On the dark-lit stage of the Bootleg Theater, there’s Screaming Females frontwoman Marissa Paternoster, shredding the holy hell out of a black electric guitar; in the very front of the pit, there’s me, staring up at her like Mary Magdalene at the crucifixion. She wore her customary black dress and tights– I, apparently, wore my heart on my sleeve, to the point that I made appearances on strangers’ Instagram stories, visibly near tears.

Suffice it to say, Screaming Females melt faces wherever they go. Playing a packed setlist of newer hits from recent albums All At Once (2018) and Rose Mountain (2015) through a sudden LA thunderstorm, Marissa Paternoster, Mike “King Mike” Abbate, and Jarrett Dougherty commanded a venue slammed to the gills, alternately leading the audience in howling favorite tracks and through transfixed silence. Cheers erupted from the crowd whenever Marissa sank to the ground in the process of committing solo guitar murder; she has been described by others as a “bowl-haired firecracker” (SPIN) and a “Tasmanian Devil onstage” (my friend from high school), and more than lives up to this reputation in person. Upbeat rock anthem “Black Moon” had the whole audience screeching along; moody, low-key “Hopeless” met with tears, hands over hearts, hands in the air. Never let it be said that Screaming Females, affectionately known as Screamales, don’t have a well-deserved devoted fanbase. The band ducked offstage to stomps, cheers, and chants of “ONE MORE SONG!,” and came back to gift us with a rousing, high-energy rendition of “I’ll Make You Sorry” to universal delight.

This review would be incomplete without noting the absolutely star-studded openers. Second billing was given to Kitten Forever (Corrie Harrigan, Laura Larson, Liz Elton), who are traveling with Screaming Females on their US tour; the all-female punk band shouts lyrics down a retrofitted telephone made into a stage mic, giving you the feeling that you’ve been invited into their room to vent your spleen. More impressively, Kitten Forever skillfully, seamlessly swap musical spots throughout their set– any given member will be a drummer one moment and a guitarist or singer the next, with all three members executing each with equal deft skill and enthusiasm. The first opener, Scorpio Scorpio, was surprise-packed with some of punk’s Real Big Names: OG Riot Grrrl Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile, ‘70s punk feminist Alice Bag, and Seth Bogart, aka Hunx of Hunx and His Punx. Playing their first performance ever in outfits made of painted-up trash bags, Scorpio Scorpio blasted fun, danceable punk tracks that no doubt have everyone who was in the audience wondering what their next move will be. Where’s the album, SS?

All in all, this wasn’t a show to miss, pulled off gorgeously in the Bootleg’s awesome, twisty, DIY-style venue. And if you did miss it, well, get into the performers’ huge discographies on Bandcamp! While heaven knows where Scorpio Scorpio will be, Screaming Females and Kitten Forever are touring together in the States until October 27th, so you have plenty of time to see them, as long as you don’t want to see them here in California. After that, Screamales will tour through the end of the year with rock icons the Breeders (you know, no big deal). Don’t miss ‘em if they come your way!


Written by Isa Elfers

Catch Dykes Reclaim the Universe on Sundays @7pm here on KSDT.org


 

Last week, I caught a concert in Solana Beach by Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, a funk jam band hailing from Baltimore. One of my friends, a Deadhead who attends several concerts a month, recommended it to me as “the best in-concert experience” he has ever had; this is a guy who spent an entire week listening to Phish in Madison Square Garden. It seemed like high praise, especially from him, so I had to check them out. I gathered a couple other music lovers who were also unfamiliar with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and we headed over to the venue, Belly Up: an excellent music venue packed with great ambience, killer acoustics, and enthusiastic listeners.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong created the perfect vibe for a small venue concert. Though it seemed that most of the audience was new to their music, their energy and presentation carried through the entire crowd. They had unrivaled on-stage presence, engaging more and more with each song. It felt like they were part of the audience themselves, responding to its every dance move.

The audience was universally letting loose, and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong continued for two hours without so much as a pause. Their set was perfectly flowing, never monotonous, and always had you guessing the next song while keeping you completely in the loop. The guitarists and the bassist had great chemistry, exchanging riffs as if they were talking to each other. The drum solo was the highlight of the night, coming in between two wonderfully melodic pieces, and stole the show suddenly and superbly.

All in all, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong was definitely one of my best concert experiences. There were no crazy antics on the part of the artists, no bells or whistles; just pure musical excellence with incredibly engaging performers. They do over 200 shows a year, and if they end up in your area, I would highly recommend seeing them. Until then, find them on Spotify and Bandcamp– while you’re at it, definitely check out their 2014 album, Psychology.


Written by Avaneesh Narla

Catch Kugelblitz on Saturdays @8pm here on KSDT.org

 

Insistent keys and snare coupled with guitar riffs and grooving bass built up as music group La Luz began playing “Cicada,” one of the songs from their upcoming album, Floating Features. Guitarist Shana Cleveland’s voice wasn’t alone in lyrics for long; other band members Marian Li Pino, Alice Sandahl, and Lena Simon soon joined, cementing the layered harmonies and robust sound by which the group has come to be known.

This surf rock band, stopping to play The Loft at UCSD on their current tour, initially came together in Seattle, but moved down to Los Angeles when writing their newest album. Compared to previous projects, Floating Features was the first to be recorded in a large studio setting with the majority of the material prepared fully before. “We’ve been waiting for this record to come out for a really long time,” says Cleveland, “We recorded it a year and a half ago and we’ve been playing two or three of the songs live for a long time… on this tour we’ll play mostly the new album.”  Continue reading ““WOMEN” IS NOT A GENRE: La Luz & Pinky Pinky take The Loft”

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It was 108 degrees and the sets were sizzling for the first weekend of Splash House 2015. The two day festival consists of three different venues; each with its own personality, pool, and stage boasting the best of up-and-coming electronic dance music.

