I won’t lie. DJ sets these days bore me. The unending flow of generic EDM beats with the expected bass-drops just doesn’t do it for me. It takes a special kind of sound to get me to a club to see a DJ “perform”. Breakbot is one of those DJs.
When I was approved to shoot The Zombies at the Santa Monica Pier, I was giddy. Being a supreme music dweeb, I was fully aware of their impact in popular music. Their sound basically redefined rock music.
I’d try to wax poetic about how amazingly (and truthfully, surprisingly) they performed on the summer eve, but Bob Lefsetz, a noted music writer, already wrote everything, and more, that I would have not so eloquently put pen to pad. CLICK HERE to read his stellar review.
The fact that two of the original members, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, both 69, are still in prime form was wonderful to witness. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a legendary performance, or legendary music, by legends. Your loss.
In conjunction with G’Day USA, the Twilight Concert series presented “Australia Rocks The Pier”.
The headliner for the evening was the killer Australian band Jagwar Ma. I first got to see them perform at Coachella, and after my time in the photo pit expired, I made it a point to keep up with their music because I was duly impressed.
When I found out that they were scheduled to perform at the Santa Monica Pier, I circled the date in my calendar. Seriously … I was pumped to see a full set. In fact, being a music dweeb, I even lugged my LP of “Howlin” (their debut album) to the pier on the off chance that I could get some of the fellas to sign it.
Their set was terrific. They basically played their entire album (excluding “Did You Have To” and “Backwards Berlin”), and even threw in a couple covers. I was especially impressed with their cover of Nirvana’s “All Apologies”. It was unexpected, but truly great to hear.
KILLER COVER: STEVIE WONDER COVERS STING
I love Stevie Wonder (after all, I named my blog after one of his albums). Stevie loves Sting’s song “Fragile”. I love this cover. Hopefully, you do too. It’s stays true to the original arrangement, but anytime Stevie can his own flare to a song, I’ll take it.
MUSIC INSTA-BABE: TAYLOR SWIFT
Taylor Swift = Legs For Days. And at 5’10”, she’s definitely got some to spare. It’s amazing to watch this talent grow into her skin. Hopefully, she keeps it classy. Follow here on Instagram @TaylorSwift
SWEET FOLKSY GOODNESS
Found this video of the band Miner performing an acoustic version of their song “When I Win You Over” … in a gondola. It’s sweet folksy goodness.
HIP HOP HEADS! MIXTAPE ALERT
Snoop Dogg & The Eastsidaz had been on hiatus for a few years with Tray Dee being incarcerated. Well, he’s out, and Snoop & The Eastsidaz just dropped one of the hardest mix-tapes I’ve heard in a while. I have a feeling these guys will be getting some major label distribution sooner rather than later. Before they stop the downloads, I seriously suggest you do it now. Click on the link below to get redirected to the Datpiff site for the download.
SELFIE OF THE WEEK
This kid got a selfie with Paul McCartney and Warren Buffet, which was subsequently retweet by Paul McCartney. Ugh. I’m so jealous right now … of a kid!!! LOL.
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) July 14, 2014
MUSIC NEWS/STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
R. Kelly is going to release a house album? Hmm … he’s a musical genius, and I would put it past him that he can pull it off. After all, he did successfully meld musical styles with bands outside his comfort zone for recent festival performances (i.e. Phoenix). I’ll reserve judgement until I heard what’s being offered.
What’s the easiest way to settle a beef between playaz? Cold hard cash. Drake pays Rappin’ 4-Tay $100,000 to make sure that there was no ill-will between the two over Drake’s use of 4-Tay’s lyrics in “Playaz Club”in the YG hit “Who Do You Love”. I don’t care what anybody says. Money makes things better.
The Brooklyn based, middle school band Unlocking The Truth scored a pretty huge deal with Sony. Their deal starts with a $60,000 advance, and depending on their success, could make as much as $1.7 Million. As impressive as the deal is, let’s not get too carried away. I really want these kids to succeed, but let’s be honest, there have been hundred of bands that got backloaded deals that never even had their debut album released. Fingers crossed for these kids.
THE YOUTUBE MUSIC VAULT
Because I’m going to see Greg Allman perform on Saturday, I figure I’d feature this badass song by The Allman Brothers Band.
I didn’t get approved to take pictures of Muse’s set, so I decided to check out the Pet Shop Boys before deciding whether to try catching Nas. By the time the Pet Shop Boys’ set started, the speed of the winds had picked up considerably, and there was dust swirling everywhere. I found it difficult to catch clean snaps of the seminal new wave band from the UK as it seemed that I kept focusing on the dust rather than the band, but I think there are a couple of keepers. I didn’t catch the entire set, but I did hear “Opportunities” performed live, and I figured that that was good enough for me.
After my time in the pit had expired, my feet were killing me, and the amount of dust on my face and in my nose/throat was quite unbearable. Due to my relative inexperience, I made the poorest decision of the weekend by opting to beat the traffic and skipping Nas’ set which turned out to be a historic performance. Major props to the professional photographers were able stick it out until the days festivities has shut down. Maybe I need to email a few of them about what kind of shoes they wear…
Jagwar Ma is three piece, Australian psychedelic/dance band that formed in Sydney. Their first full length album, Howlin’, in my opinion, reminded me a bit of the Stone Roses, and being a Stone Roses fan, I wanted to check out their live set. After my time in the photo pit had ended (side note: I had problems with my camera settings, and a lot of the pics that I thought were good came out underexposed <- insert sad face here), I spend another 15 minutes laid out on the grass under the shade of the the tent to let their clean, unique sound envelope me. If I hadn’t had a schedule of bands I wanted to shoot over the weekend, I would have bought myself a beer, and stayed there sprawled on the grass, in the shade, until the their set had ended. I’ve been a bit hesitant to purchase their LP, but I think I’ll need to remedy that the next time I’m at the local record shop.
To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.
Pional was the act right before How To Dress Well, so I decided to watch his set and try to get a good spot for the next act. Pional is a Spanish producer, remixer and electronic musician from Madrid and is highly regards as a “mainstay” of the national electronic music scene in Spain.
I hadn’t heard of him before, but his music reminded me a little of Yeasayer. When he was singing, he was very reliant on vocal effects so it was hard to gauge whether his singing ability was any good. It was a decent vibe, but I had a tough time really enjoying the music because I spent most of the time trying to think of what other artist’s it sounded like. The crowd around me, who were much younger than myself (no drinking bracelets), were having a good time, but I think that could have been partially because of the GHB (or whatever clear liquid substance) they were passing around.