Tag Archives: Rudimental

My Coachella

Cochella14 Grass

Coachella14 Okie Neil Mike Fest

The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival… holy @#$! shit, what an absolute amazing experience!

This was my second time attending the nation’s reigning mother supreme of music festivals (and the most-successful festival according to Billboard Box-Office).  For anyone with a hard on for live music of all genres, Coachella is the ultimate wet dream.  There truly is no other way to describe the magic that is everything Coachella.  My obsession with Coachella stems from the diverse line-up all in one setting, surprise superstar performances, and 100,000 music and art lovers dancing, singing, and getting their life in the California desert.

LA14 Dinner Group

LA15 Club Group

This year’s Coachella adventure kicked-off with a friends’ reunion in Los Angeles with my best friends Cheri and Harry a.k.a. Hit & Run (childhood friends from Tampa) and Kristin (who just so happened to be visiting California the same weekend).  I linked up with other former Tampons Jamal and Robert that evening, and received the ultimate surprise when I found out that my New York friends and family (sans Jason ::insert tears::) were in L.A. celebrating Gary’s birthday.

It was one big, fat, gigantic Tampa reunion in Los Angeles that just so happened to come together randomly.  The entire randomness of it all is best described by Nadia’s greeting to me when we first ran into one another that evening: “What the fuck are you doing here?  Are you real?  Is this night even real?”

Cochella14 Girls Group 1 Coachella14 Prom Girls

The weekend continued as we met up with Daddy Neil and Rusty, drove to Palm Springs and prepared for the onslaught of the next three days.  One of the weekend’s highlights was meeting Chloe and Erin, two fabulous (and quite hilarious) beauties from the UK.  We instantly clicked on night one during Outkast’s ho-hum reunion performance, and spent the rest of the Coachella weekend singing and dancing the nights away.

The music highlights of this year’s Coachella include:

  • Empire of the Sun…  I had been dying to see them live since I was first hypnotized by their “Walking on a Dream” single six years ago, and the boys certainly did not disappoint.  They were the perfect blend of pomp, flash and drama needed for the Sahara tent, and my pick for the best performance of the weekend.
  • Skrillex… Sonny Moore remains one of the few prominent on the EDM scene whose artistry and craft emanates from his every DJ set.  For those cynics who wrongly insinuate that there is no true talent or work in being a DJ, Skrillex’s thrilling set at Coachella is the receipt to silence them.
  • Rudimental…  It was a treat to finally see this British band perform, especially to witness how their music which encompasses drum and bass, R&B and soul, and pure funk came together in a live setting.
  • Calvin Harris…  Mr. Harris now boasts the second largest performance attendance in the history of Coachella, second only to 2012’s Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg Lion and the 2Pac holgram’s historic California Lovefest.  He played an effortless set of his greatest hits, from “Feel So Close” to Rihanna’s “We Found Love” to new single “Summer.”  No guest performances, no surprises.  And for those cynics who complained that his set played it safe, well why reinvent the wheel when it is still spinning?
  • Arcade Fire…  I will admit that I only knew a few handful of Arcade Fire songs.  I am not infatuated with Arcade Fire like their hardcore following of fans, nor am I one of their many detractors who simply do not understand their hype.  I have always stood on neutral ground with them, so  I was anticipating their headlining, closing performance to find out in which direction I would be swayed.  In the end, I enjoyed their performance, despite lead singer Win Butler’s misguided comments regarding us in the VIP section.
  • MGMT…  I forgot how much I loved MGMT until I woke up from my afternoon nap on the lawn and was greeted by the sounds of their music.
  • Lorde…  if only she could follow the rule of “less talking, less storytelling, more singing,” then she would have had an A+ set.
  • CHVRCHES…  when a band sounds as glorious as their studio recordings, it’s a win-win situation.  CHVRCHES lead singer Lauren Mayberry’s voice sounded like heaven.

A random festival-goer summed up the entire weekend best, when he and I accidentally walked into one another.  I immediately apologized during our run-in, and he just laughed it off, smiled and remarked, “it’s all good man.  No need to apologize.  It’s the best weekend of the year.”

…and yes it was.

To my dear friend Mike Hammonds, thank you for being the best music festival partner in crime.  Daddy Neil, thank you for being you, for teaching me the music festival bunny ways, and for reminding me that this was “my Coachella.”  And lastly, dear Coachella, I’ll be missing you next year, but will return in 2016 to cash in on the best weekend of that year!  [READ: 2012’s Coachella Adventure post]

“Comfortable” by The Knocks featuring X Ambassadors:  I am pissed that I missed The Knocks at last year’s Governor’s Ball in New York City, because I become more and more enamored with their music each and every passing day.  “Comfortable” was this year’s unofficial Coachella anthem.  Perhaps because I demanded that this song be played on repeat at high decibels.  Or simply because this anthem ROCKS, and will serve as a reminder of this beautiful weekend in Coachella Valley.  :: sigh ::

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Summer Anthems of 2013

With Memorial Day weekend officially coming to a conclusion, it is time to create a new Spotify playlist for my compiled annual list of 2013’s songs of summer.  These are the songs that should be on repeat during the next three months of air conditioning, fro yo and watching the last season of Dexter.

