Your Summer Music Festival Survival Guide

Packing for a music festival is much more than packing for a traditional vacay. Festivals can range anywhere from one day to an entire week, and preparation for the big kid multi-concert event can be daunting.

No matter what you want to bring, you have to ask yourself this very important question: “What are you willing to lose?”

You are certainly bound to sweat. A lot. You'll find yourself  jumping up and down at the thrill of the first chord of your favorite song, you'll likely be faced with the extreme weather (whatever it may be), and you'll probably run into a great deal of people you don’t know (who might have no problem stealing).

Listed below is a list of things that will make your music festival experience awesome and stress free.

Have an appropriate alcohol to water ratio.

You don’t want to pass out on your own accord, and dehydration will do it to you. Keep things balanced to make sure you don’t make the biggest concert faux pas.

Bring sun tan lotion.

That little voice that sounds like your mom that tells you apply and reapply skin-protecting sunscreen? Listen to it.  Not only will using  sunscreen shield you from harmful rays, but it will also prevent you from looking like a lobster, or worse, tan mom. Plus, you'll save lots of money by not having to buy soothing Aloe Vera.



Don’t wear flip flops.

Unless you want to get stomped in a mosh pit.

Inviting friends is cool but no more than two.

This is a matter of personal taste. But, if you are camping for a week with two friends who bring their boyfriend or girlfriend, each person you invite after that increases the number exponentially. So it can go from 5 or 6, to 10, to 12... well you get the idea. You do not want to end up constantly looking for one another or having conflicting ideas on what stage to hit next.

Bring a flashlight.

You’ll need it when making your way to the porta potty or your camp site.

Keep makeup minimal.

Keep it simple with some Burt’s Bees lip balm and maybe some fun eye shadow stickers. Remember, you will sweat it off, so mascara or tons of foundation is only going to make you look like a sad clown.

Don’t sleep in your car.

You can’t store food or toiletries in your car for the same reason you don’t want to store your sleeping body:  you may actually melt.  The cold hard ground and a good night’s sleep will make the money and time you spent setting up the tent well worth it.

Only plan the MUST-SEE bands.

Don’t under plan but don’t over plan either. Come to terms with your must-see bands and go with the flow from there. Some of the best bands that you will see you don’t even know about yet.

Your keys should be secure.

It’s easy to lose keys in your apartment, let alone a music festival. I suggest you invest in a secure key holder that has a magnetic strip so that you can store it on your car's undercarriage.

Keep your smart phone out of it.

You might have to fight your knee jerk reaction of taking your smart phone, tablet, or fancy camera. How in the world are you going to update your friends about your amazing experience? Or write a thought provoking review on collective effervescence at music festivals? Or take pics of you and your super awesome posse?

Just kick it old school and update the rest of your electronic followers on a rainy Monday evening a week from now. Write down all your article and story ideas in a notebook with a pen or pencil.

As for the pictures? Buy a couple of disposable waterproof Kodak cameras. Not only will no one steal them, but you won’t have to worry about having that embarrassing drunken picture blasted for the whole world to see, or accidentally ruining your $200+ smart phone.

There you have it. Whether you are headed to Warp Tour or Lollapalooza be sure to use this as your guide and tell them Obsessed magazine sent you.

Find a music festival near you!


LISTEN: "Small Window" by Luluc

It’s been 6 years since duo Luluc released their first album, "Dear Hamlyn."  After having signed with record label Sub Pop, they are back with their sophmore album "Passerby," co-produced with Aaron Dessner from The Nationals and set to release on July 17.

In "Small Window," a single off of their second album,  the Australian-born now Brooklyn-based duo, Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett, have combined their talents to produce sweet harmony. Their voices glaze over delicate piano while acoustic and steel guitar and lyrics tug at the heart strings of vagabonds and traveling souls everywhere.

“What a view from my small window,” the calm crooning describes flying over snowy Chicago and reflects on those they've met, those they have yet to meet, and those they have left behind.

Take a listen above for a taste of the new album. If you like what you hear, you can pre-order here.


Zach Braff's "Wish I Was Here" Soundtrack Is As Good As You Thought It Would Be

 

Zach Braff is back.

It’s been 10 years since Braff’s "Garden State" directorial debut, and fans are pumped for his crowd funded new release, "Wish I Was Here."

