Posts in Night Out
[Night Out + Interview] Austere Magazine Issue #17 Launch Party featuring Sam Lao @ Roll Gate Studio (04/09/2016)

Remember that "not #squad but gang" I rolled with to Humans? The majority of those crazy kids were all Texans who are part of a really beautiful magazine called Austere. They trekked out to Bushwick all the way from Dallas to throw a party for the 17th issue called URL/IRL, which HELLO is kind a little too fitting for yours truly to attend. In addition to various pieces curated together by Baby Art Gallery, one of my (now) new favorite experimental hip-hop artist, Sam Lao, also from Dallas, performed that evening. 

Do you know Sam Lao? You should know Sam Lao. Especially if you're the type at person that feels you should never take shit from anyone who tries to discriminate against you for your race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and that we all should be treated equally as humans. 

I'd say she champions for equality, but really she's a feminist warrior. I was made known of this within the first 2 minutes of her set when she opened with the first track off her latest album, SPCTRM, "Reminder (Bitch I'm Me)", when she shouted the chorus, "Bitch I'm me! Bitch I'm me! Fuck what you want me to be!"

Um, SWOOOON. 

In addition to being a singer/rapper, Lao touts herself as an alchemist, artist, and an outlier. She started out doing slam poetry in high school, which soon ended after she started college for her BFA in Visual Communications. Unfortunately, during her last semester in college she was forced to drop out because she couldn't afford tuition. "I was a month into the semester," she recounted, "I had already done the first project and I was getting ready [to graduate] and they were like, 'Nope you gotta get out. You haven't paid for it.'" Frustrated by her financial situation, this setback would leave her depressed to the point that she removed herself from all of her creative outlets. "I was doing nothing creatively and it was just like soul wrenching and terrible".

It was through the help of her friends in the music community that Lao was able to pull herself out of her depression by turning to music.  "I always had a love for music but I never felt like I was good enough to pursue it," she explained, "It was just one of those like, 'Oh I'll just keep this little hobby here for myself and it makes me happy." Through some persuasion, she agreed to start writing in the studio with her friends. "[My music] just sort of blossomed from there." she said. In 2013, she released her first EP, West Pantego, to further pull herself out of depression. 

According to Lao, the city of Dallas really took to the EP. "Suddenly I was performing all the time, I had all these shows and people were stopping me at random places [while I was out] to tell me how much they loved my music," she recounted, "So when it was time to make [SPCTRM] there was suddenly pressure there that wasn't in the beginning. That was a process to overcome. There was a lot of perceived outside pressure."

Just as she was wrapping up SPCTRM last fall, an unfortunate event that happens all too often to musicians happened to her: she lost her entire album due to a hard drive crash. "We were in the final mixing and mastering stages when I lost all the tracks," she explained, "Everything was gone. All I had was my lyrics." Over the course of the next 4 months Lao would remake her album from the ground up, complete with new beats and new music. 

While her music is deeply rooted in hip-hop, Lao experiments mixing in various genres of her choosing. She's sampled Carlos Santa, Coldplay, and other artists in her music. "I like to listen to all different genres of music, so experimental hip-hop is a good sphere/little bubble there [to create in]," she said. Lyrically, she writes mostly about the experiences of women and the situations that the majority of women frequently endure. Songs like, "Pineapple"  defiantly remind men that women aren't entitled to womens' bodies with lyrics like, "Don't police my areolas!", while a track like "Gold Link" calls out the absurdity of how taboo it still is for a woman to hit on a man while out at a club. While the subject matter may be forcefully feminist, according to Lao, she typically receives an equal amount of praise from both men and women after her performances. 

I'm not sure when Sam Lao will be back in New York City but you can be assured that when she's back that you will be the first to hear about it. 

Have a listen to her latest album, SPCTRM, below. 

You can have a look at the photos from my night out with the latest addition to the #SKOAfam, Sam Lao, below. 

[Night Out] HUMANS @ Baby's All Right 04/08/2016

I have only recently become a fan of Vancouver duo HUMANS, but let me tell you, fam, my love is REAL

How real? 

1:30am set time real.

Yes, just writing that made me yawn for a second remembering how tired I was the next day. But you know what? MORE THAN WORTH IT! 

