Outside Lands 2016: Artist Breakdown (Saturday)

Quick recap: In case you didn't read my first post, this is a breakdown of each artist playing at Outside Lands. I will make three posts, one covering each day. This is Saturday, Day Two. Not sure why I capitalized that but I'm leaving it. Your judgement be damned! You can read Friday's here if you missed it (don't stop, click it click it).

Day Two has quite a few conflicting times for me, unfortunately. I haven't really settled on a plan of attack just yet. When I first started going to festivals I would either waste my time trying to get a really close for the people I wanted to see aka I got to stages early and sat through shows I didn't care about, which caused me to miss a lot of shows. OR I'd do the polar opposite and run around all day, catching bits and pieces of EVERY show I wanted to see. I'm much more relaxed now, creating a set schedule and sticking to it. Enjoying each set and then moving on to the next. However, choosing my schedule on a crowded day like this never gets any easier. Hopefully this breakdown makes it a little less hectic for you! 


Julien Baker // (12:00-12:45) // Julian reminds me of Daughter, with a bit more subtlety in her style. If you enjoy her stuff, know that she’s even better live; with just her and her guitar she explodes with emotion. My favorite song of hers is “Something,” and her performance of it during a Spotify Session from earlier this year is the only example you’ll need. Check out her 2015 debut LP, Sprained Ankle, if you like her! It's nice and sad. 

Methyl Ethel // (12:00-12:40) // Back in February the alt. rock group dropped their debut LP, Oh Inhuman Spectacle, which garnered a relatively positive response. What did I think? It was fine. It neither pushed me away, or made me a fan. A few solid tracks here, a few duds there; I remain unswayed. They’re at their best when traversing an eerie soundscape. “Shadowboxer,” is the track to love here.  

Fantastic Negrito // (12:40-1:25) // Blues man Xavier Dphrepaulezz (that last name though…) gave us his debut LP last month, The Last Days of Oakland, and it’s solid. With hints of soul and jazz he creates a compelling record, and what’s bound to be a lively show. “Hump Thru the Winter” is where it’s at. 

Lewis Del Mar // (12:45-1:30) // This is the first show I’ll be attending. When the schedule first came out I was debating between this and Fantastic Negrito but after Lewis’ new single “14 Faces,” came out (which I'll post), the debate was settled. This guy’s sound is cool. His voice, his vibe, his style, I dig it. It’s going to be a jam. The beat pattern on “Malt Liqueur” (off his EP called...EP) is top notch. That breakdown? Nuff said.

Rogue Wave // (1:15-2:05) // I only listened to their 2016 release, Delusions of Grand Fur, once through. It’s fine. Calming, per usual, and they expand their sound a little, but ultimately they’ve never really done anything for me, outside of a few singles. Low key acoustic rock. Here’s the best song off their latest LP, which, oddly enough doesn't fit the description I just gave them. This is where you guys find out that I don't actually listen to any music. Loved your trust while it lasted! 

Declan McKenna // (1:25-2:05) // I’ll keep this short. His body of work is small, but his EP, Liar, is good. His Brit infused indie pop sound is easy to get behind. Whether or not I attend will be based solely on how I feel after Lewis Del Mar. I like “Parecetemol” the best. 

The Wombats // (2:00-2:50) // I honestly would probably be a bigger fan if I didn’t hate the band name so much. And no, I won't apologize for being shallow! Similar to acts like The 1975 and St. Lucia, they provide feel good alt. pop with an 80’s flare. Last years Glitterbug was a blast and should provide us with a great show. This is one, annoying name or not, that will be worth your time. 

The Knocks // (2:05-2:55) // When The Knocks dropped “The Feeling” in 2012 I was OBSESSED and couldn’t wait for an album. Well, four long years later, that album came, and I love it. 55 is a party and their concert will be too. No matter what genre these guys delve into, the beats are always addictive. Check out the throwback groove "Collect My Love," featuring Alex Newell's ridiculous vocals. Her ending note? Is she real? Go go go.  

Ibeyi // (2:35-3:25) // The beautiful self titled debut, while a bit too long, was an absolute treat. These French-Cuban twin sisters have a style all their own; merging together both tribal and electronic sounds with a simplistic approach, providing a unique atmosphere to exist in. Good stuff. I’’ll definitely be catching part of this show.   

Kevin Morby // (2:55-3:35) // I saw him play recently at The Getty for their latest Saturday’s Off the 405 installment. His intimate sound fit the setting perfectly, providing as nice an evening as I’ve had in some time. There's a Dylan-esque quality to his approach, giving him a classic sound that puts you at ease. The biggest single off his latest effort, Singing Saw,  is also his most lively. Check it out below. 

Years & Years // (3:20-4:10) // I loved their 2015 debut album Communion, LOVED. Their electro/ alt. pop leaves nothing to be desired, and despite the catchy tracks the tone feels serious. I like that. They have a knack for melodies and song structure, add in Olly Alexander’s killer vocals and you’ve got a me addicted. Here's the first track I heard from them, the rest is history! 

