Thursday, March 31, 2011

SXSW day 3

I'm running very behind keeping this updated, need to get caught up so I can report on my latest experience at Ultra. I go to a lot of music events every year, I first started in 2004 when I was 19. I love the experiences and doing these things with friends, but in some ways also research. I'm going to start my own music festival one day, hopefully within a couple of years. And for now any experience I get will be valuable towards building what I hope to be an awesome event that hopefully you will attend. So, SXSW day 3:

I had to wake up a little earlier on Friday at SXSW to go film the first Dee Goodz show. It was a bit early to draw a big crowd but he still put on a great show considering he only had 10 minutes. Some really good artists were playing later in the day such as Freddie Gibbs and Big K.R.I.T. but I didn't stick around. I wandered around a lot during the day, even tried to go the Fader Fort party to see Odd Future play but my plans were thwarted due to a dinner obligation with my Uncle who got me the passes. But I got to chill out at the convention center a little and see some random bands whose name I don't even remember, which was much needed.

First act I really got a chance to see was a new find, this girl named Tokimonsta who is on the same label as Flying Lotus. She was pretty excellent (cute too) and definitely have a similar sound to FlyLo which is good in my book cause I'm a big fan of his. We stayed until the very end even though her power cut out randomly at one point and they had to hook her back up. 


Next we decided to go the the Vice showcase at Kiss n' Fly, this place I had actually never been to before and honeslty may not have existed in 2006 when I first went. Our goal was to make it in time for Jeff the Brotherhood, a local Nashville band that has been doing well lately. But by the time we made it there after a good and crucial bathroom detour it was too packed to get in for that show. Luckily I was interested in the rest of the night's lineup.

Once we got in it was pretty easy to get a good spot for the next band, a group I had never heard of called Yuck. They had an intersing vibe, a sort of English garage band with a weird female bassist who for some reason was put right in the middle even though she seemingly did the least in the band. Seemed to fit their dynamic, their show was raucous but never overly so, no moshing or anything like that. Once they finished some of my friends left as some others tried to get in for the remaining shows. I debated leaving to see Menomena back at the awesome church but I was pretty happy where I was (despite the $5 Lone Stars) and I really wanted to check out Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, a band I had been hearing a lot about recently.



Ariel Pink's album made lots of best albums lists last year, but for some stupid reason I still don't have it. I decided to see first hand what all the fuss was about. They did not dissapoint, easily my favorite show of this showcase. Their music was at turns poppy and psychedelic, definitely giving off a cool and relaxed vibe it was not hard to see why people like them so much. I will be getting their album shortly, and will probably check them out again at Coachella in a few weeks.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Ariel Pink

Bun B was next, a rapper who I have seen and had the pleasure of filming before at Phatkaps in Antioch, TN. A bunch of us were there to see him and were really pumped for the show but it was a slight let down. While his energy was there the sound-man was not behind him. He had a full band with him who was coming through loud and clear but he was simply not. In fact even one of his backup vocalists could often be heard above him. Pretty tough to have a banging show when your mic is fucked up, still mad respect for the guy though. We bounced a bit early to head back to the room and beat the rush. All in all a great night.

Bun B

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SXSW day 2

I was totally exhausted after the first night of music and the super long car ride which got us into Austin at 8am the previous day. I had planned to make it to the earlier Young Man day party show but just couldn't get going in time. Luckily I made it just in time for their second though, which was at a packed dive bar. I'd say a lot of the people were their for St. Patty's day drinking before seeing music, but Young Man won them over. Playing a trimmed down set of the same tunes as the night before there was never a dull moment save for tuning up between songs. The sound wasn't perfect but it was definitely loud and again the band often shined the most when their music swirled into crescendos with the whole band rocking out together.

After the show it was a welcome relief to head back to their hotel and relax, I still felt pretty worn out from the night before. We decided to go see Big K.R.I.T. again at a party nearby the hotel, which proved to be a great decision. The venue wasn't the greatest but he brought the energy and a crowd of loyal fans, several of whom knew basically every word. Also ran into my man Dee Goodz who had just made it into Austin that day and Big K.R.I.T. gave a shoutout to him so that was cool. We moseyed on back to the hotel for a welcome dip in the pool and hot tub, which did much to soothe my already aching body. We knew we had a long night ahead of us so it was nice to get some relaxing in beforehand.

