It’s The 1975 at SDSU

If you haven’t heard of The 1975, they’re a pop rock band from Manchester, England. The group consists of Matty Healy as the lead vocalist, Adam Hann on lead guitar, Ross MacDonald on bass, and George Daniel on drums. Their first album, “The 1975,” debuted in 2013. Their second album, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It,” was released in 2016, and they’re still promoting it. Both albums topped the U.S. and U.K. Billboard 200, and this year they won the Brit Award for Best British Group.

The 1975 performed at the Cal Coast Credit Union Amphitheater, right on campus, last fall semester. Getting to see my favorite band live for the first time was one of the most incredible and memorable experiences of my freshman year here at SDSU. Their setlist had a mixture of songs from both of their albums. They played my favorite song from each album: “Girls,” from “The 1975,” and “Loving Someone,” from their most recent album. My favorite part about this concert (besides Matty’s English accent) was how simple it was – it was just about The 1975, their music and the people.

If you haven’t had the chance to go to the Cal Coast Credit Union Amphitheater, the smaller venue makes any performance more intimate, and any seat you’re assigned is a pretty good one! They’re coming back this month on Tuesday, April 25th, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them again. If you haven’t already, make sure you snag a ticket!

Featured Image by Rafia Rehman.

The Pixies at Cal Coast Open Air Theater

The Pixies are making their way back to San Diego, playing at the Cal Coast Credit Union Amphitheater on April 22. When they announced a US tour, especially a show here in San Diego, it was quite exciting news because of who they are and what they mean for alternative rock. Formed in the late 1980’s, Charles Thompson IV (a.k.a. Frank Black) paired up with Joey Santiago at the University of Massachusetts. The duo was determined to form a band. The two friends relocated to Boston and put out an add in a newspaper in hopes of finding a bassist. Kim Deal responded to the add, and brought along her friend and drummer, David Lovering. In 1987, the band released the EP “Come On Pilgrim.” A short time later, in 1988, the group’s iconic debut album, “Surfer Rosa” was released. Throughout the ’90s, the Pixies released three studio albums that seemed to capture the spirit of the decade. They didn’t quite fit in with the mainstream grunge scene, but perhaps that was a good thing, because the Pixies are so much more than just a phase.

They, unknowingly at the time, released albums that would influence many bands, such as Radiohead and Arcade Fire. The album “Surfer Rosa” contains some of the most infamous Pixie tracks: “Gigantic,” “River Euphrates,” and “Where Is My Mind?”. The same goes for “Doolittle.” It is such a captivating album, and delivers more hits, including “Here Comes Your Man,” “Monkey Gone to Heaven” and “Gouge Away.”  

In 1993 Kim Deal left the band. That became quite the scandal when rumors circulated, stating that her departure was due to constant clashing with Frank Black. However, the band reunited in 2004 when they toured around the US and the UK headlining music festivals. This lasted until 2013, when Deal left once again. The remaining pixies still toured without her. As of late, the Pixies released a sixth album, “Head Carrier,” in September of 2016, and brought in Paz Lenchantin as a permanent replacement for Kim Deal.

Catch the Pixies play at Cal Coast Open Air Theater on Saturday, April 22.

Sources and Discography

Back from the Dead: Paramore

This is it. This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Paramore just dropped a new song, called “Hard Times,” with an official music video, and announced the release of their fifth album, “After Laughter,” out May 12. Mind you, all of this happened at 5:30 am – I felt very overwhelmed, but also happy.

 

