Photos & Interviews from FYF Fest 2011: Dead Milkmen, Fool’s Gold, Future Islands, Explosions in the Sky, OFF! and More

I took photos and interviewed several bands at FYF Fest earlier this month at Los Angeles State Historic Park. These interviews and photos originally appeared in LAist.

[nggallery id=2]
Click photos to embiggen / view as slideshow or click here to view all the photos on a single page.

Continue reading “Photos & Interviews from FYF Fest 2011: Dead Milkmen, Fool’s Gold, Future Islands, Explosions in the Sky, OFF! and More”

Google I/O Afterparty: Robots, Pinball, Jane’s Addiction, a Self-Driving Car and a Merry-Go-Round Powered by Bicycles

The Google I/O 2011 afterparty was geek entertainment at it’s best. Complete with a token 45-minute set by Jane’s Addiction (with Chris Chaney on bass – Eric Avery left the band last year) and dozens of extreme geeks holding up their newly gifted Samsung Galaxy Tabs to shoot a few clips of video (watch the set in HD below), the highlight of the event was likely the Maker Faire-esque playground of Google-powered and -inspired installations. Robotic symphonies performed by everyday kitchen appliances; the famous self-driving car; a mellow set by DJ Mark Farina; a pinball arcade; and this thrilling bicycle-powered carousel (warning: watching video may cause dizziness)….

[nggallery id=8]
Click here to view Google I/O photo gallery on flickr.

Continue reading “Google I/O Afterparty: Robots, Pinball, Jane’s Addiction, a Self-Driving Car and a Merry-Go-Round Powered by Bicycles”

Must See: Pink Floyd’s The Wall Performed Live

Like many others, I shrugged off the idea of another Roger Waters tour, bringing the music of Pink Floyd into arenas nationwide sans David Gilmour. As much as Floyd meant to me in my high school years, I haven’t listened to their music on my own volition for at least a dozen years. It would be nice to hear an album that I had loved straight through in concert.

Then I heard about how full bore Waters was going with the production — recreating the spectacle of The Wall on its 30th anniversary and then some — on this Sound Opinions podcast in October. Yeah, I can dig it.

Only top top bands with a serious legacy can truly demand $250 and up for a top ticket and still manage to fill arenas nationwide (often for multi-night runs). But there sure as hell better be some spectacular video / light show / side show to go along with the tired greatest hits nonsense. Regardless, Waters will have absolutely no reason to work again after galavanting around the world for 10 months on the strength of his 30-year old magnum opus. Look for his name near the top of the next weekly Pollstar Top 20 Concerts list.

In this case there was amazing video — the wall featured a steady stream of motion graphics and video, many from the original The Wall, projected onto a huge wall — about 240 feet wide and 33 feet tall. The story of The Wall holds up very well, all the way to The Trial, even if it can get a little tiresome looking at Waters parading in front of the wall alone in love with himself as the lead character in the story as his presumed alter ego, Pink Floyd. A 12-piece band including horns and a childrens choir comprised of kids from the Heart of Los Angeles after-school program took the stage for the cockneyed refrain on “Another Brick in the Wall” and probably the most elaborate and crisp sound I’ve heard in an arena. There were monster speakers in teh back of the house and from the floor, you could literally feel the helicopters closing in from all sides at some points. Holiday season — maybe I was feeling sentimental, but I got major chills a few times.

I definitely recommend seeing this show if you can, tickets were going for below face value for the Staples Center (I got lucky and was whisked in on a friend’s last-minute extra ticket, thanks Gretchen!). The remaining U.S. tour dates are listed below along with a clip from “Hey You” which opened up the second part of the show from behind The Wall.

Continue reading “Must See: Pink Floyd’s The Wall Performed Live”