CRSSD Festival, which is held twice a year at the iconic Waterfront Park in San Diego, has done it again. This year, CRSSD's metamorphosis seems complete - The event has matured. The lineup, sound quality, party goers and vibes can easily put it on the map with top festivals in the U.S. and our neighbors across the pond.
Friday night was blessed with good weather and better music. Recondite sailed us through an electronic ocean. Tiny highs and lows lifted the crowd up and gently let us down. Then when it was time to move, timely drops hit your body like bursts of wind. 2MANYDJS carried this pace, but with higher energy and quicker transitions. Duke Demont made an appearance, but his set lacked energy. This could be due to the fact that they always seem to turn the volume down on the main stage after 9 pm, which is unfortunate because it is the largest space by far.
All of the normal accessories were readily available at CRSDD. There was a great selection of craft beers and food options as well as chill out areas. If CRSSD keeps reproducing events of this caliber, San Diego will soon have a world class festival on its hands.
After Saturday night at CRSSD Fest, the expectation for Sunday was low to be quite honest. I decided to start off at around 3:30 and immediately made my way to the first alcohol booth. After the first drink of the day took the edge off, I was ready to start absorbing the music.
Sunday seemed to be much more packed and the lines were long. The first act I soaked in was Dusky, who was at the main stage and did a standard live set at what also happens to be my least favorite stage. The party started to pick up back at the City Steps stage where Cassy dropped a sick set of deep house. After she killed it for an hour it flowed seamlessly into Seth Troxler and Eats Everything who tag teamed to perform a back to back set.
This back to back set was super deep at times and also super spacey, leaving me feeling thirsty for more beer. This also happens to the moment where, for some reason, i was constantly double fisting whiskey and beer and smoking a doobie. My feet couldn't stop moving, because on top of the drugs and alcohol, the music was intoxicatingly addictive and forced my body to feel the beat. After the back to back set was over, I accidentally made my way to the Flume show at the main stage. My original intention was to catch Claude Vonstroke, but of course nothing ever goes as planned.
Not only was Flume one of the best shows at CRSSD, but it totally blew away a previous performance I had seen of him years ago. Flume dropped a diverse set of songs and sounds ranging from trap to techno and then back to a tripped out version of RL Grime. He mixed some songs and played some live electronic sounds that kept me on his wave of momentum and energy. At 10 pm sharp the music ended abruptly and left the thousands in the crowd sad as hell. Satisfied but unfulfilled was the feeling I was left with. There was so much great music but the event ends too early, rolling into the night, anticipating and hoping next year will be just as amazing.
23-26 FEBRUARY 2017, COSTA RICA
By John Karlo Torres
Let me begin by stating that the simple act of writing this piece, is setting in that Envision is over. A reality that I am not yet willing to accept because who the fuck wants to leave Costa Rica and all its magic? Help me by keeping the energy alive and envisioning the journey through this beautiful Costa Rican jungle by the beach.
For most, Envision festival begins long before actually passing through the entrance gate. Participants came from all over the world, even the most remote islands you didn't know existed. Traveling to another country to experience a festival is a truly special experience. I stepped out of work in San Francisco on a Tuesday with my backpack on to find rain, cold, and busy streets and ended up in San Jose, Costa Rica on Wednesday to heat, humidity, and Spanish language tongues. This complete shift in environment really took this experience to another level and I was stoked to leave the rain behind. If you have any reservations about going to Envision because of the travel, just stop. Costa Rica is an incredible country and Envision is the best excuse to explore this magical land. The travel was part of all the fun and I had some pretty cool highlights along the way.
Envision sits upon 8 pillars, all working together to create a unique festival experience. The pillars are: Permaculture, Spirituality, Movement, Art, Music, Community, Health, and Ecobuilding. I will touch just a tad on some of the pillars and what influenced my journey.
"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature" - Bill Mollison. Aside from the many spoken workshops available whose topics touch the ideas of permaculture, some tangible examples really caught my attention.
- Community Carbon Trees gave you a chance to plant new baby trees around the festival grounds to foster new growth and future life.
- There were no disposable plates or utensils with any of the food vendors or various drink booths. Envision is a Reusables Only event and if you didn't happen to lug around your own reusable dish ware, you could rent a plate for $3 and get a ticket to reuse and reuse over and over again.
Nature was everywhere and the integration of the village into the landscape was breathtaking. Hands down my favorite festival space I have attended and nothing beats the amazing ocean cove Envision sits upon.
