Emissions Festival in Belden Town, California Was Full of Surprise Vibes

By: Taj Leahy

When a friend decided that I simply must join her at a so-called “bass festival,” I at once figured it was not where I wanted to be. Why? I judged the whole thing to be a hyper-masculine meat market with a shitty sound system and profanities on perpetual loop. But surprisingly, I wasn’t disappointed. It was nothing like that at all. In fact, I had the time of my life, and this “dirt rave” was one of the best parties this old raver has been to in a long time.

Emissions Festival.

Emissions Festival.

With a rocksolid vibe and a fairly insane sound system, Emissions Festival is a gem of an event. Held in the old mining and logging town of Belden, CA, the setting is idyllic as well. The Belden Town Resort is a sprawling building with a restaurant, mercantile, and hotel. The lengthy bar has surely seen and heard many a story, though I didn’t get to add any of my own. Most of the “town” seems to be held up by this single lodge on the banks of the mighty Feather River.

Oddly enough, this oft-used festival site is also a known stopover on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It’s not hard to imagine taking to foot in this lush country. Everywhere you look is either soaring canyon walls, rivulets making their way to the Feather, or some other natural feature reminding you of nature’s enormity and grandeur. It’s little wonder that this area was chosen to be a part of the PCT, though it’s hard to imagine a hiker on a months-long trek pulling into a dirt rave like Emissions. They’d find everything but a respite. The bass cranks all night long; it rattles your waking hours as well as your dreams. Pots and pans vibrate off of stoves. It’s bonkers.

Belden.

Belden.

Another factor that was outside of reckoning was the multitude of Black people at this event. It came as a welcome surprise. Too often, I am one of a handful, and that’s being nice. Honestly, I am more often than not one of perhaps two Black people at a rave. This phenomenon is so normal, and the opposite was so true at Emissions, that when we melinated people did cross each other’s paths, it was hard not to acknowledge it. One Black raver, after commenting on my outfit for the day, pulled down his sunglasses and issued forth a simple and complete statement, “Black people!”

Yes indeed. Judgment be damned. This dirt rave was nothing that I expected, save for the prevalent use of n*gger and b*tch used in the stripped-down and non-melodic music. To be fair, the music didn’t all sound the same, but the genre itself is styled off of Trap music, which is a style of rap with an emphasis on sparse lyrics and a high attention to bass. The funny part is hearing White people play and love this style of music, knowing that it comes from “The Hood” and that it directly contributes to the detriment of Black people, as well as women in general. But I digress.

Speaking of degrading women for sport, the skin at this event was enough to work everyone into a frenzy. But the kicker was that never, not once did this event feel like a meat market, as I had earlier feared. In fact, from the production team to the average partier, everyone I met said that this rave felt “safe.” These days, that’s an important factor. “It’s so good not to have to fight someone off every five minutes,” said one raver to the nods and exclamations of her female friends standing nearby.

Bass. Photo Credit: Audrey A.

Bass. Photo Credit: Audrey A.

Then it hit me: there was something about this party that seemed so good. Partly, I accredit it to being such a small event; they cap the ticket sales at around 600. Coupled with the small area in which the rave takes place, you end up seeing everyone over and over again. It’s ripe for a good time and you can make rave buddies and keep interacting with them for literally days, which took the edge off. Even with the hefty amount of drug use around, most people seemed happy and willing to be there together. Instead of women hiding from men and people lurking, there were spontaneous dance groups and speaker piles, the likes of which I haven’t seen since the 90s. Yes, I’m that old. Yes, I’m still raving.

Rave franz.

Rave franz.

This rave was bliss; ecstasy even. When it was time to go, I found myself sad to leave the new dancer buddies I’d met, which really was a good feeling. The couple of “bromances” I had at Emissions left me feeling very differently than I had expected when first invited to come to this dirt rave in the forest. The plain of it is that I barely want to tell anyone about this festival, but I’ve made an exception for you dear reader. Emissions was such a good party that I’d hate to have it spoiled by too much notoriety.

That said, everyone is welcome, and I myself would love to see Belden from the vantage of a hiker on the PCT. Once again I was reminded of what the raver gods teach us: that all are welcome and that music is life. Life indeed is music, if only we are willing to let it play and be open to its many forms. Everyone is welcome on the dance floor no matter if they have a hiking stick or a Thai stick. Emissions in Belden Town is the place to be.

Learn more about Emissions here.

-Taj

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.    

Joshua Tree Music Festival is an Oasis for All

By: Moriel O'Connor

I was in Youssoupha Sidibe's vintage aluminum artist trailer, listening to the Kora and drinking coffee with Senegalese spice. I had lost my voice from singing higher than ever before. Raspy and sandy, I sat in reflection and recognized the greatness of Joshua Tree, California and their amazing bi-annual festival.

Life at Joshua Tree Music Festival.

Life at Joshua Tree Music Festival.

The night before, the rainbow sherbet skies turned to black as the full moon rose. She shined golden over the vista. The air was cold and crisp, yet still my heart was warm. Everywhere I looked, there was an art installation or mural. I realized nobody was fighting and everyone was friends. There was no room for hate. We stepped, swayed, and sang together to gather all the precious moments we could.  

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The festival was all encompassing and unconventional. For 17 years, it has been run without corporate interests or greed. The music fit this mood, with rebellious acts such as Vintage Trouble, Earth Arrow, Cole Williams Band and Trouble in the Streets. The collection of local bands included Gene Evaro Jr, The Adobe Collective, Megan Hutch and more. Dynohunter brought some Colorado funk, and Oliver Koletzki and My Baby flew in from overseas. Much more than a dance party, there were yoga classes, workshops, children's activities, a  healing village and songwriter sessions.

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The Mojave Desert Land Trust was there as well, educating us on the land and park. The town and national park are named after the Joshua Tree (Yucca Brevifolia). This is the largest species of Yucca, and it only grows in the Mojave Desert. The Joshua Tree and Pronuba Moth are in an everlasting relationship. They cannot survive alone. Sometimes called the Yucca Moth, it is the only insect that can pollinate the Joshua Tree. Female moths collect pollen while laying eggs inside the ovaries. Larvae hatched from the eggs, then use the seed of Joshua tree as a food source. From this kinship, I learned life itself is incomplete without one another. This was a vibe felt strongly among Joshua Tree festival-goers throughout the weekend.

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If you missed the spring fest, the 14th annual fall Joshua Tree Music Festival will take place this October. North Mississippi All Stars and The California Honeydrops are headlining.

To see more from Joshua Tree Music Festival, view this photo album.

-Moriel

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

KAABOO Del Mar's Music Lineup Perfectly Combines New and Old

By: Benjamin Tillis

We may be in the thick of spring, but who isn’t counting down the days until summer and summer festival season? One we’re most excited for is the return of KAABOO Del Mar in sunny San Diego. This three day festival prides itself on providing a premium experience compared to other festivals because it focuses on “comfort, hospitality, and good times.” It’s true. The camp grounds are clean, roomy, and filled with friendly faces who are happy to be there.

