I only first heard the name Seven Lions a month ago when I agreed to work the up-coming (now past) The Journey Tour show at the Catalyst Club. In all honesty, I didn’t even hear his–aka Jeff Montalvo’s–music until I wrote that last article about him the day of the show. Shit, I was missing out. But of course, you all probably already know that .
The 28 year old producer and DJ is one of the most talented on the scene today. Much like his hometown of Santa Barbara, Montalvo blends a concoction of different influences into a sound that’s glaringly rare and undeniably catchy. Since he hit the scene in 2010, the DJ who once told YourEDM.com “I’m too weird for the mainstream,” has torched his way through the underground by drawing from all aspects of the Electronic arena: trance, house, bass, dubstep, trap and many, many more. He might not be mainstream in the sense of Drake or Kanye, but he’s a big raft on a different stream altogether. And after all, isn’t one of the attractive aspects of this culture the fact that it’s something entirely on it’s own, unattached to the shit shoved down our ears on the radio?
Anyway, I digress.
Needless to say, I was amped going to work last Tuesday (10/18/16). Even after I heard it was sold out–which usually means a shit show–I was still amped. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a shit show at all because–not surprisingly–everyone there was looking for a good time of dancing, tripping and fun.
Scottish musician, GRUM, opened the night with a striking set, followed up by Unlike Pluto. Danish and Norwegian duo, Pegboard Nerds, rounded up third with their poppy and chaotic, video game sounds. Even after hours of solid dancing, the 800 person crowd went nuts as Seven Lions took over the deck. For an hour and a half he flowed a solid set in his signature style and busted out many crowd pleasing remixes. The Journey Tour continues until Dec. 2, so treat yo self to a ticket if it passes through your town. After all, don’t you think you deserve it?
If you don’t know Hopsin, you apparently don’t listen to hip hop. No, not that shit the radio, television and the clubs force down your throat. I’m talking about real hip hop, raw and straight from the underground. The type of rap that calls out the bullshit, questions reality and tells it like it is.
Anyone who is familiar with the Los Angeles artist knows that Hopsin tells it like it is. From his critical “Ill Mind of Hopsin” tracks to his “Kill Her” track–about Eazy-E’s widow after Hopsin’s falling out with former record label, Ruthless Records–, he holds no punches and says whatever the fuck he wants. And afterall, isn’t that what hip hop is supposed to be?
Birthed in the run-down streets of New York and Los Angeles, it emerged 30 years ago as a public awareness announcement about how life really was for millions of people in this country. After decades of mainstream co-opting, the genre has turned into a glorified commercial, promoting alcohol, partying and acquiring material possessions most Americans will never be able to afford. Thankfully, Hopsin rejects all of it. This is the same dude that once tweeted, “I can’t stand Hollywood bitches. Show your worth through your mind not your jewelry, fake friends and your fake tits.”
On October 7, 2016, Hopsin played a killer show at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz to fans excitement. This was my second time seeing him live and once again, he did not disappoint. His energy and anger was in full form and he blazed through a set of fan–and his own–favorites throughout his career. He’s easily one of the best rappers performing today, even if the radio won’t play his tracks. Shit, that just makes him more credible.
After being a fan for years, I finally had a chance to learn the teaches of Peaches in person. Friends, let me tell you, it was everything I’d hoped for and more.
For those of you who haven’t listened to new music in twenty years, Peaches was born in Canada and cut her teeth in the underground electronic scene before moving to Germany where she was signed to Kitty-Yo. It was here that she released her iconic second album, The Teaches of Peaches.
Brash, unapologetically sexual, catchy and smart, Peaches music decimates boundaries and questions everything. Since writing such hits like “Fuck the Pain Away,” she has gone on to take the world by storm. This year she released her sixth album, Rub and set off on a world tour.
Peaches opened up with the title track off her new album, complete with a giant fury suit that could’ve been a second-hand Sesame Street costume and it only got more fun from there. Throughout the show a male and female dancer would accompany her through outfit changes of giant vaginas, multiple breasts, leather harnesses and then full-blown on-stage masturbation at the end. For the first encore, opener Christeene–with her own sexually charged and envelope-pushing ways–joined Peaches before she closed the show with “Light in Places” complete with the house lights off and laser-flashing buttplugs inside all three performers.
Throughout the entire show the audience was wildly dancing and free, celebrating themselves and the gift of being alive. Liberation is a wonderful thing, my friends. Never be afraid to push your boundaries or else you’ll never know if your unbreakable. Peaches is a testament to that. If you can catch her on the remaining part of her tour, we euphorically suggest you do so.