Miami Music Week 2018 Events: What Parties You Cannot Miss

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It is that time of year again folks. Miami Music Week is upon us and there are some serious decisions to be made. Lucky for you the team over at DiskoLab has pulled down the biggest Miami Music Week 2018 events you could ever imagine and we have a handy guide to make sure you

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Music Review: Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On

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Yo La Tengo

There’s a Riot Going On

[Matador; 2018]

Rating: 3/5

Every time I think about Yo La Tengo’s There’s a Riot Going On, I come back to the same essential question: whether I find this album more beautiful than boring, or whether I find it more boring than beautiful. Historically, much of Yo La Tengo’s prettiest music flirts with simplicity, but what makes it great are the sparks of sonic ingenuity and sheer electric vigor it carries within. The band’s most compelling songs beat with a captivating lifeline that steers them clear of banality, regardless of whether the music is noisy or reserved.

Yo La Tengo’s finest slow tracks find power and a degree of freedom in the slow and scaled-back, in long, languid instrumental ostinatos, in mantric progressions, in Ira Kaplan’s whispered falsetto and Georgia Hubley’s disarming tenderness. Good examples of this can be found throughout the band’s career, whether it be on brilliant early albums Painful (“Big Day Coming,” “The Whole of the Law”) and Electr-O-Pura (“The Hour Grows Late,” “Don’t Say A Word [Hot Chicken #2]”), the excellent And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (“Tears Are In Your Eyes,” “Last Days of Disco”), or the solid, more recent Fade (“Two Trains”). These tunes, although sedate, are texturally rich and emotionally magnetic, hitting with as much force as the tidal waves of reverb and feedback heard in clear influences Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine.

Most of There’s a Riot Going On is slow. In fact, the only thing that could even be called a “rock song” here is the fantastic, vulnerable “For You Too,” which plays like a classic jammer from early-2000s-era Yo La Tengo. The almost-ambient “Dream Dream Away” has a great feeling for movement, and it maintains a sense of spontaneity throughout its repeated progressions. “Shortwave” is the track I’ve listened to most on this album; it’s a dense, intricately layered composition that evokes Grouper, Stars of the Lid, and Tim Hecker with its airy whirlwinds of voice, synth, guitar, and (I think) bowed bass. In terms of mood and gravity, “Shortwave” equals any instrumental the band has produced in the past 30 years. “What Chance Have I Got,” another major winner here, channels the silvery, midnight moods of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, especially in the relaxed way that its sounds hazily create the feeling of something whole. Its laid-back bass line gives way beautifully to piano, providing a delicate foundation for the song’s spellbinding percussion and Hubley’s characteristically wistful vocals.

The album’s cracks start to show in its patterns: a lot of these songs are built around loops or repeating motifs that run with little or no variation. These tracks often feel constructed in waves and layers, spiraling outward from an apparent nucleus. Kaplan said as much in a recent interview, where he compared the band’s process on There’s A Riot Going On to that of their work in film scoring. “It becomes more like one person will have an idea, we’ll record it, then someone else will add something to that,” he explained. “It becomes one block at a time. That was really how we made this record, and recorded and came up with these songs. There was a lot of sitting around a computer.”

This layered approach is felt throughout the album, for better or worse. “Forever” is a clear casualty of this; its doo-wop refrain and groovy bass line could have been interesting with variation, but their sameness becomes tedious and even repellent the longer they continue. In the same vein, the reversed guitar loop of “Ashes” becomes stale, ultimately eclipsing the dreamy cadence of the rest of the song. “Esportes Casual” is a nice palate cleanser, but it borders on also being monotonous.

Additionally, the album’s lyrics sometimes feel lazy. Take, for example, “Polynesia #1,” which sports the apathetic “I’m going to Polynesia/ I’m going at my leisure/ I’m going before the snow flies/ I’m going as the crow flies.” “Out of the Pool” is caught in a rut with its techno-thriller bass line, which is disappointing since it comes from James McNew, one of indie rock’s most engaging bassists; its lyrics read like discarded text from Radiohead’s Amnesiac, which isn’t necessarily bad, but doesn’t seem like the right fit for this record.

It’s been said that There’s a Riot Going On was conceived to play as a respite from the chaos of daily life, which is evidenced by the dissonance between the album’s title and its overall vibe. But neither side of this discord rings true with reality: there aren’t really riots going on, at least not ones informed by radical politics, and, conversely, I wonder how productive it is to create art that encourages us to feel safe and calm when we really have no reason to be. Therefore, There’s a Riot Going On’s theory doesn’t quite match up to its execution, and its parts are greater than the whole. So, is it more beautiful, or is it more boring? The problem is that it’s often too difficult to tell the difference.

Music Review: Camp Cope – How to Socialise & Make Friends

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Camp Cope

How to Socialise & Make Friends

[Run for Cover; 2018]

Rating: 3.5/5

Camp Cope hide in plain sight. Couching their music in the warm, comfortable, familiar sounds of indie rock’s last 20 years or so, the Melbourne-based trio of Georgia McDonald, Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich, and Sarah Thompson aren’t trying to turn rock & roll on its head: they reject an experimental bent, decline to use synths, and often stay inside the midtempo range. Yet on How to Socialise & Make Friends, the group’s second album, Georgia (a.k.a. Maq) sings with the passion, verve, and conviction of some of punk rock’s most enduring voices. She shouts and ululates inside the amniote of Hellmrich’s and Thompson’s unimposing rhythm section while voicing the plaints of a new wave of young female musicians who aim to disrupt the genre’s masculinist status quo. Camp Cope are effectors of social change casually blending into the indie crowd, plainclothes guerrillas surreptitiously invading the scene.

