The Concrete Schoolyard September 26, 2013 Podcast

Dj E-Yo held it down alone last night while I attended to MMALockup business and interviews! He dropped a brand new Schoolboy Q – Banger (MOSHPIT) at the beginning of the show and you heard it here first!


Plus SO MUCH NEW MUUUUUUSSSSSIIIIIC! I’m still having plugin issues with WordPress so: Listen HERE now!

“If loving hippie makes me a hippie”

I giggled when I read “If loving hippie makes me a hippie…” on @DocMurda‘s review of Day 2 of LouFest. I have been labeled that before, a hippie. The first time someone called me a hippie was in El Salvador in 2001. I was out on the street hanging out with one of my best friends (because we do that in El Salvador) when we saw a girl walk by, her outfit was a bit different and I asked if she was a hippie and he said “no, she’s not. YOU are.” After that, it’s happened a few times. Whatever, let me get to the point of this post before I forget it or go too far off a branch. At my yoga class yesterday, the instructor had a playlist going on (I love that about my studio, there are some people that practice without music and I just don’t like that). In the middle of trying to hold triangle, “Om Nashi Me” started playing. This is my very favorite Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros song. So this mile-long smile took over my face and this feeling that I can’t even describe got in me. I didn’t know if I wanted to hold the pose forever, or just start chanting along, or leave the pose and dance. It was awesome. So I wanted to share that on this blog. Music is amazing. And me encanta that everyone on the Sandy Beats collective is on that same page. Music moves us. Now enjoy the song. It’s an old one, from the first album, but SO good.

New Music: ‘Innocents’ from Moby

On September 30th, the musician known as Moby will release his 11th full-length album Innocents. While the official release is still a week away, NPR Music has the new record available for First Listen.

If I cannot be honest with the readership of this blog, who can I be honest with…right? No music review is unbiased. We all have our biases and tastes. However, some people will claim a lack of bias. In this case, I am claiming no such thing. I adore Moby’s music. I celebrate his entire catalog, and have been anxiously awaiting this release since he shared the video for “The Lonely Night”. I don’t believe that Moby is free from error or misjudgment, and I will say that some people may not enjoy his music (we all have faults…). My relationship with Moby’s music is long and storied (well, on a personal level). From the moment I first heard “Next is the E” as a 13 year old new to the world of techno to walking down the aisle with my new wife to “Feeling So Real” on our wedding day…he is the only musician I ever had a desire to meet and thank for his music. He was the first performer I saw live more than once, and both Everything is Wrong and Play CD’s have had to have been replaced due to listening to them too much. Okay…enough with the gushing…on to the music…

I’ve found the last two of Moby’s releases, 2011’s Destroyed. and 2009’s Wait for Meto be very atmospheric and themed and without some of the trademark “disco” that Moby is known to inject into his music. These records were also composed almost solely by Moby in his home studio in NYC.  I enjoy both of these releases, but have been hoping for a more robust release from him (I was and still am pretty enthralled with his 2008 release Last Night which took his disco love to a whole new level). Innocents does not seem to have an overarching theme like his last 3 releases. The album does not need to be listened to as a whole and often the music feels a bit disjointed from one track to the next. As “Everything that Rises” starts you can sense that this record is different. You know it is Moby, but this song already sets the tone for more energy than his previous release. “A Case For Shame” could have been on Destroyed. as the components are very similar to much that record. Moby revisits the style so prominent on Play and 18 with sampling soulful spirituals on “A Long Time”. He also incorporates a little disco funk on “Don’t Love Me (ft. Inyang Bassey)”. Moby also uses more guest singers than previous albums. Almost every track has a featured singer. This definitely adds to the flavor of the record. If I were to compare this record with one from Moby’s past, it would be Hotel which happens to be one of my favorites.  Like that album, this one contains a few dance-able anthems like ” Saints” and “The Perfect Life (ft. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips)” (see below). I am pretty sure that @Begt would want to join that rooftop party watching the sun set over Los Angeles. I know  I would.

