BottleRock taps Imagine Dragons, Neil Young and Mumford & Sons to headline 2019 edition

BottleRock - 2019 lineup

BottleRock Napa Valley //
Napa Valley Expo – Napa, CA
May 24th-26th, 2019 //

If you didn’t hear, festival season is officially back.

With Coachella releasing its 2019 lineup last week just two days into the New Year, many other large-scale music festivals are gearing up to unveil their rosters. Up in Napa Valley, BottleRock has done just that with Imagine Dragons, Neil Young and Mumford & Sons topping the bill for its seventh edition this Memorial Day weekend after Bruno Mars, The Killers and Muse led the way for the 2018 installment. For the 73-year-old Young, it will mark his first date in California with Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real backing him since their headlining performance last June at Arroyo Seco Weekend (read our review here).

More than 80 artists and bands will once again hit downtown Napa to perform at the three-day event in late May, including Logic, Pharrell Williams, Santana, OneRepublic, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Tash Sultana, Sylvan Esso, Gary Clark Jr., Lord Huron, Flogging Molly, Juanes, Michael Franti & Spearhead, AJR, Cypress Hill, Big Boi and many more. Plus, live cooking demonstrations between a variety of celebrity chefs and Hollywood stars, from musicians to athletes, will return to BottleRock’s beloved Williams-Sonoma Culinary Stage.

Tickets go on sale this Tuesday, January 8th at 10 a.m. PT here and start at $359 for a three-day GA pass (or $159 for a one-day). Both three-day VIP and platinum passes are already sold out, but you can buy a one-day VIP pass for $349 and a three-day skydeck pass for an eye-popping $1,599 if you really want to go big.

BottleRock Napa Valley 2016 - The Struts

Run the Jewels spoil 5,000 fans in LA with special guests Zack de la Rocha, Danny Brown & more

Run the JewelsBy Josh Herwitt //

Run the Jewels //
Shrine Expo Hall – Los Angeles
February 1st, 2017 //

When Jaime Meline and Michael Render teamed up to form Run the Jewels in 2013, neither were household names all on their own. Meline, better known as El-P among underground hip-hop fans, had built a modest career as a beatmaker/producer, rapper and independent record label owner, while Render, aka Killer Mike, had garnered some slight fanfare for his collaborations with OutKast and fellow Atlanta emcee Big Boi.

Yet, in just four years, Run the Jewels have already reached hip-hop’s mountaintop with their politically charged lyrics and hard-hitting beats. Just take last Wednesday’s sold-out show in LA for example. With the duo’s third studio album still only a few weeks old, 5,000 or so fans poured into the spacious Shrine Expo Hall to watch El-P and Killer Mike fuck shit up (for lack of a better term). And that’s exactly what they did after opening sets from The Gaslamp Killer, Nick Hook, Gangasta Boo and CUZ.

From the moment they walked onstage to Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blasting out of the PA system, much like they did at FYF Fest (read our review here) a couple summers ago, El-P and Killer Mike kept the energy odometer at 100. They jumped right into material from their latest LP Run the Jewels 3, starting with “Talk to Me” and continuing in chronological order, before telling us to raise our hands in the air and flash their patented fist-and-a-gun hand gesture in between songs.

Run the Jewels

By the time El-P and Killer Mike dove into “Blockbuster Night, Part 1” and “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” from their critically acclaimed sophomore record, the capacity crowd was fully entrenched in RTJ’s aggro-hip-hop stylings. But unlike most of the dates on their “Run the World Tour” so far, this one was loaded with top-notch special guests. Going into it, I had a good feeling that we were in for at least a couple knowing RTJ’s penchant for surprises and the fact that we were in La La Land after all. What played out, though, surpassed just about all of my expectations.

