Friday, October 11, 2013

from pdx to sfo : on a voyage to treasure island 2013

Treasure Island 2011
The West Coast festival season throws a last hurrah each year squirreled away in plain sight in the middle of the San Francisco Bay. Accessed via one of those rare left-hand exits off the Bay Bridge, follow the passageway through the forested hillside of the petite Yerba Buena Island and across the isthmus to a man-made mass dubbed Treasure Island.

Organized by legendary tastemakers Noise Pop, the 2013 lineup for this year's "Festival in the Bay" is stellar, to say the least—kudos. With just 13 acts per day sharing two stages over the course of a weekend, the Treasure Island Music Festival consistently features artistically diverse, in-demand artists, making it the epitome of a well-curated festival.

If you're feeling extra ambitious in the nights leading up to fest, TIMF also hosts night shows including a Friday gig featuring a double dose of PDX talent when the 11-piece orchestral indie rock of Typhoon and Wild Ones' lilting, breezy, electro dream pop share The Independent's stage on October 18th (doors at 8:30pm, show 9pm, 21+, $15 advance, $17 day of show).

Listen to Typhoon's "Young Fathers" from their sophomore full-length White Lighter:

As for the 26 acts playing the island on Saturday, October 19th and Sunday, October 20th, there's something favorable to be said of just about every single act at this year's fest (including the bevy of DJs playing Silent Frisco sets), but in the interest of time, here's the choice performers that OMN is most excited to see and highly recommends that you catch as well.

Saturday, October 19th

The definition of supergroup in the music lexicon is Atoms For Peace. Composed of the iconic, bass-slapping demigod Flea, producer/engineer extraordinaire Nigel Godrich (credits include arguably several of the best albums by Beck, Radiohead and Travis as well as Atoms For Peace's AMOK), south paw drummer Joey Waronker (frequent collaborator of Godrich's as well as Beck, Elliott Smith and R.E.M.), Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco (of Forro in the Dark and a touring member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), and the inimitable Thom Yorke (uh, Radiohead anyone?), the incestuous band headlined Coachella two years before they ever released a record together. Destined for success, that debut did not disappoint. Enjoy the characteristically odd video for "Ingenue":

With the departure of Switch (he never showed up for the live gigs anyway), Diplo's continued his dancehall project with a second full length, 2013's Free The Universe, but this time Major Lazer—the Jamaican commando with a bazooka for an arm—has a female assassin sidekick: Knife Fight. While you can catch an actress playing her in "Scare Me," you best believe booties will be frothin' to "Bubble Butt" in the same fashion as witnessed in this Eric Wareheim-directed cut:

It's been a short while since Little Dragon's released any new tunes but these Swedes will no doubt be in form and put on an intricately emotive set buoyed by the distinctive vox of the Japanese-Swedish-American Yukimi Nagano. Check out their most recent track "Sunshine" (basically an advertisement for homegrown vodka brand Absolut) from June 2012:

Chillwave, "daytime disco"—feel free to spew out whatever buzzy genre names you've got. The fact remains that Poolside's music is best thought about in poolside terms: Sunglasses on, imagine your ideal day lounging on the edge of a cool, azure, aquatic experience as evening descends. That's what the duo of LA-based producers sounds like. And, expect them to be more than welcomed to the TIMF stage as Jeff Paradise is a native for all intents and purposes. Enjoy "Do You Believe" now and download a starter kit of Poolside tracks from their SoundCloud:

Sunday, October 20th

Beck's last musical work came in 2012 but not in the established format—Song Reader was published as a book of sheet music. And although some talented musicians took a stab at interpreting his inaudible release, fans are even more excited about three new tracks in three months, each typically unique. Listen to "I Won't Be Long," which also has an almost quarter-hour long extended mix:

By the time James Blake takes the festival stage he'll have already warmed up Frisco with a late-night DJ set under his 1-800 Dinosaur moniker at the Mezzanine on Saturday. For Sunday's set, expect layered minimalism and the serious (but gracious) side of the downtempo, emotive crooner, like in his video to the title track from Blake's second record, Overgrown:

With a festival-friendly billing of STRFKR, Starfucker will do Portland proud playing a desirable late afternoon slot that'll no doubt highlight tracks from their third full-length, Miracle Mile—a collaborative effort that features new guitarist Patrick Morris (formerly of Strength)—like the lead single "While I'm Alive":

Get the rest of OMN's picks for Treasure Island 2013 in San Francisco.

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