Beach Blanket Bingo Festival In Galveston, 8/23/2014

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Photos by Jack Gorman
Beach Blanket Bingo Festival
Feat. Dillon Francis, Adrian Lux, Paris Blohm, etc.
East Beach, Galveston Island
August 23rd, 2014

While it probably happens more frequently in different parts of the world, an EDM bash at the beach is not a regular occurrence in our neck of the woods. This is a bummer, because the meeting of dance music and sand makes of a lot of sense, especially when you consider that plenty of folks wear beachwear to dance shows as it is.

Of course, in order to have a beach show one has to get to the beach, and maybe therein is the issue. Driving to Galveston isn't exactly difficult, but the stretch of 45 from Houston until the Buc-ee's in Texas City can be maddening if you're the type who hates traffic, as most of us are.

Still, it's all worth it once you feel the wind in your hair and the bass in your ears. On a warm night, Beach Blanket Bingo proved to be one of the highlights of the soon (we hope) to be ending summer.

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Something Wicked's 2014 Lineup + Five Sets We're Looking Forward to

Categories: Bayou Beat

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You gotta hand it to Disco Donnie Presents and Nightculture: they know how to put together a solid lineup of music. The decision to expand Something Wicked to two days might have seemed weird at first, but in the year 2014, aka The Year That Houston Went Festival Crazy, it makes perfect sense. In the arms race for festival dollars, you can't play it safe anymore. As such, it's nice to see DDPNC putting together a lineup big on acts we actually want to check out.

Sure, it's a little weird that Dillon Francis is coming back so soon after next week's Beach Blanket Bingo, and yeah, maybe we eyerolled at Kaskade as a headliner again, but all in all there's a lot to like with this lineup. In particular, we're looking forward to...


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Foam Wonderland Feat. Carnage at NRG Arena, 8/1/14

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Photos by J. Tovar
Carnage
NRG Arena
August 1st, 2013

Foam Wonderland did not end with some giant, faux-orgasmic tidal wave of foam engulfing an excited crowd an hour and a half deep into a set from Carnage. Whether or not that was the plan we'll never know, because it ended half an hour early, the crowd being told that the cops were pulling the plug because there had been some "issues."

This was a bummer, of course, but not as big of a bummer as you might guess. That's not to say that people weren't upset, but it wasn't like there was about to be a foam-covered mob taking to the streets screaming "fuck the police."

After five and a half hours of dance music and foam explosions, it's hard to be super angry about anything. Especially when you're wearing a bathing suit and covered in foam.


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We Could All Use a Bit of Borgore in Our Lives, Even You Grown Folks

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Photos by Jack Gorman
Borgore
Stereo Live
June 5, 2014

It was right about the time that Borgore dropped the modern brostep classic that is Skrillex's remix of Nero's "Promises" that I found myself on the second level of Stereo Live thinking about young-adult novels. I realize this is a weird thing to be thinking about while those perfect noises play, but hear me out.

There's a really dumb article over at Slate that argues that grown folks shouldn't read young-adult novels because there are plenty of grown-folks books that you could be reading instead. I found myself wondering if this extends to music as well.

Here I am, up at 12:40 a.m. on a work night in a packed crowd listening to Borgore spin all manner of bass tracks, and I've never once listened to a Bob Dylan album, don't know a single Smiths song other than "How Soon Is Now?" and the only thing I know about Neutral Milk Hotel is that that guy really loves Anne Frank.

But you know what? YOLO. Borgore puts on a damn fun show, and -- revoke my music critic card if you must -- sometimes that's way better than sitting at home listening to the classics.

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Free Press Summer Fest Temporarily Being Evacuated

Categories: Bayou Beat

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"@fpsf: Due to impending weather conditions we are putting in a temp evacuation order. Seek shelter outside fest grounds. Stay tuned for all clear"

That was the message that just went out here at the festival. From where I'm standing, plenty of people seem content to hang out under an underpass and see what happens. We'll update once we hear more.

Be safe everyone.

