Marlon Williams

In all honesty, I was recommended to listen to this guy only a few hours ago and am still riding the high of “new discovery thrill” but I’m thinking this feeling might last!

If I wouldn’t have known better (or couldn’t trust Wikipedia) I would have guessed Marlon Williams had chosen his artist name to accompany his love (and talent) for the music of mr Brando’s era. As it turns out, Marlon Williams was given his name at birth and simply lived up to it.

Do you dig Johnny Cash? Roy Orbison? Elvis? Brian Ferry? And perhaps more contemporary: George Ezra? You dig Marlon Williams!!

Having watched a couple of his official YouTube videos and his NPR Tiny Desk Concert, I think I can comfortably say he is as good as live, if not better, than he is in studio recordings.

Soooo, are you ready to be blown away? Here is the previously mentioned Tiny Desk Concert:

As I am currently quite speechless, let me quote a comment I read on one of his other live performances on YouTube, that put it quite well:

Whenever he does “When I was a young girl” there is a next level silence coming from the crowd. It’s quite surreal. Not many people can do that.

His most recent song is called Party Boy and has a heavy “Wicked Games” vibe going on (which I like):

The song that currently has the highest view count, dates back to 2015. The song itself is interesting enough but the video is quite confusing. If anyone cares to explain it to me, please do.

All you need to know now, is when and where you need to show up to see him perform at RF18:

Friday 6th of July, 13:00 @ Avalon stage

See you there!

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Odesza

Odesza’s performance at RF16 was a welcome surprise for me, about which I wrote the following at the time:

All though the duo had already made their appearance in my playlists before the festival, I had absolutely not expected their performance to be as vibrant as it was. It wasn’t just the fact that they were switching back and forth from drum kit to mixing board that made it entertaining, both to the eye as to the ear. It was also the colors and lighting they were using on the very cool cube shaped Apollo stage. It was truly mesmerizing.

Their best know song back then (and probably still so now) was Say my name:

They’ve been on fire ever since, winning over hearts of dance lovers all over the world.

At least as good is their more recent song Higher Ground:

They’ve outgrown the Apollo stage (all though the lighting features there are truly awesome) and will be performing at the Arena at 21:00 on Friday 06-07-2018.

If you aren’t sure yet if you want to put Odesza on your RF18 schedule, let Sandy from Grimy Goods give you that last little push:

Bringing their highly theatrical and meticulously crafted live show to a sold-out crowd at the Fox Theater in Pomona in between weekends at Coachella, ODESZA utilized every second of their set to hypnotize the crowd into dancing.

A drumline, horn section, guitarist, and guest vocalist Naomi Wild lent themselves in the creation of a sonic vibe that was truly cinematic. The set was a solid blend of old and new songs expertly reworked and mixed to keep everything fresh. Every detail, from the transitions to the lighting cues, was flawlessly executed.

If ODESZA is ever putting on a show even remotely close to you, go.

Black star

The iconic rap-duo Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) and Talib Kweli have reunited under the name Black Star and will be playing at the Arena stage at Roskilde Festival on Thursday 05-07-2018.

Interestingly enough, Mos Def only just wrapped up his “final tour” as Mos Def, suggesting to some he might be getting ready to retire. All though Mos Def is most definitely fed up with being the “product” Mos Def, he seems far from ready for a definitive mic drop. He prefers to be refered to as Yasiin Bey now.

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At Roskilde Festival they will be whipping up some classic hip-hop as well as newer material from their most recent album.

And if we get lucky, Gorillaz and Black Star might do a quick improvisation collaboration, what do you think?

Ben Frost

If someone were to ask me what Australian music would sound like if it where born in and inspired by Iceland, I would definitiely describe Ben Frost’s music. It’s an uncommon juxtaposition, that works really well.

RF website Ben Frost’s performances as follows:

When performing live, Ben Frost embarks on a ferocious solo showing, weaving throbbing tribal percussions into his trademark sweeping waves of ambient and drone. Behind his desk he is swaying, head down, as he carefully sculpts his sound by means of knob-turning and button pushes, and along the way he straps on his guitar and adds some razor-edged sparks to the mix.

Music website Stereogum wrote a quick blog about the EP that came out in April 2018, calling the title track, Self Portrait In Ultramarine, “eerie and apocalyptic, led by pitchy strings that jolt the listener in and out of a state of perceived peril”.

Have a listen and head straight tot the Avalon stage on Thursday (05-07-2018 17:00) if you want more of this!

Descendents

Descendents is a band that has been making music since before my parents had even met. In 1985 they brought out their second album, I don’t want to grow up, and it seems they held on to that motto.

More than three decades later, they are still going strong in spite of the occasional hiatus due to lead singer Milo Aukerman’s professional life as a research biochemist.

The Roskilde Festival official website reminds us how they helped shape the genre that we now know as American pop-punk, which can best be described as “a warp-speed amalgam of adolescent angst, snotty attitude and championship melody.”

Because I have very little useful knowledge about these guys, I think the best way I can help my fellow RF18 goers get acquainted with them, is through a review of a recent show they did in Sacramento, and accompanying pictures.

