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Three bands shook people the fuck up at The Social the way only homegrown bands can do through pure noisy, folky, lo-fi rock euphoria.

By homegrown, I mean those bands that sprawl out of suburban garages and bedrooms taking influences from all around, no matter what suburb it may be. Listening to folk and incorporating violins, lo-fi rock from the 80s and making it their own or even pop hits in some ways, it’s all meshed together but it makes sense.

First up were Brooklyn indie bois, CENDE. Truthfully, I forgot there was another band besides Japanese Breakfast and (Sandy) Alex G playing that night but they shook me with their distorted, outrageously loud guitars and drum bangs. It was adorable to me for some reason because I felt like I was watching a garage band right from the house’s lawn but after a bit, some songs just started to blend and weren’t catching my attention. Still, they had good bops they entered with and around the end they even popped Michelle Zauneer (Japanese Breakfast) in for their best track of the night, “What I Want” which I’m totally *not* listening to on repeat as I write this. They have a home-y feel to them regardless and if they’re going to keep producing good soft jams, my ears are ready.

After CENDE left the stage came the main reason I came to this show, Japanese Breakfast. For once, I remember how I first heard a band and with her, it was a day of pure relaxation at home where I was cleaning around and listening to new music (mostly girl rock bands) through radio suggestions. After hearing just one song of hers, I immediately went to her latest album and fell for some songs.

Like I’ve seen at many shows I’ve attended at The Social, bands don’t have the greatest time with the sound and take a while trying to make it work. Regardless of that BS, the show began and I was instantly hooked. From song to song, Zauneer had so much stage presence. Maybe it’s because I saw a trait in her that many tell me I have, but she was animated and feeling it. As a musician myself, I know how easy it is to become a monotone looking zombie because you’re so concentrated in not fucking up but she just felt at ease up on the stage singing angry parts with a furrowed brow and happier parts by jumping with an adorable smile.

After certain songs, she admitted that she was so nervous going up on stage with CENDE for some reason but now felt no nerves attacking her saying “It’s funny, the things that make you nervous.” My friend and I turned at each other and just went “same.” That same day of the concert, “Boyish” was released from the upcoming Soft Sounds From Another Planet and so she played it at the show and boooiiii was I excited. I hadn’t stop listening to it from the moment I woke up. It has an old-timey vibe to it and she described it perfectly as the feeling when you’re at a dance standing across from your crush and it looks like he’s going toward you to dance but asks the girl next to you instead. Pure middle school heartbreak.

Although Japanese Breakfast’s music features more instruments than those they had on stage, she still provided with a synthesizer, MIDI and piano making all the music still feel the same as what we hear on record.

Alex G didn’t do the same which I found a bit unfortunate because I feel like it adds a lot to his sound. Coming up in the end, his vibes were still pretty hype and people even started moshing in the middle for a bit but I had to calm myself before jumping into the small pit because God knows the pain that has come from those crazy moments of mine.

Touring after his recent release, Rocket, he played already classic tracks from it such as “Poison Root” and “Bobby” which had me shook fo sho. Again, I wish there were strings or more of what’s heard on the album on stage, but it was still the same lyrics and loving vibe emanating from the musician himself which kept the sold out crowd happy. Looking around the packed crowd, everyone was fixated to the small stage as Alex G didn’t break eye contact with people in different moments or held his tongue over his lips as he looked down on his guitar.

Taking it back to 2015, he played one of my favorite jams off of Trick called “Mary.” It’s simple but it’s real as fuck and the crowd was feelin’ it which is all you really want by the end of the night.

Have you seen any shows on this tour?

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Dream pop makes me feel a type of way and last night was straight up magical.

 Touring around before their Bsides and Rarities record drops on June 30, Beach House brought over a flood to The Beacham in Orlando. Yes, I mean a flood as in a lot of us were emotional and possibly crying.

Starting the show off fairly early, doors opened at 6 p.m. and openers Louie Louie came out with gorgeous kimonos adorned with long glittery strips which moved along with each girl-rock member of this band. Truthfully, before shows I like listening to the openers music before to see if it’s something I could get into. I totally forgot this time but am happy I didn’t because it was an experience in itself hearing this band for the first time.