The show we were most interested in checking out was the Pitchfork showcase at a church a few blocks away. This was hands down the most acoustically impressive place to see music at SXSW in my opinion. I wasn't even familiar with the bands but I had been to the church before and really enjoyed it (despite the lack of beers sales and public bathrooms) so I was down. And I'm glad to say the first show I saw their may have been my favorite of all of SXSW. This group Glasser, based out of LA and fronted by Cameron Mesirow I have come to find, had an amazing sound that definitely appeals to me. It was reminiscent of Bjork and Fever Ray, an incredible female vocalist backed up by a band that used a lot of electronic elements in their music that blended into a beautiful soundscape. I took one good video from the show, doesn't entirely do them justice, but this will definitely be a band whose material I will purchase:

After the show I went to rendezvous with some other friends. There was a slight delay so I snuck back into the Parish again for a second to check out Calvin Harris at this showcase featuring a bunch of awesome electronic artists. The club was bumping, I would have definitely stayed longer if I had known people there. But as it was I left to meet my friends at another club to see a band some of them were interested in.

I arrived first and was displeased to find that their show was to take place upstairs at at a venue that also had a band playing downstairs which bled terribly into the upstairs' puny soundsystem. I didn't feel like sticking through that, and I gathered some of my friends and urged them to come back to the church with the amazing acoustics.

There we saw Twin Shadow, another band I had recently heard of but not had a chance to listen to their music. They were really cool, and again the sound was amazing in the Church. We left a little early to go meet our friend who had just arrived at the Driskill hotel, but I'm very glad we got to catch some of Twin Shadow.

After we rendezvoused with our friend and had another couple of drinks we went to see our friends' band the Outerlys who were playing the Red Gorilla festival, an off-shoot festival that takes place during the same time as SXSW. They were a lot of fun, fronted by my good friend Mick Utley who always brings great energy to the table.

After their show we didn't have time to check out anything else, so we gathered everyone up and headed home after another long day. Officially reached the half-way point now.

SXSW day 1

Going backwards in time here with this recap of SXSW, finally just getting the time and energy to write it. After getting into Austin at 7:30am we crashed for a little while before heading downtown. I went to drop my camera stuff off at the Parish for the Young Man show later, then finally went to pick up my badge. First show we saw Tristen from Nashville, good rock group with a slight country vibe.

Same showcase saw Dale Earndhard Jr Jr who were very entertaining, I had heard the name before (kinda sticks with you) but never their music. Cool setup and a great cover of the Beach Boys God Only Knows had me sold.

After that I wanted to be back at the French Kiss showcase to get a handle on things for filming Young Man at 11. Saw the 123's who were cool although I didn't really focus too much attention on them as everyone was preparing for the show. I was very glad to see the Parish looking full, it's a big venue and could easily feel empty even with 100 people in it. But I'd say there were at least 250 people, maybe even more, and they were in for a treat.

Young Man hooked the crowd in from the beginning. The sound was on point and their energy was palatable. I took some really good video although the sound was rather poor because I was right next to the speakers getting a good angle. Should be able to still cut something up nice though, I'll be posting videos in the future. Particuarly I thought the band did amazing on their tune School,which careens through several movements and ends in a frenetic climax with the band rocking out in unison. Their chemistry really shone through on the tunes that allowed a good buildup, their set climaxing with another highlight Just a Growin'.

After the show we packed up gear and debated about what to do next. Luckily several people were interested in checking out the rapper Curren$y who I am a big fan of and have had the pleasure of filming play a show before. We made the trek to the Mohawk (another great venue, luckily hit all good ones on the first day) just as he was starting. The crowd was really into it and even though his set was short he made the most of it, rolling through lots of tunes and playing abbreviated version (often too much so) of many great tracks. Took one solid video, although the audio sucks for the first half:

After Curren$y was Big K.R.I.T. from Missippi who I had heard a lot about recently but again not his music. My brother and I were only able to stay for a the start because we had to load out our equipment from the Parish but it was good enough that we knew we needed to catch him later during the week.

Back at the Parish we checked out some of the Dodos who were closing the French Kiss showcase. I had only heard a couple of tracks from the Dodos before hand on some compilations but it was more the reccomendations of others that made me want to check them out in the first place. They were probably my favorite act of the Frenchkiss showcase (besides Young Man of course :) and definitley deserved the headlining spot. The crowd was really feeling them as they wove dense melodies with great guitar work and pedal effects. You could tell these guys really spent a lot of time mastering their instraments and playing together. We watched a few tunes and then went backstage to relax during the end of their show. Couldn't hear as well but it was amazing just to sit down and relax after the long first day.