This track in particular speaks to me. Overall the record is not outstanding, but it is a return to and evolution of some of Moby’s previously used styles. I like that he has put a West Coast spin on some of these tracks now that he is a permanent resident of L.A. Moby is not touring to support this record, instead he is performing 3 shows over 3 nights at the Fonda Theater near (walking distance) from his home in L.A.

I look forward to hearing more from Moby in the future, and will, in the meantime, lose myself in these songs.

A Film Photo Set: LouFest 2013

I got my film back from the lab! I’m so excited to show you the photos from LouFest. @DocMurda has done a wonderful job at reviewing the sets we were able to catch, so I won’t go into so much detail. I already told you why I fell in love with this festival, so now I’ll let you see what I caught on camera. I took my LC-A+ camera (film) because having a DSLR was on the list of prohibited items for the fest. I wanted to bring my DSLR, but I didn’t want to deal with any kind of rejection at the gate, so I opted for film.

I attempted to do several multiple exposures to capture the awesomeness of the fest. Some worked, some didn’t. But I’ll let you be the judge of that. Click on the photos for the large version and captions.

Saturday at LouFest was hot and awesome. We didn’t stay until late that day (that is correct, we missed Wilco, but we have no regrets). This day we started out with Jukebox The Ghost, which was an amazing set to start out the weekend. I’ve been listening to these guys in the weeks that have followed the festival and I can tell you that I am a fan now. Next up was Modoc at the BMI Stage, but I sincerely don’t remember these guys. I feel a little bad about that, but I think I was just really hungry and dehydrated. The only thing I remember happening between this set and Trampled by Turtles was some carne asada tacos from the Mission Taco Joint stand. I didn’t even go to the main stage for TbT, but listened to them from the shaded spot under one of the trees at the BMI Stage, where we caught up with Space Capone. I think I had higher expectations for these guys, because their set at LouFest didn’t make a huge impression. We left their set early to get up close during the Fitz And The Tantrums set, which was amazing. They never let down, they have great chemistry on stage and that spills over to the crowd. The first time I saw them was a couple of years ago at Wakarusa, after @DocMurda suggested I checked them out. They recently released their sophomore album, More Than Just a Dream. They played a great mixed of songs from both of their albums, but “Money Grabber” from Picking Up The Pieces was my favorite from the set. The last full set we caught on Saturday was Desert Noises, which had been recommended by @DocMurda. Those guys have great music, but they got a lot to grow when it comes to stage presence. This was specially evident after coming from the Fitz And The Tantrums set. We walked around the festival grounds while The National was playing and left a little before they finished the set.

Sunday at LouFest started out rainy, but it cleared out just in time for the music. We were ready to see The Mowgli’s, which delivered and amazing set that just set the tone for the whole day. This day was really all about the music. The second set of the day for us was Youngblood Hawke, which kept up with the SoCal sound we had going with The Mowgli’s. There was SO MUCH DANCING, and it was still early in the day so there weren’t huge crowds at the stages. That would very soon change, as we found out.  By the time we got to the stage for WALK THE MOON (which was 45 min early) there was already a large amount of folks up front. The set was worth the wait, as the dancing and singing along continued. I am definitely driving 2 hours to Tulsa to catch them in October (and I’m so excited that I will get to see The Mowgli’s again, as they are opening that night!) We listened to Local Natives from under a tree at the BMI stage. My favorite “Airplanes” came toward the end of their set, which sounded awesome. Wild Cub followed at the BMI stage. I find their sound very mature, and I like that about them. It’s refreshing. We danced our way to the main stage to the sound of “I Love It” by Icona Pop, which was finishing their set on the other side of the festival. At the main stage we caught Alabama Shakes, which are even more awesome live than I had imagined. Brittany Howard has a voice that makes you go “DAMN, WOMAN!” We left shortly after they played their hit “Hold On” to find a good spot for Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros. But it looked like about a third of the folks at the main stage had the same idea. So many people. And so many of them smoking. That, however, didn’t come in between us and our inner hippie dancing. But then again, we had to leave the set early to get to the main stage for the final act of the night and the highlight of the festival: The Killers. It was my first time at one of their concerts, and I think it could have been a lot better than it was. You see, it wasn’t the music. That part was amazing. The Killers really killed it. But by that time of the night there were just so many drunk jerks around, that I had to get further from the stage or I would have gotten Salvadoran-aggressive on a tall DB that was in front of me when the set started. I am looking forward to a much better experience with The Killers at Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas in a month.

