BroSters

The City through the eyes of Bros and Hipsters


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Love City Debuts Local S.F. Artist in its First Event

K&K at Love City

K&K at Love City

By Airec Sype

Love City had their first music & art festival at City Nights last Sunday. This being the first time I have ever heard of Love City and it being hosted at the dreaded City Nights (I’ve spent a bit of my 18 year old days there getting rejected by girls who claimed that they were lesbians) I was a little reluctant to attend. But I will say that (after I bit the bullet and paid the 20 dollar cover charge) I’m glad I went.

Love City is a San Francisco based promotion group that supports local musicians and artists. Their mission statement states: “The goal is to unite people. To provide a home for bay area music.  To give independent artists a stage. The goal is to be the definite San Francisco Underground. The home for honest art and the people who appreciate it.”

It was a nice surprise to walk into a non-packed City Nights that isn’t infested with 18 year old kids tripping all over the place as their pregame gets the best of them. And yes I used to be one of those kids; I was the Asian guy dancing alone with a red face. The bigger and happier surprise was that draft beers were only 2 whole dollars!!! I mean the beer choice were only PBR and Bud light, but hey, for 2 bucks I’ll drink watered down booze.

The side room had a merch table selling t-shirts and performing artist CD’s, a few couches for people to relax, as well as the bar. Although I did find it quite odd that the side room was playing radio indie music. I did enjoy the music that was being played, but I would think that the side room would play music from the main room since it’s a festival to promote local music. It was a good break though from hearing the local talent from time to time . . . and I did Shazam a few songs in that room as well so I can’t complain too much.

Sweet live art at First City

Sweet live art at First City

The main room was pretty spacious. Half of the people crowded the stage and the remaining half was spread out in the back. There was defiantly room to awkwardly dance around and prance. Up above on the balcony were some painting that was done live by Zachary Sweet, an illustrator from Oakland. Tyler Trew of First City calls him “Ralph Steadman, Dr. Seuss and Tim Burton’s love child.” I will admit that one or two of his paintings freaked me out, but they were very vivid and amazing.

Live Rapping

Live Rapping

Genra, from Oakland and real name John Glchrist, was one of the middle performers that made an impression on me. Genra genre is hip hop. And he did address how he spelled his name wrong on purpose just to mess up our iTunes. I don’t listen to a lot of hip hop so I don’t really know how to describe his music in detail, but it was really good! His lyrics had the soft touch of Drake’s RnB but also had the intensity of rap. It was powerful poetry that this man preformed. I was really impressed at his skills as he rapped with a live band instead of performing to a track. They had great flow and chemistry.

The last but not least band of the night was Keys & Kisses. And holy crud were they amazing. K&K is a San Francisco based band that was started by Christopher Schouest (vocals, guitar and violin) and Jordanne Osborne (vocals, piano). They were also accompanied by Jimmy Dias on the cajon and Greg Andresen on the bass. K&K started off their set with a mellow and low song that got the crowd in a folk-y trance. But as their set continued, K&K progressed into a more indie-folk-post-punk style. We weren’t jumping up and down in the crowd, but we sure did feel the smoky whiskey dive bar atmosphere that K&K conjured as they ended the night.

 

The music was great, but other highlights of the night was when a girl in a tutu tried spinning around and fell on her butt and this drunk girl got kicked out of the upper balcony because she almost knocked some paintings down while trying to drunkenly dance on the cage. Well, I mean it wouldn’t be City Nights without some kind of shenanigans!

I also gotta give props to this group of guys who were just dancing away in the back left of the main room; they look like they were having a great time. I wish I had their ability to be comfortable in their own skills to rock the dance floor!

I’ll be looking forward to the next Love City Music & Art Festival. Till next time.

 

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Green Velvet Debuts His First Essential Mix

 

By Airec Sype

Green Velvet unleashed a funky tech-house mix for the first time on BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix, hosted by Pete Tong, last weekend. Chicago house on a British house channel baby!

Despite it being his first BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, he’s no scrub when it comes to throwing down late-night vibes. Green Velvet (or Curtis Jones, his legal name) left grad-school at UC Berkeley to become a professional DJ in 1991 and nothing’s held him back from producing groovy, dark and spontaneous tracks that continue to make us jack.

