“[…] The singer managed to hold some notes in the upper register that were compelling and reinforced the emotional tone of the composition – a pensive, meditative, self-reflective vibe. […] The band is a group of pretty young looking dudes from Melbourne and they sound a helluva lot better than they look. When I talk about ‘looks’, I don’t mean their physical appearance. I’m talking more about their stage presence. They’re like high school AP music kids: super-preoccupied with hitting each note right, everyone staring at either their instruments, their fingers, or the floor. […] [T]hey really do start to draw you in as they layer slow building guitar riffs over a building keyboard over building drums until it’s a damn powerful wall of music filling the space inside that little church […].
THOUGHTS:If Little Hurricane was my surprise set on Friday, Nathaniel Rateliff was my surprise set on Saturday. Nathaniel is a burly gentleman with a scraggly beard, but his music, for the most part, was blissfully soft and emotional. Playing a set with just his voice and acoustic guitar, for moments, I got lost in his music, and I stopped taking pictures and/or recorded Instagram clips. His music reminded me of Iron and Wine, and it truly seemed to be coming from an intensely emotional place. As I was watching his performance from the eye of my zoom lens, I could see him envelop himself in his music, his eyes seemingly welling up with emotions. It was a personal, powerful set and I could only watch his performance with respect as he lay his soul out for the world (at least at Way Over yonder) to see.
THOUGHTS:The first band I was able to catch taking the main stage was Houndmouth; a band from New Albany, Indiana with a sound that’s a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. Their tight harmonies sounded very polished over their textured music and I was instantly smitten. A little bit Head and the Heart and a little bit Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, their style of music was definitely something I would purchase,
This year (2013), Snoop’s wife’s company, Boss Lady Entertainment, signed an artist from Poland named Iza Lach. I’m a huge fan of her sound/voice, so when I found out that she was slotted to perform several sets during Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide music festival, I was giddy. I was even more giddy when I saw the impressive number of foreign bands set to perform. I had a wedding in Santa Barbara to attend Saturday, October 12th, so I’d have to miss out on The Ravonettes, Alice Russell, Rhye, King Khan & The Shrings, and a handful of other lesser known acts, but I still managed to get a press pass (my first of the year!) to check out some of the bands playing Thursday and Friday.
Now, there are a lot a music festivals that go on throughout the year, all across the United States, but the Culture Collide festival is particularly unique in that it’s an extremely affordable way to see different kinds of bands from all over the world- 24 countries (including the United States) were represented this year. I sat next to a couple for Jacco Gardner who echoed that sentiment by telling me that they, “go to this festival every year. It’s only $30, and to get to hear great music from places I know I’ll never get to go? It’s totally worth it.”
Below are the bands that I was able to catch (click through the names of the bands to check out the entries that I wrote up). Hopefully this music festival has another go at it next year, as I certainly would attend, with or without a press pass.
To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.
I’d heard a lot about Devendra Banhart, but I’ve never taken the time to really listen to the music in his 9 album catalog. I figured I’d use his set at the festival to get acclimated to his music.
By the time I got to the stage where he was performing, I noticed two things: (1) most of the audience, at least where I was at, were girls (and if you were a guy, you were there with your arms wrapped around your girlfriend) and (ii) there were very few people (again, at least where I was at) wearing drinking bracelets. Being a single dude who can legally purchase alcoholic beverages, I seemed to be the fish out of water.
When Devendra came on stage, the sounds of high pitched squeals permeated the early evening dusk. A girl behind me sounded off to her friend, “Oh, wow, he cut his hair.” Her friend replied, “He’s still hot.”
His looks aside, I was particularly curious to see what kind of impression his music would have on me. I knew that he had worked with Beck, members of The Strokes and Little Joy, and was nominated for a Grammy a few years ago, so my expectations were a bit high.
The music he played was quite good, sublime, in fact. People have categorized his music at alternative folk, even hipster-folk, but it seemed that his music covered multiple styles and genres, and even languages. While singing a song in Spanish, I asked a guy next to me- who had his arms wrapped around his girlfriend by the way- if he knew where Devendra was from. A good looking girl with her crew of girlfriends turned to me and said, “Venezuela.”
I enjoyed the music, and I’m more willing to delve further into his catalog of music, but at the time, the mood was a little too romantic for me. Maybe if I had my arms wrapped around a girlfriend (applications currently being accepted by the way), it probably would have been a different story, but rather than join the throngs of girls swaying side to side to Devendra’s soulful crooning, I decided to go find myself a beer after 30 minutes.