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The Best Moments of SnowGlobe Music Festival 2014

Not even bolstering winds and seasonal snowfall could deny the party at SnowGlobe last weekend. Despite only being in its fourth year, the 2014 incarnation of the Lake Tahoe music festival drew estimated crowds of 14,000 each day. Locals and out-of-towners were drawn to the EDM-heavy lineup and celebrated the New Year together with fresh powder, scrumptious food vendors, and of course, simply good music.

The festival, which spanned across three stages under the mountainous backdrop of Northern California, gave festival goers a face-melting way to ring in the 2015 to the tune of big and small EDM acts alike. Staples like Skrillex, Zedd, Porter Robinson and Flume were present, as well as up and comers like Bro Safari and Branchez.

Whether you (very sadly) didn’t make it to the festival or simply want to relive it (again and again), we got you covered with the best moments from each day of the musical winter wonderland below. Also, don’t forget to check out our 21-track SnowGlobe playlist for your aural pleasure.

The Best Moments of SnowGlobe Music Festival 2014

by Tia Nguyen

DAY ONE

The Entire Bro Safari Set

Before his set even started, there was an obvious sense of energy that rippled through the crowd as the emcee pumped everyone up for the long night ahead. The tightly packed Sierra Tent waited in anticipation for Bro Safari to emerge, and the dedicated group of fans that trekked through the cold to see his performance didn’t come in vain. His killer set gave everyone a taste of the electric vibes that the rest of the night and the next few days would bring.

Disclosure’s Performance of ‘Latch’

With Disclosure’s addictively rhythmic tunes, the crowd found itself swaying along to every beat of the electronic duo’s tempo. But it was clear that everyone was eagerly awaiting ‘Latch’ as their closing song. Disclosure effortlessly united the crowd as everyone joined the two brothers to sing harmony, making the song easily one of the most unforgettable moments of the night.

The Energy During Skrillex’s Set

As Skrillex rounded out the end of the night, it seemed the crowd was ready to finish in high spirits, creating an atmosphere so full of energy that the frigid temperatures were completely forgotten. In fact, Skrillex’s own performance, complete with headbanging and climbing on DJ stands, had the sea of people in beanies and animal hats jumping around and feeding off of his excitement.

DAY TWO

Odesza in the Sierra Tent

By the end of the night, the combination of heavy winds and the biting cold had many festivalgoers fleeing to the Sierra Tent for some much-needed warmth and the melodic rhythms that Odesza delivers. The duo’s electronic-pop fusions created an ambiance perfect for the end to SnowGlobe’s second night with a balance between smooth instrumentals and upbeat vocal tracks.

Porter Robinson Ditches the DJ Set

The 10 degree weather did not stop the die-hard Porter fans from coming to the Main Stage. Freezing winds pierced the many layers of hundreds of festival goers, but when Porter Robinson opened his set with Sad Machine, all was forgotten. His live performance at SnowGlobe was refreshing in the midst of all the DJ sets and constant rhythms, leaving the crowd in a trance with soundscapes unlike any of the other music on this year’s lineup.

DAY THREE

The Entire Zedd Set

Zedd may have taken the crown as the best set of the entire festival. The light show alone was awesome enough to make his set one of SnowGlobe’s top moments. But what made his performance even better was how interactive he was with the crowd, getting everybody even more pumped than they already were for ringing in the New Year. Remix after remix of popular songs had the entire audience feeling ecstatic.

What So Not Brings the Heat

Typically after popular sets in the Sierra Tent, the crowd took in their last moments of warmth and ventured out into the more prominent outdoor stages. But What So Not delivered an unforgettable performance of his own. With songs like “You and Me” and “High You Are,” he kept the crowd energized the entire set and ready to go for Flume’s big finale on the Main Stage.

Flume’s ‘You + Me’ at Midnight

2014 saw the year of Flume’s rise as one of electronic music’s biggest names, and with the midnight slot on New Years Eve, he attracted the biggest crowd of the entire festival. ‘Insane,’ ‘On Top,’ and ‘Drop the Game’ as the first few songs were only the buildup to Flume’s epic midnight countdown, which was appropriately followed by a remix of his biggest hit “You + Me,” an epic fireworks show, and New Year’s kisses all around. There was no better way to welcome 2015 than with Flume.


