For music lovers everywhere summer means one thing: festival season. But just because the days grow shorter and the nights cooler doesn’t mean the fun, or the music has to stop. Across the US great music festivals are constantly taking place, here are some can’t miss fall and winter festivals:
The Growler’s Six
Previously known as Beach Goth, The Growler’s are back again this fall with the renamed Growler’s Six festival. Offering a more eccentric lineup than the typical festival, The Growler’s headline both nights with help from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dan Auerbach, Modest Mouse and Danny Brown. Grab your costume and head to the L.A. waterfront October 28-29 to catch these acts and more.
Day for Night
Taking place December 15-17 in Houston, Day for Night is described as “an art and music event that explores the deep connections between light, technology, sound and space”. This year’s rosters includes some of the most talented names across all genres such as James Blake, Tyler, the Creator, Jamie xx and Justice. In between sets you can catch several installations and talks from people such as Chelsea Manning and Nadya from Pussy Riot.
If there’s one city that knows how to party, it’s New Orleans and this years Buku lineup is sure to guarantee that. Young Thug, Travis Scott, DEADMAU5, 21 Savage and Run the Jewels top the bill with great supporting acts sure to keep the fun going all weekend long. Head down to the Big Easy, March 10-11 for what is sure to be a can’t miss experience.
South by Southwest
If you’re looking for a film, comedy and music festival offering great interactive experiences, look no farther than South by Southwest. In 2017 SXSW hosted over 2,000 official performers, covering all genres from all over the world. If you find yourself in Austin anytime between March 9-18 make sure to catch a set.
Image courtesy of Day for Night.
2015 came and went, some albums gave us chills, others made us want to party like it’s 1999, and then there were ones that just never seemed to arrive at all. While Adele made her surprising reappearance into the music world, Frank Ocean was probably off on an island far, far away laughing at us all as we impatiently wait for his sophomore album. He was most likely chillin’ alongside Rihanna and Kanye West, who have also been taking their precious time to release their next albums. Before we get too bitter about this, it’s important to think about all the great works of art that are likely to flood our ears in 2016. Here’s a list of albums that will (hopefully) arrive in the new year and fill our musical needs.
Chance The Rapper released a new track on SoundCloud called “Save Yourself First.” Chance told the world that this was the first collaboration he did with James Blake before they released the “Life Round Here” remix last September. Chance wrote on the SoundCloud track that “James never liked this verse,” so the song was scrapped entirely. Today’s release features faint clippings of James Blake’s vocals from “Life Round Here,” but Chance is calling this the Social Experiment version. Whatever it is, I think it’s beautiful. So. Damn. Delicate.
light aint been round here in a minute, darkness been swallowed it up
As if the original James Blake track “Life Round Here” wasn’t sexy and smooth enough, we’ve now got a just as soothing cover of it from two talented ladies. Ellie Goulding and Angel Haze have teamed up to bring us a cool, edgy new version of the tune. Goulding seduces us with her soft, honey sweet vocals while Angel Haze lays a sassy rap verse onto the cover. It’s the perfect fusion of flavors brought into one song and it’s one you can’t miss. So hear the fabulous remake below.
I just signed up for this Internet movement called #100happydays. I saw the hashtag on a friend’s Instagram photo two days in a row and was intrigued. Turns out it’s an online challenge for you to document something that makes you happy for 100 days in a row. You have to submit that documentation (a photo) via some form of online media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, email directly to the site’s team, etc – and if you make it through the 100 days, you’ll get a book of all your pictures to remind you of the things that make you happy in life. Sounds simple enough, but apparently over 70% of people fail to finish the challenge because of lack of time.
