music

Big Wild Concert at The Novo

Big Wild has remixed songs by all your favorite artists - ODESZA, Zhu, Chvrches, and Sylvan Esso to name a few. Big Wild has played at all your favorite festivals and venues - Red Rocks, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and EDC to also name a few. And now Big Wild is touring across the US in support of his debut full length album, Superdream. Part of that tour was a sold out stop at The Novo Friday night.

Big Wild (aka producer and composer Jackson Stell) released Superdream via Counter Records and is affiliated with ODESZA’s coveted Foreign Family Collective. His experimental pop sounds fall in line with those of other Foreign Family artists; upbeat tempos paired with inspiring & uplifting lyrics. The first track off the album, “City of Sound” is symbolic of Big Wild leading the Superdream project with his voice for the first time ever and is meant to be a song of encouragement. He opened his set with the track. A guitarist in a dazzling sequin jumpsuit took the stage before Stell entered showing off his vocal chops.

It was the first of many songs in which Stell worked alongside vocal and instrumental support. The guitarist underwent multiple outfit changes and was joined in varying combinations with a back up vocalist and a bassist. Maybe it was just the warm fuzzy feeling of the concert being on International Women’s Day, but I was glad to see all of them were women. The auxiliary performers, outfit changes, and obvious shift from EDM to a more pop driven sound made the entire performance very reminiscent of Empire of the Sun.

There wasn’t a still body in that room even at the top of the balcony; something seldom seen at a show. Another, less positive, quality of the show were the substantial pauses between songs. As this isn’t something often seen at EDM-centric shows, this is another clear shift in the pop direction. Still, it was obvious the enthralled crowd didn’t mind. Highlights of the set included old classics like “When I Get There” and “Empty Room,” Big Wild having the crowd illuminate The Novo during his remix of “Show Me” by Hundred Waters, and a mashup involving Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” that led into a breakdown where he played cajón.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.

Kikagaku Moyo Concert at The Regent

Kikagaku Moyo (“geometric patterns” in Japanese) took the packed sold out crowd at The Regent on a wild trip Wednesday night. Still riding the waves of October 2018’s Masana Temples, Kikagaku Moyo is in the final home stretch of their North American tour before they do a stint in Europe this summer.

“Masana” is a fictional word created by Kikagaku Moyo to express a utopian feeling; an existence where everything can interact harmoniously and offer inspiration and understanding. Their fourth album Masana Temples radiates this vision, architecting a vibrating world that isn’t confined to the known limits of what came before it. With their acid folk and krautrock sounds dripping with sitar drone and fuzzy guitar, listening to Kikagaku Moyo’s music is an escape into another world entirely.

In the middle of the set, electric guitars were swapped out in favor of an acoustic and a cello. Drummer/vocalist Go Kurosawa took center stage while Daoud Popal receded to play percussion. The crowd hushed. Kikagaku Moyo played a few songs this way, including “Cardigan Song.”

While their Stone Garden EP was full of beautifully floating improvisations and 2016’s House In The Tall Grass tended towards hushed dreamstates, Masana Temples is sharply focused and clear in its vision in a way that feels unlike any of Kikagaku Moyo’s earlier sounds. In their time since forming in Japan in 2012, they’ve explored the world geographically and sonically and come back with this distilled receipt.

This laser sharp focus was on display during the set. Their nonverbal communication enabled them to meander through jams and draw out songs such as “Dripping Sun” before coming back into their groove with precision.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big. To see more of my photos of Kikagaku Moyo click here.

Twiddle Concert at The Troubadour

Big thanks to the homies at 11E1even Management and Twiddle for having me out to shoot not only my first Twiddle show, but my first show at the legendary Troubadour. It’s one I won’t soon forget.

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Night Drive Concert at The Fonda

It’s always a treat when a familiar sight and sound from my hometown of Houston comes to play in LA. Such was the case when Night Drive played at The Fonda with Ladytron for a couple nights.

Click the photos to scroll through them big. To see more of my work with Night Drive click here.

BAYNK Concert at Teragram Ballroom

New Zealand producer and rising artist known for his sensual textures and layered electronic arrangements, BAYNK (aka Jock Nowell-Usticke) transported the crowd at Teragram Ballroom to a dance party on a beach. Los Angeles crowds can be rather stoic at times, but that wasn’t the case Saturday night. The room was at a capacity perfect for letting the music move you.

