On the second day of the BET Experience at L.A. Live, I decided to watch the various acts performing on the main stage of the convention center. Each of the acts performed short sets to give the audience a sampling of what their music was all about.
The last act I was able to catch at the BET Experience music festival was Lecrae; a Christian rapper who has amassed quite a loyal fan base through his crunk beats and his verses on Christ.
With a new album scheduled for release on September 9th, his 7th album titled “Anomoly”, there little doubt that he will soon be charting on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart before the year’s end.
Similar to Centric TV’s “Centric Certified” initiative, the flagship BET channel “Music Matters” spotlight also aims to highlight the next BET superstars through music, bios, music videos, photos and intimate interviews where the artists explain who they are and what music means to them.
Each artist performed a short set of around 4-5 songs. It was a great opportunity to discover (or rediscover) a number of both up-and-coming and established recording artists do their thing within an afternoon.
Being up close to the artist while they performed gave me the opportunity to take some really good pictures. Please follow me so you can get notified when they get posted.
Opening for How To Dress Well at the Roxy was a music producer from Liverpool, England named Matthew Barnes, know by his stage name, Forest Swords. I hadn’t put two and two together before, but as it turns out he produced How To Dress Well’s 2012 single “Cold Nites”. In digging up a little history of his discography, I discovered that his 2010, debut EP “Dagger Paths” received rave reviews across the board; named FACT Magazine’s #1 album of the year, given 8.4 rating on Pitchfork and called “one of 2010’s finest underground records” by NME. Critics have even compared his musical stylings to current stand-out recording artists like James Blake and Bon Iver. If that isn’t high praise, I don’t know what is.
If you are at all interested in music by Portishead or Massive Attack, you need to hit up his Soundcloud account to get a taste of what he’s all about. I’ve embedded his track “Miarches” below for you to check out:
Backed only by a bass player, he performed a set of dark, brooding, atmospheric instrumental creations that had the audience mesmerized, caught in a hypnotic dreamscape. I realized that I was hooked to his music as I caught myself humming made-up melodies to his instrumentals. I immediately started wondering why I haven’t heard more of his production for other recording artists.
After the evening’s music ended, I made my way to the merchandise booth to purchase some music. Matthew was there shopping his wares and I made some small talk with him asking him whether he’s produced for others. He indicated that he had taken a break from music for a spell and was just focusing on his own projects for the moment. If I were a betting man, I’d put a few dollars on that changing sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos. If the slide show below isn’t working, then Flickr has disabled their embed option for WordPress and hasn’t yet updated their HTML code, which totally BLOWS! If you can see the slide show below, hooray!
“Miami Beach-based singer/songwriter Rachel Goodrich‘s eclectic blend of vaudeville-inspired indie pop, swing-jazz and country-folk (the artist frequently describes her sound as “shake-a-billy”) is made all the more singular by the vast number of instruments at her command.”
“Her first album, Tinker Toys, was self-released in 2008 to which the New York Times dubbed her as a “queen of the Miami indie rock scene”. The second, self-titled album was produced by Grammy-nominated music producer Greg Wells. Goodrich’s song, “Light Bulb”, was featured in an episode of the TV series Weeds[…] a Crayola commercial advertisement [and a] BT Infinity – “Light Streams” advert.”
Wanting to hear what her “shake-a-billy” was all about, I decided to stick around.
She took to the stage with her “grrls” and the trio (Rachel on guitar, a bassist and a drummer) started to jam out music that was a throwback to the 50’s era rockabilly with overtones of modern day pop sensibilities. At first, they reminded me of The 5 6 7 8’s … that all-female Japanese rock trio featured in Quentin Tarantino‘s “Kill Bill Volume 1“, but I quickly put that comparison to rest since Rachel Goodrich and the Grrrls vocals sounded much better.
A little bit honky-tonk and a little bit surf-rock with a bit of punk and western-swing sprinkled on top, Rachel’s wispy and subtle vocals enhanced the catchy hooks and had me shaking my groove thing. Ah … “shake-a-billy” … I get it. I enjoyed what I heard and liked her Facebook fan page after the set.
In my opinion, with a fuller repertoire and more exposure, I can easily this band getting booked for local festival spots at FYF Fest or Ink-N-Iron next year, and I’ll be keeping my ears to the web to see what else they have coming up.
As an aside, it was a shame that most of the packed crowd for The Record Company dispersed before catching Rachel and her band do their thing. It was a fun set that was a great night-cap to the blues rock show that The Record Company put on. C’est la vie en Los Angeles, I suppose. At least my view was unobstructed …
Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos. If the slide show below isn’t working, the Flickr has disabled their embed option for WordPress and hasn’t yet updated their HTML code, which totally BLOWS! If you can see the slide show below, hooray!
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.