Matt and Kim Throw a Huge House Party at House of Blues

Photos by Francisco Montes
Matt and Kim
House of Blues
April 25, 2015

When was the last time you went to an awesome party? Like, a party that was actually fun, where all the music was great, everyone around you was having a blast, and you never wanted it to end? Well, if you saw Matt and Kim's House of Blues show this weekend, your answer is probably "Last Saturday night." Feeling more like the best house party ever than a concert, the on-and-off stage Brooklyn duo's contagious pleasure for their craft ensured a fiesta for the ages.

For those who are unfamiliar with Matt and Kim, they've been curating an innovative brand of indie music since 2006 by mixing elements of pop, electro, hip-hop, punk, rock and "Who gives a fuck?" Even with their unique sound, however, what makes this pair stand out from modern-rock monotony is an insanely punchy live show. Once the duo bounded onto the stage to a mashup of "Baba O'Riley" and "It Takes Two," Matt and Kim's energy did not go down until the lights went up.

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An Ultra Music Fest Newb Loses His Virginity

Note: One of the biggest dance-music festivals in the U.S., Miami's Ultra Music Festival, took place in South Florida this weekend. Ryan Pfeffer of our sister paper in Broward/Palm Beach, Fla., filed this report.

Photos by Marta Xochilt Perez
One man's quest to fit in at Ultra.
Downtown Miami's 32-acre Bayfront Park is swarming with some 60,000 glistening, glittered bodies. The lights on Ultra Music Festival's Main Stage make the Vegas strip look like the ass of a dying lightning bug. The minimally dressed millennials are dancing like they're mad at the ground, and Snapchating every second of it.

And then there's you: The poor Ultra virgin, glued to the wall, nervously hiding a semi-erection that you can't really explain. The bass is making your face itch, and you don't understand why no one seems to find this orgy of sound and vision quite as bizarre as you do. They all seem to be so comfortable. But you? You're about as comfortable as a sleeping bag made of sandpaper.

But fear not, Ultra virgin. You are not alone. I, too, am an Ultra virgin. Or, at least, was an Ultra virgin.

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10 People Unfit for Miami's Ultra Music Festival

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
These ladies survived. Can you?
Written by Kat Bein/Miami New Times

Watching Ultra Music Festival in Miami's idyllic official after-movies, you might get the impression that UMF is some kind of utopian music-based society where the young and beautiful run only in slow motion, where everyone is welcome and everything is pleasant.

In some ways, this is true. You're more likely to have a good time than a bad one. But it is also possible to sabotage your potentially epic, super-memorable Ultra experience. Certain behaviors stemming from ignorance, naiveté, or just being kind of a party-pooper can and will lead to a less-than-stellar UMF 2015.

Here are the ten people who won't make it at Ultra Music Festival. Don't let yourself be counted among them.

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The Continuing East Coast Adventures of Children of Pop

Note: this is the second installment of the tour journal written by our friend Chase DeMaster, aka Houston chillwave-jam specialist Children of Pop, about his and homie Gabe Lopez's recent pre-#snowpacalypse trip to the Eastern Seaboard. When we left off, the pop-children were headed to their gig at Lower East Side indie room Pianos to meet up with one of their people from back in H-Town. We are now #veryjazzed to bring you Part 2.

Photos courtesy of Children of Pop
Chase DeMaster: ""MAN DOWN" -- lost my toothbrush in cargo cabin of bolt bus, NYC-D.C."
My friend Ben Godfrey gets to the venue early. Ben and I have played music together for a few years now; he a songwriter and me his guitar player. His band is the best band I had the pleasure of playing in. Ben and I find harmony in our conversation, and we are making the best of the evening.

Most recent is his sarcastic Twitter account where he spells things incorrectly, and gives tips on how others can spell incorrectly. It's great. Like young people with trading cards, we show each other our most recent emoji screen. I think he is impressed with my layout. It feels good. I show him Gabe's "Whale Fart" algorithm and we laugh.

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What Is to Be Done About Children of Pop?

