by dklee13 Categories: Concerts, ReviewsTags: "She Bangs The Drums", A$AP Ferg, Afrika Bambaataa, alabama shakes, Alice Smith, Allah-Las, allen stone, Aloe Blacc, Alphabetics, Alune George, Audio Push, Babies On Acid, BABY BABY, Bad Religion, Banks, Banoffee, Beat Connection, beck, Ben Folds, Biffy Clyro, Black Uhuru, Blood Orange, boston, Broken Bells, Bush, Cat Stevens, chance the rapper, charles bradley, Chet Faker, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Chvrches, City and Colour, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Cloud Control, Cloud Nothings, Cocorosie, Cody Chesnutt, Cold War Kids, concert photos, concert review, concert video, Crosses †††, Cults, De Lux, Dead Dawn, dead sara, denitia and sene, Doe Eye, Doja Cat, Dr. Madd Vibe, Dreamland, Drowners, Dum Dum Girls, Ed Sheeran, Elle Varner, Elvis Costello, Empire of the Sun, eric hutchinson, Escape The Fate, Faith Evans, Fall Out Boy, Falling In Reverse, Fartbarf, Fascinator, FEA, Fear, Feathers, Fire In the Hamptons, Fishbone, Forest Swords, Fractures, Future Islands, Gaslamp Killer, Gateway Drugs, Gavin Turek, geographer, girl talk, Glass Battles, Glen Hansard, Goapele, GOAT, GoldLink, Gossling, gramps morgan, Green Gerry, Grouplove, HAIM, Heartless Bastards, Holy Child, Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil, Hopeless Jack and The Handsome Devil (1st Performance), Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil (2nd Performance), Houndmouth, how to dress well, illumination road, Incubus, iron & wine, Jackson Browne, Jagwar Ma, James Supercave, Jamestown Revival, Jhene AIko, Jill Scott, Joe Fletcher, Joe Pug, Jonathan McReynolds, Josiah Bell, Julian Casablancas, Kevin Lyttle, Kid Cudi, king, King James & The Special Men, Ky-Mani Marley, Lake Street Dive, Lana Del Rey, Laura Mvula, Lecrae, Lenny Goldsmith, Leslie Stevens, Level & Tyson, Linda Perhacs, Linkin Park, Little Dragon, Little Hurricane, Little Wings, LiV Warfield, Lo-Fang, Local Natives, Lorde, Lucinda Williams, Machine, Matt Kivel, Matthewdavid, Maxwell, MØ, Merle Haggard, Metronomy, Midi Matilda, Miniature Tigers, Mod Sun, Morning Parade, Moses Sumney, motorhead, Mr. Little Jeans, Myron & E, Mystery Skulls, Mystic Braves, Nathaniel Rateliff, New Politics, Nick Waterhouse, Nikki Lane, nina diaz, Nina Persson, Ok Go, omar souleyman, Outkast, owenstone, Pastilla, Peanut Butter Wolf, Pet Shop Boys, Pete Molinari, Phantogram, Pharrell Williams, Phebe Starr, Phosphorescent, PINS, pixies, Quantic, Queens of the Stone Age, Rachel Goodrich, Rachel Goodrich & The Grrrls, Ray Campi, Reignwolf, Riff Raff, Rise Against, Rival Sons, robert glasper, Roman GianArthur, Rose Quartz, Rudimental, Run The Jewels, Scars on 45, setlist, Sex Stains, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Shelby Lynne, shy girls, Silver Hands, Slum Village, snarky puppy, snoop dogg, Solander, SPEAK, Speedy Ortiz, Stacy Barthe, Strangers You Know, Sturgill Simpson, System of a Down, Takeoffs & Landings, Talib Kweli, Tank, Tashaki Miyaki, Terrace Martin, the 1975, The Afghan Whigs, The Barr Brothers, The Briefs, The Damned, The Dandy Warhols, The Electric Sons, The Far West, The Filthy Souls, The Futures League, The Grizzled Mighty, The Head and the Heart, The Internet, The Killing Lights, The Kills, The Kokoro, The Lone Bellow, The Men, The Mercy Beat, The Naked and Famous, the national, The Pharcyde, The Preatures, The Record Company, The Replacements, The Scandals, The Slightlys, The Stepkids, The Strypes, The Tontons, The War On Drugs, The Warlocks, the weeks, The Wild Reeds, The Zombies, Thruster!, THURZ, Tiara Thomas, Tkay Maidza, together PANGEA, Tokyo Police Club, Tom Odell, Torches, Valerie June, Walk The Moon, Wanda Jackson, We Met Tomorrow, White Lies, Woodkid, Woods, Wynonna Judd, YG, Young the Giant, Yuna, Yusuf Islam
Opening for Yuna at the second installment of Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert series was KING, a trio of women whose soul infused electronic sound really impressed me. Relying only on their voices, and an electronic keyboard, the audience reveled in some soul music that has had the soul-community buzzing about them as of late.
They vocal blending was about as good as I’ve heard since my collegiate chorale days. Often times, I couldn’t tell who was singing, as their voices really meshed as one.
As the sun set, their jazzy vibe complimented it perfectly. Couples held each other a little tighter, and bodies were grinding slowly to their sensual sounds. I can only imagine what it would be like to see them performing in a small, smoky jazz club. That’s where’d I’d LOVE to see them perform next.
I wasn’t able to find a setlist for, or video clips of, their performance, but if you happen to know where I can find some, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the blog! In the meantime …
Below are Instagram clips from most, if not all, of the songs from Yuna’s set at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. Enjoy.
Below are Instagram clips from most, if not all, of the songs from KING’s set at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. Enjoy.
On Thursday, July 17th the second concert of Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series features the Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna. Having released her third studio album in 2013, Nocturnal, Yuna uses her light and airy vocal stylings to deliver soulful, melodic pop music that has been appealing to the masses worldwide.