As soon as we heard the opening guitar riff to DJ Shadow’s “Nobody Speak” from his 2016 LP The Mountain Will Fall, I thought we might be getting an appearance from the legendary Bay Area producer and turntablist himself. Instead, it was the ensuing song that proved to be our first surprise of the night, as Detroit rapper Danny Brown emerged from the shadows to trade lines with El-P and Killer Mike on their RTJ3 collaboration “Hey Kids (Bumaye)”. Of course, as unexpected as Brown’s appearance was, RTJ had plenty of more tricks up their sleeves. One of them was the aforementioned Gangsta Boo guesting on their crude, raunchy RTJ2 track “Love Again (Akinyele Back)” as she has done throughout the tour, but as the clock hit 11 p.m., El-P and Killer Mike had a few more friends to introduce. BOOTS, the enigmatic singer/rapper and songwriter who worked on Beyoncé, was up next, contributing the same vocals he supplied in the studio for “Early” before a drum set was rolled out for Blink-182’s Travis Barker, who made his presence felt with a dramatic, blood-pumping finish — sticks twirling and all — to “All Due Respect”. And if that wasn’t enough, the Brooklynlanta team made sure we got to briefly meet Dungeon Family member and singer Joi via its RTJ3 opener “Down” before exiting stage right.

But while it’s clear that RTJ have come a long way even since their early days, El-P and Killer Mike made sure to save the best for last at the Shrine Expo Hall. It’s well-known, in fact, that they have brought out Zack de la Rocha from time to time, most recently in Washington D.C. during a pre-inauguration performance last month, but there’s still something exhilarating about seeing the Rage Against the Machine frontman grab the mic and go to work. Lucky for us, RTJ’s encore featured de la Rocha on both “Kill Your Masters” and “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”, the latter of which is one of the duo’s most powerful and provocative songs. It was a fitting way to end the night, particularly in our current political climate, but at least we have El-P and Killer Mike to help us make sense of it all.

Setlist:
We Are the Champions (Queen song)
Talk to Me
Legend Has It
Call Ticketron
Blockbuster Night, Part 1
Oh My Darling Don’t Cry
Nobody Speak (DJ Shadow cover)
Hey Kids (Bumaye) (with Danny Brown)
Stay Gold
Don’t Get Captured
Panther Like a Panther
Love Again (Akinyele Back) (with Gangsta Boo)
Lie, Cheat, Steal
Early (with BOOTS)
All Due Respect (with Travis Barker)
Run the Jewels
A Report to the Shareholders
Down (with Joi)

Encore:
Kill Your Masters (with Zack de la Rocha)
Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck) (with Zack de la Rocha)

VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE SAN JOSE AND OAKLAND SHOWS.

20 moments we won’t forget from Treasure Island Music Festival 2015

Post_header_TIMF_2015Photos by Marc Fong // Written by Mike Frash, Molly Kish & Anthony Sanchez //

Treasure Island Music Festival //
Treasure Island – San Francisco
October 17th-18th, 2015 //

There is no question Treasure Island Music Festival has one of the best locations and views in live music.

But Mother Nature had some things to say about the environment around the fest this year. For one, the drought has chased away the lovely grass that’s been present in years past. And with winds from 10-20 mph, it got a bit more dusty than usual. You can’t control the weather, and the grounds this year were a brutal reminder of how much California needs some damn rain.

Other than that, it was status quo for the Festival in the Bay — good times and no festy FOMO. Here are 20 moments and sets that will be ingrained in our brains.

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The biggest news from Treasure Island Music Festival: The National have emerged as true festival headliners. Known for their pensive lyrics and sorrowful tone, The National injected their songs with accelerated BPM and an uplifting layering of melody, making the experience all the more magnificent. The setlist was still heavy on Trouble Will Find Me and High Violet songs, but it all felt new, more grateful, inspiring and majestic than before. Many of the highlights were one-offs and new cuts: Laura Mayberry duetted with a very present Matt Berninger on “I Need My Girl”, a cover of “Peggo-O” and with a shout-out to Bob Weir and new song “Checking Out” (it was called “Roman Candle” when they played it in Los Angeles earlier in the weekend). The effort was A1 all around, and we left wanting more.


Run The Jewels

Run the Jewels completely reigned over the crowd, flowing over heavy-hitting beats by El-P with a lively performance we all expected, willing all hands in the air. Yet another example of El Producto and Killer Mike bossing, per usual.


