Rip it, doodle it, shoot it, juice it
When my hard drive crashed last month, I lost my entire iTunes library. But thanks to a new MP3-downloading service at the Sacramento Public Library, I can now start rebuilding it, three songs per week.
Last week, the Central Library became one of six in the nation to implement Library Ideas’ free music service, Freegal. It allows patrons to download a select number of tracks weekly from the Sony Music Entertainment catalog, which the library then underwrites. The tracks are digital-rights-management-free (DRM-free), which means they can be transferred freely to and from any computer or MP3 player.
It takes just a few clicks to see that Sony’s more than 100,000-song catalog is impressive. As a fan of world music, I was happy to see artists from my old collection: everything from West African singer Angélique Kidjo to Taiwanese boy band F4, even reggae legend Bob Marley. Also in the catalog are pop classics like Michael Jackson, Elvis and Mariah Carey.
But at the rate of three MP3s per week, it will take me 64 years to rebuild my catalog. Yet it’s a start. (Jonathan Mendick)
I love festivals. I am far too lazy to attend 20 concerts and would much rather absorb it all in a two-day extravaganza.
This year’s Treasure Island Music Festival fit the bill. Many festivals leave you in a position where you have to decide between bands when their schedules are conflicting, whereas TIMF allows for constant entertainment, a veritable carnival—Ferris wheel and all.
Little could have prepared me for Die Antwoord’s stage antics. The South African duo came out with the most crystal-meth-looking haircuts (dude had a flattop with a rat tail; the girl was rockin’ a fullet, or female mullet) wearing white jumpsuits covered in Keith Haring-on-crack-looking doodles. The group did a great job working that crowd early on day one.
Sacramento represented at Treasure Island. Maus Haus has a member from Sacramento. Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed talked about how he was loaded last time he was at the TownHouse Lounge. Later in the day, Chk Chk Chk (!!!)—or as some kid put it, “So, the Exclamation Points are up next?”—performed as well.
I honestly had no idea college girlie girls were so into Deadmau5, who was the largest draw of both days of the festival. There were homemade mouse hats and helmets, and T-shirts. I even saw a plastic rat fitted with lights wrapped around it. Deadmau5’s light show was impressive, but, compared to Mstrkrft’s performance last year, I would probably choose the latter.
Day two was initially hit with dreary and wet weather that threatened the mood of the day. But performances by M. Ward and Zooey Deschenal, a.k.a. She & Him, along with Broken Social Scene in the afternoon, kept a large audience captivated. The second day had a much smaller draw than the first, and though Surfer Blood and Rogue Wave were both energetic and excellent, the crowd seemed lost in the other carnival activities around the island, such as silent disco and trampolines (or the Giants-Phillies game). (John Phillips)
Dispatch from Oakland:
In a celebration of all things grime, Rye Rye and M.I.A. put the speakers and audience on kinetic blast last week in the Bay. Rye Rye, who hails from Baltimore, articulated rapid high-pitched rhymes in between fits of frenetic club moves. It was encouraging to see three male dancers perform behind her, inverting traditional gender roles on the stage, though surely she’s not the first to have done this; M.I.A. also reinforced her alpha quality.
M.I.A. didn’t rush through the songs, but her quick, hourlong set even included a brief intermission, before she emerged with a bottle of Patrón Silver to perform “Teqkilla.” Behind the set was an immense light screen displaying low-fi, gif-style images, pixilated versions of her music videos such as “Boyz.” The volume of her set, though, intermittently drowned out her vocals, but this didn’t stop the crowd from putting their guns in the air for the choruses of “Paper Planes” and “Born Free,” performed back to back. (Joe Atkins)
The Colonial Theatre has re-emerged as one of local hip-hop’s power venues. Los Angeles’ Dom Kennedy and Vallejo’s Moe Green played last Wednesday alongside locals C Plus, DLRN, Nicatyne, DJ Oasis and a full-crew performance by Remedy and the Turf Hop Alliance.
Moe Green rocked a short but energy-packed set, performing tracks from his mix tape Rocky Maivia to a couple hundred die-hard hip-hop fans.
Solid lineup, quality sound, effective promotions—my only beef is that I was not quick enough to score some of the free Jamba Juice that was given away at the event. This is what Sacramento needs: more events of this caliber, and more free Jamba Juice. (Andrew Bell)