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Skrillex, Porter Robinson, Flume Top SnowGlobe Festival 2014 Lineup

SnowGlobe Music Festival, situated in picture-perfect South Lake Tahoe, California, will ring in the New Year against the mountains to the tune of Disclosure, Flume, Porter Robinson, Skrillex and Zedd as its top bills.

Other big-name acts include Atmosphere, Flux Pavillon, Phantogram, and Odesza.

The three-day festival will be held on the Lake Tahoe Community College campus, Dec. 29 – 31, in what will be a surefire New Year’s Eve banger.

Single-day tickets are still available.

Check out the lineup announcement video below, and also soak in SG’s surreal festival setting.


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Coachella 2014: 7 Must-See Acts That Aren’t Headliners

With the first weekend of Coachella just days away, it’s no secret that the must-see performance of the festival is OutKast on Friday night. The dynamic duo is celebrating their 20th anniversary and haven’t hit the stage together in years. Muse and Arcade Fire will be sure to hold it down as the other two top bills on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, but what everybody else?

If you’re heading down to the desert this weekend, be sure to check out these other great non-headlining acts.


7. Banks

Sexy and sultry, Banks’ mysterious sound will remind you of a female version of the Weeknd. This alternative r&b songstress hails from L.A., so expect a hometown crowd cheering her on.

6. Lorde

The young crooner from New Zealand absolutely took over the charts last year with her moody, yet pop-friendly hits. Although she’s only 17, she’s helmed the spotlight smoothly, playing on stages as big as the Grammy’s. Plus, her awkward, jerky dance movements are a sight to be seen.

5. Chance The Rapper

Hailing from Chicago, Chance has made big waves off a couple of mixtapes that have landed him features with the likes of Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber. But where the young MC really shines is under the stage lights. His raw energy and passion is contagious.

4. Calvin Harris

If you’ve been out to any bar, venue, stadium or outing in the past couple of years, chances are you’ve danced foolishly to a Calvin Harris jam. The Scottish DJ just knows how to make a crowd move, and the Sahara Tent will be no exception.

3. Beck

Beck is a true living legend. Making his rounds in the 90s, Beck infused hip-hop, soul, funk and rock with seamless ease. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to see a this veteran, American musician in sunny California.

2. Skrillex

Love him or hate him, Skrillex knows how to throw a party. The energy he brings to his shows is infectious and his drops will definitely melt your face off. Be ready to rage if you’re going to catch this set on Saturday.

1. Pharell Williams

Skateboard P has been sculpting pop’s landscape for the past couple of decades, but this past year has been his best yet. His slot at Coachella should be a surefire party of number one hits. Don’t be shocked if he brings a surprise or two on stage with him either. The guy has probably worked with half of the festival’s lineup, after all.

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[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Superfriends

New Tape Tuesday!

It is really really really difficult to believe in love when you have not experienced it, yet it is so engrained in culture that it is instilled in even the most adamant nonbelievers. I set out to make out a mixtape that is as grimy and slimy (sorry for rhyming) as the ZHU smash “Superfriends” and somehow came out with this grand statement on love. I think the context of this love still comes from like a night out, “we found love in a hopeless place”-type scenario, so that is cool and interesting. Other than that, it is just a mix of 24 songs ranging from Mar‘s gorgeous “Ode to Her” (which makes the lyric “If I was born a girl, I would be just like you babe” endearing and not weird) to the addictive and danceable “Coast Is Clear” by the odd couple of Skrillex and Chance The Rapper.

Continue reading “[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Superfriends” »

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The Five Best Dance Songs of the Week

Your weekend starts as soon as your press play below. Do it.

Now.


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Doin’ It Right: Why The World Needs More Daft Punk

In the eight years since we last listened to a Daft Punk LP, electronic dance music has gone from a casual, foot tapping interest to a full-blown, fist pumping darling in American culture and mass appeal.

Think about it. Human After All came out in 2005. Let me take you back to that time. Dubstep (and not even how we Americans define it) was still just beginning to bud in the UK. There was no trap, no brostep, no Skrillex and no Avicii. George W. Bush was still POTUS. Candy Shop, Hollerback Girl and Gold Digger were some of the year’s Billboard chart toppers (not to mention that Mariah Carey was super radio relevant). And, YouTube JUST became a thing (seriously, look it up).

