Javelin - "Soda Popinski"
Short. Sweet. Simply a GEM. Two cousins - Thomas Van Buskirk and George Langford - make up the dynamic duo that is Javelin. Hailing from Providence, RI, and relocated to Brooklyn, NY, Javelin is a lo-fi, hip-hop and electro group that utilize classic samples remixed and innovated upon in ways you haven't even thought of yet. According to their biography, "In performance, Javelin will use colorfully painted boomboxes that for large speaker totems ("boombaatas") which can hang from the ceiling or stack up on the floor like pyramids. The signal from the show is broadcase via FM transmitter, thereby fostering audience participation (B.Y.O Boombox) or fueling battery-powered, mobile parties."
February, 1964 - The Beatles make a rush for the talent entrance at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City, weeding their way through swarms of screaming teenage girls. They wowed the nation with five songs, live on the Ed Sullivan Show; "All My Loving", "Til There Was You" and "She Loves You" opened the show while "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" closed it. The night became known as a milestone in television history with roughly 73 million viewers glued to their screens across the country. The British Invasion had officially begun, and the black suited boys from Liverpool had jump started it.
It has been a little over two years since indie-pop, folk rockers, The Shins, have graced a stage with their presence. But lately, the stars must have aligned somewhere, because the band has been testing out new material at various smaller venues along the west coast.
Not everyone is familiar with The Shins humble beginnings as Flake Music, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Equally as unknown, is that it was Modest Mouse that saw the massive potential of the group early on and took them under their wing on a national tour. Then came Zach Braff and his romantic journey into the heart of New Jersey, with Garden State. Two tracks off of The Shins first LP, Oh, Inverted World - "New Slang" and "Caring is Creepy" - release in 2001, were featured as pinnacle moments in the film. With the help of this plug, The Shins reached international acclaim and success. Their third album, Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop, 2007) sold 118,000 copies its first week - a record high for the relatively small label. After supporting this junior record for nearly two years and hundreds of shows later, the group took a hiatus in which frontman/songwriter, James Mercer, collaborated with Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), and formed the indie, dance-pop duo, Broken Bells.
It was August, 1988. After a string of twenty-four hit singles, six top albums and international superstardom that took them all over the world, The Cars - Ric Ocasek, Greg Hawkes, Elliot Easton, David Robinson, Benjamin Orr - broke up. It was a sad day for guitar driven, synth-pop. When their last album, Door to Door, didn't have the expected acclaim they had hoped, the band called it quits to pursue solo careers.
It wasn't until twenty-two years later, in December 2010, that the now four piece - Benjamin Orr died in 2000 of pancreatic cancer - found themselves in a studio cutting a new record.
Back in 2008, the world was gifted with Santogold, the debut album from Santigold. The record was a fresh and creative fusion of hip-hop, African beats and punk rock. At the time the tracks were everywhere: video games - NHL 08, FIFA 08, NBA 2k9, commercials - Ford Flex, Zune-Arts, her song "Shove It" was even featured on an episode of Gossip Girl. She toured relentlessly supporting acts of all genres including Jay Z, Kanye West, Coldplay, M.I.A., and Bjork. And no doubt, at any good party you heard at least one Santigold jam spinning. But since her epic uprising, and few collaborations with the likes of the Beastie Boys, David Bryne and Fatboy Slim, and an appearance on the N.A.S.A album, the past couple of years have been relatively quiet for Santigold...until now.
Roughly thirteen miles from the San Francisco city center, in Berkeley, is a small, yet powerful grassroots movement. The 924 Gilman Street Project is an "all ages, not for profit, collectively run, music/performance club and community space." The space is renowned in the punk scene - Green Day had some of their first performances here and now, you can see acts like Dr Know, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb and Triclops!.
They are always looking for new volunteers to help out with the shows. Several jobs are available from manning the door to post-show cleanup crew. No matter what you end up doing, you'll be able to attend the show for free and get a real feel for how a performance space is run. On the first and third Saturdays of each month, a "Membership Meeting" is held, wherein volunteers aid in the decision making of 924 Gilman Street Project.
Each year, the west coast is home to so many incredible music and arts festivals. Cochella, Burning Man, the Electric Daisy Carnival and more bring thousands upon thousands of people to their gates every year who want to be a part of something so much bigger than themselves.
San Francisco is home to one of these heavenly three-day weekends. The fourth annual Outside Lands Music Festival organizers have released the lineup for their Golden Gate Park festival, which is scheduled for August 12 to 14. The list of artists is better than ever and promises to be one hell of a rocking, sweaty, dirty good time. Along with the music, the festival will have a wine tasting event and an extensive selection of local food.
The Dodos - "Black Night"
Back in 2005, singer-songwriter Meric Long had been regularly gigging the San Francisco area in support of his solo EP, Dodo Bird. It was during this time that Long was introduced to Logan Kroeber by an old college buddy. It was as though lightning bolts crashed down from the heavens and cosmically brought these two musicians together.
In a combination of Long's West African Ewe drumming influences - which utilize cross rhythms, polyrhythms and syncopation similar to jazz drumming - and Kroeber's metal music experience, the Dodos have created a blend of drums and acoustic guitar where the centric force is the near tribal, steely beats laid over airy, yet driving guitar rhythms and equally as thoughtful lyrics. It's folk, it's rock, it's beautiful.
When walking down Elm St. in Dallas' Deep Ellum district, you might find yourself asking the question, 'When did I fly to New York City and how did I end up in Williamsburg?'
Situated a bit northeast of the Historic District, Deep Ellum thrives on the culturally progressive and artfully driven. Since the early 1900's Deep Ellum was a hotspot for blues and jazz. Musicians including Robert Johnson, "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, Bessie Smith, Lightning Hopkins, and more came through to spend days on end jamming in the streets and in the slew of clubs and restaurants around the town.
Cinco de Mayo is approaching fast and if you want to keep your festivities true to their Mexican heritage, and impress your friends with your culinary skills in the process, then jot down this simple, yet traditional recipe for a delicious staple from South-of-the-Border.
Feeds: 4-6 adults
Est. Time: 25 min