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Descendents Give It Their All at Ace Of Spades

Published in the Sacramento Press dd 8 May 2018
Written by: Nolan Erck

Descendents are back! And in a big way! A few years ago the punk legends began playing shows again and have been touring regularly ever since.  Rather than resting on their laurels and merely cycling thru the same set list of hits, Descendents have been on a caffeinated full speed ahead path, recording a new album (“Hypercaffium Spazzinate”, released in 2016) and playing shows everywhere they can. On Saturday night, they played to a sold out crowd at Ace of Spades – their first Sacramento show in decades.

The foursome hit the stage at 10pm and blasted off with over ninety minutes of non-stop, rapid fire pop-punk – and didn’t let up until the end of the second encore.  On this current run of dates, Descendents are playing a large mix of songs from their back catalog combined with a healthy dose of select tracks from the recent album “Hypercaffium Spazzinate”. Every song was received with huge singalong responses from the packed crowd, and matching craziness from the dance floor and mosh pits.

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“Suburban Home” was the opening track, followed by new song “Good on Paper,” giving the audience a dose of both old and brand new within the first 5 minutes of the evening’s start – the rest of the set list was more of the same. Fans of the early albums were greeted with “Myage,“ “Good Good Things,“ “Pep Talk,“ among others. For younger fans that got into Descendents during the punk resurgence of the 1990’s, the set also included such favorites as “I’m The One”, “Coffee Mug”, “Rotting Out”, “’Merican” and “Nothing With You”.  And for people in love with the brand new record, we were treated with multiple tracks off not only the “Spazzinate” album, but also “Who We Are” from the brand new Record Store Day vinyl release.

 

As if the 37-song set list wasn’t enough, each show on the current tour features custom merchandise.  Last night we saw a Cinco de Mayo influenced poster designed specifically for the May 5 Sacramento date (and a matching t-shirt just for the 4 California shows). Descendents have been doing this regularly for most tour dates over the last year, giving everyone in the audience a unique memento of the show – above and beyond all the songs that will stay stuck in your head for days on end. (The merch is all designed by local artist Chris Shary, famous for illustrating not just Descendents swag but dozens of other legendary punk album covers and t-shirts over the years.)

descendents

In all this time, the band has not lost a single step. Despite the members being in their 50’s, Descendents proved why they still reign supreme as punk legends, selling out tour date after tour date across the country.  From note one to the end of the night, there wasn’t ever a lull in their energy level. Bill Stevenson and Karl Alvarez are the tightest and most melodic rhythm sections in punk. And let’s face it: nobody can touch the drumming of Bill Stevenson – he is a one-man force of nature behind the kit.  (At one point I heard a crazy drum fill and looked over to see Bill playing it with just one hand, effortlessly.)

Stephen Egerton and Karl Alvarez are incredibly solid, both knowing when to play and when not to play. A band with just one guitarist should not sound this full, but the musicianship among the members is rock solid and produces a sound bigger than imaginable.  (Having played together for over thirty years probably doesn’t hurt either.)

Milo Aukerman, the great anti-frontman and hero of punk nerds everywhere, engages the audience with the same intensity of any big arena rockstar, all while wearing his signature glasses and shorts. There are no rock ‘n’ roll or punk cliches in Milo’s stage presence. Between song stage banter is less “how’s everybody doin’ tonight?!” and much more likely to be jokes about watching his cholesterol and discussions of the local coffee shops. 

Over the many years of no Descendents shows, their legend grew exponentially. Now that Descendents are back, it’s official: the band lives up to every bit of their reputation and then some. Descendents live and in-concert is one of the best things happening in 2018.

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Credit: Todd Fixler – CL Tampa

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For more information on the Descendents, visit Descendents.tumblr.com.

Photos by Tony Cervo

Interpol

As we are speaking, Interpol’s men in black are said to be in the final stages of their new album, which will follow up 2014’s El Pintor.

Their fusión of post-funk and -rock has been called everything from “eerie” to “melodramatic”,

Quoting a 2017 article from the Independent:

Shaped in the shadow of 9/11, the four-piece’s songs were as immaculate as their tailored suits: charred, precise post-punk odes to loss, regret and feeling disconnected in an evolving city. Intimate and anxious, Interpol’s atmospheric despondency helped usher in an era of seriousness in indie-rock.

All though the new album will only be their sixth album, they are very much intertwined with the current generation of adults that discovered music at the turn of the century in their antsy years. They never changed their wardrobe nor did they ever stray far from their musical style, keeping a loyal and growing group of fans.

The song below is the closest you will get to hearing an Interpol love song.

If you were wondering why people would call Interpol’s music “eerie”, the following song (and videoclip) might be one of the reasons:

One of my personal favorites is the song below, from their 2014 album, which shows their versatility. It’s definitely a danceable song that I think will work great at RF18.

It will be their fourth time at Roskilde Festival. If anyone saw them in previous years (either at RF or elsewhere), I’d love to hear about them!