Clairo at House of Blues San Diego

Clairo played a sold-out show at the House of Blues San Diego on October 18th and certainly did not leave her fans disappointed.

The 21-year-old lo-fi bedroom pop singer, Claire Cottrill, has recently blown up after the release of her debut full-length album, Immunity, gaining positive feedback from fans and critics alike. It was only about two years ago since Clairo released “Pretty Girl” on YouTube and took the world by storm. 

Being a huge Clairo fan myself, I was excited to see what type of crowd she would attract to her sold-old show. I have only seen Clairo perform once and it was at Coachella 2019, where the crowd was small and her set was short. While it was clear that the show was all ages, there was a large representation from Clairo’s young fanbase. At first, I was surprised to see so many young teens in baggy pants and oversized graphic-tees, but I realized they matched Clairo’s aesthetic almost perfectly. Regardless of age, the crowd had high energy that radiated throughout the venue. There were smiles all around, and I could tell that everyone in the room wholeheartedly loves Clairo and that they were ready for a memorable night.

First to take the stage was Oakland-based band, Hello Yello. This punk-alternative-rock band came on stage with high energy and even got the crowd moshing at some points. The band recently released their first EP, Love Wins, and played a few tracks before getting the audience ready for what’s to come.

The next opener was Beabadoobee, staring Filipino-British indie singer Bea Kristi. It was no surprise that she is touring with Clairo because they both have a soft 90’s-alternative sound in their music. The crowd roared as Bea took the stage with her two bandmates, playing hits like “Dance with Me,” “If You Want To,” and “She Plays Bass.” Since the band produces soft and somewhat-emo music, their stage presence relayed accurately as they kept a calm demeanor throughout their set.

Clairo, House of Blues San Diego 10/18/19
Photo by: Brittany Roache

Finally, it was Clairo’s turn to take the stage and you could literally feel the energy of the crowd buzzing from wall to wall. When she finally graced us with her presence on stage, the venue shook and the screams seemed to never end. My heart was racing as I stood in the photo-pit, staring directly at one of my favorite female artists of all time.

This is the first (unedited) picture I took of Clario at the House of Blues San Diego. I find this picture special because it captures the raw essence of her beauty and the angelic glow that she constantly resonates.

Opening with her lead song “Alewife” off her debut-album, Clairo draws the crowd in and keeps their attention focused on the music. Some artists like to open their show with a bang, but Clairo needed to start off the night with something emotional and real – and it was perfect.

Throughout the show, Clairo kept the crowd engaged, frequently taking a knee to get face-to-face with her fans in the front. Playing a mix of songs both old and new, it seemed as if the crowd knew the words to everyone. If her fans weren’t dancing, they were in a trance hearing the melodic tones of the young singer’s voice.

Halfway through the show, Clairo paused and did something that left me speechless. Since Cottrill’s rise-to-fame started on the internet, it is only fitting that she made a joke that recently went viral on Twitter. On the count of three, she made the entire crowd sing Kylie Jenner‘s “Rise and Shine” meme. Even if you were unfamiliar with the meme, it left everyone laughing after hearing the audience sing the words “Rise and Shine” in a high-pitch tone.

This interaction was only the beginning of how Clairo chose to engage with the crowd that night. After singing hits like “Flaming Hot Cheeto’s,” “Bags,” and “Sofia,” she asked her band to leave as she brought out a stool and guitar to switch up the mood. Clairo told the crowd that she has only recently started doing this, but she wanted to end her shows by playing an unreleased song that she wrote on tour in Brooklyn. The song was charming and vulnerable, with lyrics stating “if timing was everything, I’d make some more time.”

As she began to close the concert out with the final song off her album “I Wouldn’t Ask You,” the crowd sang peacefully in unison, getting ready to say goodbye to the beloved singer.

After saying goodbye, it only took about a minute of cheering from her fans until Clairo and her band came back on stage for a three-song encore. She started with her hit “4EVER,” which effortlessly got the crowd dancing.

Before singing her biggest hit “Pretty Girl,” Clairo decided to do something different. She asked the crowd if she could bring a few audience members on stage to host a dance party with her, and it didn’t take long for everyone’s eager hands to shoot up in the air. It was a really special moment to watch as Clairo brought five fans on stage, greeted them with a big hug, and danced their hearts out on stage together.

