Down By The Golden Gate Pt. 1

I went to the fourth edition of the Outside Lands Music and Art Festival held in Golden Gate Park from August 12 to 14 . Since its inaugural  opening in 2008, a good 60,000 people a day come into the the park .I went to all three days, and despite the insane hike and Muni rides reminiscent of the images you see of Indian trains ( I saw one teenager holding on the outside of a  joint between two cars. I’ve yet to find any reports on a death, so good job crazy Muse fan), they were all memorable.

Day one started with  the The Joy Formidable, a Welsh rock trio who released their first album, The Big Roar, in 2011 after releasing their EP four years ago.

Ritzy Bryan

Ritzy Bryan is the lead singer and guitarist on the group. The takeaway from the previous sentence is the word guitarist, as she is a beast on it. Her solos on songs like “Austere” was a surprise to me. I’ve been a fan of the band since their 2008 EP, and to see her tear on a guitar, pulling off Jimmy Hendrix styled riffs on the floor was amazing. The way she jumped around in her red dress, occasionally slamming her hand on the cymbal of drummer Matt Thomas – who performed admirably  throughout their set-  was a image that stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

For those that needed to kill time between sets,  there were a few options. The Barbary tent had soul acts, sideshow antics, and Gallagher smashing watermelons. The other was a small domed dance tent. Now for those that have gone to a domed IMAX theaters like the one in the Liberty Science Center in NJ, The idea for the lights show was similar.

Next on the agenda was MGMT  performing on the main stage. While pushing through massive crowds at festivals is a standard, dealing with a commune of middle-aged Phish fans laying on blankets they most likely put down the moment they got into the festival was something new to me. Once past the hippie minefield, I found a decent spot and enjoyed the performance, particularly Andrew VanWyngarden’s voice. The one issue was when VanWyngarden switched out of his electric and into his acoustic guitar to play songs from Congratulations, which was a lackluster album at best.

After a stretch of those songs, the need to see Sir Luscious Left Foot himself  superseded waiting through the rest of MGMT’s set. By now, the news his cancellation is spread over the internet. There were a few highlights however. Catching the tail end of Ellie Goulding’s performance piqued my interest in hearing more of her work. The only thing that’s come to my attention from her before seeing her live was this mash-up of her song “Lights” with an orchestral cover of Kanye’s “All Of The Lights”:

A good hour and a half into the crowd staring at the crack tech crew huddled around DJ Swiff’s malfunctioning MacBook Pro, San Francisco’s friendly neighborhood comic, Dave Chappelle, got on stage to ease the tension. This was the highlight of his appearance:

The last part of note from the Big Boi affair was a personal one. At the 45 minute mark I started feeling someone caressing my back and rubbing against me. I turn around and see a long-haired woman behind me with her eyes half-open, leaned back like if she was practicing for a limbo contest. Her hands were in grope mode; she started touching my cheek and chest and grinding on me. No one else was dancing, and her moves didn’t fit to the songs from the speakers (Blonde Redhead was playing from them at the time).

I tried ignoring her and turned around towards the stage, which I knew wouldn’t lead to anything since it’s hard for me to keep my cool when a woman rubs herself on me. So, as the people surrounding us laughed and cheered, I started grinding back, leaning to her angle.  This continued for a few minutes before she moved to my left and swayed away forwards into the crowd. I’ve done the dance maneuver to get by a cute girl or stubborn bro in the past, but she was a professional. as soon as she disappeared, I shouted to the people around me, “Fuck it, I got mine.”

Culture, Film, Music, Poetry, Sci Fi, Science, Writing

What I Really Want To Do On My Birthday ( A Self-Indulgent Wikipedia Facts Poem)

Saludo al coraje de los hombres de Puebla en esta dia,

But what I really want to do today

is go to Saint Helena  and throw a party in Napoleon’s cell,

and just to piss his spirit off,

 fly back to the States,

  and throw an original Memorial Day in our Waterloo.

When I get tired, I’ll make the trip international,

go to Ethiopia, see the second coming of  Haile Selassie,

have him lend me a few minutes to sit on his throne

  as he puts Kublai Khan’s crown on my head

while Marx takes my oath of office with my hand over On the Origins of Species,

before I throw it at William Jennings Bryan’s head before his opening statement.

Once I become a one-day king,

I’ll send a package of loaded Iranian guns to Oliver North’s house

snitch on his ass and laugh with my friends

as  the ATF arrests him on Fox News.

After the antics, go bar-hopping with Kierkegaard

 in a free West Germany,

get arrested with Sacco and Vanzetti after too many drinks,

and if I get too rowdy, take a caning on the ass by Singaporean dancers.

I want to start a one-man riot in Greece

just to get an article written by Nellie Bly and Bryan Williams.

I want to rock out to a band with me on guitar,

 Ian McCulloch and Adele on vocals,

 Bill Ward on drums,

and have the album produced by Delia Derbyshire.

I want to take acting lessons from Roger Rees,

 John Rhys-Davies, and Lance Henriksen

just so I can kick Henry Cavill out of his Superman gig.

And then, right before I go to sleep,

wave at Alan Shepard along con mi familia

as Mercury-Redstone 1 blinks its way  across the night.

– Note: I just wrote this and cleaned it up five minutes before midnight West coast time while  sober. Go me.

Music, Review

Music Overdose: Atmosphere to UNKLE

It’s another edition of Music OD, and this time instead of waiting a few months, I’m dropping this in just one. Let’s  see what I’ve blasting from my headphones this month:

Atmosphere – The Family Sign: I must say, the opening two tracks are suicide-level depressing. The piano and guitar work (the work of Erick Anderson and Nate Collins, respectively) is on point throughout though, especially on “Became” which connects to Slug’s wintry narrative. His flow on that song is on par with “Lovelife” from God Loves Ugly.  By the time acoustic guitar on “Who I’ll Never Be” comes up, it becomes apparent that the solo guitar on “Guarantees” from the previous album has stepped up quite a bit. Just keep to those types of songs on this one; the others sound like failed Ant beats or feckless indie rock. Continue reading

Music, Review

Music Overdose: Aloe Blacc to Tricky

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and with the ridiculous amount of albums I’ve grabbed  in the past few months, I think it’s time to OD on some aural goodness. Let’s begin, shall we?

Aloe Blacc – Good Things: Some of you may have heard some of Mr. Blacc’s work as the title for HBO’s How to Live In America, and after hearing his amazing cover of  The Velvet Underground’s “Femme Fatale”, I grabbed the rest of the album, and it is a damn good one hands down. John Legend fans should def. check this out, it’s soul music done right. Continue reading

Links, Music

Music Overdose: Broken Social Scene to The Roots

Alright so, It’s another audio onslaught of the latest albums I’ve gotten to see if they make it to my library. For your review we have albums from a bunch of acts. Let’s start, shall we?

Broken Social SceneForgiveness Rock Record: I’m starting to think that there are times that BSS needs to go back to their more low-key instrumental  roots. The opener, “World Sick”, is a good example: it really can do without Kevin Drew’s vocals on it. Thing is, not even Emily Haine’s vocals on “Sentimental Xs”  saves the fact that most of the songs on this album sound like bloated hippie messes to me. Continue reading