I arrived in San Francisco for my first journey to the Outside Lands Music Festival. Having been to Coachella the past seven years and Lollapalooza last year in Chicago, I was excited to see what this bad boy had to offer. Considering I’m doing this from my phone, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. Here are my five observations from day one of Outside Lands:
1. The Layout of the Festival is Different and Great- Golden Gate Park is massive and a great place for a festival. Huge trees everywhere, nice grass and scenic. The festival itself, is laid out really well the stages aren’t super far from each other but every area is pretty unique and separate. Beer and bathroom lines are really chill which is always huge and unlike Coachella, you can drink anywhere which is fan-fucking-tastic.
2. The Weather is Crazy- thank god my friend told me to dress warm because it is cold as shit in the SF. Apparently, that area in particular is especially crispy. It was so foggy you couldn’t see shit, cold as balls, windy and it started drizzling at the end of the night. I dug it and prefer it to the scorching temperatures of Coachella but plenty of people were not prepared. It was easy to spot the d bag so cal dudes wearing tanks, shorts and backwards hats, trying to play it off that they weren’t freezing their ass off.
3. Transportation Situation is Dog Shit- biggest glove slap about outside lands is the transportation. We couldn’t get a cab to save our life to the venue and all the buses were so full they wouldn’t even stop. We had to bribe a cab $40 to get to the show and when we left, more drama. We dipped out thirty minutes before the show ended in an effort to beat the rush but got no love. There were no cabs really to speak of and once again the buses were packed. We ended up walking for 45 minutes, fighting our way on a bus that wasn’t really going where we needed it to and then finally scored a cab after walking an additional twenty blocks. Shitballs.
4. Onto the music. Since we got up here later than we wanted to and it took us forever to get into the show, I only saw the following four bands:
Of monsters and men
MSTRKRFT killed it. That being said, when the hell are they dropping another album? Kinda weird that they are on the festival circuit without one but I’m not complaining. I really love Washed Out and wasn’t sure what to expect live since its so chill and background music-y. I was really impressed, they sounded great and played all the jams. It was my favorite show of the day by far and the time in the evening was perfect. That being said, the energy wasn’t great for everyone and people started leaving halfway through. Their loss. Bitches.
5. Early End- Not sure if it’s a park deal or what but the show gets out at 10 every night. I actually kinda like it cuz you have your whole night ahead of you which we used to our full advantage.
I got some good sleep last night, am staying at a great house overlooking Alcatraz in the city and I’m ready for day two. Let’s dance.
We went into Coachella with the best of intentions. Shoot a bunch of footage, put together an awesome video we could share with everyone. Well, that didn’t really happen. What did? Well, I got some awesome dance footage. Enjoy!
While I’ve been an Odd Future fan for a while, never thought much of Hodgy Beats. That is until I got my hands on his EP. There are some serious bangers on here and this track could be the best of them all. Move over Tyler and Earl, Odd Future could now be the Big 3:
I can’t say that I know a ton about Etta James. I don’t own all of her albums and I’d be lying if I said I’ve listened to her anytime in the past couple of months. One of the most beautiful things about music though, is that regardless of how much you listen to a particular artist or how well you know their body of work, that they can still hold a special place in your heart. My love for Etta James revolves around one song. While she’s had plenty other great songs, songs that I do listen to, it’s one song in particular called “I’d Rather Go Blind” that I will always associate with her. The first time I heard this song was in 8th grade. My good friend Manuel Martinez had a four disc box set called Chess Blues and he played this song for me. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Both him and I had just broken up with our girlfriends and were pretty damn depressed as we dealt with deep (or so what we thought at the time) guy / girl emotions for one of the first times in our lives. Before we knew it, this song was on repeat and we listened to it in his room about 20 times in a row.
To this day, it evokes emotion in me as a truly deep and touching song about heartbreak. I just found the song on youtube and as I’ve been writing this blog post, I’ve played it about five times already. As always, it not only brings me back to that day, but it also shows me how much music can resonate with you and channel emotions that we deal with in our day-to-day lives. So yeah, in tribute to Etta James, please enjoy this song and may she rest in peace.
The title was me trying to sound out that classic Prodigy line from Mobb Deep. I’m too lazy to look up the song title, you know what I’m talking about, right? So, over the past two or three weeks, I’ve been listening to a steady dose of hip hop which is a nice change of pace from my increasingly indie rock playlist. Big ups to Cheech for sprinkling me with a BUNCH of new music to keep me entertained at the Kid Dangerous Head Quarters. Most of these guys are pretty under the radar and have little to no chance of ever blowing up, but so much great hip hop never does. You gotta dig in the crates a little bit to find some gems. Of all the songs I’ve heard, these ones have stood out the most:
Skyzoo- Rap Like Me (album: the Great Debater)
Never heard of this dude before I got his CD and a couple things jumped out at me about the album. Sick, sick beats. Solid voice and solid flow. That’s all you need for a good hip hop CD. Here’s a thumper to get us started:
Curren$y & Alchemist- BBS (album: Covert Coup)
I’ve heard a lot of Curren$y and while I respect his game, it never got me hooked. This collabo with Alchemist is different though. Alchemist has been around forever and is responsible for countless Mobb Deep / East Coast underground rap anthems. I feel like he’s kinda fell off lately and I always wish he got a chance to work with some bigger rappers because he deserved the shine. Well, it’s good to see he’s back on this song and on the whole album. This song is so fucking gangster it’s a joke. Makes me want to roll around LA in a drop top bumping this shit while smoking a blunt and I don’t even smoke weed.
