Chromatics x The xx. Hollywood Bowl.


Enter: Hollywood Bowl. Parking? Make right, make left, BAM! Parked. Easy peasy. Cut a shit ton of people, tickets scanned. CUTSIES! Find seats. Damn good! Had the middle ground seats. Like maybe at the edge of the 1/3rd portion of the venue. At maybe a 45angle facing stage right (our left, DUH!). We missed the openers Austra. I COULD NOT CARE LESS! I was so happy to see them on the bill. Meant we could be a little late and still see the 2 gawdly groups I came to see. And just like that IT WAS TIME!

Chromatics came out playing one of their instrumental joints, Tick Of The Clock I believe, then out walks Ruth and shit is about to get so fuckin real! Music stops, she grabs the guitar AND THEY START PLAYING “LADY”! Ruth is a murderer on guitar, btw. And Johnny is an evil master on the keys. Playing ever key and effect so perfectly. How do you play effects PERFECTLY live? Sick bastard. Then song numero deux, KILL FOR LOVE! Are you kidding me? Back to back? You guys are nuts. Start out the set with, perhaps, the 2 best songs from the Kill For Love album. Sickos. Then they made it a trifecta with Cherry. MOTHER FUCKING CHERRY! The single for which I has been waiting for the cherry red vinyl to drop for what seems like a year(it’s STILL “coming soon” sad faces). 3 songs into the set and I have heard the top 3 songs on my list and holy shit I could just die right now. They an amazing 45 minute set. I would’ve literally just went for them. I mean looking for their live show is how I even found out they were doing the Hollywood Bowl with The FUCKING xx holy balls

We got a little break while we waited for The xx to set the stage up. And I realized who reminded me of Chromatics. DWNTWN!!!! I saw DWNTWN when they opened for the gawds Body Language (did I do a Body Language recap?!?!?! Jesus Christ I’ll write one later, for realsies this time.) But yeah, they’re different bands with a different sounds but there are a lot of similar elements. Like they’re both Synth Pop, DUH.

The xx takeover, the breaks over, NIGGA! Nigga. And BANG! WE. ARE. ROLLIN! Jamie xx starts playing. Oliver and Romy walk out. They set the stage on FIRE! And they begin with TRY!! And it sounds absolutely incredible!! All night there was just something special about every song. Whether played at a slower tempo, or faster. Or improvised a few chords. Sang the song just a tad bit different. I mean ever so slightly difference. There was just a true magic, and beauty to what they were doing. I soaked in every little bit that I could. And a few times Romy and, mostly, Oliver talked to us. Thanked us. Even said he “doubly thanked” us because we missed the Breaking Bad finale to be there, anytime pal *wink & gun*. It was so genuine. We were all best friends. Every last one of us, for one night of amazingness, BEST FRIENDS! Romy is an absolute BEAST on the guitar. Like SHIT DAMN MUTHAFUCKER! FICTION< REUNION!!! ISLANDS!!! VCR!!! And then they did it. Night Time. Bliss. Pure, absolute, unfiltered. Where was Ms Benes** to be by my side? I decided that THAT was gonna be my favorite part of the night. Little did I know the best was still to come and I had absolutely no choice in the matter, for The xx were our gracious hosts and we their guests, left with no choice. They did a version of Crystalised that was beyond perfect. It makes perfect look like a dead baby. That’s how PERFECT it was. Then you think it might be cooling off but no. SUNSET comes on and it’s endearing that you wanna slit your wrists to let all the joy from your body out into the physical world. Yet and still! They go even more crazy. They start playing Swept Away and the magic is in the air. You can literally see the magic shooting for their instruments into the air. BUT ONLY THEY DON’T SING SWEPT AWAY THEY SING SHELTER OVER THE SWEPT AWAY MUSIC SWEET FANCY MOSES! Then for the 2nd verse they chill and slow the quicker tempo Shelter and start to play the actual version and Jesus F Christ I think Romy grew angel wings. They played a straight forward version of Heart Skipped A Beat. And by straight forward I mean they lit all of our faces on fire. One by one. 3rd degree burns and skin grafts, well worth it. At this point they walk off the stage. Then they dropped the curtain and BANGFUCKINGBANG There’s a god damn 30 piece orchestra (the Hollywood Bowl orchestra). We now know there will be an encore and it’s gonna be the best thing any human being has ever witnessed since the beginning of time. Sure enough they walk back out and immediately begin playing the Intro (the first album). And it’s just fucking unbelievable. It’s just 2 minutes of instrumental insanity on the album. But this? THIS?! With a full orchestra and Jamie and Romy and Oliver all playing live? It was the promised land and they were our saviors. Then OF FUCKING COURSE they did Together (from the Gatsby soundtrack). AND WOOOOOOOO! Was it remarkable. Memorizing. They kept finding new ways to captivate us. Those xx fellows, just perfection they are. To close the show? Angels. Perfect. Beautiful. Amazing. Spiritual. Religious. Magical. Enchanting. I was completely overcome. I almost shed a thug tear or 2. Almost. My eyes was like naw bro you a thug we CAINT do that. It was the stuff of legends. I’ll never forget what The xx gave me on this magical evening. Thank you.

