Photos by Susie McKeon
Young the Giant in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Words and photos by Isabelle Jonsson
Hailing from London, Shame’s post-punk spirit and frenetic performance left me and my concert buddy in a daze, as it was nothing like our expectations from having heard just one of their songs. Their authentic London flair, pure enthusiasm and the charming demeanor of lead singer Charlie Steen as he talks with the crowd can persuade any audience into really embracing their music.
Shame will always be adored in the local music scene and welcomed in Los Angeles. Their shows are a wild ride and you won’t want to miss them the next time they’re in the U.S.!
Listen to Shame here!
Photos by Kayla Fernandez
Los Angeles based folk-rock artist, Phoebe Bridgers had a whimsical set opening up for The National. Bridgers wowed the crowd with her flawless falsettos and dreamy presence. Her relatable lyrics and her light funny banter between songs will swoon you. As she is wrapping up a tour with The National, the talented songstress will be hitting the road again within the next few months. Check out her tour dates here, she is an musician you do not want to miss.
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By Sara Valenzuela
Rolling into town with a new album (Liquor) in the bag, Lydia gave the capitol a visit. The Arizona-based indie group delighted DC with their new ‘cinematic’ sound. Leighton Antelman (lead) was all smiles on this hot and humid night, showing off Lydia’s new spark. The group continues charming its crowds with every show, DC was no different. It’s always a good time with Lydia!
Don’t be shy and give it a try! Liquor gives fans a refreshing new taste on what Lydia has to offer. Listen here:
Words by Jenna Ethridge
Following the release of his latest album, God’s Favorite Customer, Father John Misty officially commenced his current tour at the Hollywood Bowl this past Sunday. Father John Misty, also known as Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, Josh Tillman, was accompanied by Big Thief and Gillian Welch: an artist that Tillman has personally wished to share a marquee with since his alias was “a lot less stupid.”
As the audience was subjected to an apocalyptic visual of the Hollywood Hills engulfed in flames, provided by the Pure Comedy short film released earlier last year, Tillman entered the stage adorned in all white and debuting his newest look- consisting of short hair and a trimmed beard- in stark comparison to his typical image. “Funtimes in Babylon” served as an appropriate opener to his set, as Tillman warned the audience of his arrival and presence in the venue’s location of Hollywood, which was extremely fitting considering his recent cameo in Hotel Artemis for which he also released the song “Gilded Cage”, independent from his album released the same week. Songs such as “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and “Only Son of the Ladiesman” also paid homage to his residency in Los Angeles, as Tillman sang about the Sunset Strip and of being a Dodgers fan, likely helping him win over those in the audience priorly unfamiliar with his material. Though promoting God’s Favorite Customer, the setlist included a variety of songs from all four studio albums that seemed to flow together effortlessly, providing the audience with a fair representation of Tillman and his musical thematics.
Though the majority of the show lacked his usual on-stage banter and improvised commentary, Tillman still managed to make the audience laugh after shocking them with lyrics as presented in “Pure Comedy”, acknowledging its probable impression and reassuring that “it gets worse.” Evident by his performances of “Mr. Tillman” and “Date Night”, songs from God’s Favorite Customer translated extremely well live, as Tillman sauvely paraded around the stage with a sense of confidence and enjoyment similar to “The Ideal Husband”. With help from his orchestrative ensemble, Tillman was also successful in transforming his slower songs into even more brooding ballads, as he took to the piano for an intimate performance of “Just Dumb Enough to Try”. While the deprecating motif of God’s Favorite Customer is already perceptible through the studio recordings, Tillman’s vulnerability manifested even greater live, as animated images of flowers bloomed behind him during “Please Don’t Die”- symbols of fertility and revival that were reminiscent of those portrayed in the music video released earlier this month through Sub Pop and Bella Union. The stage’s dramatic lighting also contributed to the intensity of songs such as “Things It Would’ve Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution”, as bright beams danced sporadically around the stage and the song progressed into its chorus.