So I’m going to try it! I wasn’t happy enough in 2013 – any of you who have gotten to “know me” through my writing over the past 5 years have probably come to learn that I’m a pretty happy person. But there was a dip in 2013 – it was a combination of things: remnants of things and people lost, realization of time ticking by, a lingering feeling of stagnancy, and other things. Without getting too deep into that, I can just say that I knew I needed to make changes in 2014, because while those things are all human, they’re not who I am at my core. So a big part of this project that I appreciate is that it calls on me to recognize that there are things that happen every day that make me happy. I work at one of the best companies in the world, I have an amazing family, I have fantastic friends, I have an incredible education, I have two legs that function and I get to use them in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
So this is going to be my year, right?
But then a new James Blake song comes out and I just can’t help but feel my heart sink in pain. Painfully beautiful.
James Blake has linked with SITR favorite Chance The Rapper on a remix of his Overgrown single “Life Round Here.” The two are probably the “coolest” artists at the moment and so it’s kind of amazing that they connected for this cross-genre track. Honestly, I’m not in love with the result. The sounds sort of clash, and Chano’s verse just awkwardly ends. Still, it’s super notable that this is the second hip-hop collab for Blake a.k.a. the guy rumored to be featured on every Drake and ‘Ye album since 2010 (the first collab was the RZA feature on Overgrown).
We’re about half way through July, and almost 7 months into 2013. We’ve had a lot good moments, and I’m sure there’s more to come, but it’s time to do one of these lists! Ya know, cause Sunset writers are your favorite writers out there and you treasure our opinions the most. Other music sites are rolling out their “Best of 2013 So Far,” so we decided to hop in on the action and have all of our writers give you their favorite album, EP, mixtape, and song thus far! Please do remember, these are subject to change come the end of 2013. I hope it does change by the end because what’s listed below is some really, really, really, ridiculously good music.
Also, shout out to our guy, Eric, for the sick artwork.
- Lydia: Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
- Arjun: Kanye West – Yeezus
- Jordan: Kanye West – Yeezus
- Andy: Kanye West – Yeezus
- Dusty: Kanye West – Yeezus
- Eric: Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
- Alicia: Disclosure – Settle
- DPrep: Magna Carta…Holy Grail
- Lydia: Bipolar Sunshine – Aesthetics
- Arjun: Bipolar Sunshine – Aesthetics
- Jordan: Bipolar Sunshine – Aesthetics
- Andy: N/A
- Dusty: Sir Sly – Gold
- Eric: Electric Guest – Good America EP
- Alicia: Yuna – Sixth Street EP
- DPrep: Bipolar Sunshine – Aesthetics
- Lydia: Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
- Arjun: Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
- Jordan: Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
- Andy: Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
- Dusty: Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
- Eric: Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
- Alicia: Kilo Kish – K+
- DPrep: Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap
- Lydia: Fryars – On Your Own
- Arjun: Drake – Started from the Bottom
- Jordan: Kanye West – I’m In It
- Andy: Justin Timberlake – Pusher Love Girl
- Dusty: Rihanna – Stay (ft. Mikky Ekko)
- Eric: James Blake – Retrograde
- Alicia: Banks – Before I Ever Met You
- DPrep: Vampire Weekend – Hannah Hunt
Covers are an interesting thing. A lot of times, they leave me feeling stupid and worthless as I tell myself I’ve discovered this great new band who instantly put out a classic, only to find it’s a cover. But the silver lining to that feeling is that usually it means the cover was done right. The artist covering the material needs to bring an element of uniqueness to the original song in order to make it a bit of their own, but not a complete ripoff of the maker’s creation. And when done right, it’s a magical moment. Here are ten covers done exceptionally well.
After an incredible first single, the ever-awesome James Blake releases the second single off of Overgrown, set to drop April 9th: “Digital Lion.” It starts with the vintage James Blake sound: airy, chilling and haunting–James Blake doing what he does best. When it drops, the rhythm picks up and the track gets moving at a faster pace.
It sounds like an escape–a racing, fast paced, bass driven track. “Digital Lion” features Brian Eno, and you can definitely sense the master’s touch on this one. Two true masters of their craft combining to make something unique and epic, a real treat.