Thanks to prior fumes inhaled and their old school 60’s beach rock vibes, I felt transported to a different era. Every song these Philly girls played felt like I was inside the Scooby-Doo episode where the gang attended a zombie rock concert. Very halloweeny, very spoopy and even girl empowering with their repetitive “What a man can do” jam everyone around me immediately caught on to and started chanting. Their debut album, Friend of a Stranger, recently came out and they definitely had a lot of stage presence so hopefully we can see more of them in the years to come.

Once the Philly-based band left the stage, it was a bit of a wait before Beach House came out and a struggle due to no concert etiquette with some concert attendants. Life tip: If you’re with a huge crowd, don’t push toward the front because you “see someone you know.” The oldest trick in the book isn’t actually that effective, OK? Mini rant over.

As I mentioned earlier, the band was playing an earlier show and came out around 7:45, immediately setting a hazy, dream-like mood for the rest of the night with “Levitation” off of 2015’s Depression Cherry. Did I get overwhelmed by emotions? Possibly. Did a little tear form in the corner of my eye? Of course. It felt unreal to me and as each keyboard chord played lighting up the stage in different sections and then all together during the pre-chorus. I felt lifted, shifted and higher than the ceiling.

From the moment I wake up, I listen to music constantly queuing songs to suit my mood but when it comes to Beach House, I feel like I can just let go and feel a moment or space I’m in. That’s not a common feeling for me with other bands.

For visual reference.

Continuing the show with other fan favorites including two classics for me “Take Care” and “Space Song,” the whole room seemed so fixated by the emotional music swooning but also possibly weeping at lost love, new love, good ol’ times and just whatever deal they had going on.

Lead-singer Victoria Legrand swung her head and swift hair truly feeling the moment and guitarist Alex Scally held his head low concentrating on every beautifully intricate guitar note as it spread like a soft yet loud brushfire over the crowd. The stage lit up perfectly with every song backed by magical stars flickering on and off in a pastel haze.

Ending the encore on a beautiful note with “Myth”, fans belted out this last track with pure emotion knowing they were “momentarily bliss” if only for a bit.

Have you seen Beach House in concert before?

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If there are two things I always wish I could remember, it’s how I met certain friends of mine and where I was the first time I heard a band I love. I suck at remembering these things but still cherish the relationships I have with these people and the music. Even though I don’t perfectly remember how I first discovered Whitney or Phoenix, I know both of them were so addicting I couldn’t stop listening to them soon after.

Starting off their tour down south, Phoenix headed up to Orlando’s House of Blues with opening band Whitney for a show full of lovely commotion, trippy mirrors and lights, and lots of sweaty, grooving bodies. Located inside Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs, I knew getting to HOB was going to be a mission in itself with crying children and tourists all abound. My friend (who solely came for Whitney) and I headed down to a flux of aforementioned people and made our way to the line wrapping around HOB and as time passed by, another friend joined us in line and it started to move soon after.

Going inside, I always look for the best spot for my short height and in this venue, it just happens to be next to the bar. So we all got some dancing juices inside of us, had more friends join and at last a band I had been obsessively listening to came out. Okay, maybe not obsessively but I definitely have chanted the last lyrics to Whitney’s “Follow” on a daily basis since I first heard it.

The seven Chicago boys came out looking so eased and a bit serious but immediately smiled as they headed to their instruments, looked at the crowd and began to jam. It felt comfortable with them up on stage as if we were overlooking one of their jam sessions. Lead singer/drummer Julian Ehrlich stopped after the first track kind of confused as to whether he was inside of Disney or not. He was playing The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild all the way up from Miami after all. The indie rock band glided from song to song with such ease constantly smiling and looking at one another. After one song even, Julian stood from his drum set to kiss. You can just tell they have great times together and truly enjoy the music they play.

From “Golden Days” which makes me feel like I’m in The Beatles era I sometimes wish I was in to “Dave’s Song”, written for Ehrlich’s late grandfather, the soft indie music isn’t overly complicated music but all so beautifully composed. Even Elton John took note around the end of 2016 and interviewed the newly formed band for The New York Times. Their music is easy to sing along to and even features horns which I feel always adds an impeccable sound to songs. The blaring horn in what sounds like a victory song, although about death, in “Follow” made me emotional as well as the groovy guitar lines with their final performed song, “No Woman.” Singing about breakups yet making me feel all fuzzy lovey-dovey inside, I can’t wait to see them again and for what the future holds for this nostalgic, yet new band.

