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Word to the wise: like many other corporate-sponsored music fests, OL can be a rip-off. My advice is to wait out the bundle tickets and buy something last-minute on Craigslist. There are always plenty of people trying to hawk their 1,2 and 3 day tickets for cheap as the event gets closer.
See ya there!
Holy Halloween! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m still coming down from the best weekend ever in the lovely City by the Bay. Oddly enough, the most influential music of the weekend wasn’t something I caught at a party or show, but playing in the background of my car while we circled The Haight for parking on Monday night. Enter, M83…
Folk/punk. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the name pretty much sums it up: elements of folk melodies amped up to the tempo and volume of punk. Associated bands include The Pogues, The Violent Femmes and Flogging Molly. Although I generally don’t get too excited about music in this genre, I was pleasantly surprised when I happened across the song, “I am Disappeared”, by Frank Turner during a recent road trip to San Diego.
Does anyone actually listen to the radio anymore? I don’t – at least, not where I live. You’d think the Bay Area, being the Mecca of concerts, clubs and festivals that it is, would have the resources to offer a decent array of local radio options. Unfortunately, Linkin Park has been in heavy rotation on the area’s only alternative station long enough for me to know this isn’t the case. Perhaps I’m being too nostalgic, but I miss the days when we were introduced to awesome new bands by a live DJ instead of Pandora, Sirius, or TV Channel 900.
I am a long-distance runner, and while I’m running, I’m also a person with terrible musical taste. I can run eight miles… but only when Katy Perry is getting my heart racing in her skin-tight jeans. (Those are lyrics from “Teenage Dream”, for those of you who don’t suffer the same pop-music vice as I). Other noteworthy contributors to my iPod’s workout playlist include Usher, Britney, and even Nelly and N’Sync.
That is why I was surprised to hear Amos Lee turn up during a recent morning run. His tune, “Windows Are Rolled Down” is hardly the bouncy bubble gum pop I so heartily rely on to get me through the next mile. On the contrary, Amos Lee’s sound is a little bit blues, a little bit folk and, especially on his most recent album, Mission, a little bit country.
Geographer, a band that I consider to be one of the most notable up-and-comers within the Bay Area music scene, has been quietly inciting audiences across the country with their unique sound and passionate live performances for a few years now. In fact, many Geographer fans will tell the story of falling in love with this band purely by accident after hearing them open for Stars during their east coast tour last year.
Personally, I’ve been hooked since first hearing the band’s single, “Can’t You Wait” featured on a Soundcheck playlist several months ago. Geographer‘s style can be described as – well, hard to describe. This three-member ensemble favors a lonely falsetto spinning poetry over a foundation of cello and synthesized beats. The result is a remarkable sound that is both pop and gothic, rich and delicate, and beautiful and haunting.
This Auckland five piece, led by front persons Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers, are already massive in their native New Zealand and thankfully have begun to gain notoriety north of the equator as well. The band’s musical mélange of pop, rock, electronica, and synth speaks to a diverse group of fans and will get even the most discriminating critic’s fist pumping.
I didn’t expect my first entry to be on folk rock, but Lissie is not your ordinary folk singer. The Illinois-born singer/songwriter debuted on the scene in 2009 with the release of her EP, Why You Runnin’. She’s since released a sophomore effort, Catching a Tiger, which features the acclaimed single, “When I’m Alone”.
Although Lissie’s hearty vocals can stand alone, the fact that they can stand interspersed with electronica and pop is even more impressive. This girl can cover Lady Gaga on one track, be remixed by Deadmau5 on the next, and still keep her country cool. Also, with permission from fellow Midwesterner, Kid Cudi, Lissie reminds us that folk rock is still badass. See her live performance of “Pursuit of Happiness” below (you may want to get your shot glass ready first).