Music Festival

Escape Music Festival

The Escape Music Festival will kick off its inaugural year this fall when they take over Pier 9 in Brooklyn on October 11 & 12. The festival has revealed Phase One of their lineup (taking one out of Marvel’s playbook!) featuring a lineup that includes Placebo, Yeasayer, The Crystal Method, Ra Ra Riot, STRFKR (DJ Set), Bakermat, Neon Indian (DJ Set), ASTR, Tesla Boy, Basecamo, Marc Mayha, Oscar Aguilera and Follow Me. The festival promises “30 dance music & indie/electro rock acts on two stages over two days and nights.” So there are still plenty of acts to be announced. Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: Full Moon Fest 2014

By Will Oliver, July 22nd 2014


The Full Moon Fest returns to Governor’s Island on August 8 for the fourth installation of the dance beach-themed mini-festival, which takes its inspiration from the full moon parties of Thailand, set beneath an August full moon.

This year the festival sports a lineup that includes Delorean, The Knocks, Son Lux, Le Youth, The Aston Shuffle, Penguin Prison, Wave Racer, Young & Sick, Chela, Emefe, and JDH & Dave P.

Tickets are still available for the fest, and at a limited bargain price of $50. Not bad at all, considering how many acts you would get to see. Don’t wait too long, as the next pricing is set at $125 (but it’s VIP).

Below check out two mixes from the festival, cleverly titled “The Waxing Moon” and “The Crescent Moon”: Read the rest of this entry »

Dinosaur Jr. at 4Knots Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 16th 2014

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Dinosaur Jr.
were the headliner at the 4Knots Music Festival this year and filled the role with all the levels of prestige that you would come to expect. By the time they took the stage, the crowd had reached its peak, completely filling up the South Street Seaport of every space that it had to offer.

The band offered a sharp set of all their classic songs, which included their always welcome cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” Their performance was a reminder of why rock and roll will always live on. Seeing three older guys put their all on the stage for us, rocking just as hard as they did in their glory days, is always something to treasure.

They don’t make them quite like Dinosaur Jr. anymore, but hey, we are lucky enough to still have them around.
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Mac DeMarco at 4Knots Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2014

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Whenever young girls start showing up to your shows screaming for you, you’ve made it. This was the case at Mac DeMarco’s 4Knots performance this Saturday. Even as he was just setting up his gear, chilling with a smoke in hand, girls started screaming his name. DeMarco must be starting to see this sort of thing more now, but you can tell it’s still something he’s getting used to.

There’s no doubt that DeMarco is becoming a star, and how can you be made, the guy deserves it. Not only does he make songs that both rock out and please the romantics, but he puts on a fun show. Him and his band deliver a youthful energy that connects with fans, and it always helps when you can rely on Mac for a trip into the crowd by the end of the show. Salad Days remains one of the year’s best, and getting to hear its tracks played live amongst the highlights of 2 always makes for an enchanting evening.

With a newly announced show at Terminal 5 this November, it looks as though the intimate shows are now a thing of the past. Hey, that’s the price of being a rock star.
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Those Darlins at 4Knots Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2014

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Nashville, Tennessee Those Darlins dazzled with a set of rock and roll with a twinge of country in its DNA. The band, 3/4 which were girls rocked out with a intensity that is always welcome on stage. There’s a southern garage-rock drawl to their delivery that is the sort of thing that can get a crowd going. Free show or not, they put in all of their energy and gave us their all.
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Viet Cong at 4Knots Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2014

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Viet Cong
is the new project of Matt Flegel and Matt Wallace, two former members of the defunct band Women, as well as Scott Munro and Danny Christiansen. Their set at 4Knots featured songs of their recently released debut cassette which Mexican Summer put out earlier this year.

Their sound is somewhat of a garage rock drone with punk-minded roots, something that went over well with the appreciative crowd.

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Speedy Ortiz at 4Knots Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2014

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The Village Voice’s annual 4Knots Music Festival is always a highlight of my summer, stretching back to the early days when it used to take place at Coney Island and be known as the Siren Music Festival. This year, Speedy Ortiz kicked off the festival for me, with a wonderful set under the sun next to the Peking boat.

The group, now with new guitarist Devin McKnight (who replaced Matt Robidoux) seems to get better and better every time I see them. The trend continued at 4Knots with one of the bands tightest and liveliest performances yet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Ghost! at The Hudson Project 2014

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2014

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I ended my only day at Hudson Project with a late night set from Holy Ghost!. The set kicked off close to 1 a.m., a true late night dance party.

The last time I saw the DFA protegees was in 2010, when they opened for LCD Soundsystem at Terminal 5. That was their third time ever. They’ve come quite a way since then. With LCD long gone now, they seem to be working their way up to take their place. Not replace them, of course, but rather fill in the missing gap in all of our hearts.

The group sounded on point, coming hard out of the gate with a lot of bite. They had everyone in the tent dancing along, digging deep for that second wind. This version of Holy Ghost is much more cool and confident than the one I saw four years ago. Give them a few more years, and I think that they can deliver some of their biggest and best work yet.
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Modest Mouse at The Hudson Project 2014

By Will Oliver, July 14th 2014

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It’s been forever since Modest Mouse’s last proper studio album (try since 2007′s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank), but the band has stayed busy during this extended break in-between albums by staying on tour. Even without any new material to tour around, the band just does fine (as I saw at Governors Ball 2012). With a heavy back catalogue of material, there’s always a solid variation of songs that the band can play on any given night.

Frontman Isaac Brock is always a force to reckon with on stage, full of intensity and energy that just jumps out at you. This applies even when he’s rocking his banjo – there’s a fierceness about him in his vocal delivery that is impossible to shake. Believe it or not, the band’s commercial breakthrough Good News For People Who Love Bad News came out 10 years ago. With that in mind, it wasn’t a surprise that most of the night’s set came off that album. No “Float On”, but rather more sublime offerings such as “Ocean Breathes Salty.” There was a palpable tension in the air as the band ripped through a thunderous performance of “Tiny Cities Mades Of Ashes”, which is my favorite song of theirs. The band had the crowd up in arms, ready to explode as the song built towards its eventual release. By the time they ripped through “Dashboard”, the place was nearly ready to explode.

One can only hope that we get a new album sooner rather than later, but as long as they keep giving us live shows as great as this in the meantime, who can complain? Read the rest of this entry »

Small Black at The Hudson Project 2014

By Will Oliver, July 14th 2014

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As far as first year festivals go, The Hudson Project had some shortcomings. Not to knock on them, this sort of thing can be expected during the first year, and sometimes even at the more veteran fests. They clearly undersold tickets to test out the audience size, and that’s totally understandable. What they didn’t account for is the unbalance that this would have when you book larger acts against smaller bands. So while Atmosphere drew large amounts of people to the main stage, Small Black were doing their thing at a tent stage. Even though it was under a tent, the entire area was filled with unflattering mud – not the most welcoming thing to see. Unfortunately all of these factors added up to a disappointing crowd for Small Black, who deserved much better.

You can tell a lot about a person based on how they handle situations of adversity. This can also be applied towards bands who play in situations that are less than ideal. Many bands may have opted not to play or would have put on a half-assed show just to get it over it. But Small Black put on the same sort of quality show that they did when they played a packed out Bowery Ballroom earlier in the year. They still gave great care and showed the same level of energy and emotion. I already was a fan of the band, but the handling of this situation made me an even bigger fan of them.

Well done, Small Black.
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