It had been awhile since I went to a show with someone, let alone more than just rolling with Sprout. I ended up strolling into Baby's on Friday night with 8 people, not including myself. By my calculations, that was not a #squad, that was a gang. Have you ever tried to herd a gang before? That shit is intense. 

By the time the gang was finally situated inside and ready to dance into the wee hours of the morning, we were promptly informed that the airline misplaced their gear and our earholes would be graced with a DJ set instead of their usual performance. Gotta say, for having to throw something together last minute, you could've sworn that it was the plan the whole time. There was scarcely a motionless booty in the crowd. I like it when New Yorkers stop being too cool to dance. It makes it more fun that way. 

How loud is the @dashumans show rn? Well...

A video posted by [stephanie] kibbe (@heylookitskibbe) on

I am going to take a moment now and get Rock Mom on everyone about the importance of taking care of your ears when you go experience live music. I am fairly certain that I was the only person amongst all those happy dancing people with earplugs in. It gets LOUD in Baby's. It's was loud enough for the drinks we rested on the side of the stage to SLIDE AROUND because the bass was so heavy. If you want to keep being able to hear all of the wonderful sounds that Humans and other musicians make, please take a minute to invest in a pair of earplugs that you can keep on you "in case of random awesome things" that you might encounter. 

If you have not taken time to get to know Humans, I would highly recommend you doing so. I had admittedly spent more time with their latest Water Water EP and had only given their last LP Noontide one super distracted spin before coming out to the show. Since then, I have discovered that I might love Noontide a little too much because I keep telling people I want to start a religion because of songs like "Cold Soba" and "Watusi". No wonder it got nominated for a Juno. Hnnnnng. 

In addition to a perfomance coming up this weekend at Coachella, the band have a few more dates in North America, so make sure to live your best life and go see them if they're coming to your town. 

You can check out the photos from my night out below. 

Oh did I mention that as soon as their set ended their gear showed up? lol

[Night Out] Electric Mantis, Said The Sky, & Illenium @ Highline Ballroom (04/01/2016)

You thought I was done going to shows for the week!

THAT'S ADORABLE! 

How could I POSSIBLY quit my streak when one of my new favorite finds was in town!?

I can't remember exactly what took place that one fine day a few months back on Soundcloud when Anchorage producer Electric Mantis fell into my lap, but I have been vibing out to his tracks ever since. The track that sold me on his abilities was "The One"but i've made sure to spend some quality time rifling through his Soundcloud profile feeling him out.

While he hasn't quite hit his stride of cranking out nonstop bangers yet, I can tell that the homey has just started to find his footing and is starting to dig into his signature sound. Let me be clear: this dude is going places. I mean, the dude has already racked up a few MILLION streams on Soundcloud. (Calm down, that wasn't all me, although I definitely have contributed to those numbers since then.)

Also, remember when like 100k streams per song felt like a huge ass deal? That feels like another lifetime now. #MySpace 

ANYWAY. I had completely spaced on this show. I knew it was coming almost a month ago but the date just got away from me. Luckily, despite it being a sold out show miracles do happen and about a half hour before our hero took the stage I found out I was able to step foot inside Highline Ballroom and confirm my suspicions that he is in fact the real deal. I sadly arrived late to his set because I was camera-less in Bushwick getting shit done with StyleIt, who graciously lent me her camera so I didn't have to double back to Harlem to get mine. It was quite the scramble to get there to make sure I got maximum exposure to someone who is typically 4,500 miles away from yours truly at any given moment.

It was definitely worth all the effort. Despite not including a ton of his original material in the part of his set I was able to catch, I reveled in all of the creative decisions he made. Even in his remixes I could hear the little bits of his personality peppered in. It's not often that a producer's style translates from his original tracks to his reworks this early on, which is why I can confidently infer that we're patiently waiting on a diamond in the rough to get trimmed down and polished with this guy. 

It's admittedly been since the night of the Don Diablo interview that I really spent a full night at an "EDM" show. Even then, I wasn't really... out with "the people", per say. I forgot how many characters will come out of the woodwork to take drugs and dance the night away. 

