Outside Lands Kicks Off Today!

Summertime is festival time, there’s no two ways about it. Music festivals, food festivals, wine festivals, art festivals; basically come up with any reason to gather a community of people outdoors and you’ve got yourself a festival.

The secret to success lies in either A. being in a unique location (Govenor’s Island, Telluride CO), B. serving a unique community (Burning Man), C. having a stellar line-up (fill in the blank) or D. fusing various types of festivals into one big affair (Googa Mooga, anyone?). A festival that satisfies all of these criteria?  Outside Lands, my friends.

Only in its fifth year, this celebrated festival is taking over Golden Gate Park in San Francisco from August 10th to the 12th. Being that it’s San Francisco, the festival encourages sharing rides, refilling water bottles and volunteering to help clean up the park during the off hours.  Beyond that, it’s the place to be to grab some of the best food the Bay Area has to offer (plenty of tacos and empanadas plus BBQ, curries and, of course, vegetarian delights). In addition, there’s also a respectable focus on wine and beer (appropriately designated as Wine Lands and Beer Lands) and an impressive line-up of comedians (David Cross, Reggie Watts), DJs, visual art and even panel discussions with the musicians. Yes, let’s not forget the musicians. With over 50 bands rotating across 4 stages for 10 hours a day, there’s absolutely something for everyone…

<< preview some highlights >>

Leah Siegel Talks About Breaking Through with Firehorse

It’s been said that having a breakdown leads to a breakthrough. It seems Leah Siegel would agree. A musician living in Brooklyn (down the street from where her grandfather grew up), Ms. Siegel has spent the last couple of years breaking out her most recent musical project, Firehorse, and last year released her first album as such (And So They Ran Faster) to much acclaim.

Firehorse at SXSW 2012

“I can’t remember which happened first,” Siegel says over the phone, on a break from a recording session in Seattle, “I knew that something needed to change otherwise I was just going to completely fall apart. And I think then I completely fell apart — through the process of breaking everything down, of breaking free… I just started doing different things in life and it really informed the kind of music I was making.” […]

Following the album release and several stellar shows at SXSW this Spring, Firehorse has been creating quite a buzz. “I’m really, really proud,” she says, “I mean, the record isn’t even a year old and I’m really excited it’s gotten the attention it has gotten,” but, she adds, “None of it has changed my life… my goals have always remained the same and my expectations are high.” […]

<< full interview: read it here >>

Have You Heard The Mynabirds’ GENERALS? You Need To.

The Mynabirds’ charged new album, Generals, makes it clear that lead singer Laura Burhenn is not one to be messed with. There’s an edge to her sultry vocals and an insistence to the repetition in her lyrics that makes these songs even bigger and better than their irresistible rhythms imply.

Burhenn recently told Interview Magazine that this is “sort of a Jackson Pollock record” and indeed, it’s splattered not only with multiple tempos and various layers of instrumentation but is also dripping with passion, momentum and personal credos.  While the sound is orchestral and epic, the lyrics are unembellished and pointed as Burhenn sings of responsibility, power, faith and persistence.

<< read more and give it a listen here!>>

In Conversation with Matthew Hines of The Eastern Sea

Matthew Philip Hines describes Austin, Texas as “a kind of velvet coffin”. A local musician who is no stranger to philosophy, classic literature and analysis of multi-modal communication (that’s right), his music is reflective of the complexities in his mind.

“Part of living in Austin and being a musician is trying to overcome this kind of automatic apathy,” he shares, “There’s just so much music in Austin, the market is so saturated and there’s just not a real big urgency to go see something because you could see it anywhere, all the time.”  […]

Together [his band, The Eastern Sea] has just released their second album titled Plague, a collection of lyrical songs that are thoughtfully composed and pleasantly intriguing. […]

Hines likens the band’s musical collaboration to the cultivation of a plant: “There’s two parts,” he begins, “there’s the seed […] and then you take care of the seed, you plant it, you water it and you let it grow. So in a lot of ways, I create the seed and then I bring it to my collaborative musician partners and we grow it together.” […]

<< check out the full interview here>>

And catch The Eastern Sea playing live in New York tomorrow night, Saturday June 30th, at Piano’s and at Glasslands in Brooklyn on Sunday July 1st!