Vince Staples // (3:40-4:30) // Vince’s debut LP last year was nothing short of a GEM. He’s a born storyteller with a great sense of flow. Summertime ’06 is still on rotation (I usually couple it with a few Pell tracks) and it’s not going away any time soon. As much as it pains me, I’m only going to catch the tail end of his show due to Years & Years playing at the same time. 

Lord Huron // (3:55-4:45) // I enjoyed 2015’s Strange Trails, but the album felt the same as their excellent 2012 debut, Lonesome Dreams, so after a few listens I retreated back to that. Their albums play like a road trip daze, whether you’re driving through a desert or a forest, their sound lends itself to it. Listening to them feels natural. If you’ve never seen them, I’d check them out. If they were playing at dusk I'd be there in a heartbeat. 

Con Brio // (4:30-5:10) // Funk/ soul band Con Brio is relatively unknown, especially when compared to the other artists inhabiting similar set times, but throw on the group’s debut LP Paradise, and get a taste for Ziek McCarter’s powerhouse vocals and you’re suddenly thinking, “who do I need to miss to check these guys out." The opening track tells you all you need to know (and check out that smoooooth transition into track two, "Eagle Eye").

Big Grams  // [Big Boi + Phantogram] // (4:40-5:40) // Big Boi's slick flow matches Phantogram's heavy beats and sharp vocals perfectly. I guess all you really need to know is...Big Boi is dope. Phantogram is dope. This show will be dope. Here's their track with Run The Jewels, because I want to incorporate Run The Jewels into everything I do. 

Jauz // (5:15-6:05) // Relatively new on the scene, this DJ has already gained a following. Listen to his latest single, the Tiesto featured “Infected,” and you’ll know exactly what he’s going to be doing for you. I'll be at Last Shadow Puppets, so you can tell me how it is. 

The Last Shadow Puppets // (5:15-6:05) // This is one of the sets I’m most excited for.  Arctic Monkey’s frontman Alex Turner and Miles Kane’s side project is built on retro grooves sung with a crooner mentality (think modern rockabilly). Their 2016 record, Everything You’ve Come To Expect, is one of my favorite’s this year and I can’t wait to experience it. Here's my review of the album if you're interested in delving deeper into my psyche (click this for me baby).

Peaches // (6:05-6:50) // It’s been 14 years since Peaches rose to fame with her The Teaches Of Peaches album, which featured the hits “Fuck The Pain Away” and “AA XXX.” Fast forward to 2015’s Rub and you’ll notice that not much has changed. Her in your face sex laced brand of electro pop works for some, not so much for me. Her latest album could be her first album and vice versa, there’s been about as little artistic progression as one could imagine. See her if you want, I’m out. Big time. 

Air // (6:10-7:10) // It’s been almost 20 years since Air burst onto the scene with their ambient space funk, making waves instantly with Moon Safari. They’ve made a career out of providing serenity, and their latest release, a greatest hits record (Twentyyears), is proof of their timeless sound. Lay back and zone out. 

Sufjan Stevens // (6:35-7:45) // While his wonderfully intimate 2015 release Carrie & Lowell would be nice to see, I don’t know if I’m prepared to be THAT sad for the rest of the night. However, I’d imagine he’s going to mix things up and hearing a greatest hits-like set from him would be a dream. We’ll just have to wait and see. I had tickets to see him at the Hollywood Bowl that I had to sell because it's during the same weekend as Outside Lands, so I really should attend. I'll bring tissues. For masturbating. Just kidding. For tears. Hope you laughed. 

Halsey // (6:55-7:55) // While I think she’s good, I’m not as taken with Halsey as the rest of the world is. I opted to see the combo of Banks and The Weekend at the Forum rather than the night when Halsey opened. In addition to that, her set at Coachella didn’t do anything to sway me (when Brendon Urie showed up I was hoping she would leave and he'd finish out the set). Her 2015 EP Room 93 gave me high expectations for the debut LP, BADLANDS, which, to me, was a let down. I'm in the minority here. Go wild kids. 

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals // (7:55-8:40) // It’s just about the worst luck that they put Anderson’s set at the same time as Radiohead. Why couldn’t he play during the lackluster Sunday finale where I have the choice of seeing Lionel Ritchie or Lana Del Ray. Oh well, Anderson’s Malibu is one of the best albums of the year so far and that isn’t going to change. Jazz, soul, hip-hop, blues, R&B; you want it he’s got it. The show will be a gem. Please go and then tell me all about it over drinks. You're buying. 

Radiohead // (7:55-9:55) // Need I say more? Oh, was just listing their name not enough? Ok. For a band this big it seems impossible to hit them with the love ‘em or hate ‘em tag, but that’s how I feel they're viewed. There just happens to be a lot more people in the love ‘em bracket (as there should be!). Their latest record, A Moon Shaped Pool, is beautiful, and aqq much more subdued exploration of sound. Seeing excerpts like “Daydreaming” and “Identikit” will be too enticing to pass up. I’m here, all night. 

Zedd // (8:40-9:55) // I’m not normally someone who seeks out DJ’s, but this is one I would have liked to see. We caught his set at Outside Lands two years back and it was incredible. He’s only honed his craft further (check out 2015's True Colors), and now he’s got a headlining slot, expect big things. "Illusion" is far from his most popular song, or his best song for that matter, but I like it, so that's the single I chose.