Father John Misty

Father John (Sassypants) Misty has his festival game on point, and he has progressed his I Love You Honeybear songs into epic plateaus since premiering them in the Santa Cruz mountains last February (read about it here). He spewed banter like an Stephen Colbert-esque contrarian, saying, “Look at these suckers with their hair blowing all over the place.” And as he approached the mic for more improv-snark later on, Tillman paused to say, “Sorry, I have nothing to say. Ha.” FJM was speechless for once, but granted, it might have been set up for “Bored in the USA”, a song that should be considered an American classic at this point.


FKA Twigs

Easily one of the most opinion-generating sets of the weekend, FKA twigs left everything she had on the Bridge Stage for a captive audience of conflicting critics. Washing over the sizable crowd backed by dramatic stage lights and eerily haunting vocals, the pint-sized powerhouse tangoed her way through a fog-laced set alongside fellow voguing backup dancers and band. Even with her set pushing the avant-garde limits for a good portion of the TIMF crowd, FKA twigs undoubtedly left an impression on everyone in attendance and held her own as headliner support in a considerably stacked bill.


The War on Drugs

Giving the last performance in support their already-classic Lost in the Dream, The War on Drugs end an album cycle with a few questions in mind. Can they get better from here, and could they headline festivals next time around?


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Panda Bear delightfully assaulted the festival-weary crowd’s senses with a mind-melting IDM exclamation point. He treated his crowd to one last collectively-uncomfortable group moment, brought on by delightfully weird music and intense background visuals designed by Danny Perez.


Chvrches

Fresh off the release of their second studio album, CHVRCHES‘ Lauren Mayberry commanded the stage with a palpable enthusiasm and chops of a veteran frontwoman. Her epic vocals cut through the encroaching fog as she danced wildly around the Bridge Stage.


Ex Hex

Ex Hex served up the best shred-dueling guitar moment during their amazing mid-day slot on Sunday.


Hudson Mohawk

Hudson Mohawke demonstrated the kind of talent and energy that keeps him on speed dial for the likes of Drake and Kanye West, firing off club bangers in a set replete with custom lighting and live drummers.


Gorgon City

Armed with a full roster of touring vocalists, the UK electronic duo Gorgon City blew the Saturday afternoon crowd away with soulful renditions of “Unmissable” and “Real”. Set highlights including numerous extended versions of crowd favorite album cuts and easily the best midday dance party of the weekend, spurred by an audience-rousing rendition of “Here for You”.


Viet Cong

Viet Cong‘s Matt Flegal mentioned, “We had Sunday afternoons in mind when we wrote this stuff” with juuuuust a dash of irony. Maybe “Sunday Afternoon” would be a solid choice for the group’s new name? Maybe not, but drummer Mike Wallace is the heartbeat of this excellent doom-indie act.


STS9

When you look at the TIMF 2015 lineup, Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) is the fish out of water with their jam-band roots. But Sound Tribe got the love from a dance-happy crowd on Saturday, one that was there largely for the mau5.


Big Grams

Big Grams impressed with their live debut to close out the Tunnel Stage on Saturday. How could the combo of Big Boi and Phantogram not bring the fire? Plus, Run the Jewels guested for “Born to Shine”.


Baio

Vampire Weekend bassist Baio and his early-riser electronic set was replete with a Eurythmics cover “Here Comes the Rain Again”.


Cashmere Cat

Cashmere Cat (pictured above) breezed through an electrifying set of R&B-infused trap sensations while Bob Moses set the tone on Saturday, moving the crowd as they watched the projected overcast clouds head back over to SF, leaving the island awash in sunshine and vibes.


Jose Gonzalez

Jose Gonzalez stretched out his best hits with multiple drummers and an idyllic TIMF sound for the festival’s second day. You know a set is good when it goes by that quickly.


Shamir

Shamir (pictured above) showed sass and chops beyond his years — and why he’s a 2015 breakout act. Meanwhile, damn, Ought sure is proficient, and they unveil beauty through repetition and punk mentality. Their purposeful presence and pointed music makes you think their best is yet to come.