As a bonus, check out my Summer Anthems list from last year!

“Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities

“I could show you love | In a tidal wave of mystery | You’ll still be standing next to me”…  The Los Angeles duo known as Capital Cities deliver a feel-good optimistic message in this undeniably catchy indie-pop song that has summer anthem stamped all over it.  Bonus points to any song that includes an addictive trumpet riff.

“Falling” by Haim

“Into the fire feeling higher than the truth | I’m falling | I can feel the heat but I’m not burning”… Blending sounds of folk, pop and R&B, this Los Angeles group concoct a song that begs to be danced to in the middle of a California desert. Fun Fact: Haim is the last name of the three sisters in this group: Este, Danielle and Alana Haim.  This generation’s Wilson Phillips?

“Alive” by Empire of the Sun

Say hello to the future | Freedom is within you | Giving makes us feel good”…  Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore are back!… and no those aren’t the names of the latest Sean Cody sensations, but the Australian duo of Empire of the Sun who brought us one of the all-time summer anthems “Walking on a Dream.”  Their latest single boasts anthemic singing and a declaration of feeling alive.

“Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey

Hot summer nights mid July | When you and I were forever wild | The crazy days, the city lights | The way you’d play with me like a child”…  the theme song of director Baz Luhrman’s splashy The Great Gatsby reboot is as hauntingly gorgeous as songstress Lana Del Rey’s debut single “Video Games.”  Love or hate Gatsby or any other Baz-helmed film, you cannot deny the power of the scenes he crafts of two lovers who lay eyes on one another while the film’s theme song plays in the background.  He hit the cinematic jackpot when Leonardo Dicaprio first sees Claire Danes in Romeo + Juliet set to the sounds of Desree’s “Kissing You”, and does it again when Leonardo’s Gatsby and Carey Mulligan’s Daisy reunite to “Young and Beautiful.”

“Waiting All Night” by Rudimental featuring Ella Eyre

“I’ve been waiting all night for you to tell me what you want | tell me, tell me that you need me”…  “Waiting All Night” stormed to the top of the UK charts fueled by the perfectly paired drum and bass surge and the rich vocals of Ella Eyre.  So whip out the glow sticks, blast this thumper on full-volume and listen to what the UK kids fell in love with.

“#Beautiful” by Miguel featuring Mariah Carey Mariah Carey featuring Miguel

“You’re beautiful, good lord, you’re f-cking beautiful | And I cant pretend that that doesnt mean a thing to me”… okay, so truthfully Miguel owns this song and he overshadows Mimi very effortlessly.  And yeah, the hashtag in the song title is a bit irksome and not one live performance of this song has slayed since its release.  (Last week’s Good Morning America anyone?)  But on the upside, a Mariah Carey single has not sounded this laid-back and groovy since “Always Be My Baby” which was released nearly 17 years ago.  So hats off to MC!

“Love Is All I Got” by Feed Me with Crystal Fighters

“Wake your soul with love in the morning | Feed your soul with love in the evening | Expand your soul with love on the weekend | Cause love is all I got”… One wouldn’t think this was a typical Feed Me song until DJ Jon Gooch’s signature dubstep climax unleashes a minute and 15 seconds in.  Bonus: Check out the equally catchy but different summer-worthy track “You & I” from Crystal Fighters.

“Imagine It Was Us” by Jessie Ware

“I don’t know if this is wrong, but it’s crept into my mind | I don’t know if this is love, but I think it’s worth a try”… Critics hailed her debut album as one of the best of last year, so when British singer-songwriter finally brought her Devotion album to the States, she thankfully included this 90s dancefloor groove.  It’s a throwback to the pre-Y2K era when the dance songs were R&B-flavored and being belted out by Lisa Stansfield, Cathy Dennis and Tara Kemp.  Jessie is just as much of a 90s bitch.

“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams

“Like the legend of the phoenix | All ends with beginnings | What keeps the planet spinning | The force from the beginning”…  Ever since reports surfaced that the electronic duo was back in the studio collaborating with disco pioneers Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder, anticipation for new Daft Punk material reached fever pitch heights .  The French musicians deliver a worthy comeback single featuring the silky smooth vocals of Pharrell Williams, living up to every fanclub member of the Daft Club’s expectations.

“Come and Get It” by Selena Gomez

“You got the kind of love that I want, let me get that | And baby once I get it, I’m yours no take-backs”… Selena Gomez?  Selena Gomez?!  Really?!  Yes, really!  Leave it to Taylor Swift’s B.F.F. to release that ineludible pop song that you can’t help but sing along to each and every billionth time that it is played.  It’s that annoyingly catchy song that gets stuck inside your head all day.  It’s that pop perfection classic you cannot escape.  It’s that song you hate to absolutely love.

Now stock those coolers full of ice and don’t forget to bring your koozie and headphones for it’s going to be one long, hot summer with a one helluva summer season soundtrack.

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