Not a long wait after, which usually is after an opening band, the beautiful French men many of us have loved over the years of being indie rock obsessed came on stage. Truly, I never thought I’d see Phoenix and was so ecstatic the moment I saw a Facebook event of theirs pop up.

I felt blessed in a euphoria that I hadn’t experienced in such a long time. And no, it wasn’t the shitty beer talking. With spastic lights flashing neon colours milliseconds after another and ever so groovy bass lines, we were all having the times of our lives.

Admittedly, I usually suck at remembering lyrics but found myself spewing perfect lyrics back to the stage which I think is pretty funny considering this is the band’s second language anyways. Besides their unique sound, their lyrics are more poetic and honest than others talking about love, friendships, hard times and joy. They are like sonnets which go on and on saying things that don’t seem like they have to do with one another but actually perfectly mend well making more sense than simpler songs.

Playing their latest single, “J-Boy” off of their upcoming album Ti Amo, I knew this was one of their best dance jams and now can’t stop thinking what this new album is going to be like. I mean Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix kind of changed my life and the indie game back in 2009 with a perfect lineup of songs from beginning to end. Then later in 2013, Bankrupt! had a more serious tone that still made people shake their peaches off on dance floors with songs like “Trying to be Cool.”

Thomas Mars moved so easily throughout the stage singing like an angel and barely even drinking water throughout song breaks which I found miraculous. Brothers Laurent Brancowitz and Christian Mazzalai both on opposite sides of the stage gave out wavy guitar lines which injected into our souls pure joy along with bassist Deck D’arcys’ badass deep tones.

The lights went along with each track including an amazing shadow takeover during “Love Like a Sunset”, where Mars laid down on stage as the stage went from all white to dripping into black darkness. It felt galactic and fantastic as the interlude track made the audience look like it was just blasted into space.

Getting back down to earth, they played some of their most famous hits like “1901” and one of my favourite songs ever to date, “If I Ever Feel Better” which transitioned into “Funky squaredance” although they had to stop and perform it a second time due to one of the two drummers sets malfunctioning. No one cared of course because while the whole malfunction happened, Mars and the two brother guitarists played a gorgeous serenade down from the stage to fans.

These guys are true rock stars who haven’t let their success as artists get to their heads and still execute beautiful shows for their loving fans. I’ll always admire them for inspiring other indie bands, making gorgeous music and for just being their genuine OG selves up on stage.

Have you seen Phoenix on this tour yet?

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The three jewish sister queens have announced their sophomore album, Something to Tell You, and released a new video for “Right Now” and yes, it is straight up ~~girl magic~~.

Filmed in one take in Valentine Recording Studios by director Paul Thomas Anderson, the video starts off with Danielle Haim sitting ever so gracefully on a piano as she begins singing “gave you my love, you gave me nothing.” The camera starts shifting toward basshead Este Haim serving up crazy bass face that we missed and chanting “right now, right now.” Last but not least, baby sister Alana is moving about multi-tasking with different instruments. Then, it gets straight up ’80s magical with a sort of Toto’s “Africa” vibe if that makes sense?? Around the end, Este and Alana serve looks as they bang on their drums and pure magic emanates out of them. Okay, maybe not but you know what I mean.

In the past four years, the HAIM sisters have performed with Prince, Taylor Swift and made Stevie Nicks the fourth HAIM sister. After touring around for three years, they headed back home to San Fernando Valley to record their album with the help of producers Ariel Rechtshaid and Rostam Batmanglij, ex-member of Vampire Weekend.

Something to Tell You comes out July 7 and we can’t wait! That’s all the news for now but don’t forget to catch the musical sisters on SNL with Melissa McCarthy on May 13th. Will they play old jams? Perform the new “Right Now”? Or maybe even release a new track by then? Only time can tell.

Watch the video for yourself!

What do you think the new album’s going to be like?