Spirituality looks and feels differently for everyone. I personally started my journey to Envision with an intention of spiritual grounding and healing. My life and mind were moving like a derailed freight train and I needed a well overdue reset.
- The incredible nature surrounding you at every moment is power enough to connect with your spirit. Being submersed in the jungle, connecting your bare feet to the earth, and smelling the ocean remind you how important this connection is to our well-being.
- The Healing Sanctuary was an area where you could take a breather and rest your mind and body. From Village Witches workshops, herbal elixir bars, to Temple of the Moon, Sun, and Earth, if you needed some healing, you were in the right place. If you are more into a light-weight spiritual touch, the yoga and meditation available during sunlit hours was top notch.
Many of the pillars start to crisscross with one another like a beautiful knitted blanket. Movement touched almost every aspect of life at Envision. Walking around the village all day, dancing until the sun came up, soothing your tired body with restorative yoga to swimming in the beautiful ocean, movement was alive. For the first time in a long time, my whole body was sore by the end of the festival and I loved every ache of it. If somehow you go to Envision and manage to sit on your ass all day, that is straight dedication to relaxation.
The festival this year probably had around 4,000 participants. It was a pretty large space and I did not feel remotely crowded at all. I can get sort of anxious when shit gets sardine-like but the participant count this year was perfect for me. There were people from all over the world and a cute little map where you could pin your homeland. The community was beautiful, so many healthy, loving bodies and smiles all as diverse as the biodiversity of the jungle itself. A lot if not most of the food vendors were from Costa Rica and it seemed like the local community was definitely involved in many ways. Being a native Spanish speaker, all of the Spanish being thrown around really pulled on my heart strings. <3
I think it is a given that a highlight of any festival is the music. Envision had four stages to shake the sand off your half-naked body or help you get all heated up to the point you wanted to take a deep dip in the perfect ocean. Village, Lapa, and Sol stages all provided great dancey times but BY FAR my favorite stage was the Luna Stage, The Reliquarium created magic. The entire area was beautiful and the stage felt like home. Music was alive and well on-stage and off. People gathered at the beach for daily drum circles, the Healing Sanctuary offered sound healing services and workshops, and the birds and monkeys rounded out the atmospheric ambiance. The best thing about my musical experience at Envision was staying up all night Saturday and Sunday to watch the sunrise and listen to amazing artist. Overall Highlights were Rising Appalachia, Random Rab, Ott., Dragonfly, Dreamers Delight, and an insane set by Clozee. I did not attend Envision for the music lineup but it was an unforgettable treat. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be returning to Envision for many reasons but the music had me up all night with ZER0 drugs. Check out Dragonfly and Clozee, absolutely killed it.
I was most interested in this pillar before attending Envision and post-journey I was extremely satisfied with the thought put into prioritizing health at the festival. Due to a wasp bite and a killer sun burn I stepped into the free Herbal Clinic and was blown away, a FUCKING FREE HERBAL CLINIC! I was welcomed by enormous smiles and healing hearts each and every time. I am already a big botanical freak and use herbs on the daily so this space really did it for me. Whether you felt physically ill, were a sad panda, or burned your sexy body to a crisp, this free herbal clinic had just the right remedy. Did you know tobacco pulls poison out of wounds?! Seriously though, visit your local Apothecary when you don't feel good, it's straight up magic.
I ate all my meals in the village and the food was great. Vegan, gluten-free, meat-eater, ant-eater, greens lover, ceviche addict, food hoarder, I mean all the options for every palate. You never know what to expect when it comes to food but I sampled a ton of vendors and was never disappointed.
I really wanted to participate in healing at Envision and the Healing Sanctuary was everything I wanted for a much needed recharge. It was important for me to support the healing body workers and learn more about the different practices.
I was fortunate enough to schedule a deep tissue massage with Matt Abrams and let me tell you, getting a massage in the middle of the jungle is glorious! Matt was super sweet and my muscles were blissfully healed after our session. The hot, humid environment really makes for great massage work. The best part is that I ran into Matt later in the festival at the Luna Stage and it just solidified what a community Envision can really be.
Another healing session I had was with Ayurvedic Practitioner Susan Melina, a wonderful practitioner currently based out of California. This was my first ever Ayurvedic consultation and it completely impacted me, especially post festival. Spiritually this session was absolutely necessary, it affirmed a lot of things I was feeling and shed new light on how to balance my life. We shared a powerful moment and I definitely cried during our session. I also fell in love with Sooz the moment we bonded over our excitement for Clozee and watching Random Rab's sunrise set. Ayurveda is a pretty awesome science of life and quite honestly felt like magic.