For an artist with such a theatrical stage presence, the Hollywood Bowl was an ideal homecoming for Tillman’s extravagant demeanor and awe-inspiring music. Look out Hollywood, here Father John Misty comes.
Words and photos by Jessica Gurewitz
“We’re the Beths.. B E T H S. sorry there’s so many consonants.” Vocalist/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes of the New Zealand band spoke candidly to the packed room, and although she noted that she was nervous to be playing in New York, there was no way to tell once they started playing. Elizabeth and Jonathan Pearce (guitar/vocals), were joined by Katie (drums) and Chris (bass) on Monday night in Brooklyn. The energetic set included tracks from the band’s EP, Warm Blood, and they also played the title track of their upcoming album, Future Me Hates Me (Carpark Records). The Beths are just kicking off their U.S. tour, and are definitely ones to watch!
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Interview and words by Corynne Fernandez
On the day they released their third album, Underwater Pipe Dreams, we sat down and chatted with the guys of Inner Wave, who have been quickly making a name for themselves and gaining a dedicated group of fans all over. Read below as we talk about their sold-out album release show, the process of making their long-awaited album, and favorite records at the moment.
Pictured above left to right: Luis Portillo (drummer), Elijah Trujillo (lead guitarist), Chris Runners (keyboardist), Jean-Pierre Narvaez (bassist), Pablo Sotelo (vocals and rhythm guitar)
You guys have been together since you were teenagers, how was the band formed and what’s the meaning behind the name ‘Inner Wave?’
Elijah: In 6th grade, Pablo and I both played guitar and we met Jean-Pierre and Alex (old drummer). Jean got a bass and Alex got a drum set which resulted to jamming.
Pablo: As for the name, I made a list of like two hundred names and I showed all my friends the list of potential band names. Inner Wave was the one everyone liked the most.
This album was three years in the making, how did you guys come to the decision it was complete?
Pablo: We ran out of money. Haha no— we finished it once before about a year ago, it was completely done and mastered in the studio ready to go, but something was off. We had this really strong idea on how the process should be, we wanted it to become very collaborative — it was, but we also wanted that in the recording process, so we worked with somebody new, but we became too focused on the process instead of the music. By the end of it we did what we wanted to do but it wasn’t the vibe we were hoping for so we redid it again in the garage.
Why the name Underwater Pipe Dreams?
Pablo:It was initially a joke, for the playlist of songs that we had. Then I felt like it made sense with the themes that were happening with the album. The expression of ‘pipe dreams’ is something that will probably be a long shot and not work out. That’s how the process for the album started to feel like after a long time. On a personal level, we all went through a lot of different things within the three years, so it’s like we slowly morphed into the name that started off as a joke. With ‘underwater’ it was kinda like an ode to Lil Ugly Mane, (rapper from Virginia) his work is really low-fi but also interesting. His whole persona and how he does things musically is very intriguing.
Your new record is reminiscent of the alt rock sound that defined the early 2000’s, like that of The Strokes, making it a shift from your other material. Lyrically and musically what inspired you this time around?
Pablo: Initially we listened to a lot of Marvin Gaye—I don’t think a lot of people would think that because inspirations don’t always translate through our songs. The lyrics come from personal experiences, this summer I tried a bit – not that I didn’t try harder before I wanted to improve that aspect of it more. It was the first time where I wrote the lyrics before the music; they would end up as poems.
What song are you most proud of off the album, and what are you all most excited to play live?
Chris: There is this song called ‘Conversations’ that Jean mostly wrote. It has a Bohemian Rhapsody vibe to it; it’s a really long song with many moving parts. It’s one of those songs where you have to listen to and understand all the elements in the song.
Luis:I would go with ‘Discipline’;that’s a track with a heavier Tom Groove in it and that part specifically, is one of the most challenging for me to play.
