FYF Fest cancels 2018 edition in stunning move

FYF Fest 2018

FYF Fest //
Exposition Park – Los Angeles
July 21st-22nd, 2018 //

In some stunning news on a Sunday, Goldenvoice has announced that the 2018 edition of FYF Fest has been canceled.

Just five weeks after revealing a female-focused lineup that saw Florence + The Machine and Janet Jackson booked as headliners, the renowned Southern California concert promoter has shockingly pulled the plug on the longtime LA music festival, explaining via its social media channels that organizers were “unable to present an experience on par with the expectations of our loyal fans and the Los Angeles music community this year.”

After expanding to three days last year, FYF was scaling back to two for its 15th installment this July, but as Billboard first reported, low ticket sales forced “the difficult decision” to be made with more than two months to go.

However, former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus, who was set to perform at FYF this year with his band The Jicks, put the blame squarely on himself and other artists, citing the need for better songwriting.

Whether you agree with Malkmus or not (or you’re just bummed to hear about the shutdown like us), uncertainty surrounded FYF’s 2018 return after the festival quickly became mired in controversy when sexual misconduct allegations involving its original founder Sean Carlson surfaced in November. And even though Goldenvoice had already bought out Carlson’s stake to acquire sole ownership of the event and had veteran booking agent Jennifer Yacoubian in charge of securing talent, it wasn’t enough in the end to entice fans to shell out $249 for a GA weekend pass (or a whopping $549 for VIP). If you did buy one, fear not — ticket holders will receive full refunds over the next few days, so you’ll get your money back soon.

The news, however, raises bigger questions about the future of music festivals in the U.S. as the marketplace becomes more competitive and oversaturated. Because now that FYF’s own future is looking rather bleak, there’s really no telling where the industry goes from here.

FYF Fest - 2018 lineup

FYF Fest moves back to two days with Florence + The Machine, Janet Jackson headlining in 2018

FYF Fest - 2018 lineup

FYF Fest //
Exposition Park – Los Angeles
July 21st-22nd, 2018 //

After expanding to three days for the first time last summer and facing a widely publicized sexual misconduct scandal involving its original founder Sean Carlson just several months ago, FYF Fest has made its 2018 return official with another buzzworthy lineup.

But FYF’s announcement for its 15th edition doesn’t come without some noteworthy changes. The LA festival, for one, is moving back to two days this July, and with longtime Goldenvoice booking agent Jennifer Yacoubian now in charge of securing talent, it’s going in a somewhat different direction with this year’s roster.

In fact, Goldenvoice, which teamed up with Carlson as FYF co-promoters in 2011 and are currently the event’s sole owners, has taken some heat in recent years for its festival bills lacking female artists, and it appears Paul Tollett and company have gotten the message pretty loud and clear by billing Florence + the Machine and Janet Jackson as headliners.

Although last year’s installment of FYF had a good amount of female representation between Missy Elliott, Björk, Erykah Badu, Solange, Angel Olsen, Kehlani and some others, it seems as if Goldenvoice has made even more of a point to continue that trend in 2018, marking the first performance at the festival for either headliner and Jackson’s only scheduled show in LA as of right now.

Meanwhile, FYF has some other major gets to hang its hat on, including My Bloody Valentine, who will be playing their only West Coast date of the year, as well as the debuts of Future, The xx, St. Vincent, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kali Uchis. Of course, many fans of the festival will also be excited to see another crowd favorite listed on the lineup in The Breeders, while other names that are worth noting include Amber Mark, Car Seat Headrest, Daniel Caesar, Daphni, Destroyer, Glassjaw, Mount Kimbie, Nils Frahm, Protomartyr, Rhye, serpentwithfeet, Skepta, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Sudan Archives, The Internet, U.S. Girls and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Check out the poster above for the rest of the lineup.

FYF will be back at Exposition Park for a fifth straight year despite our hopes that it would return to LA State Historic Park following a three-year, $20-million renovation project that saw it reopen last April and host KCRW’s inaugural Skyline festival (read our review here). Alas, that unfortunately won’t be the case as festivalgoers will have to endure Expo Park’s unforgiving landscape of mostly asphalt and concrete (we just wish there was more green grass to roam — that’s all).

Weekend passes to FYF will be sold for $249, with single-day passes also available for $149 and weekend VIP passes available for $549. Tickets can be purchased starting next Friday, April 6th at 12 p.m. here. American Express Card Members will be able to purchase passes before the general public has a chance to, beginning Tuesday, April 3rd at 10 a.m. through Thursday, April 5th at 10 p.m. PT.

Ready for the “best weekend of summer” to return? Check out our past FYF coverage here.

FYF Fest 2018

The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2017

Coldplay at Levi's Stadium


Coldplay at Levi’s Stadium // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Steve Carlson

Let’s be frank: 2017 had its ups and downs. And when it came to the political sector in this country, it was mostly the latter during Year 1 of the Trump administration. But as art often does in times of turmoil, music flourished in new and exciting ways. From stripper-turned-rapper Cardi B topping the charts to veteran alt-psych rockers Portugal. The Man filling the airwaves for Top 40 radio stations all over America, there were plenty of unexpected twists and turns this year. Amid all of them, we still managed to consume a healthy diet of music, both live and recorded, and once again it’s time for us to ante up our annual “Best of” lists, much like we have done each of the past few years (see our 2016 picks here).

So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2017.

See our favorite performances from 2017 here.

Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2017:


Nine Inch Nails at FYF Fest 2017


Nine Inch Nails at FYF Fest 2017 // Photo by Josh Herwitt

Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. Tool at The Gorge Amphitheatre – George, WA – June 17th
What could be a better bachelor party than getting to watch your favorite band at the most scenic outdoor music venue in the U.S.? Seeing any concert at The Gorge would likely be a surreal experience, but my first trip to Washington’s holy grail was that much more special with Tool returning to the amphitheater for the first time since 2006. And even though their gap between albums has stretched to more than 10 years, Maynard and company still know how to elevate the live show to new heights both sonically and visually. Talk about a dream come true for this die-hard fan.

2. Nine Inch Nails at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – July 23rd
3. LCD Soundsystem at Hollywood Palladium – Los Angeles, CA – November 18th
4. Gorillaz at The Forum – Inglewood, CA – October 5th
5. Radiohead at Coachella, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 14th

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
Adam Granduciel had to know that it would take a monumental effort to match, let alone top, 2014’s Lost in the Dream (one of our favorite albums that year), but The War on Drugs’ primary songwriter and band leader delivered another masterpiece in late August with the release of A Deeper Understanding. It’s an album that will touch your heart and soothe your soul as the LP moves seamlessly from one track to the next, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a much better soundtrack for the road over the last 10-15 years. A Deeper Understanding doesn’t need to win a Grammy in 2018 to validate its legitimacy as an Album of the Year candidate, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt either.

2. Slowdive – Slowdive
3. The xx – I See You
4. The National – Sleep Well Beast
5. Grizzly BearPainted Ruins

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. The War on Drugs – “Holding On”
There’s something about Adam Granduciel’s guitar playing that will make you want to play air guitar, and maybe no better example of that is the second single from The War on Drugs’ fourth studio album A Deeper Understanding. For nearly six minutes, Granduciel takes his listeners on a ride through peaks and valleys, as the song finishes with him doing what he does best: shredding. But what makes “Holding On” even more powerful is its music video starring actor Frankie Faison, who plays a middle-aged man coping with his wife’s passing. It’s a sad, yet touching story written by Granduciel’s girlfriend, Krysten Ritter, that offers an important reminder about love and just how precious it is.

2. Kendrick Lamar – “DNA.”
3. Washed Out – “Hard to Say Goodbye”
4. The National – “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness”
5. Nine Inch Nails – “Less Than”


Sigur Rós at Greek Theatre Berkeley


Sigur Rós at Greek Theatre Berkeley // Photo by James Nagel

Brett Ruffenach // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. Solange at FORM Arcosanti – Arcosanti, AZ – May 12th
Taking the stage in the amphitheater of Arcosanti, a scenic artist compound that’s built into the canyons sitting north of Phoenix, Solange and her nine-piece crew brought her critically acclaimed LP A Seat at the Table to life right before our eyes. As an album entrenched in the modern experience of the black woman, Solange’s live production turned these themes into one visually stunning, intricately choreographed and sonically vibrant experience, coupled with a subtle balance of strength and vulnerability. Deep bass, soaring harmonies and tight rhythms made each song a joy to watch, including older hits like “T.O.N.Y.” After a year that was as emotionally taxing as 2017 was, it was a breath of fresh air to watch Solange present her own truth, her own experience with such bravado and mastery.

2. Gorillaz at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA – August 11th
3. Sigur Rós at Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA – April 8th
4. Mitski at FORM Arcosanti – Arcosanti, AZ – May 13th
5. Kevin Morby at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – September 23rd

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. Father John Misty – Pure Comedy
Pure Comedy captures a different perspective in this politically drenched culture we’re in now — one that chooses to embrace the insanity of it all and laugh, as privileged and unhelpful as that might be. “She’s like, ‘Oh great, that’s just what we all need / Another white guy in 2017 / Who takes himself so goddamn seriously'” croons Josh Tillman. His lyrics in “Leaving LA” are just one of several scores of quotable lines that fill this nihilist-yet-comforting, saddening-yet-hilarious album. Being a privileged white man who lives in a liberal bubble, this album marks the definition of a guilty pleasure for me. Pleasure, because it is sharp, honest and bold. Guilt, because I am capable of even laughing in the first place.

2. Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder
3. Sylvan Esso – What Now
4. Lorde – Melodrama
5. Brockhampton – SATURATION II

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile – “Over Everything”
Its jangly guitars and wonky rhythm, combined with the chemistry of Courtney Barnett’s and Kurt Vile’s singing and occasional harmonizations, make “Over Everything” my favorite song of 2017. It’s an instant earworm — the cadence of Barnett’s and Vile’s lyricism gives the duo a distinct identity but still allows them to come together at the right moments to make the song feel whole. And after watching them make their live debut at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass earlier this year, they continue to raise my spirits and remind me to wear earplugs.

2. Real Estate – “Darling”
3. Selena Gomez – “Bad Liar”
4. Kendrick Lamar – “DNA.”
5. Bonobo – “Bambro Koyo Ganda”


J.I.D at Day N Night Fest 2017


J.I.D at Day N Night Fest 2017 // Photo by Rochelle Shipman

Rochelle Shipman // Los Angeles

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. J.I.D at Day N Night Fest – Anaheim, CA – September 9th
The J. Cole-signed rapper proved to be much more than just another name from Atlanta with a nonstop, energetic set that established him as a young goat. Keep tabs on this one.

2. Sonder at The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever – Los Angeles, CA – April 19th
3. Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – July 21st
4. Gorillaz at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA – August 11th
5. Erykah Badu at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – July 22nd

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. Smino – blkswn
This album brings nothing but warm vibes and impressive wordplay from the fast-rising St. Louis emcee. Since it dropped in March, not a week goes by that I don’t bump this debut for me and all my neighbors.

2. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
3. Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors
4. Phoebe Bridgers – Stranger in the Alps
5. Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. Smino – “Anita”
The dude rhymes “ice cream” with “chocolate” and gets away with it. Enough said.

2. Cardi B – “Bodak Yellow”
3. Dirty Projectors – “Up in Hudson”
4. Vince Staples – “Love Can Be…”
5. Phoebe Bridgers – “Funeral”


Slowdive - Slowdive

Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

Top 5 Shows of 2017
1. Slowdive at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – October 28th
This was my first time seeing Slowdive, and they completely took my breath away. It was one of those perfect shows in which the sound was on point, the band brought its A game and the visual elements complimented the music just right. They played cuts from their entire catalog, and by the end of the night, the audience was completely happy.

2. Quicksand at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – September 8th
3. LCD Soundsystem at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – November 15th
4. Band Together Bay Area: Metallica, G-Eazy, Rancid, Dave Matthews, Dead & Company and Raphael Saadiq at AT&T Park – San Francisco, CA – November 9th
5. Roger Waters at Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA – June 10th

Top 5 Albums of 2017
1. Slowdive – Slowdive
A totally perfect album from start to finish. There have been a lot of bands that have emulated Slowdive’s dream-pop/shoegaze sound over the past few years, but this album, their first in 22 years, proves why the UK group is one of the genre’s true originals. Lush soundscapes, paired with gorgeous vocals, made for what was easily my most-listened-to album of the year.

2. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
3. Quicksand – Interiors
4. Versing – Nirvana
5. Hobosexual – Monolith

Top 5 Songs of 2017
1. Quicksand – “Illuminant”
I had been waiting so patiently for the new Quicksand album to drop, and when they released this single, it was one of those completely satisfying musical moments. From that opening riff to the breakdown, “Illuminant” showcases the post-hardcore band’s evolution since the early 90’s while remaining true to its roots. Interiors is a fantastic album front to back, but this song is the one that stands out the most.

2. Slowdive – “Star Roving”
3. Elbow – “Magnificent (She Says)”
4. LCD Soundsystem – “Call the Police”
5. Versing – “Body Chamber”

Showbams_Sticker_Rectangle2

With summer near, Skyline festival makes its debut at the new & improved LA State Historic Park

Skyline 2017Photos courtesy of aLIVE Coverage, Banfy & DA BLACK SWAN // Written by Josh Herwitt //

Skyline feat. Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido, EDEN, Michl, ELOHIM, Jason Bentley //
LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
May 20th, 2017 //

Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial start to summer, but for those of us living in the City of Angels, last weekend might as well have been.

With temperatures in downtown LA reaching the low 90’s, Radio Hill Events and KCRW made history on a hot and sunny day as they hosted the inaugural Skyline festival at the brand-new LA State Historic Park, which closed for renovation more than three years ago.

Though not all of the 34-acre open space just north of Chinatown was used for the single-day event, it felt nice to be back at the much-improved park taking in live music as an electronic-leaning lineup that consisted of Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido, EDEN, Michl, ELOHIM and Jason Bentley all shared the somewhat diminutive stage over a nine-hour span.

Skyline 2017 - Miike Snow


Miike Snow

In many ways, Skyline felt like a trial run for potentially larger music festivals to eventually make their way back to the park, which was used for FYF Fest and HARD’s LA-based events prior to its closure. And after a reported attendance of 5,500, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see FYF Fest return to its former home next year after occupying Exposition Park for what soon will be four straight summers following its latest edition this July.

What might be best about LA State Historic Park, though, is the view. Particularly on a clear day, it’s hard to beat the sight lines of downtown LA’s skyline when you look south from the park. And lucky for us, that was the case this time around.

As day turned to night and the crowd’s energy gradually started to build thanks to a hit-laden set from Scandinavian indie-pop trio Miike Snow, it felt like a perfect way to spend a Saturday night in LA in mid-May. So, when English DJ/producer Duke Dumont took the baton and gave the festival’s final performance, he made sure to send us home with some deep-house vibes — deep enough to put us right to bed after what proved to be, all in all, a successful day.

Outside Lands 2017: Lineup locks, likely acts & long shots

Outside Lands 2016

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival //
Golden Gate Park – San Francisco
August 11th-13th, 2017 //

Now that Ranger Dave has dusted off his uniform and is once again prepping for duty, we can speculate who will be performing at Golden Gate Park this August for a very special 10th year of Outside Lands. As festival season draws near with Coachella less than two weeks away, it’s time for us to make some predictions regarding this year’s OSL lineup. So while you work on that summer tan, we’ve got all the deets on who you can expect to see in SF in a few months.

If you have a lead or opinion, drop us a comment below.


Outside Lands 2016

Lock It In

Metallica – Ranger Dave basically confirmed the news via Twitter with his “nothing else matters” tweet, which has since been deleted. No worries, we have a screenshot of it here.

Empire of the Sun – Ranger Dave made it fairly obvious with this tweet.

Maggie Rogers – Another Ranger Dave tweet provides the clue for this 22-year-old singer-songwriter, whose “Color Song” is buzzy AF.

Francis and the Lights – See Ranger Dave’s tweet, and their hit single “Friends” features close collaborator Bon Iver, too.

The Temper Trap and/or Shovels & Rope – See Ranger Dave’s tweet, which sounds like a reference to The Temper Trap song “Miracle” but could also be referring to Shovels & Rope’s 2016 LP Little Seeds (the South Carolina duo also have a big gap in its tour schedule between July and August).

Sofi Tukker – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. The New York duo’s 2016 EP Soft Animals is its first and only release so far.

Action Bronson – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. We’re calling it his “Fuck, That’s Delicious: Outside Lands Edition.”

Rag’n’Bone Man – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. The English singer-songwriter included “Lay My Body Down” as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of his debut studio album Human, which he released in February on Columbia Records.

Future Islands – See Ranger Dave’s tweet. “A Dream of You And Me” is the second single off the Baltimore band’s 2014 LP Singles.

Ice-T – See Ranger Dave’s tweet referencing his 1991 album O.G. Original Gangster. But could this instead signal the return of Body Count (Ice-T’s longstanding metal band)?


Outside Lands 2016 - Big Freedia

Seems Likely

Arcade Fire – Awake yee gentle Canadian giants! 2011 marks the last time we saw AF top the lineup, and with new material to showcase this year, we expect — but can’t guarantee — OSL to be their banner West Coast festival slot now that we know they’re not playing Coachella or FYF Fest in LA.

The Weeknd – Abel’s tour gap in August, coupled with headlining appearances at Bonnaroo (which often shares a headliner with OSL) and then Lollapalooza, seem to lead to the obvious for his debut at Another Planet Entertainment’s premier event.

alt-J – With no Bay Area dates scheduled and a show in LA at the Shrine Auditorium on August 9th, a return to OSL seems all the more likely for these gentlemen from Leeds.

Lorde – The 20-year-old New Zealand pop star is hitting a ton of festivals this year in support of her forthcoming album Melodrama, including Coachella, JazzFest, Governor’s Ball, FPSF, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Rock Werchter, OpenAir St. Gallen, Fuji Rock, Lollapalooza and last but not least, Osheaga (for now). OSL would definitely be the cherry on top for an impressive festival run in 2017, though.

Fleet Foxes – The Seattle indie-folk giant fronted by Robin Pecknold is back with its first LP in six years this June, and with some down time in August and no Bay Area show on the tour schedule yet, OSL looks like a strong possibility.

Justice – The French electro masters are hitting the festival circuit rather hard, and the recent debut of their live show has the buzz-o-meter reaching critical mass. Having them close things out on the Twin Peaks stage Saturday would be ideal for launching fans into the wild night.

Wiz Khalifa – The Pittsburgh emcee has a new album coming out in 2017 and no Bay Area date scheduled. He’s also playing Lollapalooza the weekend before, making OSL a definite possibility for his NorCal tour stop.

The Avett Brothers – The Avetts are in California the week of OSL to play San Diego on August 10th and LA on August 11th, and the only next stop that makes sense would be SF. There’s this, too.

Cage the Elephant – They’re conveniently skipping SF yet hitting Sacramento this month as the only Northern California stop on their current U.S. tour that includes slots at Lollapalooza and Osheaga already lined up. OSL seems like a logical choice considering the 2017 Grammy winners last played the fest in 2009.

Young the Giant – These guys haven’t played OSL since 2013 and have a week off before heading north to play Seattle on August 11th. Plus, there’s this.

Grouplove – The colorful LA outfit is making the festival rounds this summer and playing Lollapalooza the weekend before OSL. With roughly a three-week gap in their tour schedule, there’s a solid chance they’ll be performing in Golden Gate Park — and this tweet only helps matters honestly.

Vance Joy – The Australian singer-songwriter doesn’t have a lot of 2017 tour dates booked right now, but there is this.

Warpaint – The all-female rockers recently announced more tour dates concluding at Lollapalooza. With no Bay Area appearance scheduled, even around Coachella’s two weekends, there’s a strong likelihood for their inclusion on the bill. There’s also this.

Spoon – Britt Daniel and company are touring the U.S. this summer in support of their newest full length Hot Thoughts and have a 10-day gap in their schedule, with the weekend of August 11th-13th conveniently open and preceding shows in LA as well as Colorado. Plus, with no Bay Area date scheduled yet, it only makes sense that the Austin group would return to OSL after its last appearance in 2014.

Little Dragon – The Swedish electronic band is playing shows up and down California this month to go along with its performances at Coachella, but none are in SF shockingly enough. They also don’t have any tour dates scheduled in August yet. And there’s this.

Electric Guest – The LA-based band led by one-time Berkeley native Asa Taccone was a big highlight at Noise Pop this year, but according to one Reddit user, they’ll be back in SF this August and their schedule is wide open after early May.


Outside Lands 2016

Looking Plausible

Gorillaz – Could OSL really be Gorillaz’s first U.S. date in almost seven years? The Damon Albarn-led group recently announced that they’ll be performing at Festival d’été de Québec (Quebec City Summer Festival) in Quebec City on July 15th.

The Who – Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend still put on a killer show, and their residency in Las Vegas around OSL time has led to this rumor circulating as they’d truly hit the classic rock billing perfectly. Plus, we think this move would fit all too well.

Queens of the Stone Age – Josh Homme and his sidekicks are making their live return this summer, and it seems incredibly possible that they’ll be back in the Bay in August as one of the festival’s sub-headliners. After all, their set would lead into Metallica quite nicely, right?


Outside Lands 2016

Long Shot (but could happen)

Eric Clapton – While he likely has an exclusive contract with MSG for his bi-coastal shows (his LA dates at The Forum have been postponed until September due to illness), could he end his tour in Golden Gate Park?

Daft Punk – And, of course, your obligatory Daft Punk inclusion, especially after this year’s April Fools’ joke.

Outside Lands 2016

  • Missy Elliott, Björk, Frank Ocean & Nine Inch Nails to headline FYF Fest 2017

    FYF Fest - 2017 lineup

    FYF Fest //
    Exposition Park – Los Angeles
    July 21st-23rd, 2017 //

    Year after year, FYF Fest has continued to pull bigger and better artists. And this summer, that trend will continue as FYF moves up a whole month and expands from two to three days with Missy Elliott, Björk, Frank Ocean and Nine Inch Nails set to headline the festival’s 14th annual edition after last year’s impressive lineup.

    Now in July but still returning to Exposition Park near downtown LA, FYF will also include performances from A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu, Iggy Pop, Solange, Run the Jewels, Flying Lotus, .Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, MGMT, Nicolas Jaar, Slowdive, Angel Olsen, Little Dragon, Kehlani, Majid Jordan, King Krule, 6lack, Sleep, Thundercat, Blonde Redhead, The Drums, Grandaddy, The Black Madonna, Mura Masa, Ty Segall, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, The Faint, Cap’n Jazz, BADBADNOTGOOD, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Noname, John Talabot, Beach Fossils, DJ Harvey, Temples, Perfume Genius, Thee Oh Sees, Whitney, Tiga, Hundred Waters, Moses Sumney, Mitski, Joey Purp, S U R V I V E, Horse Meat Disco, Kamaiyah, Cherry Glazerr and more. Check out the poster above for the rest of the lineup.

    This will be the first time performing at FYF for all four headliners, though some might recall that Frank Ocean had to cancel the week of the fest in 2015 (and was replaced by Kanye West) after originally earning top billing next to Morrissey. Missy Elliott and Björk will co-headline Friday’s bill, while Frank Ocean and Nine Inch Nails will serve as the main acts for Saturday and Sunday, respectively. For the record, FYF marks Elliott’s only scheduled show so far this year while Blonde Redhead will use their set to perform their 2000 album Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons in its entirety. It will also be Motor City Drum Ensemble’s first show in the U.S. since 2010 as well as the U.S. debuts of Helena Hauff and Nadia Rose. And as you might have noticed from scanning the lineup, comedy will be back at the festival for the first time since 2013 compliments of Hannibal Buress.

    Produced in association with LA concert promoter Goldenvoice, FYF will sell weekend passes for $299, with single-day passes also available for $125 and weekend VIP passes available for $549. Tickets can be purchased starting this Friday, March 24th at 12 p.m. here, and payment plans will once again be offered — this time in four stages.

    2017 FYF Fest postcard

    FYF Fest drops 2016 lineup, led by Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala & Grace Jones

    FYF Fest 2016

    FYF Fest //
    Exposition Park – Los Angeles
    August 27th-28th, 2016 //

    If you thought Kanye West and Morrissey were big gets for FYF last year, the two-day music festival is going even bigger in 2016.

    Led by headliners Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala and Grace Jones, the lineup for the 13th annual FYF Fest is jam-packed from top to bottom.

    The rest of the bill includes performances from Air, Beach House, Anohni, Grimes, Hot Chip, Father John Misty, Explosions in the Sky, Rae Sremmurd, Blood Orange, Young Thug, Moby (DJ set), Saves the Day, Vince Staples, Wolf Parade, Shellac, Todd Terje & the Olsens, Charles Bradley, Ty Segall & the Muggers, Junior Boys, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Jagwar Ma, The Black Lips, Peter Bjorn and John, DIIV, Chelsea Wolfe, Kelela, Bicep, Wild Nothing, Floating Points, Gold Panda, Corbin, Hop Along, Viet Cong, Oneohtrix Point Never, Julia Holter and more at Exposition Park near downtown LA.

