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Phono del Sol

Must see Duckwrth & Thee Oh Sees live

Phono del Sol is a boutique, one day festival at Potrero del Sol park in San Francisco. I planned on going to the festival in 2016 to see Adam Vida, but lived in the peninsula at the time, which was apparently too long of a trek for me that day.

2017 was for DUCKWRTH. I had never interviewed anyone in person and I had to save it for someone special. It was an enlightening talk and energetic performance. Thee Oh Sees also had an eye stunning set, but the most beautiful thing wasn’t any of the acts. It was behind them.

Both of the two stages at Phono were set behind lush green backgrounds, also called trees and shrubbery. DUCKWRTH and Thee Oh Sees set were especially beautiful with vines covering the stage. In an age of electronic producers djing in front of lit up metal walls, it’s nice to stare at something natural for an hour long set.

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Music festivals are for lovers

The only person I want to go to Outside Lands with

I’ve been going to Outside Lands for five years and every year I’ve felt alone. I go with people, meet up with others, find new friends, but it’s nothing like having a partner with you. Someone you can enjoy the entire time with. For the first time I have that, but she may not go.

This is my way of telling her she should. We gotta see Kaytranada together!

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Rock Show

Jam with guitars or something like it

Serious question. Listen to the playlist. Would you consider it rock music? 1-10. Now rate how much you like the tracks. 1-10. I hope at least the second number is higher than the first. Let me know.

It may not be traditional rock, but all the tracks have some tie in, loosely. The list starts with blues & alternative, gets into indie & soul, and ends on electronic. Most of the tracks have a catchy guitar melody and unfortunately all male vocalists, except one. Ninet, the only one I’ve seen live.

We tried to address a similar problem with female producers and currently trying to find women who can rap. If I ever get enough rock on my list, I hope can bring awareness with that too.

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Pat Lok

As good as his artists

The future of electronic music seems to be over exposed synth (for now), but good producers pull it off. Pat Lok goes with a disco-house/pop approach and brings in some beautiful vocal collaborations for his latest album, Hold On Let Go. Realistically though, how many of his songs am I gonna be listening to in five years? One. Well, probably two or three, but one has a more dramatic effect.

I recently finished Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine’s documentary, The Defiant Ones. In it, Dre says a perfect line to sum up why one of Lok’s songs stood above the others. “Every producer knows that you’re only as good as the artist you’re working with.” And how Claire Mortifee’s lines are laid on top of ‘My Own Throne’ gets me giddy every time I listen. Her lyrics are an instrument played well.

Can’t wait to hear what’s next from Pat Lok. And who’s next.

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Leven Kali · Breaking Soul

When someone pops up in the places you love

Leven Kali has three strikes going for him. One, with his single that introduced me, ‘Mine.’ Second, a few months later he performed ‘Joy’ on Colors Berlin – a collective that hosts musicians to record a live set of a song against a clean colored background. In Kali’s case pink. Which repped him well. The final nail of approval was a tweet praising him from Ebro, a host on HOT 97 and Beats 1.

I went through Kali’s catalogue after his name popped up a third time, which is usually what it takes, and his music is starting to stack up. Although there’s a lot of collaborations with shit rappers crowding his sound. It’s good for exposure though, but he soon won’t need it.

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Masego

Savant in Style

We mainly highlight artists over singles now, which has given us different criteria to look for in what to feature. Mainly, more than just a few singles to show off. Something I see more with vocalists over instrumentalists or producers, but Masego does it all.

But like most musicians I pick, I love his voice most. He’s got personality that’s an artist’s dream and it shows through his voice.

He played with Goldlink at Coachella this year and the two are some of the finest record makers, live performers, and make some of the finest sounds with their voices.

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Colossal Clusterfest

Comedy Central's first comedy & music festival

I love how Comedy Central can make a fool of themselves. The logo they’ve had since 2011 represents its goofy humor well, a lot like the name of their first ever comedy & music festival, Colossal Clusterfest.

For its first year, it wasn’t a complete cluster fuck, even though the comedians took full advantage of the name. It actually felt like there was more to do than at most music festivals. From visiting a replica of Seinfeld’s original set, which did seem to be a cluster fuck of a line, to a dating show where a comedian represented each of the contestants – I signed my friend up. But the best was still in the comedy and music shows.

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Beats by Night

Background music to relax on

Lately I haven’t given myself enough time to sit back and not think. There’s so much to do and it’s fun doing. But you gotta give the mind some time to catch up. Hopefully this will help get me in the mood. Let me know if it does for you. Sometimes I need a reminder, and so do you.

Other listening:
Beats by Day
Late Night Beats
Late Night Jazz
Electro Relaxations

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BottleRock 2017

Hard times make music better

BottleRock music festival has been held in Napa for the last five years and it’s damn fancy. It’s something I’ve been trying to get to for years, but unfortunately 2017 came around a difficult time. My girlfriend’s friend had recently passed away. We missed Friday, but thought it would be good to get into a different space for the long Memorial weekend.

We may not have had the time of our life in Napa, where it’s held, but it helped take us away from our typical routine. It gave us a chance to take a breath. Festivals aim to give you the best experience possible and to some extent usually pull it off, but more importantly they’re the place to see people at their best. A getaway filled with music, food and wine. And that’s exactly what we needed.

Saturday was a little rough. Trying to get a hold of where everything was and get our head out of anything too deep. Sunday we got our bearings and had someone special I wanted her to see. Fifteen minutes into Charles Bradley’s set and he had her balling. I was tearing up too. Bradley has a voice even our father’s appreciate, something that connects us all, that makes the deepness feel more full, especially in sadness. He made the weekend and took our mind into the moment instead of worrying about everything else.

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Gavin Turek

Lovely throwback brought forward

Some progress the old sound forward, but Gavin Turek brings it back to the 70’s in her latest EP Good Look for You. But she’s also teamed up with other notable producers, which gives her classic voice new flavor.

Gavin has been working with TOKiMONSTA and their juxed position in genre make for a beautiful collaboration. And even better, there are a number of my favorite young producers giving her a remix, especially Bishiclet & starRo. You know when some of the most talented music makers right now support her sound, including Mayor Hawthorne on his last tour, you know that it’s not just you.

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