Maq’s lyrics are cutting, to be sure. Her most caustic lines refer to spurned romances with duplicitous men, as evidenced on tracks like “The Face of God:” “Could it be true?/ You don’t seem like that kind of guy/ Not you, you’ve got that one song that I like.” Personal, ironic, and dismissive, McDonald’s words give an edge to the sensitive humanist narrator inside these songs, the woman whose vulnerability is routinely met with (primarily male) abuse. In effect, she sings with the self-assuredness of Corin Tucker: often angry, but not without a certain tenderness.

Personal subject matter aside, Camp Cope’s real triumphs are in their politics. How to’s premiere track “The Opener” takes aim at the transparent attempts of music festivals looking to give female artists more exposure by throwing more women’s names on their bills, but doing little else to rectify gender disparity. “’Nah, hey, c’mon girls, we’re only thinking about you,’” Georgia sings, assuming the voice of a blithe talent booker. “’Yeah, just get a female opener. That’ll fill the quota.’” Here, McDonald straddles the line of feminine swagger and highly-deliberated acrimony — the same line Patti mastered all those years ago. Still, for all her ire, Maq remains empathetic and altruistic for much of the album. She commiserates with the lonely homeschooled kid on the title track; she forgives and absolves her terminal father on “I’ve Got You”; and she tries to help the namesake of “Anna” find catharsis in artistic expression. While How to Socialise isn’t the most musically adventurous album, its moments of humanity are what give the band its subtle edge.

Lowell Thomas, paraphrasing a Dale Carnegie theory in the preface of How to Win Friends and Influence People, explains that anger can embolden anyone to confidently speak publicly. Even the most diffident man or woman can be ushered to effectual public oration when properly incensed. Camp Cope stand as a testament to this hypothesis. They’re outwardly timid and quietly pensive much of the time, but when provoked, the band pull no punches as they expound on the gender inequality and double standards to which they’re subject on a regular basis. Bolstered by Kelly-Dawn’s and Sarah’s meat-and-potatoes rhythm foundation, Georgia finds a fitting dais to air her grievances. And if it doesn’t make her any new friends, so be it: are they really her friends, or do they just want something from her?

Bomb Threat at Concert Leads to Cancellation and One arrest

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This past Saturday, a concert held during South by Southwest was canceled due to an unsuspected bomb threat that occurred. Austin police arrested a suspicious man, named Trevor Weldon, that was charged with emailing a bomb threat. The suspicious convict is expected to serve 10 years in prison due to this serious charge. Originally, The

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Axwell’s Lighting Guy Just Posted That Swedish House Mafia Will Reunite At Ultra…[DETAILS]

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At this point my soul is a bit corroded whenever I cover a new development in the Ultra Music Festival 2018 special guest rumor mill. I will be attending the festival myself and would like literally nothing more than for either SHM or Daft Punk to bring down the house. That being said things have

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Deerhunter Share New Curated Playlist: Listen

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This week’s “Sunday Night Radio Hour” features Talk Talk, Billie Holiday, the Carter Family, and more

Ultra Music Festival Launches Their Final Episode Of Web Series: A Global Phenomenon

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Leading up to the 20th anniversary of Ultra Music Festival, which starts this Friday, Ultra has been dropping a web series which has taken a look back at the 20 years of madness which helped them become a global phenomenon. In the first 4 parts of the series Ultra took a look back at it’s

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Revisit Skrillex’s seminal debut album ‘Recess’ four years later

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Ask your average Skrillex diehard and they might tell you that the follow up to 2014’s Recess sometimes feels like it’s never going to come —  Sonny Moore’s Detox, so to speak. Released on March 18, 2014, the wait since then for another solo Skrillex project feels like it’s crept by in dog years. Despite that, on the fourth anniversary of the OWSLA head honcho’s full-length debut, a circle back to the groundbreaking 11-track LP proves Skrillex’s bass sensibilities of old still undoubtedly stand the test of time. Recess is still a riveting adventure from front to back.

Since then, some of the album’s highlights have become core products in the Skrillex cannon of floor-rattling classics. Moore’s output hasn’t slowed at all since either. He’s spent the better part of these last four years building a rolodex of collaborators that include pop’s most dominating forces, from Jennifer Lopez to Justin Bieber, Ty Dolla $ign to Rick Ross. Nowadays, a considerable touring hiatus, along with a backhanded mention of studio work from Diplo suggest that perhaps a solo Skrillex could one day soon materialize. Skrillex stans may tell you not to hold your breath, but there’s really no reason to when Recess is still so damn good.


New Music From Calvin Harris Is On The Way With The Focus Back On EDM

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Calvin Harris is the most successful electronic music artist of all time. The DJ/producer has been constantly cranking out hits for over a decade and has found himself as the top earner in EDM for the last several years as well. While the first sentence may have rubbed a few people the wrong way –

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Watch Animal Collective Perform New Music in New Orleans

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They debuted new work at a special two-night installation