Identity Festival 2011 (09/03/11)

The Identity Festival recently made its trip to the San Francisco bay area landing at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain view on Saturday September 3rd, 2011. Although there were some decent names of the bill overall, I went mainly to see Booka Shade (seen above), Kaskade, and Pretty Lights and they did not disappoint. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for my sh*tty camera.

As a result of the Shoreline controlling the amount of people in the front section of the main stage, I lucked out and got an amazing spot in front since I headed there early to catch Booka Shade (and then ended up staying there fore the rest of the event). The front sectioned off area consisted of an extremely small dance pit and first fifty or so rows of bleacher seats; I was about three rows from the front. It was a prettay sweet view that would’ve made for some good videos had it not been for the super distorted audio from my camera.

Anyways, long story short, Identity festival at Shoreline was a lot of fun and definitely exceeded my expectations! From what I saw/heard I can say that Booka Shade, Pretty Lights, and Kaskade are all awesome and worth seeing if you haven’t already (especially Pretty Lights if you’re a fan of visuals); however, Disco Biscuits are not worth your time.

Check out the videos below if you want a taste of what a Booka Shade or Pretty Lights show looks like (…Amazing! is a good descriptor). Apologies again for the audio quality though, because it is really pretty terrible.

The German Booka Shade are pretty entertaining live and def worth checking out if they hit your area. Hard to beat stand up live drumming and a table of synths and effects. Check them out playing their classic song “Night Falls” live below.

Pretty Lights fully lives up to his name with his new live show…and Yes, that was a terrible pun, deal with it. It’s deserving of how stupidly impressive his current live show is. It’s almost Amon Tobin Isam status.

Lastly, check out a short clip of one of the crazier visual patterns Pretty Lights has going on during his show

 

Flashflooder’s Top 50 Albums of 2010

I’ve been annually making a “Best of” albums list since my college days (thanks to KALX) in order to document the albums I personally find most interesting during the year, while also conveniently creating a future reference point for all of the moments and memories associated with that music and time of my life (and for me, those often go hand in hand). Add in the fact that I like making lists of this sort, and it’s fun to put a little competition into my favorite hobby (listening to music).

This past year I made an effort to keep track of my favorite albums starting in January by creating a spreadsheet where I inputted pretty much every new album I listened to (all the way through) in rough order of liking, which allowed me to  freely move albums around as they grew on me or in some cases, got tiring and lost their pizazz.

Nonetheless, (regardless how hard I try) I’ve found that whenever I try to put this list together at the end of the year there’s always a ton of music to catch up on; and as a result, it’s hard to put in perspective the overall impact of an album upon its first few listens, and even more difficult to evaluate the lasting value of an album upon continued listens.

To be completely honest, despite my year-long spreadsheet efforts, I have still been doing a fair amount of December/January music cramming by trying to give every album that’s garnered any critical acclaim at least one solid listen through. And even though I try my best to be objective, there is no denying that personal taste plays a big factor in my album picks.

This list is by no means definitive, and proof of that is the fact that I’ve moved albums around every day I’ve opened up this list in the past two to three months. So basically, they’re all worth listening to and I’ll let you figure out the rest. With that said, if you’re interested in reading what other critics thought about 2010, go and check out Metacritic’s comprehensive summary of various end of year lists.

So after many months of deliberation, what follows are my picks for the top 50 albums of 2010 with download links this year(please note that I did not upload any of the albums, so the the links are subject to being removed or taken down). All in all, I just hope you find some new music to enjoy!

50. Lindstrom & Christabelle – Real Life Is No Cool [Smalltown Supersound]

49. Bag Raiders – Bag Raiders [Modular Records]

48. Spoon – Transference [Merge]

47. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today [4AD]

46. Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal [Editions Mego]

45. Wolf Parade – Expo 86 [Sub Pop]

44. Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night [Jagjaguwar]

43. Avey Tare – Down There [Paw Tracks]

42. James Blackshaw – All is Falling [Young God]

41. Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here [Editions Mego]

40. The Chemical Brothers – Further [Virgin/Freestyle Dust]

39. Walls – Walls [Kompakt]

38. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach [Virgin]

37. Surfer Blood – Astro Coast [Kanine]

36. Grum – Heartbeats [Heartbeats]

35. Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites [Mau5trap]

34. Deadmau5 – 4×4=12 [Virgin/Mau5trap Recordings]

33. Swedish House Mafia – Until One [Virgin]

32. Tame Impala – Innerspeaker [Modular]

31. Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record [Arts & Crafts]

30. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles [Fiction/Last Gang]

29. Teengirl Fantasy – 7AM [True Panther Sounds]

28. Delorean – Subiza [True Panther]

27. The Black Keys – Brothers [Nonesuch]

26. Miami Horror – Illumination [EMI]

25. Actress – Splazsh [Honest Jon’s Records]

24. Booka Shade – More! [Get Physical]

23. Broken Bells – Broken Bells [Columbia]

22. The National – High Violet [4AD]

21. Lower Dens – Twin-Hand Movement [Gnomonsong]

20. Wavves – King of the Beach [Fat Possum]

19. James Blake – CMYK EP/Klavierwerke EP/The Bells Sketch EP [R&S]

18. Pantha Du Prince – Black Noise [Rough Trade]

17. Bonobo – Black Sands [Ninjatune]

16. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz / All Delighted People EP [Asthmatic Kitty]

15. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest [4AD]

14. Best Coast – Crazy For You [Mexican Summer]

13. LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening [DFA]

12. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs [Merge]

11. Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner [Ghostly Intl]

10. Women – Public Strain [Jagjaguwar]

9. Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers [Hotflush]

8. Toro Y Moi – Causers Of This [Carpark]

7. Caribou – Swim [Merge]

6. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me [Drag City]

5. Wild Nothing – Gemini [Captured Tracks]

4. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella]

3. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma/Pattern + Grid World EP [Warp]

2. Four Tet – There Is Love In You [Domino]

1. Beach House – Teen Dream [Sub Pop]