His Essential Mix is a compilation of decades of experience behind the decks, featuring his acclaimed musical talent.

Opening up with a “Flash” edit for the Essential Mix, G.V. introduces us to an A-list of house DJ’s that he’s about to comprise in his set. Featuring greats like DJ Rush, Maceo Plex, and of course San Francisco’s own Claude VonStroke, you know you’re in for an awesome mix.

The beginning of the mix holds true to Chicago House tradition, as its low bass line and funky beats build and build to a point where your body is no longer in control as you sway side to side, bobbing your head to the beat.

During the second half, G.V. takes the energy up a notch and leads us to a darker side as he hits us with more pulsing house and techno.

This mix couldn’t have come at a better time since G.V. is going to be spinning at his first Outside Lands in the Heineken Dome Aug. 9th. It’s going to be entertaining to see Jones’ neon green hair as he plays his Chicago style in a The City, at a festival that was originally created for food and wine.

But as the sun sets on that Saturday of Outside Lands and night takes over the park, G.V. will take the decks with other acts such as Gorgon City and DJ Icey, in an environment that I’m more comfortable seeing him in, a dark and industrial looking club called Public Works. The event is called CRUSH.

I’m going to be at both of those shows so it’s going to be interesting to see how he changes up his sets: Will he please the different crowds or will he force us to play his musical game?

I’m sure the outcomes of his shows in San Fran. will give him the right to “walk around like (he’s) bigger than Prince.”

You can see the full tracklists of his Essential Mix at 1001 Tracklists.


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Ben Nicky “HeadF**K” SF in his Debut

Ben Nicky playing at Slide

Ben Nicky playing at Slide

By Airec Sype

Flying all the way from the UK, Ben Nicky dominated his San Francisco debut with hard “138” psy-trance at Phoria last weekend.

This was my first Phoria event, and with past headliners such as ilan bluestone and Sebastian Brandt, I was excited to see what this new trance monthly has to offer. Although I will admit that when I first heard of it being held at Slide nightclub, I was quizzical in seeing how the crowd turnout would be and how it would affect the music.

DJ Taj was opening up for Ben Nicky when I was walking down the stairs and into the dim lit dance dungeon. Taj was playing proper tracks that seemed fitting for a trance dj such as Ben Nicky.

Once the clock hit midnight and the hour of the beast came, Ben Nicky took the decks and opened his set with his own “Brave Heart” featuring Chloe Stamp. Behind him as he spun, his visuals flashed “HeadF**K,” his own branding and the title of his podcast, that announced to us what kind of musical trip we were in for.

Nicky’s set wasn’t quite psy-trance or hard trance or “138,” it was a set of his own that blended multi-subgenres of trance together that (in a sense) head f*cked us. With rapid hard hitting beats, everyone at Slide couldn’t help but move and sweat. We of course replenished our lost fluids with alcohol to survive the night.

This was a dark set that everyone was expecting. And the crowd went wild when Nicky dropped a sample asking everyone in the club that night if we “Ever f**ked on c*caine.” I know that question isn’t very “PLUR” but neither was this head f*cking set.

Nicky expanded our minds that night with “HeadF**K” remixes of trance classics such as “Big Sky” and “Punk” that reminded us how trance can still be hard without weaving into the realm of trouse. Nicky also played with our emotions as he spun “HeadF**K” remixes of tear jerking songs like “Sun & Moon,” “U,” and “I Don’t Deserve You.”

At one point, my friend Lauren turned to me and said, “I didn’t know we were at an Above & Beyond concert.” Which I have to admit was funny. (Still no discredit to his set.)

Nicky’s track selection stretched across all trance genres and it was done in a well knitted manner where it all weaved in perfectly, like a dark-psy-trance quilt. Especially his “HeadF**K” remix of “Smack My B*tch Up.”

The music was great, and surprisingly the crowd was also great.

Having been to Slide before, I’ve thought of that crowd to not be my preferred scene. I’m still shocked that I witness good solid trance at that place. Of course you still had your typical clubbers who were there to get drunk and rage, but you also had a great mix of people who were there to witness trance at its best by the hands of Ben Nicky.

