All posts by Independent Philly

Bassnectar Electrifies Fans During Back to Back Sold Out Shows at The Factory

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If Bassnectar drops bass in your face then Philadelphia must be two faced. That’s because the god-father of bass music opened the month of May with not one, but two sold out shows on back to back nights at the Electric Factory.

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To his intensely loyal fan-base, Bassnectar is more than just a performer, he is a way of life. Much like Dead-Heads went on tour across the country following the Grateful Dead, Bass-Heads trek far and wide to get as much of Lorin Ashton as their minds, bodies, and wallets will allow.

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The Bassnectar family is a community of people that look out for one another and those in need, evidenced by the two night clothing drive that took place outside of the Electric Factory. Fans were encouraged to donate items which were then provided to the less fortunate members of Philadelphia.

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As further proof of Ashton’s respect for his fans and their well being, all concert-goers were permitted to bring a sealed bottle of water into the show to aid in their hydration. Once inside, water was also for sale but numerous free-bottles were also given away through-out the night by the Bass Ambassadors working at the show.

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Once you factor in that his DJ and production skills are out of this world, his lighting and visuals are are a show in and of themselves, and that he routinely plays for well over two hours per event, it’s easy to see why he was one of the top three ticket selling DJs in 2012 (along with Tiesto and Deadmau5) topping out near a quarter million tickets sold.

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Having seen Bassnectar numerous times, interviewing him at Ultra Music Festival 2012, and being admittedly big fans of his large music catalog, we were excited for the double dip of bass to kick off the month in style.

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The first show, on Wednesday May 1st was sold out weeks before the doors opened to fans at 7pm.

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The opening set of the night was given to Thiftworks. The California based DJ with ties to our area did a nice job of setting the stage the for the rest of the evening. It would be unfair to say that he warmed the crowd up as the audience members were already hot with anticipation before they even set foot inside the venue.

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Up next was Detroit”s Griz who seems to be everywhere these days. We had to chance to catch him at SnowBall Music Festival back in March and were anxious to see him again on our home turf. With the venue already packed, Griz took over around 9pm and showed why he is a heavy-hitter in his own right.

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His soulful, funk-infused bass sounds had the Electric Factory charged up and going hard. He’ll be making the rounds across the U.S. this summer and we highly suggest checking out his set if you have the chance.

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Just after 10pm, with numerous Bassnectar logos already emblazoned on the gigantic digital wall behind the turntables, Bassnectar hit the stage with the image of a huge fluffy puppy on the screen behind him.

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Playing his signature mixture of hip-hop, rock, and just about everything-else infused bass music, Bassnectar took Philadelphia on a journey into the far reaches of euphoria and sanity.

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To say that the Bass-Heads lost their minds for the next two and a half hours would be putting it lightly, very lightly.

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With the Electric Factory so packed that it was nearly impossible to move throughout the balcony, let alone the main floor below, the night became one big, hot, sweaty, head-banging affair.

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Night two, on Thursday, May 2nd, had many similarities to night one but several differences as well. Griz was replaced by Michal Menert, who rocked the mic as well as the decks.

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Night two also had a “Red, White, and Blue” theme and fans came out adorned in patriotic gear and sporting patriotic Bassnectar totems.

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Because Bassnectar has such a strong following, he wouldn’t disrespect his fans by playing the same set two nights in a row. Yes, there are some elements that carry over from one night to another, especially his signature hits, but everything from the track selection to the visuals were unique to each show.

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Once again on night two he played for more than two hours, in which the audience, energized by every single bass drop, returned the vibe ten fold. Even those few people we spoke with who had been dragged to the show by their friends, admitted that by the end of the evening that they were full Bassnectar converts.

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There is just something about the man, his fans, and the way everything comes together at his shows (especially the smaller venue performances as opposed to larger festival ones) to form a magical experience that will make a fan and a believer out of almost anyone.

Don’t take our word for it. When he comes to your town, grab your friends, grab a ticket, and go experience Bassnectar for yourself.

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[photo credit: Steve Garfinkel Photography & D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view a ton of additional photos from both nights below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 

 

 

 

 

Flying Lotus Has Fans Flying High at Union Transfer

Those lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold-out Flying Lotus show on Friday night can rest assured that they not only got their money’s worth, but witnessed one of the better shows to come through Philly in quit some time.

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In the midst of his North American Tour, the Los Angeles based producer hit Philly after performing in Washington DC, and just before he performed in New York City.  Tickets to the show, which was the second sold out show of the night at Union Transfer, sold out over a week in advance.  With the doors scheduled to open at 1030pm, fans were lined up far down Spring Garden and even around the corner come 10pm.

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After a late start letting concert goers inside, the venue was  filled to capacity by 1130pm.  Thundercat, who is opening most of the shows on Flying Lotus’s tour, was just starting his performance. Thundercat’s debut album, “The Golden Age of Apocalypse”, was produced by Flying Lotus, and he was accompanied on stage by a drummer and pianist.

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Thundercat, rocking a hat backwards with three foot feathers sticking out of it, handled the stage with the look of a man in complete control.  His talents as a bassist and vocalist were on full display during his opening performance.  His music ranged widely from being very chill to very up beat.  We knew that even after the opening performance ended, we would see Thundercat again, so we were not too disappointed when the opening act “ended”, especially considering Flying Lotus was about to come on.

