[19 May 2013 | 4 Comments | ]
Eyes Peeled: 8 Must-See Artists at Wakarusa 2013

Quixotic (Photo by Brendan Jaffer-Thom)

Summer music festivals are about living in the moment. From the camping devoid of showers to the dance parties with complete strangers, the beauty is in the undistracted eye of the beholder. Part of that is being able to step out of your box and try out something new. In the case of Wakarusa music festival, taking place May 30 to June 2, it’s someone new.

We expect to see you raging to the tune of household [...]

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Featured Music, Festival, Reviews »

[23 May 2013 | One Comment | ]

2010wakarusa15

By this time next week you will most likely be in the mountains of east Arkansas drinking beer and rocking out to sweet jams. Several of the bands playing Wakarusa’s 10th anniversary are riding high on a 2013 release. We’ve reviewed three of them here, all of which will help pass the miles between your hometown and Mulberry Mountain. See you there!

BombinoNomad

This new release by Tuareg guitarist Omara Moctar, aka Bombino,  conjures a language, a culture, and a land drastically different from our own, yet is strikingly reminiscent of American guitar god Jimi Hendrix (whose videos he studied after acquiring a guitar left behind by his relatives during conflict in northern Africa). Crafted by Black Keys‘ Dan Aucherbach, Nomad is a combination of soothing electric vocals woven with contrasting, wavering guitar chords that any Black Keys fan would appreciate. Bombino’s politically charged lyrics are sung entirely in his native language of Tamashek, which at times sounds vaguely reminiscent of the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer. While the political issues that occupy his thoughts may well be a world away from his American fans, his sound and style are alluring on a global scale. The fuzzy, chant-like quality of his music evokes a feeling of serenity and wonder, fitting for meditative afternoons spent on the lawn, or better yet, under the Wakarusa Revival Tent with a warm breeze blowing through your hair and a cold beer in hand.

D.V.S*Hit the Clouds Running

Somewhere in the not too distance past, there manifested a giant fork in electronic music. Some artists went one way down a harder hitting, grimier path, while some chose melody and emotion. New Yorker Derek VanScoten, a.k.a. D.V.S*, went both ways in 2011 with the dual-album release of Coming Up For Air, Volumes 1 & 2. Each volume chose a different path, a genius experiment in all respects. VanScoten’s 2013 release has taken the softer route that focuses on musicality over popularity, and beauty over bang. In the same vein as U.K. producer Bonobo, Hit the Clouds Running seamlessly weaves synthetic beats beneath live instrumentation, much of which is done by VanScoten himself. Stand out tracks on the album include “Peppermint Sky” and “Blame Me,” but entire tracklist will stick with you for weeks to come. D.V.S* plays the Grassroots California Satellite Stage at 3:15 p.m. Saturday.

EarPhunkNo Nine to Five

Some bands have a way with a bass line. New Orleans’ EarPhunk is a prime example, evident from the very first chord on their newest album Nine to Five. The disc opens with a hard-hitting instrumental track that drops the listener thick in the middle of a funkadelic soundscape. The recipe is two parts jam band — with a sound akin to the likes of Galactic — and one part funk with a dash of psychedelia, but the party doesn’t stop there. Instrumental tracks like “Kilona” feature head-spinning keys while others focus on progressive guitar lines (“Recoil”) that do more to relax than enhance your trip. The album’s title track is a catchy protest against the societal norm, fun to both imagine and chant out loud. (Believe me, it will happen live.) Clocking in just over half an hour, No Nine to Five is short, sweet and straight to the point — if you ain’t gonna dance, we’ll make you. Be sure to check out a special Waka set Saturday at 10 p.m.  at TTechnaflora Outpost Tent when EarPhunk goes Daft Punk. The end result is DaftPhunk … epic!

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[22 May 2013 | No Comment | ]

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Montu with Dimitri’s Ascent at The Green Elephant — $5 to $10 — Doors at 9 p.m.

After four years of being together, Oklahoma jamtronica band MONTU has played shows everywhere from New York to California, capturing audiences with their high energy performances and their own unique brand of sound blending influences of instrumental rock, electronica, prog, hip hop and trance. In their last few years together, they have found themselves in the pages of Relix Magazine, played at several national festivals (Wakarusa Music Festival, Yonder Harvest Festival, etc.) and have opened for such big name acts as Umphrey’s McGee, Girl Talk, Keller Williams, The Disco Biscuits, Lotus, EOTO and more. 2012 promises to be a big year for MONTU including a new album release with a heavy tour schedule so check them out when they are in your area for a high-energy performance and dance party that won’t leave you standing still.

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[30 Apr 2013 | No Comment | ]

shabazz

Shabazz Palaces with THEESatisfaction and Malitia Malimob at Granada Theater — $20 to $35 —  Doors at 7 p.m.

Like rich velvet hijabs or gold threaded abayas. Luxury as understood by the modest. Shabazz Palaces. If Bedouins herded beats instead of goats and settled in Seattle instead of the Atlas Mountains, this would be their album. Forward thinkers but nostalgic for a sparer time when ancient astronomers only recognized five planets. Hip hop. Black light uses electromagnetic radiation to eradicate microorganisms, but shabazz didn’t come to kill a sound, just to shine their own incandescent lamp on this. Hear. Hard and clear.

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[23 Apr 2013 | No Comment | ]

 

papadosio-at-trees-featured

Papadosio with Black Market Pharmacy at Trees — $17 — Doors open at 7 p.m.

Formed in Athens, OH, Papadosio has been creating a home at the forefront of live electronica since 2006. With a sound defined by unexpected combinations, this quintet has wowed crowds at clubs, theaters, and festivals across the country. The bands songwriting showcases improvisational interludes and refreshing vocal harmonies with an amplified message of transcendence, unity, and universal understanding. Now hailing from Asheville, NC, Papadosio’s mission is clear: to combine eclectic musical traditions with modern electronica to stir the heart and fuel the mind.

 

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[5 Apr 2013 | No Comment | ]

fox and the birdOAK CLIFF — Oak Cliff native Stevie Ray Vaughan forever lives in his home district as of April 4 when community leaders unveiled a new mural in the Bishop Arts District.

The mural, which was commissioned by commercial real estate developer Jim Lake Companies, depicts a serene view of Lake Cliff Park on a sunny day from beneath a stone arch. Local design firm Eyecon painted the mural to scale so that pedestrians walking by could seemingly head down the acrylic path to the lakefront. The image practically jumps off the brick wall.

A curious statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan holding his guitar sits modestly on the lawn of Lake Cliff Park though, in reality, it does not exist.

“This is a very special piece to us,” said Eyecon muralist Jeff Garrison, adding that the company has been stationed in the neighborhood for 17 years. “We’ve done many works in and around Dallas, but this one is home.”

stevie ray vaughnLocated on Seventh Street at Davis Boulevard, the Lake Cliff Park mural pays tribute to the history of Oak Cliff as well as Martin Weiss and Jim Lake Sr., the two men who led a revitalization of the Bishop Arts District. Eyecon worked with Jim Lake Companies for more than two years on the iconography and spent the last three cold months transferring it onto the north face of Bishop Street Market.

Jim Lake Jr., CEO of the company that commissioned the piece, spoke at the unveiling ceremony alongside Councilwoman Delia Jasso, both of whom were emphatic about the area’s development over the last couple of decades. The intrinsic value of the Lake Cliff mural, they explained, ties the tumultuous past of the neighborhood together with their hopes for the future.

“We want this to encourage our entrepreneurs, owners, and shop keepers,” said Councilwoman Jasso.

this story was originally published on Pegasus News on April 5, 2013.

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