Now, let’s come back to 2013. The world is quite a different place. EDM isn’t just some marginal genre that only Europeans or your weird-ass cousin listen to anymore. It’s on the radio. It’s in commercials. Your mom loves loves it. Your little brother loves it. EDM has become (dare I say?) mainstream.

And why? The simple answer is that dance music is easy to make. No, I’m not saying that you’re not talented, Bedroom Producer (you can sit back down). I’m saying that what it takes to make EDM has become extremely accessible. If you have a laptop, some software and the rare ability to hear sounds, you’re pretty much a fully-equipped, fours-to-the-floor, hit-making machine as far as dance musicians go.

And that’s an incredible thing for music. I mean, a person who can’t even read traditional sheet music can go out there and produce something that touches millions of people, inspiring them to dance, love and forget.

But it can also be a super fucking terrible thing, too. The EDM market is becoming horribly saturated. You ever get the feeling that every dance song, remix, and mashup you stumble across sounds identical to the last? You’re not alone. Even Diplo has ragged on how huff the state of dance music currently is.

Enter Random Access Memories, the latest love child of electronic duo Daft Punk (which officially came out today, by the way). Listen to it. Now, listen to it again. What did you hear? That’s the sound of something different. That’s the sound of innovation (even if retro-ly inspired). That’s the sound of two artists not trying to tap into a fad or appeal to anything remotely mainstream. That’s Daft Punk.

You see, we’ve become desensitized. Every wobble, every drop, every synth, every anthem-shaking, face-melting record that roars through our bass-heavy speakers has hardened our faces to become not so meltable anymore.

It’s funny. American dubstep’s sounds are often compared to the noises that a dial-up modem makes. It’s mechanical. It’s heartless. But, of course it’s the French robots that have given us a dance album that sounds strangely real. It’s alive. It’s human.

Daft Punk just threw everything we’ve become accustomed to about them (and the genre they’ve influenced for the past 20 years) out the window. There’s less samples, synths, and drum triggers on the album than there are orchestra, human vocals and live instrumentation. Some of it might not even make you want to get out your seat and jump around, but it makes you listen. I mean, really listen to everything that’s happening in the music. And that’s a beautiful thang.

I’m not really here to review RAM. I’m not even really here to tell you that Daft Punk did all those things intentionally because, they too, were frustrated at dance music. I’m here to say that the world needs more artists like Daft Punk right now.

The world needs more musicians that don’t buy into trends, that don’t try to make “hits”, that don’t make the same album twice or thrice over just because “it’s their style”. In the hyperactive, Internet-laced virtual reality we live in right now, there’s a new artist, a new song, a new “genre” that surfaces every cot damn day. And, guess what? Lately, today sounds like yesterday and the day before it and so on.

Fuck that. Innovate. Shake things up. Try things that don’t sound right. Make real, authentic music, no matter the genre. Inspire wonder and amazement and always push the boundaries, even simply for the sake of not doing the same thing twice.

Channel your inner Daft Punk and breath life back into your music. Because at the end of the day, even electronic music can be human (after all).


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Everything We Know About Kanye West’s New Album [Update #5]

New Kanye West!

Every since he tweeted “June Eighteen” there has been an excessive thirst for news on Kanye West‘s highly-anticipated sixth studio LP. Well, Rolling Stone has managed to snatch up some clues about the album, and I am going to try to connect some of the dots. Here is what we know:

  • He has been in Paris, France since the beginning of the year, staying in the illustrious Hotel Meurice (also known as “The Hotel of Kings,” so you know it’s real).
  • Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg said that Kanye played the album for Def Jam and apparently it’s “dark but really good.”
  • Kanye went to Brazil instead of The Grammys back in February. He was photographed in the studio with… Will Smith.
  • He is playing SNL’s season closer on May 18th. This is three days before Daft Punk‘s album drops, and he has at least two songs with Daft Punk. Thomas Bangalter, half of the influential French duo, said that ‘Ye was “kind of screaming primally” during one of their recent sessions.
  • Kanye tweeted “June Eighteen,” which I think is a single release date and not the album release date. Even though I would think he would release a single right after playing SNL in May, I do not think he would undercut label mate Pusha T‘s album My Name Is My Name (which is due out July 16th), with his own album. Oh also, June 18th could totally be Kim Kardashian’s due date.
  • West has brought in Skrillex, Chief Keef, and members of Odd Future. The Odd Future feature is especially not surprising as he is a huge Tyler, The Creator fan. For a while Tyler’s legendary “IFHY” music video was the only item featured on Yeezy’s website.
  • According to Pigeons & Planes, there may be a Kanye/Gunplay collaboration in the works as well.