In the undying words of the Notorious H.O.V., “The Ruler is Back,” and how sweet it is to have Mr. James Blake back in the building. If you’re unaware of who James Blake is, know two things: a) I pity you, and b) his genius is essentially unmatched. Nobody does what he does as well as he does it. Go back in the vaults and get hip to tracks like CMYK, Unluck, The Willhelm Scream, etc. Or, better yet, do yourself a favor and pick up the entirety of James Blake – James Blake and Klavierwerke on iTunes.
“Retrograde” is just really beautiful. It makes me feel like I’m flying, drifting somewhere above a beautiful, moonlit coast, floating in the air above the crashing sea, examining the world, with only my thoughts as company.
Ignore everybody else/ We’re alone now
Chilling, rhythmic electronica accentuated by beautiful, soulful lyricism: the epitome of James Blake.
His new EP, Overgrown, will be out on April 8th. Mark that date, and get ready to have your brain rattled by Mr. Blake when it drops. In a time of saturated genres and a notable lack of novelty, James Blake is in his own genre, breaking down barriers we weren’t even aware existed.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve gotten increasingly into jazz music. My dad’s favorite album is Miles Davis’ magnum opus Kind of Blue, so I was introduced to the genre at a young age and I’ve always enjoyed listening to it when my family played it at parties and when I saw it performed live. However, I never really bothered to start my own collection of jazz music. That all changed when a friend of mine got a record player and we started to listen to old jazz records on an almost constant basis. Ever since then, I’ve gotten pretty serious into the classics, but hadn’t really found any up and coming jazz musicians that I really was excited about.
That all changed when I first heard BBNG. I’ll admit, I didn’t listen to them until they first started doing their Odd Future covers, but ever since then I’ve been really excited about each new release they’ve put out.
It’s really cool to me to see such a contemporary jazz group–a group that covers an incredibly diverse range of genres, spanning from Earl Sweatshirt’s “Earl” to Kanye West’s Flashing Lights to James Blake’s CMYK–get such independent groundswell. It’s been really cool seeing their progressing recognition–of course, the Odd Future members rep BBNG all day long, but artists such as Questlove have also taken notice of BBNG’s young talent. It’s interesting to see the clash of their style with the style of Odd Future–both acts have vicious, spitfire delivery, offering their art with no regrets and no reservations.
To put it in more direct terms, they give zero fucks; they’re here to make what they want to make, to play what they want to play, and they do it damn well.
Check out some of my favorite tracks streaming below, and head over to BBNG.com to download the entire album, free of charge. Best $0 you’ll ever spend in your life, I promise you.
No one above the age of 21 was involved in the making of thisalbum, it was created by a bunch of kids. This album wasrecorded in one 10 hour session with no song having morethan two takes, it was mixed and mastered completely byourselves. Thanks to our friends, family, loved ones and anyonewho fucks with us.
The Internet is great. Consider me a huge fan. When you are bored and procrastinating, you wander there, and it gladly accepts you. It doesn’t nag at you, and tell you, “Arjun, you’re wasting precious time, buddy,” because your name is not Arjun. I especially love the Internet, because it usually reinforces bad behavior by rewarding your procrastination–like it did today by handing me Belly’s new mixtape on a shiny, silver, digital platter. Belly’s only fault is that he’s Canadian. Luckily for him, he more than makes up for that with this stellar mixtape: Drake style. The Greatest Dream I Never Had is weird in a really good way. In it, we get fresh samples of both new and old songs–none of those tired Adele and Pashy Pit samples. No, on this mixtape, we get samples of Lana Del Rey, R.E.M., and James Blake.
This is a MUST download mixtape. Don’t sleep on it.
- I’m Falling
- Criminal Mind
- Lonely Night
- Losing My Religion
- The Key
- Purple Drugs
- Time Alone
- Go To Sleep
Download the entire mixtape HERE.