUCI and AlternLatino and the spirit of underground music.

Cindy’s camera braving the elements

A free outdoor concert in Central Park was the perfect way to start off the LAMC. As part of its weekly free concert series, the Summer Stage welcomed Franco-Chilean Hip Hop darling Ana Tijoux, best known to American audiences as the singer of 1977, a song featured in the show Breaking Bad (season 4, episode 5) and EA Sports FIFA ‘11

No stranger to drawing an enthusiastic crowd, Tijoux played a rain soaked set, the audience dancing around as the heavy droplets got us caught in the rain. Always the socially conscious artiste, Ana Tijoux did not shy away from talking about issues of feminism, femicide, and the Palestine-Israeli crisis. Her music too speaks of social issues, and her set finishing piece was Somos Sur, the anthem of the underrepresented.

Tijoux finished her set just as night fell on Central Park and a firefly show was on full display. Im trying to find another word besides magical to describe that show but nothing else is fitting. It was pretty magical.

Part 2 to be continued…

Cindy Ly is the host/selector for AlternLatino, a KUCI show airing on Saturdays 2-4pm. For more information on the LAMC as well as Cindy’s adventures in New York, follow her on Twitter @cindy_ly and on tumblr alternlatino.tumblr.com