Paramore has always been an experimental band. “Riot” was a force to be reckoned with in the pop punk scene, but over time the band transitioned into a more alternative rock sound, infused with pop inspirations. This style change can be heard in albums like “Brand New Eyes” and their self-titled work. Their upcoming album, however, takes an earnest approach to the synth ’80s pop – and I’m not complaining. Think Talking Heads-esque. Their direction of sound is the positivity 2017 desperately needs.
Although the band receives hate for “selling out” or becoming “mainstream,” this new sound is who they are. Paramore has never stuck to one sound for years and years. They are always evolving for the better, and “Hard Times” proves it. Being stagnant is never an option.
The upbeat guitar riffs, the funky bass line and the simple but groovy rhythm section manned by Zac Farro create a magical combination with Hayley’s playful vocals. But, what stands out to me is Taylor York’s guitar composition. His clean guitar work rings throughout the song. In spite of its simplicity, it’s catchy and carries Hayley’s voice – a perfect musical harmony. The incorporation of synths and vocal samples are also a nice touch, as the song gives off Daft Punk vibes, especially towards the end. This track just screams happiness and I absolutely love it.
Even the music video is bright and colorful. The technicolor graphics, the floating clouds and the multi-color corduroy outfits make this music video the happiest Paramore has ever released – a definite change from “Decode.” Fans can even see guitarist Taylor York wearing a color other than black, and that’s already a big step. Major props to the directors for producing such a visually pleasing video that grasps the song’s vibe in its entirety.
Paramore’s ability to incorporate different influences like ’80s synth, post-rock and New Wave is due to their lack of fear. They simply don’t care what critics say about their direction as a band. Instead they embrace the full control they have over the album’s sound, how it’s mixed and the way it’s delivered to fans. And you can tell because there’s heart in each bass pluck, drum beat, guitar strum and vocal melody. Paramore is 100 percent genuine and that’s why I love them.
Overall, the wait was worth it because this single is that one needed push to get me through the rest of the school year. The positivity from this song is electric and undeniable, and it’s truly amazing how one band single-handedly saved 2017. As a hardcore Paramore fan, I’m not disappointed by this release at all, nor am I mad that they changed their sound. I’m so excited for the full release of their album and I’m even more excited to watch this dynamic trio perform these killer songs. 2017 is Paramore’s year.

Featured image (“Paramore @Parahoy”) by Laurence Dion.  

The Ultimate Coachella Survival Guide

Hey, Aztecs! Excited for weekend two of Coachella 2017? Before you go out and make new memories, be sure to follow my personal “do’s and don’t’s” for Coachella 2017 for the optimal time of your life.

Don’t be afraid to wear whatever you want.
I hear people say, “Coachella is turning into more of a fashion show than a music festival,” (or something along those lines) all the time. My response to that? Wear whatever you want. If you want to dress boho chic? Go for it. Want to wear your heels? It might be a little painful if you’re standing all day, but if you really want to wear them, go for it! Dress for yourself, and don’t think twice about what others think.

Just keep in mind that it’s going to be really warm (especially when you’re deep inside a crowd of hundreds of people), and that there will be a lot of walking, standing around and dancing!

Create a meet-up spot for you and your friends.
Do you and your friends want to see different sets that are happening at the same time? Before you split up and head to your respective stages, create a meet-up place. Whether it be at different art installations, bathrooms or some other area, this will help reunite the group without any worries. It’ll also save you a lot of battery on your phone because you won’t have to constantly check up on everyone. Just simply arrange to meet somewhere at a specific time.

Being present in the moment is better than being on your phone.
As much as I love being on my social media accounts, I always follow this one rule: don’t drown everyone in excessive concert postings. I find it best to limit yourself to a couple posts a day, so that you can be present and really enjoy the festival. It’s better to become entranced in the different music, light shows and awesome surroundings that Coachella provides. I’d also like to add that people spend $400 on a ticket, and should really take in every little moment.

Create a game-plan for each day – but break that plan too.
To really get the most out of the three days of Coachella, it’s best to figure out in the morning (or night before) what sets you want to see, and plan out which stages you’re going to. However, Coachella’s about relaxing, having fun and spontaneity. If you’re passing by an artist or band who has an appealing sound, check them out! You never know what new music you might discover. It’s Coachella – just go with the flow.

Chill out at the Do Lab.

An incredibly underrated stage, being at the Do Lab is possibly the best memory I have of Coachella. If you’re tired, exhausted, hot, and in dire need of some fresh air… head on over to the Do Lab. Not only does the Do Lab feature weird characters spraying you with these strange, misting guns (pictured above), but they also have great music from underground DJs. For example, I was cooling down at the Do Lab when I discovered Tokimonsta, in 2015. Tokimonsta brought out Anderson .Paak, and then I realized how awesome Anderson .Paak was. The moral of the story is that you can discover a lot of new music. And, the Do Lab is a pretty spacious place compared to the other stages, which can only mean one thing: more dancing!

That’s all I have for today, Aztecs! Be sure to wear your sunscreen, charge your phones and bring your own toilet paper and seat covers!

Ashley Bajet,
signing out.

Featured Image: The Odyssey