This show started fairly promptly at 7 though, so the exponential "lit-ness" part was confusing. I did have a few favorite fans from the night. There was the GoPro #teen that was engrossed in getting quality footage of all of the DJs for the night. He was next to a quintessential EDM bro in his baby blue tank top who was rolling like crazy and was convinced I was trying to snap photos of him all night (I did get snap video of how ridiculous he was acting but that's about it). 

I live for this sweet GoPro #teen tbh

I live for this sweet GoPro #teen tbh

And then there was #EDMShey. It's coming up on a year since Sprout and I went across the pond to drink and get in as many hugs with Shey and Kim, so occasionally when I find myself missing one of them I end up running into their doppelganger in some random place. I don't think #EDMShey was on drugs, but man was he high on life. #EDMShey was so happy and danced harder than anyone else in the front row. He noticed that I was trying to capture him as he danced the night away and chose to pause to pose for a snap. 

#EDMShey is bae, but cannot replace actual Shey

#EDMShey is bae, but cannot replace actual Shey

I should say that Said The Sky and Illenium both nailed their sets as well, I just wasn't as emotionally invested in them as I was Electric Mantis, who was great. 

Did I mention Electric Mantis is great?

He's great AND he's going to be heading out on his first official tour in May on the west coast! It's going to be great, if you're on the left coast, you should definitely make it a point to check him out. 

You can check out my photos from the show below along with the dates for Electric Mantis' upcoming tour. 

[Night Out] Soundcloud Go Launch Party @ Flash Factory (03/31/2016)
Bob Moses performing at the Soundcloud Go launch party @ Flash Factory 

Bob Moses performing at the Soundcloud Go launch party @ Flash Factory 

Last week, one of my favorite music services for stumbling across baby bands, Soundcloud, made an interesting move that I'm honestly very anxious to see how it plays out. The soon to be 9 year old streaming site announced a new offering: a paid subscription service that boasts more tracks along with ad-free and offline listening. To celebrate, they threw quite the fun shindig over at Flash Factory that I had the honor of being invited to. 

The plan for the night was to catch as much of The Saint Johns as I could at Gramercy Theater and then make a run for it to Flash Factory in time to see Jr Jr, who I had been informed would be there, along with A$AP Ferg and Chance The Rapper

By the time I managed to get to Flash Factory I could tell from the vibrations outside that I had absolutely missed Jr Jr, which was a major bummer. I hadn't seen them in a few years and was really looking forward to seeing them, especially since I enjoyed their self-titled album they dropped last year. Alas, it just wasn't meant to be. 

Something about those vibrations that I could hear sounded familiar as I waited in line to get in. It wasn't A$AP Ferg, who I assumed would be next. "Who is that? Oh, they're playing Bob Moses in between acts. That's cool." As I get closer I noticed that they're playing a lot of the new Bob Moses record, Days Gone By, but it's out of order....and sounds very live. Naturally, I can't help but turn to the person putting my wristband on and exclaim, "IS THAT BOB FUCKIN' MOSES!?"

IT WAS! 

They were a last minute addition to the lineup, which was both awesome and unfortunate. It was awesome for me because I have been *dying* to see them live, but it appeared that other attendees were unaware of their splendor. Don't worry, I made sure to turn to as many people as I could after their set and say, "Yo, not joking, you need to buy/stream/whatever that record as soon as you can and get ready to want to make out to that record for the rest of your life!" That record is dark and sexy as hellllllll. If you haven't heard it yet, you should get on that. 

I was honestly so pleasantly caught off guard by the last minute lineup addition that it just further intensified the rest of the evening. After the Soundcloud co-founders came out and said some heartfelt words about how excited they were for this next chapter of Soundcloud's legacy, A$AP Ferg took the stage and got the crowd riled up and ready for Chance the Rapper to spit some crazy amount of fire. His performance was further heightened for me as I was conveniently standing next to a gentleman who was apparently one of his biggest fans. Actually, everyone around me were all genuine music fans, which doesn't happen often when you're in VIP. But that's why Soundcloud is great, because they actually employ big music fans. It was nice because we all collectively geeked out together throughout the evening.

I actually ended up going out with a few of them after the party was over. It was a late night out, but it was a great night out for sure. 

