With the finale of 2017, a new year has risen. With the arrival of warm weather in 2018, as audiophiles, we are ready for new music and festival season. Phoenix Lights is ready to bring the feeling to us with renewed passion. It’s brought to you by Relentless Beats out of the sunny Arizona desert and the lineup boasts an impressive collection of names. It’s got everything, from hip hop heavyweights to the underground DJs ready to show and prove. There’s grit, bass, beats, and beauty. It’s going to be magical and we don’t want you to miss out. However, first you should check out this fistful of names you’ve got to see in action.
Festival season is upon us! The weather is warming up, the sun will shine for longer, and the wacky costumes come out. However, most importantly, the new music is back to fill our ears and hearts with joy. No better event signals the kickoff of festival season better than SXSW and the lineup is looking extra juicy this year. We could break it down so many different ways, but we still couldn’t do such a lineup justice. So, you’ll have to settle for this little breakdown. Our take on the top five acts, the biggest heavyweights, to throw down at SXSW. This is The Festival Fistful!
Who said no one puts thought into a video anymore? The Blancos have certainly dispelled that rumor with the surprise release of their latest video for a new song called The Runaround. Sounding more like Kanye during the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy years than anything else, The Runaround illustrates the story of a fateful meeting in the Hollywood hills and what it may take to get what you want.
ACL Festival 2017 was a special one for The Bishops. Growing up in Austin, they had all attended many years of the festival as fans, but this time they all got to experience the festival as artists for the first time. They even had their mom up their with them supporting from backstage as her put on a show at the Titos Tent.
This was a big moment for everyone on The Bishops team. It was a celebration for the family, and another stepping stone for them to continue their rise in the music industry.
The Bishops music consists of two brothers Chris and Troy, and their younger sister Cara. They are loaded with young talent and have a unique chemistry because of their family ties. Their unique blend of hip hop, soul, and electronic music has defined them with a unique sound that dazzles people during their live performances.
We sat down with The Bishops in the Artist Lounge at Weekend 2 of ACL Fest 2017 after their stunning performance at the Titos Tent. Aviator Nation was gracious enough to let us film the interview in their amazing tent in the ACL Artist Lounge.
Here we talk about how The Bishops got started, what it felt like to play their first ACL, and much more. Their personalities off the stage are just as entertaining as their music on the stage, and you can tell they are young and having fun doing what they love – making music.
On Friday morning, masses of brightly-colored individuals took over Zilker Park to mark the start of Austin City Limits Music Festival. However, unlike previous festivals, ACL 2017 held a deeper meaning of fearlessness, resilience and unity.
It is impossible to talk about ACL 2017 without bringing up the heartbreaking events that occurred just days before. In fact, many artists throughout the weekend addressed the Las Vegas shooting. Earlier in the week, festival organizers announced that they would give full refunds to anyone who did not feel safe or comfortable coming to the festival. However, fear did not shake festival attendees, and the crowds at the six stages were as large as usual.
Many artists also addressed the recent passing of rock-legend, Tom Petty. Performances throughout the weekend included covers of Tom Petty songs and shout-outs to the Florida native. The most extreme tribute was when the Red Bull Air Force Skydiving team leapt out of a plane while the PA system and stage screens played Petty’s 2006 ACL performance of “Free Fallin.”
Although the week’s earlier events undoubtedly impacted the festival, the overall vibe was as upbeat as it has been for the past 16 years. We laughed, we cried, we danced and we sang until our throats hurt. ACL always showcases the best of Austin, so here are some of the best things we saw this weekend.
The Best at Crowd Engagement — Vulfpeck
At the beginning of the show, each band member was introduced as if they were athletes. This comedic, feel-good tone continued throughout Vulfpeck’s mid-afternoon set. The band’s infectious funk jams had the whole audience grooving. While their music alone was enough to make for a great set, the band went above and beyond with fun antics that set them apart from other sets at the festival. Some highlights include the guitarist parading through the crowd on the shoulders of security, an impromptu “Ted Talk” and a crowd singalong to Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” Vulfpeck definitely earned some new fans this weekend.
The Best Encore — Jay-Z
Encores by closing artists was a trend this year. And, while each band’s encore was great, no one could touch Jay-Z. At first, many people thought the rap-legend’s show ended early. But, after a few moments, Jay-Z returned. He instructed parents in the audience to cover their children’s ears, then he launched his famous banger, “99 Problems.” Upon hearing those iconic opening lyrics, the crowd went crazy.
The Best Proof of Music’s Universality — La Femme
La Femme oozes cool. This French rock’n’roll band captivated the audience. It did not take long for La Femme to have the whole crowd dancing and cheering to songs that most of them could not understand. La Femme proved that good music can be enjoyed by all, despite language and culture barriers.