Clairo and fans on stage during “Pretty Girl” – House of Blues San Diego

Clairo officially ended the concert with her song with Mura Masa, “I Don’t Think I Can Do This Again,” and allowed fans to get one final dance in before ending the night. This may have been Clairo’s second time headlining a show in San Diego, but it definitely won’t be her last.

Written by: Brittany Roache
Photos by: Brittany Roache


The Ultimate Summer Sendoff Playlist

Perfect for drives along the coast or lounging by the pool with friends, this summer playlist will put you straight into summer-mode.

As the semester comes to an end and the weight on your shoulders is finally lifted, the summer relaxation begins. Whether your plans include traveling, working, or visiting family, summer is a time to let your hair down and enjoy the sun while the air is warm.

Each year, a summer playlist makes its way into my music library and it’s ends up being the only thing I listen to for my three month break. When I think of “summer” music, I immediately think of upbeat, feel-good alternative songs with catchy guitar lines and lyrics you can shout in the car.

This year, I worked hard to deliver the best summer playlist for anyone who loves alternative, pop, and indie music. Featuring the newest hits from some fan-favorites and a few older tunes that remains classics, this playlist is perfect for beach days, road trips, and everything in-between.

A few of my favorites include:

Talk Too Much – COIN

After hitting no. 8 on the Alternative Songs chart, it is clear that this COIN song fits the “care-free summertime sound” that we are all looking for. They are a rock band making guitar-driven music and they have hit the mark on this hit track.

Tired Eyes – Besphrenz

Besphrenz is a unique group that you’ll be surprised hasn’t blown up yet. With their original style mixing indie, rock, and rap, this band is hitting multiple styles at once, but still keeping it clean. I respect them for being innovative musicians and I’m sure that this song will stay on repeat all summer long. The playlist also features Walking On Ice and their newest single, White Shoes.

Heat of the Summer – Young the Giant

Young the Giant has been a fan-favorite in the Alternative Music world for some time now, and with “Summer” being in the songs title, it surely fits the playlists theme. The song opens with a distorted guitar line and features a catchy chorus you’ll find yourself humming to all day. Young the Giant has done an excellent job in creating new music while sticking to their original sound that everyone loves.

This Life – Vampire Weekend

Released earlier this month, it is clear this song is different from the traditional Vampire Weekend sound. The song is lighthearted, bright, and bouncy, and has even been mentioned it closely matches Van Morrisons “Brown Eyed Girl.”

Hollow Life – Coast Modern

Imagine if Cage the Elephant, Grouplove, and Glass Animals teamed up on a track: this is what it’d sound like. This song was released a few years back, but the chorus is fresh, creative, and exactly what you need to hear all summer long.

Gold Snafu – Sticky Fingers

From the memorable beat and easy-to-follow chorus line, this song is easily enjoyed by any audience. Lead singer, Dylan Frost, delivers unique vocals falling under the reggae/rock genre, and its clear this song needs to be played full volume with the windows down. The playlist also includes one of their more mellow songs, These Girls.

Weekend Friend – Goth Babe

While “Goth” might be in the name, this musician producing anything but gothic music. Classified as surf-indie-rock, Weekend Friend is a care-free summer tune with soaring production. Greeting listeners with a heartwarming combination of keys, drums, and shakes, this song is easy on the ears in just about any setting.

No Going Back – Yuno

From the first drum-kick, this song shines light straight into my heart. After my first listen a few months back, I had the sudden urge to drop everything, go on a road trip, and make a video that highlights this wonderful track. With a weightless melody and vibrant lyrics, it is no wonder this was Yuno’s first single after signing with Sub Pop Records.

Some other favorites from the playlist include songs from boy pablo, LANY, Bad Suns, HUNNY, Local Natives, Empire of the Sun, Still Woozy, Toro y Moi, and many more. Hoping these songs are enough to brighten your mood all summer long! Now, go enjoy the sunshine.

Written by: Brittany Roache

Maggie Rogers “Heard It From A Past Life” Album Review

Heard It From A Past Life

Sharing her life story through strategic songwriting, Maggie Rogers rises to fame as her debut album “Heard It From A Past Life” continues to dominate the charts.

