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SXSW 2017

100,000 steps later

Austin’s Sixth Street is where the main action happens at SXSW by night, along with Rainey St. I walked between the two and the Austin Convention Center in total of 25 miles over the four days. I was wrecked by the end, especially my feet, but I had plenty of stories to reflect on.

Covering big festivals can be stressful at the start. Making sure everything is booked and packed. The red-eye flight there. Figuring out the plan during the festival. But most of all the pressure to find a good story, and get it on paper.

It’s good stress that’s both invigorating and inspiring. Whether you’re there for work or fun, the key is to keep an open mind & heart. There’s always a story to tell, so don’t stress the good stuff.

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~ q u i r k y ~

Dance to a different beat

“I’m shy at first, but once you get to know me I do the stupidest, most random shit.”

I saw this quote and thought it was the best description of me in one line. I even got the t-shirt (seriously). My grandfather gave me the nickname Corky when I was little and the sentiment has stuck. I’m a bit odd, as we all should be, and a lot of my favorite music is too.

Originally these series of lists were all about kawaii music, which I dubbed VAPOR + VAPOR 2.0. Eventually the playlists expanded into all sorts of music along the future/trap spectrum, split into three categories – o f f b e a t, Sex trapt, and Future glam fucks. Quirky takes a little from each.

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DUCKWRTH

Funk wave to punk rage

I gotta give this to my girl. Not only did she push DUCKWRTH’s music on me, but also made sure I saw him at SXSW. I liked his song ‘I’m Dead’ at first, but after seeing him live I’m been obsessing over everything else.

I usually pride myself on pulling the best songs from an artist’s catalogue, but I pretty much like every damn song of his, especially off his latest album, I’M UUGLY. Back in 2014, DUCKWRTH’s music felt like a futuristic ominous acid trip – like Zion I, Illogic, or Deltron 3030 – but he’s expanded his sound since. DUCKWRTH’s even got a half funk, half punk song, and it works. Especially live with that style he’s rockin.

His live show and music is what’s going best for him right now, but all with the help of DUCKWRTH’s fashion style and graphic design work, which he does all of it. Makes for a much nicer package to promote.

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BADBADNOTGOOD at The Fillmore

Noise Pop Festival's 2017 Show to See

Besides the musicians it books, the historic Fillmore in SF is known for its free apples and posters. You can have as many apples as you’d like, but not every show comes with a poster at the end of the night. I talked with one of the coordinators there and she told me that sold out shows and any of the bigger names will get a custom made poster for all attendees.

I’ve gotten three posters so far. My first was at Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, then a few months later at The Knocks, and finally for Noise Pop Festival’s 2017 show to see, BADBADNOTGOOD.

I still can’t believe how well a jazz band could rock. BADBADNOTGOOD is known for their low-key instrumental playfulness, and while that dominated the show, it got real rowdy at its peaks, especially towards the end.

Their music isn’t all jazz though. Their experimentation in electronic with jazz is among the best playing now. They had a collaboration with Ghostfast Killa a few years back. And they also recently teamed up with Kaytranada & Goldlink for the best dance song of 2016.

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THEY.

Smooth words/trap beats

They. played at least a few times last year at SXSW, but I missed one because of The Roots fiasco.

They’re kicking off their tour this year and San Francisco is their third stop. I don’t know if I’ll be going to see them in SF, depends on if the lady likes the playlist, but I’ll definitely be seeing them in Austin at SXSW this year.

Especially since the company I work for is hosting them.
See you there?

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House + Heartbreak

· · · · Dance it off · · · ·

This is our third year celebrating anti-Valentine’s day 2015 | 2016. We didn’t plan on doing one this year, but the house we have is always soulful, which at least half the time is about heartbreak. There were so many classics stored up we had to throw this together.

We also got another house head to whip up her own. Lauren helped me with the first heartbreak playlist about hip hop and has created her own list for house, a few of which I so badly wanted to steal for myself.

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Rap Finesse

Hip hop is expanding in sound & style

We haven’t done a list on hip-hop for years. In 2015: Adam Vida, Anderson .Paak & Goldlink were our hope to revive hip-hop. As much as our love for them have grown more than many, our focus has still been with dance & soul music.

We did collect fifty songs with emcees that got talent. More for their cadence and flow than lyrical depth, but with one usually comes the other (not always). These emcees more than ever before come from different backgrounds with all types of styles and sounds. We’ve even got some from the UK.

I bet the next one in two years will have even more countries.

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Spire

A fresh breath of inspiration

Spire and his Soda Island friends put on some of my favorite bumble gum funk, generally known as future bass, specifically called kawaii, but I call it vapor (who knows). He does however have much more breath than that.

He has some of the most intricate & introspective music, and a good handful of it, which I don’t see enough. The guy can take what sounds like a scene from a movie and make it music. Beautiful in a way that reminds me of jazz. You don’t know where it’s going next.

Couldn’t have kicked off 2017 any better than this inspiration (other than disco).

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BURN DISCO

The Day That Disco Died

Hottest Nu-Disco in the Funkin World, our first disco list from back in 2012, had Disco Stu as its mascot. I remember someone complained about how Stu was a shining example of our culture’s lack of respect for disco. As subtle and culturally ingrained as it may be.

Back in 1979, a protest dubbed Disco Demolition Night went on at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Most of us see it on the surface level as people disliking disco and its overt sexual acceptance. But a less apparent hate against homosexual and interracial relationships had stained its legacy even further.

Today is a point in time that’s going to stir up a lot more shit against minorities and the LGBT community, and destroy a lot of good things. But when disco died back in the early 80’s, something greater rose up. I wonder what will come after house music.

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Music of the Year, 2016

It's more than the music now

For the last seven years we’ve been just about the music, and its spread online, but slowly our focus has shifted towards the live scene, as well. In 2015 we started to cover more festivals & shows, but it took until 2016 for that culture to greatly affect what music we’ll remember most.

I first set up Silence Nogood to share my favorite music, but I’ve learned there’s much more surrounding it that needs exposure. Hopefully in the next seven years we do.

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