Tag Archives: SF

[Event Review] ODESZA’s Dazzling Victory Lap at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium–SF, 12/10

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ODESZA
Memories That You Call (feat. Monsoonsiren)

Since the release of their 2014 album, ODESZA have grown into an omnipresent force in dance music appearing at nearly every major music festival and making their way across the globe on an extensive headlining tour. This year has been particularly pivotal for the Seattle duo—they’ve dropped several massive remixes, continued to expand their live set (including a full marching band at Lollapalooza) and launched the Foreign Family Collective. Through Foreign Fam, they’ve helped introduce like-minded artists such as Big Wild and Jai Wolf to larger audiences. As huge fans, the Ninja staff have had the pleasure of covering the Seattle duo’s upward trajectory and interviewing them a couple times along the way. 

In the last two years alone, the TMN writers have probably seen ODESZA a combined 20 times—my best guess for myself is 6. So, going into their show last week, I frankly wasn’t sure there was much more to see and, even if their performance hadn’t evolved, I would’ve admittedly left happy. Once again, though, ODESZA put together an awe-inspiring set fit for Bill Graham Auditorium’s grand stature. As the set began, members Harrison and Clayton emerged with their parallel MIDI and drum setup offering some words about their admiration for the SF crowd, who have shown out every time they’ve come to town. Musically, “Koto,” a gorgeous and low-key track, set the tone before the first high point hit with their remix of Sia’s “Big Girls Cry.” Granted a nearly 2-hour set, ODESZA was able to dig deep in their catalogue playing standouts from their oft-overlooked debut, Summer’s Gone, such as ”Above the Middle” all the way through the fan-favorite remixes of opener Hayden James’ “Something About You” and Zhu’s “Faded.”  DNP_9124 Continue reading

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[Festival Review] Moments & Songs from Treasure Island 2015–SF, 10/17-18

DNP_5253It’s particularly sad to say goodbye to Treasure Island Music Festival. Not only does TI mark the end of the summer festival season, but it’s also a true breathe of fresh air from the oft-overwhelming mega events that have come to dominate the space. With relief from the typical pains of festivals –trouble meeting friends, overcrowded stages, set conflicts and the list goes on–we always walk out of TI refreshed and this year was no exception. Overlooking the San Francisco skyline, Treasure Island’s serenity never fails to amaze us and it didn’t hurt that the weather was pretty much perfect all weekend.

The clear-split lineup that highlighted electronic/hip-hop on Saturday and alternative rock/pop on Sunday gave each day a vibe all its own. Take a trip back with photos and songs from the two different, but equally enjoyable, days.

All photos by Dominic Powell unless otherwise stated. 

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Finishing Sentences with Coyote Trickster [TMN Interview + Event Preview]

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’Coyote Trickster – Just Be Yourself’

We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Make It Funky collective for the second installment in a series of California showcases highlighting local talent. This time around, we’ll be at Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco on Saturday bringing yet another myriad of vibes featuring psychedelic indie-rockers Coyote Trickster with support from the soulful Fire and funktastic Color TV. To get you all familiar with our fantastically quirky headliners, we had a unique interview in which we asked the band members–Terence (bass), Paul (guitar), Eric (guitar and vocals) and Huli (drums)–a few questions and then had them finish ten sentences. Get to know the band through their answers and grab your tickets at the link below.

The Music Ninja & Make it Funky Present: Coyote Trickster, Fire & Color TV at Brick & Mortar Music Hall on July 11th

TMN: How did Coyote Trickster start? 

Eric: There was a big group of people at Santa Clara [University] that played music together. Kind of an amorphous group of people playing in a cloudy haze, bumping into each other and hearing things out. And then there was a party that came around and the people who were hosting wanted bands to play. So, the big blob full of people that played music together all kind of formed into different bands for the party and one of the bands was Coyote Trickster. That was our first gig. We played with a different drummer then. We moved up to San Francisco after college and then met Huli up here and started playing with him. 

Terence: I think once I started playing with Eric–we lived in the same dorm freshman year– and jamming with these guys, I realized it was something I really want to be a huge part of my life. Long story short we ended up living together in a pretty cool space where we can live and play and create. We’re doing what we can and seeing where it goes. 

’Coyote Trickster – Beehives’

TMN: Tell us a bit about the recording process behind your debut LP.

Paul: We did all the tracking at our house in San Francisco in our garage. I did guitar parts in my closet. Eric put up a bunch of mattresses for a vocal booth. The most disgusting Craigslist mattresses (laughs). We did all that and mixed at Tiny Telephone here in San Francisco and then we got some guy to master it pretty much because we saw he did something for Jerry Garcia.

TMN: Between the soulful vocals, psychedelic elements and jazzy jams, it’s pretty hard to place your music. How do you think about your sound?

Eric: I think we’ve all grown up in an age where genres are so fluid and changing all the time. We never listened to pure rock or pure soul or pure blues—it was always a mixture of all these things together. So, I think we always just search for a groove in all of the songs. They all have to have some kind of rhythm that hooks us and gets people moving. If you see us on stage we’re always bouncing a bit. That’s the core of anything we’re trying to find that works with the band–that kind of groove or rhythm that we all get locked into and excited by. We’re just looking for something that has that appealing background to it and then we’ll combine all the different pieces to fill around that groove.

FINISH THE SENTENCE…

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When I was 13, I couldn’t stop listening to…

Huli: Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars by Fatboy Slim

Paul: Led Zeppelin.

Terence: The Fugees.