James "Boogaloo" Bolden Band at Dan Electro's, 2/7/2014

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Photos by William Michael Smith
The James Bolden Blues Band blowing at gale force
James Bolden Blues Band
Dan Electro's Guitar Bar
February 7, 2014

James "Boogaloo" Bolden has been at B.B. King's side for decades as band director. But with King, 87, slowing down a bit, Bolden is finding new avenues for his talent. For starters, he's just released a new album, No News, Jus' The Blues, and (along with producer/saxophonist Eric Demmer) has assembled a powerhouse big band that can blow the roof off any joint on any given night.

Friday night was no exception, as Bolden and Demmer, who spent more than a decade with the legendary Gatemouth Brown, put their nine-piece swingin' machine through some blistering paces at the venerable Heights blues/rock outpost. Consisting of some of Houston's top players -- piano genius Daryl Lavigne; red-hot sax maven and vocalist Evelyn Rubio; Charlie "Tuna" Dennis, B.B. King's longtime rhythm guitarist; local guitar god Teri Greene; sizzling trumpeter Roy Chapa; and father-son rhythm section Barry and Brandon Jackson -- the Bolden band is a beautiful thing to behold. In fact, it ranks right there with Grady Gaines' similar setup.


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Meet the McFadden Brothers, Houston's EDM Accountants

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Ryan (L) and Kyle McFadden, a.k.a. Kyle Dux
I once wrote here how my kids work at being musicians. Their hand-to-mouth life demands and modest success mean they don't have to bus tables for a living.

But many Houston musicians do work for the man. Admirably, they create and perform music by night, then do the day job. For many, it's changing tires at the auto shop or stocking shelves at Guitar Center.

Or, in the case of the McFadden brothers, Kyle and Ryan, it's the staid corporate work of accounting. Over the past year, these honest-to-Pete siblings have joined forces to create original, Houston-based electronic dance music. Under the banner of Kyle Dux -- yes, that's a nod to Bloodsport's larger-than-life hero, Frank Dux -- they focus on house music and hope to help advance a local EDM scene that seems too small for a city this large.


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Disclosure at Warehouse Live, 1/29/14

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Photos by J Tovar
Disclosure
Warehouse Live
1.29.14

Wednesday night's Disclosure show was a confusing and somewhat disorganized experience, but nonetheless an amazing performance that certainly pleased the overstuffed Warehouse Live crowd.

Unless I had been huffing glue in my sleep and dreamt this, the first time I went to the Warehouse Live page to see when Wednesday's show began it said that doors were at 7 p.m. and there were two openers (Vic Mensa and Samo Sound Boy). Thankfully I am a compulsive planner and checked the site multiple times before going to the show and I learned that "due to unforeseen circumstances," doors had been moved to 10 p.m..

Doors at 10 p.m. isn't an oddity for any show, particularly for any kind of EDM show. Doors at 10 also normally means that an opener might make it on by 10:30, then another by 11:30, and the headliner would go on around 12:30 and play until bar closed.

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Five Trap Christmas Songs to Get Your Party Turnt Up

Christmas is here, food is cooking, family is visiting and presents are waiting to be opened. Now is the time to think about setting the right atmosphere for the occasion. Christmas day is supposed to be a happy day, an exciting day, one full of laughs and merriment. For the love of God, don't bore your family with the same, laid-back Christmas jams you play every year. Take things up a notch and make it a real celebration.

Your family likes trap music, right?

Good. Grab these five songs and throw them into your holiday playlist. Nothing shakes off the cobwebs of "Silver Bells" like some high-hat rolls and bass drops.


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Zedd at House of Blues, 10/30/2013

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Photos by Julian Bajsel
Zedd
House of Blues
October 30, 2013

I may not know what Zedd looks like, but I think he represents the future.

Let's break down that sentence a bit before you grab your pitchforks and light your torches.

On a platform at the back of the House of Blues stage, surrounded by giant video walls, lights, and lasers, Zedd barreled his way through a 90-minute set full of crowd-pleasing hits while being little more than a silhouette onstage. He addressed the crowd a few times -- typical DJ things like asking the crowd to jump and make some noise -- but for the most part he was content to let the massive sounds and impressive lighting display do the talking for him.


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