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After a brief pause to set up the stage, Flying Lotus walked out on stage, went up to the crowd with mic in hand, and said, “y’all sold this motha fucka out….”, which brought loud cheers from the crowd – “and now, we’re gonna burn this motha fucka down to the ground” – this brought even more cheers, as Flying Lotus ran back behind the DJ booth and started his performance.

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As he was positioned between two different projector screens, the crowd was only able to see a silhouette of Flying Lotus, except when he came out from the DJ booth for the songs in which he rapped.  FlyLo played an energetic set that featured a wide range of music styles, such as trap, hip-hop/rap, and experimental EDM.

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 The trap influences were easy to detect, but the crowd did not seem to care what song he was playing, enjoying each and every one.  Some of our favorites of the night were the Beastie Boys hit, Intergalactic Planetary, as well as a remix of the Kanye West / Good Music song Mercy.

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The crowd went especially nuts when FlyLo got on the mic and asked, “Ya’ll know my dude Earl Sweatshirt, right??” – yes, we do, and so did the crowd.  FlyLo then dropped Between Friends, came out from behind the booth, and with a cartoon projection of Earl Sweatshirt on the screen behind him, rapped the 2nd verse of the hit song.

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Before we knew it, and apparently before FlyLo knew it too, 2AM rolled around. Flying Lotus got on the mic, looked off at the side of the stage, and said, “really, shit, I’m cut off?”.  Knowing he had just a few more minutes left, he faced the crowd, asked what every performer asks if they want a good response – “who’s fucked up here tonight?”, and then dropped his last song of the night to a roar of cheers.

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For his final two songs of the evening, Flying Lotus brought out Thundercat and played “Bonus”, from Thundercat’s upcoming album, as well as a track the two have collaborated on, “MmmHmm”.

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[Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel]

You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Mother of Dragons! The Derriere Affair: Game of Thrones Episode 5 Recap

Mother of Dragons!

The Derriere Affair: A Game of Thrones Episode 5 Recap

By: Dan Shorr

Five rear ends, three jarred babies and one execution, oh my! 

Cave:

1

“The night is dark and full of terrors” croons Thoros of Myr, an ominous (albeit previously copyrighted) introduction to the Hound’s impending trial by justice as the accused Clegane brother prepares to face the one-eyed Beric Dondarrion. Arya watches anxiously. The Tale of the Tape heavily favors the Hound and he certainly looks like he is feeling pretty good about his chances – until Beric lights his sword on fire with his own blood! The Hound shuffles back with a quick three step – whoa! A friendly reminder: the Hound doesn’t blink an eye when it comes to murdering children or running blindly into combat but even a camp-sized-marshmallow-roasting-fire irks this man something fierce.

The two fight an intense battle throughout the Brotherhood’s lair as miscellaneous items and individuals go flying left and right. The peanut gallery proves to be unfamiliar with the standard WWE policy to never mix a lumberjack match and an inferno match; that’s how bystanders become victims.

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The Hound manages to bring his opponent to his knees and cuts through Beric’s flaming sword and half of his torso for good measure. The bad guy wins again. Arya decides na-uh and lunges after the exhausted Hound to try and kill him herself but – he won his trial – and Arya is restrained by the Brotherhood members accordingly. Meanwhile, Thoros works some fire magic and Beric Dondarrion, who undoubtedly was just killed moments ago, is back up and running. The audience doesn’t even bat an eyelash at this point. Resurrection? Yeah, sure!

Arya is furious as Beric frees her dreaded enemy. “Go in peace Sandor Clegane, the Lord of Light isn’t done with you yet.” If it is any consolation for Arya, the Brotherhood takes all of the Hound’s gold and leaves him with just a few swords and a post-war IOU.

Another Cave:

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Orell the Impolite Warg and Tormund Giantsbane play 20 questions with Jon Snow. Jon adamantly states that there are 1000 men at Castle Black (in case you missed the ice zombie massacre and the Craster’s Keep riot, this is clearly not true as Castle Black is almost totally depleted of soldiers). Tormund tells Jon that if he is lying: “I’ll pull your guts out through your throat.” Somewhere in King’s Landing, Joffrey guffaws at Tormund’s lack of creativity Ha Ha, what an amateur!

Ygritte playfully leads Jon away for a much needed refresher/ breather/ loss of virginity. Just because it is a million degrees below freezing outside doesn’t mean there aren’t nearby hidden caves with steaming hot tubs! Life beyond the wall ain’t so bad when you’re working with the Playboy Grotto blueprints. Ygritte gets naked (Episode 5 Derriere sighting #1) and has a short four word debate with Jon Snow in which they ponder the merits of their hypothetical actions.

Jon: We shouldn’t.

Ygritte: We should.

They do. “You know nothing” she says to Jon as he proceeds to offer a counter argument.  Later, after confirming Jon is no longer a “maiden,” Ygritte starts listing her former lovers, a major faux paus that even newcomer Jon Snow recognizes. “Yeah, thanks, I’ve heard enough” he says as he ignores sanitary concerns and goes skinny dipping in the hot tub (Episode 5 Derriere sighting #2). 