I even saw some old trance faces; I knew we would all come out for some good music.

The security was nice and the guest list option was great! Overall the environment of the place was above expectation.

As Jordan Suckley prepares himself to headline the next Phoria event this Saturday, I can say that I’m ready to giddy up and strap on my big boy trance pants because I know that Phoria brings its A-game and that this #PHORIAdark is not going to be one to miss.

You can check out Phoria’s next event with Jordan Suckley here.


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San Francisco’s City Lights is One of the Bookstores You Need to Visit

Not a bookstore but there is a PANDA!!!

Not a bookstore but there is a PANDA!!!

By Sype

BuzzFeed recently released a list of 17 bookstores that “you need to see” in an article titled “17 Bookstores That Will Literally Change Your Life,” by Erin La Rosa. And on that list is San Francisco’s own City Lights. No, not City Lights that sh*tty night club where underage girls gets in with their older sisters ID while older men creep on ’em, but the iconic bookstore.

Located in the North Beach district of S.F., this bookstore has been visited by many people from all over the world. I’ve had some guest at my restaurant that I work at asked me about this bookstore.

I love books, and not just because I graduated with an English degree at SFSU, and I’m happy to see that a San Francisco location made it on this list amongst other internationally renown bookstores. I’ve only been in this place once, but it’s a great place to pop in and check out some of today’s, and past, literature.

Also on the list is another California location, The Last Bookstore.

TLB is located in downtown Los Angeles.  I’ve also had the great privilege of visiting this venue. The great thing about this bookstore is not the vast selection of books but the PRICES!

In this day and economy, everyone is pinching penny’s. At TLB, almost every paperback is 5 bucks and hardcovers 6. They are practically giving away books! If you are a book lover and constant reader whose brain cannot read off a tablet or Kindle, then I suggest you visit this place. I picked up 4 books when I was there. I mean, it’s (Asian voice) sooooooo chheeeeap.

An honorable mention that I have to note is Green Apple Books, located in the Richmond District of S.F. Also a great environment for book lovers, which is conveniently located near a bunch of amazing places to eat. So you can feed your mind and stomach!

I know there is this whole NorCal vs SoCal thing going on, but with these two great bookstores there is no winner and loser; it’s just the love of books and literature that will set your imagination wild . . . or until they make a movie out of it.

Visit those places book lovers, you won’t regret it.

Till next time.


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Bros v. Pros: The Mens Guide to EDC While Trying Not To Be a Douchebag

Hey, Sype here. Figure I’ll reblog a little satire I just wrote about music festivals and the do’s and don’ts for bros and pros. I hope you guys get a little laugh out of this.

Inside the Dark Minds of Koko and Airec

I know not really, but during festival season this becomes more and more true I know not really, but during festival season this becomes more and more true

By: Sype.

With only just a few days till the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, I think it’s time for me to provide some BROs v. PROs tips from my six years of attendance (embarking on my 7th year down the rabbit hole this year). This will be a continuation of my partner, Koko’s, blog post, “Hoes vs Pros: An Empowering Women’s Guide to EDC 2014.” So make sure you check her post out as well, she has a bit more information for the ladies than I do.

Before I continue on with this  long laundry list of BROs vs PROs do’s and don’ts, I would like to say a DISCLAIMER!: I am not an expert in any field, except for the field of disappointing my Asian parents (which is why I created the hashtag…

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The National Delivers a Majestic Performance at The Greek

Daniel, Me and Jose at the Greek for the National and Portugal the Man show after we got our overpriced beers and hotdogs.

Daniel, Me and Jose at the Greek for the National and Portugal the Man show after we got our overpriced beers and hotdogs.

By Airec Sype, Jose and Daniel

Note: I’m still waiting for better pictures and videos since I only have a crappy iTouch

The National along with Portugal. the Man delivered a mind-blowing musical experience at The Greek Theater in Berkeley, Cali., last weekend. Already having seen Portugal. the Man last December and broiling with enormous expectations for The National, I was mentally preparing myself for an awesome night of indie music with two of my best bros: Jose and Daniel.