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Aside from music, KAABOO features delicious food served by trendy restaurants in the area, and they invite world famous chefs to lead workshops for festival goers. Additionally, you can see some of today’s top comics, as they host a full comedy lineup. This year’s laughs lineup includes Pete Holmes, Bert Kreischer, Bob Saget, Wayne Brady, and Tig Notaro.

But we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t the music lineup that has us most excited, especially because of how unique it is compared to other festivals this year. KAABOO’s list of artists provides an incredibly eclectic mix of up-and-coming artists while also booking headliners who have been at the top of their genre for decades.

Bert Kreischer.

Bert Kreischer.

First, let’s start with the classic names. Some of the biggest headliners this year are Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, Duran Duran, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan, The Bangles, Boyz II Men, REO Speedwagon, and Silversun Pickups. That list alone is packed with musical legends, some of whom haven’t played live in years. It will be a real treat to see these artists underneath the Southern California sun.

Duran Duran.

Duran Duran.

Additionally, KAABOO always has a great eye for fresh artists who are doing something new and exciting. Performers this year include Con Brio, Griz Folk, Cash Cash, Cheat Codes, and Keuning. These musicians are relatively new to the game, with the exception of Keuning, the lead guitarist of The Killers who has recently begun his own solo career.

Overall, we cannot wait to see what KAABOO has in store for us. Learn more about the festival here.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Denver's Underground Music Showcase Announced Their Entire Lineup Today

Denver’s favorite music event of the summer is back for 2019! Get all of the details:

Who: The Underground Music Showcase (UMS), Denver’s largest and most iconic music festival, just announced the full 2019 lineup and will once again bring an array of acclaimed national and local artists, creatively curated stages, and host endless surprises across the three-day showcase.

From Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28, the 19th annual Underground Music Showcase will return to the historic and hip Broadway corridor just south of downtown Denver.

What:  The just announced 2019 UMS lineup, with performances by more than 200 artists, includes national headliners Honne, Chicano Batman, Black Mountain, Tuxedo, Earthgang, and Still Woozy.

Supporting artists include Empress Of, Yves Tumor, DRAMA, Sophie Meiers, LEIKELI47, Y La Bamba, Gardens & Villa, William Elliott Whitmore, Miya Folick, Tessa Violet, Haviah Mighty, Liza Anne, Spooky Mansion, Greyhounds, Dressy Bessy, DBUK, SWSH, Kainalu, Jackie Mendoza, Clavvs, Rapperchicks, Rich Jones, Divino Niño, Parallelephants, Deezie Brown, Garrett T Capps and more and more than 200 acts from across Colorado. View the full lineup here.

When: Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28

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“UMS is a strong representation of all types of music. This year’s lineup of national and local bands was strategically designed to showcase the volume of musically talented individuals Denver has grown while also inviting some national acts to crash the party. Denver’s music scene is growing and shaping into something special, something worth putting Denver on the map as a nationally recognized ‘music city.’ We have put our heart and soul into ensuring UMS helps grow that positive image for all Denver artists while keeping the soul of this underground music community alive.”

— TOBIAS KRAUSE, EVENT DIRECTOR OF UNDERGROUND MUSIC SHOWCASE

Photo Credit:   Nikki Rae Photography

Photo Credit: Nikki Rae Photography

Where: The Underground Music Showcase takes place in a multitude of venues along Broadway, in Denver, Colorado. More details on specific stages and locations will be announced closer to the festival.

Three-day weekend tickets are now available for $50. The three-day weekend tickets include general admission access to all musical performances and all stages, all weekend long. To purchase tickets, please visit: https://www.undergroundmusicshowcase.com/tickets.

Why: Denver is on its way to becoming a globally recognized music city with locally organized festivals like UMS leading the shift towards more immersive, live music events. UMS is the perfect representation of the vastness of incredibly talented artists from in and around the Denver metro area, showcasing the city’s growing music scene.

Two Parts purchased UMS from The Denver Post Community Foundation in January 2018. Since taking over the festival, Two Parts has worked to expand the number of outdoor stages and experiences and to continue building on the success of the past 18 years.

Grab your presales here!

Complete Your Next Festival Look with an Easy Ink Semi-Permanent Tattoo

Just in time for festival season, Easy Ink has created a revolutionary series of semi-permanent tattoos. Made of 100% natural ingredients, Easy Ink’s collection features large and small temporary tattoo options, along with a freehand ink kit, so festival attendees can create their own designs on the go.

Easy Ink’s “Solitude” design.

Easy Ink’s “Solitude” design.

At BolderBeat, our team tried four designs, ranging in size from small to large. Each application was pretty easy. Every Easy Ink piece comes with an instruction booklet and the proper application “tools” including an alcohol pad, a patch remover liquid, an adhesive remover, and a soap towelette. The whole process is 12-steps but is far less complicated than the number makes it sound. Our Easy Ink tattoo sets also came with directions to store the designs in the freezer prior to application to ensure they remained intact before use. Easy Ink’s designs can last up to a few weeks depending on how well you take care of your design during and after application. Our team’s full tattoo time varied between 1-2 weeks.

Easy Ink’s Rosales.

Easy Ink’s Rosales.

Easy Ink’s designs are a fun way to accessorize your next festival or concert getup, or to test out a design or tattoo placement prior to inking yourself permanently. The brand features everything from tiny, delicate designs like the Rosales to larger statement pieces like the Maori.

Take your festival look to the next level this summer without the permanence, cost, or hassle of real ink. A single tattoo from Easy Ink ranges in price from $14 to $23, so snag your next tat here today!

Excitement Builds as Lighting in a Bottle Releases Phase 2 Lineup

By: Benjamin Tillis

With less than two months to go until Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) music festival, DoLab released the second phase of their lineup. Phase 2 includes names for the transformative festival’s Grand Artique, Favella, Compass, and The Stacks stages, each of which contribute a different vibe and experience to LIB.

One of the most interesting stages is Grand Artique. In previous years, Grand Artique has curated an eclectic group of artists to perform throughout the weekend, many of which have a folk feel. Notable names playing this year are Ozomatli, Rising Appalachia, My Baby, Swingrowers, and WC Thornbush & The Great American Show. The latter is a comedy act that puts you into the world of America during The Prohibition in the 1920s. They sing fun jingles, including a satirical advertisement for cigarettes, and show off their musical talents all while making you laugh.

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It’s shows like these that separate Lighting in a Bottle from other festivals. It’s an event that you can walk into knowing few of the musicians and leave with five new favorite bands and DJs. This is in addition to the yoga, workshops, speakers, and other fun events that take place throughout the weekend.