Harrenhal:

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Jaime and Brienne arrive at Harrenhal and are greeted by Lord Roose Bolton. Bolton wants to know what happened to Jaime’s hand. Locke, the man that severed Jaime’s limb, makes the joke we all have been saying for a week (he didn’t lose it, the hand is right there lol) and is promptly dismissed. Clearly, the dismemberment was not an approved course of action. Lord Bolton immediately sheds his initial pleasant vibe of hospitality as he answers Jaime’s meek request for an update about Cercei by showing the captive Lannister that he shares the Bolton family’s sadistic sense of humor (his son is Theon’s giddy torturer after all). “You haven’t heard… your sister, how can I put this, your sister is…alive and well.” Got ya!

Jaime then goes to the most poorly lit doctor’s office in Westeros for a much needed check-up. Introduced in the season premiere as the thirsty prisoner begging Robb Stark for water, disgraced former Maester Qyburn (he lost his credentials after some of his experiments were deemed too bold) performs a rather grisly operation. Sans anesthesia, Jaime watches as Qyburn uses a pair of pliers to remove the rotting flesh from his injured arm. Hopefully Jaime didn’t notice the creepy surgeon’s bulging eyes – not exactly a comforting pre-operation visual.

King’s Landing:

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Cercei tracks down Littlefinger before he departs for his journey to the Eyrie. She wants him to utilize his “good working relationship with the Tyrells” to get some dirt. One last scheme for the road!

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First, she mused sarcastically about Tyrell flatulence smelling of roses. Next, she mocked the artistic design of her chamber-pot. In this episode, Lady Olenna, the Queen of Thorns, requests some afternoon figs as they “help move the bowels.” Who would have thought Queen Margery’s grandmother would have replaced the man she is sitting with, Tyrion Lannister, as the go-to potty-humor expert on Game of Thrones? Olenna is far more than an additional comedic reprieve from dismembered limbs and incest. She is the brains behind the Tyrell operation and is knowledgeable about everything from their war strategy to the amount of sheep they have provided King’s Landing for the winter (50,000!). She also understands the necessity for the supposedly-magnificent royal wedding as it represents a much needed distraction for the restless people. She gives Tyrion a hard time but ultimately makes the Master of Coin an offer he can hardly believe. “We’ll pay for half the expenses and the celebrations will go on as planned.” Hooray!

Yet Another Cave:

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Arya’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day gets worse as her blacksmith buddy, Gendry, joins the Brotherhood without Banners. Having seemingly taken a sip of the Khaleesi Kool-Aid, Gendry decides he wants to work for someone he actually believes in; he already is growing a goatee to try and fit in with the gang of outlaws. Arya is devastated and feels as though Gendry is abandoning her. “I can be your family” she pleads. Although Gendry has a lot of love for Arya, he ignores her appeal and sticks with his plan.

Later: Most people tend to keep the list of people they want to kill to themselves, but Arya prefers to orally recite them one by one in public. Beric interrupts her casual death wishes and shows us that he has been resurrected 6 times in a variety of ways. Show off.

Riverrun:

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The North’s two preteen Lannister hostages (Tywin’s nephews) hear a commotion. Strange men burst into their cell. “Is this a rescue?” Not at all. The defenseless boys are brutally murdered by Lord Karstark and some of his men.

The dead bodies and the now imprisoned Karstark soldiers are brought before Robb, his wife, his mother Catelyn (ugh) and her family. The bearded prisoner calls Robb “the King who lost the north” as Robb temporarily sends him to a dungeon and his men to their death as he contemplates his next move. Robb knows that if he kills Lord Karstark, he will lose a significant amount of his army. But, perhaps thinking of Bran and Rickon, he refuses to simply leave the child murderer alive as a prisoner.

Later: An execution held outside amidst a moderate and dreary rainfall, the only thing this depressing scene is missing is an ominous death wish. Never mind– we got one! Lord Karstark’s last words before Robb beheads him: “kill me and be cursed, you are no king of mine.” Not a very remorseful closing statement from a child murderer, but if he was going for dramatic effect, he knocked it out of the park.

Dragonstone:

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Lonely without his mistress, Stannis visits his wife – Lady Selyse – who he has not seen in a long, long time. As Stannis walks in, his wife is praying to fire – a very popular activity on Dragonstone. We also find out why Stannis took his sweet dear old time visiting his wife and why he is even more awkward and socially uncomfortable than normal. Selyse keeps their three dead stillborn sons in jars. In her bedroom. Not really the decoration you’re looking for in a royal palace. Kudos to the GoT team –

Producer #1: We only have two minutes to introduce the ten-thousandth character on the show.

Producer #2: And we need the character to stand out as being especially weird.

Producer #3: I know what we should do.

Producer #1 & #2 (simultaneously): What?!

Producer #3: A morbid visual of floating infant corpses.

Producer #1: Bingo.

Producer #2: Perfect.

Producer #3: Should we have her address one of the jars and say something like “my sweet boy?”

Producer #1 & #2 (simultaneously): Genius.

Stannis tries to confess about his affair but Selyse already knows – Melisandre told her! Not only that, Selyse wept for joy when she learned of the shadow-demon-son, not something traditionally celebrated from someone in her position.

Stannis gets out of that mess and goes to visit his daughter, Shireen, who is not in a jar (phew). Shireen has greyscale; it’s like Westeros acne but permanent and occasionally fatal. She asks about Davos, last seen hogging screen time in the season premiere and attempting to stab Melisandre the Fire Mistress. Stannis demonstrates his inability to communicate delicately as he updates his young daughter with a rather grim, blunt prognosis.  “Ser Davos is a traitor, he’s rotting in a dungeon cell for his crime.” His grimace after uttering this statement is one of the great highlights of the episode. Maybe that was a bit harsh. 

