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.

Ultra-Music-Festival_Virgin.jpg
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.


More »

10 People Unfit for Miami's Ultra Music Festival

HOU_Ultra-Music-Festival_People_Who_Wont_Make_It_Miami.jpg
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.


More »

#MarcoAtSXSW 2015: A (Mostly) Pictorial Diary

HOU_MUS_20150321_SXSW_DJsCandlestick_OGRonC_MarcoTorres_0030.jpg
Photos by Marco Torres
DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C were tapped to play during sets at The Fader Fort by Converse.
As I was driving to Austin early last Wednesday morning, I was worried, most immediately because the rain was dropping so torrentially that Highway 71 was almost invisible. But also because, according to several insiders, media sources, and SXSW veterans, this was going to be an off year for the festival.

Off as in not as good, not the same. A reboot. Many people I spoke to told me that they weren't even making the trip to Austin this year.


More »

Scintillating Field Notes From SXSW 2015

HOU_MUS_20150321_SXSW_Doughbeezy_MarcoTorres_0015.JPG
Photos by Marco Torres
Houston's Doughbeezy returned to the stage for the first time in weeks at the "South by Nice Kicks" showcase.
Always See The Home Team First
If I were to write a guide on how to experience SXSW, somewhere I would write about how to view the acts from your hometown performing in "away game" situations. For me, that meant Doeman wrapping an American-flag bandana around his head during Scope ATX or Maxo Kream bringing plenty of hype and menace to an outdoor set at "Welcome to the South" showcase last Wednesday night.

It's also neat to see Doughbeezy back on the stage after a near-tragic moment almost robbed him of that experience. See to home first, then spread out.

More »

Eliza Rickman Brings Tour Somewhere Different: a Comic Shop

Categories: On the Road

elizarickman1.jpg
Screencap from "Start with Goodbye, Stop With Hello"
There's plenty of places to play in Houston, but one of the more unconventional places that's been hosting comics lately is 8th Dimension Comics and Games. In general they pick up a more specialized crowd such as chiptune artists and other acts that appeal to the geek demographic, but tonight they'll have the comparatively mainstream Eliza Rickman.

The multi-instrumentalist and singer -- she'll be bringing everything from a toy piano to handbells to a glockenspiel for the performance -- is on her way to New Orleans to work on another set of her excellent and innovative music videos, hitting up cities for shows on the way. She played the more conventional Warehouse Live her last time through through, but thought that the comic shop was a better fit this time around.

"Why wouldn't I come play in a comic shop?" says Rickman. "A fan emailed me saying that they hosted shows, and since my show is very adaptable and involves a lot of humor it seemed like the perfect fit."


More »

A Hill Country Romantic Getaway, Starring Shinyribs

gruene560.jpg
Photo by Nan Palmero/Flickr Commons
Gruene Hall
For this month of wine and roses, Rocks Off recommends a romantic jaunt to Gruene, Tex. Cue Dating Game theme music and announcer voice: You'll sweep your sweetheart off his or her feet with leisurely antiquing, sumptuous cuisine, a cozy bed and breakfast and an evening at Gruene Hall, the state's oldest operating dance hall!

Saturday's evening's performers at the venerable music venue are Austin smooth operators Shinyribs and opener The O's, the Dallas duo of John Pedigo and Taylor Young that specializes in "good-timin' music," including more than a few love songs.


More »

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.

CoP-BoltBus_Feb3.jpg
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.


More »

Children of Pop Sent Us This Rad Tour Journal

Note: Right now we are very high on Houston chillwave/dream-pop auteur Chase DeMaster, sultan of the #veryjazzed empire, and his merry band of accomplices known as Children of Pop. Recently they headed off to give select East Coast cities a taste of the CoP flavors, hyping the second pressing of their "Pre-Madonna" EP, and we asked them to let us know how it went. They exceeded all expectations.

COP-Jan29.jpg
Photos courtesy of Children of Pop
Chase DeMaster: "That photo was taken in the NYC subway as the artist was between the Titanic theme song and some french fries. 'I'm lovin' it.' Life is chill."
Sunday night Gabe and I boiled down our gear/clothes/merch into two backpacks. 2K15 motto, "Travel. Light." I couldn't sleep so I take some Nyquil (Drank) and jam on my new drone machine. It is a small box with three triangle oscillators (tone generators) with three knobs controlling pitch/frequency.

I show Gabe how it works and he takes it for a spin. We play a game of MTG*. He, my nostalgic sliver deck and I, my new knight deck. Knight deck is very quick and I take the game in 7 hands, 0-12. Fun. My wife Holly wakes us up with her morning-person banter/chants @ 4:30. Uhhhhh.

Gabe and I miss our layover in LaGuardia at the expense of a few slices +. We kicked it for about an hour as they have a shuttle from NYC to Boston every hour or something. We catch up on emails during the "Airplane mode" period. Sitting in an exit row, we are briefed/quizzed on our abilities as quasi-emergency personnel.


More »

Houston Firm Books First-Rate Austin EDM Fest

HOU-MUS_2015_0121_Ghostland09_Brubaker.jpg
Photo by Marc Brubaker
Major Lazer: Ghostland Observatory in 2009
It seems like only two weeks ago that we were talking about the upcoming year of dance-music festivals. At the time we were talking about the heavyweight lineup that UME had assembled for this year's Spring Break on South Padre Island. Today we have a different festival with a different type of lineup, but one that is just as exciting.

Out in Austin, the Euphoria Music + Camping Festival is joining the ranks of Levitation and South By So What as early-2015 festivals worth checking out in the Lone Star State. Although it is decidedly more electronic than those two, they're doing their part to remind folks that Texas festivals exist outside of ACL, FFF Fest and FPSF.

So who is joining the previously announced headliner Pretty Lights?


More »

#30DaysInLA: An Exhausting, Red Bull-Fueled Musical Feast

Categories: On the Road

hollywood_1.jpg
Photos by Marco Torres (except indicated)
An awesome show each night for 30 days, Red Bull Sound Select showcases its magic.
During the month of November, Red Bull Sound Select presented an innovative music showcase in Los Angeles called #30DaysInLA. A different show or event, at a different venue, each night, for 30 nights. The shows include big names such as Juicy J, Chance the Rapper, Cut Copy, and A$AP Mob, but also present the program's rising stars such as Houston's Wrestlers and the Tontons, as well as Los Colognes, Thurz and more. Rocks Off's Marco Torres was on hand for a week of the thirty shows and captured these highlights.

First things first: what is Red Bull Sound Select? According to a poster I found hanging on the wall of the Red Bull's North American headquarters in Santa Monica, the program is defined as:

...an artist development program and music discovery platform to help break emerging artists hand-selected by the most influential curators in the industry.

That sounds really cool, but what does it have to do with Houston?


More »
Loading...