Best Mosh Pit — Alison Wonderland
The air was thick and sweaty at the Tito’s stage on Saturday evening. People began packing into the tent hours in advance to catch one of the rising names in EDM. Once Alison Wonderland took to the stage, the crowd forgot about the heat, and the tent became a nonstop party. During “I Want U,” the crowd was so loud you almost could not hear the actual song. And, when Alison Wonderland’s remix of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” dropped, the crowd opened up a rowdy mosh pit. Everyone left the set with sweat-soaked clothes and smiles on their faces.
Best Bassist — Flea
Flea is one of the most entertaining bassists to watch. On Saturday night, the talented bassist bopped out onto the American Express stage in the greatest pair of flow-y, multicolored, patchwork pants. From the moment he stepped onstage, Flea never stopped moving. In many bands, the lead singer is often the star of the show. However, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, there really is not a single star. Instead, it is the band’s cohesiveness and chemistry that makes watching the Chili Peppers so much fun.
Best Place to Watch the UT Game — Barton Springs Beer Hall
After the closing sets on Saturday night, Longhorn fans rushed over to the Barton Springs Beer Hall to catch the end of a very intense University of Texas football game. The areas near the giant screens were flooded with burnt orange. Once fans realized UT won in double-overtime, cheers could be heard from across the festival grounds. The Barton Springs Beer Hall was the spot to grab a beer and catch a football game throughout the weekend.
Best Way to Lose Your Voice — “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers
“Mr. Brightside” is just one of those words you know all the words to, and that was very apparent at The Killer’s show on Sunday night. Upon hearing those acclaimed opening guitar notes, the crowd went crazy. The audience sang every lyric and the top of their lungs.
Best Day to Try One of the Frozen Food Vendors — Sunday
Sunday was easily the hottest day of the weekend. With almost no clouds in the sky, the sun beat down on festival goers. Sunscreen was a necessity, and so was water. While the Hydration Stations, complete with misting fans, provided solace for sweaty attendees, the best way to cool off was with a cold treat. Vendors like Amy’s Ice Cream, Bananarchy, Good Pop and Sno-Beach were popular stops on such a hot, sunny day.
Best Shade — Barton Springs Stage
One of the big changes this year was expanding the festival to allow for more open room. Now, the Barton Springs stage is located on the South side of Barton Springs Road. This stage hosted some of the most exciting artists at the festival, including Zhu, Tove Lo, Solange and Louis the Child. The stage was conveniently situated in a way that blocked the sun and created a shady area for attendees. This area was complete with food and drinks, too.
Now that we’ve seen the best of Weekend One, we’re stoked to see what’s in store for Weekend Two!
The third edition of Day For Night festival will be in Houston from December 15th-17th bringing one of the most multidimensional and eclectic lineups to include multi-platinum rock bands, burgeoning hip-hop artists, rivals of the Kremlin, leakers of top secret United States info, and a portion of the whole thing is going to charity. With headliners including Nine Inch Nails, Thom Yorke, Solange, Justice, St. Vincent, Tyler The Creator, James Blake, Pretty Lights, Jamie XX and Phantogram, there’s something for everyone here.
To prove that there’s more to the business than selling tickets, Day For Night will be hosting a summit on the intersections of art and activism and donating part of its proceeds to the Greater Houston Community Foundation to help aid with hurricane relief efforts and stand in solidarity with those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The summit will feature guest speakers including Chelsea Manning, Laurie Anderson, Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, and more. The festival will also feature “Soul Cleansing,” a performance piece presented by Saint Heron that includes Solange, Earl Sweatshirt, and Kaytranada.
Attendees also will have the chance to attend a summit on the intersections of art and activism, led by Chelsea Manning, Laurie Anderson, Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, and Lauren McCarthy. The panel will conclude with a separate special performance from Saint Heron featuring Solange, as well as Earl Sweatshirt and Kaytranada. Houston will also receive an appearance from veteran ambient musician Gas, who released his first album in 17 years, Narkopop earlier this year. He played Barcelona’s Primavera Sound in the spring.
Check the full lineup artwork and more info about the festival!
— Day for Night (@dayfornightfest) September 20, 2017
— Day for Night (@dayfornightfest) September 20, 2017
While we often buy tickets to see our favorite musicians, festivals offer the perfect opportunity to broaden our music schemas and fall in love with new artists. Festivals feature both the biggest names in music (and on the lineup) and artists that are on the brink of greatness (and just a little bit further down the poster). Here are our picks for up-and-coming artists that you might have missed if we had not looked at the lineup from the bottom, up!