    UPDATE: FYF has added slacker-rock king Mac DeMarco, LA electronic duo CLASSIXX and Banks & Steelz, a new collaboration featuring Interpol frontman Paul Banks and Wu Tang original member RZA, to its already stacked 2016 lineup more than two and a half months after dropping the festival’s initial bill.

    Founded by Sean Carlson back in 2004 and produced in association with LA concert promoter Goldenvoice, FYF will sell weekend passes for $199, with single-day passes also available for $125 and weekend VIP passes available for $339. Tickets can be purchased starting this Friday, April 1st at 12 p.m. here.

    Excited for FYF now? Make sure to check out our coverage from 2015 here.

    FYF Fest 2016 lineup

    The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2015

    Caribou


    Caribou at The Fillmore // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Justin Yee

    Ah, where did 2015 go? It felt like we were just ringing in a new year a couple months ago. But with another year in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to once again doll out our annual “Best of” lists. Much like we did in 2014, we heard a lot of music this year, whether it was at a show or at a festival, at work, on the bus or in our cars. From established headliners who continue to amaze us to emerging artists who rekindled our excitement for new music, our collective lives were filled with one musical memory after another over the past 12 months.

    So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2015.

    The 25 Best Live Music Acts of 2015

    Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2015:


    Tycho


    Tycho at Lightning in a Bottle // Photo by Josh Herwitt

    Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

    Top 5 Shows of 2015
    1. Jack White at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 11th
    There’s a reason why Mr. White was named our No. 1 live music act of 2014 around this time last year, and it’s not because he’s simply a guitar god. The Detroit native and former White Stripe is much more than that now, as he has proven with the kind of clever, genre-swirling songwriting that permeates his two solo albums Blunderbuss and Lazaretto. But witnessing White perform live almost feels like a musical right of passage in and of itself, reminding us that while inventive, mainstream rock ‘n’ roll may be harder to come by these days, it’s still far from dead. On this warm, spring night in the California desert, he imparted on us that “music is sacred” — not just with his words in between songs, but also with every ferverous note that he struck on his fret board. From the moment White appeared on the festival’s main stage, his 20-song, headlining set was bold and powerful, even if it would serve as one of his last shows for a while.

    2. My Morning Jacket at Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA – October 11th
    3. Modest Mouse at Hollywood Forever – Los Angeles, CA – August 21st
    4. Tycho at Lightning in a Bottle – Bradley, CA – May 24th
    5. The War on Drugs at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 10th

    Top 5 Albums of 2015
    1. My Morning JacketThe Waterfall
    When My Morning Jacket announced that they would be releasing a new studio LP in May after nearly a four-year layoff, their longest between albums since forming in the late 90’s, I wasn’t sure if they could top what they had devised on 2011’s Circuital. But these Louisville rockers, rather, did just that, putting together a flawless record that opens with the inspiring “Believe (Nobody Knows)” and concludes with the gloomy, yet poignant “Only Memories Remain”. In between it all, frontman Jim James continues to build off his 2013 solo album, showing what a thoughtful songwriter he has become — knowing when to step on the gas pedal and when to ease off of it. With an already impressive catalog highlighted by 2005’s Z, it’s hard to definitively say that The Waterfall has taken over the throne as MMJ’s best album now, but there’s no doubt it belongs in the conversation.

    2. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
    3. Silversun Pickups – Better Nature
    4. Jamie xxIn Colour
    5. Tame ImpalaCurrents

    Top 5 Songs of 2015
    1. My Morning Jacket – “Tropics (Erase Traces)”
    It’s only fitting that my favorite album of the year also boasts my favorite song of the year. The penultimate track on My Morning Jacket’s The Waterfall is an absolute rocker that gradually builds from the opening, Led Zeppelin-esque guitar lick before peaking midway through for a chilling finish. There might not be a better example in MMJ’s catalog that demonstrates how well Jim James and Carl Broemel play off each other, and if the two guitarists haven’t already, then they’ve certainly cemented themselves as one of rock’s best one-two punches by now.

    2. The Weeknd – “The Hills”
    3. Modest Mouse – “The Ground Walks, With Time in a Box”
    4. Battles – “The Yabba”
    5. Tame Impala – “The Less I Know the Better”


    The Chemical Brothers


    The Chemical Brothers at The Armory // Photo by Justin Yee

    Molly Kish // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2015
    1. Jamie xx at Bimbo’s 365 Club – San Francisco, CA – July 31st
    Whereas those familiar with his early XL Records mixtapes were satiated by his intermingling of Gil Scott-Heron and Idris Muhammad samples between hits, Jamie xx’s newfound, post-In Colour fans experienced equally breathtaking moments with the crowd hitting peak energy levels during the chorus of “Loud Places” amidst the glow of a warped-speed, neon-green strobe light. Another notable moment included the near-religious choral drop of “Gosh” that escalated the packed house to spiritual levels of enthusiasm, all while bathed in the glowing sparkle of Jamie Smith’s staggeringly iridescent, ceiling-to-floor disco ball and stage lights.

    2. The Chemical Brothers at The Armory – San Francisco, CA – November 30th
    3. Kate Tempest at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – May 20th
    4. Kishi Bashi at Palace of Fine Arts Theatre – San Francisco, CA – January 30th
    5. Caribou at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – March 1st

    Top 5 Albums of 2015
    1. Jamie xxIn Colour
    Acclaimed London-based producer and half of electronic powerhouse The xx, Jamie Smith (aka Jamie xx) broke the mold this past year with his stunning solo debut In Colour. Earning top accolades within the music industry, including a 2015 Mercury Prize nomination and a Grammy nomination for “Best Electronic/Dance Album”, In Colour featured both individually conceptualized strokes of production ingenuity as well as many of the biggest contemporary-crossover hits this year. Smith explored his dubstep, house, garage and trip-hop influences on In Colour to deliver a genre-spanning masterpiece, highlighting his illustrious career as an electronic composer while setting the standard for the current and future state of EDM.

    2. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly
    3. Tame ImpalaCurrents
    4. The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
    5. Lord Huron – Strange Trails

    Top 5 Songs of 2015
    1. Jamie xx – “Loud Places”
    As part of a track list that included some of 2015’s most groundbreaking and genre-defining hits, “Loud Places” holds its own as a standout cut on Jamie xx’s monumental solo debut In Colour. It comes in toward the latter half of the UK producer’s LP and enlists the gorgeously haunting vocals of Romy Madley Croft, one of Jamie Smith’s partners in The xx and a longtime collaborator of his. Amid a packed roster of acclaimed vocalists, emcees and iconic samples, Croft’s contributions, while paired with a full choir, help manifest the lyrical content of the song while evoking a near-religious experience for its listener.

    2. Tame Impala – “Let It Happen”
    3. Robyn – “Love Is Free”
    4. Kendrick Lamar – “King Kunta”
    5. FKA twigs – “In Time”


    Outside Lands 2015 - Tame Impala


    Tame Impala at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival // Photo by James Nagel

    Brett Ruffenach // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2015
    1. Four Tet b2b Floating Points at Public Works SF – San Francisco, CA – May 3rd
    Sparked by their set at Plastic Peoples in London earlier in the year — a set, coincidentally, that was named “Best of the Year” by THUMP a few days ago — SF’s own DJ Dials was kind enough to bring Kerian Hebden and Sam Shepherd, better known as Four Tet and Floating Points, to Public Works last May. Starting early in the evening, the two well-established English producers put on a scorching, non-stop, six-hour, vinyl-only DJ set. Kicking off the evening with over an hour of early-70’s Brazilian samba and steadily moving from there to all forms of funk, big band, soul, jazz and of course their own eclectic catalog of music, the two DJs seamlessly moved between tracks, bringing up and down the energy at just the right point to keep you guessing what’s going to happen next. After dozens and dozens of shows and DJ sets this year, I always keep thinking back to this one because it wasn’t only a chance to see an artist I like play their music — it was a chance to see two artists I like play the music that they love, and do it on an absolutely killer sound system.

    2. Kendrick Lamar at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – November 10th
    3. Tame Impala at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival – San Francisco, CA – August 8th
    4. Jamie xx “In Colour” album release show at Church of St John-at-Hackney – London, England – July 16th
    5. Nicolas Jaar at Symbiosis Gathering – Oakdale, CA – September 19th

    Top 5 Albums of 2015
    1. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly
    Kendrick wins. No contest. At this point, there’s nothing I can say that will be new or not already over-analyzed by the blogosphere over TPAB. All I can say is that TPAB is one of those rap albums that, just like Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010, expanded my understanding of what a rap album can be. From the very start you hear Lamar’s voice in the genius, FlyLo-produced “Wesley’s Theory” — a track that I think is among the greatest album openers ever — to the closing conversation with 2Pac in Mortal Man, TPAB is among the most ambitious and thoroughly conceptualized productions I have had the pleasure of hearing (and seeing) in my life.

    2. Tame ImpalaCurrents
    3. Nicolas Jaar – Nymphs I-IV
    4. Jamie xxIn Colour
    5. Beach HouseDepression Cherry

    Top 5 Songs of 2015
    1. Pumarosa – “Priestess”
    “Priestess” is a seven-minute, punk-meets-disco dance party that starts as an observation and ends as a declaration. Its declaration? To dance. Its lyrics (for instance: “Cut from clay and stone / Electricity flows through your spine and shoulders/In the night when we’re alone”), its visceral rhythm and undeniably entrancing, three-minute instrumental closing out the track (DAT SAX) are what make it an easy choice for my favorite of the year. In a culture engulfed in consumerism, celebrity and over-consumption, “Priestess” reminds us all that dancing is free. Dancing can be a protest. Dancing can be a celebration. Dancing is whatever you make of it. “Priestess” is a track that reaches into your soul and forces you to do one simple thing: dance. That’s something we all need in our lives every once and a while.

    2. Kendrick Lamar – “Wesley’s Theory”
    3. Jamie xx – “Gosh”
    4. Tame Impala – “Eventually”
    5. Nicolas Jaar – “Swim”


    High Sierra Music Festival 2015 - The String Cheese Incident


    The String Cheese Incident at High Sierra Music Festival 2015 // Photo by Benjamin Wallen

    Benjamin Wallen // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2015
    1. Greensky Bluegrass at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – November 1st
    Many bands get bigger and play bigger shows. Every now and then, you get to see them in a smaller venue with a more “intimate” feel. This was that show. Following a crazy night at the Fox Theater Oakland celebrating Halloween, the band crossed the Bay Bridge to play a birthday show for its dobro player Anders Beck at The Independent. It was a “Greatest Hits” setlist of all the songs I loved the most: past, present and future. The show was definitely intimate and filled with energy, and Greensky ended the night with some acoustic tunes. I think it says a lot about a band that can pack a big venue and then play a smaller venue and still the heat. This is my favorite band these days. They are consistently great and just too much fun.

    2. String Cheese Incident at High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, CA – July 3rd
    3. The Sam Chase at High Sierra Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, CA – July 3rd
    4. Jeff Austin Band at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – April 26th
    5. The Devil Makes Three at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – February 3rd

    Top 5 Albums of 2015
    1. Della Mae – Della Mae
    These girls are damn talented as much as they are cute. I stumbled upon these five girls from Nashville while at The Chapel a few years back, and they were just damn good. Then, I heard that they were nominated for a Grammy and only beaten by the legendary Del McCoury Band. These ladies can pick and tick and get the crowd jumping. For Della Mae, powerful songs and epic throw-down jams are just par for the course. This album was Kickstarter-funded, which I was happy to contribute to, and continues the revival of bluegrass for the younger generation and modernizing the sound with the energy of youth. I find myself playing this album more and more each day from start to end — it’s just that good.

    2. The Dustbowl Revival – With a Lamp Shade On
    3. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
    4. Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers – Loved Wild Lost
    5. Jackie Greene – Back to Birth

    Top 5 Songs of 2015
    1. Jackie Greene – “A Face Among the Crowd”
    I have been a Jackie Greene fan since I moved to SF almost 10 years ago. This song I heard a number of years ago when Greene was uploading hotel room solo tracks on the road. This song was put up on Father’s Day for Greene’s dad and was a touching song. Creepily sitting in a hotel room, you can feel the emotion. Hearing it on a record in my home is just heaven. After some of those really tough days in life, I come home, put this song on while listening on my best pair of headphones and zone out — let all the crap from the day that doesn’t mean shit just fade away. This song does that for me, and as a music lover, finding this type of song is like finding gold on the street.