Harrenhal:

10 

An all-time great scene as we not only get Derriere sightings #3 and #4 (!) but also gain invaluable insight into Jaime’s sympathetic backstory.

Stealing Jon Snow and Ygritte’s swag, Jaime strips down and hops in a hot tub with Brienne and proceeds to deliver an epic monologue about the final days of his former employer, King Aerys Targaryen – the Mad King.“[Aerys] loved to watch people burn. He burned anyone that was against him… before long half the country was against him.” Not a charming individual.

When King’s Landing was under attack from a Tywin Lannister led invasion that was quickly ending the war (the one that led to Robert Baratheon’s reign as king), Aerys ordered his pyromancers to set off hidden batches of wildfire that would burn the city down. Aerys also ordered Jaime to bring him Tywin Lannister’s head. “Kill your own father and stand by while thousands of men, women and children are burned alive, would you have done it? Would you have kept your oath then?” The answer is obviously no. Jaime has been vilified for a crime that was actually quite noble!

Either the hot tub temperature is set way too high or Jaime is just exhausted after nailing his speech, but he passes out as Brienne catches him and yells for help.

Dragonstone:

11

Shireen pays Davos a visit as he sits in his cell. She brings him a book but, unfortunately, he: “can’t read the words.” Stannis’ lotion-starved daughter decides to pursue a career in education and takes it upon herself to teach Davos how to read. She starts by reciting some Aegon anecdotes, a story about a Targeryen with dragons, and that individuals’ “conquest of Westeros.” Sounds like a phenomenal time to cut to…

Outside Astapor

12

Team Stormborn! Hey now. Typically after any dosage of epic Mother of Dragons shenanigans we have to wait an extra week or two to catch up with our favorite Targaryen (sorry Viserys) but the GoT producers decided to spoil us (aw, shucks). Dany’s two older advisors have some bro-time as they share pee jokes and war stories. Jorah tests the waters a bit. Remember, he used to snitch on Dany for Varys and was pardoned for doing so. He wants to see if Ser Barristan knows this. “I didn’t’ sit on the small council” Barristan says. Guess not!

Meanwhile, Dany meets Grey Worm, the squad leader of the Unsullied army. All Unsullied are given intentionally unflattering names as a means of further degradation during their years of training. Grey Worm opts to hold onto his even after Dany tells him to pick a new name as his: “is the name this one had the day Daenerys Stormborn set him free.” A likeable and somewhat grammatically confusing addition to the Game of Thrones cast – a considerably more promising character than Stannis’ old lady.

Riverrun:

13

Robb Stark laments the status of his army. The Northerners used to have a clear, defined purpose but: “now we are like a band of bickering children.” That’s what happens when you cut the heads off your own men and put Catelyn Stark in charge when you take a vacation. IT IS ALL HER FAULT, ROBB. WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THAT?!

Robb gropes his wife’s hand and looks at a map – Eurekea! He’s got it! He’s going for Tywin and the Lannister’s home-base: Casterly Rock. “I’m going to take their home away from them.” But to do so he needs to recruit some new soldiers and the only ones he can get are: Walder Frey’s! The creepy old guy formally known as Argus Filch! Robb was supposed to marry his daughter as part of a deal they made in the first season, but he backed out of that one pretty aggressively. Will Walder Frey help him now? Can’t wait to see how that one goes.

King’s Landing:

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Margaery Tyrell is hanging out with Sansa Stark instead of watching whatever crazy nonsense King Joffrey is up to and thus depriving me of a more entertaining segment. Margaery reminds Sansa that she will wed her brother Loras, but it cannot happen until after Margaery has married her psychopathic King. Oliver the Squire gives Loras the eye and – well that wasn’t so difficult – we cut to a bedroom and it seems Loras is well past grieving for his ex, Renly Baratheon. (Derirere sighting #5) Oliver straddles Loras and gets him to dish out some gossip. Later we see…

King’s Landing:

16

Littlefinger: “that didn’t take very long.” Oliver the Seducing Squire was a spy! Now Littlefinger knows that Sansa is supposed to marry Loras and man, I just do not think he is gonna let that happen.

Later, he meets with Sansa and compliments her Maergery inspired hair style, even though you know we know he knows he hates it. Litttlefinger gives Sansa one last chance to come with him to the Eyrie. The audience knows this is a cruel test. If she goes with him, Littlefinger will have her trapped and she won’t get to marry Loras. If she refuses, we know she’ll fall prey to whatever scheme the crafty former Mayor of Baltimore has obviously set in motion and she won’t marry Loras anyhow. Bummer.

King’s Landing:

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Neither fatherly one-on-one went well for Tyrion or Cercei, so they figure, hey, why don’t we try and do this together! Well, not exactly. Tyrion learns he is going to be married to Sansa Stark as a means to thwart the Tyrell’s plot to take control of the North. Cercei thinks she is there to have a few chuckles at her brother’s expense and witness his frustrations but that is not the case. Her father looks at her and coldly announces: “Tyrion will do as he’s bid, as will you…you will marry Loras.” Cercei is horrified! She was so happy as a divorcé, seducing random family members and drinking gallons of wine a day, what is she ever going to do!

