Author Archives: shannengaffney

LEVITATION (AUSTIN PSYCH FEST): A REVIEW

by Kirsten Becker

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This past weekend I had an incredibly awesome time at Austin Psych Fest (now called Levitation) on Carson Creek Ranch in Austin, TX. This particular festival has been one I have tried to go to for a while, but funds/time/commitments have gotten in the way. Fortunately, this year worked out perfectly and I hopped on a plane by myself to Texas for this unforgettable festival experience.

For some reason, there was a huge international presence. Almost everyone I met was either from Canada, Ireland, or Australia. The crowd was also a pleasant one, made of *real* music fans – people who weren’t just there for the street cred of “being at a festival.” There were so many adorable babies, families, and older people in attendance as well. I could tell this festival was something truly authentic, that the festivalgoers held closely, as many had been to the fest more than just once.

Of course the fest highlights included The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, Primal Scream, Spiritualized, The Black Angels (who present and play the festival every year), The Jesus and Mary Chain, 13th Floor Elevators, and Mac Demarco. I instead wanted to focus this post more on the many smaller artists I either discovered or was dying to see who really blew me away. I highly recommend this festival to anyone and everyone. As it grows bigger each year, it has become a staple of the amazing Austin music scene.

THEE OH SEES

One of the best live bands around today. ‘Nuff said.

LIGHTNING BOLT

Scared the heck outta me when I saw them.


EARTH

Drone/doom/stoner metal band. Played late night, unbelievable show.


RINGO DEATHSTARR

One of the many stellar bands coming from Austin right now, psych pop/shoegaze.


MYSTIC BRAVES

Stumbled on them during the day, classic psych rawk vibes.


LAS ROBERTAS
Garage/lady rock/reverby as hell.


CREEPOID

Philly love! 90s grunge revival stuff.


ZZZ’S

Three ladies from Japan doing some crazy experimental/industrial stuff


GOURISANKAR & INDRAJIT BANARJEE

Stole the festival, they played twice this weekend. Sitar and tabla music, super entrancing.


CHUI WAN

Psych rock from Beijing!

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An obscure Israeli mixtape from Juval Haring (of Vaadat Charigim)!

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Juval Haring– from shoegaze-psych Israeli band Vaadat Charigim– was nice enough to create a super awesome playlist of obscure Israeli music for us! The Tel-Aviv band will release their new album, Sinking as a Stone, May 5th on Burger Records

Listen to a new track from the album and Juval’s playlist below.

Plastic Venus – “Malach”

Ashkara Metim – “Anachnu Hashampania”

Elad Zeev – “Al Tefached Mehamachshev”

Mora Chayelet – “Pachot Amiti”

Ed Turner Vehadanilof Center – “Shefel”

Sadranei Hadeshe – “Hachatul Sheli”

Subway Suckers – “Extacy”

Hameyutarim – “Kalaniot”

Hamahapecha Hameyuteret – “Halaliot”

Charlie Megira – “Nechshalt Beahava”

Pag Adir – 3 songs

Elegant – “Hakol Mitbaher”

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Natalia Zamilska: “All or Nothing”

by Maxwell Stetson

In this National Geographic article, neuroscientist Valorie Salimpoor looks for answers about her personal, euphoric reaction to the Johannes Brhams’s song, “Hungarian Dance No. 5”. She wondered how and why this music moved her and the processes it took within her brain. These questions led her to Thalia Wheatley, a Dartmouth psychologist, who offered an explanation.

Thalia found “[that] every time you listen to music, you constantly activate [musical] templates that you’ve [created] that predict the reward you’ll feel from a given piece.”

In her opinion, “new music is presumably rewarding, not only because it fits implicitly learned patterns, but because it deviates from those patterns, however slightly.” I believe this constant template reformation and pattern shifting is an aspect to be loved, especially when it occurs organically. When this occurs, it can progress your tastes and emotions into a new and unknown fields, allowing you to think and feel differently.

I begin with this to highlight a similar joy I felt when listening to the pioneering artist we’re featuring today.

When I first heard the culturally shattering sounds of Natalia Zamilska, my musical template was completely rearranged in wonder. Her creation of raw and heavy techno, noise, electronica and modern world music was new, artistic and incredibly exciting to me.

“Duel 35” was the first track of Zamilska’s that made me a huge fan. It consists of the toughest booming techno sound, both danceable and sexy. The tribal chants and noisy pops later in the song add to its power. The sound, combined with an incredibly artistic and creative video, made me feel like Zamilska was creating art, not just music.