I will leave you with this Icona Pop video. Just because I want to. That song got in my head the nano-second I mentioned it on this post. So now, I will get it in your head. I don’t care, I love it. I hope you enjoyed the photos. I think I will make it a tradition to take a film camera to any music festival, even if I also take my digital if I get a photo pass.

LouFest Wrap-Up Part 2

So for the first post I blamed my post LouFest honeymoon. The delay for this second post is due to my body telling me to go to sleep instead of writing blog posts. My body won every night this week, except for this one! (Checkmate nature).

Day 2 of LouFest was epic. I am not one to use this word lightly…or even really at all, but I cannot find any adjectives that will accurately describe the way that I feel about Sunday. We started off with rain that cleared up moments before the first set. @Begt, Jennifer and I sat in the car (literally across the street from the entrance) and waited for the storm to blow over.

So, without any order, except for number one being number one, here is my Top 5 LouFest moments from Sunday:

5a) We entered onto the LouFest grounds just as the rain slowed to a drizzle. @Begt had convinced us that the band to see first thing was the Mowgli’s. I’d been listening to the other Sunday opener a bit, but maybe it was the rain, the pre-funking, or the universe commanded it, but that first set from the Mowgli’s set the standard for the day. This Southern California based 8 member band is a mix of sunshine, the beach, sparkles and love. Their energy from the first song all the way through their hit “San Francisco” was absolutely contagious. They immediately connected with the crowd through their poppy, loved filled jams. They have an Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros feel about them, but they are their own breed of band. They are touring throughout the US this fall with WALK THE MOON and others. If you can, you owe it to yourself to see them perform.

5b) The second show of the day was another SoCal based group, Youngblood Hawke. if you own a radio, you’ve most likely heard their catchy anthem “We Come Running”. This band also played with incredible energy and had the crowd on their feet and dancing in the muggy early afternoon. I had enjoyed “We Come Running”, but now consider myself a fan. My favorite performance from them was “Forever”. Here is an acoustic version of the song.

4) Like Day 1, there were a lot of bands that were either right before or right after a band I really wanted to see. This was the case with the Nashville based Wild Cub. This band was a SXSW fan favorite and have been hitting up various festivals all summer. Their set took place right before the Alabama Shakes. We had already been hanging out by this stage because much of the surrounding area was tree covered and we wanted to rest while listening to Local Natives. I had listened to a few Wild Cub tracks before, and was pretty impressed. This group put on a hell of a show. Some of their tunes sound like they could have been composed in 1985 but with a contemporary flair. I am really looking forward to hearing more from them in the future. They have a few festival shows this fall, but I am sure they will be back on tour once the weather gets nicer. Enjoy their “hit” Thunder Clatter:

3) If loving hippie makes me a hippie, call me a damn hippie. After seeing Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros in July, I’ve been anxiously awaiting seeing them at LouFest. Literally the only complaint I have about LouFest is that they scheduled ESM0’s to perform immediately before the Killers. This meant that if I wanted to get a good spot for the Killers I’d have to leave ESM0’s early. This was not a good position to be in. But, it had to be done because…its the Killers…the greatest American Rock Band of my generation (you can take that to the bank my friends because that statement is as true as gold is valuable). They started off their set with my two favorite ESM0’s songs “Man on Fire” and “That’s Whats Up”. As a kid decked out in UNLV gear, I was dancing like a hippie because ESM0’s are just that good. Alex was also a bit more aware of his surroundings than he appeared to be in Las Vegas.