Deerhunter

Deerhunter‘s Bradford Cox talked about how he decided on the way over to the island that he wouldn’t play many songs, how he took ayahuasca on Saturday night in LA and he was surprised at how reserved the TIMF audience was. He said we were “polite like the Japanese.” Bradford, that’s what we call “respect” — and you’ve earned it. Those who expected lots of new material from the group’s wondrous new album, Fading Frontier, left the island bummed out. Others like myself, who got on the Bradford Cox express train without hesitation, enjoyed a wandering, masterful set that took cues from the sentiment of The War on Drugs as well as the psychedelic repetition of Panda Bear. Cox even thanked these two bands by name before wrapping up.

So, what were your favorite moments from TIMF 2015?

17 reasons to rage in the bay at Treasure Island Fest 2014

timf_post

Photos by Marc Fong // Written by Mike Frash, Molly Kish, Kevin Quandt and Marc Fong //

Treasure Island Music Festival //
Treasure Island – San Francisco
October 18th-19th, 2014 //

The Festival in the Bay returns this weekend with its progressive mix of indie rock, electronic/dance, hip-hop and (now) soul. Treasure Island Music Festival is always adept at curating under-card acts that are in the process of emerging into collective consciousness while crowning the bill with well-known musical entities that most independent-minded music fans will enjoy.

View the full schedule. Tickets are still available (for now), and you can buy them here.

Here are 17 reasons why you should rage in the Bay at TIMF this weekend.

treasure-island-music-festival-2

BONUS CONTEST: Enter below to rock The Bold Italic’s party boat to & from TIMF for FREE!

17. Not familiar with every act on the bill? Well, that’s half the fun at these contemporary music festivals, as your next favorite band is just waiting to be discovered.

16. Discover why Janelle Monáe is a headliner of the (very near) future. She’ll likely join OutKast as well, more specifically Big Boi, for their collaboration “Tightrope”. This treat was only viewed by a handful of crowds on the reunion tour, including during Coachella Weekend 1 and at OutKast’s hometown spectacular in Atlanta last month.

15. Jean-Philip Grobler and company put on breathtaking performances as St. Lucia. The Brooklyn-based band has a familiar electro sound, but simultaneously has a playfulness that will wonderfully fit with the TIMF crowd.

14. Stumbling across the Silent Disco, tucked away in the eastern corner of the festival ground, can be a surreal experience. Filled with festival crowds of anywhere between 20-200 people, this TIMF staple allows DJs to perform through Wi-Fi-enabled headphones that are passed out to festivalgoers as they enter the designated dance space.

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13. Poliça is must-see music at TIMF. Their dark synth will fit ideally with the setting of the music-infused October sun. Channy Leaneagh’s haunting vocals are fantastic live and are not to be missed. Get close for this one.

12. Carl Newman’s outfit The New Pornographers can easily be classified as a supergroup — Destroyer’s Dan Bejar and the lovely Neko Case heavily contributed to their wonderful 2014 album Brill Bruisers — and you can watch them all perform in the flesh at TIMF.

11. TIMF is one of the most unique festival locations around, and it gives way to even more creative ways to get on and off the island. TIMF offers an extremely convenient and free shuttle service between the island and a main point of transit at the City’s Civic Center. Or you could book a party bus or ride The Bold Italic’s party boat! (Enter below to win free tickets to Rock The Boat)

treasure-island-music-festival-4

10. One of our favorites, White Denim, will take to the Bridge Stage early on Sunday for their mind­-melting prog rock. Along with Cathedrals, Bleached and Ásgeir, there are lots of musical reasons to get to the island early on Day 2.

9. We finally get the return of the UK-­based, modern ­funk collective that goes by the wild name of Jungle. Bursting from the seams a few months ago, these guys have taken the festival circuit by storm, igniting stages and crowds with an incendiary stage presence coupled with devastatingly catchy tracks off their debut LP. Dancing shoes? CHECK!

8. Ana Tijoux isn’t super popular yet in Northern California, and her lyrics are in Spanish, but none of that matters. Her MC skills are impacting, and her production straddles multiple genres, including hip-hop and soul. Expect this to be a standout performance on Saturday.

7. Convenience is key when it comes to keeping festival crowds satisfied, and TIMF spares no expense in that matter. Easy navigation between stages, ample access to bathrooms, food/beverage vendors and helpful on-site staff members work together to elevate the flow of the festival experience.