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Vampire Weekend lead singer Ezra Koenig has finally shared some deets about Mitsubishi Macchiato (MM),  the working title for the band’s upcoming album and we are hella excited. He also gave small updates on what the band has been up to in the past years.

On his personal Instagram account, he explained that fans deserve some information and shared the upcoming album’s working title saying it is a helpful concept. I’m still not sure what that means after much thought but kind of has a nice ring to it and is a cool tongue twister if you say it enough times.

He gave a timeline sharing that after Modern Vampires of the City was released back in 2013, they still toured and promoted it for most of 2014 and took the next year as a mental health year considering “putting 3 albums in stores was taxing.” He also mentioned that work was done in 2015 on a vibey project, although it’s not clear whether that was his own personal venture or the bands.

In 2016, Koenig wrote that mad research was done with grad students at the library as they wrote several things for MM?? Again, not sure if he’s kidding considering the guy loves joking around on social media on a regular basis. Now in 2017, they have been recording and trying to finish the album up. So what exactly do we know about it?

Koenig wrote, “hmm, it’s a lil more springtime than the last one. guitar’s not dead. there are songs (currently) called “Conversation” & “Flower Moon.” Flower Moon is hard to finish but I think it belongs on the album…I should probably stop there cuz all of that information is subject to change & I can’t tell you the really good stuff anyway.”

Again, not a load of information coming from Koenig but it’s better than the dark abyss fans have been thrown into for the past four years! That sounds a little too heavy…I mean, thanks to social media we DO know a little more on what the band’s been up to.

Here’s a little overview of each member:

  1. Rostam Batmanglij, a vital member who helped found the band and made a load of the great indie music, left the band and ventured into his own projects making great singles such as “EOS” and “Gravity Don’t Pull Me.” He also teased a new album coming out in 2017 via twitter and has worked as a producer/writer with artists: Hamilton Leithauser, Charli XCX, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ra Ra Riot, Santigold, Frank Ocean and Solange Knowles. Pretty rad amirite??
  2. Not a lot can be said of Ezra Koenig himself besides that he was is a huge Bernie Sanders advocate, is dating Rashida Jones and still loves tweeting humorous things mixed with replies to fan tweets and political news which he sometimes starts discussing. He’s also occasionally seen on his friends Chromeo, Ariel Rechtshaid and Diplo’s snap stories…probably because he’s making music with them considering he has in the past. I mean his music collabs with Diplo and 2011 tweet IS the reason Beyonce’s jam “Hold Up” uses the tweet as a lyric.
  3. Groovy bassist Chris Baio still shakes his booty on stage except that rather with indie vibes, it’s to the beat of his own sunkissed house electronic music. He released several EPs and even an album back in 2015 titled The Names which he toured around for a bit.
  4. Drummer Chris Tomson has definitely been the most lowkey of them all but we do know he got married and recently released his own music with his side project! He stood up from the drum seat and became the lead singer/guitarist of Dams of the West releasing Youngish American in late February of this year.

That’s all we really know for now but are on the lookout for more to come so stay posted! 

every day I get comments & questions about the next Vampire Weekend album. obviously, we gotta take our time & get it right but the fans deserve some information. I know it feels like it’s been an eternity since the last one but time…is strange. this is what’s been happening: 2013- MVOTC release 2014 – still touring/promoting 2015 – mental health year (putting 3 albums in stores was taxing), worked on a vibey project you’ll hear abt soon 2016- writing LP4, long days in the library researching w/ the grad students 2017 – recording, trying to finish ASAP what else can I tell you without playing myself? hmm, it’s a lil more springtime than the last one. guitar’s not dead. there are songs (currently) called “Conversation” & “Flower Moon.” Flower Moon is hard to finish but I think it belongs on the album. working title is still Mitsubishi Macchiato cuz it is a helpful concept. I should probably stop there cuz all of that information is subject to change & I can’t tell you the really good stuff anyway 🍍🔥🍍🎶🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕🌖🌗🌘🌚

A post shared by Ezra Koenig (@arze) on

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Slacker rock artist Mac DeMarco recently performed inside a dog grooming parlour and it’s just as adorable as it sounds.