2) About a month after first seeing Imagine Dragons live in 2010, we started listening to the Imagine Dragons Pandora station with religious fervor. One of the songs that frequented this station was from a quirky quartet from Cincinnati, OH. Having a band name that is written in all caps may seem presumptuous, but when you are WALK THE MOON you can do whatever the hell you want. This may just have been the best set of the entire festival. They rocked out on most of their catalog including “Next in Line”, “Tightrope” and the incredibly catchy “Anna Sun”, which had the entire crowd screaming. What little of my voice I had left after this show was lost after the Killers. This band is touring with the Mowglis this fall, they shouldn’t be missed.

1) This weekend could not have ended on a better note. If you’ve read this blog at all you know how I feel about Las Vegas’ own The Killers. From the moment I saw the black and white Nevada flag on the main-stage just before the first show on Sunday, all the way through their set, I was ecstatic for this set. The set was filled with many of their most popular songs, and started out with “Mr. Brightside” and included a version of “I Think We’re Alone Now” made famous by Tiffany. In true Vegas fashion the show concluded with one hell of a pyrotechnic show during “When You Were Young”. I was thrilled to see the Killers again, and am looking forward to seeing them again next month at Life is Beautiful here in Las Vegas.

Well St. Louis, you definitely captured my heart this time. Will I attend LouFest next year, you ask? Yes, yes I will.

New Music: The Naked and Famous

I am a little late to the game as this record was released last Tuesday. But, you should still know about it.

The New Zealand group, The Naked and Famous, released their second full length album In Rolling Waves on Tuesday. This follow up to their 2009 debut release Passive Me, Aggressive You. I had first heard of this group on the radio with one of their first US hits, “Punching in a Dream”. I will be honest. I enjoyed the song, but it did not make me want to dive into the band. My instincts on this one were incorrect. A few months ago @Begt recommended that I give them another listen. As you have seen me say before, I became a bit obsessed and listened and re-listened to their first record.

I quickly began to appreciate their entire catalog and got really excited when they started talking about their 2013 release. This album I find a bit more subdued than their first, but it still has a few more dance prone tracks like “The Mess” and “I Kill Giants”. Their first single released in July, “Hearts Like Ours” was featured in a previous post, but the video really does need to be mentioned again. I find this song incredibly haunting (the video doesn’t help). This track has quickly slid into my the spot of my second favorite TNAF song following “Girls Like You”.

They are touring in the US this fall and Europe and Asia through the winter, so make sure to check them out if you can. @Begt and I will be seeing them in October at the BLVD Pool at the Cosmopolitan. This is the same place I saw Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. I am very excited to see TNAF in this venue.


The Concrete Schoolyard September 19, 2013 Podcast

DJ E-Yo’s first set got it started filled with new jams from Digital Diamonds (John Wayne, Scoop Deville and Chuck English)ADd+J. Cole and BassMelo XJohnny Polygon, and more.



Our #TapeOfTheWeek is A Tribe Called Kast by Dj Nappy Needles.

Tribe called kast

Later we got into the new Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar – Nosestalgia This is the explicit version. 

Also here is Dj E-Yo’s mix from his last live show at Hip Hop History, CLICK HERE or the picture below. Hip Hop History is an event that goes down at the Smoke N Barrel Tavern where six to seven Dj’s play their favorite music from a certain era in hip hop. Usually at the end of the night there is some big finale such as a dual or triple Dj battle. E-Yo’s set was titled “The New Underground”


Enjoy, and remember it’s The Concrete Schoolyard your latest and greatest in hip hop you haven’t heard.