Appearing on festival lineups like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and the 50th year anniversary return of Woodstock, singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers is on her way to the top. The 24-year-old pop artist experienced her rise to fame immediately after sharing her song “Alaska” to Pharrell Williams during a masters class at New York University. She wrote and produced the hit song in under 15 minutes, and blew away one of the worlds most renowned producers. While I had heard many amazing things about this young, female artist, I had yet to listen to her debut album, Heard It From A Past Life.

After researching her past, I found that Rogers grew up playing the harp, piano, and guitar all by the time she was in middle school. Her heart has always been in folk music, and the banjo was her primary instrument of choice. She fully kicked off her songwriting career during the summer of her junior year after attending Berklee’s College of Music program and won the program’s songwriting contest. Maggie is a hardworking individual who always put her best foot forward and has never tried to be anyone but herself. 

With as many as 4 million monthly Spotify listeners, Maggie Rogers has already made her mark on the world. As many of my friends continuously rave about her music, I decided to review Heard It From A Past Life from start to finish.

Opening the album with her song “Give A Little,” Roger’s introduces her audience to a light and somewhat dainty beat. She is combining her background of folk music with pop and indie styles of production. The song’s chorus is heart-warming and simple, radiating Haim-like catchiness.

Overnight” is next up, fitting perfectly as she reflects on how quickly things can change overnight. In this track, the synths were made from the sounds of glacier frogs, holding true to her creativity and strong connection to nature.

The Knife” has a unique intro that sets the tone to let loose and enjoy life to the fullest. “Beautiful as it all pours out, after dark, after life” are lyrics that prove her purpose of this song to dance and be free.

Alaska” is the song that gave Roger’s the success she needed to get this album started. The video of Pharrell’s initial reaction to this song fully shows the emotion and creativity behind her songwriting, and it is a beautiful video every fan should watch.

Light On” is another heart-warming track that features light guitar and strong vocals. I can hear the emotion and soul pouring through her voice as she shares her struggles with anxiety and feeling overwhelmed by her own thoughts.

Past Life” is a ballad that focuses on the changes that are about to come and take over her life. The slow piano combined with her stripped vocals are enough to bring fans to tears by the end of it.

Say It” combines Roger’s love for electronic production with her love for nature as she uses synths and vocals to paint a picture of the Alaskan mountains and snowy hilltops. She sings about the innocence of having a crush, “every evening, every time, I keep replaying in my mind, and wondering if you do the same.”

On + Off” features smooth bass lines and layered percussions, representing the layers shared within a relationship with someone you love. With an incredibly groovy and catchy chorus, this unique track has to be one of my favorites thus far.

Fallingwater” has an off-beat tempo that captivates listeners from the start, then moves into a vocal progression that might catch you off guard. This track has emotion that takes her voice to new heights as she sings about the challenges of change.

Retrograde” tells the story of struggling between wanting to stay in a dream-state all day, and wanting to give up when things get hard in our everyday lives.

Burning” mixes clapping beats with face-tased percussion as Rogers jumps around vocally as well. This track gives listening to illusion of running through the wild, emphasizing the wild ride relationships can take you on.

Closing the album with “Back In My Body,” this track perfectly showcases her story-telling abilities through songwriting. She talks about her time in London and Paris and the emotional impact those cities have had on her life. This song is powerful, majestic, and the best finale to an incredible debut album.

Final Thoughts?

I am now a full-on Maggie Rogers fan. Initially, I thought that her pop and folk styles of music would turn me away, but after researching her story, reading her lyrics and the meanings behind them, and hearing her creativity pour through her music, I have become pleasantly surprised. It’s no wonder that Heard It From A Past Life reached #2 on Billboard’s charts following the release of the album. Roger’s has never tried to copy anyone’s style; she is unapologetically herself at all times. Her story telling abilities are something truly special, and I can already tell there are big things in store for her future.

Written By: Brittany Roach

KCR’S Coachella Survival Guide

Coachella 2018

Haven’t started packing yet? Don’t worry – KCR’s got you covered. Here are the best tips and tricks to survive Coachella 2019!

There are few things better than spending a weekend in the desert with good friends, good music, and even better vibes. If you’re going to Coachella this year, get ready to have fun, but always remember to be safe and come prepared.