You can peep my photos below. I will be giving Soundcloud Go a whirl in the next few days and will report back with my thoughts on that as well, so keep an eye out for that. 

[Night Out] The Saint Johns @ Gramercy Theatre (03/31/2016)

With such a plethora of music happening in NYC at any given moment it's often overwhelming to attempt to squeeze in as much awesomeness as possible. Lucky for me on Thursday night I was able to make time for former Florida fam The Saint Johns' set at Gramercy Theater before beelining it to the Soundcloud Go launch party at Flash Factory. 

The Saint Johns aren't *actually* Florida fam in the sense that we all knew each other as we were growing up in Florida (them in St. Augustine while I was in Orlando). I simply consider us to be kindred spirits because we all have had stints in Florida, NYC, and Nashville, the only difference being they went from NYC to Nashville and I did the opposite. At any rate, Nashville suits them well as they performed cuts from their latest album, Dead of Night, which turns a month old today. 

It was a good warm up show for the night I was about to have, that's for sure! Have a peek at the photos from the show. If you're not in NYC, the band is currently still on the road, so scroll down just a little bit more to see if they'll be in a city near you soon! 

The Saint Johns on tour w/ Judah & The Lion
4/5 - St Louis, MO - Off Broadway
4/6 - Fayetteville, AR - George’s Majestic Lounge
4/7 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
4/8 - Austin, TX - The Parish
4/9 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Studio
4/13 - Waco, TX - Common Grounds
4/14 - Tulsa, OK - Cain’s Ballroom
4/15 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
4/16 - Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre
4/19 - San Diego, CA - The Loft
4/20 - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
4/21 - San Francisco, CA - The Chapel
4/22 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
4/24 - Eugene, OR - Hi-Fi Music Hall
4/26 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Complex

[Night Out] YAK @ Berlin (03/30/2016)

Sometimes I don't want a big fancy show where I'm singing along with 700+ other people smart enough to like the same artist as me. 

Sometimes I just want to sweat and have some sassy guitarist randomly fling himself in the middle of a crowd and almost knock me on my ass in the process. 

This was the case with last Wednesday night at Berlin. As a #teen this was a regular occurrence for me, so where some people would get really irritated to have someone fling their entire bodyweight in your direction or get sprayed by a bottle of water, but these kinds of shenanigans leave me squealing in delight. 

Fresh off their stint at SXSW, London's noise-rock trio YAK has thrashed their way around North America and directly into my heart. As soon as singer Oli Burslem wandered onto the stage with his pants and belt undone yelling about how he just needed to take a piss before they started their set, I immediately knew that I would need to be on high alert for the next 30something minutes of my life or else I might get kicked in the head or something of that nature. 

YAK are as playful as they are loud. Burslem made sure to multitask his beer breaks, occasionally playing guitar using his beer bottle or enabling the occasional sip for drummer Elliot Rawson like he was giving a baby some milk. This was before the occasional thrash about into the crowd, which sent other folks snapping photos into a frenzy every time.

The nice thing about being a band who doesn't give a fuck is if you feel like playing a song over because you think you could do it better the second time around, you just do it. This was an added bonus for me considering of all of their songs I attempted to learn as quickly as possible, my favorite is "Victorious (National Anthem", which is the one that received the special do-over treatment. 

YAK's debut album Alas Salvation will be dropping on May 14th, courtesy of Octopus Electrical. Be sure to have a look at my photos from the show below to see all the fun you missed out on / prepare yourself for awesomeness for when they roll into your city! 

YAK ON TOUR

Apr 7       Amsterdam Paradiso w/The Last Shadow Puppets
Apr 15      Festival Printemps de Bourges
May 11      Birmingham The Rainbow
May 12      Sheffield Bungalows & Bears
May 13      Glasgow Stereo
May 14      Manchester Deaf Institute
May 15      Leeds Brudenell Social Club
May 17      Reading Purple Turtle
May 18      Bristol The Exchange
May 19      Leicester Cookie
May 20      Southampton Joiners Arms
May 21      Oxford The Bullingdon
May 24      London Dingwalls
May 26      Paris Point Ephemere
May 28      Lille La Peniche
May 29      Gent Big Next Festival
May 30      Nijmegen Merleyn
May 31      Amsterdam Paradiso
Jun 1         Hamburg Molotov
Jun 3         Nimes This Is Not A Love Song
Jun 4         Clermont-Ferrand Europavox
Jun 30       Garorock Festival
Jul 2          Eurockennes
Jul 7          Lyon Les Nuits De Fourviere