UPDATE #1: Kanye took the Met Gala stage by storm last night performing some new material. One song, presumably called “I Am A God,” began with him yelling that. Another featured him telling Kim K that she is so awesome (watch here). Lastly, Hudson Mohawke, half of TNGHT and recent G.O.O.D. Music signee, played a new Yeezy song at one of his sets.

Also, it has been reported that Kanye bought the Hudson beat below. Hopefully, the final product sees the light of day because the instrumental is FIRE.

UPDATE #2: Hud Mo played another new ‘Ye song, this one probably called “New Slaves,” at a recent set.

Kanye said: “You see there’s leaders and there’s followers, but I’d rather be a dick than a swallower.”

Update #3: Kanye stopped by Roseland Ballroom in NYC and performed ANOTHER new track as well as the song we think is called “Awesome.” SNL this weekend is going to be insane.

Update #4: ‘Ye took to 66 buildings around the globe to project his new song “New Slaves.”

Update #5: Ugh. I’ll just embed a #tweet about this “Kanye” character. We can probably expect the “New Slaves” CDQ, featuring Frank Ocean tonight after SNL. Kanye’s album (title still not confirmed) Yeezus will be everywhere on June 18th.

 

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5 Incredible Piano Covers

1. Ferro Montanino from Winnipeg, Canada proves that is possible for one man to entirely remake Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites on a piano. Though there are few moments when I enjoy Skrillex, this song of his is one of them, and Ferro makes it arguable even more enjoyable on the ivory keys.

 

2. The Internet has been abuzz over Disclosure’s song “Latch” recently. And rightfully so. But we need to take a minute and direct our attention to this piano cover of the same song by a Soundcloud user by the name of kongsingwei. Stunning.

 

3. I can’t find much out about Jason Bolea. All I can find in a quick Internet search is his Soundcloud page, which has a picture of an Asian kid with his parents, and two songs. One of them is this piano cover of Coldplay’s “Paradise,” which might actually be even more beautiful than the original. Get it, stranger.

 

4. You’re entering dangerous territory when you try to cover Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games,” because all things crazy about LDR aside, this is one of the more beautiful songs released in the past couple of years. So if you’re considering remixing/covering/mashing it, stop yourself now. Unless your name is…James Franco? Yeah, that’s weird too. Whoever this guy is, though, he can play piano like a pro. You did it justice, sir.

 

5. Evan Duffy is a bit of a phenomenon in the music world. He’s an award-winning composer whose main focus is writing musical scores for films and video games, but his covers are not to be overlooked. And they haven’t been. He’s received praise from artists including Deadmau5, Zedd, Alex Clare, Skrillex and Madeon. My favorite of his solely piano covers is this cover of Madeon’s “Finale.” It builds as it goes, and by the end you’ll wonder if this guy is for real.

 

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Yolanda Be Cool – A Baru in New York (Ft. Gurrumul) (Flume Soundtrack Version)

Flume is by far my favorite Australian (he just beat out Ian Thorpe) and his new remix to Yolanda Be Cool‘s track, A Baru in New York, just cements his place on the top of my list of lads from down under. This huge remix has one of the most interesting intros I have heard and then when you least expect it the song drops into a huge electronic anthem. I have seen pictures of Flume with the likes of Skrillex popping up on my Instagram and it has me incredibly excited for the future. I am officially a Flume disciple. Check out the track below.

Flume’s WebsiteFlume on SoundcloudFlume on FacebookFlume on Twitter


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The Bonnaroo 2012 Experience (Day Three, Red Hot Chili Peppers)

To me, Day Three was the climax of the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. By hour 72 of this sleepless marathon, you’re very acquainted with The Farm and taking everything in stride. You know exactly how to navigate the festival grounds (or Centeroo, as they call it), your body has become accustomed to its 24-hour champagne beer and warm vodka diet, and you’ve completely mastered the art of the porta potty. Did I mention camping is intense?

