I'll gladly accept any slaps on the wrist for sleeping on the pure radness that is Bomba Estereo. Merging folk sounds from their Colombian-Caribbean coast like cumbia, bullerengue and champeta, all mixed up with electronica, reggae and hip-hop, this "new to Beastonia outfit produces an explosive dance sound.
Thankfully, I was able to catch their performance at the Levi's FADER Fort during SXSW last month, and it was easily one of the most talked about sets of the week. Subsequently, Bomba Estereo just announced that they are confirmed to play at the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN.
The band dropped by the East Village Radio booth at SXSW (check the pic!), and let me tell you...they're sexy, stylish, and sound like a bundle of summer fun.
Rounding out my SXSW week spent at Levi's FADER Fort, there seemed no better way to cap off the 4-day stretch than with a closing night headliner like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Sure the dudes haven't been around since, well, forever, and with lineup changes et al, they'd seemingly fallen off the map. But with a new album around the corner (with all 5 original members), this was the perfect opportunity to bring them back to the spotlight.
Starting promptly at 10pm on Saturday March 20, a rampant crowd was treated to three members of BTnH for a near hour-long set, which coursed through some of their earliest works to their most known hits. Krayzie, Layzie and Wish Bone tore through a variety of hits, including a new jam from upcoming album, Uni 5: The World's Enemy, due out April 27 via Warner.
Providing the crowd with a number of highlights as the trio repped for Easy E and Biggie, Krayzie encouraged the masses to throw up X's in memory of Michael Jackson before launching into Crossroads, and eventually had everyone throw up a "2" prior to their tribute to Tupac. Clouds of smoke and ourburts of love and support surrounded all in attendance as the Bones ripped through 1st of Tha Month, one of my personal favorite Thugs' tracks. I was able to capture video of this song...you can watch it below after a few more pictures. (full set of images can be found here)
Overall, I think this tweet sums up my excitement, anticipation, and ultimate respect I had for the set. Check it here. Yep...dreams coming true are pretty rad.
One of my most highly anticipated sets to catch during SXSW belonged to that of Marina & The Diamonds. Having just made her US debut earlier in the Austin-bound week, the level of excitement I had to catch the enchanting pop songstress was at a seam-bursting high. Hitting the Levi's FADER Fort on Friday, March 19, Marina and company let loose with a dynamically perfect performance.
Given the fact that Marina has long been a favorite here in Beastonia since the summer of 2008 when a number of unique demos hit me like a ton of the raddest bricks ever, nearly two years later, you can sense the anticipation I felt to catch the young talent live for the first time.
Marina's voice goes well beyond her years...hopscotching through intimate vocal moments and powerful "belt it out in your bedroom"-worthy strikes. With her debut full length, The Family Jewels, recently released in the UK (the album will see light of day on May 25 in the States), Marina performed a number of album cuts that received a generous dose of fan appreciation. For thine own self, I became "that girl" who could not stop dancing and singing along while trying to catch moments in the photo pit. All around, I think it was a smashing success.
Between rousing renditions of Girls, Hollywood and Mowgli's Road, Marina also proved her mettle with ballads like I Am Not a Robot and Obsessions, for which she jumped behind the keys for a stellar seated performance. Video of Oh No! can be found below. (full set of pictures can be viewed here)
Marina & The Diamonds are gearing up for a proper single release of I Am Not a Robot, prior to the outing of her debut here in May. Supplemental fixes come from a number of major mixers, including Clock Opera, from which I'm told is a beautiful accompaniment, and that I should have for you to hear soon!
Below, you'll find the Stopmakingme Remix, which goes minimal clubby with a touch of dark undertones. Beaston approved! Additionally, check out two of the early demos that made me fall ever so hard and equally so fast for this rising star.
Capping off a wild week of shows in Austin, Brooklyn's Sleigh Bells had the distinction of playing Levi's FADER Fort directly prior to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony on Saturday, March 20. Pretty rad opportunity for Derek and Alexis, largely thanks to a rush of fandom after last year's fall blowouts during CMJ.
If you've never caught Sleigh Bells in a live setting, then you're missing out on one hell of a ride. The pair combine to create the loudest, most energetic postpunk rock-infused hip-hop that you very well may ever come across. Given that each recorded track that's been floating around (in actuality, all demos) sounds even better pumping through a stage and soundsystem, I gladly lost my hearing for a few minutes to enjoy their raucous set.
Between the strong riffs of Derek's wielded ax and Alexis' charming riot grrl persona, the two sync up to create everything I'm loving about the future of their music. It's rowdy, it's rad and it's ready to see the light of day when their debut album, Treats, hits on May 11. (full set of pictures can be found here)
In the meantime, you can catch Sleigh Bells rocking bodies with songs like Crown on the Ground and Holly at a slew of live dates with Major Lazer and Yeasayer this Spring. All cities/stops below.