Lighting in a Bottle will take place in Buena Vista Lake in central California, two hours north of Los Angeles and will host 20,000 attendees from May 8th-13th. Headliners include Disclosure, Big Gigantic, Santigold, Lane 8, G Jones, Polish Ambassador, Toro y Moi, Khruangbin, and a much anticipated “3D” set from Flying Lotus topping the lineup.

For more information on the festival and for tickets, click here.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Lightning in a Bottle Releases Incredible Lineup, Offers Much More Than Just Music

By: Benjamin Tillis

Now taking place in Buena Vista Lake in central California, two hours north of Los Angeles, Lightning in a Bottle will host 20,000 attendees from May 8th-13th this year, instead of its typical Memorial Day Weekend dates.

After festival creator DoLab announced a new date, location, and capacity for their “transformative festival,” LIB fans were anxious to see the Phase 1 lineup released February 15th. It is safe to say people were pleased.

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The biggest names on Lightning in a Bottle’s Phase 1 lineup for its Lightning, Woogie, and Thunder stages include Disclosure, who went silent after releasing their last full album, 2015’s Caracal, along with Big Gigantic, Santigold, Lane 8, G Jones, and Polish Ambassador.

This year the festival also seems to appeal to a more indie jazz vibe with musicians like Toro y Moi, Khruangbin, and a much anticipated “3D” set from Flying Lotus topping the lineup.

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There are still two stage lineups that have yet to be announced, Pagoda and The Grand Artique, which bring one of a kind musicians and theatrical acts you won’t see at any other festival.

DoLab does a great job year after year of bringing in unique and up and coming artists, but they also curate a festival with so much more than music. With a focus on sustainability, social cohesion, personal health, and creative expression, there is so much to experience at Lightning in a Bottle, including yoga classes, sound baths, and creative workshops. It truly creates its own culture that encourages you to express yourself however you feel.

For more information on the festival and for tickets, check out LIB’s website.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

How We Found a Lakeside Musical Paradise at the Inaugural Same Same But Different Festival

By: Benjamin Tillis

Allocating your festival budget just got a little more difficult for Southern Californians, as Same Same But Different Festival proved to be yet another music and camping focused experience you do not want to miss. SSBD took place last weekend at Lake Perris and it was truly a perfect time and place to spend a couple of days outside, meeting fun people and listening to great music.

Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Starting with the setting, Lake Perris is 90-minutes east of both San Diego and Los Angeles. The campgrounds are covered with green grass, shady trees, and a large beach leading up to a gigantic lake. It’s a place festival goers could be found doing yoga on paddleboards, making friends in the sand, or partying at the “Coconut Club,” a dance party that began around noon and went until sunrise each night.

The amenities were perfect at SSBD. Even for General Admission campers, there were plenty of indoor restrooms, outdoor showers, canopies, and grills to make the most of your camping experience. Though the temperature went above 90 degrees during the day, it was bearable with the lake and the fact that it cooled down to below 60 degrees each evening.

Boombox. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Boombox. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Because this was the festival’s inaugural year, it was no surprise that crowds were small, but this wasn’t a bad thing. Saturday early evening sets like The Routine and The Family Crest saw intimate crowds of around 100 people. But the actual festival grounds weren’t too spread out, so you could find another 200 people hanging around nearby or getting a bite to eat while still listening and moving to the music. Anyone near the stage though was having a blast. Most were barefoot and frollicking around in the grass. It was clear that this was an open space focused on music, dancing, and community.

Lettuce. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Lettuce. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Attendees on Saturday seemed most excited for Lettuce, which saw the largest crowd of the weekend. Their set was no let down, as people went absolutely crazy during the fan favorite “Do It Like You Do.” Later in the night was the funky, pink-boa-wearing duo Boombox, as well as Late Night Radio, an impressive and entertaining DJ whose past experience includes playing drums for Pretty Lights.

Sunday was yet another great day of shows, but it was clear that those who had to work Monday scrambled out a little early. This only added to the personal feeling of this festival though. The combination of the small community and the fact that only one show played at a time meant that you were bound to find all of your new friends dancing in one place.

Sunday’s music began with San Diego’s Fashion Jackson, a garage punk group that was unique and entertaining. The group ended their set with their song “Gossamer.” They invited their friends on stage, jumping around to keep the energy high. It felt like an Odd Future show and was exhilarating to watch for those in the crowd.

The festival closing bands all had something unique to bring to Same Same But Different. These acts included one-of-a-kind CAPYAC; Dirtwire, who must have played over 20 different instruments throughout the course of the show; Moon Hooch, who kept everyone moving with their funky horns; The Floozies, an endless dance party that included an interesting cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway”; and Colorado-based LYFTD, who closed out the festival sampling the catchy horns in the Outkast song “Spottieottiedopaliscious.”

After the shows, the artists weren’t afraid to mingle with attendees. You could find David Satori of Dirtwire and Beats Antique taking pictures with fans during The Floozies’ set, and the gentlemen of LYFTD were enjoying themselves at the festival’s late night dance parties after their show.

Through The Roots. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Through The Roots. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Overall, Same Same But Different was a huge success. Logistically it was well organized, the music was great, and this festival attracted interesting and fun people. There is no doubt the festival will be significantly larger after attendees spread the word of the incredible time they had.

Do not miss out! Keep your eye out for SSBD!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Why Rock'n'Roll Won at This Year's KAABOO Del Mar Festival

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

This past weekend, KAABOO Del Mar Festival returned for its fourth year of bringing Southern California music fans together to celebrate and dance to musicians of all genres. Katy Perry brought the pop, Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone brought the hip hop, and Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power brought the funk. But even with these star-studded artists, it was evident that rock’n’roll stole the show this year to make the point that while your streaming service might disagree with us, rock’n’roll is alive and well.

Friday, the first day of the festival, Jimmy Eat World took the stage and set the precedent that although there were a handful of bands performing at the festival that haven’t seen a huge hit in the last decade or so, it does not mean they’re no longer making great music and giving one-of-a-kind live shows. Of course Jimmy Eat World stirred up plenty of energy in the crowd when they played classics like “Sweetness” and “The Middle,” but the group still received plenty of positive reception when they played their 2018 release “Love Never,” a song that seems to captivate everything people love about the band while still providing something new and never-before-heard.

Later on in the day, Calabasas, California band Incubus began their late afternoon set with zero apologies. Lead singer Brandon Boyd opened with arguably two of Incubus’ most rambunctious songs: “Anna Molly” and “Megalomaniac.” The energy stayed constant thereafter. For a group that has released only 40-minutes of new music in the past six years, it was surprising that the younger attendees of the festival were jumping and singing as if it was their favorite band growing up. It goes to show that these rock legends have created songs that remain memorable in the collective consciousness of American rock music.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

To close out Friday night, Nirvana-alum-turned-Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl embodied rock’n’roll throughout the band’s set. It wasn’t just the classics he was playing that proved his incredible reign as a rock lord- originals like “Learn To Fly” and covers like Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust” were heard- but the sheer confidence and appearance that he was hardly trying, yet epicly succeeding in firing the crowd up really amped things up. At one point, teasing at his legendary status, Grohl yelled to the crowd, “We have 35 minutes left to play 116 songs!” At another point in the band’s set, a train loudly passed by, distracting the band and fans. Seizing the moment, the band played a one minute blues-sounding song just for kicks. It was just another example that proved these performers are professionals, and are still as lively and fun as ever.

