Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer 2014 Playlist

Summer is ending, but you wouldn't know it in LA.  During these continuous warm temps, I've been using SOL REPUBLIC Master Tracks XC headphones to put together an it-still-feels-like-summer playlist inspired by this year's FYF lineup.  Enjoy!

Headphones gifted to me for review.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

FYF Fest 2014

This year FYF got a new location, moving from LA State Historic Park to Exposition Park.  Here's my best and worst of the festival:

High Notes:
  1. The Lawn - my favorite stage had screens, cushy grass, and great sound no matter where you were.  I saw some of the best performances at this stage.  
  2. Real restrooms - being able to use something other than porta potties made such a huge
    Sports Arena
    difference in my comfort and hydration levels.  
  3. Water - free bottle of water for anyone who took the Metro.  Best. idea. ever.
  4. Sports Arena - with colorful lights, disco balls, cool air, comfortable seating (the second day), good music, and nonstop dancing, the arena made me forget I was even at a festival, at least when I could get in.  
  5. Grimes - before FYF I felt meh about Grimes, but I kept hearing about how great she was live.  After FYF, I am definitely a fan.  Her show was surprisingly energetic and entertaining even though it was mostly her and her two dancers.  Go was fantastic with her caped guest, Blood Diamonds.
  6. Les Sins - if Wing hadn't recognized Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bundick, I would've skipped Les Sins.  I'm glad I didn't.  Not only was sitting in the Sports Arena a welcome relief to the heat, but it was actually a good set.  I prefer the dance music he played over some of the electronic noises I typically hear from other DJs.  I could hear a hint of Toro Y Moi in some of the songs, but in a good danceable way.  He looked like he was enjoying himself as he was bobbing his head and dancing.  Other DJs I saw that weekend just kept their heads down and looked like they were working.  
  7. Built to Spill - often cited as an influence for many of my favorite bands, I knew I had to see them play.  I loved that they were quietly awesome.  There was no cockiness, just amazing guitar solos, vocals (slightly huskier, but still good), drums...  I only saw singer / guitarist Doug Martsch crack a brief smile once during Carry the Zero
  8. Haim - typically poppy with an R&B flavor, they were actually very rock 'n' roll live.  They were all talented, playing not just one, but several instruments.  Especially loved watching all three of them play drums on Let Me Go.  Also, this was one of the rare times the sound was good on Main Stage.  
  9. The Strokes' set list - this was my first time seeing The Strokes.  They weren't the best band that weekend, but they were better than their solo performances.  They didn't really talk much, which was probably for the best because their banter from the day before was kind of weird.  What was impressive was their set list.  It was like traveling through time, starting off with Barely Legal, then touring all of their albums.  Hearing the older songs transported me back to when I first heard them.  So nostalgic.  And I was excited I got to hear New York City Cops live. 

Low Notes: 
  1. Lines - okay, I actually walked right into FYF the first day, but I felt bad for everyone stuck in the long line wrapped around the very large block.  I don't even know why the long line even existed because once you entered, security and searches actually moved pretty fast and those lines were short.  Luckily, this was adjusted the next day and everyone got in quickly. 
    Main Stage
  2. Main Stage - it took 20 minutes to walk there from the farthest stage, The Lawn.  This made me dread having to see anyone at Main Stage.  With hardly any shade, it was located on hot asphalt and facing east, so you could barely see anything as the sun was setting.  This was the only time I was glad to see tall people because I used them to block out the sun.  Also, the sound was somewhat muffled compared to the other stages.  
  3. Future Islands - I don't deny Samuel T. Herring's enthusiasm and energy on stage.  What I don't get is his need to use death metal growls in his synthpop songs.  It was weird.
  4. Julian Casablancas + the Voidz - he did sound better than the first time I heard him live, but it was a douche move to use the screens to show crappy computer screensavers instead of the actual performance.  Not everyone can get close to the stage.   
  5. Daisy Dukes - how is it comfortable to have a wedgie so high you can see your butt hanging out?  When did these short shorts become festival fashion?  Ew. 
  6. People - the larger venue allowed for more people, and apparently more of the shoving, pushy, obnoxious kind.  I thought standing off to the side of Main Stage would be safe, but no, there's no escape from jerks who think that after the band is several songs in is the best time to make their way to the front of the stage, especially through an already tight crowd.  

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