Tune in Sundays at 9:00 PM and then check Independent Philly the following day for the recap!

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[Story by Dan Shorr]

Interview with Charly of Dirtyphonics

Avaland Presents Donald Glaude & Richard Vission 1.5.13

French electronic dance music quartet “Dirtyphonics” have made some big waves in a relatively short period of time. A rabid fan base, peer adoration, a jet set touring schedule, and a brand new album can all be checked off of their bucket list. Two things they haven’t done are play a show in Philadelphia or do an interview with Independent Philly…until now.

They’ll be rolling into town on May 9th so we had a chat with Charly to find out more about Dirtyphonics what fans can expect from their live show.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name “Dirtyphonics” and what special meaning does it hold for you guys?

Charly: When we first started and realized we were going to take it to a professional level we all sat down together and we wanted to find a name that represented who we are, and the music we make. We felt that Dirtyphonics was a great combination because it was a contrast between “dirty” and “phonics”: dirty being an attitude or a style of life or the kind of music we make in terms of how the bass is and at the same time phonics represents how much attention to detail and to the quality of everything we do. So the two of them together we thought are really great and really represent the fusion of us and our music.

IP: Your debut LP “Irreverence” just dropped a month ago. How has the response been to the album thus far?

Charly: It’s been insane. Like you said, it’s our debut album and when you do that you really don’t know what to expect. Especially in the scene today where everyone comes up with singles and EPs, we chose to go with a full length because it gave us the opportunity to dig a lot deeper into the sound that we have. Putting this out and the reaction we’ve had from the industry, the producers, the fans, the press, everything, has been awesome. We hit the #1 selling spot on the Beatport charts, we’re doing really well on iTunes, every single night on this tour we have the crowd singing the songs, and then all of the producers and all of the fans around the industry have been giving us a lot of props. We’re really, really excited about the way it’s been received.

IP: You guys are in the midst of a major North American touring schedule for the next several months with some major festivals like Coachella, Orion, and Camp Bisco mixed in. Do you prefer to play the larger festivals or the smaller, more intimate venues?

Charly: I guess we like all of them. You know obviously it’s different to play in front of thousands and thousands of people at a huge festival and then go back to like the 500 person capacity club. It’s awesome to see a huge crowd in front of you but it’s incredible being a couple feet away from the crowd as well and sharing the sweat and eye contact. We really love it all; there’s nothing we prefer really.

Dirtyphonics "Irreverence Tour" Seattle, WA 3.28.13

IP: What can your fans expect from a live Dirtyphonics show if they’ve never seen you perform in person before?

Charly: Well what’s real interesting with what we we do, and that’s why we choose to do that, is obviously we’re part of the EDM community or scene but at the same time our aura on stage needs to be unique, and then, you know, the energy we have and the way we share the music with the crowd is pretty unique. What’s major is that we used to play in metal bands so that history planted the seeds for the kind of L.A. punk energy that we have on stage. It’s not just four dudes standing behind their equipment throwing out a couple nods because we also stage dive and interact with the crowd. We go out into the crowd, you know, we like to share the real moments with the music and human elements to have a real connection with the crowd. That’s what’s really specific about us.

IP: Being that you used to play in metal bands and punk bands, who are some of your favorite bands out there right now that fall under the metal/rock/punk genres?

Charly: There are lots of them. We’ve been fans of “Metallica” forever. We love “The Haunted” right now, “Machine Head”, “The Deftones” “Slayer” obviously. We even like “Black Sabbath” from back in the day, “Guns N’ Roses”, there are like so many of them.

IP: Being that you’ll be out on the road for quite some time, what are some of  your favorite, and least favorite parts about touring?

Charly: It’s such a weird and awesome lifestyle. The best points are obviously being able to meet so many different people and discovering so many different cultures, and getting to see things that very few people get to see. I mean we travel all around the globe, all year long. It’s incredible to be able to discover these things. What’s kind of hard is being away from your girlfriend, family, and friends because you don’t really see them that much but I guess that’s the choice you have to make with this life.

IP: I’m sure it varies a little from city to city but is there any kind of set routine that you guys try to follow on the day of a show?

Charly: A general routine? Probably not. I mean, obviously yeah with the sound-check and all of that, but I wouldn’t really call that a routine. Now, what we like to do right before the show, right before playing, is that we get really, really excited. Probably fifteen minutes before the show, we can feel this energy that’s in the four of us, rising, and we just can’t wait to be on stage and play. I guess some people get nervous but we just get really excited. What we do right before we hit the stage is we have a big group hug, realize once again, every single night what we’re doing and how lucky we are. Then we have a shot of vodka and then it’s showtime!

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IP: Let’s do a quick “Best of Dirtyphonics”. Tell us, out of the four of  you, who would be the most likely to win the following, starting with who would be the best dressed member of the group?

Charly: Probably Thomas, you can see it in our promo picture.

IP: Who’s the best dancer?

Charly: That would be Pitchin.

IP: Who’s the funniest member of the group?

Charly: I guess we’re all pretty funny but give it to Julien.

IP: Who’s the biggest Lady’s Man?

Charly: (Laughing) That’s gonna land on my shoulders.

IP: When you do find yourselves with a little bit of down time, what do you guys enjoy doing?