So ended day 1 at SXSW. Gonna try and write these other recaps soon so I don't get too behind. I should have started keeping track of all this a long time ago, it will be great to have a record of all this to look back on someday.

Friday, March 18, 2011

SXSW half way point

I was originally planning to write a full recap of SXSW every day, but when you get here and everything gets going there's just too much happening. Not to say I couldn't have found time at some point, but it would have been at the expense of something else. And that includes rest, which has been on short supply after our 13 hour journey to Austin 7pm to 8am. Hopefully tonight I catch up a little on that, but even though our lodging is very convenient there is a kitten dwelling in the same room as us and it makes its prescence known, disturbing sleep at odd hours of the night.

Regardless of how sleep-deprived or rested you might be SXSW continues on, and with music pouring out from all corners it is easy to get overwhelmed. This is in fact is the year I am most without a plan, often going on the reccomendations of others. Slightly strange since it is my 4th SXSW, but in some ways maybe it makes the most sense. I've been working more this year than ever, filming a couple of Young Man shows and Dee Goodz' showcases that are coming up in the next 2 days, so it's been nice to find out about new groups and their shows without having to do my due diligence. I feel after this is all over I'll break down all the great artists I've seen as well as sort through all the video I've filmed over each day. Right now though I just can't muster the energy to go back through that all, much less get all the visual content uploaded.

So far I'll say my highlights have been Glassers, Curren$y, Dodos, Dale Earndhart Jr Jr, and Twin Shadow. Most everything has been pretty good though save for a show ruined by sound bleed. Only 2 more days to go, and they might be the busiest yet so I better get some rest (shit it's 4am). I'll probably end up writing lots of stuff in the car...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SXSW & Dee Goodz' new mixtape: Floetic Justice Vol II

Very pumped for my 4th SXSW, leaving in less than 2 hours! This will be the first time though I'll officially be working, filming shows for both Dee Goodz and Young Man while I'm down there. I'll be posting more while I'm down there hopefully, going to keep this brief for now, but I must mention Dee Goodz' new mixtape that just dropped, Floetic Justice II: B.O.T.H. You need to grab this now if you're a fan of hip-hop, because it is killing. And I'm not just saying that because I work with Dee (I know this may seem like a Dee Goodz blog a lot of the time LOL), I am saying it because it is a great listen. DOWNLOAD HERE:

Here's our latest video from the previously mentioned Quest Love show:

You know we'll have more video after SXSW too.

Also pumped for my brother's band Young Man, they have at least one show every day! Congrats to them and best luck at the fest:

Now we're off on the road, 13 hour drive here we go.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My latest work

 It's nice to have different kinds of work going on these days, hopefully I'll eventually have the time to do a real movie. But until then I'll keep cranking away on whatever I can get, like this latest ad we finally finished for a bank in Clarksville, TN of all places:

Also just premiered a new interview with Dee Goodz and my new friends at

Been doing a lot of stuff with Dee Goodz lately and that is about to continue when we go to SXSW in less than a week. The support for our new video (scroll down for that) has been tremendous, already our most viewed video in just 2 days! Thanks to everyone for that, we're going to be updating a lot in the coming weeks with more content. Follow @dgoodz on twitter (and me while you're at it @digitalrobert) and hopefully we finally get that Floetic Justice Vol II!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dee Goodz & Questlove: Another crazy night.

Pretty crazy day all around actually. Starting a new commercial project today, same day our Bananas video is getting blown up so much they froze the view count at 300 to sort it out. And to top that off Dee Goodz has a show tonight at Mai in Nashville opening up for Quest Love. If you don't know Quest Love you're probably not reading this blog, he was throwing down a sick DJ set tonight props for all the good tune selections. Clearly I have a long way to go before I become a high-caliber DJ. Sure I can rock a wedding, but I can't do nothing like he can.

As for my man Dee Goodz he prevailed through some sound/DJ difficulties and tore the roof off the place. We're gonna get a video together of that real soon, props to Dee for getting me into the show for free. Met up with some friends and we partied hard, a great way to start off the week. Being that this is my birthday week and all I'm feeling starting off with such a bang.