[Night Out] HONNE @ Bowery Ballroom (3/11/2016)
photo credit: Liz Morrison 

photo credit: Liz Morrison 

Oh hello there, HONNE fam! Nice to see you again. When last we met these huggable fellows they were keeping us warm on a cold cold night at the Mercury Lounge. Last night, however, Sprout and I witnessed them keep us sweaty on a semi chilly night in a sold out room that is more than double the size: my most favorite of spaces, the Bowery Ballroom. You can tell that they've been touring a good bit since November because they were a lot more at ease than previously witnessed. I guess once you conquer that first show crossing the pond it's hard to feel unstoppable.  

Amidst the collective booty shaking I was able to be reminded of how INCREDIBLY AWKWARD it is to accidentally make eye contact with a complete stranger while singing lyrics such as, "we could be getting frisky girl til 3 o'clock in the morning." I've joked previously about their music making me pregnant, but there's nothing like remembering what you're singing along to while making eye contact with a stranger and subsequently trying to visibly chuckle and glance away as quickly as possible. 

Near the end of their set the duo debuted their next single, "Someone Who Loves You", which they dedicated to [presumably] a fan named Ricardo who has apparently been having a rough go at it. The single, which prominently featured their fierce backup singer, is expected to be available for the rest of the world to hear in the coming weeks. 

I had a nice #rockmom moment during their final number, "All In The Value", when James went to perform his *ahem* HONNE-SOLO (sorry) which prompted an eruption of excited lady screams as he wailed on his guitar. Definitely not the same band I saw less than 6 months ago, that's for sure. 

Check out the photos Sprout snapped from last night below. The band has a handful of sold out shows left in North America, so hopefully you'll be at one of them. 

Get acquainted with the fellas if you haven't already courtesy of their latest EP. 

[Night Out] Jamie Woon @ Bowery Ballroom (02/05/2016)

It's been a long time coming, but last night New York City got the sWOONfest that they've been waiting for. Fresh off the heels of his sophomore release Making Time, which dropped back in November of last year, Jamie Woon was finally able to make it stateside and grace the Bowery Ballroom with his presence a few weeks back. Of all the crowds I've experienced recently, the fam who showed up for Jamie Woon were by far my favorite. Everyone was so wonderful to each other and so beside themselves to finally see him live. Adorable doesn't begin to describe how fun it was to watch. 

It was a memorable night for one and all for sure: in addition to singing us all into a sexy stupor, I'm fairly certain we witnessed Woon's first time having a fan throw their bra on stage. I was standing right next to this fan when completely unprovoked I saw her fumble around inside her shirt before tossing her bra in his direction. 

Please look at his face seconds into realizing what happened. I still can't believe I got this shot:

The most entertaining part about this whole ordeal is that the second he walked off stage before returning for the encore was that she was struggling to try and GET HER BRA BACK. Apparently it was a very nice bra. lol 

Ladies: if you want to toss your bra on stage, more power to you. I personally don't get what that does for you, but if you want an entertainer to know you think they're sexy or whatever. Cool. That said, COMMIT TO YOUR EXPRESSION. If you think you might try to pull this... maybe go get a less expensive bra so you're not anxious once you've flung it? I can't even believe I'm saying this right now, lmao. 

Anyway, after I convinced this fan to wait until the performance was done in case she knocked over his microphone in the process, she disclosed to me that she was a little embarrassed because she got caught up in the moment of it. Apparently this girl had flown in from Mexico City just for this show because he only had THREE North American tour dates. Props to you even with your minor lapse in judgement, girl. #RESPECT

If you have not heard Making Time yet shame on you. I'm still sorting out a copy of this on vinyl. Damn do I hate how expensive imports are. 

For those of you not in the US, Woon is making the rounds in the UK and Europe at the moment, so you best get on that.