Eric: I have the worst one out of everyone. I was probably rocking Third Eye Blind—the self titled album. That’s a great album.

The first song I ever made…

Huli: …was called “Healthy Gums” and only used FL Studio presets.

Paul: …was in high school, I don’t know what it was called, a country song with very dirty, sexual innuendo in the lyrics.

Eric: I probably stole from someone else and told people I made it. It was probably like a Good Charlotte chord progression that I slowed down.

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[Event Review] GRiZ and The Floozies Tear the Roof off Mezzanine with Future Funk, SF 5/2

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Article by Ash, Photos by Dom Powell

’GRiZ – The Anthem (ft. Mike Avery)’

Since Funk’s inception in the mid-60s, it’s been reborn countless times particularly in hip-hop and, most recently, electronic music. Although it certainly possesses distinct composition elements, funk’s cross-genre transcendence also stems largely from its showmanship, quirkiness and the underlying attitude which it catalyzed. In some genres, this sort of evolution, or appropriation, is looked down upon, but funk is quite the opposite. George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic, for example, was constantly changing adding young members to keep its sound fresh. Even now, Clinton, widely considered one of funk’s founding fathers, continues supporting and working with a diverse set of artists who keep funk alive and well. 

In the realm of electronic music, few artists have done a better job of carrying on the funk tradition than the sax-wielding GRiZ, whose “future funk” combines the enormity of electronic bass music with big-band funk of the 60s and 70s. The Detroit producer is in the midst of his most ambitious year yet releasing a stellar album with Say it Loud and launching All Good Records to give like-minded artists an opportunity to expand on the movement. We were lucky to catch GRiZ along with label mates The Floozies at their jam-packed show at Mezzanine in San Francisco over the weekend and it was a perfect reflection of an exciting moment in their respective careers. Continue reading

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[Event Review] 5 Faces of Chaz: Examining Toro y Moi’s Evolution at The Independent, SF 3/28

DSC_0344Over the last five years, Chaz Bundick, as both Toro y Moi and Les Sins, has repeatedly redefined his style bringing refreshing facets of his reserved, enigmatic persona to light all the while maturing with each album. A true musical chameleon, Chaz has worn many hats but, regardless of genre, he maintains his aesthetic always remaining true to himself. This realization couldn’t have been more evident as I watched Toro Y Moi perform a hometown show at The Independent in San Francisco last weekend in which he intertwined his various musical identities into a cohesive and career-spanning set.

Backed by several talented musicians, including ninja-favorite Astronauts, etc. on the keys, Toro y Moi’s countless jams, from hazy bedroom productions to groovy indie rock, were presented in the most vibrant way possible. Almost signifying transitions between old and new, Chaz swapped between MIDI keyboard and guitar through out without losing a beat. As an avid fan, and music geek, I found myself not only dancing steadily through out, but also hit with a flurry of thoughts and emotions inspired by the diverse, yet unified, setlist. To best capture those feelings, I decided to recount the performance in the context of a career retrospective. Flip through the pages and explore the five faces of Toro that I witnessed last Saturday with photos and songs from the set to match.

Toro y Moi’s upcoming album, What for?, drops on April 7th but can be streamed via NPR Music now. You can pre-order on iTunes here and find upcoming tour dates here.

All photos by Dom Powell

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[SF Giveaway + Exclusive Interview] Buku & Willy Joy w/ Washed Out & Make It Funky, 12/5 @ 1015 Folsom

’Willy Joy & Buku – Punani’

Bass music is in a constant state of evolution with new sub-genres emerging each year. The artists who shine in an often over-crowded space, though, are those who manage to be unaffected by the current trends around them. Two producers who stand out in the realm of trap/dubstep/future tunes are Chicago’s Willy Joy and Philly’s Buku, who recently teamed up for the two-track Meaner & Leaner EP. While Willy brings a festival-ready, big-room sound, Buku provides a far-out bounce and funk making them a force to be reckoned with as a duo–both in the studio and on stage.

Buku and Willy Joy will be taking over the upstairs room at 1015 Folsom SF this Friday, December 5th, as part of their Meaner & Leaner Tour and we’re excited to be offering a couple VIP passes to the show, which will also feature sets from Washed Out and the DJs of Make It Funky SF among others. We also had a chance to catch up with Willy and Buku in advance of the show to chat a bit about their musical backgrounds, the tour life and how they first met. Enter the contest and enjoy the interview below–if you win, you’ll also get a meet & greet with Buku & Willy in case you’ve got any questions for them we haven’t already asked! Please keep in mind that all participants in this contest must be over the age of 21 and bring a valid ID to the venue to pick up their tickets. The winner will be notified via email Friday morning. Tickets are also still on sale and available for purchase here.



 

TMN:  Thanks for taking the time guys! First off, can you tell us a bit about how you first linked up? A Chief Keef show was involved, right?

Willy Joy: The first time we met was when we were booked on the same show in Washington, DC. It was in a big complex, and Chief Keef had a show in another room of the building. We kept sneaking away from our own show to go watch his. It was a definite bonding moment.

TMN: What caught your attention about each other’s sound?

Willy Joy: Buku has such a strong sonic identity – you can instantly tell if a track is his, and its such a dope, cohesive sound. I’m always drawn to people finding originality in established forms, and he’s carved out an entirely new lane for himself. That’s a long winded way of saying his tunes bang super hard.

Buku: I was and still am infatuated with the amount of energy Willy has in his music. From listening and playing together, I’ve learned quite a bit how to keep the party going wild. When he plays his tunes and special edits live, I usually have to grab hold of something concrete nearby.

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