Mar 26 -- Koko London Mar 28 -- Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia Mar 29 -- The Valarium Knoxville, Tennessee Mar 30 -- Cat’s Cradle Chapel Hill, North Carolina Mar 31 -- Bourbon Street Baltimore, Maryland Apr 2 -- Starlite Ballroom Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Apr 3 -- The Mill-Trinity College Hartford, Connecticut Apr 4 -- Middle East Boston, Massachusetts Apr 6 -- Columbus, Ohio Apr 7 -- Rangos Ballroom - Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Apr 8 -- Spark Art Space - Syracuse Univ. Syracuse, New York Apr 9 -- Mohawk Place Buffalo, New York Apr 10 -- Wrong Bar Toronto, Ontario Apr 11 -- Higher Ground South Burlington, Vermont Apr 16 -- Coachella Indio, California Apr 17 -- The Fillmore Auditorium San Francisco, California Apr 19 -- Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon Apr 20 -- Neumos Seattle, Washington Apr 21 -- Commodore Ballroom Vancouver, British Columbia Apr 23 -- In The Venue Salt Lake City, Utah Apr 24 -- Bluebird Theatre Denver, Colorado Apr 25 -- Waiting Room Omaha, Nebraska Apr 26 -- Gargoyle Club St. Louis, Missouri Apr 27 -- First Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota Apr 28 -- Majestic Theatre Madison, Wisconsin Apr 29 -- Metro Chicago, Illinois Apr 30 -- Grog Shop Cleveland, Ohio May 1 -- Lee’s Palace Toronto, Ontario May 2 -- La Sala Rossa Montreal, Quebec May 3 -- Paradise Boston, Massachusetts May 4 -- Webster Hall New York, New York May 5 -- The Trocadero Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Jul 18 -- Pitchfork Music Festival
Let's preface this post by saying: I do not intend on being "with child" soon, if ever, or at all. Now with that said, should I perhaps feel the need to sprout a little beastling, I would hope that post-baby me would be as energetic and fit as Baltimore's Rye Rye. Seriously...girl can work it with the best of 'em!
The hip-hopstress kicked off our Wednesday night in Austin with a fire-fueled performance for The Hype Machine's second annual Lose Control Party.
Paired with 2 male dancers, Rye tore through stompers like Wassup, Bang and Hardcore Girls...eventually asking if any females wanted to join her on stage for the latter. Naturally, this beast took it upon herself to jump on, shake it up and shake it down. (I also grabbed her sunglasses by accident, which are now one of my many Texas souvernirs. Sorry mama!)
On Friday, March 18, Rye Rye also hopped over to the Levi's FADER Fort to make an unannounced appearance, where she was greeted with another dose of fan appreciation, to which she remarked "you guys are the craziest crowd I've ever had!"
Filled with a heavy dose of summerpop and modern rock, Los Angeles' Local Natives set foot under the Levi's FADER Fort for a midday set on Thursday, March 18, with a completely filled crowd lot already to listen to the tunes set forth by the Frenchkiss Records labelmates.
With the release of their debut album, Gorilla Manor, in February of this year (it let out in the UK last November), Local Natives have already built a staunch fan-base, thanks to performances at the Austin festival last year. Their initial album offering has received a multitude of critical praise, from major media writers and bloggers alike, thine own self included.
What I grossly underestimated, however, was the raucous reception that each song received once completed. Having spent most of my SXSW time in the Fort, I can easily, and without a shed of doubt, note that Local Natives garnered the loudest and warmest rounds of applause, second only to fourth night closers, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
The claps and cheers came 100% warranted as they powered through many album cuts, including fan favorites Sun Hands and Airplanes. Consider me an even bigger fan after this spectacular showing! (full set of pictures can be viewed here)
Local Natives have just been added to the August OYA Festival in Oslo, Norway. More information here.
Thursday, March 18 saw the arrival of UK trio, Chew Lips, to the main stage at Levi's FADER Fort. This being my first opportunity to catch the band I've been raving about for nearly 2 years. With the release of their debut album, Unicorn, earlier this year, their freshman full-length only heightened my anticipation to catch their live show.
There are so many highlights from Chew Lips' album, that it was great to see the songs perforemd in a live space. Between popular cuts like Seven and Karen, frontwoman Tigs commanded the stage wearing blue sparkly hot-pants with a splash of face and shirt glitter to match.
The unique pop tones of each song performed were equally matched with the quirky dance moves the singer executed while strolling across the large stage between bandmates, Will and James. An excellent set full of dancey rad vibes and smiles all around.
If you missed the trio during their Austin action, lucky UK natives will be pleased to know that Chew Lips will set out on a string of dates through May 1. All stops below. (full set of pictures can be viewed here)
April 3 -- DJ Set -- Jodie Harsh's Circus (London)
April 9 -- Crawdaddy (Dublin) April 10 -- The Stiff Kitten (Belfast) April 19 -- Sumo (Leicester) April 20 -- Arts Centre (Norwich) April 21 -- Bodega Nottingham)
April 22 -- The Faversham (Leeds) April 23 -- ABC 2 (Glasgow) April 24 -- Drummonds Cafe (Aberdeen) April 25 -- Academy (Liverpool) April 26 -- Academy (Sheffield) April 27 -- Sugarmill (Stoke) April 29 -- Cooler (Bristol) April 30 -- Cargo (London) May 1 -- Old Fire Station (Bournemouth)
Yo radlets! Real quick reminder to check out East Village Radio.com in a bit for current goings ons and badass cool stuff happening inside the Levi's FADERFort. Live stream directly from inside the Fort is taking place as well...so get your ears in gear!
If you want more details as they emerge, twitter stalk all of us via the below links.