Splash House is the combination of all you summer plans: it’s a desert road trip, a day club, and a music festival all in one. Any initial pool phobias or anxieties about whether or not you’re summer body ready are quickly bleached by the day time heat. And any animosities towards the sun are washed out by the pool waves.

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Splash House seamlessly created an atmosphere that interweaved its venues, the music and its festival-goers into an interactive extravaganza. The decorations evoke “Summer-time Madness” with plethora floaties from half eaten donuts to Hawaiian llamas brought by attendees. The guests were also allowed to decorate their hotel balconies in hopes to be deemed the most Bitchin’ Balcony of the weekend; a title with perks of four free tickets for next year.

Guests this summer were invited to activities like morning yoga before their first dip in the pool, Disco Bingo during the day, and for whose didn’t want Splash House to end there was an after-hours after-party each evening. To quote a San Diego County native Lil Rob “ain’t nothing like them summer nights.”

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This year the event took place at The Hilton Palm Springs, the Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club, and the Saguaro; each equipped with a watering hole. The three venues were connected with a number of party buses making it easy to move from one stage to another.

The Hacienda was the calmest of the three, a good place to start and ease your way into the festivities. With green grass and misters you could dance ‘til your heart’s content.

The colorful Saguaro undisputedly was the epitome of the Splash House experience. This last weekend there were more bodies than water in the Saguaro pool, but the venue itself held just the right amount of crazy.

The Hilton Palm Springs was the location to end each night. When the sun finally set, the Hilton held the biggest and best DJ sets of the weekend, definitely the main stage if you had to name one. At the Hilton headliners such as RAC and Cashmere Cat would close out Splash House with feel-good vibrations.

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RAC, Remix Artist Collective is currently comprised of one, Andre Allen Anjos. RAC performed at Coachella earlier this year and has collaborated with YACHT, a veteran KSDT performer. Known for alternative dance, RAC performed a ‘DJ set’ Saturday. The Splash House stages gave the audience and DJs the ability to lock eyes and connect on a more intimate level. RAC’s unique sound flowed off the table onto the dance floor making his crowd the largest of the weekend. Ending the night with his single Let Go attendees were left with an up-tempo farewell to day one of Splash House.

Cashmere Cat also performed at Coachella earlier this year and performed at Mad Decent San Diego in 2014. This long haired cat was the final set of last weekend’s Splash House. The combination of house and hip-hop left for a sultry set filled with a number of his most popular remixes. Hydrating with a pint of beer mid-mixing, Cashmere Cat seemed rather laid back at a lower bpm (beats per minute), and the crowd was right there with him.

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During the daylight hours of Splash House there were so many artists to watch out for. Shift K3Y is a 22 year old London raised and acclaimed artist leaving his mark here in the U.S. He recently performed at San Diego’s Bang Bang and will be releasing a track under Dim Mak later this month. His set at Splash House was a hot blend of house and R&B – garage, bringing soul back onto the dance floor even in 108 degree heat. Thomas Jack performed at the Saguaro day two spinning his signature tropical house; a perfect fit for a summer pool party. The 22 year old will be in San Diego this September performing at the Mad Decent Block Party.

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Overall, Splash House was a gorgeous time filled with gorgeous people. It’s definitely a great pool party with a killer soundtrack, but because of the heat, the pools and the hotels were unquestionably the stars of last weekend’s Splash House. It was a unique experience, unlike any festival I’ve attended. Even with the 3,000+ festival-goer, the event felt intimate allowing you to connect with others who also made the plunge into Splash House 2015.

First -time hearing about Splash House? Don’t fret; this massive pool party/music festival is still young; starting in 2013 this baby is only coming into its third year.   With renowned artists such as Flume, Cashmere Cat, and Chromeo gracing the line-ups, this little oasis in the desert is quickly growing and is making a big name for itself. Splash House isn’t just making a splash in the EDM world it is creating waves in the music festival scene.

Interested in going? Don’t miss out. Tickets for Splash House August 2015 are still available online here.

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Photos & Review / Susan Bystrom

6/19/2015

Providing a thoroughly relaxing atmosphere with an impressive lineup from start to finish, Desert Daze was surely an event for those wanting a music festival that offered attendees chances to hear great music without having to give up any chance to kick back and rest. Camping on the festival grounds provided guests with an easy walk between their camping spot and any stage, with some camping spots close enough to the stage that they could catch the music from their tents. Most music was certainly worth catching, too, as great bands played at each stage throughout the day, and not just at the prominently placed Moon and Block stages, with acts like Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel performing elsewhere. The way the acts transitioned worked very well, too, as when one band wrapped up at the Moon stage, the other at the Block would go on quite quickly after, removing any frustrating delays or holdups. This meant that one could catch one great act after the other, conveniently without having to walk very far at all.

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The artists that performed at the festival were superb to say the least. From start to finish, the musicians performing at Desert Daze put on a crash course in both musicianship and showmanship, many acts performing intricate songs while still putting on a show for the crowds. This lead to a great atmosphere throughout the festival, despite drastic genre differences between the artists; while Chelsea Wolfe held her audience spellbound with a hypnotic set filled with drone and doom undertones, Dan Deacon evoked an equally enthusiastic response by playing his brand of spastic, banter-laden electro-pop. This diversity of the artists performing is what made Desert Daze a great concert experience, because not only was there the cliched something for everyone, but the festival promoted genre diversity without compromising quality of the artists, which is impressive to say the least.

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Ultimately, Desert Daze was a terrific experience for myself, and is definitely worth attending for any fans of all types of independent music, from electronic to rock. With its casual, laid-back atmosphere and great acts, future iterations of the festival are sure to be can’t-miss entertainment.