A TASTE OF ENVISION
By John Karlo Torres
There are only 7 days left until the Pura Vida begins at Envision Festival in Costa Rica. The joy and magic of these types of gatherings is that although they feel familiar, no two are exactly alike. If you are a procrastinator like me, this is the perfect time to make sure you have everything in place for a beautiful time in the rainforest.
The Envision website is a great resource to make sure you are prepared for dancing in the rain forest, firing up your centers with yoga, and nourishing your body and mind with delicious meals. Let's highlight some important Envision website links with great information, click the images below for more info!
PACKING FOR ENVISION
Skipping over the camping basics, there are some important items you shouldn't leave home without. Envision finds its home in the rainforest touching the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and it is HOT. If you haven't visited similar environments, the humidity might feel like a force to be reckoned with but preparing a little goes a long way.
- Electrolytes! - Dancing and being active all day in the hot, humid sun requires extra care. Give your water a boost and bring packets of electrolytes to replenish important minerals and sugars to get you through the heat.
- Re-usable Water Bottle - There are no plastic water bottles so come prepared or bring extra cash and support the vendors. Extra perks if you can attach your bottle to a bag or your person.
- Headlamp - MUST HAVE! If you are camping out in the dark, these little magic beams of light make everything extra convenient. Don't forget extra batteries!
- Bug Repellent - There are a lot of natural sunscreens out that that come pre-loaded with bug repellent. Enjoy the amazing diversity of the bug kingdom but remember, some do BITE.
- Waterproof Watch - There are a lot of great artists, workshops, and classes all packed into 4 days. Make a plan on what you want to do and your trusty watch will weather the elements and help you not miss your must do's.
- Sun Hat - One accessory can make a world of a difference. You might be busy having way too much fun to remember sunscreen. Protect your face with a nice cooling hat.
- Shower Towel - If you are looking for something small and light, grab yourself a micro-fiber towel. They come in great colors and dry quickly.
- Beach/Lounge Towel - It is a good idea to have something other than your shower towel to lay out and enjoy the beach, the sun, and all the other spots exposed to the elements.
- Rain Tarp - The rainforest is unpredictable and it could rain at any moment. Keeping your things dry will give you more time to explore and adventure.
- Spanish Fan - This is definitely not a need to have but helpful if you know you need a little extra something to take the edge off in the heat.
- Hammock - The village has hammocks but if you like to adventure out and swing from the trees, having a hammock will bring you closer to the life of the monkeys.
Positioned on the water in Downtown San Diego, CRSSD has emerged as a crown jewel in Southern California’s festival circuit, selling out both of its 2016 editions. In March CRSSD will again present the most cutting edge and exciting live and DJ talent from across the electronic music spectrum in the iconic Waterfront Park.
Since its inception in 2015, CRSSD has earned a reputation for showcasing the diverse, deeper and more intriguing artists in house, techno and leftfield strands of electronic music. CRSSD’s spring lineup will feature performances from standout live acts Blood Orange, AlunaGeorge, Dusky (a West Coast live debut), Recondite, and Bob Moses. CRSSD will also host the very best underground house and techno DJs including 2manyDJs, Jackmaster, Ame, Skream, Seth Troxler b2b Eats Everything, Damian Lazarus, Midland, and more, including special extended sets.
Rounding out the lineup will be some of contemporary music’s most in-demand acts including Flume, Duke Dumont, Snakehips, Giraffage and Lane 8.
Located in the idyllic urban core of San Diego’s downtown district, CRSSD blends Southern California culture with dance music’s underground roots producing an exceptionally unique vibe. Just minutes away from the Amtrak station, CRSSD’s grassy sanctuary is complete with technicolor sunsets, splash friendly fountains, and three stages. In addition to its ground-breaking musical programming, CRSSD also offers craft beer, gourmet food vendors from San Diego’s best restaurants, and a full mixology program. CRSSD is a 21+ festival.
About CRSSD Festival:
CRSSD is a Spring/Fall, 21+ festival taking place at Waterfront Park, on the Bay of San Diego. CRSSD debuted in Spring 2015. CRSSD has booked artists including Chromeo, Nicolas Jaar, Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Giorgio Moroder, Empire Of The Sun, Odesza, Pete Tong, Maceo Plex, James Murphy and more.
