Major props to L.A.’s FYF Festival for drawing a clown car's worth of talent to the West Coast this week. The bourgeoning alternative/indie music fest has turned into a mini-Coachella, with similar curatorial inclinations to our own Treasure Island Music Festival. More importantly, it's an incidental coup for Bay Area music fans.
Cherish the Polyphonic Spree while we have them. Some might worry about the sustainability of a 20-member group going on its 13th year of existence. Splitting the paycheck up 20 ways makes the financial viability of the band somewhat dubious, but that’s really only of marginal consequence to the Polyphonic Spree devotees far and wide. The band’s power-in-numbers philosophy is really at the heart of what makes them so special. They have made choirs cool again, building on the dreamy, all-for-one-one-for-all pop-rock traditions of The Flaming Lips.
A hearty slow clap to the Melvins, owners of the year’s best album name, Everybody Loves Sausages (it’s not even close). The legendary weird-punk/metal outfit has a knack for genius album names. To wit: 1999’s Gluey Porch Treatments, 1999’s The Bootlicker, 2002’s Hostile Ambient Takeover, 2008’s Nude With Boots and 2010’s The Bride Screamed Murder. There’s no shortage of oddball creativity circulating around this four-piece thinktank. Just one of many reasons this famed Seattle institution has been able to stay relevant for some 30 years.
There’s just one rule about listening to shoegaze trailblazers My Bloody Valentine records: Play it loud. That’s mostly because it sounds about a gajillion times better that way, but it also might have been because they didn’t exist as a touring band for about two decades. That was the closest you were going to get to a live MBV experience. No more. The band has been touring for five years now and something that once seemed impossible now seems to be happening with some regularity. This tour is the band’s first since the release of their 2013 album, titled m b v, another album you should blast with no regard for eardrums.
Come December, Majical Cloudz' Impersonator will inevitably top Best-of-2013 lists from here to London. Word will get out, and they’ll be playing the Fillmore, the Fox, the Greek, headlining Treasure Island and beyond, before you know it. This band is that good. And we have the opportunity to see them in the intimate confines of the Rickshaw Stop on a Saturday night. Get in on the ground floor and say you saw them during their awkward phase, which we'll highlight below:
One of the buzzier names to hit the house scene this year is Flume, the enormously popular project of wunderkind producer Harley Streten. Dude is just 21, but he’s been crafting delicious dance beats since he was 13. An old pro, right? His self-titled debut album went platinum in just five weeks, an absurd feat for an underground electronic act. He’s earned the sign-off of Skrillex and Steve Aoki, just to name a few fellow elder electro statesman. Get out there and feel young again (or relatively old).
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