INTERVIEWS

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif – Mike Garmany’s just hit the lottery. Well, sort of.

It’s only a few hours before the final show of The Holdup’s “Or Die Trying Tour,” and himself and drummer Eric Bumb have just finished feeding a small sheaf of crumpled one-dollar bills into a brightly lit CVS scratch-off kiosk. Elsewhere in the city, in the South of Market district, fans are already lined up around the block to see the group perform live at Slim’s, the San Francisco club founded back in the 80s by R&B veteran Boz Scaggs. But here in a nearly empty convenient store, on a Saturday night, the two bandmates are hunched over a countertop, scratching away carefully at the graphic-illustrated paper slips.

Listening to Lawrence for the first time, it’s easy to feel as though someone has scooped you up and dropped you back down again in that last, joyous scene at the end of every romantic comedy film. We all know that scene. In the film’s not-so-distant past, something’s gone wrong, but not irreparably so, and thus the last scene is always a reunion, renewal. These scenes make you feel warm inside. They’re the reason we go to see movies. Lawrence’s music is all the enchantment of witnessing that full spectrum of human emotion, projected onto a big theatre screen in dazzling Technicolor.

The lead-off track from Toronto-native JAHKOY’s Foreign Water project takes you by surprise in the best possible way. The record goes down so easy, the production so smooth, the delivery so confident, that it begs the questions: Who is this guy? Where did he come from? How is ScHoolboy Q on this?

Kolohe Andino has spent over a decade in the water, and it definitely shows: His breathtakingly successful surfing career has been decorated with colossal wins all over the globe. His father was also a surfer and passed on his passion at an early age, while his grandfather played drums on albums by The Doors – so it seems that Kolohe was always destined for greatness in some form or another. The scariest part about it all? The young-gun is just 22 years of age. To call his future blindingly bright would be an understatement, so we put on some shades and chatted to the Californian native about his approach to the ocean, his legendary peers and surfing’s potential place in the Olympics. 

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TOUR LIFE

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — In the final moments before showtime at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Mike Garmany of The Holdup adjusts the glittery in-ear monitors that rest just a few centimeters above his signature shining cubic zirconia gauges. Along with the glossy lavender Squire Stratocaster guitar he’ll pick up on the way to the stage a few minutes later, the earrings catch more light than anything else in the room, reflecting back onto the assembled crowd of hundreds of fans passionately singing every word.

Rootfire At The Park made its triumphant return to beautiful Cocoa, FL earlier this month, bringing together reggae & roots music fans for a truly one-of-a-kind celebration. Overcast skies and the looming threat of Florida showers did nothing to deter the faithful from turning out in full force for the second annual event, which spanned three vibe-filled days at Cocoa’s Riverfront Park. Emphasizing Rootfire’s dedication to giving back, all proceeds from this year’s event went toward Hurricane Irma relief in Cocoa.

If digital streams are truly the measure of success in the tumultuous 2010s music economy, then Miami, Florida-based trap rapper Lil Pump is on the verge of superstardom. The young gun just might be the purest embodiment of the new school to emerge out of the burgeoning Florida scene, if not for his willful disdain for lyricism, depth, and social consciousness, then for the astonishing fifty million odd plays he’s racked up on SoundCloud since beginning his career in 2016.

If the many off-kilter stereotypes of the reggae community get in the way of understanding its purest form, Rootfire At The Park down in Florida this past weekend represented the absolute ideal. The music and lifestyle festival, which was held all day on Saturday the 22nd in sunny Cocoa Beach, boasted not only an incredible lineup of reggae & roots acts, but also, more importantly, a unanimously positive energy: an atmosphere of intimacy, camaraderie, and acceptance.

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REVIEWS

To say that a large part of Rae Sremmurd’s success is indebted to their rambunctious live show would be a gross understatement. Given the rap duo’s explosive performance, alongside Atlanta-native Lil Yachty, this past Saturday at the Fillmore Silver Spring, we can be certain that if ever there was a concert lineup so singularly propelled by the recklessness and exuberance of youth, Rae Sremmurd and Lil Yachty is it.

For well over a decade now The Movement has been flying under the radar as one of the most creative modern reggae groups in recent memory. Currently made up of Josh Swain (guitar/vocals), Jay Schmidt (bass), and Gary Jackson (drums), the trio’s music seamlessly blends pop, rock, hip-hop, dub, roots reggae, and dancehall. Their sixth studio album Golden, released April 8th through the recently formed Rootfire Collective, is their magnum opus, showcasing renewed energy and a knack for inspired songwriting.

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CONCERT PREVIEWS

According to Noisey, “Lil Uzi Vert is, for better or for worse, yanking people into the future, a world in which rap is a swirling kaleidoscope of post-regional styles and post-genre sounds . . . Uzi is the proper arrival, pushing that sound into more colorful, gleeful territory with the help of a murderers’ row of current producers.” If that doesn’t sound like some kind of hazy, twenty-first century New School Rap prophecy, I don’t know what does.

At this point, it’s safe to say Mac Miller has taken a dive into almost every genre of music imaginable. It might not always be apparent, but behind that goofy good-naturedness is a passionate creator and a musician, someone without fear of taking risks, someone constantly evolving.

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© 2019 Gabriel Spadaccini

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