For more information please visit:
By John Karlo Torres
For all you spontaneous adventure seekers, spectacular procrastinators, and stressed out over-workers, there is still time to get a hold of your Envision passes taking place February 23-26! We know for many of you Costa Rica may not be a neighboring city but use your miles, ask a friend, or simply charge the pain away because you deserve a break in the lush rain forest welcoming the glistening beaches of Uvita. Join us in sharing with our festival family, four days of music, camping, yoga and workshops. If the video above didn't make you immediately look up flights to Costa Rica, let's dive into a few details. "As a celebration dedicated to awakening our human potential, Envision
provides a platform for different cultures to co-exist in sustainable community, and inspire one another through art, spirituality, yoga, music, dance, performance, education, sustainability and our fundamental connection with nature." The festival takes place in the 'Southern Zone' of the Pacific Coast where mountains kiss warm oceans. Rancho La Merced in Uvita is home to Envision for the fourth year and it looks nothing less than magical. Surrounded by so much beauty, this great community lives by eight pillars: Permaculture, Spirituality, Movement, Art, Music, Community, Health, and Eco Building. Join us for Envision 2017.
Envision Village Highlights
SOFAR LA - JANUARY 8, 2017 - A BACKYARD IN SILVERLAKE
1 - FLAVIA
2 - Luke Wade
3 - Skin & Bones
It was a Sunday morning and I walked up to a non-descript house on a non-descript palm tree-lined street in Silverlake. A small sign in front of a non-descript house was flanked by two people staring at a phone - the tell-tale sign of a Sofar show. After giving our names, we walked into an immaculate backyard. It was three story terraced garden backstopped by a beautiful Spanish revival home; outside, with a nice breeze and the sunshine coming down - it was a perfect LA day.
Parisa Mahdad has been covering the NYC shows, but Sofar also has a sizeable following in Los Angeles. The LA crew puts on over 30 shows a month throughout the sprawling city-scape that is LA. Sometimes it’s Monday nights in Santa Monica others it’s Wednesday in Hollywood with venues ranging from huge lofts to post-close yoga studios.
My favorite part of Sofar is the grab-bag of experiences I’ve had here. Since I’ve been back in LA, I’ve gone to about twelve shows and every time it’s a different experience. I’ve seen bands I’ve loved, I’ve seen bands that actively inspired melancholy, but as far as grab-bag experiences go, this one was a diamond in the rough. Rounding out the beautiful Sunday afternoon was FLAVIA, Luke Wilson and Skin & Bones.
Buy Tickets: https://www.sofarsounds.com/la
1 - FLAVIA
The first act was a solo show. FLAVIA is an LA electro-pop artist that -self-described- employs elements of dark pop and futuristic R&B. I’m still not sure what dark pop and futuristic R&B are, but I knew I loved it when she started singing. She stood in front of the crowd with a single glowing drumstick and a KORG keyboard. A swift tap on the drum pad and she started a stripped down beat.
The melody was minimal with melodic synth lines carried by a steady, syncopated and dancey beat. FLAVIA has a voice that feels bright, yet luxurious and you almost feel guilty about the lush decadence. In her songs, she explores the mania of desire with her almost-smoky tone and enrapturing performance that catches you and draws you like a siren to the rocks. Suffice it to say, FLAVIA was an enrapturing performer. Her four-song set passed quickly and I remember looking around seeing others in the crowd share my sense of dazed surrealism as we were pulled out of a beautiful daydream that ended a little too early.
FLAVIA played a number of songs from her new EP “Embers” including Chemical Reaction, Fortress and No Gravity. These songs, like the rest of her album rely heavily on her vocal talents (she does not disappoint). Along with producer Ethan Allen (who’s worked with acts like Ben Harper), she’s crafted some very solid pop songs that are definitely worth your time. Her EP isn’t on Spotify, but she has some great videos up on Youtube and a single out on Bandcamp. In my humble opinion, she’s best enjoyed at a live show.
Her next set will be at the Bootleg Theater on February 12th. Check it out.
2 - Luke Wade
source: luke wade, facebook
Luke Wade followed FLAVIA. Luke was one of the finalists on the Voice a while back and has since released a number of albums focusing heavily on his acoustic guitar and impressively dynamic vocal range. While generally backed by his band, No Civilians, he came to Sofar by himself - guitar in hand.