6. It’s been a while since the Bay Area has seen TV On The Radio, and hopefully these gritty indie rock geniuses will play some tracks off their upcoming album Seeds. TVOTR has no better place than TIMF to give us a taste of things to come.

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5. This will be alt-­J‘s first performance in the area in support of their second album, and we’re sure to hear all the exciting new songs off of This Is All Yours (Read our community review here). Ready to sing some Miley samples?

4. Landing Massive Attack to headline Sunday is a mondo feat for Noise Pop and APE Entertainment — 3D and Daddy G will playing their only 2014 U.S. festival at TIMF (and only two other shows in the U.S. this year). The electronic duo might normally be a Saturday headliner, but we get to finalize an action-packed Sunday with these influential trip-hop legends.

3. No set conflicts means no stress, no making tough festival decisions and no missing out on an act you love. You get to see everything.

2. The “Summer of OutKast” is coming to a close as Bay Area fans will bear witness to what is expected to be their third-­to­-last performance ever. Did ya hear us on that one? Big Boi and Dre have pretty clearly stated that this is it, so there’s little reason for any fan to miss this banner, headlining performance.

1. It’s on an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. ‘Nuff said.


Win-2-Tickets

ROCK THE BOAT TICKET CONTEST

For the 2014 installment of Rock the Boat, our friends at The Bold Italic have teamed up with Hornblower Cruises & Events to rent out the San Francisco Spirit luxury yacht, equipped with a full bar and live entertainment provided by premiere Bay Area DJs to get you to and from TIMF like a boss. For a full lineup and more details on the trip, click here and enter below for your chance to win a weekend pass aboard the party boat courtesy of Showbams.

Fill out your full name and email address below.
Contest ends Thursday at 4 p.m. The winner will be picked at random and notified by email on Thursday. Your email will be kept private –- we will share your email with no one.

Like Showbams on Facebook and follow Showbams on Twitter to be eligible to win.

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Showbams Photography 2013: A year in review

Purity-Ring

Purity Ring // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13


The power and impact of a great photo is undeniable. Striking photos take you to another place, inserting you into a spectacular moment from the past.

The photographers in the Bam Fam have produced many memorable, inspiring live music photos in 2013. Feast your eyes on 50 of our best shots from the past year.

Click a band or artist name to view the original article.

Fiona-Apple-and-Blake-Mills

Fiona Apple & Blake Mills // Sam Heller
Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley //10.8.13


Killer-Mike

Killer Mike // James Nagel
The Independent // 7.31.13


Crystal-Castles

Crystal Castles // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 4.27.13


Phantogram

Phantogram // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Warpaint

Warpaint // Marc Fong
The Independent // 9.17.13


Cut-Copy_

Cut Copy // James Nagel
Fox Theater Oakland // 11.2.13


Geographer_post

Geographer // Sterling Munksgard
Bimbo’s 365 Club // 11.23.13


Thee-Oh-Sees

Thee Oh Sees // Pedro Paredes
Great American Music Hall // 12.18.13


Grouplove

Grouplove // James Nagel
The Independent // 9.14.13


James-Blake

James Blake // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.20.13


Matthew-Dear

Matthew Dear // Mike Frash
Mezzanine // 5.22.13


Palma-Violets

Palma Violets // James Nagel
The Independent // 4.23.13


Polyphonic-Spree

Polyphonic Spree // Marc Fong
The Chapel // 8.19.13


Zedd

Zedd // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 10.9.13


Robert-Randolph

Robert Randolph // Steve Kennedy
Notes For Notes Benefit // 12.6.13


Savages1

Savages // James Nagel
The Independent // 9.27.13


Steve-Aioki

Steve Aoki // Sterling Munksgard
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // 11.16.13


The-Flaming-Lips

The Flaming Lips // James Nagel
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // 10.31.13


The-xx

The xx // Marc Fong
The Greek Theatre // 6.1.13


Atoms-For-Peace

Atoms For Peace // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Thundercat1

Thundercat // James Nagel
The Independent // 11.13.13


Trey-Anastasio-Band

Trey Anastasio Band // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 4.20.13