I was prepared to go full hipster that Saturday night (although Jose hates it when I say that).

The Greek, whose full-legal-Google-Maps name is The William Randolph Hearst Greek Theater, is located on the UC Berkeley campus. Actually to be precise, this legendary music venue is located at the top (and I do mean the top) of a steep hill on the UC Berkeley campus. Our lungs and legs felt the burn as we hiked our way to the top. Luckily we did not pre-game for the show.

None of us Brosters have ever set foot in The Greek before, so we did not know what to expect from this venue. We got in rather quickly despite the mob of people and walked past the ticket ushers with no pat downs. It seemed that most of the people who were at The Greek were respectful people. The fans of T since a lot of families were there and it was all ages (so checking out girls was a little difficult at the risk of being scummy).

So once we got pass the cluster of people trying to get their first beer of the night, we three started making our way down to the right side of the pit. Then once we reached the bottom and got our feet planted in the ground and had a chance to look up, we saw the amazing architecture of The Greek Theater. The Greek is like most amphitheater which is composed of a pit, then some seats, followed by a grassy area for families and couples who brought their own lawn chair and blankets and such. Some of the things that distinguished this amphitheater from others like Mountain View are that almost everything was made of cement and the stage had pillars and stone carvings that resembled a real back-in-the-day Greek theater. Of course there were some modern touches like railings, stair lights and stage lights; it really is a sight to see. Its design assisted with our transportation from a regular concert to experiencing a magical musically artistic event.

Portugal. the Man, from the cold state of Alaska and currently residing in Portland, Ore. (yeah when Jose told me they moved their indie band to Portland I couldn’t help but chuckled), was the first band up. Their set started at 8pm and lasted till about 8:50pm. When I first saw Portugal, it was at the Mezzanine, which is a dark club enclosed club in S.F. with a crazy light set up. So I was curious to see how their performance during the day light was going to be.

Starting with “Plastic Soldiers,” Portugal led us down the madness that inspires their genre. When the first song ended and as they played into their second song, my curiosity was answered with an affirmation that their set was going to be no less than awesome. Their transitions from song to song were fierce, sporadic, a bit psychedelic and subtle. And in those moments of hard guitar rifts and immense jam session, you can feel their energy. Right off the bat, I knew that most of the crowd at The Greek was there for The National, but it didn’t stop them from fist pumping and bobbing their heads to the psychedelic sounds of Portugal. the Man. Most of Portugal’s set contained music from their current album, Evil Friends (2013), with hits from The Satanic Satanist and In the Mountain in the Cloud. As the day started to fade into the dark, the stage lights started to come more into play as it flashed rays of dark purple, blue and red lights, hypnotizing us in the pit under the vivid musical spell of Portugal. the Man. Everyone knew that Portugal was going to end their set with the song “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” since it is one of their most popular songs that was yet to be played. However, this predicable moment did not stop Portugal from delivering an oldie surprise. As the melody to “Purple Yellow Red and Blue” started rifting in, bass player Zachary Sarothers came out of left field and started singing vocals to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” The crowd cheered to the old and familiar song, and then roared as lead singer John Gourley blended in Pink Floyd’s classic to their modern hit. It was smooth and it was great, not even a DJ premiering a Beatport mash-up could have done a better job.

Portugal. the Man playing “Modern Jesus”

There was about 20 minutes after Portugal. the Man for us bros to relax, use the bathroom and get our drink on before The National takes the stage. As expected of an intermission, the lines for beer and bathroom (beer and bathrooms, the catch-22s of any music events) was packed with overflowing lines of people who have been there for a minute and with other kids who have “coincidentally” seen their friends in the middle of the line. But what has always surprised me at shows is that everyone seems to be illiterate; why does no one ever read the signs for the extra bathrooms and no-line-beer-gardens! We took the signs advice and headed up hill and away from the alcohol and urine filled people to the vacant promise lands. Also as expected, prices for beers was 8 bucks, not including tip (you always have to tip your local beer venders because let’s face it, it sucks to be serving beer while great musical talents are on).

