Shlohmo | FYF Festival | August 25, 2013

To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.

Shlohmo amidst the mist.
Shlohmo amidst the mist.

Earlier in the day I had watched Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well perform, and having done some research before the festival about different projects he had worked on, I found a video on youtube of a track How To Dress Well performed on produced by Henry Laufer p/k/a Shlohmo called “Don’t Say No”.

Intrigued by the sound and the fact that he was apparently working with Tom Krell, I decided to buy his latest LP “Bad Vibes” and after a couple spins on my record player, I decided that I’d put him on the list of acts I wanted to check out at the Festival.  I’m not a big fan of DJ sets- I’m more of a live band kinda guy- but having enjoyed Flying Lotus in the past year at the Hollywood Bowl, I decided to swing by the tent where he was performing to check out a bit of his set.

As the “house lights” dimmed, and the smoke machines started pumping out a thick mist over the stage, Shlohmo came up to his DJ console and started his set.  His live set was a little different than I had expected. “Don’t Say No” and “Bad Vibes” are very moody records, extremely ambient in there overall approach . The live set still carried the eerie mysticism of the music that I had purchased and watched before the festival, but during the fifteen minutes that I watched, it didn’t feel as lo-fi as maybe I had wanted. Missing was the interstitial feedback and ambient hisses that gave “Bad Vibes” its unique sound. The live show was almost too “clean.”

Don’t get me wrong.  The music was good … the filled tent of bobbing heads was proof of that, and I  love “Bad Vibes” (which sounds amazing on vinyl)  …. but like I said, I’m more of a live band kind of guy.

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Shlohmo and lazers.
Shlohmo and lazers.

Nai Palm & Hiatus Kaiyote: Australian Soul

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[If you want to read about their show that “blew my mind” click here]

Sometimes you can’t find soul. Soul finds you. Apparently it found a group of talented musicians in Australia.

Last weekend I went to see Jose James at the Del Monte Speakeasy. I bought tickets for that show online on the venue’s website a few months ago.  I noticed that there was a name I was unfamiliar with playing the following weekend. The venue site said they were from Australia (foreign bands always interest me, because it always seems that the best music these days comes from abroad, and it’s not often you can catch them playing in the United States)  and there was something unusual about the spelling of the second word of the name of the band, so I decided to click through the links landing on their official website.  Went straight to their band camp  link, and listened to their latest project titled ““Tawk Tomahawk”.  Impressed with what I heard, I decided to buy tickets that day, mostly because I liked the music, but also because tickets, at the time, were only $10 each. [If you want to read about their show that “blew my mind” click here]

I didn’t purchase the digital download of the album (I like to own LPs and CD, so I figured I’d wait), but I did download a free remix album and a live performance. I figured I should have something to listen too later, so I could know what to expect for the show.

A few weeks went by.  I went to the Jose James concert (which was amazing, by the way) earlier in the week, and now, on this Sunday, March 17th, 2013 while others are sipping beer dyed with green coloring on a warm, breezy southern California day, I’m at my desk working. I remember I have the extra tickets, and post on Facebook to see if any of my friends are interested. Having only listened to the band’s latest album a couple of times, and their “remix” album as couple times, I described it as “Bjork with a jazz/funk/soul slant.”  I’d like to take that back. They’re WAY more soulful than Bjork could be.

I hadn’t yet listened to the live download titled “Live at RRR FM”, so after posting on Facebook, I pressed start on my iTunes.  It’s a 40+ minute live recording, and it’s already on it’s third replay … today.

Really, I’m just floored by what I’m hearing.  I knew their recorded music was quality stuff.  After doing a little internet snooping, I find out that Erykah Badu loves the band. ?uestlove of The Roots Tweeted about them. But their live recording … what I had been listening to for most of today, is really impressive. So much soul. So much talent. The lead vocalist’s, Nai Palm, voice reminds me (sincerely) of Amy Winehouse.  The songwriting is filled with so much life. I think all of the jazz elements in the music breathes the life into it.

Spent a handful of distracted minutes to finding some quality live video links to share. I’m so looking forward to see them play next weekend.

This song is stunning. 

Okay … now back to work.  At least I have something to look forward to for next weekend.

Updated: 03/18/13: I found Nai Palm covering Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour”?  If you didn’t already know, I named my blog after one of Stevie’s albums.  I’m a huge Stevie fan. Nai gets SO many brownie points in my book. Can’t wait until the weekend.