Using Kickstarter to fund the film afforded Braff the opportunity to keep complete creative control.  Not only did the "Scrubs" alum direct the film, but he also wrote the screenplay with his brother Adam Braff.

The film is an introspective comedy that follows a 30-something failing actor coming to terms with his career and family. Proving to be a Sundance Film Festival standout, "Wish I Was Here" is set to hit the big screen through Focus Features on July 18 for the rest of us.

Following the Grammy Award-winning "Garden State" soundtrack, expectations are stacked high, but with this current soundtrack's line up, there should be no problem matching, if not exceeding, the first soundtrack.

In additional to older, folk-influenced songs, the 15 track compilation houses just released tracks by artists such as  Bon Iver, The Shins, and Coldplay, to name a few.

Take a look, and listen to the complete list below. The soundtrack’s release date, through Columbia Records, is set for July 15 and will be available on vinyl on August 5.

1. The Shins “So Now What”
2. Gary Jules “Broke Window”
3. Radical Face “The Mute”
4. Hozier “Cherry Wine (Live)”
5. Bon Iver “Holocene”
6. Badly Drawn Boy “The Shining”
7. Jump Little Children “Mexico”
8. Cat Power & Coldplay “Wish I Was Here”
9. Allie Moss “Wait It Out”
10. Paul Simon “The Obvious Child”
11. Japanese Wallpaper “Breathe In [ft. Wafia]“
12. Bon Iver “Heavenly Father”
13. Aaron Embry “Raven’s Song”
14. The Weepies “Mend”
15. The Head & the Heart “No One to Let You Down”


Songs of Summer: 10 Quintessential Summer Jams You'll Love

We are two sips of a frozen strawberry lemonade into summer. For some, summer is the time when school is officially out (cue Alice Cooper).  For others,  summer is when they finally graduate (move that tassel to the left ya’ll), but for everyone else, it is the month of relaxation--even if it’s only for the typical allotted 14 days per year.

More than the beverages and the barbecues, there is one thing that everyone needs to get them through a much-needed season of R&R --and that, my friends, is a good quality list of summer songs.

Feast your ears below on our 10 quintessential summer jams to add to your playlist.

 We’re so Lost – Princess Chelsea

This cover of VOOM is done brillianty, offering a trippy version with a female vocalist.

Pop Song – Starfucker

Once you get over potentially being offended by the name of the band, you will see that this song is rad. Talk about a song that sounds like 5 bands at once.

We Exist – Arcade Fire

Add this socially conscious track on your playlist. No matter what your plight, you can scream out your window, “We Exist!”

 Money – The Drums

The Drums make tunes that are built for easy beach listening. Broke and need empathy? Cue this song.

Dead In Your Head – Bleached

This track will  inject a little bit of playfulness into your listening experience. A jam worthy of ANY summer road trip.

First Day of my Life – Bright Eyes

A strong dose of optimism makes this sweet tune the perfect backdrop for a summer romance.

Kick – Skating Polly

If you loved the "Juno" soundtrack, you will love this tune from two OK native teens.

Blonde on Blonde – Nada Surf

Nada Surf may be most famously known for their 90’s hit “Popular,” but it  isn't even close to their best track.

Just One of the Guys – Jenny Lewis

You will be mesmerized with  Jenny Lewis’ first solo release since 2008, which is a little jingle of a song calling out to all the ladies yet to be wed or pregnant.

Blue Side – Rooney

Everyone needs a dose of nostalgia, and what better way than with California jam rockers Rooney. The harmony is swoon-worthy, the electric guitar is simple and intoxicating, and yeah, there is a whistling solo, too.


LISTEN: "You Know My Name” by Courtney Love

"If I fuckin' die without having written two, three, or four brilliant rock songs, fuckin' I don't know why I lived” said musician and sometimes actress Courtney Love in a ‘90s interview.

Nearly two decades later, it seems like there is no end in sight to Love’s music career. Having just celebrated her 50th birthday this year, and with two new singles and a UK tour that just started this May in London, it appears Courtney will always be a part of the music scene.

Love is one of those people that you either love or hate.  Just saying her name is sure to bring out emotion in others, but  whether you loathe her or love her, one thing is certain: no matter how you feel, you know her name. That is why her most recent release, “You Know my Name” is so fitting and an f*** you song for generations to come.  Or as Love would say, “It’s a punk, fast, song about me!”