Knowing that we would not be able to even reach the tip of where we were once standing in the pit, we took our beers to the top. Up on the grassy lawn, there was another beer garden, empty, and there was a vast amount of accessible, also empty, porter potties. So we did the math and decided to cut our losses and stayed on top of the amphitheater. From the top, we were able to see everything, the amazing architecture of the venue, the vast sea of people in the majestic of it all. In the dark, we were able to see even the bleakest of light, from bright phone screens that were in the process of Instagraming or Snapchatting to the little orange flame of a lighter sparking up a bowl or a cigarette.

Then before we knew it, the entire amphitheater went dark and the crowd cheered as The National took the stage.

The National, originally from Ohio and now based out of Brooklyn, took the stage under an illuminating midnight blue lights and opened with “Don’t Swallow the Cap,” a song off their current album, Trouble Will Find Me (2013). Like I previously stated, this was my first time seeing The National and I did not know what expect. A bands live performance makes it or breaks its creditability. And I do love the studio recordings of The National’s music. My only alternative to this quench is watching their live performance on YouTube, and we all know that you can’t rely on YouTube for a live performance thirst. And after hearing their first and second song, “I Should Live in Salt,” they did not let me down and even surpassed my, and surprisingly Jose’s (he thought they were too depressing), expectations. I don’t know if it was the multiple 8 dollar Sierra Nevada’s, or being with two if my closest bros or if it was the magic of The Greek Theater, but my mind and ear drums were transcended to a higher musical plane. Lead singer Matt Berninger voice did not disappoint and was just as good, if not better, than their studio recordings. His voice is soothing and amazing as my inner hipster dreams. Berninger voice filled The Greek Theater and into our souls through our ears, especially during the song “I Need My Girl;” his pitch is a perfect blend of a deep peaceful tone that isn’t afraid to jump up into a post-punk scream, like at the end of “Sea of Love.” In those post-punk moments, the energy shot up and stage lights quickly flashed, sending an energy into the crowd making us jump. I know I was jumping during their encore, and second to last song, when they played “Terrible Love.” I’m pretty sure that it was at that moment when I felt a euphoric sensation, mixed with the overpriced beers, that made me latch hold of Daniel (because Jose was off buying some Portugal. the Man merch) on the shoulders as we jumped in drunken unison and screamed out the lyrics to “Terrible Love.” I’m sure they played the alternative version of this song since the guitar riffs were faster and drum beats louder. We screamed and jumped our hearts out to the emo-indie-sound of The Nationals. I caught a glimpse of three girls, who were sitting down below us, giving us confused and awkward looks, thinking that we have completely gone bonkers, but we didn’t care, our spirits were overcome by The National’s music.

The National playing “Graceless”

When it was all said and done, we had a good time: the venue was amazing, the beers were good, the music sounded like they came from the muses and the friendship was strong that night. I felt feelings that night (of course I blame most of that on the alcohol). The only thing that could have made this experience even more magical was having a special someone there, but I guess that was what my drunk texting was for, or two or three. Opps, you kinda forget which girl you’re texting after awhile, nor does it matter because you’re in the moment with your BROS! But I guess having my best bros there was another great bonding experience. So if you ever get a chance to experience a show at The Greek Theater in Berkeley or have an opportunity to see Portugal. the Man or The Nationals, DO IT! You won’t regret it; just let loose and let yourself feel feelings and go #FullHipster.


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Two Crimes & One Punishment

Here’s our own Escobar filling us in with his thoughts on the Clippers situation and the clashing crimes of privacy vs. racism!

helladown

20140429-171143.jpg

It seems to me that a breach of human goodness is a greater offense than a breach of privacy.

Recently, we had a situation where a certain kind of law was exposed to be broken, albeit only with the help of having to break another certain kind of law. By now, everyone has drawn an opinion about Donald Sterling (the L.A. Clippers owner) and his “alleged” voice recording. He has essentially been caught (hook line and sinker) practicing his best Leonardo DiCaprio cum Django and talking all kinds of racist gibberish. Now, some are obviously mad about the fact that this guy (an owner of a basketball team with mostly African-American players; it’s exactly as bad as it sounds) has been allowed to continue to prosper under his racist mindset. Some, though, actually want to make the argument that there is a second (potentially worse) offense; that the act…

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