Charly: If we’re home, obviously we’re going to try to spend as much time as we can with girlfriends, friends, and families. Now when we’re on the road we really like to go out and explore, see the scenes. See the mountains, see the oceans, see whatever is around. Then obviously there’s shopping time, which is usually online shopping, but we like to do a bit of that. Shopping especially when you can go out and grab little bits and pieces of everywhere and each culture so that later when you’re missing them you can have these memories from tour.

Dirtyphonics "Irreverence Tour" Spokane, WA 3.29.13

IP: You guys are going to be rolling into Philadelphia on May 9th to play at the Theater of the Living Arts. Would you like to give a shout out to your fans here ahead of that show?

Charly: Yeah definitely! It’s going to be our first Philly show and we’re really, really excited about it. We actually have a history in Philly because our agency comes from there and we can’t wait to be there and rage with you guys!

IP: Finally, please tell us something about yourself or Dirtyphonics as a whole that would surprise or even shock our readers…

Charly: Oh, we’re getting into the secrets now.

IP: Yup, secrets time.

Charly: (Laughs) Give me a second for that. Let me ask Pitchin if he has a good answer (pauses). It’s a hard question because, to be honest, we don’t have much to hide and we’re happy to answer any questions when they’re asked. Okay, if you come to the Philly show, you might see Pitchin naked.

IP: We’ll let people know and we’ll see you in Philly.

Charly: See you there.

The Dirtyphonics show is Philly is sure to be an awesome night of music. Not only are Dirtyphonics going to be rocking our city for the first time, but they’ll be joined by a stellar supporting cast that includes Le Castle Vania, ETC!ETC! and locals Frost and Ruxbin.

We’ll be there to catch all of the action and we really hope you’ll join us. You can pick up advanced tickets and save yourself some money (or heartbreak if the show sells out in advance). If you just don’t have the funds to buy a ticket, you can enter our contest and win one of the two tickets we are giving away!

Interview with Kim Moyes of The Presets

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The Presets are about as big as they come in Australia. The duo of Kim Moyes and Julian Hamilton have won over a dozen awards, including becoming the first ever Electronic act to win an ARIA for “Album of the Year” (2008), followed by an APRA award for “Songwriters of the Year” (2009).

They have released three studio albums, remixed a bevy of artists including Lenny Kravitz and Kings of Leon, and have shared the stage with genre defining artists like Coldplay and Daft Punk.

Starting on Saturday, May 4th they will be kicking off their U.S. Tour (with Dragonette and Classixx) in Washington, DC before cruising into Philadelphia the next night to play a May 5th show at Union Transfer. Before we catch the show on Sunday night, we spoke with Kim Moyes of The Presets to get the dirt on the upcoming tour, life on the road, and a slew of other topics.

Independent Philly: Who came up with the name “The Presets”, does it hold any special meaning for you guys, and did you consider any other names?

Kim Moyes: I actually came up with the name The Presets before we even started making music as The Presets. I think it was one of these names that I thought was really great and I kind of had this concept that we would be a band that made music with like old Casio keyboards and just use all the preset sounds and drum machines from them. So it was kind of a funny concept that I was playing with and then Jules and I had been messing around for a while just jamming with synths and drums and we sort of thought we would just start making music in that style and we just thought the name The Presets kind of fit that. We didn’t really consider any other names. I think we were sold on that name from the get go.

IP: Your latest album “Pacifica” has been out for about six months. How has the reaction been so far?

KM: It’s been great. Critically it’s been our most acclaimed record to date. Our fans who always love what we do are still really into it, and really interested in what we’re doing and really like it. A lot of people think it’s the best album we’ve made. I don’t think it’s really satisfied everyone’s expectations, there are people that really miss the super hard, aggressive stuff that we were doing a few years ago, or that we have done in the past. So, you know, a few fans have dropped off along the way but I think we’ve also picked up fans who never really liked that kind of (hard) stuff and appreciate the fact that we’ve kind of developed our sound and matured and continued to progress. The shows have been really great. The new material and the old material seem to work really well together, and we’ve been able to remix some of the older material to kind of keep it up to date and more in line with what we are doing now. I think it’s a great show given the history of our catalog. It sounds really good together and the crowds always seem to have a really good time. All in all the response has been pretty positive.

IP: You guys are going to be touring in the States soon with Dragonette. What went into pairing these groups together for the tour?

KM: Their management (Dragonette) and our management are quite close. They are managed by the same people who manage Cut Copy so they are kind of like extended family members. I’m not overly familiar with Dragonette and I’ve never met them before but I think it’s going to be a good fit, it’s going to be fun. I think they are the right type of band to tour with. We are also touring with Classixx as well and I’ve met those guys a few times and they’re really sweet. So yeah, I’m excited to meet these guys. When you tour you’re like brothers and sisters in arms, so hopefully by the end of May we’re all best friends.

the presets TOUR

IP: What is your least favorite part about being out on the road touring?

KM: Being away from my family I find is the most irritating side effect of going out on the road but I try not to focus too much on the negativity of touring. There are so many musicians that we know that struggle to have a career and I always catch myself thinking “Oh God, I have to go away and be on the road for a month and be away from my family and stuff” but the reality is, this is my job and if I wasn’t touring I wouldn’t be earning any money and I wouldn’t be achieving what I think I should be achieving. I’m grateful for the opportunity and that people are still interested in what we do enough to keep coming back to the shows.