Like FLAVIA, Luke Wade has contagious pop songs, however, he explores a more soulful vein of music that was much brighter and a good shift from the dark-ish melodies of the last act. While FLAVIA’s songs delved into the psyche of longing and desire, Luke’s melodies framed stories of heartfelt love.
Wade has amazing vocal range and the ever so slight husk in his bright sound added a lot of dimensions to his music. He sampled from his new album Only Ghosts, mixing his soulful crooning with vocal acrobatics that drew cheers from the crowd. The stripped-down nature of his set at Sofar only served to highlight his impressive vocal talents while his range of songs showcased his ability to move comfortably through a number of different genres. I’ve included a video of an older Sofar set so you too can appreciate his talents.
3 - SKIN & BONES
source: sofar sounds
Skin & Bones closed down the afternoon with another amazing set. If you haven’t seen them before, they mix the bright acoustic sound and deeply rich vocals of Taylor Borsuk with the powerful electric violin stylings of Peter Blackwelder.
The duo focused on songs featured on their 2016 E.P. Ghosts in this Town. Borsuk’s huskily rich vocals weave stories of longing as Blackwelder’s intimate violin-work adds a tint of nostalgic Americana with every pull. Skin & Bones proves my theory that there are very few things in life that can’t be made better by a great violin melody. The duo’s four song set ranged from works with a heavy sense of folk Americana to more blusey vibes focusing on acoustic slide-guitar playing.
My favorite performance from their set was “Soul Song.” While most performances at Sofar don’t really transfer to albums, you can catch this tune on Spotify in all its live glory from Skin & Bones’s set with Jam in the Van from 2016. Soul Song starts with a violin melody that sonically captures a very universal sense of yearning as parlayed through the story of a woman stuck in the doldrums of daily life longing for more. Borsuk calls out to the unfulfilled and tells her that “[he’ll] make it alright.” To me, it’s a timely song about living with what you have and finding the joys in the life around you- not what you think you need.
Skin & Bones are powerful storytellers who do well capturing the zeitgeist of the modern era while framed by evident musical talent.
It's with a heavy heart that we have to report about a sad incident that took place on the last day of BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen. Blue Parrot night club was hit by a shooting late at night, which ended up in a night of terror that unfortunately saw 5 deaths and up to 12 injured people as far as we know. The reports started coming in during the night, according to the few journalists who witnessed the incident, gunmen started opening fire in the club's entrance and people started panicking after realizing what was going down.
The BPM's official Facebook page issued the following statement: "It is with great sadness to share that police have confirmed reports of a lone shooter outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa Del Carmen earlier today, which resulted in four fatalities and twelve injured. The violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue.
"The BPM Festival has been working closely with the local authorities (Seguridad Publica / Policia Turistica) throughout the festival to ensure public safety and security for all visitors. We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their families and all those affected by these tragic events.
"The BPM Festival Familia."
More information about the people being looked after will keep on coming during the rest of the day, nothing is confirmed but they may have been related to the drug cartel that's taken over Playa del Carmen. The local police has already discarded any kind of terrorist act related to politics. Here at Kinofilia, we offer our deepest condolences and send out thoughts and prayers to all the families who lost their loved ones in this horrible act.
6-8 JANUARY 2017, TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA
By Hugo Unwin
In the 35 years since Cygnet Folk Festival was first held, the magic surrounding this site has remained unchanged. I admired this glorious pocket of Australia as we departed Hobart, where the boundary between lush national park and city streets is unnoticeable. While travelling to Cygnet we indulged in regional Tasmania’s local cherries and apples, a tasty confirmation of our proximity to the agricultural centre of Tasmania.
Apparent on arrival to Cygnet was a general sense of excitement, driven by the promise of a weekend of folk, fun and friends in the brilliant Tasmanian sunshine. Our first enjoyment of music was Bill Jackson and Pete Fidler. Especially apt was the ballad ‘They Were Never Here’, an indictment of the genocidal actions of nineteenth century pastoralist Angus McMillan throughout Gippsland, Victoria. The song had added pertinence in Tasmania as a state which bears the historical stain of the despairingly tremendous annihilation of the local Aboriginal population in the years following colonisation.
During the remainder of the afternoon I ducked into open houses, art studios, music halls and churches, all abuzz with a palpable tension between self-restraint and self-indulgence so common to the first night of a multi-day festival. Saturday morning saw the enactment of a commitment to see ‘things other than the music’, so frequently promised upon perusal of the lineup prior to a multi-faceted festival. This came in the form of the ‘The Poet’s Breakfast’, a celebration of regional and Australian poetry, with concomitant themes of life in the outback, loss and community.