The Concrete Schoolyard September 12, 2013 Podcast

We finally got to come back and throw you some super dope beats and rhymes! This week’s #TapeoftheWeek is brought to you by Open Mike Eagle (who performed at Smoke N Barrel in Fayetteville a week before the show with LucioMegaRan and Homeboy Sandman) titled Sir Rockabye! This is what you call a name your price album. You can get it for free but throw the brother some cash. He’s independent and releasing this music through his own personal means.

*Click Here For The direct link*


We started the show hot with a new Blu song produced by Pete Rock, new Vic MensaAMP LiveJerreau of Fly Union, Wu-Tang Clan and much more! Ya’ll keep it locked as we bring you the latest and greatest that you never heard right here on The Concrete Schoolyard!

Still trying to figure out why these players aren’t working on my page.

Happy New Music Tuesday

I got my new Jack Johnson album From Here To Now To You last night, and this morning I forgot it at home… thank goodness for Amazon Cloud Player, Google Play, and all similar goodness of the Interwebs. I am jammin! This album is so happy and Jack Johnson-y that I can’t help but love it. The first single “I Got You” didn’t do much for me, but the rest of the album is great. I’m loving “Washing Dishes” and “Shot Reverse Shot” and “Tape Deck” and… well, you get the idea.

The making of “Radiate”

The other release I’m excited about is GROUPLOVE‘s Spreading Rumours. GROUPLOVE’s second album is just as awesome as their first one, very much Summer sounds, as if I didn’t miss Summer much already. The L.A. band’s new album was available for first listen through NPR (I think this is one of the requirements for a hipster band according to @DocMurda).

GROUPLOVE’s “Ways To Go”

With these two and the ton of new music I got from LouFest, I think I’m good for another week.

Why I Loved LouFest

I’ve been to a few music festivals. The one that is most familiar to me is Wakarusa, since it’s only about 1 hour or so from my house. From every festival I’ve attended, I have a list of things I wished were different, things that would make the festival better. And it was as if someone read my mind and put together a festival out of that… and bam, there was LouFest.

It really was one of the best fests I’ve been to. I’m already on the list to buy early-bird tickets next year.

I had never been to St. Louis before last week, when I made the 5 hour drive to meet @DocMurda and Jenn for LouFest 2013. We had time to go around the city on Friday and were able to find several amazing food spots, in addition to confirming that the Stratosphere in Vegas is a taller than the Gateway Arch. We stopped by LouFest’s home, Forrest Park, which amazed me. It’s so huge. And it’s home to the amazing St. Louis Art Museum (which is free!) But back to LouFest, here are the reasons why I fell in love with it:

1. The lineup: Man, what an awesome lineup. It was the reason why I bought the ticket. The Killers, WALK THE MOON, The National, Local Natives, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Fitz And The Tantrums, Youngblood Hawke, and the rest of the awesome bands that LouFest introduced me to, like The Mowgli’s, Jukebox The Ghost, Desert Noises, Wild Cub, etc.

2. The size: LouFest was the perfect size. I didn’t get any blisters walking from one stage to the other, no one passed out with a heatstroke, the stages were so accessible it was ridiculous. Big shout-out to the organizers, because everything was so well coordinated. It ran so smooth. Even the water station was extra efficient. No big lines for anything, and if there were big lines, they ran quickly.

3. The food: The festival’s food vendors were all local restaurants with super delicious options. No funnel cakes to be found. It was pretty awesome. My faves were the carne asada tacos from Mission Taco Joint and the sweet corn from the Atomic Cowboy. YUM.

Bonus points: No trash, only recycle bins of several kinds and clean portable toilets.

What I didn’t love hated: People smoking everywhere. Seriously, you guys, here are some helpful links for you.

I’m waiting on my film to develop (I’m not kidding) and then I’ll show you the awesomeness and tell you about my favorite music sets. I’ll leave you with a few phone photos.