    2. The Dustbowl Revival – “Standing Next to Me”
    3. The California Honeydrops – “When It Was Wrong”
    4. Father John Misty – “I Went to the Store One Day”
    5. Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers – “Mr. Saturday Night”


    Father John Misty


    Father John Misty at Treasure Island Music Festival 2015 // Photo by Marc Fong

    Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2015
    1. Father John Misty at Treasure Island Music Festival – San Francisco, CA – October 18th
    Of all of the performers on Day 2 at the festival, Father John Misty held my attention the most. A stellar performance, hitting all of the right points, which gave me good reason to believe that he may in fact be one of the best frontmen of the last 10 years.

    2. Hum at Slim’s – San Francisco, CA – September 18th
    3. Fat Wreck Chords 25th Anniversary at Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA – Aug 22nd & 23rd
    4. Refused at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – May 28th
    5. alt-J at Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA – April 16th

    Top 5 Albums of 2015
    1. Tame ImpalaCurrents
    From top to bottom, this is an album that I can listen to over and over without feeling burnt out (and believe me, I have). I appreciate the fact that on this album, they steer clear of too much “jam” and keep it straight forward. I can’t help but move my feet when I hear some of the tracks on Currents.

    2. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly
    3. Failure – The Heart Is a Monster
    4. Father John MistyI Love You, Honeybear
    5. God Is an Astronaut – Helios/Erebus

    Top 5 Songs of 2015
    1. Tame Impala – “The Less I Know the Better”
    From the first time I heard this track, I knew it was the best song of the year. Infectious as hell, you cannot stop your body from getting into that groove.

    2. Grimes – “Kill V. Maim”
    3. Father John Misty – “Bored in the USA”
    4. The Velvet Teen – “All Is Illusory”
    5. Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf”


    Viet Cong


    Viet Cong at Rickshaw Stop // Photo by Diana Cordero

    Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2015
    1. Viet Cong at Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA – March 5th
    Viet Cong were easily one of the most brilliant bands in 2015 as they shook up South by Southwest (even when their drummer had a broken arm), generally not caring about the whole band-name fiasco and releasing a stellar debut LP. The brooding studio work from this Canadian outfit turned out to be way more accessible on the live stage as bassist/singer Matt Flegel bounced between playful banter and pile-driving post-punk.

    2. Caribou at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – March 1st
    3. Todd Terje (Live) at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 10th
    4. Kendrick Lamar at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – November 10th
    5. BADBADNOTGOOD at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – August 22

    Top 5 Albums of 2015
    1. Kendrick LamarTo Pimp a Butterfly
    No surprises here, as truly this was objectively the best album of the year. With expectations high from his growing fan base, Lamar delivered an LP that had it all: crushing singles, a bold concept and a clear message. The smorgasbord of genres and vibes TPAB lays out for the listener further shows that K-Dot’s bag of tricks has no end in sight.

    2. Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect
    3. DJ Paypal – Sold Out
    4. Tame ImpalaCurrents
    5. Archy Marshall – A New Place to Drown

    Top 5 Songs of 2015
    1. Tame Impala – “Let It Happen”
    This track was our first taste of Currents, and it got fans salivating in no time. “Let It Happen” was the perfect amuse-bouche with Kevin Parker’s vision shifting a bit toward synths over his trusty Rickenbacker guitar, which slightly became the resounding chatter behind the LP. Oh yeah, and there was the “record skip” in the middle of the track that we all went mental over.

    2. Ought – “Beautiful Blue Sky”
    3. The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”
    4. DJ Spinn – “Dubby” (feat. DJ Rashad & Danny Brown)
    5. Deerhunter – “Snakeskin”

    Showbams_Sticker_Rectangle2

    Was FYF Fest 2015 the ‘best weekend of summer’? Here are 10 highlights from this year’s festival

    FYF Fest 2015By Josh Herwitt //

    FYF Fest //
    LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
    August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

    The 12th annual FYF Fest returned to the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park last weekend, and from everything we witnessed over two action-packed days, it felt like a major success. For starters, we didn’t have to wait in a three-hour security line and it didn’t take 20 minutes to walk from one end of the festival grounds to the other (it was more like 10 minutes), which already made this year a huge improvement compared to last year.

    It should also go without saying that FYF has come a long way since its early beginnings as a punk fest, and teaming up with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice back in 2011 hasn’t hurt its rep by any means. If anything, it’s only made it more accessible for mainstream music fans (though there are still plenty of “indie” acts to come by). That couldn’t have been any more apparent than this year with Kanye West replacing Frank Ocean as Saturday’s headliner less than two days before the gates officially opened. And yet, somehow FYF didn’t end up selling out. We’re still not sure how that didn’t happen.

    But the festival’s well-publicized slogan has long been that it delivers the “best weekend of summer,” and such a proclamation certainly sets the bar pretty high, especially in Southern California, where there is no shortage of ways to keep oneself preoccupied on a late-August afternoon. So, whether FYF was or wasn’t (it was one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015), here are our top 10 highlights from its 2015 edition.


    FYF Fest 2015 - Battles

    10. Battles

    New York City trio Battles have been creating some of the most interesting rock music in the business for more than a decade, bordering on prog while throwing a heavy dose of math rock into the equation. With their third full length La Di Da Di due out September 18th (and thanks to Ableton, fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at the band’s writing and recording process for the album here), Ian Williams (guitar, keyboards), Dave Konopka (bass, guitar, effects) and John Stanier (drums) debuted some new material on Sunday evening for their Southern California fan base, most notably “The Yabba”, which gradually navigates its way through sonic peaks and valleys over the course of seven minutes. Meanwhile, Stanier, the glue that holds it all together for Battles, is still proving to be an absolute beast on the skins at age 47.


    FYF Fest 2015 - FKA twigs

    9. FKA twigs

    British singer-songwriter Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA twigs, has been all the rage lately after performing at Coachella in April, and she closed out FYF in style, donning an elaborate burgundy- and gold-colored robe for her Sunday night set. Just the week before, the 27-year-old fiancée of actor/musician Robert Pattinson released her brand-new EP M3LL155X, and with it receiving high marks from a number of music outlets, there were quite a few fans who stuck around after 11:30 p.m. on a “school night” to watch her perform some of them, including the opening track “Figure 8”, “In Time” and “Glass & Patron”. FKA twigs might be one of the most compelling live acts out there right now, and after scheduling Purity Ring to close out The Lawn the night before, FYF seemed to make a point of letting women rule that stage in the late-night hours this year.


    FYF Fest 2015 - Simian Mobile Disco

    8. The Arena

    While there hasn’t been much use for the LA Sports Arena these days with The Forum and Staples Center serving as LA’s two primary large-scale music venues now, FYF made sure to utilize the 56-year-old stadium as best it could in conjunction with Exposition Park — and surprisingly enough, it actually ended up being our favorite stage this year. With space to roam on the floor — except during Flying Lotus’ DJ set from what we were told — and the seated area upstairs providing a nice respite from more standing, The Arena felt very much like a different world when you walked inside its doors. Plus, it had one of the most visually stunning stage backdrops and lighting setups that we’ve ever seen at a music festival.


    FYF Fest 2015 - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

    7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

    After capitalizing on the success of their 2013 sophomore album entitled II, UMO have been trending upward as one of indie rock’s buzziest bands this summer thanks to the release of their third full length Multi-Love in May. Led by singer and guitarist Ruban Nielson, the New Zealand/Portland, Ore., quartet creates an intriguing mixture of lo-fi, psychedelic rock with garage, funk and R&B elements thrown in for good measure. After a long and tiring first day at FYF, UMO served as an uplifting way to start Day 2, and the turnout was pretty impressive with a large crowd arriving at The Lawn on Sunday for their 4:30 p.m. set.


    FYF Fest 2015 - BADBADNOTGOOD

    6. BADBADNOTGOOD

    Instrumental jazz/hip-hop trio BADBADNOTGOOD was high on our list of artists to catch at FYF this year, holding down a relatively early slot in The Arena on Saturday. Evoking almost a free-jazz spirit at times, Matthew Tavares (keyboards), Chester Hansen (bass) and Alexander Sowinski (drums) put their chops on display for close to an hour. Within minutes of arriving at the festival’s only indoor stage, it was fairly easy to see just how talented they are when it comes to playing their instruments, and together their sound had us wanting to hear more the next time these three Torontonians come to town.


    FYF Fest 2015 - Chet Faker

    5. Chet Faker

    When we saw Chet Faker perform in LA following the release of his debut album Built on Glass last year, we were underwhelmed by Nicholas Murphy’s stage presence and a cast of sidekicks who didn’t add much to his overall sound. But a lot has changed since that early June night at The Roxy Theatre, and Murphy’s live show has grown leaps and bounds from 2014 to 2015, in part because he’s surrounded himself with some very skilled players lately. Though Murphy didn’t drop his newest single “Bend” into a nine-song set on Saturday, the FYF mainstay gave us every reason to believe why he belongs on the festival’s main stage.


    FYF Fest 2015 - Flume with Andrew Wyatt

    4. Special guests

    Ever since FYF founder Sean Carlson teamed up with Goldenvoice, his festival has felt more and more like a mini Coachella each year. That trend continued in 2015 on a number of levels, with one of them being the fact that quite a few artists introduced special guests during their sets, something that has become rather synonymous with Coachella over the past few years. Chet Faker brought out BANKS, Travi$ Scott joined Kanye, Flume handed the mic right over to Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt (pictured above) and then later danced with Lorde, and Run the Jewels gave Zack de la Rocha and Travis Barker their moment to shine onstage, too. If that doesn’t sound like a typical weekend at Coachella, then we don’t know what does.


    FYF Fest 2015 - Kanye West

    3. Kanye West

    Yeezus was all the talk less than two days before the festival kicked off, and we must say that we were pleasantly surprised by the last-minute Kanye-West-for-Frank-Ocean trade that FYF was able to pull off in the end. The headlining performance, nonetheless, delivered on all fronts, as Kanye ran through a career full of hits, eventually playing one every minute as his set went down to the very last second. We won’t go as far as to say that it was the best show of the weekend, but an impromptu performance from Rihanna on “Four Five Seconds” and “All of the Lights” after she was pulled onstage by Yeezy himself will have us remembering that moment for quite some time.


    FYF Fest 2015 - D'Angelo & The Vanguard

    2. D’Angelo & The Vanguard

    One of the most anticipated sets of the weekend was none other than D’Angelo’s — and for good reason. The R&B/neo-soul singer-songwriter hadn’t released an album in 14 years (yes, really) until he suddenly dropped his 2014 masterpiece Black Messiah last December, so you knew that getting the rare opportunity to see Michael Eugene Archer work a crowd, much like the one that assembled for his set at FYF, would be something special. Sounding more like a youthful James Brown than a wannabe Prince (we still don’t totally understand where those comparisons are coming from), D’Angelo and his eight-piece backing band that he now calls The Vanguard took the audience for a ride as they doled out new and old hits such as “Really Love” and “Brown Sugar” over an eight-song setlist.


    FYF Fest 2015 - Run the Jewels

    1. Run the Jewels

    It’s hard to find a more entertaining and raucous show in hip-hop right now than Run the Jewels’. Yes, El-P and Killer Mike have been making the festival rounds this year much like Outkast did in 2014, but one actually released an album last year and the other hasn’t since 2006. Never ones to hold back, RTJ’s post-sunset show on the festival’s main stage was both highly provocative and hilarious, getting the adrenaline pumping within the first few minutes and setting the tone for the rest of Day 1.

    Kanye West to replace Frank Ocean as headliner at FYF Fest 2015 this weekend

    FYF_post

    FYF Fest //
    LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
    August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

    FYF Fest sent shock waves across the Internet less than two days before the festival takes place at the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park, announcing that Kanye West will replace Frank Ocean as this Saturday’s headliner.

    The festival officially released the news around 4:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, stating that Ocean had “decided on his own terms to cancel his appearance.”

    FYF, now in its 12th year, changed its schedule in 2015, with music slated to go all the way up until 2 a.m. on Saturday and as late as 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.

    The Frank-Ocean-for-Kanye-West trade isn’t the first shake-up to this year’s lineup. Earlier on Thursday, Resident Advisor reported that Ben UFO was forced to cancel his upcoming shows with Joy Orbison in Canada and the U.S., including his Saturday evening set in The Arena at FYF, due to visa issues. Orbison’s set had been extended by 80 minutes as a result, meaning that he was scheduled to perform for a total of two hours and 40 minutes, which might have been the longest festival set in the history of the modern-day music festival (or at least that we’ve ever seen). However, he is also dealing with visa issues — both him and Ben UFO are from London — and will now miss his FYF set after canceling his Friday night show in San Francisco at Public Works a few hours earlier.