Alabama-Shakes

Alabama Shakes // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 3.5.13


AlunaGeorge

AlunaGeorge // Marc Fong
The Independent // 9.11.13


Autre-Ne-Veut

Autre Ne Veut // Mike Frash
The Independent // 3.11.13


chk-chk-chk

!!! // James Nagel
Great American Music Hall // 2.28.13


CSS

CSS // James Nagel
The Independent // 6.16.13


Danny-Brown

Danny Brown // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Father-John-Misty

Father John Misty // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.24.13


HAIM

Haim // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


How-To-Dress-Well

How To Dress Well // Sam Heller
The Independent // 8.26.13


Jagwar-Ma

Jagwar Ma // James Nagel
The Independent // 12.11.13


Jamie-Lidell

Jamie Lidell // Sam Heller
The Independent // 3.29.13


Primus

Primus // Sam Heller
High Sierra Music Festival // 7.5.13


Run-The-Jewels1

Run The Jewels (El-P & Killer Mike) // James Nagel
The Independent // 7.31.13


Toro-Y-Moi

Toro Y Moi // James Nagel
Fox Theater Oakland // 11.15.13


Wild-Belle

Wild Belle // Eldon Christenson
The Independent // 9.26.13


alt-J

Alt-J // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 8.29.13


Andrew-Bird

Andrew Bird // Sam Heller
Congregation Sherith Israel // 12.16.13


Andrew-WK

Andrew W.K. // Marc Fong
The Independent // 10.12.13


Anna-Calvi

Anna Calvi // Marc Fong
The Independent // 11.17.13


Big-Boi

Big Boi // Mike Frash
Mezzanine // 5.17.13


Deerhunter

Deerhunter // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13


MS-MR

MS MR // James Nagel
The Independent // 6.16.13


Phoenix

Phoenix // Chaya Frash
The Independent // 4.1.13


Rogue-Wave1

Rogue Wave // Marc Fong
The Independent // 7.12.13


Sigur-Ros

Sigur Rós // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oaklnad // 4.16.13


STS9_Post

STS9 // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 3.1.13


Washed-Out

Washed Out // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13

Big Boi and Killer Mike bring much-needed R.A.P. Music to SF

Big-Boi

Two of the most ferocious names in hip hop descended upon Mezzanine in San Francisco May 17, as Southern fire-breather Big Boi and force of nature Killer Mike brought some much needed rhymes to the bay. Killer Mike made his debut on Outkast’s landmark LP Stankonia, and he also is featured on “The Whole World”, which the two giants of R.A.P. Music performed together during Big Boi’s set.

Killer Mike knows how to command a room’s collective attention, which is something of a challenge for an opening act, as many a show-goer will defer to chatting and drinking while waiting for the main act. During the third song Thursday night, two intrusive security guards trounced through the middle of the crowd with flashlights at a top down, forty-five degree angle, presumably looking for pot-smokers. Killer Mike stopped mid-spit, the music was halted, and the larger-than-life nonconformist launched into his first anti-establishment argument. In this case it was lighthearted; “Everyone smoke your weed – they can’t get everybody.” Most likely the security guards were roadies and it was all part of the act, but either way it effectively established pin-drop silence and crowd attentiveness.

Killer-Mike

His command is impressive, and Michael Render is also accessible, engaging while acting politically assertive, asking you to join his thought process. His energy, charming smile & effective use of language draws you into him, which allows his points to absorb in the listener, making even overt political statements sink in easier. With “Reagan”, Mike puts a large dent into the idealized memory the Republican Party celebrates daily for their most adored president. He began the song with a long soliloquy that set the stage for Mike to entice a large portion of the crowd to chant “I’m glad Reagan’s dead” by the end of the best political protest song in recent memory, essentially spitting on his grave. Single handedly, Killer Mike is a force that is battling the right wing celebration of everything Ronald Reagan, and when the the American right moves to put him on the twenty dollar bill, watch for this song to be the opposition anthem.