Saturday was another rock-filled festival day, and this time with more of a focus on rock that is currently popular. Early in the day, Austin groove rock band Mamafesta brought a completely new style to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. With a hint of funk and plenty of jam band qualities in their sound, this melodic four piece group is one to definitely watch out for in the near future if you’re not already!

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Closing out the second night were international stars Imagine Dragons. It seemed that the band played hit after hit for a full 90-minute set. Not only was the music good, but lead singer Dan Reynolds was simply inspiring. Speaking out about mental illness and suicide prevention, he acted as a true leader to the younger fans in the crowd. After his words of wisdom, once again the group got the crowd jumping with the epic number “Believer.

Sunday closed out with, you guessed it, even more rock, this time both new and old. Many fans stayed at the “MGM Resorts Grandview” stage from 3:00PM to festival close to see bands like The All American Rejects, Alice In Chains, and Robert Plant.

The All American Rejects did a great job of not taking themselves too seriously. Although the band played fan favorites like “Gives You Hell” and “It Ends Tonight,” they joked between songs that while they may not getting much radio play now, in the early 2000s, it was “hard to escape our music if you walked in a TJ Maxx.” Still, the group gave it their all and played new songs that they were clearly proud to perform.

Following All American Rejects was Alice In Chains, a band that had a larger crowd considering the KAABOO attendees were a bit older than other festivals. Alice In Chains did not disappoint, and it is safe to say that their hit song “Rooster” had the loudest-singing crowd of the festival.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

As exhibited by a large number of KAABOOers walking around sporting Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant shirts, it was clear that Plant was the most anticipated act of Sunday, even while competing with Katy Perry during the headlining time slot. It was no surprise that Plant payed homage to Led Zeppelin by opening up with the tracks “Good Times, Bad Times” and “Lemon Song.” His 13-song setlist was filled with impressive guitar solos and a little headbanging. Closing with an artist from the iconic Led Zeppelin was the nail in the coffin that rock stole the show this year at KAABOO, and a sign that this genre will hopefully continue thriving at this festival!

Dates for 2019’s KAABOO have already been announced for the weekend of September 13th-15th. Get your early bird tickets and festival passes here! 

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Same Same But Different Festival Bringing New Vibes to Lake Perris This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

As this year’s music festival season comes to a close, Southern California is graced with yet another music filled weekend. Same Same But Different, taking place 90-minutes east of Los Angeles and San Diego at Lake Perris this weekend September 22nd and 23rd, boasts much more than just music. They’ve got “camping, hiking, yoga, swimming, and interactive art” planned for the weekend as well.

With headliners Lettuce, The Floozies, and Boombox, the festival is bound to attract more free spirited and dance-loving festival goers, which should make for a fun and open experience. Other musical artists include Dirtwire, a country/dance fusion group that includes members from Beats Antique, and LYFTD, the Colorado-based electro-funk group. And although the music ends at 2:00AM both Saturday and Sunday, the dancing will go all night, with a late night dance party beginning right after the fest’s final headliner sets.

The visual artists whose work will be featured throughout the festival include Hannah Rowan and Krystal Dyer. Yoga and mindfulness workshops will also be taught by leaders in the community.

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It will be very interesting to see how having a lake in the middle of the grounds shapes the festival. It is very likely that most of the attendees will be taking it easy on the beach or in the water during the performers that they may not know as well, making this festival a great combination of a party and a relaxing vacation.

Bolder Beat can’t wait to attend this festival this weekend to get the inside scoop on what Same Same But Different Festival has to offer, and we are confident it will not disappoint. Tickets still available here.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Grandoozy's Second Day Was All About The Chill

The crowd at Snow Tha Product.

The crowd at Snow Tha Product.

Vibes were noticeably more chill yesterday at Grandoozys second day. Festivalgoers beat the heat in the Capital One Cardholder Lounge, in the shade under trees near the craft cocktail “Flight School,” and in tents near the “Arts & Crafts” area. An ice cold beer seemed to be on nearly everyone’s Day Two agenda, whether they sampled pours from spots like Elysian Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, or Breckenridge Brewing, or grabbed a Bud Light four-pack from the Bud Light “Dive Bar.”

Pours in the “Arts & Crafts” tent.

Pours in the “Arts & Crafts” tent.

Notable performances of the day included Snow Tha Product, Sturgill Simpson, Young the Giant, and of course, the show-stopping Florence and the Machine, who closed out the night under the stars with the evening’s large crescent moon seemingly floating above the stage. Her performance was magical with a live harpist, her powerful vocals, and her messages of self-love and consciousness for the crowd.

Unlike Friday, where festival attendees seemed more dressed for the heat and comfort, Saturday’s goers came in full costumes, lots of glitter, and fun festival fashion pieces. It was entertaining to see everyone expressing their creative clothing choices, and added to the day’s fun, yet laid-back vibes.  

Today, Stevie Wonder will close out the festival. Logic, St. Vincent, and The Chainsmokers will also be on deck. We’ll be exploring “The Break Room” and “The Backyard” at today’s fest, so come dance with us! Day passes for Grandoozy’s finale are still available here.  

Read more of our Grandoozy festival coverage here.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Grandoozy Starts Their Denver Reign With a Bang

Phoenix.

Phoenix.

Denver’s Grandoozy festival kicked off yesterday with solid musical performances, a great Denver food truck selection, and though there is no parking at the fest, getting there and entering was seamless for almost anyone we spoke to. This is not Superfly Presents’ first rodeo- the production company are the brains behind Bonnaroo and Oustide Lands- and it shows.

Get your unicorn on at Grandoozy.

Get your unicorn on at Grandoozy.

Yesterday’s sets were hip-hop and indie rock heavy. Phoenix, Miguel, The War On Drugs, Ty Dolla $ign, and Bishop Briggs played across the Rock, Paper, and Scissor stages. Local outfits Tennis, Flaural, and AMZY could also be heard across the Overland Golf field. Kendrick Lamar closed out the night with a set that included fireworks, incredible visual productions, and bangers from across his catalogue. Overall, the music for opening day was very solid.

Mac N’ Noodles is bomb.

Mac N’ Noodles is bomb.

Grandoozy’s incorporation of local food and drink curators is definitely a festival highlight. Yesterday, we tried the “Bacon Mac & Cheese” from Mac N’ Noodle, which was delicious. This food truck was a popular spot among festivalgoers, and there were also notably long lines for Super Heady Tacos, Ba Nom a Nom, Sol Tribe, and Carbon + Habit Doughnut Dispensary. The eats game at Grandoozy is strong.