IP: There is a crazy amount of buzz in the States about Daft Punk’s new album “Random Access Memories” that is being released in May. You guys had the chance to tour with them in Australia. What was that experience like?

KM: It was great. It was a real honor. We’ve been fans of Daft Punk ever since “Homework”. I remember even when “Da Funk” came out about a year before “Homework” came out and taping it off of a community radio station on a cassette and bringing it into Union and playing it for Julian on headphones and just couldn’t believe how good it was. We never really had any crazy idealistic dreams (at the time) that one day we’d be supporting Daft Punk but luckily enough, we did. Also, aside from support a great legacy act like Daft Punk, that time period that we toured with them was actually really monumental for us in terms of our career because we were in the studio making “Apocalypso” when we toured with them and I think “My People” had just come out onto radio so everybody was starting to get really familiar with it. There were about 50,000 people at the concert in Sydney with Daft Punk. We played all over Australia with them but the Sydney show was one of the biggest ones. With “My People” just coming out on the radio, we had a chance to play that live, and we played “Kicking and Screaming” for the first time live, which no one had ever heard, and I remember the crowd was just really responsive. When we came off stage, all of our friends and everyone there, their jaws just dropped at how good it was and how good the response was. It just felt like that was the beginning of a really special time for us. I definitely think of that Daft Punk time with very fond memories. We also got to meet our lighting guy and our tour manager from that tour as well. It was Daft Punk’s tour manager and Daft Punk’s lighting guy. And you know, those two guys are our guys now. Ego trip aside it was a really amazing experience.

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IP: Between you and Julian, who would win the following battles? The first one is a boxing match…

KM: Julian takes Boxercise, like Fight Club, a couple times a week, so I guess he would. Then again, I don’t know, when you’re in the heat of the moment… are you talking about an actual boxing match like “ding, ding, ding, ding” and all that or like street fighting?

IP: Either one, it could be sanctioned or just a round of spontaneous fisticuffs…

KM: Like backyard brawling with no gloves and stuff or like Ultimate Fighting? If it was a backyard brawl I think maybe I would win because I think I’m maybe a little more psychotic than he (Julian) is. But if it were like boxing with rules and gloves then it would probably be him because he’d probably have a better technique than I do.

IP: Which one of you would win a dance-off?

KM: Julian, hands down.

IP: Who would win a cook-off?

KM? Again, Julian, hands-down.

IP: How about a fashion show, which one of you is a better dresser?

KM: That would be me.

IP: Great! Would you like to give a shout out to your fans in North America that will be coming up to support your upcoming tour?

KM: Yeah, I’d like to say, if you’ve come seen us before and you had a good time, come down and say hello. We’ve friendly and accommodating and  we’ll try to take some photos with you. If you’ve never seen us and you’re curious to check us out you should come down as well and bring some friends. You’re guaranteed to have a good time. It’s straight up shirts-off-and-have-a-good-time.

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IP: In 2009, Julian was quoted in Rolling Stone Australia as saying that you get asked the same six questions over and over again by music journalists and bloggers. So, if you were going to interview yourselves, what would you ask? Are there things that you want fans to know about you that you don’t think they’ve had a chance to learn? 

KM: (Laughs). That is such a deep, hypothetical question. I don’t think anyone should have to answer that question. It’s like a parallel universe within a parallel universe. Julian made that comment when I think we were getting interviewed in the States in L.A. and for about three interviews in a row we kept getting asked “So you guys use auto-tune on your vocals right?” and we were like what the hell is going on? And then one of us, or someone, checked our Wikipedia page and the first comment was “The Presets are a band that use auto-tune”, that was the first thing in our description on Wikipedia. So we thought if it would be funny if we put in “The Presets really hate being asked the same six questions”, you know like “How did you guys meet” and “Where’d you get your name from”. You know, we were just sort of having some fun, and now we get asked about the six questions as much as the six questions.

IP: Uh oh, I guess we asked you that…

KM:  I’m just kidding mate.

IP: Finally, can you tell us something about you guys that would surprise or even shock our readers…

KM: God, I don’t know. What do you think is a shocking thing? Drinking your own urine, is that something that you think is shocking?

IP: That would be shocking if indeed you drink your own urine, yes.

KM: Well I don’t think either of us do that. I think we’re just pretty average dudes, pretty average humans, just getting along in life and doing things to survive. I don’t think there is anything overly shocking or confrontational about what we do. You know, we’re all human.

We can’t wait to catch the show this Sunday night at 830pm! The Presets, Dragonette, and Classixx all know how to light up a stage so the three together promise to be one hell of a good time. You can grab advance tickets to make sure you don’t miss out on an amazing end to the first weekend of May! See you there Philly!

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[Article by David Miller]

Jim James Performs for a Sold-Out T-Shirt Clad Crowd at Union Transfer

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The weather was nice and warm in Philly on Saturday, April 27th. Sunny and in the mid-70’s for the better part of the day, many Philadelphians ditched their morning jackets and long pants and spent the day outside enjoying the spring temps in t-shirts, shorts, and skirts.

When evening rolled around, the mercury was running high along with expectations for the sold-out Jim James show at Union Transfer.