Mike took pride in his political, but not partisan focus before finishing the set, showing that standing up against Establishment wrongs can be entertaining and fun, and his take-charge tone projects pure leadership and is slightly contageous. It’s easy to imagine Killer Mike as a leading figure in hip-hop within one more album cycle. He’s already completed a new album with El-P, and they’ll be heading out on tour together this summer, stopping in SF July 30.

While Killer Mike might say things some people don’t want to hear (I think he’s dead on), San Francisco concert goers were treated Thursday night to a satisfying greatest hits show by Big Boi. The half of Outkast that was more likely to deliver dexterous, lightning-fast lyrics than hooky refrains understands what people want to hear when they see him live. The set blasted off with an Outkast medley, featuring “ATliens”, “Skew it on the Bar-B”, & “Rosa Parks” in mash-up fashion. Sir Lucious tapped into his catchiest, most upbeat solo songs from his 2012 LP Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors like “Apple of My Eye” and “CPU”. One of the only surprising drawbacks was the lack of solo tracks from his two excellent solo records and a glutton of Outkast jams.

Big-Boi

Big Boi may be performing “solo” these days, but he’s anything but alone. Throughout the evening he was joined by his live band, DJ, female backup singer Keisha Jackson, a geeky white guy, his entourage, a gaggle of dancing women, Killer Mike for four songs and BlackOwned C-Bone, who played hype-man and oddly filled the André 3000 role at times. Big Boi even took a break, allowing C-Bone to have the stage for a song to up his importance. He’s certainly as entertaining a stage presence as Big Boi, and he psyched out the audience by saying they were slowing things down before launching into “Shutterbugg”.

Big Boi still projects bravado, and he’s a showman that’s has curated a live concert experience that caters to his most well known work. His joy and love for SF seemed true this night, so much that he reappeared for four encore songs and a 1am shutdown.

WKEND MIXTAPE: Outkast (Cutmaster Swift) Breezeblock Mix 2003

WKEND-MIXTAPE

With Big Boi and Janelle Monáe in town this week it is fitting to dig out an old mix in their honor. Our mix this week comes from Outkast producer and DJ Cutmaster Swift.

This mix first aired on BBC Radio’s Breezeblock in 2003 as a megamix of Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. With expert mixing of a classic album, you would never know this is from ten years ago. Sit back,reminisce, and enjoy!

View photos and our live review from the Big Boi + Killer Mike show at Mezzanine May 17.

Coachella 2013: Predictions, wishes & rumors vs. reality

Coachella 2013By Mike Frash //

With a casual tweet, festival season is about to begin. Anticipation over the imminent 2013 Coachella lineup is building, and recent history shows the festival lineup could come this week.

Do you have your accommodations set? Hopefully your ticket is taken care of, because Coachella 2013 could already be close to sold out.

Presale ticketing for this year’s Coachella sold out within hours of going on sale both weekends last May, and it was the first time pre-sale sold out in such a quick fashion. The Coachella 2012 general on-sale sold out within an hour for both weekends a year ago, and if you weren’t ninja-quick at getting into the waiting room, you were shit out of luck. Take all this into account, and there might be a very limited amount of tickets available after the 2013 lineup drops. Is it possible Coachella 2013 is completely sold out from presale ticketing?

Coachella

Headliners: Reality vs. Rumors
The headliner rumors arrived early this year, with speculation over The Rolling Stones and Daft Punk dominating the conversation. At this point The Rolling Stones seems like the more likely of the two to be headlining, even though they haven’t played a whole lot of festivals since Altamont in 1969. Besides, Coachella rumors about Daft Punk and David Bowie playing Coachella are a yearly running gag at this point — we’ll believe it when we see it. Bowie even has a confirmed album coming out in the spring, but his bandmates are saying Ziggy has ruled out performing live … forever.

Reunions are a big part of Coachella’s top-notch lineups, and last year saw the regrouping of At The Drive-In, Pulp and Refused. This year it looks like The Postal Service and My Bloody Valentine could happen. Blur would also make sense since they reunited at the Olympics last year. Black Sabbath was reportedly on board to headline last year until they had to pull out at the last moment, and they have a new album coming out in June. Outkast would be the perfect hip-hop headliner, but that seems unlikely with Big Boi pushing his new LP. Wu-Tang Clan seems like the most likely rap act to play the main stage, but are they big enough to headline one of the three days each weekend?

