Now on its 45th go-round, Milwaukee’s massive Summerfest returns from June 27 to July 8, offering 11 days of high-profile and independent musicians performing around the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park along Lake Michigan. This year, our favorite performers include The Hives, Foo Fighters, Ben Folds Five, Devotchka, The Promise Ring, Galactic, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Atmosphere, The Roots, Common, Thievery Corporation, Mayer Hawthorne, and Lupe Fiasco.
“Summer’s Last Stand,” better known as North Coast Music Festival, lived up to its self-given nickname this year, breaking a sizable inaugural attendance and raking in nearly 50,000 loyal fans for a sold-out sophomore year. Despite being slightly overshadowed by Chicago’s other popular summer music fests, North Coast surpassed them in diversity with a far-reaching lineup.
Heavy beats bumped Union Park for a straight three days, spun by dubstep producers SBTRKT and Rusko and electronic hypnotists STS9 and Bassnectar. Day performers Little Dragon and Of Montreal loosened crowds for each night’s main acts, including Wiz Khalifa and David Guetta, who were silhouetted by LED backdrops on both headlining stages. Other ALARM favorites on hand included Common, Gogol Bordello, Thievery Corporation, RJD2, and The Budos Band.
Chicago photographer Caleb Condit was present to document the good times. Check out the massive gallery below.
Each Tuesday, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.
This week, we spoke with Neal Becton, owner of Som Records in Washington, DC. The small, well-curated record store is a staple in the DC community, and Becton is the force behind a number of events like the annual DC Record Fair and the monthly Brazilian Rhythms party. Having made three trips to Brazil primarily for the purpose of digging crates, there’s no question that Becton is committed to his craft, and Som’s diverse selection reflects his unequaled passion for music.
What can someone expect when visiting Som for the first time?
A small but tight shop with the best selection of used vinyl in DC. Being fairly small forces me to curate instead of just throwing everything out in the bins. I dig for records four to five days a week, so there’s always new stuff in here. I do sell new releases and touch a few genres that the other local stores don’t touch.
Despite its history and charm, Asheville, North Carolina isn’t widely known as a destination for music and culture. Many associate the town with the Blue Ridge Parkway, hippie drumming, and maybe Black Mountain College, a progressive institution that closed in 1957 but once was a center for artists like Merce Cunningham and John Cage. But look deeper and you’ll also find a contemporary music scene, classy bars, and a population of locals that are culturally aware and proud of their town.
And they’re nice — like deep-South nice. Maybe that’s why Robert Moog decided to spend the last 25 years of his life there.
On a weekly basis, The Groove Seeker goes in search of killer grooves across rock, funk, hip hop, soul, electronic music, jazz, fusion, and more.
Thunderball: “Make Your Move”[audio:http://alarm-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/03-Thunderball-Make-Your-Move.mp3|titles=Thunderball: “Make Your Move”]
Thievery Corporation’s Eighteenth Street Lounge Music record label has been releasing downtempo and electronic music since its establishment in 1996. As one of the label’s original artists, Thunderball has been on the cusp of the genre, its music known for its cinematic quality and global sound. From Bristol-style drum and bass, 1970s blaxploitation soundtracks, and Afro-dub, to funky Bollywood sitars, lounge-centric jazz riffs, and futuristic synth lines, making it sound cohesive is a feat in itself. 12 Mile High, Thunderball’s fourth full-length recording, is yet another musical journey through the group’s signature sound.
The Voodoo Music Experience celebrated its 10th anniversary in New Orleans with its most ambitious lineup ever and crowds from all over the country. Mixing a tableaux of both international touring bands with local acts that embody the New Orleans indie/alternative/traditional culture, the 3-day weekend continued proudly once again in its City Park homestead which had been underwater during Hurricane Katrina.