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Best known as the front man for critically acclaimed rock band “My Morning Jacket”, James recently released a solo album “Regions of Light and Sound of God” this past February. His tour, which kicked off April 17th in Louisville, KY has been selling out venues left and right, and has at least five upcoming shows in May that are already sold-out as well.

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The doors opened at Union Transfer an hour before the show began so there was already a good sized crowd on hand when opening act “Cold Specks” hit the stage at 9pm.

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Cold Specks, fronted by English songstress Al Spx, has a truly unique sound that incorporates numerous musical elements, not often seen, or heard, together.

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Spx, dressed in a long black cape, looks the part of a goth performer but Cold Specks is much more than a pure goth rock outfit. Despite hailing from the UK, their sound combines the darker goth aspect with touches of southern gospel. The closest thing we can compare it to (for those of you who crave comparison) is PJ Harvey. Their choice of backing instruments is also anything but mundane and included a baritone sax and bass clarinet.

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Spx concluded their set alone on stage, draped in her cape and darkness, she sang a haunting tune that echoed throughout the high ceilings of Union Transfer.

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After a short break for a stage change, Jim James hit the stage with his band to a roar of cheers, opening with “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” , the first track off of his latest CD.

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James energy on stage was undeniably higher than we’d been expecting. He moved about constantly, playing guitar and sax, singing, headbanging, and engaging the audience at every turn.

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By the fourth song, it became clear to us that he was going to play “Regions of Light and Sound of God” in its entirety. When the nine songs from the album were complete, many of which have a Radiohead-like quality to them, James and the band left the stage but quickly returned for a seven song encore that included two “My Morning Jacket” songs and several covers.

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The sold-out crowd that packed the main floor of the venue and the balcony above, loved every minute of it. With warm receptions like that, James should be able to continue to play whenever he sees fit without My Morning Jacket.

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

 SET LIST:

State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)

Know Til Now

Dear One

A New Life

Exploding

Of the Mother Again

Actress

All Is Forgiven

God’s Love to Deliver

Encore:

Bermuda Highway

(My Morning Jacket)

Wonderful (The Way I Feel)

(My Morning Jacket)

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

(Monsters of Folk cover)

His Master’s Voice

(Monsters of Folk cover)

The Right Place

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Losin Yo Head

(Monsters of Folk cover)

Changing World

(New Multitudes cover)

Fans Get Slightly Stoopid on 420 at Red Rocks

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If we were to try to sum up Red Rock Amphitheater in Colorado in a single word it would simply be “breathtaking”. Our most recent trip to the magnificent outdoor venue took place on April 20th for a sold-out show with Slightly Stoopid (featuring Karl Denson), Cypress Hill, and Tribal Seeds.

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We arrived at the venue fresh from the airport and the genuine personalities of the Denver crowd quickly became apparent. We met locals who
welcomed us into their tailgate, thrilled that we had made this trek to the Rocks. Everyone we came across had the same happy reaction as they tried to describe what we were about to experience that night.

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The climb up the mountain to the Red Rocks entrance is an event in itself. The hike made us acutely aware of our physical prowess and hearing the bass echoing from the amphitheater all the way from the parking lot kept our feet moving.

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We eventually made our way into the venue and explored during Tribal Seed’s late afternoon set. We felt like little kids at Disneyland, adventuring around to see the attractions. There was a great variety of food and drink vendors dispersed throughout the venue to discover. In case you were wondering, the nachos were on point.

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We posted up at different vantage points as we made our way through the crowd. Whether you were watching the band jamming om the stage, the light projections onto the rocks beside you, or turning around to glance at the rising crowd above, every angle offered a remarkable view.

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The view from the top of the venue is equally amazing as the one from the photo pit. From the top, the structure of the amphitheater can be fully visualized, as well as the beautiful Denver skyline behind the stage. The thousands of people surrounding you feel microscopic compared to the canyon rock reaching towards the sky beside you.

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The acoustics in the amphitheater are simply unparalleled. It sounds like you are beside the artists in their studio; the connection to their music was heightened as we were able to literally feel the sound pulsating on us. This is what music is supposed to sound like.

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Cypress Hill still knows how to put on one hell of a live performance. They played back-dropped by a beautiful sunset as the crowd participated in constant sing-alongs to Cypress Hill’s classics. DJ Muggs and Bobo Correa performed a wild scratch and bongo solo that sent crisp echos into the mountains. It was great to get our hip-hop fix as they rapped into nighttime.

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Finally, a smoking skull was projected on the rocks and the Slightly Stoopid crew rolled up on stage in a hot-boxed van. It was, after all, 4/20.

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Miles Doughty screamed “COLORADOOOO” into the mic about 100 times that night, but the first time sent shivers
down our spines as his voice echoed all around us.

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C-Money fist pumped with his trumpet in between songs and the serenading saxophone was continuously harmonizing with the band, keeping our heads bobbing to the rhythm.

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The atmosphere in the crowd was obviously appropriate for the “holiday”, in a state that recently legalized marijuana. A fog of smoke rose constantly from the audience, sitting above everyone’s heads like ghostly halos.

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It was a magical experience all around and one we will not soon forget. For those in Philadelphia looking to get Slightly Stoopid, their “Kicking Up Dust” summer tour will be rolling into Philly on August 10th to play the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing with Atmosphere and The Budos Band. Tickets are on sale now.

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[Photo credit: Mike Martinoli]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):