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Show Review: Lotus, Papadosio, & Orchard Lounge @ Red Rocks Amphitheater 9/19/14

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My heart was racing as i started the climb from the lots into Red Rocks Amphitheater a week ago, and just as I thought it was going to pound out of my chest, I reached the top of the stairs. I caught my breath and walked inside–the incredible beauty and energy of the venue stopped me in my tracks, and the tears started flowing. As a patron, the sheer size of the natural amphitheater is humbling. I could only imagine what it would be like to play on that stage. The contrast between a bright blue sky filled with pure white clouds against the adobe red of the giant naturally formed structures jutting up from the earth put me at ease. Tonight would be a night I surely would not forget.

Music fans from all over the country filed up the stairs and into the venue in anticipation for a great night of music–Orchard Lounge, Papadosio, and Lotus were playing that Friday night, but this wasn’t just a line up of some of my favorite music acts. This was Papadosio’s first night playing Red Rock’s main stage, and Lotus was bringing back their Talking Heads Deconstructed set, which they had debuted earlier this summer at Connecticut’s Gathering of the Vibes. As the stage lights dimmed, the stars came out, distracting me for just a moment before Bethany and Spencer of Orchard Lounge stepped up to their decks to deliver a short yet solid set. For a “club DJ duo,” these two know how to play to any crowd, and they kicked the night off on a high note, delivering dance-able tunes that were different from anything we would hear later in the night. Their music got us movin’ and groovin’ away as the night sky darkened.

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Review/ Spotlight: Panda Bear @ Mr. Smalls Funhouse, 9/17/14

Panda-Bear-608x920The bear is out of his (almost) 3 year hibernation! Last Thursday, September 11th, Panda Bear (PB) released Panda Bear vs. The Grim Reaper mix tapes, which he has been working on since the beginning of this year.

Recently, he played for a smaller crowd than he’s used to at Mr. Small’s Funhouse in Pittsburgh, with the Avant-garde duo Blues Control.

Born as Noah Lennix, he was one of the founding members of Animal Collective (AC), which formed in 1999 with his friends Dave Portner (Avey Tare), Josh Dibb (Deakin) and Brian Weitz (Geologist). The name “Panda Bear” came from his adoration for drawing pandas as a kid. He would draw them on the mixed tapes he made for friends.

Growing up, PB listened to a lot of techno and house music, being influenced by electronic musicians like Aphex Twin, even Pink Floyd and The Beatles. A strong influence on his drums comes from Stewart Copeland of The Police. Later, Black Dice (the band whom they first toured with) was a strong source of wisdom for PB and the rest of AC.

He is associated with Daft Punk (Random Access Memories), and also has worked with John Maus, German house musician Pantha Du Prince, and is associated with Ariel Pink of Ariel’s Haunted Graffiti. He is currently living in Lisbon, Portugal, where he still swaps and mixes music with AC members, who are still in New York (Originally, they are all from Baltimore, MD).

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Show Preview: Lotus, Papadosio, & Orchard Lounge at Red Rocks 9/19/14

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Our favorites, Lotus, are gearing up to play one amazing show at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado this Friday night. Upon release of the show, I was pumped to see Lotus, Papadosio, and Orchard Lounge at a music venue I’d been begging to see since the day I heard about it.

“Red Rocks is a geologically formed, open-air Amphitheatre that is not duplicated anywhere in the world. With Mother Nature as the architect, the design of the Amphitheatre consists of two, three hundred-foot monoliths (Ship Rock and Creation Rock) that provide acoustic perfection for any performance. The dramatic sandstone monoliths serve as a history book of animal and plant life in the area for the past 250 million years. As spectators gaze at the towering red sandstone rocks, they view the ancient tales of prehistoric times.”

- Red Rocks, History & Geology

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Keegan Tawa Releases “Walk Alone” Featuring Olivia Price

State College-based electro-house producer Keegan Tawa, a WTMO favorite, continues to mesmerize with his effortless-sounding progressions, beautiful synth riffs and impeccable choice of vocalists. On his newest release, “Walk Alone,” Tawa delivers again, this time employing the talents of another rising PSU talent, vocalist Olivia Price.

Together, the two have created a beautiful melody, a piece that is teeming with emotion, that seems to bid farewell to the once promising days of summer. Tawa has proven himself a versatile producer, sticking to the realms of electro-house while experimenting with tones, vocalists and emotional connections. Tawa’s partnership with Wilde is a natural one, her voice sweet and soft like whipped cream. The result is one that is not to be missed.

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Mix of the Week: Syncopated Sounds Podcast Episode 006

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Label founder Andy Fitton presents Episode 006 of the Syncopated Sounds Podcast from Syncopated Records. Syncopated Sounds Episode 006 is a personal mix, premiering original work from Syncopated Records DJ and producer Andy Fitton, under the moniker Atomisk, while highlighting music from producers he both personally knows and reveres.

The mix is a hybrid of original work and remixes from house and techno masters such as Eric Prydz, Jeremy Olander, Fehrplay, Dantiez Saunderson, Cari Lekebusch and Scuba, and quality original work from names you might have never heard before, such as Petter B, Richard Knott and Pete K.

If you’re looking for a new podcast on par with Eric Prydz’s Epic Radio in terms of intricacy and selection to detail, look no further. All episodes of Syncopated Sounds Podcast are available for free download.

Festival Review: F.A.R.M. Fest 2014

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It’s rare that you find yourself in a place where nothing and no one is holding you back—A place that wholly encourages you to express yourself. I mean, one that practically begs you to.

We found this place on the hilltop of Rickey Farm in Vernon, NJ a couple weekends ago at F.A.R.M. Music & Arts Festival. The crew at Farm Fest Music did an impeccable job planning and executing one of the prominent transformational festivals the East Coast saw this year. I don’t mean this in offense, but I don’t think anyone expected what we became a part of—and that’s one of the best parts about it…each one of us was crucial to the overall experience. It seemed as though everyone had a hand in the production, whether it was planning, photographing, selling, painting, building, talking, singing, playing, laughing, dancing—whatever. It was only the experience that we had because of the people that were there, and I am extremely grateful to have participated because it was nothing short of a beautiful thing. Hoopla in the Hills was great, The Mad Tea Party Jam was really great, but F.A.R.M. Fest changed my life.

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