It’s All It’s Cracked Up To Be

After releasing their first self-titled EP in 2006, Fleet Foxes quickly swept the indie folk scene. It wasn’t until 2008 when they released their second EP “Sun Giant” did the band start to make a greater impact in the indie music world.

After their 2011 release “Helplessness Blues,” the band’s then drummer and now superstar extraordinaire Josh Tillman a.k.a. Father John Misty decided to leave. Fleet Foxes then went into hibernation not too soon after.

Fronted by Robin Pecknold, who sings and plays guitar, along with now permanent members, Skyler Skjelset (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Casey Wescott (keyboards), Christian Wargo (bass guitar) and Morgan Henderson (upright bass, woodwinds, violin, percussion), Fleet Foxes have risen out of their hiatus with a new piece of artistry titled “Crack-Up.”

This album works to be something separate from prior releases, but still holds true to the band’s indie folk roots. With tracks like “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” the wave of instrumentation washes over with a driving piano and bass lines that carry Pecknold’s voice and remind listeners what Fleet Foxes are all about. The song is like the ebb and flow of waves on a shore. Moments of nothing but an acoustic guitar and whisper-like vocals cut to the same driving guitars and percussion.

Other notable tracks include “Fool’s Errand,” an eerily upbeat rhythm that crescendos into a love song driven by Robin’s drawn-out lyrics. Although past albums were as genuine and raw, this album’s lyrics stand out as even more emotionally charged. When the hard hitting music subsides and it’s just Pecknold’s voice, this album has something more intimate.

If you’re already a fan of Fleet Foxes, dive right in to this album and don’t look back. If you’re looking for an album to sink your teeth into and want to find your new favorite band please be sure to give Fleets Foxes’ newest effort “Crack-Up” a wholehearted listen.

Featured Image: https://consequenceofsound.net/2017/03/fleet-foxes-detail-new-album-crack-up-share-sprawling-third-of-mayodaigahara-listen/

How I Saw The xx at The Observatory

After tickets for The xx show at The Observatory sold out in 20 minutes, I found myself at a loss. A friend and I had been wanting to see them for awhile now, so when the weekend of Sept. 23 approache, we were determined to finally make it happen.

For those of you who do not know who The xx are, think back to Project X. That’s right. In addition to the movie’s famed “Heads Will Roll” A- Trak remix, The xx’s “Intro” was used to close out the film. The band consists of three members: Romy, Jamie and Oliver. Together, the three of them create sweet, sweet indie pop sounds.

As we stood between the bar and the entrance to The Observatory, my friend and I had to painfully hear songs such as  “I Dare You” and “Say Something Loving” through the walls. We couldn’t take it anymore. So, we did what any self-respecting fan would do – we just snuck in.

I am not writing this in hopes that you will sneak into Observatory shows or give you a “how to” guide – that is not my intention. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. With the help of an old yellow receipt in my purse, some tape and a heck of a lot of confidence, my friend and I flashed our makeshift wristbands and booked it into the crowd. We were in, SUCCESS.

After hearing songs such as “VCR “and “Shelter,” we were hooked. The performance was amazing thus far, but then the Jamie xx solo happened. Jamie not only played his hit song, “Loud Places,” with his bandmates, but continued on as he freestyled his way to his new remix of the group’s song, “On Hold.” The crowd went absolutely nuts when Jamie’s bandmates then came out to perform the full song.

I have been to many shows, but I have never witnessed a crowd like that one. It was truly amazing to be part of something so magical – applause and cheers went on for 3-5 minutes at a time. It was evident that although small, the venue was packed with loyal fans who could not contain their love for the British trio. If you ever get the chance, even if you are not familiar with The xx, I 100 percent recommend seeing them play anyways (buy a ticket).

KCR College Radio does not endorse unpaid entrance into shows.

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 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