We’re ready to brave the heat with you on Day Two today, and we’ll be exploring the craft brewing “Arts & Crafts” area, along with the “Flight School” craft cocktail spot, among other things. Come down and grab a drink with us- day passes and weekend tickets available here.  

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Five Experiences We Can't Wait to Try at Grandoozy

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Yes the music’s gonna be rad, but if you’re anything like us, you want to know what other exciting experiences you can check out at Denver’s Grandoozy this weekend. When you’re not sweltering for your favorite set, the three day festival (which still has weekend and day passes available here) has given you plenty of options to beat the heat with food, booze, art, yoga, and more! Check out some of what we’re stoked on:

Festival Food

When a festival as big as Grandoozy plants itself in your backyard, you tend to worry if you’ll be forced to eat shitty pizza while your friends nom funnel cakes for three days, but that time in life is over my friends. Grandoozy has partnered with a ton of local and national culinary artists to provide you with a seriously (lip)smacking buffet of deliciousness. Wondering who will be there for your taste buds? The mouthwatering includes: Adobo, ash Kara, Bar Dough, Barbed Wire Reef, Biju’s Little Curry Shop, Brider Rotisserie & Kitchen, Carbon + Habit Doughnut Dispensary, Comal Heritage Food Incubator, Generous Coffee, Highland Tap Burgers, Hippie Dips, Illegal Pete’s, Mac N’ Noodles, Maine Shack, Morin, OG Burgers, Peak Pops, Rocky Mountain Slices, Señor Bear, Snooze: an AM Eatery, Sol Tribe, Steuben’s, STK Denver, Stoney’s Bar & Grill, Sugarfire Smoke House, Sunshine Bowls, Super Heady Tacos, Sweet Cow Ice Cream, Torchy’s Tacos, and Ba Nom a Nom.

Flight School

Get ready to take off at Grandoozy’s craft cocktail Flight School.” Denver’s Chad Michael George, named one of Food & Wine’s Best Mixologists in 2016, will be on hand all weekend to serve you Smoky Spirits, Rhums of the World, an Agave Tour, and a Colorado Whiskey Flight. Each flight will consist of a series of different spirit tastings and four signature cocktails will be available too. Your thirst is calling.

Backyard Chats

If you’re looking for something a little more intimate and mind-stimulating, Grandoozy’s “Backyard Chats” in the 80’s Ski Lodge area of the fest will soothe your soul. Take a break in the shade and listen to discussions on topics around passion for the outdoors and business as activism. Panelists will include Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Blieler, environmental activists Amy Roberts and Alexander Boian, and Pro Slopestyle skier Bobby Brown. There will be a number of DJs on deck to keep the sounds flowing between panels too, making this a fun spot to learn and hang.

Yoga with a Beat

Three days without your regular hiking trails Coloradans? Can you make it in the name of good music? Though your trek to the grounds may be a workout in itself due to the festival’s zero parking policy, if that’s not hittin’ your fitness itch, there’s more. At “The Break Room,” yoga instructors from Sunny Trails Presents and Corepower Yoga will lead flow classes. After each practice, the space will turn into an all-day dance destination with artists from Weird Touch, Soul Clap and Eli Escobar to Jon Hopkins and Kim Ann Foxman. Sounds like this is where you need to be if you wanna keep it movin’ folks.

Art, Art Everywhere

Denver’s been crushing the art scene as of late, and Grandoozy will be showcasing more of those creative Mile High forces this weekend. Yes there will be live mural painting. Yes there will be crazy stage installations. Yes there will be artwork all over the grounds for you to peruse, some of it interactive. But best of all, the local artists involved in Grandoozy include Hollis + Lana, Dinkc, Detour, Anthony Garcia and Extra Vitamins among others. We love seeing local talent in all areas of this fest, and the art world is no exception. Keep your eyes peeled!

There’s still time to cop your last-minute tickets for Grandoozy. Click here to see your options and we’ll catch you on the course.

Why You Need Grandoozy's Official App to Maximize Your Festival Experience This Weekend

This app is so exciting, everyone is doing it.

This app is so exciting, everyone is doing it.

From the festival lineup to the food, Grandoozy just released an app with it all! If the countdown to this weekend’s first Denver Superfly fest isn’t enough to get you excited, learning the ins and outs of this app definitely will.

After your download Grandoozy’s app, customize your schedule and who you want to see under the “Lineup & Schedule” tab. You can set the alerts for your favorite artists so you don’t miss their sets when you’re off at Flight School or Arts + Crafts. You can even see how many people added a particular artist to their schedule and who the most popular artists are if you’re not sure who might be this year’s best kept secret.

Next, move to the “Map” tab and explore where the food, stages, merch and other events are located. In the “Eat, Drink & Explore” tab, you can further customize how you want to experience the festival and see all of this year’s local craft brewers, food trucks, and more!

Make sure to check out the “Go Backstage” tab once you get to the fest too. This gives you the opportunity to get an inside look at what’s happening backstage. There might be artist soundchecks, or just your favorite musicians hanging out.

Finally, make sure to set up Apple Pay! It will give you a secure alternative to bringing cash to the fest, and it makes life on the crowded fest grounds that much easier. Using it will allow you to order food ahead of time, avoid the lines, and enjoy more of the festival. You can seriously maximize every minute of your festi experience with the Grandoozy app!

Still need to grab your passes for the weekend? Do it on the official app or on the Grandoozy website! We’ll see you there.

All show photos per the author. All photos, videos and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Sin Fronteras: Folks Fest Raises Voices in Solidarity

By: Riley Ann

Music from across the globe took the stage at the 2018 Folks Fest, including acts from the Saharan Desert, Canada, and the tasty melting pot of American folk music. Despite the lyrics being sung in various languages, spanning English, French, Spanish, and Tamashek, one message rang clear: strength in togetherness.

Las Cafeteras.

Las Cafeteras.

The East L.A.-based band Las Cafeteras took the stage by storm on Friday with their Afro-Mexican dance party. Vibrant choreography and hip-shaking rhythms amplified their Spanish and English lyrics advocating for social justice. Band members shared the spotlight trading off lead vocals, and they gave shoutouts to various causes, including Black Lives Matter, indigenous people’s rights, and more. They also performed a new rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” by blending Spanish phrases, new melodies, and a mariachi groove into the familiar tune as a modern commentary. You can see their live performance on KEXP and read the lyrics on their website.

Representatives of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County joined Las Cafeteras onstage to recognize their contributions as artists to social justice issues. The chamber invited Las Cafeteras to Colorado on the band’s previous tour and thanked the band for the work they do through music as well as educational programs throughout the country.