With his recent two singles released off of his upcoming album This Old Dog, DeMarco flew over to East London’s Groom Dog City with Crack Magazine where he promoted and performed “This Old Dog” alongside pooches Foxton and Tilly.

The video, a stripped down version of the song, features the dogs getting groomed and fluffed behind DeMarco in ever so lovely VHS quality.

Before his performance, Mac states, “You may be asking yourselves, why? Why is Mac in Groom Dog City? Why? Well probably because the next song I’m going to play is called ‘This Old Dog’ and no, it may not be speaking about a real dog in the song. This is what my press will probably look like for the next two years.” We hope so Mac. We really hope so.

This Old Dog comes out May 5 but for now, you can hear “This Old Dog” and “My Old Man” here.

Check out the video below!

How cute is this video?

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Going to concerts alone may seem like a frightening journey but can actually be so enjoyable. Not that jamming with friends or making asses of yourselves dancing your booties off together on a dance floor isn’t fun in its own way, but there are certain artists you sometimes enjoy in solitude. When I’m thinking about life, reading a book or just staring into space, Devendra Banhart is one of those artists I listen to for hours.

Promoting his recent album, Ape in Pink Marble, Devendra Banhart graced The Beacham’s stage in Orlando, FL taking fans in a freak folk/indie rock journey. Parking my car downtown for the concert, I was pumped as I walked toward the venue yet filled with some underlying anxiety since I WAS going alone after all. All of a sudden, fireworks started bursting in the sky from what looked like a vigil happening around our beautiful Lake Eola which oddly relieved me. As I meandered around the venue looking over the crowd, I couldn’t help but notice everyone was with someone and it made me feel a sort of sadness for a bit.

Soon after, though, Devendra Banhart came out with four other musicians to make me feel right at home. Gliding from song to song with short intermissions in which he spoke out in both Spanish and English to the crowd, he gave a shout out to people there alone saying that if we ever feel lonely, to just remember that we are literally made up of billions of microorganisms that care so much about us. Weird and random thought yet so, so damn comforting and poetic.

The whole band played with each other sending each other friendly smiles throughout the show appreciating each other’s talent. The band had three dope guitarists, including frontman Banhart, who could go from soft rhythm sections and riffs to ridiculously hype groovy sections which stirred the crowds hips from side to side. Drummer Rogove, who Banhart created side project Megapuss with, kept his steady beat with all sorts of world music flare that kept the flow in tact along with the bassist/keyboard player who switched between instruments so effortlessly.

One of the main reasons I love Devendra Banhart is because he expresses his emotions through music in two languages. As a hispanic-american and fan of language, I speak both Spanish and English on a daily basis and feel that it’s better, sometimes even easier, to say things using both languages intertwined. Of course I only do this if the other person is bilingual af like me and just listening to fans around me at this concert, I could see that some of us at this show came from this same, very niche community. Hearing music that stems from this community and seeing people appreciate it all around whether fluent in one language, bilingual, trilingual, or whatever was a beautiful sight and something so unique I hadn’t ever seen in a show before.

All of a sudden at one point in the show, Rogove stood up from his drum set as the rest of the band played and he spoke the introductory monologue of “Shabop Shalom” which slid into the beautiful ’60s reminiscent, doo-wop jam that the band played so perfectly truly transporting the whole venue to another decade.

Usually, musicians won’t play their mellower tracks because they want to keep a crowd hyped up but Devendra Banhart does things differently. Even if it was a slower track, they would play it which was great considering many times that’s the songs fans will listen to on repeat rather than songs with faster bpm’s.

Every song from “Daniel” to “Golden Girls”and spanish favorite “Carmensita” are stories in and of themselves whether true or simply pure imagination. They’re creative, welcoming and enticing to say the least and pleased the crap out of the freak folk fans.

Before we knew it, the show was over and fans were immediately chanting for an encore. As usual nowadays, the band came back out and played two new singles off of Ape in Pink Marble. “Celebration”, the album’s last song, was the sort of soft goodbye we needed but before they got off the stage again, they shined lights on the disco balls, rocked from side to side and danced leaving the crowd with the groovy “Fig in Leather” still ringing in our hearts.

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