Theresa Young, a promising young artist now based in Hobart, delivered the standout musical performance of the afternoon, with her delicate music resonating in the Supper Room. As a central figure in the Tasmanian folk music community, Theresa performs with stoic passion, focus and presence, to the tremendous benefit of the listener.
Sunday morning began with an invigorating dip in nearby Kangaroo Bay. The musical highlight of the afternoon was the Song and Tune Writing Competition, sponsored by APRA and won by Theresa Young. Alan Gogoll delivered a breathtaking performance in this bracket, with the captivating Bell's Harmonic.
Azzband performed wonderfully on Sunday afternoon. This group hail from across the globe, finding commonality in a collective cultural consciousness. Such an endeavour brings to mind Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, but with a far more grassroots and authentic sense of cultural collaboration.
The Director’s Concert and Final Cabaret delivered a range of magnificent performances. I have discovered that in Tasmania, those from other parts of Australia incorporate ‘mainlander’ into their cultural identity. The same is true of the sense of community and creativity engendered by festivals such as Cygnet, which remind us of the immense benefit we have simply by being thankful for one another.
Photo: Chris Soltis
Minimal Effort NYE was da’ business! Located at the Globe Theater in downtown LA, Minimal Effort brought together one of the most eclectic crowds and solid musical sets I’ve seen to date. The carefully curated lineup was a brilliant way to rage in the New Year. Notable acts included Stephan Bodzin, Simian Mobile Disco, Henry Saiz (Live), Francesca Lombardo and the Desert Hearts crew. Early bird tickets started off at $49 with last call hovering around $79. To use a cliché, this event was major bang-for-your-buck.
While many New Year’s Eve events push the limit with artificial glitz and glamour, Minimal Effort is a much needed antithesis. The vibe at the Globe Theater was incredible - you had a mix of burners, music-heads, young-to-old and a bit of everything in between. The diversity in the crowd was a rare sight and it added to the energy of the event. The Globe Theater was an amazing venue. Upon entering the classic theater you were greeted by the main stage and a floor with ample space for dancing. If you decided to switch it up, there were two different basements stages pumping out dope beats and good vibes. It was easy to lose yourself on any of the dance floors - happily forgetting about the outside world while immersed in the crowd.
Stephan Bodzin brought house down with his set. It was clear that more than a few people were in the crowd for him. Supposedly, this was his first time playing in North America and I met a few partygoers who flew from Canada just to see him play. The dark emblematic melodies drew you deeper into his set and the only way out of the barrel was with his perfectly timed transitions.
Photo: Jamie - INFAMOUSPR
THE DARK EMBLEMATIC MELODIES DREW YOU DEEPER INTO HIS SET AND THE ONLY WAY OUT OF THE BARREL WAS WITH HIS PERFECTLY TIMED TRANSITIONS. The Desert Hearts clan brought the same house and techno vibe along with the tailored fur crew. Another act worth mentioning was Henry Saiz (live). His set was lively and fun. You couldn’t help but smile at your neighbor and dance to the beats until the curtain dropped at 4 a.m. If that wasn’t enough for you, there was an after party the next evening and Minimal Effort consistently delivered more of the same great sets.
The “Recovery” after party was held at Coutre in Hollywood and, like the New Year’s Eve event, it was a dark, dancey, no-bullshit vibe with the venue packed by 11 pm on a Sunday. It was clear from the energy and community vibe that the partygoers had never stopped running through the 24 hour period. Francesca Lombardo led the night with an entrancing set that filled the dance floor - an intensely fun, bittersweet mix of fatigue and joy that can only come from submerging yourself in a crew of people coming together not to look, and be looked at, but to have a good time.
I haven’t been made a “fan” of certain party promotions for a minute, but it’s safe to say I’ll be keeping my eye on the next Minimal Effort events.
Nestled within the breathtakingly majestic Huon Valley of Tasmania, Australia lies the creative sanctuary of Cygnet in which the Cygnet Folk Festival has been held for over 20 years. The festival is a three day celebration of diverse local and international creativity as the town’s thriving artistic community takes prominence with the collective productions of talented musicians, writers, poets and community leaders.