Later that night, Los Lobos, another East L.A. band lit up the stage with their unique blend of traditional Latin American styles with rock, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, R&B, blues, and soul. The group made waves in music history by bringing Latin American folk music back to top charts in the late 80s, revitalizing Ritchie Valens’ take on the traditional tune “La Bamba,” along with several other hit songs. While Valens was an early trailblazer in the Chicano Rock movement, Los Lobos carried the torch and kept the movement steady via mainstream radio airplay decades later. With their popularity, multiple Grammy Awards, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they’ve made their mark not just within the Chicano Rock movement, but also with deep ties in the ever-colorful tapestry of American folk music.

Heather Mae.

Heather Mae.

Saturday morning opened with Heather Mae, the artist who won last year’s Folks Fest songwriter competition. She moved the crowd with musical confessions about mental illness, overcoming oppression, and body image evidenced in her song “I Am Enough.” As an advocate for body positivity, LGBTQIA rights, people of color, and more, she thanked the festival organizers for curating such a diverse lineup throughout the weekend, saying, “They are trying to elevate marginalized voices, and that includes women. Thank you.” She concluded her set by inviting a chorus of performers to join her on stage for her power anthem “Stand Up.”

When Darrell Scott took the stage Saturday afternoon, he performed a song that he said was written by his friend Marcus Hummon. The narrative showed the life of a Honduran girl named Rosanna who escaped the physical and sexual abuse of the underground sex trafficking industry, bore a daughter, was profiled and arrested by police, was deported by I.C.E. back to Honduras, and nearly died in the desert trying to reunite with her daughter. Her true story is documented here, and you can hear Hummon’s album version here. The song left the crowd frozen and teary-eyed for Rosanna, the representation of people targeted by strict immigration policies and facing not just unfair, but impossible playing fields.

Saturday evening closed with the Indigo Girls. Despite heavy rains concluding their set early, they shared many of their signature songs, including “It’s Alright,” which is one of many that uses music as a vehicle for social change. The Indigo Girls served as one of the first bands to not only be public advocates for the LGBTQIA community, but also to be publicly out. Beloved by the crowd, the duo was joined by the sea of smiling faces singing along in the rain.

Bonnie Paine.

Bonnie Paine.

Bonnie Paine opened Sunday with the help of the “Cottonwood Choir” and instrumentalists featuring many familiar faces from the Front Range, including other members of Elephant Revival. The ensemble inspired the crowd to sing along with spirituals originating from slaves’ field songs about overcoming oppression.

That evening, Tinariwen quickly became a crowd favorite. The band’s fascinating blend of African stylings with American blues idioms created a strikingly unique sound. Furthermore, the band’s formation in refugee camps and resilience despite the backdrop of warfare, strife, and revolution speaks through the music even if listeners don’t know Tamashek. Over several decades, band members have survived against the odds and continue writing songs fighting for human rights and equality. They’ve even been called “Music’s True Rebels” by NPR. You can read more about the band’s background here.

Tinariwen.

Tinariwen.

Once again, Planet Bluegrass curated a powerful festival, giving festivarians an opportunity to see household names, like Regina Spektor, the Indigo Girls, and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) alongside the acts you didn’t know you wanted to see. Stay tuned at the Planet Bluegrass website for their lineup of next year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rockygrass, and Folks Fest.

View the full photo gallery from this event here.

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

All photos provided to BolderBeat by the artist. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

From the Eats to the Tunes, Here's Why We Can't Wait for Grandoozy

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Colorado will finally be home to a new music festival this September. The concert promoter, Superfly will debut their first festival, Grandoozy at the Overland Park golf course September 14th-16th. Being the co-creators of other major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, Superfly is not new to creating a memorable experience for concertgoers.

During the fest, we can look forward to over fifty acts, all of which will cater to different tastes in music. Big-name headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine, and Stevie Wonder. While at the fest, you can spend your Sunday rocking out with St. Vincent, and if you were unable to snag tickets to see The Chainsmokers’ sold out show at Red Rocks in 2016, Grandoozy is your chance to see them in an outdoor setting with a great view of the Rocky Mountains. This is the first time Kendrick Lamar will be back in Denver since last July, and the first time since he won his historic Pulitzer Prize for his record DAMN. His performance is going to be a definite Denver must-see.

The weekend will also be the ultimate Denver music festival experience, from the music to the food. Between performances, make sure to grab a bite or a few before the next act! The entire festival will pay homage to all things local, from the beer you drink to the food you order. The vendors list will spotlight local favorites like Snooze: an AM Eatery (Adam Schlegel), Justin Cucci (Linger, Root Down, Vital Root, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, and El Five), Carrie Baird (executive chef at Bar Dough and participant on Season 15 of Top Chef Denver), Jen Jasinski (executive chef/owner of Larimer Square’s Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Stoic & Genuine, Ultreia), and Tommy Lee (chef and owner of Uncle and Hop Alley). You just might find your new favorite dish or meet the chef from your current favorite restaurant!
    
After you have finished your food from our local vendors and feel like dancing between acts,  head over to the Break-Room. It will be Grandoozy’s taste of a disco club right in the middle of the Mile High City. The Break-Room will be a dance lounge to satisfy all music tastes, from ambient to electronic. The lineup features various local DJs who are both up-and-coming, as well as popular within the industry. Some of the local acts will include Sunsquabi, Head for the Hills, The Drunken Hearts, AMZY, and Black Pumas.

Ultimately, this will be a showcase of our beautiful city, spotlight our local food vendors, celebrate our local talent, and it will put Denver on the map for big-name music festivals in the future. This is not the festival to miss, so grab your friends and buy your tickets before they sell out!

Grandoozy pricing starts at $99 for general admission single-day tickets, $224.50 for general admission three-day tickets, $249.50 for VIP single-day tickets, and $674.50 for VIP three-day tickets. They can be purchased online here.To get you pumped for our first major festival, make sure you follow Grandoozy on Spotify, and add their playlists! We’ll see you at the Park!

-Taylor

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Top 10 Things About KAABOO Del Mar We're Obsessed With This Year

By: Benjamin Tillis

Kaaboo Del Mar announced their lineup earlier this year and we’ve been stoked from the start.

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10. Ideal Location

KAABOO Del Mar is a music and arts event taking place September 14th-16th at the Del Mar Racetrack + Fairgrounds in San Diego. Held in a well-kept venue under the bright sun, KAABOO provides the perfect spot to enjoy music, food, comedy and more. It is right next to the beach to ensure you enjoy those shore breezes, and the festival boasts its clean facilities, including the restrooms! When you’re festin’, you know that’s important.

9. Comedy

Need a little comic relief at KAABOO? Don’t fret! KAABOO hosts a stacked lineup of today’s hilarious stars. Big names for 2018 include Craig Ferguson and Iliza Shlesinger.

8. Eats

Who doesn’t love food, and what better way to enjoy it than from the world’s top cuisinartists? Take your taste buds on a trip with chefs like Michelle Bernstein and Michael Mina. There will be numerous food stands from local restaurants for you to get your grub on too and that lineup is still on the way!