    UPDATE: FYF Fest announced the replacements for Ben UFO and Orbison on Friday evening. LA experimental producer Flying Lotus will perform a DJ set in The Arena from 8:10-9:10 p.m. on Saturday, followed by one of our favorite electronic musicians, Bonobo, hitting the decks from 11:15 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Both performances will be DJ sets.

    Here is the updated schedule for this weekend’s festival:

    SATURDAY SET TIMES

    FYF Fest 2015 set times with Bonobo & Flying Lotus - Saturday

    SUNDAY SET TIMES

    FYF Fest 2015 set times with Bonobo & Flying Lotus - Sunday

    Meanwhile, just last week, the two-day festival also announced that Deerhunter had canceled their performance, replacing the Atlanta indie-rock band with dance-punk outfit !!! (Chk Chk Chk), who we recently caught open for Hot Chip (read our review here) at the Greek Theatre.

    Other big names performing at this year’s FYF Fest include Sunday headliner Morrissey, Bloc Party, D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Chet Faker, The Jesus and Mary Chain, FKA twigs, Purity Ring, Belle & Sebastian, Flume, Run the Jewels and Solange.

    With all those acts already on the bill and now the late addition of Kanye, we have to say that we’re feeling pretty good about picking FYF as one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015. Single-day passes for FYF have long been sold out, but GA and VIP weekend passes can still be purchased for $175 and $329, respectively, here.

    2015 FYF Fest lineup with Flying Lotus & Bonobo

    FYF Fest unveils 2015 set times with later end times

    2015 FYF Fest

    FYF Fest //
    LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
    August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

    As the summer winds down, the 12th annual FYF Fest is almost upon us. With Frank Ocean and Morrissey set to headline the two-day festival near downtown LA next weekend, FYF has released its set times for both Saturday and Sunday. You can take a look at them below.

    SATURDAY SET TIMES

    2015 FYF Fest - Saturday set times

    SUNDAY SET TIMES

    2015 FYF Fest - Sunday set times

    After ending the festival at midnight in previous years, FYF is taking things up a notch in 2015 with the music going all the way until 2 a.m. on Saturday. That should boast well for English analog electronic duo Simian Mobile Disco, who will put a stamp on Saturday’s festivities in The Arena after Frank Ocean finishes up on the Main Stage. The fun will come to an end a little bit earlier on Sunday, as FKA twigs will close up shop on The Lawn at 11:30 p.m. and is scheduled to play until 12:30 a.m. That’s still pretty late for a Sunday night at a music festival if you ask us. It’s why FYF Fest is one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015.

    In other news, the festival announced yesterday that Atlanta indie-rock band Deerhunter have been forced to cancel their performance. In their place will be dance-punk outfit !!! (Chk Chk Chk), who we caught open for Hot Chip (read our review here) at the Greek Theatre earlier this week. !!! is scheduled to play The Lawn at 8:25 p.m. on Saturday.

    While single-day passes for FYF have long been sold out, GA and VIP weekend passes can still be purchased for $175 and $329, respectively, here.

    FYF Fest

    Skipping FYF Fest? You can still see all these shows

    2015 FYF sideshows

    FYF Fest returns to the LA Sports Arena and Exposition Park this August for its 12th edition with an amalgam of trending indie in tow. It’s also one of our eight music festivals taking place in California that you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015.

    But if you’re not keen on catching headliners Frank Ocean and Morrissey yet still want to see sub headliners like Bloc Party or The Jesus and Mary Chain without shelling out $175 for a two-day GA pass (single-day passes have already sold out, by the way), well then, you’re in a bit of luck.

    FYF and Goldenvoice have announced a series of sideshows around the festival’s August 22nd-23rd dates, which include performances by Toronto experimental hip-hop/post-bop trio BADBADNOTGOOD, Northeastern legendary alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr. and even NorCal industrial hip-hop group Death Grips, who, if you can remember, broke up not all that long ago, reneging on an opportunity to tour with 90’s rock heavyweights Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden last summer.

    The sideshows start later this month, with LA’s own HEALTH kicking things off at The Echo before London-based post-punk revival band Savages finish the run off with a headlining gig at The Roxy on August 26th. It’s worth noting, however, that none of the sideshows will take place over the weekend of FYF, much like what Goldenvoice does in April by booking high-profile shows in and around Coachella’s two weekends.

    Tickets for the sideshows go on sale at FYFpresents.com this Friday, July 10th at 10 a.m.


    Here is the schedule for the festival’s upcoming sideshows with links to purchase tickets:

    July 24th: HEALTH at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

    August 19th: The Jesus and Mary Chain with A Place to Bury Strangers at The Fonda Theatre // BUY TICKETS

    August 19th: Bloc Party at Glasshouse // BUY TICKETS

    August 20th: The Jesus and Mary Chain with A Place to Bury Strangers at The Fonda Theatre // BUY TICKETS

    August 20th: Bloc Party at The Roxy Theatre // BUY TICKETS

    August 20th: METZ at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

    August 21st: BadBadNotGood with Show Me the Body at The Regent Theater // BUY TICKETS

    August 21st: NAILS at Echoplex // BUY TICKETS

    August 21st: The Drums with Froth at Glasshouse // BUY TICKETS

    August 21st: Lower Dens with Empress Of at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

    August 21st: Dinosaur Jr. at The Roxy Theatre // BUY TICKETS

    August 25th: Death Grips at Glasshouse // BUY TICKETS

    August 26th: Savages at The Roxy Theatre // BUY TICKETS

    August 26th: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at The Echo // BUY TICKETS

    2015 FYF Fest lineup

    8 California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015

    California music festivalsWritten by Josh Herwitt, Molly Kish & Nik Crossman //

    Believe it or not, we’re already halfway through 2015. If you live in California and haven’t been to a music festival yet this year, don’t worry — you’re still in luck. Yes, Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle have come and gone, but summer is here and there are a number of music festivals in The Golden State that are quickly approaching. Here are eight that each offer their own unique experience and are sure to deliver before the calendar turns to 2016.


    2015 Northern Nights lineup

    Northern Nights Music Festival
    Location: Piercy, CA
    Dates: July 17-19
    Tickets: Buy them here!

    Donning “A Greener Festival Award” for their 2014 presence, the three-day Northern Nights continues to prove itself to be one of the most sustainable, community-driven festivals in its third year. The electric lineup promises to set trends, debuting a wide variety of talent sure to appeal to many tastes. Beyond the music, NNMF sets itself apart with unique “floating stages” and engaging activities, including art installations, yoga, DIY and dream-decoding workshops, comedy and more, encouraging all festivalgoers to apply and contribute to the events. Festivals must deliver an experience beyond the music to stay relevant, and NNMF’s dedication to sustainability and community involvement demonstrates an understanding of this paradigm shift. -NC


    2015 HARD Summer lineup

    HARD Summer
    Location: Pomona, CA
    Dates: August 1-2
    Tickets: Buy them here!

    HARD founder and CEO Gary Richards has toed the line between the EDM and mainstream music worlds over the past few years, starting in 2012 when bands like Bloc Party and Miike Snow were featured on the lineup. This year’s bill continues along that trend with alt-R&B artist The Weeknd serving as one of the festival’s two headliners alongside several other non-traditional EDM acts, including Schoolboy Q, Ratatat, Chromeo, Die Antwoord and Caribou. Yes, there will actually be plenty of instruments being played on stage this year. Who knew an electronic-focused festival could offer the best of both worlds? -JH


    2015 Outside Lands lineup

    Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
    Location: San Francisco
    Dates: August 7-9
    Tickets: Sold out!

    Outside Lands has quickly risen from a SF summer highlight to one of the country’s top large-scale music festivals and a crown jewel of Bay Area production company Another Planet. Claiming the title as the “world’s only gourmet rock festival,” OSL has paved the way with its fairground food/music movement since 2008, setting the bar high with artisan experiences at its many “Lands” (wine, cheese, beer and choco) as well as its “Taste of the Bay Area” and “GastroMagic” programs. Although recognized as one of the premiere West Coast festivals, OSL still remains deeply ingrained in the rich culture of the Bay Area and continues to showcase some of the top talent in music, food, wine, beer, comedy, theater, art and culture on both a national and local scale. -MK


    2015 FYF Fest lineup

    FYF Fest
    Location: Los Angeles
    Dates: August 22-23
    Tickets: Buy them here!

    With its eclectic lineup of indie rock, hip-hop and electronic-leaning acts, FYF Fest has become, in many ways, a Coachella offshoot over the years. That shouldn’t be all that surprising considering both are Goldenvoice-sponsored events at this point, but this year’s lineup feels underwhelming and repetitive in comparison to previous editions. If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that the Morrissey fans can finally rejoice. Other highlights include Bloc Party, D’Angelo & the Vanguard, FKA twigs, Run the Jewels, Mac DeMarco and Jon Hopkins, although it wasn’t that long ago that Chet Faker, Flume, Purity Ring, Dinosaur Jr., Toro y Moi, Simian Mobile Disco and Nicolas Jaar all played the fest, which will return to the LA Memorial Sports Arena and Exposition Park for its second time. And let’s also hope the FYF organizers have things figured out after last year’s epic line fiasco. -JH


    2015 Symbiosis Gathering lineup

    Symbiosis Gathering
    Location: Oakdale, CA
    Dates: September 17-20
    Tickets: Buy them here!

    With 2015 marking Symbiosis’ 10-year “Re:Union”, the Northern California festival is set to impress. Born through a common vision of togetherness, Symbiosis encourages physical, emotional and social well-being through a vibrant community of artists, performers and creators. The lineup rivals other festivals in its class and compliments the unique multi-day “Immersion Workshops,” including Permaculture, Visionary Art and Yoga. In addition to complimentary camping, festivalgoers can upgrade to Reserved Car, RV or five-day “Ready, Set, Camp” glamping, aligned with the trend that festivals must deliver on the experience just as much as the lineup. As one of the older festivals around and their beautiful riverside venue, Symbiosis upholds its reputation as an experience you don’t want to pass up. -NC


    2015 KAABOO Del Mar lineup

    KAABOO Del Mar
    Location: Del Mar, CA
    Dates: September 18-20
    Tickets: Buy them here!

    2015 has already marked a banner year for the greater San Diego area’s music scene. First, it was CRSSD Festival making a big splash in its inaugural year this past March, and now it’s KAABOO Del Mar making its debut on the final weekend of summer. With over 100 musical acts scheduled, including two VIP performances from Sheryl Crow and Ed Kowalczyk, as well as a comedy lineup that boasts Joel McHale and Lewis Black, KAABOO is primed to compete with the other large-scale, three-day California music festivals in Coachella and Outside Lands. But KAABOO is not simply a “music festival.” According to its organizers, KAABOO is a “new kind of arts and entertainment ‘mix-perience’ designed around comfort, quality and good times.” Well then, let the good times roll by the beach this September. -JH


    2015 TBD Fest lineup

    TBD Fest
    Location: Sacramento, CA
    Dates: September 18-20
    Tickets: Buy them here!

    Beginning as a one-day festival in 2007, TBD Fest has grown into one of the major-market festivals in the country. With top-notch acts like Pretty Lights, Cut Copy, RATATAT, Chance the Rapper, Chromeo and Tycho, the now-three-day affair presents an all-star lineup along the Sacramento River. Although there’s no camping, TBD Fest touts a commitment to “all things creative” with artists, boutiques, chefs, craft beer, cocktails, wine and more. -NC


    2015 Treasure Island lineup

    Treasure Island Music Festival
    Location: San Francisco
    Dates: October 17-18
    Tickets: Buy them here!

    Treasure Island, a joint effort from Another Planet Entertainment and Noise Pop, hails as one of the West Coast’s premiere boutique music festivals. Year after year, TIMF has become known for its diverse lineup by booking some of the biggest talent worldwide. With one of the most seamlessly designed layouts, TIMF takes place against the gorgeous panoramic views of the SF Bay on the historical landmark site of Treasure Island. The grounds allow for an easy commute between its two stages and facilitates the festival’s strict policy of no overlapping sets, while free shuttle transportation to and from SF as well as a host of after parties sets TIMF apart from the competition. -MK


    Which of these music festivals are you going to? Which are you looking forward to the most?