The festival is held within the town itself, as performances and art installations transform Cygnet’s historic pubs, halls, cafes, parks and streets into reverberating music venues. Beyond music, attendees enjoy film screenings, talks, masterclasses and workshops which span the full gamut of the region’s diverse residences and creative interests. A not for profit event, the organisers rely on the hard work of volunteers to create a wonderfully community oriented atmosphere.
Of particular interest are the range of masterclasses and workshops which attendees can enjoy. These are designed to educate those with a fascination in the music industry, songwriting, community engagement, stand-up comedy or learn how to play a particular musical instrument or sing.
Cygnet Folk Festival is held from 6-8 January, 2017 in Cygnet, a scenic hour drive south of Hobart. Tickets are available from http://www.cygnetfolkfestival.org/
Theresa Young is a bright young talent, now based in Hobart. Her heartfelt lyrics achieve a range and depth that truly engage and touch the audience. With a voice and range of lyrics which cast a depth of emotion over any sleepy afternoon, Young achieves a sound that ranges from laid-back to soft-spoken and booming while retaining a soft and appealing timbre. Deservedly, Young was recently awarded the 2016 Folk Federation of Tasmania’s Song of the Year and People’s Choice Award for ‘Melton Mowbray’. You can catch her on Saturday in St Mark’s Hall.
Mama K and the Big Love
Ownership of the stage will truly belong to this dynamic trio and their band, as they provide an original interpretation on heathen gospel, soul and funk. The crowd is certain to move uncontrollably, in dance and finger-click motions to this captivating band. Move to the groove at 10 am on Sunday morning in the Scout Hall.
Lucy Wise and Stephen Taberner
Lucy’s soothing voice is rendered beautifully alongside Stephen’s vocal backing. Wielding with expertise a ukulele and double bass respectively, Lucy and Stephen’s music is not to be missed. You can see them on three seperate occasions at Cygnet, on Friday night, Saturday evening and afternooon.
Vocal butterflies Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe metamorphosized their fans hearts at The Fillmore in San Francisco. The pair of magnetic female matadors hypnotized the crowd with their blood-orange and gold capes, with swirling sequins and tattered off fringes. Their two powerful respective voices shatter all other conventional music performances with their creative and simple dedication to sharing a single microphone and dressing in the same elegant getups. Behind them is the compliment of Peter Lalish, Andrew Burri, and Dan Molad. Masters of their own trade of various guitars and drums. Together they shine the light of Lucius.
Holly and Jess are known for creating an atmosphere of magical surrealism through the madness of their appearance, their energy, and dynamic lyrics. Their new record "Good Grief" has a familiar feel taking listeners to a lost time with strong reflective elements and known patterns that make you feel at home. Lucius harnesses a carefully stitched radiance of new age rhythms with precision vocals, giving way to releasing tensions and summoning new freedoms.
Having been on tour for the past year Lucius has taken on the challenges of the road successfully. Their success was predestined since joining together almost a decade ago at Berklee College of Music in Boston. The now LA based band ventures across the globe washing down fans with torrents of soothing lyrics and promises of unity through shared experiences and a love for music.
The sold out crowd at The Fillmore gathered shoulder to shoulder, moving their feet to "let's dance", and singing along in mumbling breaths to songs as powerful as "My Heart Got Caught on Your Sleeve" and "Gone Insane". Lucius is a group that is unique and captivating, giving fans an escape from reality. Lucius is a radiant light that journeys from the hearts of Holly and Jess, piercing into their fans musical capacities. Lucius is a must see if given the chance. Go out of your way to listen to their new album "Good Grief".
My journey began on Halloween eve to Costa Careyes, Mexico; the destination: Ondalinda Music Festival. The voyage as rewarding as the destination was remote.
Upon landing in luminous PV, I was greeted by car from Ondalinda and the adventure began. I needed to put my blinders on to avoid distraction from the seductive seashore located 10 minutes away.
Costa Careyes has a private airstrip if you have the means. I opted for the 2.5 hour southbound car ride.
The drive to Careyes, began with a coastal cliffside road beset on one shoulder by the jungle of the Riviera Jalisco, and ended upon arrival on the Mexican playa. Before I headed to my personal yurt, I stopped in at Bernie's Café, where all of the campers would head to relax and recoup our their wits in between each event.
Walking up to the facility, I was overwhelmed by the encampment. Ondalinda built an entire yurt campground from the ground up featuring full plumbing, a brilliantly constructed shade structure, and all the friendly faces that one could wish for.