Anyway, back to the tunes. This was hands down my favorite day. The acts were stacked and I couldn’t tell you an artist or group I saw who put on a bad show. Even Das Racist, who I’ve heard horrible thangs about in regards to their live set (coming out way too drunk, slobbing all over the mic, etc.), threw down hard–and were hilarious to boot. At one point they made every single person in the crowd turn around to face a fountain while they performed, yelling at anybody who looked otherwise.

And the Chili Peppers were a great contrast to Thom Yorke and company the day before. Where Radiohead was stoic, calculated and entrancing, Red Hot Chili Peppers were jubilant and throbbing with energy. Sure, they played a lot of newer jams that a lot of people either didn’t recognize or simply weren’t into, but when any track from their older catalogs like Californiacation jolted through the amps, the crowd was hanging on every single riff and rhyme. And yo, I gotta say, Flea is an absolute maniac on the stage. Dude is like, 50, and he’s up there chugging whiskey while absolutely wailing it on the bass. Super rad.

Alright. Now time to get something off my chest. I’m super torn about the screamo-punk-turned-EDM-DJ who is Sonny Moore, aka Skrillex. I mean, yeah, I do enjoy a few of his songs, but a lot I just don’t “get” and dude just kinda pisses me off in general with his whole image. But, I will say that he completely stole the show on Saturday night. In the hour and a half wait that was in between the Chili Peppers and Skrillex, you could sort of feel the hype in the air for his set. People were still buzzing after rocking out to a big headliner but the night was still far too young to quit. He even had the nerve of displaying a two-minute countdown on the screen before he came out, as if he was some sort of New Year’s Eve celebration.

But you know what? He won me over with his performance. I’ve never quite seen somebody control a crowd like Skrillex did. Plus, his setup was totally awesome. He was in a giant spaceship the entire time, with a giant backdrop that took you through a cosmos of colors and stars, making his show seem like a huge rave that was flying through space and time. People were completely RAGING to his set list. You remember when you used to mosh at shows that had a surplus of energy? Well, now people form a circle and take turns getting in the middle to just go absolutely ham with their dance moves. Maybe you’ve already been a part of one, but it was the first “anti-mosh pit” I’ve ever experienced and I doubt it’ll be the last.

Peep some live footage from the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s set below, and don’t forget to hit the five-track playlist afterwards to relive the sounds of Day Three.

Das Racist – You Oughta Know

SBTRK – Wildfire (Drake Remix)

Childish Gambino – Freaks and Geeks

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Otherside

Benny Benassi – Cinema (Skrillex Remix)

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Skrillex – Summit Ft Ellie Goulding (Aylen Remix)

Skrillex – Summit Ft Ellie Goulding (Aylen Remix) || Download

I’ve featured Aylen on here before, and with every new release I start to like him a little bit more. He’s a young producer, still in his teenage years, but I have the distinct feeling that he is going to become a very big name. This track is currently sitting at a nice #3 on the Hype Machine charts, and I’m happy to see him getting some increased recognition.

I’ve started to fall out of love with Skrillex–he seems more and more like a one trick pony with each new release–but Aylen puts a really nice twist on this one. Fresh out of the Skrillex laboratories, Aylen boosts this track by using more of Ellie’s beautiful (angelic, really) voice, and that’s a huge plus for me. I want Ellie’s babies. I really like his twist on the bassline too, and it’s cool to see him change things both in very noticeable ways and very subtle ways–a true testament to Aylen’s ability.

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Dream Big


 

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[Album Release] 5 & A Dime – #BASSMOB

Yesterday, the dubstep mashup master Gregory Kantor aka Señor 5 & A Dime released his new album, #BASSMOB.

I have consistently posted the singles leading up to this release, and it is really evident that his talents increase with each new project. #BASSMOB is a true testament to this, as this release is on a completely different level than his last release. Not only are BPM’s better matched, the songs are mastered at an elevated level and his choice of songs is also a lot stronger here.

Had to wait until Wednesday to post this because you guys know I need a little bit of that womp to get me through humpday. So womp and hump away, y’all. Get groovy with it.

#BASSMOB

Standout tracks:

Really Epic

#Bassmob

Skrillmau5

5 & A Dime – Cracked Promises

5 & A Dime – June Is Soon

Download #BASSMOB The Album

5 & A Dime || Facebook || Twitter

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Dream Big

 

 

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