    Outside Lands

    Shlohmo concludes first live band tour in U.S. with hometown show at The Fonda Theatre

    ShlohmoBy Josh Herwitt //

    Shlohmo //
    The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles
    May 7th, 2015 //

    Los Angeles electronic musician Henry Laufer, or Shlohmo as most know him these days, broke onto the scene in 2011 with his debut album Bad Vibes, drawing early comparisons to other LA experimental hip-hop producers such as Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing. As part of his own beatmaking career, he’s a founding member of Wedidit, a collection of electronic musicians that includes RL Grime and Ryan Hemsworth, and has collaborated with Tom Krell’s How to Dress Well and hip-hop/R&B recording artist Jeremih over the past two years.

    But for his first world tour since the release of his sophomore LP Dark Red on True Panther Sounds last month, the 25-year-old is bringing a live band with him for all 36 dates around the globe. To conclude the North American portion of the tour, Laufer performed in front of a hometown crowd at The Fonda Theatre on Thursday, incorporating guitars, synthesizers and drums into his hour-long set (Laufer played guitar for much of it). While his dark, eery and almost psychedelic offerings at times serve more as introspection than dance music for listeners, Shlohmo, who will play in LA again at FYF Fest this summer, remains a rising star in the low-BPM sector of the EDM world.

    Shlohmo

    Shlohmo

    Shlohmo

    Shlohmo

    Shlohmo

    Shlohmo

    FYF Fest reveals 2015 lineup

    FYF_post

    FYF Fest //
    LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park – Los Angeles
    August 22nd-23rd, 2015 //

    The 12th annual FYF Fest once again promises a delicious distillation of trending indie music, whether in the vein of electronic, rap or rock acts. Although, this year seems to be pretty lean in the traditional rock department.

    Frank Ocean and Morrissey will headline the festival’s 2015 edition, while D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Deerhunter, Run the Jewels, Flume, Jon Hopkins, Spiritualized, FKA Twigs, Nicolas Jaar, Mac DeMarco, Thee Oh Sees and many more are also on the docket.

    Produced in conjunction with LA concert promoter Goldenvoice, FYF will sell weekend passes for $175 and single-day passes for $109. Buy tickets starting this Friday, May 8th at 12 p.m.

    FYF Fest

    The Bam Team’s 5 Favorite Shows, Albums & Songs of 2014

    St. Vincent at Fox Theatre Oakland // Showbams' Photo of the Year, by Pedro


    St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Showbams’ Photo of the Year, by Pedro Paredes

    Ah, year-end lists — they’re an exercise in subjectivity and personal experience if there has ever been one. But what better way is there to learn from each other and discover some great new music while capping off the year and beginning anew?

    So, without further ado, Showbams presents The Bam Team’s five favorite shows, albums and songs from 2014.

    The 25 Best Live Music Acts of 2014
    Showbams’ Top 50 Albums of 2014

    Listen to The Bam Team’s favorite songs of 2014:


    Darkside at The Fillmore

    Darkside at The Fillmore // Photo by James Nagel

    Mike Frash // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. Darkside at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 24th
    Looking at my top five shows list for 2014, it appears I favor the weird, ya know, the good weird. This Darkside performance, the only SF show ever (for now) since Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington have put the project on indefinite hold, had patrons at The Fillmore in SF breathing and moving in unison. There was a magical feeling in the air as the hybrid of electronic and organic played out wonderfully with the duo tipping their hat to the past and setting a new standard for the brave new future of live music.

    2. Panda Bear at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – May 22nd
    3. tUnE-yArDs at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
    4. Phish at MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
    5. Volcano Choir at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 21st

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
    Ever since Jamie and Mikey blew my mind performing Run the Jewels almost in its entirety at The Independent in August of 2013, I’ve been a loyal RTJ soldier. And without taking a break, El Producto and Killer Mike stepped it up to an even higher plateau with their production precision, an uncanny balance of fun and intense, while lyrically honing more on the important issues of our time. Sensing the unstoppable momentum, Run the Jewels are already heading back into the studio for Run the Jewels 3. When Mike was recently asked if they’d continue to name their albums numerically, he said “Why not?!? Zeppelin did it!” Exactly. Say it with me now: Festival headliners circa 2016?

    2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
    3. D’Angelo – Black Messiah
    4. Aphex TwinSyro
    5. The Antlers – Familiars

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Sturgill Simpson – “Turtles All the Way Down”
    This is country music turned on its head, while staying mostly true to the hallmarks of the genre. Lyrically subversive while instrumentally emotive to the core, this song kept me coming back throughout 2014. It’s positive message of love winning over all else is certainly timeless, but when was the last time you heard a country tune tell a story of mind over matter transcendence? “There’s a gateway in our minds that leads somewhere out there, far beyond this place / Where reptile aliens made of light, cut you up and pull out all your pain.” Stirgill Simpson is as progressive as you can get within the realm of Americana, urging the listener to both think and feel.

    2. St. Vincent – “Digital Witness”
    3. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
    4. FKA twigs – “Two Weeks”
    5. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” feat. Kendrick Lamar


    Nine Inch Nails

    Nine Inch Nails // Photo by Rob Sheridan for NIN.com

    Josh Herwitt // Los Angeles

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden at Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO – July 21st
    What a dream come true. Having the opportunity to see two of my favorite childhood bands at one of the best venues in the country would be hard to beat any year, let alone in 2014. Sharing the bill with Soundgarden on this tour, Trent Reznor made the most of a minimalist stage setup and trimmed-down lineup of sidekicks. Of the four shows (Red Rocks, Chula Vista, Irvine and Hollywood) I saw on this tour, this one felt particularly special. If this was one of the last times I ever got to see Nine Inch Nails perform live, it was a night I will never forget.

    2. Jack White at The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – June 10th
    3. Cinquanta featuring Puscifer, A Perfect Circle and Failure at The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA – May 10th
    4. Queens of the Stone Age at The Forum – Los Angeles, CA – October 31st
    5. Tool at Valley View Casino Center – San Diego, CA – March 16th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. The Black KeysTurn Blue
    Akron’s favorite rockers answered the call this year, following up their Grammy-winning album El Camino with arguably their most ambitious effort to date — especially when you consider the turmoil that surrounded Dan Auerbach’s life at the time of its recording. Over the last five years, the Keys have become one of rock’s biggest bands, but they haven’t stopped taking risks as a result. Turn Blue dabbles in a myriad of styles, from the psychedelic sound of Pink Floyd on its opening track “Weight of Love” to the hip-hop groove on “10 Lovers.” For as many critics as they have, Auerbach and Patrick Carney have come a long way since their early years as strictly a blues duo.

    2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
    3. Jack WhiteLazaretto
    4. Aphex TwinSyro
    5. Death from Above 1979The Physical World

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Jack White – “High Ball Stepper”
    Jack White seems to be on another level these days. The former White Stripe has grown into one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most exciting talents, and this blues-heavy, instrumental track showcases that better than any other offering on Lazaretto. White’s ferocious guitar riffs dominate the tune, taking listeners on an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. And when he plays “High Ball Stepper” live, the song takes on a new whole life of its own.

    2. Foo Fighters – “Something for Nothing”
    3. Interpol – “All the Rage Back Home”
    4. TV on the Radio – “Happy Idiot”
    5. Tycho – “Awake”


    Jack White at BGCA // Photo by

    Jack White at Bill Graham Civic // Photo by David James Swanson

    Steven Wandrey // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. Jack White at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, CA – August 22nd
    From the dramatic curtain drop that slammed into high-octane rock, this show never let off the gas. Even with a bum ankle, Jack White stalked the stage and held power over the crowd. When the slowest moments of a show are White Stripes ballads that you’re giddy to hear and the other half of the show is headbanging, guitar-slinging rock, it’s easy to see how this show cemented itself as the best of 2014.

    2. Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor at The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – May 6th
    3. The War on Drugs at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 1st
    4. Run the Jewels at Mezzanine – San Francisco, CA – November 14th
    5. Duck Sauce at Outside Lands Music Festival – August 9th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. Flying LotusYou’re Dead!
    This album makes me feel like I’m actually traveling through the underworld to the land of the dead. From front to back, the first thing that caught me about this album was its consistent message. Steven Ellison has an inviting sense of storytelling that’s infused with hip-hop but touches on an array of different music styles, involving a star-studded cast of guests, including Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat and Snoop Dog. I have a feeling Flying Lotus is on the forefront of creative hip-hop and that this album will prove to be influential down the line. More importantly, I just love listening to it. Taking wild turns from frenetic to serene, listening to this album from start to finish is a journey.

    2. Aphex TwinSyro
    3. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
    4. Future IslandsSingles
    5. Tweedy – Sukierae

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Run the Jewels – “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”
    The minimalist production and deep, rumbling bass frequencies have helped this track become my No. 1 listened to on the album and also No. 1 for the year. The complimentary flow that El-P and Killer Mike have together is on display in this track. This cut has infected my brain like a virus (the good kind?), and I just can’t get enough.

    2. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
    3. Sam Smith – “I’m Not the Only One”
    4. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
    5. Perfume Genius – “Queen”


    Future Islands at The Chapel // Photo by

    Future Islands at The Chapel // Photo by Pedro Paredes

    Kevin Quandt // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. Future Islands at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 12th
    It’s been a banner year for the Baltimore darlings we have grown to love as Future Islands. Breaking through the underground touring circuit to being a highly sought-after festival act was quick and clean as the passionate stage performance of Samuel Harrington could not be ignored by growing audiences. A packed Gobi Tent was eating from the frontman’s palm as Herrington poured himself out on stage, belting out a set heavy on new tracks and old favorites. It was a pivotal point where both the band and audience knew that Future Islands had arrived at the next stage of their career.

    2. The Cure at BottleRock Napa Valley – Napa, CA – May 30th
    3. Phish at MGM Grand Arena – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
    4. Connan Mockasin at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – May 15th
    5. Deerhoof at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – November 18th 

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream 
    Adam Granduciel had one helluva 2014 to brag about. His third studio album Lost in the Dream was an overwhelming success, and all for good reason as the lush waves of rock swell over the listener like a warm Christmas sweater, just less ugly than the one you wore to that one party. “Under the Pressure” opens this release in epic fashion and does not let up from there. Guitar rock is not dead!

    2. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
    3. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
    4. D’Angelo – Black Messiah 
    5. White Fence – For the Recently Found Innocent  

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
    Steven Ellison’s left-field meditation on death, as demonstrated on 2014’s release You’re Dead!, is not for everyone and is more about the full album than the sum of its parts (tracks). However, there is one shining beacon of a collaboration that could not be cast aside in the form of “Never Catch Me”. The partnership of one of the hottest MCs with one of the most sought-after producers was meant to be a brutally infectious slice of off-kilter street music. 

    2. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”
    3. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
    4. Beck – “Blue Moon”
    5. Ariel Pink – “Put Your Number in My Phone”


    Ryan Adams at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014

    Ryan Adams at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2014 // Photo by Pedro Paredes

    Pete Mauch // Los Angeles

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. Phish at MGM Grand – Las Vegas, NV – October 31st
    Phish has made the tradition of covering other artists albums on Halloween, and this year they completely outdid themselves by covering essentially an album of only narrative and spooky sounds. The Disney-produced album The Thrilling and Chilling Sounds of the Taunted House was turned into a rock opera of sorts as Trey and company worked through completely new songs based off just minimal sounds, but the night didn’t just end there. The band played this rock opera sandwiched between two very strong sets of original Phish songs that could have held its own alone.

    2. Lettuce’s Late Night in Red Barn at Summer Camp Music Festival – Chillicothe, IL – May 22nd
    3. Future Islands at Coachella Music and Arts Festival, Weekend 1 – Indio, CA – April 12th
    4. Ryan Adams at The Fox Theater Pomona – Pomona, CA – October 11th
    5. Todd Terje at FYF Fest – Los Angeles – August 24th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
    When someone as prolific as Ryan Adams puts out a new record, you buy that record and you listen intently. The songs in his first self-titled album may seem simple at first listen, but they stay with you in the back of your mind until you just can’t take it and you re-listen again and again. This is exactly how what I’ve been doing the past few months since the release. Songs like “Gimme Something Good” and “Am I Safe” prove once again that Adams is still on top of his game.

    2. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
    3. moe. – No Guts, No Glory
    4. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
    5. Greensky Bluegrass – If Sorrows Swim

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
    “People change / You know but some people never do / You know when people change, they gain a piece but they lose one too.” These lyrics are so uplifting and real, and the music to accompany these amazing lyrics ties the emotion perfectly together.