Children of Pop has been lighting up the Houston music scene over the past year, hustling the way that dedicated musicians should. Following an album release, Chase DeMaster's musical alter ego has played countless headlining and supporting slots, sometimes even DJing or hosting a troupe of local acts. And though we've come to know him fairly well by now, perhaps, he's already shown that the unexpected is what he does best.

Rocks Off caught up with Children of Pop to discuss his upcoming 7" release, "Pre Madonna," which will get an official release party this Saturday at Fitzgerald's.

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Bastille at NRG Arena, 11/7/2014

Photos by Jack Gorman
Bastille: Too much too soon?
Bastille, Ella Eyre
NRG Arena
November 7, 2014

As a writer, I try and keep up with the times by brushing up on Top 40 artists as much as I can, but like anything else in life, not everything is going to stick. For me, Bastille hadn't stuck, but it's my firm belief that a band should be given the chance to convince you in a live setting before making a final assessment.

That said, things started off wonderfully thanks to their opening act, Ella Eyre. She is, without a doubt, a lit stick of dynamite just waiting to explode. Sure, Eyre is gorgeous and so much fun to watch live, but more importantly she is full of raw talent as a singer and songwriter.

Vocally, she takes after her fellow bluesy-toned English crooner, Adele. But whereas Eyre could belt out ballads left and right, her energy reads more along the lines of Katy Perry when she was back on the Warped Tour. Of course, it doesn't hurt that all of her songs are high-energy, and Eyre has the passion and guts that bands dream of when booking their touring mates.

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[Video] EDM Fans Turn Out for Something Wicked 2014

It's been interesting to watch Something Wicked grow over the past three years. Walking into the festival on Saturday, it was easy to forget that in the grand scheme of things it's still a very young fest. Quite frankly, between the lineup and the stage designs, the people behind the festival have done a real good job making it feel like an Event as opposed to Just Another Houston Music Festival.

That's probably why it attracted folks from all over the state and beyond to attend. On social media, there were tweets of people spending 12 hours in a car just to rage in Houston. Not bad for a city that isn't particularly associated with EDM.

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15 Acts to Watch for at Something Wicked 2014

3:30 p.m. Saturday, Mystic Meadows Stage

DJ Liquid Todd can be heard on two different Sirius XM Radio channels, BPM and Alt Nation. The personable producer has interviewed some of the biggest stars at the biggest festivals across the globe. In addition to his music career, he has written multiple cover stories for the medicinal-marijuana publication, Culture. His early set should get the party started nicely as Todd heats up the crowd with the most popular EDM tracks and pop-rock remixes. JACK GORMAN

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A Day to Remember at NRG Arena, 10/1/2014

Photos by Jack Gorman
A Day to Remember
A Day to Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, Chiodos, Motionless in White
NRG Arena
October 1, 2014

It's always good to see a band, no matter how big or small, swing for the fences. The reality is that while you can start a rock band and tour the world, you won't always be able to pull of your dream stage show. For every Kanye-built mountain or Gaga multi-floor castle, there are dozens of rock bands stuck with little more than a banner and a dream.

And so it's nice to see a band like A Day to Remember in a venue like NRG Arena, because while they might not be able to sell the venue out, they can certainly make good use of the space. For the Parks and Devestation tour, that meant building a Mount A-Day-to-Remember-Rushmore with the band members' heads, a fake campfire, a human hamster ball and a fancy graphics package.

It may not be Mount Yeezy, but by God it's good to see a band that teens love celebrating the fact that rock music is awesome.

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Maybe It's Time to Retire the Term "Boy Band"

Photos by Jack Gorman (unless indicated)
The real stars of last Friday's One Direction concert
One week ago today, tens of thousands of Houston's biggest One Direction fans -- most of them accompanied by their parents -- flocked to the gates of NRG Stadium, toting signs, glow sticks, and homemade T-shirts. It was strange to realize that only 13 years ago, I was on my way to watch 'NSYNC perform on their PopOdyssey Tour at the Astrodome, now run down and dwarfed by its newer neighbor.

What was even more surreal, however, was realizing that though the Dome is a monster, its capacity would have never been large enough to house the crowds hoping to catch a glimpse of the world's biggest act on their current tour. Then or now, it's not likely that any other band would have been able to pull the same size crowd.

Then again, a lot has changed for pop music in the last decade.

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