Okay, so Frank Ocean still hasn’t released his follow up to 2012’s Channel Orange despite making us think that this past week could actually be the week. However, in my music world, three other lovely things happened in the past 7 days that are worth noting despite Frank pulling at my heartstrings again.
Adele sings her heart out at Oracle Arena // 8.2.16
Like many others, Adele first came across my radar when “Chasing Pavements“, the second single off of her debut album 19, hit the Billboard Top 100 in 2008. I loved that song (and sang it hundreds of times while driving around in my car that Summer), but when Adele’s Sophomore album 21 was released in February 2011 when I too was 21 years old, well, everything changed. No need to explain that here, you get it.
Fast forward over 5 years later, and I finally get the chance to see Adele perform live at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The production and stage setup was elegant and tasteful, the 12 (16? maybe more?) piece band with 4 backup singers transformed the basketball arena into a concert hall, and her completely un-filtered between song commentary made us feel like we were hanging out with our childhood best friend. She managed to take a large format arena style show (frankly my least favorite type of venue) and make us feel like we were in a much smaller, more intimate environment – which is no easy feat. Neither is making me bawl my eyes out during a concert, another one of Adele’s achievements that night.
But all of that paled in comparison to the vocal prowess that was displayed for the duration of Adele’s nearly 2 hour set. Whether you’re a fan of pop music or not, there’s no denying that Adele Laurie Blue Adkins is one of the most legendary vocalists and singer-songwriters of our generation and I am still in a bit of a dreamlike state thinking about the fact that I had the opportunity to watch her perform.
Ronald Paris aka Porches performs a 4-song set in the East Village // 8.5.16
On the completely opposite end of the concert spectrum, Friday night in NYC, on a total whim, I ended up seeing Ronald Paris aka Porches (aka Aaron Maine) perform a 4-song opening set for his friends’ band Rivergazer. I was stuffing my face with Szechuan food with my girl CML and some friends and we had every intention of hitting the sofa hard to watch the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremonies after dinner. But then a friend clued us into the fact that this free Ronald Paris show was going down at Elvis Guesthouse in the East Village so we called an audible. Shout out to the other CL for the hot tip.
I’ve been into Porches since they released Pool in February of this year, and happened to spend a lot of time this past week listening to their recently released Spotify Sessions, so getting to see Aaron Maine play up close and personal was the best surprise to end my week. However, I think what made the evening so delightful was thinking about it in comparison to the concert experience that I had at Oracle days earlier.
For one, I bought tickets to Adele nearly 9 months before the concert date, but knew only a mere 9 minutes before the Ronald Paris show started that I was even going to go. The first show was also at least 4x longer than the second. And similar math can be applied to the difference in ticket price points. But mostly, I love how in 4 days I went from witnessing one of this century’s greats in a massive arena, to watching what was essentially a very talented group of friends having a good time putting on a show together on a Friday night in a small, smoky bar with maybe 100 people in attendance (sadly Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos aka Maine’s girlfriend was not one of them). And how although these two live music experiences could not be more different from each other, they both brought me a tremendous amount of joy.
Flamingosis enters my life and releases full-length album “Bright Moments” // 8.3.16 & 8.5.16
Speaking of a tremendous amount of joy…
Every so often an album comes along and knocks me off my feet, and Flamingosis’ Bright Moments is one of those. I was having what was feeling like a particularly long, foggy and cold August week in San Francisco and was catching up on some monthly mixes from blog Gorilla vs Bear. I was working at my desk, minding my own business when “Flight of the Flamingo” started playing and all of a sudden I was transported directly to the beach, piña colada in hand, daily stressors nowhere in sight.
Maybe it was the fact that this album seemed to fall into my lap out of nowhere when I needed it most (and then released on Spotify for the world to stream the morning after JMS, RT and JJP and I spent the night gushing over it together), or maybe it’s the perfect blend of hip-hop/jazz/soul/funk that carries through this sample-based album start to finish – but aptly named Bright Moments is very very special and quite frankly has had me under a spell since my first listen. I even bought it on Bandcamp, and you should too.
I hope that Lineup #99 brings you a little bit of joy and brightness this week. It’s a true mix tape of various tracks I’ve been into over the past few weeks, with some good ones from JMS and AR. And the last Lineup before TML turns 100 (!).
Listen to this week’s Lineup below, or click here to find it on Spotify.
Until next Monday.