Natalia admitted she didn’t expect much to happen after releasing “Quarrel,” a 2014 single,  yet the feedback was so affirmative that she felt like she had to finish an album as soon as possible. “Untune” was then created during live shows, as she used the audience members as her collaborators, testing various musical creations on them. Since then, her recognition has been accumulating worldwide. The Quietus, an art/culture online magazine out of London, rated “Untune” as one of the best tracks of 2014, while Vevo ranked “Duel 35” as #15 out of the top 100 songs from their “Other Side of Music” for 2014. She’s since accumulated 7,200 Facebook likes and 1,700 Soundcloud followers and was featured on Dior’s Toyko Fashion Show, 2015.

It’s an honor and a pleasure to share this amazing interview with you! Here’s Booty Shakers’ exclusive interview with the incredible talent that is Natalia Zamilska! Continue reading

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Kevin Devine Live @ WKDU 2/07/15

Singer/songwriter Kevin Devine stopped by the studio a few weeks back before his show with Into It. Over It. and Laura Stevenson at the Church Sanctuary. Listen to the three-song set below!

Some photos of Kevin at the Church are below. For more, see Under The Gun Review.

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Dan Savage talks sex-positivity, his love of musical theater, and round two of his HUMP! tour (coming to Philly 2/21)

By Victoria Powell

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Dan Savage, courtesy of TIME

I had the chance to speak with Dan Savage: activist, love & sex columnist extraordinaire, and host of America’s “best and dirtiest” amateur porn film festival, Hump! Dan will be bringing the film festival to Philly on Saturday, February 21st, with the first showing starting at 6:00 pm, followed by showings at 8:15 pm and 10:30 pm. It is an 18+ event and tickets are still available. We’ll also be giving away tickets on air during Raha World and The Stardust Revue.

Victoria: What was your college major?
Savage: I went to University of Illinois in Champagne Urbana and I majored in Theater.

Victoria: How did you realize you wanted to be a love advice columnist? And how did you come up with the idea for Hump!?
Savage: Well, I sort of accidentally became a sex advice columnist. I met someone who was starting a newspaper and he was telling me about it, and I said oh you should have an advice column because everybody reads those. You see that Q & A format – you can’t not read it. And he said “that’s good advice… why don’t you write the advice column?”

Even when I started writing the advice column I wasn’t really an advice columnist yet, at first the whole thing was just a joke. I was a gay guy writing an advice column for straight people about straight sex – the idea was I would jokingly treat straight sex and straight relationships with the same contempt and revulsion that straight advice columnists had always treated gay sex and gay relationships. And so for the first six months to a year I was just horsing around and I started getting so many letters and it kind of, without my ever really asking, turned into a real advice column against my will! That’s how I got to be a relationship columnist, by accident.

Hump! was an idea of a friend of mine who started The Stranger where my column originated; a friend of mine and I – we just started joking that we should put an ad in the paper that we’re doing a call for submissions for an amateur porn festival, to see what we’d get in the mail, or whether we’d get anything. It took a long time to convince the publisher to let us do this because he didn’t think it would work. And we got tons of really great and funny and weird submissions and really humane submissions, like really good, humanizing porn. And then we had to go through with it and have the festival so we announced we were having a porn film festival. The question then became: would people come and sit in a dark movie theater next to strangers and watch porn the way their grandparents did? The answer was yes! Tons of people came to the theaters. Hump! has never been people masturbating in their seats sort of a porn screening. More of a celebratory, diversity sex, “we’re all in this together” festival. People came and loved it and a lot of people who were out there this year made films for the next year and Hump! just kept growing and getting bigger. We took it to Portland and started doing it simultaneously in Portland and Seattle and people in other cities kept saying they wanted it to come to them. And so for the first time last year we took Hump! out on the road and this year will be the second time.

hump

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Rock Bottom Radio’s top albums of 2014

Tweens at the Barbary

Tweens at the Barbary in Philly

Rock Bottom Radio is Shannen Gaffney. She is WKDU’s PR director and will host two radio programs beginning January 2015.

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Nick Manna’s Top Albums of 2014

Photo courtesy of BrooklynVegan

Radiator Hospital live in NY at Glasslands; Photo courtesy of BrooklynVegan

Nick Manna will host a weekly program called Roadrunner beginning January 2015. Here are his favorite albums of the year from bottom to top:

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