Moogfest Motorco Park Stage

Moogfest Motorco Park Stage (outside)

Moogfest Motorco Park Stage

Fri May 19

Doors: 5:45 pm / Show: 5:45 pm

$249 and up

This event is all ages

Animal Collective
Animal Collective
At the beginning there were two of them – Avey Tare and Panda Bear – banging drums and tweaking synths in their bedrooms, singing strange and sometimes heartbreaking songs about imaginary friends and childhood pets. Carried along by washes of squalling feedback, the music was noisy, and it was weird, but it was, at heart, pop music. This was the start of Animal Collective. For fifteen years Dave Porter (Tare), Noah Lennox (Bear), Brian “Geologist” Weitz and Josh “Deakin” Dibb have been rewriting the musical map, their line-up and aesthetic shifting with each astonishing release as they continue their pursuit of a new psychedelia. Their wild path has taken them from cramped concrete basement shows and forest floor singalongs to immersive installations at the Guggenheim and performances to millions on national television. So where now from here?


“Caveman circles”, says Lennox, discussing the vision for their eleventh full-length album, Painting With; “Caveman circles, the first Ramones record, early Beatles and electronically produced. I think that was kind of our starting point”. Dizzyingly upbeat and gloriously realised, their latest LP bounces and pops with an urgent, ecstatic energy, propelled by polyrhythmic beats and gurgling modular synth, with Lennox and Portner’s vocals gleefully falling in and out of syncopation and off-kilter harmony. The songs are as experimental and deeply textured as anything that has come before but sound as sharp and snappy as chart hits, finding the band at both their most minimal and most ambitious: “The idea with cavemen was about being more primitive – the way we sounded when we were first playing together in New York” says Portner. “I feel like what we were doing with the last record [2012’s Centipede Hz] was something a little more complicated. This time we wanted to strip it down and simplify it, like techno and punk… And then put the Animal Collective filter on it all.”


Working as a trio, Portner, Lennox and Weitz began trading demos in early 2015, pursuing a goal of what Portner calls “really short pop songs: no B.S, get in, get out material…” The three met up in Ashville during that Spring and began exploring the songs together. “I feel like lyrically there’s some really tough stuff” says Lennox, “but the intention was for the songs to have the spirit of trying to work things out. To make things better.” The group made a conscious decision not to tour the songs first in an attempt to keep them fresh, something Weitz found to be “a freeing process. That shift in perspective contributed to how much space is on the record.”


Recording took place in the legendary EastWest Studios in Hollywood, home to sessions by The Beach Boys and Marvin Gaye. Making the space feel like home was essential: they lit candles on lily pads and projected a two-hour reel of dinosaur movies – spliced together by Dave’s sister Abby – on a constant loop. A baby pool was set up to help add to the vibe of the room, but the group soon discovered it sounded amazing when thudded and treated with effects. “Everything sounded good in that room” says Weitz.


