Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shaky Knees Music Fest Announces 2014 Lineup

The Lumineers headlined Shaky Knees '13.
Image courtesy of Shaky Knees
The onslaught of festival lineup announcements continue. This time, it is for the Shaky Knees Fest in Atlanta, Georgia held May 9th-11th. In only its second year, this festival is drawing major names and I would honestly be surprised if this is not a festival we'll be hearing for a while. It has a lot in common with Hangout, as reported earlier, but its differences are most definitely its strengths.

Modest Mouse, Conor Oberst, and Portugal. The Man, swing through Hotlanta before continuing on to Alabama for Hangout, but the undercard and other headliners make this an easy and obvious choice. The National, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Spoon, The Gaslight Anthem and Trampled by Turtles are obvious highlights, but for sake of brevity, I will forego simply typing the entire lineup; with some exceptions: Dawes, Lord Huron, Lone Bellow, Hold Steady, Blitzen Trapper, and the Airborne Toxic Event. There, guys, I'm done, I promise.

As mentioned, Shaky Knees is located in Atlanta, GA. Unfortunately, there is no camping, but I think it may be refreshing to be able to shower and use an air conditioner at a music festival. Staring down the barrel of thirty, I attribute this entirely to my advanced age. The bright side, here, is that tickets start at $150, so even with the added cost of a hotel room for the weekend, you're paying about the same as you would for a larger scale festival with the benefits of a hotel room.

Deer Tick, Man Man, Foals, San Fermin, Apache Relay, Mutual Benefit, Wake Owl, Cold War Kids - I'm sorry, it's just a really impressive lineup. You can find it in its entirety on the Shaky Knees Music Festival's website, as well as purchase tickets and find out a little bit more about the fest.

Hangout Music Fest announces their 2014 lineup

Photo courtesy of Hangout Music Fest

It looks like Hangout Music Fest can officially join the, "we've got Outkast playing at our festival" club, as the Alabama based festival announced their 2014 lineup this morning. Headed up by acts like The Black Keys, The Killers, Jack Johnson and everyones favorite reunited hip-hop duo, Hangout Music Fest boasts an impressive array of genre-spanning acts for their May festival. Taking place on the Gulf Shores of Alabama from May 16-18, Hangout Music Fest has had a tradition of pulling in acts from all areas of the musical spectrum, dabbling in equal parts hip-hop, bro-rock, EDM, and indie rock.

Also joining the marquee headliners are groups like Queens of the Stone Age, Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips and more. Some of these acts are popping up for the first time on the 2014 festival circuit, making Hangout stand out amongst a crowded scene. 2014 standards also fill-in the lineup, acts like Chance The Rapper, Portugal The Man, STS9, Childish Gambino and Wiz Khalifa. But the best parts of this lineup lie in the fact that there's a few acts that will be hitting the Alabama beaches that we haven't seen much of on the festival circuit thus far this year. The aforementioned Modest Mouse and Conor Oberst make Hangout a solid choice for summer festivalgoers.

Listen to "CS60," a new track from BADBADNOTGOOD

Canadian jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD has gained quite a bit of notoriety for their jazz-centric covers of well-known hip-hop tracks, as well as their work with Odd Future members like Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean. With production credits on Earl Sweatshirt's Doris and Danny Brown's Old in 2013, the group has been swiftly rising through the ranks of the hip-hop world. That makes their forthcoming album III one of their most anticipated releases to date. A few days ago the band shared an mesmerizing new track from the forthcoming album entitled "CS60."

"CS60" finds the band treading into unheralded levels of sonic exploration, clocking in at just under seven minutes. The track deviates from their norm, trading in hook heavy covers and jazzy instrumentation for a more experimental and atmospheric style of music. A few head-bob worthy refrains pop in and out of the mix, but most of the track runs deep with densely packed percussion and smooth textures that emanate eerie vibes. Gone are the days of balls-out Gucci Mane covers, instead BBNG seems to have found their footing in brilliantly paced, excellently structured tunes.

III will be released later this year on the L.A based label Innovative Leisure. Check out the track below:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Album Review: "Give The People What They Want" by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Give The People What They Want was released
on Jan. 14 on Daptone Records
It's been one hell of a year for Sharon Jones. 2013 was set to be the release of the highly revered soul singer's sixth album with the Dap-Kings, Give The People What They Want, but instead Jones found herself sidelined for the better part of the year due to a hard bout with cancer. The album was pushed back and the usually headstrong, all-out soultrain was de-railed for what many thought would be a long period of time. But sure enough Jones' resilience shone brighter than ever before, although her chemo just ended on Dec. 31 Jones is already set to return to tour in February. Last week Jones and the Dap-Kings took to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for a dazzling performance and today marks the release of the long-awaited album Give The People What They Want.

And as if anyone had any other expectation, Jones and the Dap-Kings have done just that. Give The People... is a riveting display of the guttural yet smooth soul that has propelled the group to international acclaim. Although the album was written and recorded before Jones' diagnosis, the album feels like a triumphant statement proclaiming that nothing will stop this old soul revival from turning the clocks back to when Motown ruled the world.