But on a warm, sunny beach we were not. When not bathing in the blinding light of the LED frame within which BAYNK remained for the entirety of his performance, the room was often pitch black. BAYNK was shrouded in darkness within his picturesque performance space for the majority of the show, a square of lights occasionally silhouetting him from behind.

If you’ve never heard BAYNK, an apt description is the love child of the sounds of Mura Masa and Shallou - chill, at times glitchy, tropical edm. In fact, he’s collaborated with Shallou in the past. The perfect soundtrack for any sun-splashed day, BAYNK’s soundscape skews towards vibes you’d imagine of a poolside DJ. Which is fitting considering one of his most popular tracks, “Poolside”, is about just that. The dance-inducing jam was the second song played in the set.

Classic BAYNK hits like “What You Need” featuring NïKA and “Be In Love” were interspersed among new tracks and surprising covers and remixes to things like “Hotline Bling” by Drake and “Ms. Jackson” by OutKast. One of a slew of producers incorporating saxophone into their live show, BAYNK opted to use it sparingly to add flourishes to already existing melodies.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.

Panda Bear Concert at Lodge Room Highland Park

Founding member of Animal Collective Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) brought their sixth album, Buoys, to the Lodge Room Highland Park Tuesday evening. Animated by their ongoing interest in contemporary music production techniques, it retains a deep layer of experimentation coursing through its hyper-modern production – a hallmark of Panda Bear releases that will feel intimately familiar to fans of Lennox’s decade-plus body of work.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.

2018 in Review | 3D Gifs

I started 2018 with a new toy. And we played, a lot. So here are my favorite 3D gifs/wigglegrams/stereoscopic images I made last year.

From covering my roommate in milk to him covering me in silly string. From Astroworld Festival to Desert Daze to Air + Style. I can’t wait to see where this weird shit takes me this year.

Head here to see more. If you’re interested in getting a lenticular print of any of these images, hit me up here.

Deerhunter Concert at Lodge Room Highland Park

Atlanta’s Deerhunter stopped by Lodge Room Highland Park Thursday night to celebrate their eighth LP Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? to be release the following day. The sold out crowd was calm, yet enthusiastic; the maturity fitting of a band that’s been around for 18 years. The merch table was remarkably empty. A hand-written note informed shoppers autographed vinyl was available for $30 (although, I think the guy in the front row with an entire tote bag of unopened records he brought to be signed had a little more in mind).

Keyboardist Javier Morales held an old school radio to the mic scanning through miscellaneous stations adding atmosphere to the shadowy stage before the others entered and they launched into “Lake Somerset” off 2007’s Cryptograms. In the time since Cryptograms, the genre-bending indie rockers have settled into a palatable pop sound, which serves as a stark contrast to the subject matter of the newest album. The next song in the set was Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?’s opening track and first single “Death in Midsummer”. It rallies a cry for blue collar workers laboring until they die. This tone of criticism for the state of the union continues through the LP. The press release for the album says, “Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared? forgets the questions and makes up unrelated answers…It comes home, restructures itself and goes back to bed to avoid the bad news.” And wouldn’t we like to do the same these days.

Earlier in the month, Deerhunter dropped “Plains,” the third single off the forthcoming album. The fleeting song is inspired by the similarly fleeting James Dean who spent the last summer of his life filming "Giant" in Marfa, Texas in 1955. As someone that’s spent time in Marfa, I can attest that the lyrics regarding the incessant trains passing through the city are accurate. Undoubtedly, Deerhunter founder Bradford Cox has experienced similar not only during his residency at 2018’s Marfa Myths festival, but also during the recording of the new album which also took place in the charming desert town. “Plains” was nestled into the middle of the set alongside classics like “Helicopter” and “Desire Lines”.

On the whole, Deerhunter’s set was roughly 50% new material with strategically placed crowd favorites off older albums. “Agoraphobia” and “He Would Have Laughed” ended the evening on a familiar high note for everyone in the crowd.

Shot for Grimy Goods. Click the photos to scroll through them big.