You can hear it. Everything about Painting With feels crisp and direct as though delivered in super high-definition Technicolor; the pitter-pattering handclaps of Lying In The Grass, the delirious arcade-hall rave of Burglars, the galloping bass and piano of the radiant On Delay – even Bea Arthur’s introduction to Golden Gal seems to shimmer. The interplay between Avey Tare and Panda Bear’s vocals (recorded while sat on high pedestals to lend the singing an “airy” quality) is brought front and centre with an uncharacteristic clarity: “With the vocals, it’s not like a typical call and response or harmony.” says Lennox, “It’s like two voices become one. Without one singer it doesn’t really work the same way. They dance with each other.” Portner interrupts: “Both vocals are meant to complete one thought”. The band put much of this down to their close collaboration.
Jessy Lanza
Jessy Lanza
Jessy Lanza's second album 'Oh No' is addressed to her own constant nervousness. The pressure of music making, which used to calm her nerves, has led to a whole new world of contingencies that stoke the anxiety mill. The exclamation 'Oh No,' for Jessy, marks yet another incident of randomness interrupting her tranquillity. All of which seems at odds with the confidence and spontaneity of this second album as well as recent collaborations with the likes of Caribou, DJ Spinn and Morgan Geist and his Galleria project.
Made in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, with production partner Jeremy Greenspan from Junior Boys, the plaintive, reverb drizzled mood of the first album has all but given away to a more direct, self-assured and joyful album. As with many artists whose hometown lie off the usual network of cultural hotspots, 'Oh No' is driven positively by the idea of making music that isn't inspired by where she lives. Instead, the album resonates more with the philosophy of experimental pop of Japanese 80s electro outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra and Jessy's breathless, pitched vocals are reminiscent of YMO collaborator Miharu Koshi. Playfully laced with cascading arpeggios, crispy drum machines and breezy songs, 'Oh No' has an infectious energy that has been brewing in her live shows since her first album. As Jessy says 'I want to make people feel good and I want to make myself feel good.'
The album oscillates between the languid, coiled, arpeggiated slow jams of 'New Ogi,' 'GoingSomewhere,' 'Begins,' 'Could be u,' 'I Talk BB' and the low slung 808 groove of 'Vivaca,' where Jessy's vocal gymnastics run wild over minimal drums and synths, and the catchy upbeat boogie of 'VV Violence,' 'Never Enough,' 'OhNo' and the high point of 'It Means I Love You" which has a sparse addictive bounce with a pitched up vocal refrain and a nod to Shangaan electro.
The trials of dealing with nervousness are also encrypted into the artwork, such as the plants that recur in the sleeve and videos.As Jessy remarked, "I became obsessed with surrounding myself with tropical plants. I've been convinced that the air quality in our house is slowly killing us. It might sound crazy but the plants have made a huge difference."
Anxiety and botanical remedies or not, 'Oh No' is a bold second album from Jessy and a marked step forward for her sound. Catch her as shetours with Junior Boys in February, plays EU headline shows from May to June, and in July has a North American Tour.
Zola Jesus
Zola Jesus
For her 5th studio album, TAIGA, Nika relocated from central Los Angeles to Vashon Island in the Puget Sound, in effort to immerse herself in the natural world. Vashon is a densely-wooded enclave with no bridges connecting it to the mainland. The taiga is the world’s largest terrestrial biome; a wild boreal forest covering large portions of Russia, Canada, Eurasia, referred to as the Northwoods where it connects in North America. Nika grew up on several acres of land in the northwoods of Wisconsin. Her Russian ancestors extend the taiga’s bloodline throughout several generations and to some extent this land has genetically imprinted on her. She has always felt its pull. To Nika, the taiga represents boundlessness: no law, just survival – at once innocent and raw, embodying naivety from its purity, yet at its core unforgiving and savage.

Most of Nika’s creative process on Vashon was very different from how she used to write. Instead of starting a track with a beat or layers of synthesizers (with vocals usually coming last,) she began by writing songs completely acapella. Her work on the orchestral album Versions inspired her to revisit her classical vocal training and further hone the skills she had started developing in operatic study when she was young. Resuming training with her old opera instructor, she regained the confidence and vocal range she had heretofore lost. It allowed her to shed the former blankets of noise and reverb that used to cover her voice in fear.

After incubating on Vashon for nine months, Nika headed back to Los Angeles to track and mix the album with co-producer Dean Hurley (David Lynch, Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse). Hurley guided her in reaching her fidelity goals; which had always been compromised on her previous work, typically made as home recordings. TAIGA is an undeniable transition for Zola Jesus. Described by the artist herself: “The music on the record is massive, with big brass and beats, crystal clear vocals.”

