Devonté “Dev” Hynes is a British singer/composer/songwriter and producer who performs under the stage name “Blood Orange”. What you may not know about him, however, is that he is a prolific song writer who has worked with high profile recording artists like The Chemical Brothers, Florence and the Machine, Sky Ferreira and Britney Spears, to name a few.
He performed at Coachella in support of his fourth solo album “Cupid Deluxe”. Critics have described his music as alternative dance, “chill wave” or indie electronic, but his 80’s and 90’s influenced music can simply be described as … for lack of better words … “sexy-time” music. The mood Dev Hynes sets with his compositions is amazingly seductive. I would have preferred a set time in the evening- that would have really enhanced the overall mood of the set- but even under the blazing, desert sun, I noticed couples grinding to the music.
For his performance at Coachella, he was accompanied by several of the vocalists who appear on “Cupid Deluxe”: Caroline Polachek of Chairlift (on “Chamakay” and “Chosen”) and Friends‘ Samantha Urbani (on “You’re Not Good Enough” (my personal favorite), “It Is What It Is” and “Always Let U Down”).
Though I hated having to leave CHVRCHES‘ set early, there was another band taking the Main Stage that I didn’t want to miss: City and Colour. City and Colour is the acoustic/folk stage name of Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green, who previously was the lead guitarist and vocalist of the post-hardcore band Alexisonfire. As an aside, did you know that the name City and Colour is derived from Dallas (City) Green’s (Colour) name?
Truth be told, I wasn’t all too familiar with City and Colour’s discography, but having done a bit of research before attending the festival, I discovered that he had released 4 studio albums, 3 of which landing in the top 3 (two hitting number 1) of the Canadian Albums Chart, with his latest 2013 effort, “The Hurry and the Harm“, peaking at number 16 on the Billboard 200.
The music’s gentle grace swept over the crowd that had gathered for his set, and was given a much needed reprieve from the craziness of the past 24 Coachella hours. Truthfully, it was a the perfect set, at the perfect time. It reminded me of the time I saw Andrew Bird’s midday Coachella set in 2012; how the music enveloped me really put my mind at ease.
Dallas Green heads back up to Canada for a series of performance, but I recommend checking out City and Colour when he stops by in your town. Well worth it.
After catching two post punk bands, I decided to switch gears and slow it down a bit and check out Banks. Jillian Banks grew up in Southern California and I first noticed her when she did a stint opening for The Weeknd‘s international tour in 2013. Her album, “Goddess,” is still on my list of LPs that I still need to pick up.
Though I thought her set would have been better suited for a time slot later in the day given the downtempo nature of her music, perhaps Goldenvoice knew that she would be a strong draw no matter what time she performed before because she packed the Gobi tent at 3:45pm.
I had a difficult time snapping quality pics of her with the mid-day, natural light beaming into the tent, stage lights, and large hat worn by Banks which cast a sizable shadow over her face, but I did what I could. What do you think?
Unfortunately, there is no setlist available online for Banks performance the first weekend of Coachella. If any of you Banks fans know what songs she performed, please let me know in the comments so that I can add it to the body of this blog entry. Thanks!
There aren’t many recording artists that’ll get me up early on a Saturday morning the weekend of Coachella … but Laura Mvula is definitely one of them. This Coachella performance marks the 3 time I’ve seen in this phenomenal singer/musician from the United Kingdom perform live. Having written about her when she opened for Iron & Wine at the Orpheum Theatre and when she also headlined the El Rey Theatre, I don’t feel the need to go more in-depth about her performance. Let’s just say that her set that afternoon, with her warm voice and sophisticated music was sublime, and the perfect soundtrack to a beautiful and bright desert day.
There is no setlist information available online, so if you Laura Mvula fans happen to know what it was, please leave it in the comments, and I will add here. Thanks!
The first act I caught at Coachella at noon on Friday was British, Singer Songwriter, Tom Odell. A solid singer songwriter who I believe can have a long and fruitful career so long as he can keep writing songs that his fans can relate to.
I couldn’t find a setlist online, but I happen to stumble across it, I’ll add it here. If any of you Tom Odell Fans know the names of the songs that he performed that afternoon, please let me know.
Over a decade ago, I first learned about Cody ChesnuTT when he was featured on The Roots cover of his own recording titled “The Seed.” I made a mental note then to keep an ear out for more music from him, but for whatever reason, his music and my ears just didn’t cross paths.
Fast forward over a decade, and somehow I stumble on a live, radio-station, video performance of Cody performing songs off his latest release titled “Landing On A Hundred” without a backing band. I’m immediately amazed.
It was a sound so raw and soulful, it made me think of all of those legendary R&B and soul singers of the 70s. Music from the heart. Music from the soul. I absolutely fell in love with the music. Some people have compared Cody to Marvin Gaye. After listening to “Landing On A Hundred”, I’m willing to make that comparison as well.
As soon as my iPhone notified me that tickets for a show of his at the Troubadour were on sale (god-bless concert related iPhone apps!), I purchased tickets. Having gotten permission from Cody’s management to snap pics of the gig, I got to the venue early with a friend to get up close and personal. I just knew, in my gut, that it was going to be a mind-blowing performance. I was right.
When Cody, with his trademark helmet cocked on his head, and his band took to the stage, the audience erupted with a joy that I haven’t felt from an audience in a good while. A sudden emotional warmth enveloped The Troubadour, almost as if the venue itself exhaled at that moment. It was, at least for me, a surreal moment.
Cody’s performance was beyond enjoyable. In fact, with the breadth of emotion he revealed during his time on the stage; from pain, frustration and struggle, to joy, love and hope, I can truly say his performance is on my list of “favorites of all time”. Being able to capture some of those moments with my camera, gave me visual proof after the fact that I wasn’t just imagining it.
What made the performance so real was Cody’s interaction with the crowd. He engaged us. He talked TO us. He made us understand why the music he was singing meant so much to him. For example, he told us how the music on The Headphone Masterpiece saved his life; and though the music from that album came from a different time and space, having its own unique vibe, he could sing some of those tracks in the present because they matched and marched with his current vibe. He explained that “Love Is More Than A Wedding Day” was his favorite song off “Landing On A Hundred”, further preaching to the audience that it takes effort to overcome martial struggles. He openly reminisced about the story of how his wife bought him his first guitar from a pawnshop; and how her belief in him and his dreams makes him want work that much harder to keep the relationship fresh.
Before he performed “5 On A Joyride,” he explained that that track was written after he had gotten dropped by Hollywood Records and ended up in a car with four friends tripping on magical mushrooms cruising the streets of Los Angeles. He even took a moment to give a shoutout to Suge Knight for being a man who actually gave him the creative freedom to create during his stint on Death Row Records.
I was blown away with Cody’s live show. If you are a fan of R&B and Soul music that speaks from the heart, I beg you to attend one of his shows. You won’t regret it.
For the setlist, please click through the slideshow.
“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!