The music video is inspired by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec the French poster artist.  The result? An angry Victorian porcelain doll destroying her dollhouse. The juxtaposition of beauty and anger is Love’s staple and she has proved that grunge is alive and well.

The lyrics are little jabs--“I am the one you blame/I bring the shame”--as her voice breaks and wails in self-loathing and self-empowering moments.

With a rumored reunion of the original HOLE line up, female punk is making a return to center stage and MO couldn't be more excited.


The Dollyrots: Kelly Ogden Dishes On their Latest Album, Being Pregnant And How To Survive As A Band (MO Exclusive)

The Dollyrots
Courtesy Photo

Making music since 2000, the Dollyrots, comprised of vocalist/bass player Kelly Ogden and guitarist Luis Cabezas, have recently released their fifth studio album, “Barefoot and Pregnant.”

The album was certainly a case of art imitating life, as the duo recently had a baby boy, River Ogden Cabeza, who was born several months before their “Barefoot and Pregnant” album was released. You can watch their adorable announcement here.

MO recently spoke to Kelly about their latest album, being pregnant and how to survive as a band.

Kelly’s infectious laughter set the tone for the interview, “Sorry if I’m talking a little fast, I’m bouncing a baby on my hip” she said apologetically.

Mostly funded by fans and band supporters through Pledge Music, “Barefoot and Pregnant” was released this past February on the band's self-owned Arrested Youth Records label. The experience, according to Kelly was, “A little extra exhausting. Manufacturing and getting everything to work...put a lot more on our plate but gave us a lot more freedom.”

The whole record was recorded while Kelly was pregnant and, even in the lighthearted Frank Fields-produced video for the title track, Kelly can be seen sporting a baby bump decorated in a Misfits t-shirt while shouting about eating pickles and ice cream treats.

Being pregnant did have its constraints, “It forced us to demo and record…I don’t know if I could have had a 12-hour recording day,” Kelly remarked. “Luis was amazing. There were no extra writers. We finished every track after demoing.”

The album in its entirety was written “in-between morning sickness and naps. It was inspiring and terrifying” Kelly pointed out.

The outcome is a catchy, fast-paced, straight forward, tightly chorded pop punk album that is both infectious and fun.

Meets Obsession mag

Meets Obsession magSome notable jams are “Homecoming” and “First World Anarchist.” “Homecoming” takes a drive down memory lane where Kelly and Luis attended their high school homecoming together. While “First World Anarchist” was inspired by a Sub-Reddit by the same title and takes the seriousness out of rebellion. “Rebellion is very serious all the time…we like to do things tongue and cheek” Kelly noted.

The ferocity and commitment of The Dollyrots and Kelly and Luis’s relationship will have even new fans impressed, not to mention their latest album comes in the form of translucent pink vinyl.

When it comes down to making a band survive and thrive the way The Dollyrots have for over a decade, Kelly offers this little piece of invaluable advice: “Everyone sucks in the beginning.”


LISTEN: “What” by Alice Boman

Poetic lyrics, ethereal, whispered vocals and soft piano strokes is what makes Scandinavian artist Alice Boman’s new single, “What” undeniably charming.

A unique rise from obscurity to unintentional recognition, “What,” from Boman’s debut EP, “Skisser” (which means Sketches in Swedish), was released in May of 2013 and recorded at her home.

“Skisser” initially served as a personal remembrance of sorts and not intended to be publicly released, but it gained popularity around the world when a local sound engineer from “Studio Möllan” sent Boman’s work to Adrian records. Recognizing her obvious talent, Boman was instantly signed.

Since then, “What” has been featured on MTV hit show “Awkward” and SYFY’s hit show, “Being Human.”

Thought provoking, mysterious and part melancholic, “What” takes us on an emotionally-charged journey - one that we never want to end.


LISTEN: “Paper Cup” by Jena Malone’s The Shoe

Jena Malone is best known for her acting career, most recently playing Johanna Mason in “Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”  There’s no doubt she’s an acting force to be reckoned with, but what some may be surprised to know is, behind the silver screen, Malone is a working musician who has been at it for the last 8 years.

To date, she has self-released several albums through her former band, Jena Malone & Her Bloodstains. Her current music project, The Shoe, comprised of Malone and  Lem Jay Ignacio, a pianist and music producer who has worked with the likes of Zooey Deschanel, is something to get excited about. Like, really excited.