Last year saw The Black Keys headline Friday along with Swedish House Mafia, and most people thought The Black Keys weren’t worthy of headliner status. But Coachella is good at king-making groups and artists, elevating them to the top level simply by making them headliners. Goldenvoice could repeat last year’s Friday concept by crowning Phoenix, The xx or Mumford and Sons headliners while putting deadmau5 on the top line to satiate the EDM masses.

Reality (likely headliners):
The Rolling Stones, The Postal Service, deadmau5, My Bloody Valentine, Black Sabbath, Pearl Jam, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wu Tang Clan, No Doubt, Mumford & Sons, The xx

Rumors (probable wishlist-fiction):
Daft Punk, Outkast, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails (How to Destroy Angels is likely)

Artists to see before they get big:
Last year, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Death Grips, Azealia Banks, First Aid Kit, and lots of other artists performed at Coachella before getting exponentially bigger by the end of 2012. Possible contenders for 2013 include Angel Haze, AlunaGeorge, FIDLAR, Foxygen, Wilde Belle, & Earl Sweatshirt, although the hype for Earl is already tremendously loud.

Coachella

Best EDM acts most likely to not perform in the Sahara Tent:
• deadmau5
• Bassnectar
• Tiesto
• Simian Mobile Disco
• Andy Stott
• Nicolas Jaar
• Dan Deacon
• John Talabot
• Disclosure
• Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

Artists most likely to return for second consecutive year:
Kendrick Lamar and Dawes, because Dawes somehow plays every festival.

Headlines we’d like to see:
“Frank Ocean, Tyler The Creator join Earl Sweatshirt’s first solo set”
“Progressive-house trend baffles Sahara tent candy-kids”
“Thom Yorke, Bradford Cox & Trent Rezner play a combined 9 sets each weekend”
“Katie Perry attends Coachella again, never considered for performing duties.”

Plausible Acts We’d Like to See:
Alabama Shakes
alt-J
AlunaGeorge
Andy Stott
Angel Haze
Animal Collective
Atlas Sound
Atoms for Peace
Bassnectar
Bat for Lashes
Beach House
Ben Howard
Big Boi
Bjork
Black Sabbath
Blur
Cloud Nothings
Chromatics
Crystal Castles
CHVRCHES
Dan Deacon
Divine Fits
Disclosure
Die Antwoord
Django Django
Ducktails
Earl Sweatshirt
Father John Misty
Fiona Apple
Frightened Rabbit
Grimes
Grizzly Bear (Added 1.17.13)
Haim
Hot Chip
How to Dress Well
James Blake
Jamie Lidell
Japandroids
Jessie Ware
John Talabot
Jim James
Kendrick Lamar
Kishi Bashi
Killer Mike
Local Natives
New Order
Nicolas Jaar
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Major Lazer
Matthew Dear
Mumford & Sons
Passion Pit
Penguin Prison
Phoenix
Pretty Lights
Sigur Ros
Skrillex
Spiritualized
Stars
STRFCKR
Tame Impala
The Faint
The Joy Formidable
The Knife
The Postal Service
The Rolling Stones
The Walkmen
The xx
Toro Y Moi
TNGHT
Ty Segall
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Vampire Weekend
Warpaint
Wavves
Wild Belle
Wild Nothing
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeasayer
Yo la Tengo
!!!

Coachella

Who’s better with Big Boi: Little Dragon or Kelly Rowland?

Big-Boi

Big Boi appeared on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on Friday with Little Dragon supporting him for the album’s lead single, “Mama Told Me”. Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors was released on Tuesday, December 11.

When Big Boi first announced his album and track list, Little Dragon was featured on the lead single “Mama Told Me.” But due to lawyer shenanigans, Little Dragon couldn’t collaborate with Big Boi for the album.

Subsequently, Big Boi replaced Little Dragon with Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child. On Tuesday, Big Boi made an appearance on “The View” with Rowland supporting him on “Mama Told Me”.

So who’s better with this track? Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon or Kelly Rowland?

ANSWER: We’ll go with Little Dragon.