This year’s Coachella lineup was underwhelming from the start, so much so that I didn’t plan on going until a pass fell in my lap about a week before the festival. It wasn’t necessarily the bands in the lineup that I thought was weak, it was the lack of originality and dynamics that I’ve come to expect from a Coachella. No Rolling Stones or David Bowie. No Replacments. Hardly any hip-hop, punk or imaginative electronic music. Too many wimpy “punch-me-in-the-face” bands like Phoenix, The xx, Postal Service… Basically, i feared Coachella had lost its edge. As much as the environment and experience was always more than fulfilling to me, I wasn’t ready to shell out $500 in support of a lineup that seemed staged for taking a big nap on the Polo Grounds.
In the end I had a blast — Coachella is one of those great experiences that triggers dopamine bursts just at the thought. The first heat of late spring under the desert sun, 100,000 people all out for good times, good music and big smiles. 6 stages (with this year’s introduction of the Yuma Tent) and all kinds of inebriating distractions.
The lights went out last time Calexico visited Los Angeles. Fans at the Fonda Theatre waited for hours in darkness, but a Hollywood Boulevard power outage literally stole the show. “My parents were there, my sister and the whole label and we’re all sitting in the dark,” said Joey Burns, singer and guitarist for the band. “I loved every moment and we probably could’ve played acoustically, but there were safety concerns.”
Calexico’s seventh long-player, Algiers, had recently dropped, marking the band’s first opportunity to play live for its new label, Anti. But after a short acoustic song, Burns bid the remaining crowd good night with a promise to return in January. And tonight, Calexico makes good on its promise at the El Rey.
Griffith Park Observatory during the annular solar eclipse.
It’s summertime in Los Angeles (and everywhere else in the northern hemisphere for that matter). Time to hit the beach and The Bowl and spend quality outdoor time with great friends across L.A. County’s 4,000 square miles, from Lancaster to Long Beach. I’ve covered lots of ground already as 2012 is already well on its way to being, yet again, the best summer ever™.
But this is the first summer of Adler Integrated. Yes, myself and a dream team consisting of some of my best friends came together and started a company in January. More on that in my next post (or, uh, we do have a blog). I’m basically doing the same type of work I’ve been doing for some years now, only bigger, better and with more support and collaboration. It’s awesome.
Spotifyreleased a public embed code for streaming tracks from the service on any website. It’s called The Spotify Play Button and I’m testing it out here with the April playlist I created for the office. Check it out below and check out my other Spotify playlists here. (both those I’ve created and those I subscribe to). Some companies, such as FanRx have already begun incorporating the code into artists’ Facebook Pages. This reminds me of Yahoo! music player, which is a simple script that triggers a player to appear when an audio or video file was present in a blog post or more recent versions of similar, such as the Ex.fm extension. The main difference, of course, is that the music is streamed directly from Spotify, rather than an ambiguous (or non-accountable) URL ending in .mp3, which essentially locks in plays to a revenue stream for artists (however minute), assuming Spotify is in fact paying out based on number of plays and not just as a percentage of Spotify subscriptions.
Click here to create a customized Spotify Play embed code.
American Express must have thrown down seven figures plus to book Jay-Z into the pristine Moody Theater in the Austin W complex but it managed to monopolize the buzz — at least for the hmoment — at SXSW Interactive. Jay-Z performed for just under two hours, doing 24 songs (full-length as opposed to the medley format favored on the Watch the Throne tour) cherry-picked from his deep repertoire. Amex flew in Jay and likely a planeload of entourage for this one-off event. I was fortunate to get a spot up close and snapped a ton of photos (only a few of which were worth posting).
SXSW seems to have a dearth of hip-hop on its schedule and this event was not an official part of the conference itself (though it got plenty of love as Amex is a SXSW sponsor). But let’s not kid ourselves, Jay-Z may be the greatest rapper alive but he’s every bit as much of a pop star today as he is hip-hop. The show was also simulcast within the W, on a big screen on Red River and on YouTube (watch on demand here). Photos, video and setlist below.