The duo’s first single, “Paper Cup” is a heavenly combination of stripped-down melodies behind beautiful piano chords. “It’s not enough to be simple anymore/it’s just this big old empty door…I’m just a paper cup/you can fill me up” Malone croons. Lyrically, "Paper Cup" is a personification and ultimately a metaphor for the pain of unrequited love. The misery comes in a pretty package with such a simple melodic airy back drop and fragile vocals.

The Shoe is set to release their debut LP, “I’m Okay” with Community Music on June 3. And if the album sounds anything like the single, “Paper Cup,” our cup will runneth over with delight.

Meets Obsession mag


LISTEN: “Harlem” By Cathedrals

Cathedrals, the San Francisco-based girl/boy duo comprised of Johnny Hwin and Brodie Jenkins, just released an impressive second single that is gaining the attention of fans and critics alike.

Their latest single, “Harlem,” is a song about the ever-changing face of a relationship and how one’s past might affect their significant other. With its layered vocals and poppy electro beats, “Harlem” lyrically feels like the back and forth and uncertainty of someone’s heart, “I go/you stay/we break/tell me that’s okay,” Jenkins coos smoothly.

Cathedrals’ demos are currently being promoted by Neon Gold, the company who has nursed the careers of Ellie Goulding, Goyte, and Icona Pop.

With their radio appeal and songs like “Harlem,” which is officially our new “it” jam, it is fair to say that Cathedrals could very well be Neon Gold’s next diamond.


LISTEN: “Honey Do” by Beverly

The sounds of Beverly, an all-girls Brooklyn-based band, will have ‘90s sub-pop fan swooning -- we certainly are.

Having just released their first single, “Honey Do,” the musical project is the brainchild of Frankie Rose (Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls) and Drew Citron (Avan Lava).

With Frankie on drums and Drew on guitar, “Honey Do” is a combination of fuzzy guitar and ‘90s twee pop, and it’s just in your face enough while still staying vocally sweet.

“Honey Do” will not only be featured on their upcoming debut LP, out this summer through Kanine, but also on a compilation from the label, Non Violent Femmes, out April 19.


LISTEN: “The Moon Song” by Karen O & Ezra Koenig

Today has got us dreaming about the weekend, which is why we’re currently listening to songs that make us feel all warm and happy inside. One song that we can’t get enough of  is “The Moon Song,” a dreamy duet by Karen O of the legendary Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend.

Karen’s and Ezra’s voices blend together perfectly, and the addition of Ezra’s piano bits makes this already addicting track repeat worthy.

“We’re lying on the moon/it’s a perfect afternoon/you’re shadow follows me all day/making sure that I’m okay and we’re a million miles away,” Karen O and Ezra Koenig sing in sweet harmony, proving that kicking back on the moon is hardly possible unless you are out of this world in love.

The recently released song was featured in the critically acclaimed Spike Jonze-directed film “Herand is also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Song category.  And if you’re planning to catch the Oscars this Sunday (we certainly will be watching), stay tuned for Karen O’s performance.  Rumor has it she will be performing “The Moon Song” live on the Oscar stage.

So go ahead, press play and repeat as many times as you’d like.  We promise, visions of all things lovely will start dancing in your head.


LISTEN: "Waking Light" by Beck

Waking Light By Beck

From his grungy self-deprecating “Loser” roots, Beck has remained relevant in an oversaturated alt-rock scene. His highly anticipated album release, "Morning Phase," has faced six years of obstacles that include, a spinal injury (which made it near impossible to hold a guitar), a scrapped album, and a number of side projects.

Beck’s second single, “Waking Light,” from his yet-to-be released "Morning Phase" album takes on a brand new sound while serving as an obvious companion to 2003 album, "Sea Change." It comes as no surprise since musicians Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Joey Waronker, Smokey Hormel, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Jason Falkner, all aided in the critically acclaimed  "Sea Change" album and are all back once again.

“Waking Light” shines through the blinds with ethereal breezy tones accompanied by piano, chimes and orchestral bits by Beck’s father, David Campbell. The song hints at a soul’s journey from here to those pearly gates with lyrics that read, “No one sees you here, roots are all covered/There's such a life to go and how much can you show...When the morning comes to meet you/Rest your eyes in waking light.”