**remember that time Jerry and Elaine made rules and got to sexing? Oh. . .

Beach Ball Festival

So I wasn’t going to KCRW’s BeachBallFestival. I bought yeezus tickets. I’m good. Then BAM! Got an email saying that I, in fact, had won 2 tickets to the event. And I was ECSTATIC. My OT at work was taken from me and I was wondering what to do Saturday, being that both my plans ended up canceled. But nope! The based god had my back.
So bang. We get to Santa Monica Pier and we walk in, free tickets in hand. NO ONE IS HERE! Myron & E were performing their hearts out for 10-20 people. They were damn good too. Anywho we take a lap and there seems to be some decent food vendors nothing to lose your shit over. Except the bacon wrapped corn dog that I immediately ordered. I looked over and saw them put a light coating of mayo on my corndog and I was about to completely lose all of my shit cuz I HATE MAYO! But after doing that they sprinkled a blizzard of that salty Mexican cheese on that hoe and I knew I was about to be in heaven. It’s like the elote man was working the corndog stand and didn’t know any better and my world was about to benefit from his stubborn ways. It was amazing. I could live off them corndogs.
Next up was the man EVERYONE CAME TO SEE! (Or at least the man I came to see). Lee MUTHAFUCKIN Fields & The Expressions. Lee MFN Fields is the MFN Man! Was he dressed like and had the moves of a 70’s era blaxploitation pimp? Absolutely. That’s a little thing called swag. I’m guessing you’ve heard of it. Lee Fields has ALL of it. I imagine in his 40+ years as a musician with his corny moves (which weren’t corny in 1972) got him a little pussy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was droppin it off in grandmas’ draws every night on tour. Maybe even the occasional Pre-menopause middle aged hoe. No lube necessary. Just Viagra. LOTS of Viagra. And Cocaine. He did 2 of the 3 songs I felt the most necessary for me to have a heavenly experience early in his set. So the rest was just gravy. Oh, and in addition to Mr. Fields moves there was a white man in the crowd with the worst/best dancing of all time. I mean he was gettin it the entire time. It was truly a sight to behold. Anywho, Lee (cuz we’re on a first name basis now, DUH) was makin these old hoes sweat. Another thing the crowd ranged from super duper hipster to weird Asians, to old ass people, to middle aged folk and a few Hispanic and black folk sprinkled in. Mostly a “mature” crowd. Lee gave the worst “encore” ever. Not the song, cuz it was Honey Dove and you know Honey Dove is the 3rd song I NEEDED to hear so Lee went 3/3, jolly good show. But worst cuz he left the stage for 30 secs & His band was playing when he came back for the “encore”. Either way bravo Lee MFN Fields. Your performance was awesome.
Legendary session saxophonist Maceo Parker and his band were next. So we just found a nice spot to sit and chill and let his performance be a soundtrack to our movie.
Allen Stone followed and let me tell you, I HATE YOU ALLEN STONE! You can keep your I wanna be black soul music but I don’t wanna be seen as a wanna be black white faux soul music. That shit is trash. And then you did a Bob Marley song. One of my favorites since I first heard the King as a youth. That ignited a passionate hatred within my heart for your entire existence. Not to mention you appropriated the black power fist and turned it into the white ball of stress fist. NO THANK YOU!
Then an angel took the stage. He literally floated onto the stage with wings and a halo. The glow was so bright I couldn’t quite make out who it was. Then he began to sing and covered up his angelic wardrobe with a fancy vintage suit and hat. The angel was Aloe Blacc. He, too, did the songs I most wanted to hear early in his set. I believe he did this just for me. I was suffering from severe back pain and the cold meant stretching wouldn’t help; the muscles were just too tense and wouldn’t loosen. So he did my favorite songs just for me enabling us to leave just a little early because I was suffering from this dreadful pain. We are telepathically linked, me and Aloe that is.
And just like that it was over (for us). The car had heated seats allowing for my back muscles to melt back into comfort. What a delightful Saturday.

Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, & ScHoolboy Q – On The Road [Life + Times mini documentary]

Peace to the homie Andreas Hale

JAY Z’s Life+Times spent some time with entire TDE crew- Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock- as they go on the road before hitting the Budweiser Made In America festival stage. Here from the Black Hippy crew themselves on their beginnings, love for their hometown, and their legacies in this game.

Distortion & Static

She got me a dream catcher but it ain’t caught a damn thing.
Up all night day dreaming new dreams
Or contemplating ones I just had
Mind in a nonstop marathon and I can’t seem to figure it out
Or maybe I have and it’s left me in an unsettled state.
Knowing my dreams will never become reality.
DreamS, plural? Or Dream as in THE DREAM? (No terius)
Dream dream dream
Fantastical thoughts that plant ideas in your mind.
There’s a thin line between optimism, realism & pessimism.
I tread lightly where they all intersect.
It happened once it can happen again. Or it happened once and you blew it. Or HOLY FUCK MY MIND IS GONNA EXPLODE.
So either I know it all and the truth destroys my being
Or I don’t know anything and that distorts all reality.
Maybe the dream catcher is waiting for the right dream to capture and bring to life.