    2. The War on Drugs – “Under the Pressure”
    3. The Barr Brothers – “Come in the Water”
    4. Temples – “Shelter Song”
    5. Caribou – “Can’t Do Without You”


    Old Crow Medicine Show at The Regency // Photo by Pedro Paredes

    Old Crow Medicine Show at The Regency // Photo by Pedro Paredes

    Pedro Paredes // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. Darkside at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – January 24th
    The album Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington put together in 2013 was a delight for the ears, but with the show they played at The Fillmore, they were going after every sense in your body. Jaar once said that Darkside’s music was more experiential rather than musical, and they surely succeeded in delivering one of the best musical experiences to all the lucky attendants on that cold January night.

    2. Future Islands at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – April 10th
    3. St. Vincent at The Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – March 22nd
    4. James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
    5. Old Crow Medicine Show at The Masonic – San Francisco, CA – September 20th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. BeckMorning Phase
    Beck’s Morning Phase follows the same breezy style as Sea Change, but the latter’s serenity seems to come from darker places. Morning Phase is, as the title suggests, a bit brighter and sets the tone for all the good things yet to come.

    2. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
    3. Real EstateAtlas
    4. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
    5. Perfume Genius – Too Bright

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. alt-J – “Nara”
    It is hard to isolate “Nara” as the best song of Alt-J’s latest album This is All Yours since the story told in it is not exclusive to that song and it comes back in different sections of the album (as well as in some of the musical arrangements). But “Nara”, a song about love, deserves to be listened again and again. The 2:58 mark is bliss to my ears.

    2. tUnE-yArDs – “Water Fountain”
    3. Run the Jewels – “Love Again”
    4. Perfume Genius – “Fool”
    5. Angel Olsen – “Hi-Five”


    St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by

    St. Vincent at Fox Theater Oakland // Photo by Pedro Paredes

    Andrew Pohl // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. Nine Inch Nails & Soundgarden at Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – August 24th
    I had never seen either band live before and based on my experience, it was like they had never broken up or aged since the ’90s. Amazing stage/light shows to go along with what was hands down my most eagerly anticipated show of the year.

    2. Cibo Matto at Slim’s – San Francisco, CA – February 26th
    3. American Football at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – December 12th
    4. Failure at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – May 14th
    5. Crosses at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – March 30th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. St. VincentSt. Vincent
    This album comes off like a chameleon, with many shifts but always staying very characteristically St. Vincent. I feel that she is one of the more important artists to come around over the last few years, and I am excited to see what she does next.

    2. Nothing – Guilty of Everything
    3. BeckMorning Phase
    4. Fugazi – First Demo
    5. The War on DrugsLost in the Dream

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Spoon – “Do You”
    Spoon have a knack for throwing a good toe tapper in their albums. This song is short and sweet, and you cannot help but get caught up in its infectiousness.  

    2. Ryan Adams – “Give Me Something Good”
    3. St. Vincent – “Prince Johnny”
    4. TV on the Radio – “Could You”
    5. Nothing – “Bent Nail”


    Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheater // Photo by Justin Yee

    Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheater // Photo by Justin Yee

    Justin Yee // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1) Future Islands at South by Southwest (Cheer Up Charlie’s) – Austin, TX – March 13th
    2) Arcade Fire at Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, CA – July 30th
    3) Chromeo at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 12th
    4) James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
    5) Outkast at Treasure Island Music Festival – San Francisco, CA – October 18th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1) Future IslandsSingles
    2) The War on DrugsLost in the Dream
    3) ODESZA – In Return
    4) Flying LotusYou’re Dead!
    5) CaribouOur Love

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1) Future Islands – “Seasons (Waiting on You)”
    2) Chromeo – “Come Alive” feat. Toro y Moi
    3) Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” feat. Kendrick Lamar
    4) Chet Faker – “1998”
    5) Mac Demarco – “Let Her Go”


    James Blake at The Chapel //

    James Blake at The Chapel // Photo by Pedro Paredes

    Eric Shaden // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. James Blake at The Chapel – San Francisco, CA – December 7th
    I feel bad telling friends about how great this show was since so few people were able to get tickets. An intimate venue hosting such a phenomenal artist was a no-brainer for my top pick. James covered hits from his albums as well as debuted new tracks and an incredible interlude of house jams. I just wish more friends could have seen this!

    2. Chromeo at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – April 12th
    3. Todd Terje at FYF Fest – Los Angeles, CA – August 24th
    4. tUnE-yArDs at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
    5. Holy Ghost! at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – San Francisco, CA – April 30th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. Run the JewelsRun the Jewels 2
    What else can be said about this album that hasn’t been covered already? An outstanding sequel to Run the Jewels that expands on the original with top-notch production and punishing delivery from El-P and Killer Mike. Without a doubt my top choice of the year.

    2. Syd Arthur – A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble
    3. D’Angelo – Black Messiah 
    4. Sinkane – Mean Love
    5. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. D’Angelo – “Sugah Daddy”
    I imagine D’Angelo coming back with his long-awaited album in December showed which writers/blogs/etc. wrote their “Best of the Year” lists early. His style of soulful R&B is sorely needed, and “Sugah Daddy” is my favorite from the album. Looking forward to his tour in 2015!

    2. Caribou – “Our Love”
    3. Aphex Twin – “minipops 67 [120.2]”
    4. Jungle – “Time”
    5. Jamie xx – “Sleep Sound”


    High Sierra Music Festival // Photo by Benjamin Wallen

    High Sierra Music Festival // Photo by Benjamin Wallen

    Benjamin Wallen // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. High Sierra Music Festival – Quincy, CA – July 2nd-5th
    2. Paul McCartney at Candlestick Farewell – Candlestick Park – San Francisco, CA – August 14th
    3. Jamestown Revival at Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA – November 28th
    4. The String Cheese Incident at Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland, CA – April 24th
    5. Greensky Bluegrass at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – November 14th


    Cali-Roots_fix

    Scott Martin // San Jose

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. California Roots Music Festival at Monterey Fairgrounds – Monterey, CA – May 23rd-25th
    2. Rival Sons, Soft White Sixties & Sir Madam at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – September 25th
    3. The Pimps of Joytime at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – February 15th
    4. Caravan Palace & Rosin Coven at The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA – April 16th
    5. Jackie Greene at The Catalyst Club – Santa Cruz, CA – March 26th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. Bears Den – Islands
    2. Milky Chance – Sadnecessary
    3. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence
    4. Mighty Oaks – Howl
    5. Solstafir – Otta

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Bears Den – “Agape”
    2. Bears Den – “Isaac”
    3. Milky Chance – “Down by the River”
    4. Mighty Oaks – “The Great Northwest”
    5. Crosses – “Bitches Brew”


    MIA at BFD // Photo by Marc Fong

    MIA at BFD // Photo by Marc Fong

    Nikki DeMartini // San Francisco

    Top 5 Shows of 2014
    1. MIA at Shoreline Amphitheatre for BFD 2014 – Mountain View, CA – June 1st
    It had been four years since I saw MIA live and even though I’d prefer to see her play her own show rather than a set at a music festival, I was super excited to see her at BFD last summer. It was the first time in nearly 10 years that my cousin and I went to LIFE105’s annual summer show together. We lucked out and upgraded our tickets just in time to see MIA’s performance. Both of us were out of our seats, singing and dancing along to every song as soon as her set started. I was beside myself as MIA herself made her way off the stage, up into the seats of the venue and stopped near our row to spit lyrics as fans gathered and danced around her, myself included. I still can’t believe I danced with MIA!

    2. OK Go at The Independent – San Francisco, CA – July 16th
    3. Die Antwoord at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – May 22nd
    4. Sylvan Esso at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – June 6th
    5. MS MR at The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA – April 15th

    Top 5 Albums of 2014
    1. Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso
    When I covered Sylvan Esso at The Fillmore earlier this year (when they opened for tUnE-yArDs), I had no idea who they were but ended up leaving the show a fan. Their self-titled debut album is an uplifting mix of danceable electropop tracks and indie rock that’s easy to lose yourself in. Their sparkly, layered and melodic sounds translate well whether you’re listening to the album or seeing them live. Sylvan Esso is one of three albums I bought in 2014, and it’s been on repeat ever since I picked it up.

    2. Glass Animals – Zaba
    3. Die Antwoord – Donker Mag
    4. Iggy Azalea – The New Classic
    5. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

    Top 5 Songs of 2014
    1. Tove Lo – “Habits (Stay High)”
    I really enjoy the simple percussion-driven melody and voluptuous vocals of Tove Lo’s hit single “Habits (Stay High)”. The subtle, yet engaging buildup to her belting, emotionally-charged lyrics has me singing along and turning it up every time I hear it on the radio. While it is very catchy, it’s not a super dancey song. However, it is a great go-to for karaoke. 

    2. Die Antwoord – “Rat Trap 666”
    3. Sylvan Esso – “Hey Mami”
    4. First Aid Kit – “My Silver Lining”
    5. The Dead Weather – “Buzzkill(er)”

    Showbams_Sticker_Rectangle2

    Epically horrible line at FYF Fest inspires Twitter gold

    FYF-Fest-2014_post

    FYF Fest in Los Angeles kicked off today with a new location at LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park, one of the best lineups of the year and a major logistical problem — the epic line to get in. The festival has admitted as much:

    When you get to the fest before any music starts and you are handed your program two hours later, there’s plenty of time to come up with warranted hate-snark to blast on social media. Just check out the comments in response to the above tweet from FYF, and look at some interesting comments and comedy gold below.

    10 Reasons to say ‘Fuck Yeah’ at FYF Fest 2013

    FYF-Fest-2013_postPhotos by Mike Frash // Written by Mike Frash & Kevin Quandt //

    FYF Fest //
    LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
    August 24th-25th, 2013 //

    FYF Fest has earned a rare new title in the Southern California region as the “new Coachella.” Even though many attendees may balk at this tag, it is an endearing way of stating this is fresh, new territory for independent music.

    In its 10th year of existence, the event has grown out of the former Echo Park venues to a multi-day romp across thrilling genres of alternative music held at Los Angeles Historic Park. This convenient, downtown-esque locale offers great skyline views and a manageable, if not slightly dusty, venue that allows attendees the opportunity to experience more acts than your average 10,000-plus event.

    With a vast array of attractive, buzzed-about artists gracing the FYF’s four stages, here are 10 acts to focus your valuable concert time on for the fest’s 2013 edition.


    My Bloody Valentine
    Sunday • 10:45 • Carrie Stage

    If there is one show where earplugs may be a good idea, it’s Kevin Shields and MBV. Spinal Tap “volume at 11” jokes aside, this will be a triumphant return to the stage and a region for the Irish alt-noise kings and queens. Even more thrilling than their live return to the US is the fact that they will be playing a ton of new music to longtime and new fans alike off this year’s magnificent release m b v. Expect some gems off of Loveless and Isn’t Anything mixed in for good measure. What a perfectly blistering manner to bring the festival to a close on Sunday, even if you hear ringing in your ears on Monday. -KQ



    Death Grips
    Saturday • 11:05 • Miranda Stage

    After a head-scratching ‘performance’ surrounding Lollapalooza in past weeks, the only thing to expect is the unexpected from the Sacramento doom-hop act Death Grips. This line-blurring act featuring Zach Hill and Stefan “MC Ride” have been making waves for a couple of years, and have cemented themselves as a ground-breaking live act committed to off kilter beats and aggressive hip-hop vocals growled over the top. With some new music trickling out this week, it’s sure to create a ton of buzz among festival goers. Well, that is if they show. -KQ



    TV on the Radio
    Saturday • 9:15 • Carrie Stage

    TV on the Radio have released one new song, “Mercy”, in late July, but there are no confirmed plans for a fifth studio album at the moment. In fact, it’s the first music TVOTR has created and shared since bassist Gerard Smith passed away in 2011, and it’s confirmed this excellent new cut and a second unreleased track titled “Million Miles” will be issued by David Sitek’s label Federal Prism. Sitek has grown to be one of the best producers in music over the past 10 years, helping to churn out gems from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, Foals, Santigold, Beady Eye and of course, TV on the Radio. Might the group produce their next record under Federal Prism? Let’s hope these new songs and this FYF set inspire the creative juices. FYF and its patrons are getting a one-off treat since this is the only performance on the group’s calendar, and it’s only their second performance since touring in support of Nine Types of Light. -MF



    Flume  
    Sunday • 7:25 • Samantha’s Tent

    Harley Streten is an Australian electronic musician that is just about the fastest rising DJ on the planet. Performing under the moniker Flume, Streten’s meteoric rise began when his self titled LP dropped in late 2012, jumping to the top of the Australian charts. At 21 years old, Flume exudes cross-genre originality in his music, mashing together elements of dance, R&B and hip-hop. And on his forthcoming swing through the U.S. starting this weekend, Flume will introduce Americans to the “Prism Tour”. Streten calls it a “bigger, grander show”, and by the looks of it, the stage production is now fitting of his music. He DJs from atop a large prism that looks like it will blow minds live, while live visuals and stage lighting layer visuals appropriately. Flume fully controls the ‘power’ of the complete audio-visual performance, as the visuals are tied into each change he makes behind the deck. Looks (and sounds) pretty awesome. -MF