7. Three Day and One Day Passes

Do you want to get the full KAABOO experience or just a little taste? This year, you can choose either one! KAABOO offers well-priced three day tickets and one day ticket options so that you can enjoy the event for as long as your ears desire.

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6. Pool Party!

In partnership with Las Vegas’s MGM Grand’s Wet Republic, KAABOO will host a “high energy” pool club with direct views of the main stage. Go splash around and make new friends while seeing live performances from some of today’s most talented artists, all in your best suit for summer.

5. Art

KAABOO firmly believes that there should be art in everything we do. With galleries set up throughout the event space, and festival decorations created by up-and-coming creative thinkers, you can’t turn the corner without seeing something that catches your eye. If you’re lucky, you may even see someone creating a new piece right in front of you!

4. Mature Audience and Entertainment

KAABOO strives to make its event an "adult escape." Unless accompanied by an adult, attendees must be 18+. This makes KAABOO a perfect time for those who want a level of entertainment with the kiddos.

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3. Robert Delong

Robert Delong is a one-of-a-kind electronic musician who dispels the myth that EDM artists don’t do much on stage. Delong bounces between drum sets, keyboards, different microphones and self-made musical instruments that look like video game controllers to play his tunes. His catchy songs are hard not to dance to.

2. Big Boi

Best known as half of the rap duo Outkast, Big Boi is a superstar rapper with songs that’ll make you jump. The performer always gives it all on stage, and once finished playing a show after breaking his leg during the performance so he just doesn’t stop! Songs like “Shutterbug” and “Kill Jill” will certainly be played, and if we’re lucky we may get some Outkast classics too!

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1. Foo Fighters

In the middle of a North American tour promoting their 2017 album Concrete and Gold, Foo Fighters are true rock legends who no doubt know how to put on a grand performance. With multi-talented guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Grohl, this is a headlining show that you do not want to miss. We already can’t wait to rock out to “All My Life” next to you.

Still need your full fest or day pass tickets? Click here to get in on the fun!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

#SheShreds: Rockygrass Celebrates Breaking Through the "Grass Ceiling"

By: Riley Ann

In light of of the #MeToo movement and “The Future is Female” shirts, this year’s Rockygrass certainly took some cues from the times. In addition to the staples of the Planet Bluegrass stages (including Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, and more), a spotlight shone brightly on the women who have become pillars of the “who’s who of bluegrass.”

The First Ladies of Bluegrass. 

The First Ladies of Bluegrass. 

 

One of the crowd favorites of the weekend was the Friday set featuring Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Sierra Hull, Missy Raines, and Molly Tuttle, each the first woman to earn International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards on their instruments. They’ve been dubbed “The First Ladies of Bluegrass” for this achievement.

In the set, Sierra Hull acknowledged Alison Brown, who was the first woman to ever earn an IBMA nearly three decades ago in 1991, which happened to be the same year Hull was born. Brown also earned the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2015, which IBMA states is the “highest honor IBMA bestows outside of induction into the Hall of Fame, recognizing forerunners and ambassadors for bluegrass music.” Hull, who is 26, shared that when she was a little girl, she loved Brown’s album Fair Weather and still does, saying, “It’s such an honor to share the stage with Alison- and all of these incredible trailblazing ladies!” The set oscillated from sweet harmonies to rip-roaring bluegrass breakdowns, and between tunes the musicians gave frequent props to each other for what they’ve contributed to the modern history of bluegrass, like in regards to Missy Raines, who has earned an IBMA for Instrumental Performer of the Year on bass seven times. “We like to say that in bluegrass, Missy reigns!” they said.

The weekend featured a variety of women outstanding in their field, including Della Mae, an all-female band that earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Bluegrass Album” for their record I Built This Heart in 2015. During their set on Saturday, Celia Woodsmith, current frontwoman for the band, also gave a shout-out to the “First Women of Bluegrass,” noting the two consecutive days of all-female bands in the lineup. She hollered, “Rockygrass, you’re doin’ somethin’ right!” and the crowd roared.

Sunday’s spotlight included the Lyons Bluegrass Collective, featuring local powerhouses KC Groves (of Uncle Earl), Bonnie Sims (of Bonnie & the Clydes), Natalie Padilla (of Masontown), and Sarah Cole (of Follow the Fox), among others, male and female.

These women were not celebrated because they are women; they are celebrated because they’re good, and despite the odds. While bluegrass music grew from the roots of Black music (even the banjo is actually an African instrument that’s been morphed through industrialization), it has been culturally appropriated by white men who have kept a patriarchal stronghold on it for generations, causing a great deal of sexism, racism, and classism within the genre. I discussed some of this in last year’s coverage of Rockygrass, “The Changing Face of Bluegrass,” and more in-depth information about the history of the banjo and bluegrass music is available via two great documentaries: The Librarian and the Banjo and Bela Fleck’s Throw Down Your Heart.

Although you’ll have to wait until next summer for the next Rockygrass, Folks Fest at Planet Bluegrass is still to come and includes Regina Spektor, Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco), and more. You can learn more about Folks Fest at the Planet Bluegrass website here.

See our full gallery from the fest here

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

All photos provided to BolderBeat by the artist. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Premiere: King Eddie's Single "Making Flippy Floppy" Is the First Track Out from Moon Magnet's Upcoming UMS Cassette Release

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This week, Moon Magnet Studios are releasing their Moon Magnet Composition Volume 4. Dropping this Friday July 27th before UMS, the record will be streamable on iTunes and Spotify but will also have a special cassette release. The tape will feature songs by Retrofette, Rubedo, Dandu, King Eddie, Venus Cruz, members of Esmé Patterson, Mini Mansions, JJUUJJUU, Sound of Ceres/Candy Claws, Ancient Elk, and OptycNerd. Today, we’re premiering a single from the record, King Eddie’s “Making Flippy Floppy,” a Talking Heads cover that the band also has a video for below. You can see King Eddie and more Moon Magnet artists at our UMS day party MoonSpoon this Saturday, July 28th from 12PM-4PM at Irish Rover. We sat down with King Eddie’s frontman Jay Mars and Moon Magnet Studios’ Reed Fox to learn more about the track and the cassette release:

Reed, what inspired Moon Magnet Studios to put together this record for the UMS?

Reed Fox: The UMS is a special time of the year- the best weekend of the year when all the Moon Magneteers come out to play. Every UMS we record a song. In 2013, we taped as many mylar space blankets together as we could and did an absurdist parade around Broadway one night of the UMS. Another year Riley Geare from Unknown Mortal Orchestra was hanging out at Moon Magnet and I recorded him playing drums on a song. That session morphed into what became the title track off of déCollage’s last album, Magnetize. One year we recorded an hour long acapella album of nonstop ambient vocal loops with members of Sunboy and Ancient Elk called Camp Forever Friends. In 2015 Cody Coffey, Megan Crooks, Ryan Schlichtman, and Derrick Bozich recorded a song called “Beautiful Mess.” The songs are always directly about the magic of UMS and on this one, Cody sings a play on words about UMS and “Ur a Beautiful Mess.” It’s finally getting released on this compilation! We wanted to do something special and include a bunch of our friends who are playing UMS on one comp. Laura Goldhamer ran a collective called Long Spoon and released a compilation in 2008 featuring Paper Bird, Ian Cooke, Kitty Crimes, and Griff from Inner Oceans. It had a huge impact on my group of friends and that was the impetus for starting Moon Magnet and releasing compilations in the first place.