Spencer Ludwig does it all. He is a singer, he is a dancer and he is a trumpeter. His sound could be described as poppy-funk that is super danceable. In 2012, he toured with Capital Cities, and he has also appeared alongside other artists, such as Foster the People, St. Lucia and Fitz & the Tantrums. Earlier this year, he opened for rising pop star, Bebe Rexha. Ludwig is full of star quality, and his music radiates fun. With Ludwig’s exuberant energy and funky trumpet, it is impossible not to dance.
Electro-pop duo, CAPYAC, bring a funk-infused dance party whenever they perform. The band is known to create a party-like atmosphere during their performances, complete with costumes, balloons and other surprise props. Since forming CAPYAC, Delwin Campbell and Eric Peana have toured consistently throughout the United States and at various venues in Austin, their hometown.
While the Austin scene is dominated with indie-rock music, Mélat Kassa breaks the norm with her smooth, passionate R&B. Kassa is from the Austin area, and she attended Cedar Park High School and the University of Texas. However, her family immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia. This identity can be seen within her artistry, especially in the song “Negn (I am),” which is sung entirely in Amharic.
Cara, Troy and Luv Bishop combine aspects of electronic, hip hop, R&B and pop music to create wavy, mellow grooves, and they keep it all in the family. Each sibling is bursting with talent. Troy’s beats are creative and versatile. Luv’s rapping is skilled and purposeful. And, Cara’s vocals are silky and sweet. The siblings performed on JamBarge earlier this year, and they are massive force in the Austin hiphop scene.
Okey Dokey’s debut album, “Love You, Mean It” is a southern, psych-rock dream. Although the band is officially the brainchild of frontman Aaron Martin and guitarist Johny Fisher, they brought an assortment of other musicians for the album, including members of Houndmouth and Desert Noises. The Nashville-based duo spent part of the summer touring, and they performed at Stubb’s in August. Be sure to catch their return to Austin at ACL Weekend Two.
It’s hard to imagine that the mellow, indie-rock tunes of Day Wave were created by one person. Day Wave is truly Jackson Philips’ baby. In fact, he plays every instrument necessary to the production of Day Wave’s songs. Philips cites his new setting of Oakland, California as inspiration for the project. This is translated through prominent guitar riffs and delicate vocals, which create a nostalgic, beach-y feeling.
MUNA is a queer-identifying, all-female trio that combines atmospheric pop with meaningful lyrics. Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson met at the University of Southern California and began making music in their dorm rooms. Now, they are bringing their inclusive songs to massive crowds around while on tour with Harry Styles. They will be in Austin both weekends of ACL, and they will be performing at ACL Live with Styles on October 11.
Often described as post-punk, Ought is a Montreal-based quartet bursting with epiphany, energy and existentialism. Juxtaposition is a big part of Ought’s music, especially on their sophomore album, “Sun Coming Down.” Vocalist Tim Darcy often comes across as dry and sarcastic. Yet, the melodies and rhythms can sound optimistic. By combining seriousness with lightness, Ought produces meaningful, interesting music.
Reggae-Rock group, Raging Fyah, are bringing their island grooves over to the United States.Raging Fyah’s celebrated brand of reggae focuses on various topics, from personal significance to widespread issues. The band is from Jamaica, but their reach extends across the globe. They have toured in Europe, Siberia and even New Caledonia, a small island in the South Pacific. Now, Raging Fyah are breaking into the American scene, which is primarily dominated by other Americans.
It’s been about 3 years since Resonant Frequency jumped on the music scene with their unique blend of funk, soul, hip-hop, and electronic music. The trio has been making waves all over Central Texas the last couple years, and 2017 has been one hell of a ride for them so far.
They started off the year with a STS9 after show, opened for RJD2, and played sets at Euphoria Fest and Float Fest. Now the band is gearing up for their biggest announcement yet – they are set to open for Pretty Lights Live this Saturday at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, TX.
We recently sat down with Resonant Frequency in their home studio in Austin where they create, record, and produce a lot of their own music. All three band members are musicians and producers and have their own solo gigs, but when they combine to create Resonant Frequency, a very unique blend of future funk and soul comes out to create an epic live show for music fans.
We were able to take a dive into the bands history as well as each individual artist in the group. More importantly, we got to discuss how important this upcoming Pretty Lights show was for them, and what it means for them to open for one of their greatest musical mentors.
Make sure you follow Resonant Frequency on JamFeed for all upcoming music news and updates, and make sure to grab your tickets to see them open for Pretty Lights at Whitewater this Saturday 9/30!