FESTIVAL ADVICE:

With headliners like Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande, be prepared for big crowds and even bigger performances. First off, always remember to bring a positive attitude and enjoy everything that comes along with the festival; no one wants to hear complaints while you’re at one of the biggest and best events of the year. Overlapping set-times can be frustrating, but our best advice is to decide in the moment who you want to see and just go with the flow. Festivals are more enjoyable with friends, so stay close to people you trust and remember that every artist has something great to show you.

The heat can be brutal, but staying hydrated is key! Your first stop after entering the festival should always be the hydration station. Thankfully, Coachella has always kept their water prices at $2 ever since they first started, so make sure to stock up on some H2O.

Next, confirm a meeting spot. Whether it’s next to one of the unique art installations, a lemonade stand, or the side of a stage, a meeting spot is necessary in case you get lost or plan to meet up with friends at a later time.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Portable Charger
    • Taking videos of your favorite bands takes up more battery than you’d think. Also, Coachella is known to have spotty service, so make sure you charge up so you can find your friends.
  • Camelback
    • Vibedration has some stylish backpacks that will keep you hydrated throughout the day. Amazon also has some reliable finds, like this one.
  • Fan
    • A hand fan is trendy but also a necessity. If you think you’ll get tired of waving your hand to the beat all day, stick to a battery powered fan. With the mister included, you will be surprised how refreshed it’ll leave you.
  • Hydrating Sunblock
    • We’ve all had our awful sunburns, and the last thing you want is to burn the first day and be uncomfortable for the rest of the weekend. Apply sunscreen before you go, and bring some into the festival as well. Yes, they do allow sunscreen inside the venue!
  • Bandana or scarf
    • The dust can be absolutely brutal! Make sure to cover your nose and face for protection, unless you want to breathe in dirt all day.
  • Earplugs
    • Obviously, the music will be LOUD! And if you do decide to camp, there is no guarantee that your neighbors will follow the noise rules.
  • Small blanket
    • Standing on your feet all day can be tiring, and being able to sit on a small blanket is one of the small things you’ll appreciate. It also gets cold and windy at night, and having a portable blanket will make your walk back to your site a little more tolerable.
  • Comfortable shoes
    • While you might want to flex your newest and trendiest shoes in the desert, the festival is huge and you will be walking all day. Stay comfortable at all costs to survive the weekend.

And finally, make sure to download the official Coachella app on your phone to get all the latest updates on set times, official rules, and fun activities that are happening throughout the weekend.

CAMPING:

If you’re not one of the lucky ones staying in a house or hotel, you’re probably camping. However, camping is half of the fun and the perfect experience for any first-time Coachella go-er. Make sure you come prepared though, because once you’re at the campsite, it can be difficult to leave and buy things you may have forgot. Thankfully for you, I’ve prepared a list of things to pack if you’re camping.

Besides the basic necessities like a tent, canopy, sleeping bags, and all your clothes and toiletries, here are some packing suggestions you might not have thought about:

  • Cooler
  • Foldable table & chairs
  • Lanterns & flashlights
  • Blow up mattress or mattress pad
  • Battery powered fan
  • Portable grill
  • Portable shower bag
  • Bathing suit and towel for showering
  • Speaker
  • Games for the campsite
  • Battery powered string lights
  • Tapestries
  • Picnic blanket
  • Wet wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Mini first-aid kit
  • Energy drinks
  • Non-pershiable food
  • Water!!!

When it comes to camping, it is always better to over-pack rather than under-preparing. You might be surprised by how cold the nights can get, so make sure you bring blankets, sweatpants, and warm jackets. If there’s a chance of rain, pack a tarp to cover your tent and a couple of rain jackets to be safe. Think through what your daily routine looks like and what you’ll need to bring to keep yourself staying comfortable.

Not going? Don’t worry!

Both weekends will be live-streamed on yt.be/coachella, where you can watch all the live Weekend 1 performances and see original, curated content during Weekend 2. Watch from the comfort of your home and avoid standing in the heat all day. And don’t worry, there will be many more Coachella’s. If you plan on going a future year, I suggest buying tickets during their presale and utilizing the payment plan. In the end, you will most likely have the opportunity to see these artists again for a much cheaper price.

Need a playlist for the drive up? Check out my Coachella 2019 playlist here.

Written by: Brittany Roache