Elijah:I also agree with ‘Discipline’—that one for me is a banger. It gets so intense and it makes me extremely excited to play live.
Pablo: For me, it would either be ‘Discipline’ or ‘Conversations’ because I think those are the two songs that have a lot of moving parts and have the potential to be amazing live.
A lot has been leading up to today, have you guys done anything special to prep for it tonight?
Everyone: We like to do some ritual sacrifices.
Pablo: We tried to do something special with the stage production for the show, so hopefully it all works out the way we planned. *
*Update: It did!
Can you give us a day in the life of Inner Wave?
Chris: We meet up every day at 8:30pm and practice, no matter what we do in that day we always meet up at that time.
What venue would you love to play in the near future?
Chris: The El Rey, because I’ve been going to that venue ever since I was a kid.
Everyone: Red Rocks would be tight, the atmosphere is absolutely crazy.
What are your guy’s all-time favorite albums?
Elijah: Marvin Gaye’s “In Our Lifetime”
Luis: “InnerSpeaker” by Tame Impala
Pablo: That one record from Madvillain.
Chris: “Blonde” by Frank Ocean and “Mista Thug Isolation” by Lil Ugly Mane
Out of all the places you’ve toured, what would be your most memorable gig to date and why?
Everyone: The Rickshaw.
Chris: The crowd was packed; the venue had air conditioning and let us smoke in the greenroom. Also, when we were waiting to play, there was a line going around the block.
Pablo:The first concert I was brought to was this contemporary Christian Latin American guy named Marcos Witt, but the first concert I bought tickets for was Queens of the Stone Age. It was actually a benefit concert, and so they had other acts like the Last Shadow Puppets and some other surprise guest.
Luis:I grew up around punk music, so my brother would play shows at The Knitting Factory in LA and I would always hang around him.
Chris: The first concert I got brought to was Maroon 5; it was when Songs About Jane came out and the first time I ever smelled weed before. The first one I bought tickets to was Erykah Badu.
Elijah: The first one, my dad took me to see a Led Zeppelin cover band. The first one that I paid for was FYF Fest a few years ago, the year that The Strokes played.
Now that the album’s out, what are you guys looking forward to come this year and into next year?
Pablo: Long naps and a lot of sleep—maybe take my dog for a walk.
A message to all your fans?
Pablo: Keep on rockin
Chris: Y’all thanks!
Elijah: Huge thank you to everyone!
Pablo: Felt a lot of love this year—it’s intense, so thank you!
Gallery of the Inner Wave Album Release Show below:
(All photographs by Kayla Fernandez)
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By Sara Valenzuela
King Shelter and friends rocked the Metro Gallery, bringing Baltimore some fun on a hot friday night. King Shelter is an independent indie/alternative rock band based out of Southern California. They’re currently touring with The Frights and On Drugs on their Wet Hot Summer Tour, up to September 9th (get your tickets here). The band has been pretty busy this year with the release of their new singles ‘Gimmie Knowledge’ and ‘Gholy Host’, also touring the west coast with their friends The Frights and Hunny. Hope to see more of King Shelter in the DMV in the near future, they’ll keep us waiting till then.
Follow King Shelter on Twitter!
Listen to King Shelter on Spotify!
Buy King Shelter’s Merch!
Photos and words by Kayla Fernandez
Hailing from Denton, Texas, Neon Indian (Alan Palomo) made his way to starry-lit downtown LA to perform a sold out gig at the Teregram Ballroom. Palomo’s endless energetic dance moves kept the crowd alive. From performing older hits like “Mind Drips” to covering Prince’s “Pop Life”, Neon Indian kept the audience on their toes. Palomo never missed a beat and carried that charisma throughout the entire set, inspiring the crowd to try and mimic his hip swaying dance moves. Having seen Neon Indian before, I can say this is the best I’ve seen him yet; he illuminated the room with laughter, cheers, and the audience’s echoes of his songs.