Evidence- The Red Carpet feat. Raekwon and Ras Kass (album: Cats & Dogs)
Cheech loves this album, I like it. Evidence is from Dilated Peoples and while he doesn’t have the best raps or flow ever, he’s pretty good at both. This beat, which happened to be made by Alchemist, is so hot it’s a joke.
J. Cole- Nobody’s Perfect (album: Cole World)
I fucking Love J. Cole. Love him. Have every mix tape he’s ever made and I listen to all of it religiously. I feel like he’s the next great rapper in the vein of naS, Tupac and Jay-Z. He can go from top 40 to gangster to introspective in a way that truly separates him from the pack. This approach might limit his immediate mass appeal (even though he’s doing pretty damn well already) like a Drake or a Lil Wayne, but he’s built for a long long career. He’s gonna go down in the history books. I love this jam. I actually like Missy Elliott when she sings and even though her lyrics aren’t great, the hook is catchy as shit.
Game- Born in the Trap (album: The R.E.D. Album)
So the Game isn’t exactly underground but he has fallen off quite a bit. I had basically written him off until being very pleasantly surprised by this album. Lot of great west coast bangers but it was this track with the legendary DJ Premier that caught my ear. Dope Primo beat and Game rips it like he was from the Bronx or something. Great combination here:
Blu- What if I Was (album: Jesus)
I fucking love Blu. If you’ve never heard the Below the Heavens album with Blu & Exile, download that shit and enjoy. He’s got a great voice, great flows and a great style. He’s candid about how broke he is, mixes in the topic of love really well and can even sing a bit. He’s been dropping these weird, kinda half ass EPs ever since Below the Heavens though, so I’m not sure exactly what’s happening with his career. If I ever get the chance to work on producing some shit, which is a dream of mine, I’m going to drive to his house in LA and get him to work on it with me. This song has a sick beat and shows you what I’m talking about rap wise. It’s definitely rough around the edges but still a banger:
Skyzoo- Test Drive (album: The Great Debater)
Another jam from this album. Enjoy.
Evidence- Late for the Sky (album: Cats & Dogs)
Featuring my boy Slug and Aesop Rock, this is such a jam. Be patient, the beat doesn’t drop until the 50th second but when it does, it’s totally worth it.
J. Cole- I Get Up (album: The Warm Up)
This song is a bit older than the rest but really shows J. Cole’s lyrical range. He hits racial, socioeconomic and gender topics in a way that I could only compare to Tupac. The dude is the truth and this song shows he’s more than just a top 40 rapper.
Beirut is in my top three bands of all time. I understand why a lot of people don’t really like them, or can’t get into them too much, but I think they’re amazing. Zach Condon is truly a musical genius and considering he’s only 25 years old and he’s got five albums and and a handful of EPs out, and that he can play almost every musical instrument under the sun, the guy deserves his respect. If you haven’t heard them and enjoy music with horns, pianos, ukuleles and more, it’s time to get on board. This was now my third time seeing them live and their stage presence and sound has improved a ton. I went with my girlfriend to the Greek Theatre and we sat in the pit so we had a front row view of the action. The Greek is an unbelievable venue. Nestled in the hills of Griffith Park in Los Feliz, it’s an outdoor theatre surrounded by enormous, beautiful trees, there’s not a bad seat in the house and the sound is great. If you live in LA and have never been there, I’d definitely recommend crossing it off your bucket list. I forgot to bring my flip but I did have my iPhone. Here’s a nice little video I threw together from the show. Enjoy!
Actually, probably album cover of the year. Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire “Lost In Translation” mixtape. And he could have the artist name of the year too.
So, one of the best record labels out there, Stones Throw, recently had a “make a video for one of their existing songs” contest to celebrate their 15th anniversary. The results were pretty dope. They picked the 15 best & had a couple honorable mentions too. These are my 3 favorites. Click here if you wanna check the rest of them out.
#14 Jaylib – Heavy (Directed by Charlie Crumlish)
#3 Madvillain – Strange Ways (Directed by Jean-Yves Blanc)
#2 Jaylib – The Heist (Directed by Rory Gamble)
Look at those nips!!!!!
And just when you thought it couldnt get more awesome, David Porter goes all thug with a gaucho hat & the pink silk sleeves on the back cover. I’m pretty sure Mr. Porter took down more chicks in Sept. 1973 wearing that outfit than I have in my entire life. I’m bringing the gaucho hat back.