I remember seeing Yuna perform live, opening up for Allen Stone (if my memory serves me right) at the Fonda, and I recall that her performance was highlighted by her emotionally sensitive acoustic confessionals about love. Her music may have evolved and developed over the past couple years with more sophisticated production (she’s had tracks produced by both Pharell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes), but the core of her music, that passion that she emotes, is still there. I’m looking forward to seeing her perform live, and you should too.
Also performing on the pier, opening for Yuna, is the band KING. A trio of singers consising of twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother and musical compadre Anita Bias, KING released their first EP in 2011 to critical praise and they are currently supporting their follow up EP, The Afternoon EP.
Their future-soul brand of music, is nothing short of smooth, ethereal and beautiful. Opening for Yuna may be a match made in heaven.
Whenever I have friends visiting Los Angeles during the summer and they ask me for suggestions, I always recommend attending a concert at the Santa Monica Pier. After all, there isn’t a much better way to spend a summer day/eve, at the beach with a picnic listening to some quality music.
For the past 30 years, the Santa Monica Pier has been hosting an extremely well-curated summer concert series known as the “Twilight Concerts”. This year, their line-up is as impressive as I’ve ever seen it. This year I am planning on attending almost all of the schedule concerts.
Below are the bands that I’ll be checking out, and will be updated with blog posts of previews, Instagram videos and photo pictorials and reviews. If you don’t follow my blog, save this page in a tab to follow my summer at the pier!
- The Slightlys | Photos and Review
- De Lux | Preview | Photos and Review
- Omar Souleyman | Preview | Photos and Review
- Phebe Starr | Photos and Review
- Fascinator | Preview | Photos and Review
- Jagwar Ma | Preview | Photos and Review
- King James & The Special Men | Preview | Photos and Review
- Charles Bradley | Preview | Photos and Review
On January 15th, 1929, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. He was an American pastor, activist and humanitarian who helped advance the case of civil rights for all. I thought I would share with you a couple of my favorite songs that pay tribute to, or was inspired by, Dr. King. I hope you enjoy. In no particular order:
“Why? (The King Of Love Is Dead)” by Nina Simone: This song was written, recorded and performed within three days after his murder.
“MLK” by U2: A haunting lullaby. My college a cappella group did a cover of this song, and it gave me chills each time we sang it.
“Up To The Mountain” by Solomon Burke. I love Patty Griffin’s original, but Solomon’s cover is more moving to me insofar as Solomon knew Dr. King.
I’ve included Patty’s version too.
“People Got To Be Free” by The Rascals: This song was written in reaction to the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. In a sad twist of fate, right before the single was released, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. It was The Rascal’s last top ten single.
“Shed A Little Light” by James Taylor: As James’ soft voice reminds us to “[l]et us turn our thoughts today to Martin Luther King”, the sound alone makes me feel the meaning of Mr. King’s nonviolent, civil disobedience.
“Pride In The Name Of Love” by U2: “Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky/Free at last, they took your life/They could not take your pride.”
“Like A King” by Ben Harper: If you don’t know about the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, you should read up on it.
Finally: “Black Bird” by the Beatles: Though this song isn’t about Dr. King, it was inspired by the civil rights struggle for blacks, written by Paul McCartney after reading about race riots in the US.
Today, January 15th, is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. He was an prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement and is probably “best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience” (quoted from Wikipedia’s entry on Dr. King). But even before the activism in the 50s and 60s, there were other forms of non-violent civil rights activism that was already stirring the flame, and that was through music.
The other day, I stepped into a second-hand book store to pass some time and I stumbled upon a copy of the “Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday, Cafe Society, and An Early Cry For Civil Rights”. It is a quick read, and gives a certain perspective on the origins and effect of the song made famous by the legendary singer Billie Holiday: “Strange Fruit”. The lyrics of the composition are below for reference.
(Wiggins, Pearl, Allan)
Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
Strange Fruit lyrics (c) Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., EMI Music Publishing
The way we, the consumer, take in media and entertainment today is so different than it was in the past. In the book, I read accounts of when Billie Holiday performed at the Cafe Society, how patrons would stop in their tracks in the middle of the smoke filled room, rendered silent, to listen to the songstress croon this painful song, and how the venue would be silent for minutes after the conclusion because of how powerful the music was. For some reason, I simply can’t imagine a song having that kind of effect on today’s audience. I mean, a song that carries so much weight that it simultaneously scares, enrages and educates people all at the same time.
Maybe “Strange Fruit” is one of the anomalies. Maybe it was the perfect song for the perfect time and place… a song that hits the musical trifecta…. Now THAT must have been something. That’s a feeling I’d love to soak in. I don’t think I’ve ever personally experienced it … and truth be told, I doubt I ever will get to experience something like it.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of great songwriters out there, and I want to be in an audience one night, in an intimate venue, where the lights are low, and the singer blows my mind with powerful lyrics that shake up and stir a deep societal pain. I want to be there when a singer is singing to me some truth that can’t be denied … some truth that makes it uneasy for me to listen, but I can’t not listen to it because it’s verity. But I just don’t know if music can do what it did back in 1939. Music is powerful, but I don’t know if music can hit that kind of nerve anymore. And if it does, how can it rise up from the hundreds of thousands of other songs that flood the internet? Cream used to rise to the top, but does it anymore?
I can hope. There seems to be so many problems in society these days, maybe some songwriter can bring it on home for me … write some lyrics that could stand alone as poetry … write some lyrics whose essence is coaxed out through the melodic and rhythmic flow of the music. I’m looking for music that means something and speaks to a greater evil in our society that needs fixing…. something that everybody can related to, and gets people to start talking about ways to get it right…
You got something for me?