What does a Moon Magnet collaboration look like with the artists featured? Do they connect with you or vice versa? Do you work with each artist on their songs? What does a relationship with Moon Magnet look like for a release like this?

Reed Fox: The collaborations are always different. Sometimes it’s a band hiring me to record their album, EP, or single. Sometimes it’s a singer songwriter with lyrics and a melody who asks me to create all of the music and drums. Sometimes it’s a bunch of friends hanging out and we hit record and it ends up becoming totally mind blowing. Everything at Moon Magnet is hyper-collaborative and it’s fun to get as many artists involved as possible. Here’s a Spotify playlist of most of the songs released on the label; there’s another with the 36 albums recorded in the studio with a link to stream on Spotify too. Neil Lyons and I run the licensing branch of Moon Magnet together. There’s currently 1,000 songs in our library and we synch them in film, television, and audio-visual works. It’s easy to submit your song or find the right song for your video on our site.

Jay- tell us a bit about your cover of “Making Flippy Floppy” from the compilation. Who did you work with for it and where was it recorded?

Jay Mars: I love covers that have little to no resemblance to the original. We screened the movie Stop Making Sense at my job at The Alamo Drafthouse and I was inspired by the raw energy of their performance and wanted to really make it our own. I started a mentorship at the University of Denver several months ago and this was the first track I produced under the guru-ship of Michael Schulze, the director of the music production program. I was listening to a lot of Bowie's Blackstar album and I think the production and performance is really influenced by that record- the drums more than anything; they're kind of dark and slippery. It's been truly amazing working with such a talented producer and mentor. Not just his fluency with the technology, but his willingness to suggest ideas and challenge your assumptions. I think that's what makes a great producer- the vision and ability to make connections and create moments in the music where you didn't see the opportunity. Kevin Netz (Yonbre) created all these crazy atonal textures on a Moog synthesizer that throw the entire track into orbit before it comes back into the chorus. I recorded the drums with Linton Wright at the Lamont School of Music and I tracked the vocals, synth bass, and guitars at Moon Magnet.

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Who did the album artwork for the compilation? It’s so cool!

Reed Fox: Jacqueline Sophia Cordova did. Jacqueline can you talk about your work on this record?

Jacqueline Sophia Cordova: The Ancient.Future featured in this work is more than just my avatar and moniker, it is a philosophy and a way of life. It is shaped by the coalescing of ancient wisdom, magic, and mythologies with modern/future science and technology. It exists as a singular point in a non-linear understanding of space/time as the Eternal Now. Understanding existence as multidimensional, I see and experience past and future, and all dualistic concepts as happening simultaneously within a single event. My creative work is, ultimately, channeled work. I express through many mediums including visual art, costume and fashion, poetry, performance, ceremony, music, and dance. The collective journey toward understanding consciousness and reality is a defining theme in my work. Aesthetically, my work is compiled of imagery and information I receive through dreams, intuitive landscape, mystical experiences, ancient mythology and symbolism, modern science, future technology, the quantum realm, and artificial intelligence. Ancient.Future is deeply intimate work. I am continuously baffled and mesmerized by mere embodiment and what it means to be here; a merging of energy and matter into form. I often create literal self portraits, using myself as a subject, but all my work is an expression of my life journey, a sort of commentary to parallel my human experience.

Reed Fox: Jacqueline currently has work up at the 925 Gallery in the CVA in Denver until mid-August, as well as a show scheduled at Dateline in December. She also has work in the current issue of Suspect Press. See her artwork on all the Moon Magnet Compilations and all of déCollage’s releases except for their first album. You can connect with Jacqueline on Instagram, Facebook, and view her online gallery her site.

Thanks Reed, Jay, & Jacqueline. Take a listen to King Eddie’s song above and make sure to see all of your favorite Moon Magneteers at the BolderBeat Presents MoonSpoon Day Party this Saturday during The Underground Music Showcase! You can also catch King Eddie’s solo UMS set at 3 KIngs Tavern on Sunday at 8PM!

Our Favorite Four Performances From Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Pitchfork Music Festival 2018 has come to a close and we are already having withdrawals. The lineup this year was a truly incredible mashup of great indie, rock, hip hop, and alternative music. They did a splendid job at snagging some top level performers, both established and up and coming. Despite some nasty weather throughout the weekend, the rain pretty much held off or remained light, allowing for the festival to remain relatively cool rather than the typical mid-July heat that typically swamps Chicago. If you have your ear to the ground in terms of music, then this was a weekend you surely did not want to miss.

Ravyn Lenae.

Ravyn Lenae.

Some of our favorite performances we caught were The War on Drugs, Ravyn Lenae, Saba, and Circuit Des Yeux. The War on Drugs’ sonically large sound carried off throughout the festival grounds really well. For such a large band, their execution was tight and refined.

Ravyn Lenae performed on the same stage the next day, and for a 19-year-old just beginning to pop off, she had the most captivating stage presence. The audience really loved her, which was  made most evident when a stagehand brought out a microphone stand wrapped in a pink feather boa and people roared in applause at how great she was before she was even on stage. Lenae played a mix of songs from her various EPs, commanding the audience’s attention and really dominating her set.

Saba, another young Chicago artist on the come up, bounced across the stage for his first Chicago show since the release of his latest album, CARE FOR ME. He had his whole Chicago crew behind him, and brought out a whole bunch of other Chicago artists for the last song of his set, “Westside Bound 3.” Of all the Chicago artists who played Pitchfork this year, Saba definitely encapsulated the love and community that is happening in the city right now.

Saba.

Saba.

Circuit Des Yeux also impressed us very much. Haley Fohr, the voice behind Circuit des Yeux, stood rather unassumingly still on stage. With some gentle lights and smoke behind her, her simple stage presence was surprisingly captivating. Her voice is deep, and her concentration on her music was so evident that it made the audience really care about listening to it.

In addition to all the great performances, Pitchfork also hosted a variety of local food, clothing, jewelry, poster art, and vinyl store vendors. It would have been easy to spend the entire day eating and shopping, as every vendor is excited to share their story of creation with you. This is a fest that provides ample opportunities to take breaks between sets, and offers up nice places to cool off and relax.

Overall, we couldn’t have enjoyed our time at Pitchfork in Chicago this year any more than we did. We can’t wait to keep up with all the artists who performed, and are already looking forward to next year!