Liberated in the present yet connected to the past, TAIGA is a pinnacle for Zola Jesus, the culmination of years of breaking through boundaries.”
London O'Connor
London O'Connor
O∆, the debut album from self produced American songwriter, London O’Connor, is a post-any-genre narrative told through vivid and visual production he made from the contents of his backpack while sleeping on floors and couches in New York City. It details the suburban world he grew up in and fled from in Southern California years before. His story is not that unlike many others, “a kid who feels stifled in America’s suburbs and wants to get out.” But, there is a clarity and vulnerability in London’s version that is rare. From the meticulously simplified arrangements to the lyrics that stand out more as admissions than punchlines, to his opening live sets in New York that saw him perched on top of a solitary cube of light in a blacked out venue--London’s mode of expression is to reduce until there is nothing left to hide behind. “ I remember being in the mall, and pop music is just everywhere,” says O’Connor, who grew up in the San Diego suburb of San Marcos. From his earliest memories, he was enamored with the textures of pop songs, but had a gnawing distaste for their lyrics. “I remember feeling that this certain kind of person is talking about certain experiences—and I feel like they’re lying to me. Making O∆ was about two things. It was an album like a movie about where I was from and how it really was. I didn’t want it to be a filtered story the way most pop music is. I wanted it to be real. I guess in other music people aren’t talking about the things that I notice about life or the things that are really important to me. How I feel actually being here. I wanted to express those things. But it was also about me needing to breathe and make a place in this world where I could live safely. Safely in a world where I could be myself - and survive.” London O’Connor applied and was accepted to music college in New York, and within his first week met his instant and inseparable friend, Davis. “I was never supposed to produce my first album, or any of my albums. Davis was supposed to produce them. He was the greatest artist I have ever met. I was going to help him with the vision on his projects and he was going to produce mine.” Davis’ sudden and unforeseen death left London without both a brother, accomplice or producer. A resourceful and strong-willed artist by nature, London didn’t seek to find a replacement, but instead sought to “defend himself” with sound. He stepped up his production, locking himself in a room for almost two years training his arrangement and composition skills, and simplifying his lyrics. He focused his expression first to the production of ambient music (a space to inhabit) and then built up to pop structured songs. His first lyrics were those of a captain traversing a sterile environment. O∆ is the result of that era of trauma and resolution. The goal wasn’t to produce pop standards, but to render memories and surroundings with pop music’s core simplicity. His response since leaving this bedroom has been both exacting and holistic. His release of singles “GUTS” and “Nobody Hangs Out Anymore” traveled quickly from soundcloud playlists to DJ rotations on BBC Radio 1 and some American non comm stations. His one-of-one performance cube which he likens to a ship, sat with him on a plane to play shows in the UK and France within months of his album’s initial self release. The original version lingers on the internet along with a tweet of his cellphone number “if you’re from nowhere I’m here until my cell phone explodes 858 232 9290.” The creative direction of London’s body of art and the viscerality of its themes to overcome one’s environment liken the symbol, O∆, in the eyes of his fans to one perceived like the emblem for the Rebel Alliance. A remastered version of O∆ will be released physically and digitally February 17th on True Panther Sounds. London is currently traveling and continuing work on his self produced follow up album.
RBTS Win
RBTS Win
RBTS WIN is Javier Bolea and Cliff B. Worsham - a sample-based/psych-pop production duo heavily influenced by the sounds of soul and R&B. The band is known for their emotionally charged live performances using a feast of analog synthesizers, drum machines, guitars and vocals. The music they create has also been described as dark wave or chill-hop.

The group formed in 2008 shortly after Javier moved from his hometown of sun-drenched Miami, FL to the mountain oasis of Cliff's origins in Asheville, NC. After meeting through mutual friends the two quickly began exchanging song ideas and found that they had a special musical relationship. Javier speaks on their chemistry: "I feel like the juxtaposition of our worlds has everything to do with our sound and the energy we put out. The tropical beaches and these mystical mountains have truly met halfway within these creations."

As much as their new album Palm Sunday eschews formula or convention, there are themes (love, spirit, connection, nature) throughout, along with musical references to the natural world — as filtered through electronic instruments. The album is the band’s most fully-realized effort to date, a culmination of years of experimentation, personal growth, deepening friendship and an unrelenting exploration of melody, beats and words.

Palm Sunday was recorded in Asheville, NC at Tidal Prism Studio and the converted cathedral, Echo Mountain. The cover was designed by long-time RBTS collaborator Kent Hernandez.

The band has played with the likes of Toro y Moi, Future Islands, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Prefuse 73, Nite Jewel, Lazer Sword, Mount Kimbie, Blue Sky Black Death, Tanlines, MillionYoung, The Sounds, Marley Carroll, Foreign Exchange, Otto Von Schirach, Polyphonic & Serengeti and Foxy Shazam. They have also performed at Miami’s Winter Music Conference, Hopscotch Festival and Moogfest 2010, 2012 & 2014.