Wednesday, April 18, 2018

COACHELLA Kicks Off SoCal Music Festivals

By Brooklyn Henderson 



This past weekend kicked off festival season at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. As a six-time attendee of the festival I can say this was one of my favorite weekends thus far. I am proud to say that there were many female performers this year and many were my favorites including Beyoncé, SZA, Cardi B, Hayley Kiyoko, Khali Uchis, and Jorja Smith. Other stand out performances from Eminem, Vince Staples, Børns, and Portugal, the Man also made for an incredible weekend. If you can make it to the second weekend of Coachella, I would not miss any of these artists. If you weren’t able to attend Coachella, there is a whole season of great music coming from now into fall, here they are listed below.


Kicking off the list is the world-famous Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival. Famous for its eclectic mix of performers and huge art installations that double as lounge areas. This Festival is 3 days long and has two weekends.  Lineup includes: The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Eminem, Portugal the Man and so many more.  (coachella.com)


Right after Coachella in the very same location is StageCoach, a country music fan's heaven. This is another three-day camp out festival with the biggest stars in country music. Lineup includes: Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line.  (stagecoachfestival.com)


One of the smaller festivals on the list is Desert Hearts, held in Warner Springs. Even though it isn't as well known it is for the dedicated fans of underground electronic music who have established a great community. Lineup includes: Damian Lazarus, Acid Mondays, Egyptian Lover.  (deserthearts.us)


This four-day event in San Diego is described as a boutique music festival and conference. Not only is there poolside live music but also pop up shops and yoga & dance workshops throughout the weekend. It is also one of the only festivals that is 21+. If you're ready for an adult weekend of dancing, art, and culture this is the place for you. Lineup includes: Hyenah, King Britt, Doc Martin. (westcoastweekender.net)


Shakti is a yoga, sacred music, meditation, and personal growth festival. This nonprofit supports charities from all over the world and accepts donations to put on the festival and then support the less fortunate. Lineup includes: Shantaya & The Radiant Soul Band, Larisa Stow, MC Yogi. Bhaktifest starts September 12th, lineup TBA. (shaktifest.bhaktifest.com)


Following the open and free nature vibe of Joshua Tree this festival is focused on the funk, dance, and world music genres. 
Lineup includes: The Desert Rhythm Project, War & Pierce, Adam Freeland.  (joshuatreemusicfestival.com)


This four-day festival might have the most to offer. To prove that point here is a simple list: music, yoga, talks & discussions, cultural offerings, food and wellness classes, live painting, creative workshops, art installations, performance art, dance classes, meditation, soapbox derby, 5k run, sit-down dinners, kid zone, and teen scene for families attending. Lineup includes: Anderson. Paak, Tokimonsta, Modeselektor,
(lightninginabottle.org)  


Some of the biggest indie and rock acts come together with local LA restaurants to get music and food enthusiasts together in the iconic rose bowl. Lineup includes: Neil Young, Jack White, Kamasi Washington, Kings of Leon, Alanis Morissette. (arroyosecoweekend.com)


Two-day festival in the heart of LA, another one of Goldenvoice’s perfect weekends. Rain or shine, all ages and all genres. Lineup includes: Janet Jackson, Florence + The Machine, The X, St. Vincent, Future. (fyffest.com)


Finishes off the summer with a bang. It is sure to be huge and the lineup isn't even out yet! Lineup includes: TBA.  (hardfest.com)

The Energy Playground at Coachella.



Thursday, April 12, 2018

MUSIC REVIEW: KISS THE QUIET

            
            Award-winning composer Michael Whalen has graced his audience with his latest work Kiss The Quiet: Meditations on Life and Love. The ten tracks on this album are each a tiny story that, together, tell a larger tale.  Each song is enshrouded in beautiful layers that work in unison to create a pacifying soundscape. With more work to his name than anyone can count, Whalen sets off to create something very personal and reflective of his own being.

Michael Whalen, composer/producer/performer.
            Kiss the Quiet is definitive of the New Age genre while still completely being its own thing. The use of reverb, damp yet bright notes, and perfectly accentuated atmospheric sounds engulf the listener in sonic energy. The heartfelt opening track “Kiss the Quiet” is a lulling composition that sets the peaceful and inviting tone for the rest of the album to follow. Its slow and lilting, but never loses interest. “Heart So Full of Joy” is poignant, yet emboldened by a cheerful piano melody.  “Full Moon Dance” continues upon the spiritually uplifting path; its gentle melody has an air of lullaby to it, leaving the listener in a reflective mood.

            Showing the darker side of his creative spirit, “The Prayer Box” is a departure into something deeper and thought-provoking.  The ambiance is still transcendent but delves further into the more somber corners of the human psyche.  Probably the most melancholy of the album, “My Obsequious Tear” is a blissful balance of beauty and sadness. “Hush the Night” continues with the lugubrious undertones seemingly completing the sentiment that the previous two songs expressed. Whalen’s use of space and hesitation in this track emit a sense of pensiveness for the matter that drives his songs.  Closing the album, “Ever Closer, Ever Nearer, Ever Sooner” brings the mood back up to hopeful. This composition serves as mediator signifying that the entirety of life is a delicate dance between the dark and the light.


            Michael Whalen’s incredible diversity and adaptability has earned him enormous success in the music world. It is a pleasure to hear something that is more personal to him. This soul-baring album can be enjoyed by anyone who wishes to be entranced by his masterful melodies. 

This Brooklyn-based, Emmy-winning artist presents some of the more interesting events in his genre, including visual music presentations in intimate settings. For more information on Michael Whalen, his music, and future performances, visit his updated website at www.michaelwhalen.com.

-Samantha Garcia, BEING