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.

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.

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Houston Firm Books First-Rate Austin EDM Fest

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?

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

Categories: On the Road

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: 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?

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The Best Things Overheard at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 (NSFW)

Photo by Cory Garcia
From a chalkboard that asked, "What does Texas mean to you?"
"Hey do you want a Red Bull?"
"No thanks."
"It has vodka in it."

"Let me know if you're gonna do something stupid so I can record it and post it online for karma"

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The Best & Worst of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014

Photo by Cory Garcia
Boyfriend can work any stage, even when the stage is a wrestling ring.

New Orleans rapper Boyfriend knows how to command a space, even when that space is a wrestling ring. As she danced, stomped and rolled her way around the space, tossing gifts out in to the audience, occasionally borrowing hats and sunglasses and getting up close to sing to different members of the crowd, I couldn't pull my eyes away from her set.

Her songs are good, though, the good type of repetitive-catchy, but actually seeing her perform -- and the chaos that comes with it -- makes them shine. After the set, I was told it was only a taste of what her shows are like. If you'll excuse me, I'll be kicking myself for missing her set at Fitz last week. CORY GARCIA

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10 Reasons to Look Forward to Fun Fun Fun Fest Every Year

Photo by Marco Torres
Welcome back, 2012
The Weather
Sure it makes me sound like a curmudgeon, but I hate summer festivals. Oh sure, the music is great, but the heat, good lord the heat. It's just exhausting. Even ACL runs the risk of getting mighty uncomfortable if October decides not to play nice.

By the time November rolls around, though, even the warmest days are pleasant and the cooler days are just an excuse to wear those awesome hoodies you've been keeping in storage.

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The 10 Best Acts of Voodoo Music Experience 2014

Photos by Jim Bricker
Legends of the Game: OutKast
The 16th annual Voodoo Music + Arts Experience has come and gone, leaving the rich taste of Hurricanes and filé gumbo in our mouth and the sweet sounds of Foo Fighters, OutKast, Arctic Monkeys and the rest of the festival's stacked lineup.

Taking over New Orleans's City Park every Halloween weekend, Voodoo has become a festival unlike any other. Featuring a diverse set of bands and DJs playing across four unique stages and allowing its patrons the adult playground of the Big Easy during off hours, it has shaped itself into one of today's top-tier music events.

There was no end to quality music over the three days, and only a few minor mishaps (looking at you, Ms. Lauryn Hill...), but some acts were just a little bit better than the rest. There was no shortage of contenders, making this list rather tough to whittle down, but these are the ten best acts of this past weekend's Voodoo Experience.

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¡Viva Monterrey! Exploring Mexico's Pa'l Norte Music Fest

The 2014 Pa'l Norte Music Festival took place in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico over Halloween weekend, with headliners such as Los Tigres Del Norte, Snoop Dogg, Juanes, Foster the People, Molotov and more. Rocks Off's Marco Torres was on hand to capture the highlights.

Photos by Marco Torres
¡Vamos Pa'l Norte!

Natasha and Omar of Vinil Magazine take a selfie with me in the Pa'l Norte media area.

One of the joys of working as a music journalist is befriending people from all over the globe while working music festivals. A few years ago, I met Omar "Mexico" Pasillas (above, center) in Austin during PachangaFest. He is the editor of Vinil Magazine and host of VinilTV, a public access television show in Monterrey.

During ACL 2014, he suggested that I visit his hometown to cover the Pa'l Norte Music Festival, which in its third year of existence is quickly becoming one of the best music festivals in Latin America. Their success can be attributed to the Apodaca Music Group, a booking and management firm whose more than 30 years of history in the Mexican and international music scene serves as a firm base for the festival.

So I packed my camera bag and traveled south for the weekend. This is what I saw:

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Meet Three Bands Who Love Playing Houston

Photo courtesy of Marla Strange
Marla Strange
Houston's music scene is arguably experiencing one of its most sumptuous moments ever. Local acts showing great promise are as voluminous and interesting as our town's food trucks and, similarly, have whet Houstonians' growing appetites for live music. We're out there sampling more morsels of good stuff than a famished shopper at Central Market.

That thrilling hunger isn't just good for local musicians. It's attractive to out-of-towners, too. An informed music community makes Houston a destination for bands out there grinding it out to make a name for themselves. But don't take our word for it: this trio of acts who frequently visit the city will tell you why you rock, Houston music fans.

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The 10 Best Reasons to Visit Voodoo Fest This Weekend

Photos by Jim Bricker (except noted)
This weekend you could be carving pumpkins and handing out candy, or doing something much cooler by jumping in the car and heading to New Orleans for the 16th annual Voodoo Music + Arts Experience. Costumed freaks and music fans alike will be descending on the historic City Park for three days of music and entertainment from the likes of Foo Fighters, Outkast, Skrillex, Arctic Monkeys, Pretty Lights, Slayer, Gogol Bordello, Death From Above 1979 and a whole bunch of other great acts.

If you've never been to New Orleans during Halloween time, you're missing out. The addition of a great festival to take your days away before taking to the city at night is even more reason to head to the Big Easy for a few days of good music, delicious grub and a bit of debauchery thrown in for good measure.

If that isn't enough, here are ten more reasons that should give you that final push out of the door come Halloween morning.

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