Lots more coming soon, check out the Bananas video below and stay tuned for lots more videos on the horizon.

Also follow @dgoodz on twitter NOW, new mixtape is dropping later this week! Stay connected for details.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Dee Goodz video - Bananas

Finally the time has arrived to drop my new video with Dee Goodz. This is our best video yet, and the hardest to edit, but it was well worth it. I hope you enjoy, pass it around.

Floetic Justice Vol II: B.O.T.H. is coming very soon...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New music and the lost art of the CD

It's been a while since I've bought a bunch of CD's at once. I hate to admit it but I mostly download now, sprinkled in with an occasional LP purchase on vinyl. But I think I need to get back in the habit, even if just a little bit.

As I listen to these new CD's (currently Pantha du Prince's Black Noise, which is excellent and something I should have bought a long time ago) I have come to realize how lost the CD has become on me. In this era of the digital age it has become the blank CD that has power, not the printed ones that retail for $17.99 but settle for $12.99. Hell this new Cut Copy CD I bought was only $9.99 on amazon, and it was just released a week ago! I guess they have to do something. I probably do download too much music illegally. Most of the money I spend on music is for shows and festivals, plus the vinyl records I buy from time to time. In fact lately I've felt a little out of the music loop, I used to feel I knew a lot of the up and coming bands and was really on top of that shit. My how the years have flown by, now many of these bands have either gotten really big or disappeared and a whole new crop has come up from behind.

Take this year's Coachella for example. Several of the top acts (Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, Kings of Leon even) I saw for the first time years ago when they were still gaining their following. Hell I even remember when Kanye played dancing in the district back in Nashville several years ago. Dancing in the fucking district ya'll. Now they're headlining arguably the best festival in the US (sorry Bonnaroo, you're 2nd though). I guess I'm still ahead of the curve in some respects, especially when it comes to seeing shows, but I do want to be more a normal music consumer and actually pay for the art which I so dearly love. Things sure are changing though, some of the best music is free especially in the rap scene where the mixtape is king. It's hard to convince anyone but young people to plunk down nearly $20 for something you can get for free, and they're not even the ones paying most of the time. Taylor Swift and Big Machine know this and worked it perfectly to have her become one of the best selling artists of this era. Oh Tay Sway.

Truly one of the saddest things about the movement to mp3's over CD's and records is the death of audio quality. Every single person who ever reads this is a victim of this terrible tradgedy. From laptop speakers to the shitty DAC's (digital audio converters) in iPods to the very coding of mp3's themselves we are amidst a crumbling of audio fidelity. And as a lifetime lover and still part-time consumer of music this saddens me. Things have picked up a bit with the development of great lossless codecs like .flac and apple's lossless version of the same thing, as well as the widespread usage of DAC's in home audio. Which btw if you don't own a DAC but listen to music off a computer on a nice stereo you need to get on that, it's one of the biggest improvements you can make and doesn't break the bank.

This being said I am obviously all for the digital age of music, as it has only made it's reach broader and consumption and research that much easier. We can never can backwards, and the CD will soon become a lost art form. I'll miss the cover art and the feel of it in my hands, but I'll do without the scratches and skipping that naturally occurs with heavy use. I've been trying to finish this post for a while now, and luckily that time has given me the chance to throughoughly listen to each of these CD's (the 3rd is The Kill's Midnight Boom). CD's help to cure my musical ADD somewhat, something I'm sure we've all battled with upon the advent of the iPod and iTunes. It's great to listen to an album back to front. Hopefully I'll be doing more of it in the future.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New live Dee Goodz video

 Dee Goodz help put on an amazing showcase last week, here is a sample of his performance:

Also I have changed the look of my blog and also figured out a way to encode youtube videos much better. Considering how often I do this I should have done this a while ago, too lazy to go back though. This blog is still very much evolving so bear with me on that front. Hopefully I have entertained at least one person along the way.

Been digging up some old videos

Still plowing ahead on new shit but being that festival season is upon us I realized I had a bunch of sweet videos from some of the best shows I saw last year that I never posted. Here was one of my favorite concert moments last year:

Set to drop the new Dee Goodz video for "Bananas" very soon, pumped about that. SXSW is right around the corner too, gonna be deep up in that this year. Can't wait, March should be a great month. Hell all of spring for that matter.