    Holy Ghost!
    Sunday • 11 • Charlotte Stage

    Holy Ghost! seem to be on the cusp of getting much bigger — and for good reason. The Brooklyn duo has James Murphy’s DFA label on their back, their second LP Dynamics will be unleashed September 10th, and singles “Dumb Disco Ideas” and “Okay” indicate said album will provide fire. Sophomore slump be damned. FYF will provide the premiere performance of the “Dynamics Tour 2013” — but unfortunately this raging electro-pop disco dance party is pitted directly against My Bloody Valentine to end the weekend. Those that can’t stop moving their feet come Sunday’s finale should head to the Charlotte Stage. -MF



    No Age  
    Sunday • 6:05 • Charlotte Stage

    Randy and Dean return to FYF after a glaring absence last year, this from an act that has been a constant over the past decade in the Los Angeles underground music scene. After a quiet 2012, the experimental art-punk duo are amped and ready to hit the road hard to close out this year, touring behind An Object, their latest Sub Pop release. Though some may be bummed that Foxygen had to cancel in order to gain No Age, this duo is sure to kick up a dust storm by the throngs of young kids who have gravitated to these guys over the years, likely through their involvement with LA all-ages, and alcohol/drug free venue called The Smell. Don’t expect your average rock show by two guys who thrive on doing things a bit differently. — KEVIN QUANDT



    Dan Deacon
    Saturday • 8:45 • Charlotte Stage

    A Dan Deacon show isn’t simply a live electronic music performance — it’s an interactive experience that forces all those present to be a part of it. He remixes all sorts of pop-culture like a sword-wielding ninja, almost exclusively curating upbeat energy. Deacon’s live production consistently thrives off tension and release, but so very differently than other EDM artists. There aren’t big drops, but a hodgepodge of hyperactive sounds that draw from the musical stratosphere, then shift after four or eight measures. It’s a mad, glorious, engaging dance party that deserves, at minimum, a 20 minute stop by. -MF



    Mac DeMarco
    Sunday • 3:35 • Miranda Stage

    Need a little break from the craziness of hardcore and garage rock? Might we suggest you spend a little time with Canadian jangle-slacker Mac DeMarco and band. His infectious surf-rock influenced pop songs are sublime slices of the stony life-lessons and nuggets of young wisdom, all crooned over guitars oozing a stylized chorus effect. Mac’s stage presence alone is worth a trip to the Miranda Stage at 3:55 on Sunday. Fun fact: Mac will be following Johnathan Richman, a stated influence on the young Canadian and his quirky music. -KQ



    Washed Out  
    Sunday • 8:30 • Charlotte Stage

    The evolution of Ernest Greene will be on full, blooming display as Washed Out begin touring in support of Paracosm this weekend. Washed Out began as Greene’s computer-based bedroom project, but to make touring a reality in support of his first LP Within and Without, he turned the touring group into a foursome with the aim of performing the material live through a mix of MIDI pads and live instrumentation.

    As Greene continues down the chill-wave path he helped start, he’s clearly gravitating toward creating sounds live as opposed to playing a software plugin — a recording method that will only make his live shows better with time. -MF



    Baroness
    Sunday • 7:05 • Miranda Stage 

    It’s been a long and dangerous road for Baroness the past few years after their tour bus careened off the road in England, injuring many of the members. Though there was some personnel changes before the band got things up and running again, they have sludged on, bringing their white-hot brand of progressive metal to the throngs. The heavy metal sound that Baroness brews up is a quintessential part of the variety that FYF curates, so take a chance and see something that will shake you to the core. -KQ

    FYF

    PHOTOS: FYF Fest 2012

    FYF Fest //
    LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
    September 1st-2nd, 2012 //

    We hit FYF Fest in LA last weekend to cover the two-day music festival for our very first time. With headliners Refused, M83 and Beirut leading the way, the FYF lineup also featured sets from James Blake, Yeasayer, Desaparecidos, Sleigh Bells, Simian Mobile Disco, Dinosaur Jr., Warpaint, Twin Shadow, Cursive, Liars, Chromatics, HEALTH, Fucked Up, Future Islands, Tycho, Purity Ring, Baroness, Gold Panda, Aesop Rock, Cloud Nothings, Father John Misty, Dâm-Funk, Wild Nothing, The Allah Las and many more.

    You can view the full gallery here on our Facebook page, and you can also check out our favorite sets from the fest here. All photos by Pete Mauch.

    FYF Fest 2012 - Aesop Rock

    FYF Fest 2012 - Warpaint

    FYF Fest 2012 - Yeasayer

    FYF Fest 2012 - Chromatics

    FYF Fest 2012 - AA-BONDY

    FYF Fest 2012 - Nicolas Jaar

    FYF Fest 2012 - Dinosaur Jr.

    FYF Fest 2012 - Dinosaur Jr.

    FYF Fest 2012 - Dinosaur Jr.

    FYF Fest 2012

    FYF Fest 2012 - Twin Shadow

    FYF Fest 2012 - Chairlift

    FYF Fest 2012

    Best sets from FYF Fest 2012

    By Mike Frash //

    FYF Fest //
    LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
    September 1st-2nd, 2012 //

    The location for FYF Fest reinforces some of LA’s ugliest stereotypes. LA State Historic Park has a feeling somewhere between industrial and suburban LA, with billboards, freeways and metro trains ever present. You know you are in Los Angeles.

    But the stages are close to each other so it’s easy to get back and forth, and there was plenty of variety to keep full blown 80’s nostalgia from taking over. Here are the five shows that left the strongest impression with me.

    MUST-SEE SHOWS

    Atlas Sound ~ Sunday 6:10 Hill St. Stage

    Bradford Cox is a remarkable solo artist. The frontman from Deerhunter builds songs by looping & layering live sounds from his guitar and mouth with a variety of foot petals. The complexity and layered depth of his songs cannot be overstated – and it’s easy to drift off with Bradford as he extends every song to sonic peaks and back again. This show mirrored the format of the Atlas Sound & Deerhunter albums, variating between songs that feature a psychedelic wall-of-sound with a morose sense of sadness & death with seemingly upbeat low-fi pop that contrasts with clean acoustic guitar. ‘Mona Lisa’ was a stand-out song live, delivering an emotional buildup that peaked with ambient loops that eventually led back into the peaceful refrain. In stark contrast to the overall sad-yet-freeing tone of the music is Bradford himself – he took five minutes before the encore to apologize to his friend for spitting on him for saying something misogynist, declaring that he will always spit on misogynists, added ‘Fuck ya I’m gay’ and led the enthusiastic crowd in a “Thank You Mark” chant, for his friend Mark that picked up his gear from across town. Bradford could talk about the weather and it would be captivating.

    Chromatics ~ Saturday 6:35 Spring Street Stage

    The Saturday sunset show on the Spring St. stage showcased the first upbeat & authentic dance music (sorry John Maus). The sound of the group lead by Ruth Radelet translates well in a live setting, heavily leaning to the crisp and infectiously danceable side of the coin. Radelet has a stage presence that is as hypnotic as her voice, which blends nicely with grooves that invoke LCD Soundsystem or Hot Chip no matter how hard you try to resist making the comparison. One of the set’s many highlights was ‘Kill for Love,’ which had most in attendance moving in some way, which is quite an accomplishment at FYF Fest. Radelet nonchalantly followed the song by saying “that song was about love’ in a tone that would make April from ‘Parks & Recreation’ proud. Chromatics finished the set with Neil Young’s “Into The Black”, which suits them nicely. It felt like it was just taking off when it ended, and maybe they were up against the (tick of the) clock. They are an act that deserves a full set if possible.

    Nicolas Jaar ~ Sunday 8:15 The Tent

    Nicolas Jaar has a unique thing going on. Part of it is that he sets his own rules, keeping most of his beats under 100 beats per minute. It’s a weird show in a very good way. The first 8 minutes built ambient sounds coming from the guitarist and saxophonist in his band that ever so slowly built into a beat. Another part is he adds a healthy dose of real emotion that comes from his live vocals. This stands in stark contrast to the button pushing emotion coming from most hooks in today’s mainstream EDM sound. Jaar is mixing, adding vocal effects, matching beats and tweaking pitches all in real time. The improvisational aspects to the building of sounds helps make the moment feel special, like anything can happen. Jaar consistently innovates and surprises with the sounds he coordinates, dropping bass back in off tempo at non standard times. It all adds up to a mind-expanding experience that feels new and exciting.

    Tanlines ~ Saturday 7:35 The Tent

    Tanlines has quickly shown the professional ability to adapt to their audience and live music situations. Percussionist Jesse Johen & guitarist/vocalist Eric Emm abandoned a typical song-based format and proceeded to put on an upbeat dance show. They would begin a song with a new beat, break it down and back into one of their catchy songs from their debut LP ‘Brothers,’ essentially remixing their own songs. They’ve been touring since the beginning of the year, and as a touring act they clearly aren’t lazy. They’ve evolved their show while playing to their time slot and setting perfectly in this case. “We heard there was a comedy slash DJ tent, so we told them to put us there.” That classification actually fit them perfectly for this festival performance, as Jesse’s banter can be a constant source of chuckles.

    The Faint ~ Sunday 10:55 Spring Street Stage

    This was the dance show of the weekend and a great time. The light show, the bass turned to 11, & a synth-heavy setlist combined to keep asses shaking and hands up. This was my first time seeing them live, and I hope it won’t be the last because I did not get enough. The Faint proved to be an ideal way to finish FYF 2012.

    SETS OF NOTE: SATURDAY

    John Maus – The Tent: 2:40

    This guy has a stage presence that reminds me of Charles Manson. I like his music to a certain degree, but his live show is weird in a bizarre sense. He started his show by hitting himself over the head in a fit of rage. He looked angry and possessed, a persona that surely works better in a dark setting with plenty of supportive lighting.

    Cloud Nothings – Spring St. Stage: 4:15

    Founder & lead singer songwriter Dylan Baldi and the rest of the group that comprises Cloud Nothings deliver a live sound that is true to their albums and they do it well. It seems like you shouldn’t expect many surprises at their shows, but the sound was cleaner than I expected.

    Chairlift – Main Stage: 4:35

    Chairlift put on a great show until the last song of their set, when their best song “I Belong in Your Arms” turned into a bit of a train wreck. Caroline Polachek stopped the band after a minute, saying they wanted to do it right for us. After a long pause, the song started again, but someone clearly missed their mark again as a long, seemingly unintended instrumental interluded happened between verses. You could almost tell Caroline wanted to stop it again but she couldn’t as this is a festival. She left the stage quickly before the last notes without saying a thing, then her creative partner Patrick Wimberly awkwardly said goodbye.

    James Blake – Spring St. Stage 7:50

    James Blake’s post-dubstep subtleties were overshadowed by Tanlines’ driving bass next door in the tent, but Mr. Blake is a legitimate artist that deserves serious attention. Right at a quiet moment during the minimalist auto-tune dominated “Lindisfarne I,” one concert goer loudly inquired “T-Pane???” to many people’s amusement.

    Purity Ring – Hill St. Stage: 8:25

    The take-away from a live Purity Ring show is that the music is pretty unique in it’s form and glitchy live vocals, and that they have a fitting, custom made light show that is controlled by beat & A/V genius Corin Roddick’s live percussion elements. Megan James’ presence blends into cocoon-light show aesthetic, and her confident, angelic voice is liberally sampled by Roddick’s MIDI pad. See this show before Purity Ring is playing bigger venues.

    M83 – Main Stage: 9:25

    Anthony Gonzalez played composer for most the night, allowing Morgan Kibby and his younger brother Yann Gonzalez to get most of the spotlight. The M83 show has clearly evolved since it started touring to support “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” in 2011. Gonzalez did not rely heavily on the new album, extending ‘We Own the Sky,’ ‘Coleurs’ & many other early tracks. While the volume level was lacking toward the back of the audience, the setlist was great and it’s obvious they are experimenting with transitions and song extensions to a positive effect.

    SETS OF NOTE: SUNDAY

    Wild Nothing – Hill St. Stage: 2:45
    They sounded real nice from the other side of the fence, where I was waiting patiently in the security line. The VIP option suddenly seemed worth while. Probably was a very nice show.

    Givers – Main Stage: 3:05