The song pairs well with Beck's first released "Morning Phase" single, “Blue Moon,” which was featured on HBO hit series "Girls." The album is slated to be released on February 25 and Beck hopes to release another album within a year.

We’re thrilled to report Beck’s music is still “Where it’s at.” And if you don’t believe us listen to “Waking Light”  in its entirety below.


LISTEN: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. -- “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today”

First, let’s clear one thing up: For those of you that don't know, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is not a person and there is no relation to the legendary NASCAR family. Rather, they’re an indie pop band out of Detroit. Why the name? In an interview with NASCAR.com, band member Daniel Zott explained that is was “to identify our crazy new project that had no limitations. People have no idea how we are going to sound, and so it gives them a reason to actually take some time to listen to the music." This turned out to be a good philosophy.

Since the band formed in 2009, with no real intention of recognition, they have been signed by Warner Brothers and have even found a fan in the real Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Recently, Jr. Jr. decided to cover “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today” after digging and eventually sampling Nina Simone’s version of the 1968 original by Randy Newman. Their take on the classic song greets you with reggae beats, faint yet sarcastic lyrics, and synth splashes reminiscent of old Nokia ringtones. You wouldn't know from listening to their interpretation that the song’s content is from the eyes of a homeless man who has nowhere left to turn.

This is just one track on their soon to be released mixtape, "Produce," which is comprised of  track collaborations with the likes of Chuck Inglish, Asher Roth, Murs, Quelle Chris, and Slim of the R&B group 112. The unlikely pairing of hip hop and indie pop is intriguing and, if consistent with this cover, should be a worthwhile venture.


LISTEN: "Lost In My Bedroom" by Sky Ferreira

Sky Ferreira Lost In My Bedroom

Not only is Sky Ferreira a successful model and a fashion muse, but she is also an internet-discovered indie pop star, which is totally a real thing these days.

With her rockstar boyfriend, Cole, who is the lead singer of grungy band DIIV, her  “it girl” status, and her talent, Skye is destined to be one of the leading ladies of indie rock.

One of our favorite moments in her career was when she released the track, “Lost in my Bedroom,” off of her 2012 EP “Ghost.” With her angelic, sweet voice singing to gritty, industrial instrumentals, “Lost in my Bedroom,” is the perfect blend of hard and soft. Her lyrics, Lost in my bed/And I'm lost in my head/ And I'm lost in my bedroom again/ It's just what I imagined/Lost in my bedroom/It's just what I imagined, read like an entry of a philosophical  teenager’s Tumblr page.

Ferreira, graced with undeniable physical beauty, and passion for her craft, is an honest songwriter, “When I write songs for myself, it's really personal and I just can't have someone else singing it,” the platinum blonde signer was quoted saying in an interview with Digital Spy.  And her authenticity is one of the reasons, among many, why we we’re such huge fans.

If this is your first time listening to Ferreira, start with “Lost in my Bedroom,” which is one of our all-time-favorites and it makes the perfect song that you can lose yourself to.


Why Coachella Should Be on Your 2014 To-Do List

Why Your Should Be Going To Coachella 2014

Thanks to Coachella’s latest lineup announcement, our topic of conversation has quickly switched from all things cold and polar (oh, hello vortex) to all things musical and magical.

Coachella’s 2014 two-weekend long schedule includes an impressive lineup of headliners, including Muse, Arcade Fire,  Outkast, MGMT, Beck, Sleigh Bells, Ellie Goulding, Kid Cudi, Chromeo, The Replacements,  and even Motorhead (yes, that Motorhead).

The list, in its entirety, offers a little something for everyone, which is evident by week one having already been sold out.

This year, Coachella will see bands reunite; Andre 3000 and Big Boi will perform as Outkast after a 5-year hiatus. The beloved duo, who famously reminded us in 2003 to shake it like a Polaroid picture, is destined to be a noteworthy performance.

The lineup also offers a diverse offering of indie female bands. Female performers include Grammy nominee Lorde, the soft spoken and equally interesting Lana Del Rey, Dum Dum Girls, and Kate Nash, just to name a few.

For a full list of performers, you can visit the Coachella website to view the entire two-weekend festival's schedule.

And for those of you that can’t afford a lump sum $375 payment, don’t worry, there’s a payment plan for that, too.